Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Made It and a Math Freebie!

Did I make it for Tara's Made It Monday? I'd like to say my delay for posting this week’s Monday Made It is clearly because I was waiting for this: 

But in reality, I was really laminating and cutting all of this:

and this:

But I did manage to get Miss Nelson’s Braggin’ About Behavior Beads ready to go. I love my caddy I found at Hobby Lobby for $1.99! I also got the chain that was originally $7.99 with my 40% off coupon. Score!  I also picked up a small bag for each bead string so the students will get them on the first day. Can you say I’m super excited about these? I had some kiddos with major behavior issues last year so I think this could really help me out this year. Too bad I didn’t have them last year!

I also created Cube in a Tube!  

All you need is some duck tape and a paper towel roll.  Take it to your classroom with 5 or 10 snapcubes and you’re set!

This activity is primarily K-2 based and adapted from Minilessons for Math Practices.  This algebra activity allows students to gain experiences with identifying, describing, and extending patterns. Although it uses snapcubes, you’re exposing students to the same algebraic thinking they’ll need as they move on in their mathematical careers.

Simply put in a cube train of 5 or 10 cubes. They should have a pattern with them. This could be an AB pattern, AAB, ABC, etc.., just don’t make it too complicated at first. Show the students the tube, and have them make predictions what color they think the first cube will be. They can share aloud or even record their ideas on this recording sheet I made. After they share/record, show them, and repeat the next steps.  As an extension, have students try and make their own trains and have their peers make their predictions. 

I keep thinking of more and more ways to use these tubes do you have any ideas on how they could be used? 

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Are you coming to Chicago?

Are you going to Chicago for the Extraordinary Educators Conference?   I'm so excited for the conference and to have all these fabulous educators just steps  from me.

Yes, you read that correctly, I'm fortunate to live just a few steps, okay 3 blocks, from the hosting hotel, and I figured I'd help you out with places to go, eat, shop, do on your downtime or any other time you come to Chicago!

As I’m walking the dog, I usually get asked where to go by tourists, so I figured I could be your little concierge and help you find some place to eat and things to do! There are SOOOOOO many yummy places, but these are some of the possibilities! I stuck a small area around the hotel since it’s been SOOOOOO hot out and I don’t want you to melt.


That's Riley on a walk at North Bridge!

Places to stop for a quick bite near the Marriot Hotel.

Chipotle (Grand  & State)

Northbridge 4th floor Food Court (this is the Nordstrom’s building).



Vertigo Lounge at Dana Hotel(State and Erie) – swanky but fun!

Rock Bottom (State and Grand) – local(ish) brewery  

Zed451 (Clark and Superior) – great vibe and place to relax.

The Wit – great views of the city, but go early before the crowd turns.


Suggested Restaurants

Quartino (State and Ontario) -  yummy Italian tapas. Worth the wait!

Bub City (Clark and Illinois) – BBQ with great live music (Sun, Mon, Wed & Thur) and karaoke on Tuesdays!

Sunda (Illinois between Clark and LaSalle) – great sushi place with celebrity sightings!

RPM (Dearborn and Illinois) – Giuliana and Bill Rancic’s Italian restaurant. Typical to see him, but can be a long wait.

Frontera Grill (Clark and Illinois) - Rick Bayless’ restaurant. It’s closed on Monday’s. First come, first serve if you don’t have reservations. Lines usually begin by 4:30! His XOCO restaurant is excellent and not as long of a wait.

Paris (Hubbard between Dearborn and Clark) – great food and upstairs is Club Paris!

Live concert at Bub City!

Chicago Food

Garrett’s Popcorn (Michigan & Ontario) go during the week because it’s a much shorter line!

Portillo’s (Clark & Ontario) – the best hot dog and beef sandwiches. Don’t forget to try the chocolate cake shake!

Pizzeria Due (Ontario and Wabash) – the same restaurant as Pizzeria Uno but usually half the wait! So delicious!


Grab a Drink

Pops for Champagne (Ohio and State) – love this place for a glass of bubbly!

Redhead Piano Bar (Ontario between Dearborn and State) – great old time feeling bar open late night.

Public House (Kinzie and State) – busy bar with a great food and drink menu

Howells and Hood (Michigan Avenue in the Tribune Building) - great drinks and food! Can't beat the location!

Sierra Tavern (Kinzie and Dearborn) – new bar with a great feel.

The bars on Hubbard Street or Rush and Division


Need a workout? Check out Yoga Loft Chicago! Take one of Tim’s fit blast classes and you’ll leave feeling amazing!  Or simply go for a walk/run along the lake on the path and you can even rent a bike.

Don’t forget to check out Millennium Park for a free concert or to see the sights.  The best tourist thing – take the architecture boat cruise!  Navy Pier has fireworks on Saturday and Wednesday nights. The best place to view them is from the boat docks across from Navy Pier. Take the Chicago River Path out towards the lake and you’ll see the Fireboat building. They shoot them off from there.


If you’re parking, many of the parking garages on Ohio have discounted prices if you’re in by 9 AM and leave by 6 or 7 PM.


If you’re here tonight, don’t forget to check out the Jason Aldean concert at Wrigley Field!  I’ll be there and cannot wait!

If you have a question, feel free to E-mail me! I love showing people around the city. J

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Blog Design and a Freebie!

I finally took the plunge and got a new blog design. I really like the design and it was due! I thought a new design could inspire me to continue blogging once the school year begins, because lets face it - I'm not good at that!  This year, I have no excuse!

Less than 15 days until I can get into my classroom to set up for the next year and I've been working to get stuff done. I've been busy revamping some of my old files and thought I'd share this one with you.

Do you have a list ready for fire drills? I keep one right by my door as well as 2 pieces of construction paper  - red and green. I hold up a red paper if a student is missing during the (I hope) drill because they were in the bathroom. I hold the green paper if everyone is there. This communicates to our principal if everyone is there or not just by glancing.  Sometimes the best communication is just a simple color.

Well here's my freebie! I hope you can use it! It's saved as a PowerPoint so you can just add a textbox to add your students names.

Have a great day and I'll be back soon with more! I've been working hard!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made It #1

Thank you to Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for hosting one of my favorite linky parties! I loooove making things for my classroom. I kind of took June off (whoops!) so I have to get myself in gear to be ready for the school year to begin.

I first made my ribbon wreath to hang by my door! Of course I found this idea from a fabulous K teacher on Monday Made It!  It didn't take me too long... I just sat on the couch while watching some tv and cut my ribbon then tied it on! Easy peasy!

 I also worked on redoing my clips from last year. I first tried to spray paint the the clips, but that didn't turn out so well.  Apparently spray paint and I don't get along. Sad day.

But oh my word, what did work amazingly was staining them using RIT first. I saw this on Pintrest, and it could only be better than my failed spray paint attempt.  I used a little bit of the dye mixed with hot water and let the clips soak for about 20 minutes (I put 12 in at a time).

I left them to dry over night then I used modge podge and glitterfied them. I applied the one last coat over the glitter to keep the glitter in place.  I really like how the black is all over rather than black in just one spot like my past year glitter clips. I even contemplated not glitterfying some of the clips and keeping them just the plain black because they turned out so well!


I've spent some time cutting out my numbers. These come from Mrs. Pollard's TPT store.  I love that they're free! I used them last year too,  but I wanted to reprint them on fresh cardstock for next year. I must loooove cutting circles out.  To get the different sizes I just printed the PDF's by the number of pages on a sheet.  Hopefully I won't have to do this again!

I also worked on a baby shower gift.... cupcakes made from baby washcloths! So easy. I followed this link off of youtube from Cleverly Inspired. Now I'm craving some cupcakes!

I hope you have a great day and I can't wait to see all the other great ideas.  Thank you Tara!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Randomness

I'm linking up with Michelle from Fabulous in First for her Sunday Smorgasbord! I love sharing random tidbits, so this is up my alley.

I hope you've had a wonderful Fourth of July!  I was fortunate to enjoy some friends and baseball followed by some amazing bbq and music at one of my favorite local Chicago restaurants Bub City.  I thought this picture was perfect for the Fourth!  I'm so lucky to live in the heart of downtown and to be so close to amazing places like this!

It's offically July and that means just over a month until it's time to go back.  It's become a ritual that the weekend after the 4th I start shopping for school supplies. One of my favorite places to go for great deals is Staples.  They always have the best deals, including their weekly penny deals.  This week I was able to pick up some eraser caps and index cards for just a penny each. This makes my heart just jump and squeal with delight!

If you go there, be sure to pick up your Back to School Savings Pass. It's $10 and you get  15% off each purchase (one a day)  until it expires in September. 

I also got some other school shopping done at Target and Hobby Lobby. Have you seen those cute green leaves from Eberhart's Explorer's room?   Yes, I got my own for my room next year at IKEA. I can't wait to get into my room to decorate! 

Look what I found when I walked into the dollar store... Time to stock up in whatever your color!

I'll leave you with one more picture of my weekend.... Millenimum Park free concerts.  Have I told you how much I love living in Chicago!
I hope your weekend was great and hope you enjoyed my Sunday Randomness! Thank you Michelle for hosting. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pairing Up Students

How do you pair up students?  There are soooo many ways. One of my favorites is the picture generator on Smartboard... have you seen it? LOVE it!  This works great, but sometimes my firsties need a little movin' around. Plus, I'm all about trying to sneak in early numeracy skills whenever I can.   Sometimes it's as simple as passing a deck of cards and having them match the numbers.

Other times, it's all about using a deck of number cards (and of course strategically handing them out in order) and calling out different combinations to allow students to pair up. I might give a student 81 and 86 and have students that have 8 tens to pair up.  Another one might be, 44 and 34 - students with four ones pair up.

These are some great flashcards you can use that I found on Amazon, or you can just make your own deck with index cards.

Do you love ten frames like me?  Yes, they make my heart giddy. Best part, I use them EVERY SINGLE DAY as we determine what day of school we're on (more to that later).  So why not have the students match up and pair up using ten frames?

Voila, here is my latest creation, Match Up, Pair Up... Ten Frame Style!  I'm going to print these on colored cardstock, laminate, and cut and have them ready for when my firsties need some of their new partners in August.


I'm thinking of making some more.... money, addition/subtraction facts, the possibilities are endless.
How do you pair up your students when they need partners?