S'more Inferences

I have said this before, but making crafivities are my absolute favorite.  I repeatedly had my 4th graders telling me, "thank you for still letting us still make crafts!"  The goal is to keep them engaged, spend minimal time one the actual craft, and to get them to understand the desired concept.  For this lesson, we were practicing making inferences.  It's interesting to me how some kids understand this topic, or it comes naturally, and then for others they really can't grasp it.  We used Deb Hanson's Let's Make S'more Inferences creativity to practice in our class!

She provides several scenarios in which the students make two inferences using context clues and background knowledge.  I decided to make some jumbo s'mores to decorate a bulletin board with!  

On the graham crackers they wrote down context clues and background knowledge on the reading prompt.  This one was about the mom and dad leaving in the middle of the night, the grandparents watched them, and then they came home with a new baby!

For each writing prompt, they wrote two inferences that they could draw from the text.  I had them read their inferences to a partner to make sure they were on point.  A couple of us got off topic, but it helped working together to check the work!

Lastly, they put their yummy s'more together to display on the bulletin board!  They loved flipping through the different s'mores to see the different background knowledge!

Thanks Deb for the great learning opportunity! ;)


End of the Year Parent Gift

I found the cutest parent thank you gift idea from A Sunny Day in First Grade!  She bought a beverage dispenser and filled it with lemons, added a spoon, and a cute little label.  She has the labels as a freebie if you want to download them.  

I have two room moms that seriously made my life a whole lot easier though out the school year.  They organized our class parties, fundraisers, and so much more!  At the end of each year, I give my room parents a gift to say thank you for all of your hard work!

I found the mason jar and spoon at Tj Maxx.  I also thought it would be a cute idea to have all of the students sign the spoon, but I ran out of time this year!
The lemons are from the grocery store and I made the little note!

I typed up a little note that reads, "Thank you for pouring into our lives!"
The room moms were so excited about their gift and the kids were excited about it too!

Thank you to all of the parents out there for all of the time, money, and support you give to the teachers!  We really do appreciate it! :)


Teachers Getting Fit!

Summer is HERE!!!!!!!!  This means I can actually have a structured workout plan that isn't competing with grading, lesson planning, searching the Dollar Bin at Target, or spending my free time looking for Common Core activities on Pinterest (can I get an AMEN?!)  I have decided to make healthy transitions in my life in both food and exercise choices.  Following this blog post, on the first of each month,  I want to share ways I have been working out and some recipe ideas!

My wedding is seriously right around the corner.  One of my besties found this amazing workout program, and after a month of talking it up, I finally decided to give it a try.  Kaia Fit has seriously changed my body and attitude towards working out!

I have been doing Kaia for about 10 weeks and I feel more energetic, I care about what I am eating, I feel more toned, and I am STRONGER.  Here is a pic with me and two of the Kaia Koaches (they do a play on the "k" for a lot of their phrasing) from this morning.  Can I brag and say I beat all of my times for our fitness test?!?!

I hate running.  I grew up playing basketball and the most fit I have ever been was when I was playing in college.  I swear the second I had to workout on my own, I went straight to the elliptical and was barely pushing it.  Kaia is a full body workout that involves minimal running.  Kaia focuses on cardio, endurance, strength, flexibility, speed, balance, and rest.  The main thing it has done for me is toned my body and increased my strength.  

Kaia is a workout for women only and the classes have about 15-20 ladies in it, and are led by a Koach.  It can be intimidating workout, especially with all women, but it is seriously the most welcoming and encouraging environment.  Emma is one of the coaches at the gym...such a stud! 

The workouts are 4 times a week and there are 5 different klasses, all with the same workout, so you come to whichever you can.  Three of the days are circuit training, and one day is yoga.  My favorite part of the workouts is that each day is different, so you don't know what to expect.  This keeps your muscles and mind guessing of what you will be focusing on each session.  We workout for 45 minutes with a warmup and cool down.

This Saturday is a Share the Love workout.  This means its FREE and guys and girls are welcome.  We just finished our 6 week Brik Training so we are having a fun workout starting at 8:30am and everyone is invited.  If you are in the Orange County area, you should come!  Next Monday starts a new month long session, with a new 9am class, you can see the schedule HERE.

As for a snack tip:  I found this on Pinterest today!  The idea is to prep your smoothies on the weekend, so you can easily blend them up each morning!  I love this idea, because I dread getting out all of the ingredients, but this has it all in one place!

Hope you have a fit rest of the week! ;)

Using the iPad in the Classroom: A Photo Story

It is nearing the end of the year and I am trying to think of ways to keep my kids motivated to write!  (p.s. how are some people already out of school??!  #jealous)  One of my favorite things to do is take photos...so that inspired me...a Photo Story!  I had each student take a picture of something on the campus using our classroom iPad, then they wrote a personal narrative about it.  

The kids were FREAKING out, excited about this.  I had them partner up, and brainstorm what they would take a picture of, then they got to carefully take the iPad and take a photo of it (we have a VERY durable case ;)  Part of the catch was, that photo had to be incorporated into their story.  The whole story didn't have to center around it, but it had to fit into their story somehow.  

Not only where their stories amazing, but their photography skills were pretty good too!  The front cover of their story was their photo and a little caption about where they took the photo.  Their actual story was on the pages to follow.

Another incentive to finish their story is they get to put it up on our writing wall.  They feel accomplished, and can pick where they want to put their writing on the board.  

If you want a copy of the writing template I used, you can download this freebie HERE! :)