Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Yes, I'm from the South...

To kick off our year of Word Study, we read "There's an Ant in Anthony" by Bernard Most, and the kiddos found another word that has an "ant" and illustrate their sentence.  I know I have a Southern accent at times, but so do some of my students.  Based on the following picture, I think I need to work on checking my accent at the door, or at least focus on my articulation!!
"There's an ant in reant"... "I think you mean rent."

Happy hump day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Need a New Pencil Sharpener?

You need one of these in your life, trust me!

Back in the summer I contacted Troy about reviewing one of those pencil sharpeners that I kept hearing about all over the bloggy place.  He was kind enough to send one (twice!  I forgot to include my condo's #, whoops!) to the author of this little blog, and I couldn't wait for school to start so that I could put it to use.  OHMYWORD y'all, this is the best sharpener!  Here's why:
1. it's super easy to use
2, it's super quiet (not if you're the one sharpening, but if it's on the other side of the room, or even a few feet away, you can't hear it)
3. it sharpens your pencils to a super pointy point
4. it's shavings box is deceptively able to hold a lot of shavings, which means you're not stopping to empty it all the time
5. the kiddos scramble to be the first one to ask if they can sharpen the pencils each day
and....
6. it's so fabulous that I haven't even used my heavy duty, super expensive, fancy-schmancy electric pencil sharpener AT ALL this year!

I've uploaded two videos below of my munchkins using this gem of a product!  Make sure you contact Troy over at Classroom Friendly Supplies to get your own sharpener, because you can't have mine!
video
video


Monday, September 3, 2012

A Book Lover's Paradise!

Labor Day weekend in the ATL means that three events converge on this fair city.  There's the college football game at the Georgia Dome, Dragon*Con at the downtown hotels, and the Decatur Book Festival on the square in Decatur.  Dragon*Con is a sci-fi, anime, pop culture convention of epic proportions.  Dressing up and people-watching is so much fun!  I didn't go this year, a) because I went to another event, and b) because I couldn't think of anything to dress up as (I've donned a where's waldo? outfit and a hand-made, not by me, Rainbow Brite costume in past years).  I think my friends who went had a great time, though.  I attended the Decatur Book Fest for the first time this year, and I think it was a fabulous choice!  I woke up early on Saturday and found a spot to park near the square.  I walked around for a few minutes before I heard the snare drum announcing the start of the children's parade, led by Kevin Henkes and Lily!  


Here comes the parade!

Kevin Henkes!
Guest of Honor, Lily followed by the kiddos!!

I met this Lily and her mom (who was dressed as Delphinium Twinkle) in line to meet Kevin

Kevin Henkes is signing his hew Penny book for my class!
 I had a little while before the next author I wanted to see, so I walked around, met up with a college buddy, had a coffee, then we saw Olivia!
such a trooper, hanging out in the shade while braving the Atlanta heat!
 Sorry for the poor quality, my iPhone couldn't compensate for the shade, but I was thankful that they set up the Children's Stage in a shady spot (and I know the kiddos and their parents were).  I was super excited to see/meet Peter Brown!
Peter Brown reading from his new book "Creepy Carrots"

such a cutie!  He signed "Creepy Carrots" and "Chowder" for my class
The next author I saw was super pumped up!  He read from his Lunch Lady series, and broke out the oldie but goodie, "Punk Farm" and led the crowd in a punk version of Old MacDonald!  Love Jarrett Krosoczka!  I told him that my kiddos and I are awaiting an update on Josh (from Baghead), and can you believe that Josh is ten years old this week?



Jarrett is getting a punky "eieio" from the crowd
It was a very hot day, but it was so much fun to see parents, teachers, media specialists, and especially kids celebrating their love of books in grand fashion!  I can't wait for next year's festival!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ten!!!!!!! Ten More States for the Perfect Exchange!


I only need 10 more schools!!!!!
PLEASE email me if you're interested in participating in the postcard exchange!  Seriously, please!  I've resorted to finding schools in these states and hunting down an email address for a teacher, and hoping that a creepy stalker-ish plea will convince them to sign up!!!  Please don't make me be creepy!!!

I still need:
Arkansas, Delaware, DC, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia.

And y'all, we've got a representative from Puerrrrrrto Riiiico, whoop whoop!!!!

send your name, email address, school name and address to lauren.e.dennis@gmail.com and I'll get you signed up!  Don't forget to spread the word about this postcard exchange, we're almost there!!!!





Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Teacher Week! {Tech Tip Tuesday}


I have three technology tips for you today...

1. 
LiveBinders.com (This was highlighted in a Staff Development this afternoon, and it looks a lot like pinterest, but instead of a picture, the actual website is linked in the binder... and you can make your own binder, or search ones that are already made... I searched for 2nd grade math and found my next technology tip along with a ton of other resources just waiting to be explored!)

2. 

Arcademicskillbuilders.com (these are arcade style games for math and language arts that are super fun - I played the penguin multiplication race game- your students can play a game against the computer, or create a game to play against their friends!!)

and finally... 

3.


Weebly.com (this is a free website hosting site, so if you're in need of a website for your class and your school doesn't provide you with one, check this guy out!  It's super easy to add pages (my kiddos know that when we go to the computer lab, they type in my website, then click the "links Miss Dennis loves" page to access the sites that they can visit!  I only wish they had more educational and/or cutesy themes available...)

Go link up with Blog Hoppin' and share your technology tips!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Teacher Week! {Must Have Monday}


Oh.  Em.  Gee.  Today marks my third Monday with kiddos, and y'all, I am worn out!  I have neglected this poor little blog for far too long... well it ends now.  Teacher Week is back, baby!  So here are my must haves (some are repeats from last year, and some are new!)

well this is a no-brainer!  I don't think I'm alone when I say that Pinterest has changed my lesson planning for the better!  (I also love that I can access Pinterest at school, it's back after a short-lived ban due to a "social networking" label...)
this just makes me giggle! 
Starbucks Trenta Iced Coffee with Hazlenut and Skim Milk... it makes for a happy morning!  (I love when I leave my house early enough to stop in, there's not a drive-thru Sbux on my way- sad face)
My document camera!  I have this baby on all day!!
which goes hand in hand with...
my mimio!
(we had to check them in at the end of the year, and re-check them out this year... and the one I got has a busted stylus... no buzzing... no nothing... so sad.  have to wait for a replacement- so sad)

 I adore school supplies, but my favorite find (originally at Michael's and now at Wal-Mart)...
Scentos!  My munchkins love how these smell, and I love how they're chunky, they fit nicely in my hand, and the broad tip makes a nice smiley!

and new to my classroom this year.... the one item that should be on every teacher's wish list (and one that I'll be doing a review on soon):
picture from I Teach What's Your Superpower's blog, I wish I knew how to add hearts to pictures...


Link up with Blog Hoppin' and share your must haves!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Cover Me! I'm Going In... (to my classroom)

That's what I felt like this "morning" when I finally psyched myself up to go into my classroom.  I am lucky enough to have had today off from the restaurant, and I don't have to go in until late evening for the rest of the week, and I have no other prior commitments... which means... I can go to school!  Now let me explain the title of this post... my classroom has been used for almost the entire summer for one thing or another, up until the week before last, but last week I was at the literacy institute so I couldn't go work in my room.  So since bodies have been in and out of my room all summer, I wasn't sure what I was going to be walking into.  Let me just say that I was pleasantly surprised!  Everything was pretty much how I left it, and of course I brought my camera along to document the process of putting my room back in order.  Enjoy!


I rearranged this corner right at the end of the year... as you can tell from the wall, my library used to be in this corner

look at all the green paper keeping the dust off my stuff

more green paper, and look!!  I have tables!  (I'm trying tables for the first time ever this year)

oh, what a lovely pile of who-knows-what!
 Once I was over the initial overwhelming sense of being back in my classroom, I snatched all that green paper and filled up the recycling bin, time to see just what I shoved where during my last minute decision to rearrange my meeting area and library...

phew!  bulletin boards look alright

SOOO many books, at least they're already organized... sort of...

word wall made it through the summer in tact, nice!

what to do with all those cords??

where'd my whiteboard border go?

DonorsChoose kidney table with "DO NOT INVENTORY" all over it... this table has caused quite a few headaches, and a few tears, too... but it made it through furniture inventory without magically becoming county property, so I WIN!!!


Alright, so at the end of the year I moved a filing cabinet that was beside my desk to join the filing cabinet that you see in this picture.  The idea was to decrease the amount of "teacher space" that I take up in this room, and downsize the dead space under the window.  My desk has to be near the window because that's where the projector business is (remember all those cords?).  So I moved the filing cabinet, and it made my teacher area smaller-ish.  But then this rolling book cart decided to be a problem.  It stuck out far too much.  So I moved one of the filing cabinets to the area next to the bathroom, since it holds miscellaneous stuff anyway, I didn't need it near my desk.  Moving it gave the rolling cart enough room to exist without completely closing off my kidney table, and both sides of the cart are still accessible.  WOOT! 

leveled readers live on this cart, and student book boxes live on the bookshelf where the leveled readers are now... lots of rearranging in my future!

random filing cabinet's new home, behind the backpack cubby
 So that's it... day one.  I also laminated my new border and nameplates since our Media Specialist won't be back at school until Monday (when we report for pre-planning).  I'll be back tomorrow with more updates!