Monday, July 21, 2014

A Summer of Science

I have had a very busy summer so far.  I signed up for VISTA with my 4th and 5th grade teammates.   What is VISTA?  In June and July, I met up with 38 other Virginia teachers at Virginia Commonwealth University to participate in a four-week professional development institute designed to shift science instruction from the traditional teacher-led, lecture-driven classroom to a hands-on, problem-based learning environment.  You can find out more about VISTA at http://www.vistascience.org.


The program has been wonderful.   It has also been overwhelming and stressful and enlightening and completely worth it.  I have learned so much over the last 4 weeks.  I never felt science was my strongest subject.  To say that I was out of my comfort zone would be an understatement.  
One piece of this program was teaching part of a science camp for students with high need. I loved working with the students and teaching science in a fun, hands-on, and engaging way.  For the last three days of training we are working as teams to create a 2-week problem based unit to implement this upcoming school year.


We learned about discourse and teaching students to talk like scientists and really get into deeper conversations.  Here is a poster I made for my classroom.  I plan to reference it when we are starting discourse circles.  You can download it by clicking the link under the picture.







Another resource I made was a set of posters about NOS.  What is NOS?  Nature of Science...totally didn't even know that before this summer.  I have nine posters and you can download them for free from TeachersPayTeachers.  While you are there, feel free to follow my store!



Monday, May 26, 2014

WILD about Organization

We have 13.5 days of school left.  Going to be sad to see these kids leave, but I am so ready for summer.

I am trying to get ahead of the game and prepare for next year AND our school's new theme.  We are going to be Wild About Learning!  I love printing my calendar and putting it in my binder.  Easy to take to meetings and planning sessions.  I hope you can use it too!


Head over to google docs and download this wild version of the 2014-15 printable calendar.  It goes from July 2014 to July 2015.  Hope you like it.


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


~Alissa

Friday, May 16, 2014

2014-2015 Calendar

Several people have asked for the next year of my PRINTABLE calendar....so here you go.
This one goes from July 2014-July 2015.



Just click the calendar picture above to get a copy of it from my google drive.

I am thinking of also making another version in a wild theme since my school is going "Wild About Learning" next year.

Linking up with Classroom Freebies' Manic Monday.  Click below to join the party.


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, May 4, 2014

SLANT Box Reveal!

I had a great time with April's SLANT box book theme.  I got to send to Katie at A Basket Full of Apples.  I decided to go with a summer is almost here theme and sent her Pete the Cat at the Beach. Hopefully she liked the goodies I sent with it.

Yesterday I received my SLANT box from Becky at Cooking up Success in Third Grade.  It was amazing.  She sent me The Finisher by David Baldacci.  I can't wait to read it.  I am super excited about the Wonder packet she sent as well.  We did a whole grade level reads of that book this year and will be doing it again next year.  She also sent me Flair pens, snacks, an awesome personalized cup, and homemade zebra notecards.  (My school JUST decided two days ago that our theme next year is going to be Wild About Learning! How perfect are those notecards??)  Thanks, Becky!!!



I am really enjoying SLANT box exchanges.  It is so neat to connect with other teachers around the country.  I also love getting presents in the mail.  Can't wait for May's exchange.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Is it May already?

Wow! It is May.  For real.  May.  This year has flown by.

Time to link up with Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for her awesome monthly linky Currently May!



Spending my Saturday catching up on this week's Grey's Anatomy.  I feel like Grey's has been hit or miss the last few years...but I so need to see it through.  Besides...I want to know what's happening with Burke coming back for an episode.

I am loving this amazing weather the last few days.  I am so ready for the season of outdoor festivals and cookouts.

We had our first field day yesterday.  It was fantastic.  So organized and so much fun. The kids had a blast.

I really want to blog more often. I know I say this every few months and then I disappear.  I really am hoping to get my life more sane. Grad school is done for the summer and hopefully things are calming down.  I know that is saying a lot with this being the end of the school year....but you never know.

I need to organize my upstairs room.  So much stuff everywhere. It would be nice to get things in order around here.

My surprise shout-out is to Jameson at Lessons with Coffee.  She organizes a monthly SLANT BOX exchange.  I know it is a tremendous amount of work for her and I hope she knows how much people appreciate it.  I just received my April #slantbox today and I am so excited.  Go sign up for May's exchange by this evening if you want to participate.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Currently

It has been a while since I have blogged.  Not sure why things are so crazy this year. Time to link up with Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for her awesome monthly linky Currently February! Hopefully February will be a better blogging month for me.



1. Watching-Obsessed with BBC's Sherlock.  Such a good show.  I am now re-watching the series.

2.  Loving-Enjoying no plans.  Went to Costco this morning before it was packed.  Got all the essentials for Super Bowl tomorrow. Watching TV and being lazy now.

3.  Thinking-report cards.  Yes, I need to do comments.  I always agonize over this part of report cards though.  I feel like it takes me forever to do them. In steps my BFF whose name is Procrastination.

4.Wanting-more snow days.  You can never have too many!!  Bring on some more snow!!!

5. Needing-to clean and cook.  My house is a mess....I was crafting this week so of course there is paper, string, glitter, and paint on my table.  Time to put everything away. Also need to make salsa chicken so it is ready to be turned into yummy taco dip for the game tomorrow.

6. Truths and Fib

  • I do HATE teaching elapsed time.  So many kids have trouble with it and everyone has to find his/her own strategy for learning it.  I wish I had a be-all-end-all elapsed time strategy that would work for all kids.
  • I DID NOT only teach 4 days in the last two weeks...it was actually only 2.  I taught Tuesday and Friday of this past week only.  We had snow the entire week before and then much of this past week.  By the way...snow blizzards in Virginia really can be just 2 inches.  Yes, two inches of snow gets you out for a week!
  • I do have 29 kids this year.  That is a lot of bodies in one room.  Love them though and I did miss them over snow break.



Monday, October 14, 2013

Is it really October 14th already???

Okay so I apologize for being MIA the last two months.  I was able to get into the brand-new building the first week of August and I don't think I have taken a break since.  August was full of unpacking and decorating...and then unpacking more.  I LOVE my new school and my new room.  My theme this year isn't really a theme.  It is just polka-dot and chevron decor, but I love it.

I met my 29 fifth graders on September 3rd.  The first day of school was also the day my dad went into the hospital.  He was really sick for a few weeks.  They ended up amputating his leg.  It was a long 4 weeks and he finally got home the first week of October.  He is doing great and very mobile already.  October so far has been spending 3-4 nights a week visiting/helping him.

I promise to post pics of my new classroom later this week.

I am REALLY excited to be participating in my first-ever SLANT box exchange.  I received my matches today and am already stalking their blogs!  For more information (and to join in next month) check out: http://lessonswithcoffee.blogspot.com/p/the-slant-box.html

The SLANT Box Exchange