Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tech Tip Tuesday ~ Series: Adding a Table to PowerPoint

This week's Tech Tip Tuesday is Part 2 of my PowerPoint Series.  We're looking at adding a table into PowerPoint.

This is super easy and you can do tons of customizations to get just the look you want.

Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},

Monday, July 30, 2012

Math Monday ~ 5th Grade Fraction Action

Today I want to share a math center/station/review game I made a couple of weeks ago.

It's called Fraction Action and it's aligned to 5th grade Common Core....and it's FREE!!!

Here are a few images from the product.  There are 24 questions in all and a student answer sheet is provided.

Click on any image to download from Google Docs.

I'm linking up with Manic Monday on Classroom Freebies.  Head over for tons of great FREE resources!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Enjoy :)

Making It{and smiling},

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lesson Cloud Dollar Days Sale is Here!

Head over to The Lesson Cloud to check out the HUGE list of links to products all marked at either $1 or $2.  There are hundreds of products for all grade levels!!!

This is one sale you do not want to miss out on.

Here are the items I have linked up for the sale.  However, there are other $1 and $2 items in my TPT Store, so my sure to look around!

Click on any of the images below to go to that product page.

Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},

Special Guest Post & New Monthly Feature You Don't Want to Miss!

I am beyond excited to announce a new monthly feature here on Making It As A Middle School Teacher!  Barbara of The Corner On Character and I have e-mailed several times and I just felt like we shared many of the same values and viewpoints on education and children in general.  I asked her to become my very first contributor here on my blog and she graciously accepted!  Please welcome her and her fabulous ideas as she makes her debut today. She'll be back on the last Sunday of each month with many great things to share with us!

Be sure to check out her blog after you read her post here.

May I Have A Connection, Please? by Barbara Gruener

Thank you, Michelle, for inviting me to be a part of your cheery, upbeat blog. As you know, what you focus on, you get more of, so I always appreciate stopping by your sunshine-yellow spot for a shot of your optimism and creativity. I am so glad that we have connected.

Kids crave connection. Let's be honest; so do adults! It's actually a basic human need, also known as belonging or love, in the middle of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs pyramid. From Maslow's research, we know that basic needs must be met before the higher-level growth needs can be attained. Just as we must eat and drink, we must also connect. Think of it this way: 

Sounds like we can't survive, much less thrive, without it. Try these back-to-school activities to help kids (or staff!) connect:

1.  That's Me! Pair students up randomly. Have one partner tell the other something about him or herself. If it were me, I'd say, "I grew up on a farm." My partner listens, then responds with either, "That's Me!" or "That's Not Me." If that's me, we can share our experiences with one another. If that's not me, I might still make a connection if I can, something like, "but my grandpa had a farm and we used to visit there every summer." or ask a question about what it was like being in a farm family. Have students take turns telling each other stuff and responding before switching partners and repeating the process with someone new. This powerful activity gives students a chance not only to talk about themselves (which they love) but also to learn new stuff about and connect with their class families.

2.  Power Line. This human graphing activity is designed to get your students talking and learning about one another as a whole group. Students will organize themselves in rank order from dislike to love on a continuum, discussing amongst themselves to make sure that they're really standing in the right place in line. Start with something easy, like asparagus. If students love asparagus, they go to the designated love end of the line. If they could take it or leave it, they're somewhere in the middle. If they can't stand it, they're at the dislike end of the line. Once movement has stopped and the line is set, let a few students to talk about where they are in line and why. Maybe it's the smell; maybe they have a memory about the slimy stuff. Allow for movement if opinions change or someone feels they're in the wrong spot after explanations are voiced. Now switch topics. Try thunderstorms or snakes or WWE (you know, that wrestling madness). See where students stand. At the end of the activity, ask students to reflect.  Were they always standing by the same person? Why not? Help them realize that it's because we all bring different experiences to the class. We tried the WWE prompt with a sixth-grade class once and all the kids clustered down at the dislike end except for one, a boy who was as far to the love end as you could get. The kids were kind of getting on to him with "that's fake" and "that's bogus" but after he told us it was because it was the only thing that he and his dad ever got to do together, we understood him a whole lot better. Yep, this activity is tops because it gets students moving, thinking, talking, and getting to know one another. Use it all year long as different things come up. Studying the Civil War? Have one end represent the North and the other be the South and find out where kids would have stood had they been there. The possibilities are endless.

3. Who Am I? Start out by asking your students to pick a sparkle word that starts with the same sound as their name and accurately describes them (ie. Caring Kaitlyn, Joyful Janet, Mighty Mark, Trusting Todd). This activity involves shaking hands (the perfect opportunity to teach how to make a firm handshake complete with eye contact!) and trading identities. The goal will be to get your identity back and have tons of fun in the process. When the game begins, I reach out for Michelle's hand and say, "Hi, I'm Bubbly Barbara." As we're shaking hands, she responds, "I'm Marvelous Michelle." With that handshake, we've traded names so now I'm Marvelous Michelle and she's Bubbly Barbara as we head out to meet the rest of our classmates. I keep playing until I shake hands with someone who says, "Hi, I'm Bubbly Barbara." and gives me my identity back. To debrief, circle up and find out how it felt to be someone else, to have to keep track of who you were, and to hear the descriptive adjectives that people used. Then introduce yourselves for real so that students can put a name to a face. Play it again every time you get a new student.

Happy connecting! For more character-infusion inspiration, come on by The Corner on Character any time!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My {WILD} Teacher Toolbox...and a Goodie For You!

If you love Pinterest as much as I do, you've no doubt seen these awesome toolboxes that teachers have been repurposing into organizers for all those little things that seem to get lost in a desk drawer.

{Here's my Pinterest link if you'd like to follow me.}

I knew from the second I saw the first picture of one that I had to make one for myself.  Thankfully, I finally got around to making one over the last couple of days.

My classroom will be decked out in zebra with bright pink and blue this year, so I wanted my Teacher Toolbox to match...of course.

Here is what I came up with.

I decided to go with zebra on the outside and leave the labels in a solid color.

I took some pictures along the way to share with you.  It was really easy to do {especially with the freebie I'll share with you in a bit}!

{Toolbox from Home Depot for about $20.}

{I took all the little drawers out.}

{Gray was not going to work for my color scheme, so I did 2 light coats of flat black spray paint.}

{I only painted the front part making sure to get the little lip and all of the frame for the drawers covered.}

{Zebra Duck Tape was my secret weapon!}

{It took 3 strips to cover the width of the toolbox.}

{Side view}

{I laminated the labels after printing them on card stock.  Love my Scotch Thermal Laminator!!}

{After cutting out the labels, I secured them to the front of the drawers by putting tape across the back of the labels and sticking it to the side of the drawers.}

The hardest part was deciding exactly what I wanted to put in my Teacher Toolbox...AND how I wanted the drawers arranged.  

You can print your labels on a solid color, use a frame around it, or print on scrapbook paper to customize your Toolbox exactly like you want it!

Because of a super sweet bloggy buddy who created a FREE template the fits the drawers perfectly, getting everything sized right was not the hardest part.  Elizabeth over at Fun in Room 4B designed a template with small and large boxes for the drawers.  All you have to do is decide what you want the labels to say and choose the font you want to use.  {I used Fruit Vegetable.}

Here is the link to Elizabeth's freebie at Teachers Notebook.  Click the image below to download your own.  While you there, be sure to check out her other great products as well!  Thanks again, Elizabeth!!!

Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Part 2 ~ 3 More GREAT Giveaways!

There were just too many good things going on not to post a second time today!


April over at The Idea Backpack is having a Thirty-One Giveaway  and a 300 Follower Giveaway.

I'm super excited that April contacted me about hosting a giveaway on her blog from my Thirty-One Consultant Page!!!

Click on the Large Utility Tote bag below to go to my Consultant Page to shop and place an order.  While there you can view the catalog, the monthly specials, information about hosting a party and the rewards you can earn, plus other great information!

Then go back to The Idea Backpack and enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $31 Thirty-One  Gift Card!

Her 300 Follower Giveaway includes many great teaching resources and there will be 17 different winners!

Don't miss out on either of these opportunities!

#2  Craftaholics Anonymous had announced an outstanding giveaway for a Silhouette Cameo with extra goodies totaling right at $350!!!

If you already have a Cameo, there are some promo codes for a Cameo bundle and Fabric Bundles.
I just got my new Cameo this week and haven't even had the time to take it out of the box, but I am itching to tear into it!  Maybe later today?  I know I am going to love working with it and making lots of cool stuff.

I might have to purchase this bundle for myself.  It's good for an almost $20 savings!

#3 The Teacher's Market shared a wonderful giveaway for a Fellows Laminator with a year's worth of supplies.  Fellows will be giving away one each month through January.  Head over and read the Teacher's Market's post for all the details!

Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},

Thrifty Thursday ~ Lesson Cloud Back-to-School Dollar Days Sale & a $75 Giveaway!

For this week's Thrift Thursday, I'm excited to announce two great opportunities going on over at another blog I contribute to, The Lesson Cloud.

The sale will be held on July 29th and 30th...a Sunday and Monday.

Here's how it will work.

The Lesson Cloud authors have come together to offer you lots of great classroom resources all for either $1 or $2!

There will be a HUGE list of links to each product added to this post on Sunday.  When you come back here, you will be absolutely amazed at the number of products posted!  I have posted 10 products myself!!!

Head over to my TPT store toady and look around!  {BTW, I have 297 followers at my store and I would so over-the-moon happy to break the 300 mark soon!}

The other part of Thrifty Thursday is that there will also be a giveaway from The Lesson Cloud for a $75 Gift Card to Really Good Stuff!  Wouldn't that be awesome for back-to-school shopping!!!

I'll repost this in the wee hours of Sunday morning including the live links to all the products and the giveaway!

Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},