Monday, November 25, 2013


So...I have been meaning to update this for a few days...I've had some really cool things happen in my room the past few days (well, I think they're cool anyway).  But my pictures on one laptop and it's in the other room and I'm always just to lazy to get it.  But tomorrow or Wednesday...promise.

I had to come today, though, and ask for help.  I just got a new student.  She's super smart (which is great cause my class needs some help in that area) and is a genuinely nice kid.  Here's the kicker...she's a Jehovah's Witness.  For those who don't know, Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate holidays...ANY holidays.  And for those who don't know me...this is my favorite time of year.  Christmas Eve is my FAVORITE day of the year!

I'm meeting with her mom tomorrow to talk about how to handle the upcoming holiday season.  But I just thought, if any of you had dealt with this before, what did you do?  How did you celebrate the season without offending a student?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Class Bear and There's an App for That

First, I would like to introduce you to Lil' Wayne.

Yes, that green bear is named Lil' Wayne.  And yes, I am reading him a bedtime story.  And yes, that is my dog, and she is not amused that Lil' Wayne is sitting on her bed.

My kiddos got to nominate and vote on our class bear's name.  Lil' Wayne (after the rapper) was almost unanimous.  I took him home to get a bath and whatnot, and my kiddos thought these were the best pictures ever!

Lil' Wayne is about the get shipped to New York to visit my best friend.  Lil' Wayne is going to be a traveling bear.  Since we're learning about the regions of the US, we're asking people to send him to another person in a different state so we can get some pictures of Lil' Wayne in different regions and climates.  Here's hoping we get lots of goodies, pictures, and postcards.


So we just finished Unit 1 of our Social Studies book.  Which means our unit project.  I bought an app called Comic Life ($4.99...expensive, I know).

But totally worth it.  Comic Life allows you to create comics on your iPad.  So the students were again split into groups.  They created a comic about one of the four areas we studied (US, Caribbean, Canada and Mexico).  They had to use their social studies notebooks (interactive journals) to get their information.  Then they use the app to create a comic about their place.

When I introduce an app, I always give them one day to just play on it.  I make no rules other than "you must take turns and everyone needs to learn the app and it must be school appropriate".  So these comics were only the second time my kiddos used the app...and they did quite well I must say.

I just wish I had more time for stuff like this...cause my kids rocked it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Social Studies Projects

So, our social studies curriculum is split into four "units" instead of chapters.  And the 3rd grade curriculum is all about the United States and its neighbors - Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

One of the biggest pieces of unit 1 is all about the regions of the United States.  But our curriculum shoves it all into one lesson.  Our team has decided to take 2 days to teach every lesson in the unit...which gave me 2 days to teach all 5 regions of the US, complete with climate and landmarks.  So, instead, I decided to do a project.

My kids split into 5 groups and created posters about their different region.  That way each group was responsible for learning the material themselves, and then sharing it with the class.

First thing they did was fill out a worksheet asking those important questions:
  • what states are in your region
  • what's the climate like in your region
  • what landmarks are in your region

Then they work on their posters, which they then share with the class.

My kiddos really loved this activity...they're oddly excited when they get to make posters.


Also, we have 2 teacher stores here in Pensacola.  One of them, School Works, is owned by some friends of, of course, that's the one I shop at.  And I always tend to buy things that I normally wouldn't buy cause I'm really not looking.

Well, anyway, I found these wonderful coloring maps of the United States.  So I bought them.  And right after my students created their region posters, we colored our US maps.  My kiddos were, for real, so excited that they each got their own map to label and color.

We talked about state abbreviations and labeled our maps.  And as we colored them in, we color-coded the regions.  It was honestly one of the calmest parts of my day (well, the 2 days it took us to complete it).

Thanks for sticking out this long post.  I'll be updating again soon...promise!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Currently

So...yeah.  I'm sorry I've been a terrible blogger.  The four followers I do have are going to leave me soon...I just know it.

Anyway, time for November's Currently with Oh Boy 4th Grade!

Listening: My wife made shredded barbeque chicken for one of our church families.  She's currently shredding it right now.  It's a good thing I don't eat barbeque chicken or I'd be in the kitchen "helping".

Loving: I admit it...I take LOTS and LOTS of pictures and then forget to print them.  (for example, I'm still printing pictures from 2010)  So when Snapfish or Shutterfly has a sale, I usually print lots of pictures at once.  Well, Snapfish just had a penny sale (these sales allow you to purchase a print for a penny [plus S&H]).  And usually you can only order like 100, or sometimes 300.  This time...999!  And since 9 is my FAVORITE number, you know I had to order!

Thinking:  My thinking is what it usually is...I need to blog more.

Wanting:  I would love an extra day in the weekend...but then again, I always do.

Needing:  I have grad school assignments due this weekend.  So I should be working on them, but I'm just not.  Too much time picking out 999 pictures to print and I have lost the motivation.  Not that I ever had any.  *sigh*

A yummy pin:  Oh boy.  For real.  So last year, after hearing my kids talk about traditional Thanksgiving foods that they've never had, I decided to do a Thanksgiving feast.  One of the foods was Green Bean Casserole.  Now, I love me some green beans...but I HATE mushrooms so I had never eaten green bean casserole.  I made the following recipe (no cream of mushroom soup) and it is AMAZING!  Now I make it all the time for no reason!  One of my teacher friends tried a little bit, and loved it so much that I made her the happiest teacher ever when I made her some for Christmas.  Ahh the little things.

Anyway, here's the link: Grandma's Green Bean Casserole

I promise I have some great photos and things to share...I just need to force myself to sit down and do it!