Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Freebie: Black History Month

My class just finished up a project for Black History Month.  Check out the pictures below and grab this freebie. 

I am a big fan of choice boards.  My students really enjoy getting to choose their own projects, and I make sure that the projects are varied for different learning styles.  Win, win.  Here is a thumbnail of the assignment, which you can have for free at my TPT store!  

On the day the projects are due, the students set them up on their tables with a "Compliment Sheet."  I play 4-5 songs and we do a Gallery Walk - where the students walk around writing compliments to each other about their projects.  

My class L-O-V-E-S this song (see link below).  "Baby Elephant Walk" by Henry Mancini.  They beg to hear it every time we do a Gallery Walk.  It's pretty fun.  :)  

When the last song ends, the students return to their seats and are SO excited to read all the compliments.  It's so sweet.  And, it is a great way to share a lot of projects without spending hours and hours on dry presentations.  I still let them all share one or two fun facts with the class if they'd like, but I have become a big fan of the Gallery Walks.  

Here are a few of the finished projects.  Take a look!  And if you like them, feel free to pick it up for FREE at my TPT store!  Enjoy!!

George Washinton Carver:
Notice the collage on the iPad.  The student made the 
collage her background and then left sticky note directions on 
how to see the collage: In case you can't read the note, it says: 

"Press Home button to see."  
"Do Not Touch Otherwise!"  Too funny.  

Wallace Amos, Jr:

Patricia Bath:

Madam CJ Walker:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blogging & Commenting - Like a Boss.

A few weeks ago, I posted my first blog entry.  I was SO excited when people started commenting!  (Seriously, I probably shouldn't admit how excited I got every time someone commented.  I was through the roof!  So thank you for that!)  

And, then I got the sadz.  WAIT.  How are they doing that?!  Almost every one of my commenters had a link back to their blog with their comment.   I could immediately see tons of benefits for doing that.  But seriously, how does everyone in the world know how to do this, but me???  I didn't even know how to google it because I wasn't sure what it was called.  And if I'm being truthful, I still don't.  Hence the 11-word title below.    

So, this is not some huge nugget of wisdom for most of you bloggy experts.  But for the rest of you, the new bloggers, those still learning how to make things make sense in the blogosphere, here you go.  This was my first small blogging victory.  Maybe it will help you, too.  :)  

How To Include a Link to Your Blog in a Comment:

1. Open a text editor, like Notepad and copy the following nonsensical gibberish.  I am told this is html code.  

<a href="Website URL">Text to display</a>

2.  As Randy from American Idol would say,  now you've got to "make it your own."  So customize it for your blog.  For the blue part, type in the name of your blog.  No need for the "http://" part.  Just type in your web address with no spaces (  Then for the pink part, type in the name of your blog (Twenty-Six Minutes for Lunch), or your name if you'd like.  

3.  Save this little document someplace handy, and keep it open when you're blogging.  Then when you're commenting, you can easily copy and paste it in after your comment.  Voila.  Now you're a pro. Blogging. Like. A. Boss.  

Fun Fact:  Everything that happens in my 4th grade class right now is "like a boss."  My students are OBSESSED with that phrase, so we're rolling with it, even though we know we are late to the punch with this one.  Yesterday, someone "long divided like a boss."  And another student said, "Dude, bosses don't have to do long divide. They have calculators for that!"  Hilarious, and also true.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Roses, Fancy Chocolates & Mustaches

Who is feeling the LOVE today?!  Is there anything more adorable than celebrating Valentines Day in an elementary school?  I think not.

My tradition for the past few years is to make a Valentines video by asking the students "What is Love?".  Best answer this year:  Love is roses, fancy chocolates and mustaches.  They are such a fun group!  Here's to hoping your Valentines Day was filled with as many roses, fancy chocolates and mustaches you can imagine!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What is Love & a Linky Party!

Happy Valentines Week!  How are you celebrating in your class?  Last year, we made this video.  I am planning to do another one this year.  Hearing 4th graders talk about love is pretty fun.  "Love is pizza."  You gotta love that.  Enjoy!  

I'm pretty excited to be linking up with Farley from Oh Boy, 4th Grade for my very first linky party.  I've been a fan of hers for a long time, even before I started blogging.  She is hilarious and has wonderful resources for teachers!  

Listening - I'm not completely watching the Grammys, but it's on in the background.  Not bad lesson-planning background noise.  I could listen to Kelly Clarkson sing "Natural Woman" on repeat forever.  And Mumford & Sons was awesome, too!

Loving - I've become a blogstalker.  After perusing many blogs today, can I just say that teachers rock?!  I already knew that, but as I read some of your blogs and see such good ideas, I am so thankful to be a part of a community that shares.  I am learning SO much!

Thinking - Being in NC, the snow we get is laughable, at best.  But I love snow so much!  So, I'm hoping for at least one more chance of snow this year!  But, nothing like Nemo.  That was just cray.  I hope everyone up north stayed warm this weekend.

Wanting - Asking for a laundry fairy to come fold and put away my laundry isn't too much to ask, is it?

Needing - I just want to sit around all day and make fonts, clip art, backgrounds, etc.  The only one I actually know how to do is fonts, but maybe soon I'll be able to play around more with graphics!

Pet Peeves - I. Need. Structure.  Especially at work.  I can relax like a champ on the weekends, but I really like to have clear structure & expectations at school.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blogging? What?

So, I guess I'm blogging now.  Weird.

Tonya, from Tonya's Treats for Teachers, has done a great job helping me and our friend Carla get started by teaching us some of the tricks of the trade. Here we are geeking out on our computers discussing ideas after dinner and hanging out.

I have had SO many questions about how to make things, get graphics centered (still working on that one, eek!), and make things look the way I want them to look. Basically, google and I have become BFFs. I still can't figure out how to get text on my header, so let's just call this blog a work in progress. Also, I have a newfound respect for all you other teacher-bloggers. Your blogs look so amazing!

Tonya told me I should link up with folks through Linky which I asked, "What the heck is a Linky Party?!" But they sound fun, so if I can get that figured out, maybe I'll connect with more of you soon.

In the meantime, let me know your tips & tricks for a new blogger in the comments! So far, I have just set up my blog and put up two items in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Feel free to check them out. Both are free, and we all love free!