Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tried It Tuesday: Splice Video Creator App

http://fourthgradeflipper.blogspot.com/I can't believe it is almost May. I am happily linking up with the Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday!

As some of you may know, I coach my elementary school's dance team. It is a six week (reoccurring) after school program for one hour a week. The kids LOVE it ALMOST as much as I do.  I love dancing, choreographing, mixing music, and getting a chance to see students outside of the academic life. I love the sense of comradery we all have for each other and we all love preforming in front of the school for our monthly student recognition ceremonies!

We finished our last session yesterday and the students wanted to do something special. We use my cell phone to take pictures and videos throughout the school year of the team so this project was extra easy. We thought of the new students coming to our school next year (the school is only 4th and 5th) and wanted them to know about the Dance Team. We decided to make an informative video showing viewers what we do and how we do it, while giving them more information about the team.

I downloaded the app called SPLICE.

Have you heard of it? It's actually FREE and SUPER easy to use! I was going to create a tutorial for the app, but a quick youtube search showed many already made. I really liked the directions in this video.

We made the video during our dance team time and before we left, we had already emailed it to the principal. We are going to play it on the large, flat screen TV in the lobby. Parents and students coming to our school for tours will all get a chance to see our creation. I'd post it here, but it has a lot of school information, kids dancing, and me dancing in it...not something you want to see. haha 

I will be using this app in the classroom. We are going to start by making a digital PenPal letter next week for the upcoming third graders. Enough kids in my class have ipods, that if they download the app at home, they can choose groups and have multiple projects going on.

This is a great activity to try out at the end of the year to help pass time. It is a perfect way to end a unit and have a student synthesize the newly learned information and it is a TON of fun!

I'm sure there are other movie making apps out there, but I stumbled upon this one and loved how user friendly it was! :)

Oh ya, don't forget about the awesome bloghop going on! Take your chance now for one of THREE TPT gift certificates and even a new pencil sharpener! :)


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring to Summer Blog Freebie Hop! Tips to Survive the End of the School Year!

The end of the school year is tough, but don't worry, we can get by with a little help from our friends. Since you are one of my sweet friends you are in for a super special treat. I teamed up with a BUNCH of my best blogging buddies to put together some survival tips and wonderful prizes for you.

Just by hopping along, you have a chance to win:
  • One of three TPT gift certificates to help you make it to the end of the year 
  • An amazing Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener!

This blog hop will surly help you HOP through Spring to make it to Summer! How many days do you have left? Sadly, because of a ton of snow days, we are in session until June 23rd, but my May calender looks JAM packed and I am SURE the time will certainly FLY by. 

One of my secret tips is to stay organized and well planned. With these adorable, easy to print, ready-made, student recognition awards, you will surely be prepared and happily welcoming the end of the year. A few years ago, I'd always scramble for something to reward my students and always waited until the last minute. Now I simply print these out. I've even included a few black and white certificates for easy printing. You can give it to the student and have them color their own before taking it home or even paste it on colored paper to "pop" out! 

Enjoy this freebie by clicking on the image below! 


After entering my secret code in the above image in the raffle copter below, continue on the freebie hop by checking out one of my BBBs!


Have a wonderful end of the school year. Don't stress, remember, you are one day closer to summer vacation! :) 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five for Friday, Pin to Win, and the BIG RACE!

Happy Friday! I am excited to be back in the blogging world and linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!  

One of my favorite bloggers posted this totally true quote today and when I logged on Facebook, while pressing snooze three times on the alarm, it made me smile. We have 41 days left! A little early for starting the countdown, but I can't help it, I am beyond ready for this summer. Do you ever teach summer school? With a two and four year old at home there really isn't "down time" during summer. Last summer, I had fun taking the kids to museums, beaches, lakes, parks, and a pool. This year, since my 4 year old will enter Kindergarten in the fall, I am going back to teaching summer school. My husband, a middle school PE teacher, teaches Wilderness Survival & a High Ropes training course to 4-8th grade students during the month of July. This summer I am excited hold a Crafting Club and a "Get Fit" class everyday in July for 1.5hrs per class. I am doing it with another teacher, so it should be fun for everyone. I am bringing the two year old with me and the four year old will be in Kindergarten prep classes. August means Disney, so once summer hits, a new countdown will begin!

We've been working on legends in class during our unit discussing "How the Earth and Sky are portrayed in Fiction and Nonfiction." The students are taking a turn writing their own legends. I created a great "plan" for them to fill in based on the set up of many legends we've read. It has been super useful to the students. I will post more examples and pictures of the legends when they are finished, but here is a sneak peek.  

We have the opportunity to use technology in the classroom, usually as often as we'd like. We are lucky enough to have a program called "Text to Speak." It allows the students to actually listen to their story when they type it. It helps them hear mistakes and often helps them remember where to go back to add more information. There is also a program that gives word suggestions to help the students type. If a student types "Ta" it will bring up a list of "Ta" words where the student can simply click on the work they'd like to use. This makes typing not so boring and allows my students to get their thoughts out without too much pain. 

For our current unit, I've been constantly referring to my unit for sale in the TPT store. It has a bunch of lessons that are interactive and fun for the students to gain background knowledge (fiction & nonfiction) for legend writing.
Our school is also a "Kind School" this year and participates in the Ben's Bells project. Our kindness ambassadors put together a fund raiser for the school.  They sold "Kindness Grams" for a week for $0.50 each. They were delivered today and certainly brightened up my morning. They are a great reminder to always "BE KIND" and it's always fun to get notes from fellow staff members and students.

Before I end this post, I want to remind you I have a PIN IT, TO WIN IT going on for my newest product. I am picking a winner Friday night (tonight), so you still have time to play! :) If you'd like a chance to win my new ABC Memory Book, come over to this post.... and check out the game! If you don't want to wait, you can purchase it now in TPT on sale by clicking on the image below. 


Please send me all the positive vibes you can. I am running in a Color Me Rad 5K bright and early Saturday morning. Two words...I'm Doomed! I've seriously been dreading excited for this race since I got suckered into signing up six months ago! hahaha Don't worry, I will be sure to post pictures!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bring on Summer! Pin it to Win it! ABC Memory Book!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE the end of the year. It means cleaning, organizing, and moving on, while reflecting on the year. The lower elementary schools in my district participate in a school wide ABC countdown, yearly. My school, is an intermediate school for 4th and 5th graders. We try to create our own traditions, but I haven't found something that was easy and exciting enough to stick with. This year we are going to try something new! I came up with this adorable ABC Countdown/ Memory Book and I am SO excited to share it with my students AND you all!

There are 27 pages (one for each letter of the alphabet and a cover sheet). I photocopied the book back/front and stapled it like a twice down the left margin. It printed adorable and it will look even better when we finally make it to the countdown and can start filling it out!! 


Each page has fun black and white clip art to color in and a creative writing response to prompt a student memory from the year. I know my students will save these memory books for the future. Who wouldn't?  I think they are even better than yearbooks!

The download on TPT comes with two versions of the book. One version has the countdown from 26 days of school --> Summer. This is meant to have your students fill in one page a day and go in order. I also included the same book, without the bottom number countdown. This will work great for the classrooms who would like to do more than one page in a day. It would also work perfectly as center activities or even for sub plans! 

If you'd like to win one of the Memory Books, please PIN IT TO WIN IT. 

Simply pin the image above, and paste the Pinterest link into the comment section below. I will pick a few winners Friday night. 

Have a great night teacher friends! :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Monday! We Heard from Another Restaurant Today!

I'm sorry, I've been MIA! I went though some very busy weeks...
  • completing 46 report cards
  • conducting parent/teacher conferences
  • creating a bunch of new TPT products that I needed in my classroom
  • & had a relaxing Spring Break!
I was back to school today and the day was SO much better because my other half (Robyn) came back from an extended maternity leave.  The 12 weeks she was out felt like FOREVER! I am so happy to get organized again. When Robyn is around, you have no choice, she makes it happen. If you've ever had to come back from a maternity leave, you know how hard your first day back is. Robyn was lucky, not only did she have a wonderful sub, but we also had a field trip today...TO THE MOVIES. It was the perfect/fast moving first day back.

Anyways, a fun little note came in my mail box today. My class heard from another restaurant. If you are keeping tallies, one student received a cheese cake, another a $25 gift certificate, and another student received THIS today! :) 

How cool is that! Not only did my student get a gift card, but this sweet business even gave me one. My student created a list of what I need to order when I go. I can't wait! :)

I'll be back tomorrow with pictures of what is going on in my classroom! :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Peek at my week, Spark Motivation, Pin to Win, & Pure Excitement!!

If you've been reading my blog lately, you've seen my class working hard on opinion writing! They've actually gotten quite good at it! I'm happy to say 100% of my students have finished their restaurant essays and sent them off to their favorite restaurants! I didn't think if this before, but we should have included our email addresses, what companies actually write letters?

Friday, when I came home from a horribly long week if school, I peeked at my phone and noticed I had NINE new school emails! I was not excited and immediately thought the worst. 

To my surprise, I received an email from a manager of a restaurant in NYC that one my students wrote to! He looked up the school online (from the return address we used), found my name, and emailed me from the website! He was so touched by my student's essay he read it out loud at his staff meeting and now has it displayed proudly in the restaurant! In my student's letter, she stated her favorite dessert, in the world, is this restaurant's cheesecake! He is SENDING her a whole cheesecake next week, as a surprise! Talk about motivating!!! This student is seriously going to freak out, along with the rest of my class! I couldn't be more proud of my 46 little writers! How cool is it for them to get the real world connection in this simple opinion piece?! This was SUCH a motivating activity for my students and for me to take the extra step, I am considering it for Joanne's linky for Student Motivation this week!

The next step will be writing "Thank you" notes to the companies we hear back from! 

Now to take a quick Peek at my Week! Monday our report cards are going home and conferences go on the the week. We have mostly half days this week, so it will fly by. Conferences are usually extra exhausting, but luckily, I have a lot of work to show off to parents! We are having three half days and still taking the SBAC tests next week. We are also having visitors from a nature center come into the classroom to "bring" science to us! We always have fun when they come!! 

While we finish our revolutionary unit, the students will be writing their next opinion pieces choosing the most inspirational revolutionary. They will use the notes we took and charted and refer back to articles, books, charts, and foldables for evidence! 

I'm excited because I'm pretty much over planned for the week! I know I always have a great week if I'm excited about what I'm teaching and well prepared. I'm starting off the week with my new morning work weekly packet. This spring themed packet focuses daily on contractions! I still have a handful if students who don't use apostrophes and others who choose to write "diddent" or "isent"...which drives me bonkers! I made five worksheets focusing on contractions through different activities and Friday's sheet will count as a quiz! I made the worksheets fun to complete and quick to verbally go over. The first work sheet includes info about the new topic or idea and there is an answer sheet for each page! Sounds good, huh? Check it out... here!


I plan on making my morning work focus on different topics weekly and will bundle them together monthly and for the year. Want to test out this week's work? Let's play PIN IT TO WIN IT! 

Simply pin the above image and leave a comment with the link of your pin. I will choose a few people TONIGHT to send the file to! 

Have a great week teacher friends! ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL SPRING BREAK! :)