Well, I’ve got no good excuses.  I’ve been MIA for TOO LONG. So here is the run down of my life lately:

  • I HEART Pure Barre! Get the deal on Living Social if you live in the Clearwater Area.  If not, find a deal in your area and try it.  55 minutes a day will change your life!
  • Summer is here! I am enjoying every minute of it and stepping into my summer groove.
  • Loads of New TpT products posted! I don’t want this to be a product overload site, though:) I like to  write for the pure joy of writing:)
  • Currently reading: If I Stay by Gayle Forman and The Book Thief (STILL!) AND Kristin Hannah’s True Colors
  • My favorite thing about summer in Florida is the afternoon/evening torrential downpours!  It makes the heat and humidity bearable:)
  • Working on ME-externally and internally:)
  • Currently working on several projects which include a Narrative Writing Unit, Back to School Forms, Data Binder, Teacher Binder and too much more.  Brain is on overdrive, yet loving the time to let it go!

I am also currently trying to get my blog switched over to www.butterfliesanddaydreams.com.  However, it is all new to me, so takes a while! 🙂  I will keep you posted! I just wanted to drop a few lines to my lovely readers to let you know that yes, butterflies and daydreams DOES exist! And, as always- thank you for reading:)

Happy Summer!

Jessica

Happy Friday! What a week! Let me start off by patting myself on the back for TWO blog posts this week!    Today’s post is a link up Blogger Product Swap with Learning to Be Awesome and The Core of Grade 4.  I have had the pleasure of using the The Core of Grade 4’s Math Concept Posters in my classroom. So, let’s get right to it.  I am excited to share this product with you!

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So, Math is not my strength.  Neither is Science.  I am a Reading and Writing girl at heart.  I live in books, notebooks, words, and pencils.  When I first looked at this product by Amy, I thought it would be a great tool to use with my students. We use Math Journals every day and most of our Math Workshop is spent in our notebooks.  I was excited to use this as an anchor chart for my students in their notebooks. I debated about how to use this resource in my classroom because it really lends itself to being used in so many ways!  Amy suggested it could be used in their math journals, as an assessment, or developed as a class.  I work at a Title One school and we have an extremely diverse population. My classroom includes ESE, ESOL, Gifted, and regular ed students. The range of math levels in my classroom is very wide.  So, I chose not to start this with my whole group, but rather two students.  I did this for two reasons:

  1. To better understand how to answer the questions!  The questions are GREAT questions and if students have mastered the standard, they should be able to answer the question! I love it. I should be able to answer the question as well.  Lol 🙂 I am new to 4th grade after being in 3rd grade for a LONG time and 5th for one year.  I have to learn everything I teach this year.  I love 4th grade, but it has been a very overwhelming year. And 4th grade Math is kind of crazy! 🙂
  2. To see how my students responded.  I began this work with two of my higher level students to gauge how my highest level response might look like in my classroom.  This gave me a point of reference when I use these in the future with the other students in the classroom.

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I started using the Math posters with my gifted student.  I pulled two of the concept posters based on what we have already learned about fractions.

She knocked my socks off.

I started by sitting down with her and showing her the first poster.  (I shrunk them down 85% so we could glue them in our math notebooks. Next time, I will probably shrink them a tad more.)  We did the first question together, which was “How can I use efficient strategies to compare fractions?”  I just began this conference with the question, expecting to discuss her thoughts and how she would answer it.

Her eyes began to sparkle and she timidly asked if she could just write  on the paper. She’s always one step ahead. She then proceeded to give two examples and then labeled her strategies.  I encouraged her to explain a little bit more.  She was good to go on this task, so I gave her the two fractions posters of the material we have already learned and told her to just work on the rest of the questions answering them the same way that she did.  She literally ran back to her desk to get started.  It was hilarious.

Later, during our Math Intervention, I had her work with another student to complete the posters together.  It was heartwarming to watch these two girls excitedly try to figure out how to answer the questions while discussing all the things we have been learning about fractions so far.

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For higher level students, the questions offer a nice challenge for students to answer and make their own chart for their Math Journal.  This could also be used for an assessment after learning the unit.  I will probably use these as a wrap up activity when we end our unit on fractions.  I might have my students complete with a partner and then have a gallery walk around our classroom.  As I experimented with these two students, I learned so much about what they could do and where I could go next to extend their thinking.  These concept posters turned into such a natural yet higher level assessment.  The best part?  My students loved it!

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I am ecstatic with how this worked out with my students! 🙂 I am nowhere near finished using this product.  I am only on the tip of the iceberg.   It is often very difficult to meet all the needs of all of your students.  The past few years, I have worked to find ways to continually challenge my higher level students.  This resource is another way to do that.

You might also want to check out her store The Core of Grade 4 because she has these Concept Posters for grades 3-5 on a variety of concepts in Math and Science!  I had a very difficult time making a choice because I could use them ALL!! 🙂  I already have the rest of my Fractions, Place Value and Measurement Posters ready to go!

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Next week, we are getting into Fractions and Decimals.  These concept posters are going to help keep me focused!

Now that you have heard all about this resource and seen the magic in action, enter our giveaway for a chance to get this product for FREE!!!

Amy is also reviewing a product of mine over at her blog The Core of Grade 4.  You can check out my product Bookagram and enter our giveaway for my product.  We’ve got your Math and Reading fix on a  Friday!

I hope you have a great weekend and thank you so much for stopping by!  🙂

Woohoo! Halfway through another week!

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Well, it only took 3 weeks before I completed another post.  I admire other teacher bloggers who are able to post more consistently than I.  How do you do it?!?  I don’t feel like I have stopped to breathe in the past month since coming back from Christmas Vacation!  However, I have been nominated for the Liebster Award, which is motivation right there! Enough about how I haven’t been blogging and on to the blogging.  I am linking up with Mrs.Stanford’s Class for another Hump Day Highlight! She’s so clever! 🙂

I am going to share one of my latest creations we are using in my classroom- Bookagram! 

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I don’t about you, but I LOVE Instagram.  I kind of sort of use Facebook, but Instagram is my social media of choice:)  I like it because it is mostly pictures.  I really am not interested in hearing what color socks you are wearing or reading long drawn out posts that make me think you should have started a blog rather than posting every detail of your life on Facebook.  I apologize if I have offended anyone.:)

What I like about Instagram is that you can just post a pic of those super cute socks and you’ve gotten straight to the point. :)Over the Winter Break, I became more interested in Instagram and made new friends!

One of the ways I have found I connected with people was by myself and others posting pictures of books that we are reading, have finished reading, or are about to read.  Every time I saw someone’s post with a picture of a book that I had read, my heart jumped for joy! I immediately needed to throw my two cents in! Whether they wanted it or not. But, I figure if you’re posting on Instagram, you are pretty much posting to the world, so liking and commenting are fair game!

This feeling I got when I saw these posts was the connection we feel with other readers.  We have both shared an experience even though we don’t know each other, simply because we’ve read the same book.  We’re like best friends now.  Just kidding. That sounds a little creepy 🙂 But, sharing the love (or nonlove) for a book is a connection like no other.

I kept thinking about this and it just got my creative juice flowing.  Why couldn’t I do something like this in my classroom?  I have an amazing class this year and they work so hard (I won’t mention how crazy they might be driving me this week).  I’ve been fumbling through the 4th grade curriculum all year after spending so many years in 3rd grade.  I love it, but I have to learn EVERYTHING. That becomes overwhelming and sometimes frustrating.  So, I try to liven things up as often as possible.

After we came back from break, we published our Book Reviews for our Book Club books.  Then, students who finished their Book Review could post a Bookagram.

What is a Bookagram? I am so glad you asked!

A Bookagram is a book recommendation.  Social Media Style.  Students draw a picture of the cover of the book in the square. You have to remind them to put the title of the book because that’s what you would see on Instagram.  It would be a photo.  Students tag 3 friends they think would like this book.  They can write comments and even create their own hashtags.  I had to teach them what those were and hoped my principal or a parent didn’t walk in and wonder why I was teaching my students how to hashtag! 🙂  I don’t think that is in my ELA standards! But, then again- neither is help your kids love reading. Clearly, they didn’t include ME when they created the standards! 🙂

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Our Bookagram Wall! 🙂

 

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I was really impressed by my students’ work and our display area came out pretty cute.  Most of my 4th graders have either used Instagram or at least know what it is.  They got the idea and had a lot of fun with it.  However, if you teach older students they might really love it!  Last week we had student-led conferences and one of my current students’ older brother was my previous student.  Did you catch all that? 🙂 Well, he is now in 8th grade and the family was browsing around the room.  When he got to our Bookagram wall, I heard, “Ms. Bullock is so cool!”  Mission accomplished. Once again, my heart leaped for joy.

I intend to keep our Bookagram wall going throughout the year.  This is a nice way to linger longer with a book and build classroom community as well as get your students excited about reading.   Thanks for stopping by and I will work on not going on so long between posts:) I actually have readers now!

Be sure to stop by on Friday! I am reviewing a 4th Grade Math product and offering a giveaway! Also, this product will be part of the giveaway!:)  Have a lovely rest of the week!

Guess what day it is….Guess what day it is…Mike, Mike, Mike….It’s HUMP DAY! Woot! Woot!  Oh, I crack myself upSmile  Seriously though…ready for Friday!

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Happy Wednesday, friends!  Today, I am doing my FIRST EVER link up with one of my all time favorite teacher blogs Mrs. Stanford’s Class.  Before I even tell you about my Hump Day Highlight, I just have to say that if you ever need any techy help, you should check out her blog and YouTube channel.  I found her blog over the summer and she has truly helped me on my TPT JourneySmile 

Moving right along, to what’s happening in my 4th Grade Classroom. Do you ever feel like you have to move on with curriculum whether your kiddos are ready to or not?  I can sense the nodding of heads.  Do you feel like it’s your fault because there are more who haven’t mastered a concept than have?

That’s exactly how I feel this year.  I have felt so much pressure for my kids to do things and be somewhere they are not.  Especially in Math.  The concept I am talking about in this situation would be two and three digit division.  A difficult concept if you have not mastered:  1)basic multiplication facts 2)the concept of basic division.  I feel like I overused “concept”…You get the idea. Smile

Well, Math is not my strength and I have worked REALLY , REALLY hard this year to create materials and lessons that engage my students, make sense to me, and most importantly-make sense to them. 

We worked on the 4th Grade Division standards in the Fall.  Even though I had to move on after Thanksgiving Break, it is so apparent my students have not mastered this.  During December and continuing through January, our focus will be Fractions.  However, my students still NEED Division practice & to master their basic Multiplication Facts. 

So, that’s the story behind my product Division is SNOW much fun!  I needed a fun way for my students to continue working on Division.   These are Winter-Themed Division Task Cards and Printables. 

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On Monday, we were very fortunate to have a Pro-Ed Day, so I could get these laminated and ready to go for this week.  There are 36 Task Cards that look like this:

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This is the recording sheet they will use for the problems:

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There are 4 of these numbered up to 36.   I also included this sheet, which I planned on using at first. 

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The reason I am not using this sheet in my classroom is because my students tend to NOT show their work. (I’m sure my students are the only ones who do this…) So, I needed to provide an answer sheet with enough workspace.  And of course, remind them to use it! Smile

How am I using these in my classroom?

We have a 30 minute Math Intervention, which in real time ends up being 10 minutes.  15 if I am lucky.  So each of my kids will do one problem per day.  We will rotate through all of the problems.  I will work with small groups on one problem, while others work with a partner and/or independently.  By using only 9 problems per sheet, I will know how they are doing BEFORE completing 36 division problems WRONG. Waste of time. 

Also, to keep myself and my students organized I will only start with the first 18 so they only have 1 page to keep track of- front and back.  I have 21 students in my class.  Four will be on the computer and Four will work with me.  So, I have options for students to work with a partner or individually.

This product also includes the problems in a worksheet format if anyone wanted to go that route Smile

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Other highlights of the week which are NOT school related, but made me very happy are:

  • More Living Room Yoga with this guy:

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  • Titan’s First Birthday! On January 3rd, he turned a year old! He is a spoiled little puppy!

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  • And…Titan enamored by the Cricut Smile

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It was pretty entertaining to watch Smile Please ignore the background mess.  The office/craft room/crap room/guest bedroom is still under construction! We just moved in October.  I was supposed to be cleaning and got sidetracked by the Cricut on Saturday night.  So it is STILL under construction!

I can’t wait to link up with all of the other wonderful bloggers for their Hump Day Highlight! Smile I will be sure to get my glass of wine and enjoy some good reads!

Happy Hump Day!  Friday just got a little bit closer Smile

Happy New Year!  It’s only Day 2 of 2015, but I’m already feeling the hope, change, & excitement of the upcoming year.  One of my hugest unofficial New Year’s Resolutions is to BLOG MORE!!  Long before I started TPTing , I LOVED reading blogs so much that I decided to create my own.  This poor little piece of my world needs some TLC!  So, like many seasoned bloggers, I adding some structure to my post and beginning my first weekly series.  Things I’m Loving Friday!  My love of blogging came from reading Peanut Butter Fingers– a health, fitness, and fun blog.  I look forward to this post every Friday and am going to give it a go myself.  So, here goes!

1)  Living Room Yoga – I have really gotten out of my yoga habit since school started and I have missed it so much!!  I’ve been running, but my body has missed the stretching and strengthening.  So, I decided to bring the yoga to my living room!  I found a 22 minute class On Demand & cranked up some Lorde radio.  I am not impressed with the yoga series, but I just needed a guide to remind me of my regular routine.  This will do until I can get my behind into the studio!  My favorite part of living room yoga is this guy:

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This brings a whole new meaning to downward dog! Or is this puppy pose? Smile

2)  Persevering with a Book! –I began reading this book, So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman way too long ago.  I was so distracted by school and she was a new author.  I get stuck on the same authors and find it hard to venture out.  I am a creature of habit.  Her writing is a little too high level after a full day of teaching 10 year olds Smile  So, I put it down and picked it back up for too long and too many times.  As a result, it felt like nothing was  happening.  Well, lo and behold, it did pick up and was really good!  There were so many small meaningful details that I had to piece back through the novel to pick up all the little parts I missed when I thought nothing was happening! Smile

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3)  New Year’s Eve House Parties!-  Ryan, Titan, and I had such a cozy New Year’s Eve.  Don’t let them fool you! They LOVE their hats!  My two studs!

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4) Contact Lens Case Drying Mat-  (or washcloths) This is probably the best $2.99 (each) I’ve spent all month!  I found two of these washcloths at Ross on New Year’s Day and had to buy them.   I love the gray stripes and blue polka dots design.  If they had a whole towel set, I definitely would have bought it! But I will settle for the “Contact Lens Case Drying Mat.” Smile

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5)  Bookagram- I am so excited about one of my newest products on Teachers Pay Teachers!  It is a social media style Book Recommendation for students after they finish a book.  I cannot wait to share with my 4th Graders on Tuesday! They are going to LOVE it! I need to make a Bookagram for the display area in my classroom! Once I figure that out I’ll be sure to post classroom pics!  If you are interested in this product, please click here.

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Well, there it is folks! I would love to hear what you are loving this Friday.  If you are a teacher, there is the unspoken obvious one- having the past 2 weeks off!!! WOOHOO! I hope you have a fabulous weekend!!! Smile

Jessica