Sunday, January 15, 2012

Flow Map (teaching stuff)

A blog post two days in a row! Wow what a shocker, right?

I decided to post one of my school ideas on here to share with others.  There are more to come, I promise.  I have a lot of ideas and lessons to share with you!

At my school we began to use Thinking Maps a couple of years ago.  If you are unfamiliar with them they are basically a higher level thinking graphic organizer.  There are several different types from comparing and contrasting, cause and effect, all the way to chronological order/sequencing.  The latter is the one I am sharing with you.  I claim NO rights to Thinking Maps.  All I did was modify one to make it a nice printable to give to my students.

This map makes it easy for the students to put the events in the story in chronological order.  In the open boxes the students draw pictures depicting each major event. On the lines underneath the students write 1-2 sentences telling about the event.  This map is easily adaptable to any grade level or subject.  I have used it in literature circles, whole class reading, and even in Social Studies.  The kids really enjoy this because they get to draw.

That's all for now! I promise to post more of my school ideas!  If you have anything you would like to share having to do with the flow map or something you use for teaching Chronological order, feel free to share it in the comments section. :) 


Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday everyone!

I know I said I would try and post on Wednesday as well, but I will have to work on that.  Here we are though, another Saturday and another blog post!

Here is my second week photo for the "Let's Do 52" challenge:

"Open for Possibilities"

Since I write so much the thought just came to me to take a picture of a pen on a blank page.  It was just something completely open, where you could start where ever you wanted to.

On the note of writing, my students were working on their first poems this past week.  Some of them were still stuck in paragraph mode, so we wrote a poem all together.  Suddenly I saw the light bulbs going off.  The poems they turned in were so amazing! I am so proud of them!

Then today I received some wonderful news!  My project "Spark the Ember" received full funding!  Between Chevron, some wonderful friends, and anonymous donors, my students will be receiving a class set of The City of Ember and several electricity circuit building kits.  My students will be so excited on Tuesday to hear about this!  My next project should be posting next week, so please keep an eye out for it.

Well that's all I have for now!  Have a great rest of your weekend!!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

End of Week 1/52

Evening guys!

Well it's another late night over here, for no particular reason.  This is not necessarily a good thing considering that I have to be up early for work tomorrow.  It will be a slam back to reality when the alarm goes off at 5:00 am.


I am participating in the Paint The Moon 52 Week Photo Challenge.  It's a really cool challenge.  What happens is each week you are given a choice of two themes.  The themes are open to your interpretation.  This past week the theme was All Natural or Sharing.  I really had not decided on which theme I was going to participate with.  I figured that I'll know it when I get the right shot.

All week long I took pictures of my animals naturally and sharing.  Then my niece came over Friday night for a slumber party.  We were raking leaves in the front yard and she was so excited to jump in them!  She lives in an apartment that has gardeners so she has not had the opportunity to play in leaves like this.  We raked them all up in to a huge pile and she went nuts.  Then it hit me.  This was perfect.  She was being a natural kid!  I ran inside to retrieve my camera.

I just kept snapping pictures, figuring I would get at least one good shot.  I ended up taking over 100 pictures, but they turned out so cute.  Here is the one I finally decided to submit:

1/52 All Natural

What do you guys think?  I used to edit the original photo.  I really did not do much to it.  I increased the saturation to make the colors pop a bit, then I used the Cinemascope effect... mainly because I'm in love with that effect LOL

My goal is to post twice a week to this blog.  I'm not quite certain which days yet, but I'm thinking something along the lines of Saturday night and maybe Wednesday night... Like I said I'm still debating on it.

On a different note I was totally inspired to begin a new story!  Here is the opening:

                “No!” I yelled as I jumped out of my seat.  My heart raced in panic… embarrassment… fear…  Did I really just shout that out?  Am I really doing this now?  My chest tightened as I looked across the room.
Our eyes met.  Everything seemed to stop.  No one else seemed to exist.  There was just him and me.

So... what do you think?! :)  Well this is it for me tonight.  It is now 11:20 and I really should be getting to bed.  I'm actually a bit excited to go back to work tomorrow. I get to share with my kids about their 2 Donors Choose projects that got funded.  They're going to be so excited!  If you can, my class would be very grateful, if you would take a look at our Donors Choose page. The link is on the right hand side of this page.  If you are not able to donate you can still help just by spreading the word.  Thank you so much!

Good night guys! I hope you guys have a WONDERFUL Monday!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Here We Go!

Well, here it goes.  I have been talking about doing a blog for some time now and now I am finally doing it!  I guess first things first.  Who am I? What is this blog about?

Well first off, if you want to know more about me just visit the 'About Me' page using the link on the right. :)  Short story: I am a teacher, a writer, a photographer, a daydreamer, Disney enthusiast, animal lover, and all around geek (I'm talking like anime, comic books, and super heroes).  I dream of traveling to new places, especially Paris.

Now... What is this blog about?

This blog will be used to share my experiences, thoughts, writings, photos, daydreams, and ramblings.  I will be posting photos I have taken, excerpts from stories and poems I have written, as well as lesson plans and ideas I have used in my classroom.

I will admit that I am very nervous to put myself out there like this, but I am really hoping to receive some helpful and insightful comments to make myself a better writer, photographer, and teacher.  The only way one can become better at anything is to open themselves up and share their work with others and learn from the comments.

What better way to start the new year than to start something new?  I was very determined to begin a blog at the beginning of this year and now here we are.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  Please share this with your friends. I promise it will get more exciting. :)

Now to leave you with a picture I took of one of my roses with the morning dew on it.  What do you think?  I edited it using Picnik.  I used the Cinemascope effect after sharpening it with the basic editing tools.



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