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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July Pick 3 Pinterest Picks

I admit, at a point in my life I was a Pinterest addict.  Constantly checking my feed to see what was new and interesting.  Pinned lesson and classroom ideas that I would get to, one day.  Pinned more recipes than I ever could need, but they were sure nice to look at, right?!  And pinned so many exercises and tips and yet that waistline... I decided to take a little hiatus and just live!

Then I checked out a linky by Inspired Owl's Corner.  


It caused me to actually go back through my pins to find my favourites and do a little bit of cleaning.  I've been inspired to think about my teaching program, do a little cooking, and exercising once more!  Here are my 3 picks:


Call me anal, but I hate hole-punching my master worksheets and putting them in a binder.  I hate seeing the tell-tale holes after photocopying.  I don't like when the page is bent from lying awkwardly in the binder.  I've been using file folders in a filing cabinet, but some of my files have become too large to fit in a folder and they often slouch in the hanging folder.  And then I saw this pin:

Click on Image to View Original Pinterest Link
Pages neatly kept, easy to transport and store.  My search for these cases is on!



I've been trying to transition to veganism for awhile now.  I definitely feel better when I don't consume animal products, but the temptation is real!  I have a Pinterest board filled with vegan recipes that I thought would help with the transition.  These Spicy Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos are DELICIOUS!  So filling, nutritious, guilt-free, and I don't miss the beef or chicken!  To cut back on processed carbs, I used sprouted-grain tortillas.  I also tried collard green leaves, but it was a bit messy for me and I preferred a big fat burrito as opposed to mini wraps.

Click on Image to View Original Pinterest Link
 Great, now I'm hungry :(



I don't have kids, but I saw this pin once and pinned it for "one day."  My 9 year old niece is visiting from Texas for the month and staying with my mom.  While paying them a visit earlier this week, my niece got a paper cup leftover from her birthday party and got some juice.  Afterwards, she threw the cup in the garbage.  FIVE MINUTES LATER, she reached for another cup for yet another drink of juice because she was, "still thirsty."  It was then that I remembered this pin.

Click on Image to View Original Pinterest Link
I'm sure my mom would've appreciated this pin when we were kids!


So I think my hiatus is over.  I will check-in to Pinterest more responsibly!  You can find me {here}

I'm pretty late to this linky party, but check out some of the fave pins of other bloggers below.


Thursday, July 02, 2015

My Favourite Quotes

First things things, I'm super indecisive so I have chosen not my favourite quote, but my favourite source of quotes.  Wait a minute, that would be the bible.  Okay, my favourite source of quotes outside of bible verses is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



I never tire of reading his I Have A Dream (1963) and I've Been To The Mountaintop (1968) speeches.

A month before the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I visited the MLK Jr memorial in Washington, D.C.  Several of his quotes are inscribed on stones leading to a monument in which his image is carved from a mountain.  I included some of my faves.

Don't mind my glow in the dark look :S







And of course, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

His writings remain relevant and inspiring today.

Thanks to Monica from I Heart Grade 3 for hosting this linky.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Math Motivation!

If you live in Ontario, Canada, you are likely aware of the renewed focus on numeracy.  During this past school year, all of our staff meetings and professional development focussed on numeracy - rich tasks, open-ended questions, parallel questions, attitudes to math (Growth Mindset), and so on.

Our math blocks increased from 1 period to 2 so I played around with a guided math format for a part of the year.  Naturally a few of my students asked, "Why are we doing so much math?" and "Why do we have to learn this?" And by ask, I mean whined! :(  I definitely needed to change our attitudes towards math!


At the beginning of each unit I would try to explain its application to our daily lives.  This helped a bit.  Check out this article, Teaching Kids Why Math Matters.

This discussion led to the creation of posters to help connect math to everyday activities and occupations.

There are every day scenarios that involve math...


Then there are occupations that require a knowledge of a particular math topic...




And then some math motivation...


I'm super excited to use these posters in the upcoming year to help make math "real".

This poster pack is available {here}.


How do you get your students excited about math?
Side note: Gotta love Educlips clip art!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Sunday Scoop - Feb 1

I'm linking up for the first time with the Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop!




3 things I have to do...
* We have a trip to see a production of Jack and the Beanstalk (BeanStock).  It's not until March, but I forgot the cut off date to reduce numbers is in two weeks so alas, got to get those forms sent home quick.
* I have a wonderfully organized clip art folder that I can easily search from.  Due to a mild clip art addiction, I have tons more waiting to be organized!  The files need to be unzipped and categorized.
* We haven't had a whole lot of snow this winter so my snowblower is still in my basement because I can't fit everything in my little garage.  I may have to lug it up!  I wasn't made for this kind of weather!

2 things I hope to do...
* Our school board is hosting a Black History Month Fair and an Art Exhibit.  Board events are usually cancelled when there is inclement weather.  
* I've completed 1 cycle of 21 Day Fix and although it's good, I'm looking for a change.  I may just add another short workout or find something new altogether.

1 thing I'm happy to do...
* I binge-watched Downton Abbey Seasons 1-4 over the Christmas break.  Now that Season 5 is airing, I've had a hard time waiting for the episodes on Sunday.  So I gave in and got the entire season and just need to finish.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!
To be honest, I only care about the performances!

Friday, January 02, 2015

Shapes All Around

I recently wrapped up a unit on 2D shapes and thought I'd share some of the fun activities we did as a class.

If you work in Ontario you know that the ministry is pushing problem solving and rich tasks in math.  I pulled together some ideas from different sources for 2 weeks of hands-on activities. 

Making shapes with Popsicle sticks 
My students had to use Popsicle sticks to complete task cards.  We also tried to make some of the shapes with more sides.  The more the sides increased, the trickier it was to create.  Idea from A, Bee, C, Preschool.  


                                            

  
 Shape (and Colour) Bingo
To keep the peace, I had to assign the caller, but they had fun with this little game.  I've had it for years and probably only cost me a few dollars.

Shape Puzzles
The first was plain and simple, but always engaging.  A little bit trickier...they had to look at the complete picture and recognize the composite parts.


Shape Pictures
We used Pattern blocks and foam shapes to create the pictures.  I loved watching them trying to solve the pictures that didn't show the outlines of the shapes.  Lots of trial and error in their spatial reasoning. 



Play Doh and Mats
Using mats from Sparklebox, they had tons if fun forming shapes.  It was the first time we used play dough in my class so they really looked forward to "Math Centre Time"!  



GeoBoards
Another new favourite!  I made a pentagon as an example and you'd think I performed a magic trick!  They were so amazed and impressed!

Pattern Blocks
I used an activity from Kindergarten Works.  After covering the triangle, I asked them to show me another way.  They were excited to come up with more new arrangements/shapes.  


Team Teaching Session
We combined our classes and did the problem from Kindergarten Works.  We had them work in pairs and set out pattern blocks, tangrams, and attribute blocks for them to use.  We charted some of their responses.  They did really well and some realized that a triangle would always be needed.  Then we gave a similar problem and put them in groups of four.  This time they had to show their work and draw their shapes. 





The following day, I gave them a similar problem to complete independently but changed the number of sides.  Depending on their ability, I required 7, 10, 12, 14 or 16 sides.  I asked them to show me at least 3 ways.  

My students really looked forward to math centres during these weeks!  Definitely a keeper!