Saturday, April 19, 2014

Celebrating Spring Giveaway with Creative Teaching Supplies

I am very excited to finish spring break by participating in several milestone celebrations of fellow bloggers. Are you close to celebrating a personal achievement?  I have a little over 100 TPT followers and  I just realized I have 55 blog followers. Awesome! I haven't thrown a celebration yet because I am not quite sure what I should be most thankful for? I blog because I enjoy sharing great learning occurring in my classroom. I have a Teachers Pay Teachers store because I don't mind sharing what teacher created product I use in my classroom with others. I just can't decide what exactly I should celebrate.. I have only been blogging since late last spring and I have only been selling for 4 months. I love giving back so I will have a celebration giveaway soon... I love hearing, er I guess it is more like reading what everyone gets excited about when they win!! I would love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments below.

And for now, on with the Giveaways... Good luck to you all!!

Creative Teaching Supplies is celebrating 200 TPT followers with 5 awesome giveaways, one of which is a TPT gift card!! I don't know about you, but I have so many wishes on my wish list that I would love to win that!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hands on Geometry FREEBIES!!!

 I have been a little bogged down with getting my class ready to head to spring break!! 2 more days until the alarm clock gets turned off and the Energizer bunny takes a little siesta.  I'm hoping the internal alarm clock turns itself off, too, but I know I won't be that lucky!!  My students are loving our new Selfies wall and invite me over to take a pic to add to our wall.  I absolutely adore them, but I am sooooo ready for a few days to catch up on energy, ideas, and sleep!!

I have so many things on my to blog about list that I sometimes get overwhelmed! We have been really enjoying some fantastic fun lessons my student teacher has brought to us for Plane and Solid Figures as well as finishing Keynote presentations on Great White Sharks and exploring our Matter science unit. Not to mention we read an amazingggg book that I will be dedicating my next blog to.. you won't want to miss it, double pinky swear promise ya won't!! 

I ran across Jivey's blog today for Workshop Wednesday and was thrilllllled it was focusing on GEOMETRY!!!

My student teacher started us off with reviewing angle types with this fun FREE Geometry Star activity from Virtually Montessori. Students had to create angles from points that they labeled on their paper. Great review of types of angles and their measurements. 

 He went on to teach quadrilaterals with notes in our interactive notebook followed up by students creating quadrilaterals using old fashioned geoboards and rubber bands.  We had hoped to get the Geoboard app downloaded by our IT department for my 1:1 ipad classroom, but it wasn't possible. I am soooo thankful it didn't work out because the students had 2 days of engaged, hands on learning where they truly whined we had to stop!! 5th graders loved them!! We had team competitions where a shape was called out and the team had to help make it. Students later were given a characteristic of a quadrilateral and had to make the shape just from their traits.  Fun was had by everyone!

Day 3 he sent the students off to do a Plane Figure and Angle Hunt on the playground.   Working with a partner, they had to find and record on their iPads 10 different geometric shapes and then create a Keynote explaining what each picture was and the characteristics that made it that particular shape. Here he is recording the students' palpable excitement as they perused every nook and cranny of the playground in search of shapes.  They were so resourceful that if they couldn't find a shape on the list that they needed, they created it! He is AMAZING!! My students and I are truly blessed to have him.  He kept them engaged all week long! 

He even created center rotations for the students to practice their skills.  Students folded a dog origami, explored tangrams using Laura Candler's freebie, measured angles, and drew Zombies by Christine Cadalzo with geometric shapes. He is a true teacher, already using TeachersPayTeachers for engaging activities.

The second week he introduced Solid Figures with yet another engaging lesson using toothpicks and play-dough. He had students take notes on prisms versus pyramids and reviewed faces, vertices, and edges.  Then provided a list of the shapes and students went to town creating them and recording the number of faces, edges, and vertices they saw.

My students have had a thrilling 2 weeks in geometry! We will be finishing up this week and I can't wait to see what he has in store for us! We reviewed skills in quick center rotations this week, too, to help prepare us for the Performance Task Assessment!! They will rock it! 

They loved Kristin Kennedy's free QR Code Scavenger Hunt and Fun For Learning's Angle Treasure Hunt.


  I am sooo excited to share that Lopez Land Learners was nominated for a Liebster blog award by Amanda over at Third Grade Fabulous.  I was stunned when I first read the message in my email's inbox, but then when I saw it on the Big Blog Screen I squealed.  Now if you know me, you would know there was no way I would squeal, but somehow I fooled us all because I definitely lout a squeal of glee!!! 

The Liebster award is an internet based award that is given to bloggers by bloggers!! I like that!! In a sense, it is like a chain letter because once you are nominated, you need to pass on the blog award to other bloggers that are noteworthy! If you would like to nominate amazing bloggers, this website has great information and clear rules to help you in the process. 

 Thank you again Amanda! I am so honored and absolutely thrilled!! Without further ado...

1) What is your favorite subject to teach and why? Language Arts! I love being able to introduce my students to amazing places through reading. I feel chills when I see students who would never pick up A Series of Unfortunate Events or Brian Jacques book in August practically melt when they can't put them down in February.  The personal connections they make with stories and authors leads to not only wonderful reading experiences, but makes our writing process so much more meaningful because they own their writing! Bringing a love of literature to my students is what I truly cherish. 
2) If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go? Greece. My maternal great-grandfather immigrated here at the turn of the century in a time when the oldest brother in the family inherited everything when the father passed.  Being one of the younger brothers, he had to spend the rest of his life working for that older sibling.  His sense of adventure and willingness to create his own path in life led him to New York City and ultimately to Tennessee. I can't imagine moving to a new country without speaking any of the language.   A dream of mine is to visit his native town in Greece and get a real sense of my roots. 

3) What is your all time favorite book? I love books!! Kids books, adult books, cookbooks, history books, you name it. This is tough to nail down just one, but I would have to say the book that has stuck with me through the years is The Little Prince.  I found it magical and heard it speaking to me. I read it again and again when I hear the words calling my name. 

4) When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher, then a detective like Starsky and Hutch, then a sports writer, and then a teacher again!! I used to play school every day! My mom had old textbooks from when she was younger and I spent many an evening and day writing the answers to all of those history questions in my own notebook. I would spend hours totally engrossed in learning! 

5) How long have you been blogging? 9 months! I created the blog right before school was out last summer and have increased my contributions little by little. I spent hours reading everyone else's and oohing and ahhing and making connections to ideas and activities that I could put to use in my own classroom. My daughter saw me reading one night and told me I should create one of those and contribute my ideas, too. I listened and here we are! 

6) What is the school supply you can't do without? Hmm, colored markers! I love creating colorful anchor and GLAD charts for my students to use to easily categorize information.  I love thin ones and thick ones and oh yes, smelly ones!! I have loved scented markers since high school!! The more the merrier! 

 7) How many students are in your class? 30! Our class size for 4-5 is 30 students.  They are amazing and keep me energized. I can't imagine my life without any of them! One moved early in the year and then came 2 new ones to fill our hearts. 
8) What would you be doing if you were not a teacher? I would be a full time author instead of part time one that I am now with the full time desire and ideas. 

9) What is your favorite thing to do when you are not at school? Travel up and down the coast of California hunting for sea glass with my husband, enjoying my three 20 + aged children while they are still home with us and relaxing with my pets. You will often see me reading either a book or my iPad Kindle or iBook app... or playing my numerous games that makes my family shake their heads. 

10) What is your classroom theme? Monkeys! I have called my students Changos, Spanish for monkeys, since my first year of teaching! The first time that long ago group would raise their hand and start "Ohh" "Ohhhh" while begging me to call on them for the answer, I thought of them as monkeys making their beloved sound.  The name has caught on and everyone knows that Lopez Land is full of hard working changos.  Younger siblings often stop me in the hallway just to verify that I really do call my students changos, always with the promise that they will be one someday, too!! 

11) What is your go to school snack or drink? Something sweet!! I was born and raised on sweet tea so that has to be in the top 5! I love chocolate... brownies, cookies, candy, ice cream.  I used to say Dr. Pepper, but I haven't had one in almost a year!! So fruit, nuts and water for me most days!! 

11 Random Things about ME: 

1. I am a southerner at heart. Born and raised in Tennessee!! 
2. I have a home that is connected to Elvis Presley. 
3. I have never gone on a cruise.
4. I hope to someday be a published author.
5. I love dolphins! 
6. Southern cuisine is my favorite, yes I know most of it is bad for you, but biscuits and gravy, sweet potato casserole and banana pudding hit the spot!! 
7. I love driving across the United States to visit my family in Tennessee. 
8. I have visited 24 states and 3 foreign countries. I have lived in 4 states.
9. I love teal and lime green.
10. I used to be obsessed with kokopellis! 
11. New Mexico is a state I could live in! It is amazingly unique and so beautiful. 

In my search of who to pass this amazingly fun and collaborative award on to, I met some great new bloggers! I can't wait to introduce them to you all!! 

Questions I would love to know from my new blogger friends: 
1. How long have you been blogging?
2. What made you decide to start a teaching blog?
3. If you could teach any subject all day long, what would it be?
4. What is the one country you would like to visit?
5. What is your favorite children's literature book to read aloud?
6. What is the one habit you have that drives you crazy at times?
7. How long have you been teaching? Do you imagine retiring as a teacher?
8. What do you think of the Common Core State Standards?
9. What is one supply in your class you just can't get enough of?
10. If you could write a children's book, what would it be about?
11. What is your favorite store or website to shop for school related items?

Daisy Designs

 book and bliss

 Wholebrain Teaching Preschool Style
Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten