Repurposing Garage Sale Items for Your Classroom!

We hit a garage sale early this morning & found a cup? bowl? mug? Well, we'll just say something red & also a little turtle at an estate sale. They were so dirty, but the darlin' teen said, "Mom, it can be a pencil holder for your new classroom." So we got them both for a quarter. It always helps to say, "This is for my classroom, how much do you want for it?" {grin, grin, grin!} I wish I had taken the before picture with all the garden dirt, but I had cleaned it up before I thought about OH' BOY 4TH GRADE's blog's upcoming contest about repurposing! So the teen and I took a few quick pictures & the two nasty garden items became a new pen/pencil cup for school! Cute, cute, cute!

BEFORE! {But I wish I had taken the picture with the items still dirty!}
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Summer Reading Camp Gators ~ Easy Foldable Puppets!

Could these little gator puppets get any cuter? We made them today to celebrate the end of week one. I call it a "Following Directions Lesson" but who am I kidding?!?! It is the pure joy of making some Arts & Crafts! It takes about 20 minutes the first time you make them and then once the students understand the main fold, they can do it themselves at a center or during the Daily Five. We are the Gators, and that kills the FSU Seminole in me ~ but maybe one day our district will open a new school with the Seminole mascot & I can transfer ~ but we're a big Gator town, so I doubt it! 
This idea will work for lots of animals, pigs = pink, hornets or bumble bees = yellow, tigers = brown with stripes! You get the idea!

Summer Reading Camp ~ Daily Five!

Day 3 & 4 of our Summer Reading Camp's Daily Five ran like clockwork! Not only was everyone actively engaged, I was able to take each student aside one-on-one and get a timed oral reading fluency, a comprehension test & personal inventory questionnaire done! They love the Daily Five & they also love getting UNINTERRUPTED one-on-one time with the teacher! Here are some pictures of the darlings & a link to where I posted them for the students and their families to also enjoy!

Word Work



Word Work

Read to Self

Listening Center

Read to Others

Word Work

Warm Fuzzy Number Two!

My first day of Third Grade Reading Camp was wonderful! I had the nicest "warm fuzzy" from a parent. Click here to read that first post. Then day two had a second warm fuzzy! A parent sent me a sandwich for my lunch because {and I quote} "You are giving up your summer to teach my son." Wow! I've had great years, but never this much appreciation in such a short period of time! :)
That being said ~ DAY TWO of summer school kicked my tail, the day then threw it in reverse & ran over me backwards, stopping to kick my teeth in too for good measure! You've been there, I know & I know you are laughing at how bad my day was! That's why I'm here, to spread joy & humor your way at my expense! ;)
I had spent the first day doing expectations, pep talks for the SAT 10 test & lots of role playing with the Daily Five, our Daily Task Folder & my Fetch Folder! Great ~ full speed ahead! Day two I realized that I forgot to role play how to select where you are going for each one of the 'five' ~ BAM! They couldn't handle it, it took too long each time, they couldn't understand that there are only 3 headsets at the listening center, 2 computers, etc. etc. , then they barely had time at the center & some actually cried because their "Read to Self" time was too short! Go figure!?!?! So I regrouped and for just the summer I am just assigning them to the different times and locations. Days 3 & 4 were wonderful! :) Now to enjoy the 3 day weekends summer school brings!

Summer School Student Made Calendar!

Classroom Wall Calendar ~ Before

June Side ~ Before

July Side ~ Before

For Summer School I decided to try a "student made" wall calendar! They went nuts, they were so well behaved and couldn't wait for their turn to fill out the cards! As soon as the calendar was done, they quit asking me how many days did they have to go to Summer Reading Camp! It really gave them some ownership of the new classroom! I loved it!
  • The top row is Mon. Tues. Wed. & Thurs. since we have no school on Friday.
  • The second row is 20, 21, 22 & 23.
  • Then the third row will be a picture each day of the weather. The helper of the day will draw the picture for morning work and then describe the weather with descriptive words.
  • The cards under Boy & Girl is for an attendance contest. If every boy comes to school, they will get one point. Same for the girls. Each Thursday the winners, the boys or the girls, will get $5 extra dollars for the treasure box ~ I am hoping everyone is a tie! Attendance is so important during Summer School, any little bribe will help! :) 
Stay tuned for the after photos!

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Mr. Sketch Scented Markers!

Little Miss Kindergarten had a Linky Party about Our Favorite Things ~ here is my LIST! But I can't believe I forgot Mr. Sketch Scented Markers!!! I have to order them every year & every year I have to open that first box and sniff every single one! I love them! I adore them! I can't get enough of them! I know, it is sad, but they say that if you admit you have problems, it is half the battle! Heehee!
Then every year it is the same thing after I open them, I sniff them, I usually squeal & then hand them to my daughter who is now 16, but every year she doesn't fail me, she does the same thing ~ then we discuss our favorite scent {mine is the pink melon by the way!} Then the final part of this tradition is while my wonderful hubby is moving classroom furniture or putting up bulletin board paper, he always mumbles something like, "We weren't allowed to smell markers growing up...."  School couldn't start in our family without this tradition! :) What's your favorite back to school supply?

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Funny Sign At My Son's Junior High School!

So this is the sign that was up at my son's 7th grade school this year! It made the rounds of the teachers' email accounts faster than lightning. I laughed so hard when I saw it, but like most funny things that weren't suppose to be funny, it was fixed quickly! Well, it is back in the national news this time! It is part of an online article "The 9 Funniest Signs of the Month" and the punchline now for me that makes it even funnier is that it was sent in by my 10th grader's English teacher!

My Biography in Our Student Yearbook!

My co-teacher does a BIG yearbook at the end of the year. She has copies of the ones she has made from as far back as 20 years ago & they are wonderful! She will see grown-ups at the store and they use to be in her class. The first thing they tell her is that they still have the class made yearbook! Our class yearbook had over 120 pages this year and it is definitely a tradition I will do each year! 

This is my page. I was interviewed by one of the students and then he wrote this about me ~ ~ ~

Mrs. Smith is the best. Mrs. Smith has been a teacher for 18 years and she is 44 years old. She was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She lives in Fleming Island, Florida. Her best friend is Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith is 39 years old. She has two kids and six dogs! She loves to go boating. I love that she taught me this year!

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas End of the Year Memory Book - Yearbook.
Look ~ I love small groups so much, he
actually drew me at the U-shaped table!

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A Few of My Favorite Things...

Little Miss Kindergarten

♫Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens, 
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.♫
♫Brown paper packages tied up with strings,

These are a few of my favorite things!♫

SCRATCH THAT! Love the song, but it is about the complete opposite of what I like! Little Miss Kindergarten is having a linky party & now that it is summer, I'm linking up!

I love ~ my God! Without him all things would not be possible!
I love ~ my family! Don't let anyone fool ya', the teenage years are great!
I love ~ my dogs! They are loyal & true and warm & fuzzy! They bring more joy to our family then I could ever have imagined!
I love ~ Florida! The sun, the water, even the heat! We spent 4 great years in Texas, but I'm so happy that now that my hubby has retired from the Navy we're settled in Fleming Island!
I love ~ our boat & boating!
I love ~ my Sony eReader! I love to read, read, read, ebooks, paperbacks, hardback books....everything!
I love ~ Diet Coke with lime!
I love ~ teaching! More so now that it is summer! :)
I love ~ summer ☼

Multiplication / Calculator Dice Game!

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Quick and Easy to Prep Dice Game for Multiplication or Addition!
A Quick and Easy To Prep Dice Game 

You will love this game! 
I made it up because my plan lesson ended sooner than I thought & the natives were getting restless, they loved it SOOOOO much that we turned it into a tournament the next day! The best part about the game is that it is completely LUCK, so your lowest student can be the grand prize winner and your smartest of the smart might end up in last place

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Quick and Easy to Prep Dice Game for Multiplication or Addition!

However, it is great for reinforcing multiplication and calculator skills for everyone. It can also be revised to be addition instead, so it is really a great K - 4th game!
Pair students up, or let them pick partners.
Everyone gets 3 dice each and their own calculator.
Students roll all three dice at the same time.
Each child multiplies their 3 digits to get a final answer.
THEN...they must check each other's work with their calculator. {This gives them another problem to work & it helps to stop any 'cheating' problems!}
The winner is the student with the highest answer.
Record your tallies on a sheet of paper.
Play until one student gets 10 points. This also helps with the mental math of "three to go and I win" or "I only need 1 point to tie" etc.
Then congratulate your winner, "Great Job!"
Say something nice to the loser, "Good Game!"
Move around the room and watch another game until someone is done, then play a new partner!

Then, like real life, we figure out some better ways to control the dice. One child said, "After you roll the dice, put them in the cover of the calculator!"

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Quick and Easy to Prep Dice Game for Multiplication or Addition!
Then another child figured out we could roll the dice INSIDE the calculator cover & they would never hit the floor! I just love it when I'm learning new things from their creativity! :)
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Quick and Easy to Prep Dice Game for Multiplication or Addition!

This game made for some great discussion at the end of class. How rolling a 1 stinks because anything times 1 "says their name" and stays the same. How the greatest answer is 216 because 6*6*6= 216. They thought of lots of interesting things & I wish I had taken a picture of the anchor chart with their stickie notes! 

Anyway, the next day we played it like a basketball tournament. Winners continued to play each other and losers moved on to play each was a lot of fun! True to what I had hoped, the lowest student in the class was the WINNER! The loser? I had said that the smartest of the smart could be the loser because it is completely a game of LUCK! Number 12, the bottom of the heap was ME! I lost the entire game & not because I wasn't trying! 

The kids loved the game even more! :)
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