Computer Wall Makeover

I know it's not glamorous. However, it is very functional.  We have two dry erase boards with a bunch of scribble all over them telling kids how to get to particular sites we have to use during intervention, reading and math blocks at school.  Instead of scribble, here is a chart that identifies steps on where to go specifically.  Hopefully the front board will be accommodating 21st century computer skills in the kid's/teacher's free time.  I'll post the forms on my homepage so county buddies can use or country buddies can tweak!  Or you can message me and I'll get them to you asap.  Have a great week teacher people!

New Green Word UPCYCLE!

Here are a few old Similac and Enfamil containers UPCYCLED!  This new green word defines the process of reusing an old product to make a new product.  Terracycle online upcycles drink pouches, glue sticks, solo cups, make up containers, the list goes on.  A small pack of scrapbook paper makes these containers literally pennies to make.  Just a little time.   

I use the top can for friend bucket fillers.  The idea came from Christina Bainbridge.  Check out her materials on Bucket fillers.  She's awesome.  :)

Sleepless nights in Southport

And my 18month old baby is sleeping.  How is this right?

Did you know I LOVE integrating all subjects/arts with my classroom?
Now you do.

Here is a great site for global projects you can do and share with other teachers across our great nation.

1. First read about the project and make sure you are willing to commit to completing and sharing your information.
2. Register your class: FREE
3.  COmplete the AMAZING learning project with your kids.
4.  Turn in your data.
5.  Review your results and results other classes came up with your children.
6.  Ooops, don't forget to take pictures of .... fun learning.

I have registered my class for the awesome art project.  Our class will work on one large picture that will complete a mural with 14 other classes.  What a fun ART project huh?  They also have fun MATH, READING, and WRITING projects. 

Click on the link to find out more about the projects and rules.

Sunshine Award

There is a sweet little teacher
Her name is Amanda
She is from Texas
She has this awesome blog
But she follows MINE
She has the sweetest comments
Makes teachers feel great about what they DO!

Thanks Amanda!

First of all, I have like....hmmm, less than 20 followers.  Not a problem for me.  Why?  Because I wanted to blog for three reasons:
1. I wanted to comment on other teachers' great ideas.
2.  It looked like a challenge (and I'm a dummy, like I really have the time)
3.  My teacher friend in Florida told me it's the best professional development EVER!  And she was right!
4. I like sharing. 
I like sharing so much.  If you come in my room for something, you normally leave with a LOT more, unless, like my team teachers, you can say ENOUGH Tara!  And when an idea hits me..... LOOK out!  I get jacked up worse than a college kid pulling double classes with double espressos... times 10. 

Sorry******************** Hamster wheel is way off track.
Amanda was so kind to nominate me for this Sunshine Award.  ME. Awww.  I sometimes feel guilty for not being able to keep up with some other teachers.  However, your sweet comments and emails are so encouraging and delightful to read.  A huge thank you to a spectacular teacher AMANDA and her blog for nominating me.  Thanks.  You can check out what an awesome blog looks like by hopping over to The Teaching Thief.
The Sunshine Award rules are...
1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.
2. Answer the following questions below.
3. And pass the award to 10~12 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them.

* Favorite Color?  turquoise
* Favorite Animal?  sharks
* Favorite Number? 2 because it's all about symmetry for me
* Favorite Drink? Sundrop after a LONG dive!
* Facebook or Twitter?Nope
* Your Passion? I love being in and around water!  I would like to have the first elementary class in the pool
* Giving or Getting Presents?  I love giving, especially when I have found the perfect gift. (ditto)
* Favorite day? Sunday
* Favorite flowers? Roses, out of the yard not a store.
Here are some fantastic blogs I love to check out:
So there you have it!  Take some time to check out what these great teachers have to offer. ~ Totally Tara

Donor's Choose


Hello Blog Friends~
I have submitted and received approval for three fitness ball chairs on Donor's Choose.  If you have extra cash just floating around and you want to help a kid (and a teacher) out, please consider donating to our classroom.  You can view the entire project details at .  Thanks for taking the time to read this. ~ Tara

~ Hi again,
After thinking last night, I thought to myself... 'Self, you did not tell them about these fitness balls.  Don't you think they would like to understand the reasoning behind this erroneous idea?'

So here is some of the research I came across in order to try to help my wiggly students.  I wish I would have had fitness ball chairs as a child.

And YES a list...
1.  Students are able to make small movements to stay focused on the task. 
2.  Students are able to have better posture at their seat.
3.  All students can have their feet touching the floor, allowing them to have better circulation in their legs.
4.  Squishier than a hard chair.  (That's my idea, but I'm sure the consensus.)
5.  I don't hear chairs from fidgety kids scooting, scraping, scratching the floor as we learn.

You may be interested in fitness ball chairs for your class.  I'd love to hear how it goes.  I'll let you know WHEN we get ours.  :)  Have fun teaching~ Tara

Finding Nemo

       Yesterday, my friend and I used several video clips from Nemo to help students think about the moral or lesson to a story.  This can be difficult with third graders, so we used a movie they were very familiar with, Nemo.  We use the following clips and had the students decide an overall moral they could apply to themselves.  It was quite impressive to see how their thinking changed from very concrete to more in depth later on.  Then as a class we decided which would be a good overall moral to the whole movie.  This works well in order to, YES, prep them for EOG testing.  The questions might ask students the moral of paragraph # or the moral to the whole story.  Click on the links to go directly to the video.  I hope you enjoy.

Nemo touches the boat against his fathers orders and is caught by a scuba diver.
Most of the kiddos could guess the obvious moral; You should obey your parents.  However a few others guessed be careful who you hang out with or don't listen to your friends if they are trying to get you to do something you don't want to do.

Marlin is upset because he has lost the mask and hope of getting his son back. 
One of the kids actually said the moral was to keep swimming.  Hmmmm.  A little more work still ahead of us.  Some of the other guesses:
Friends can cheer you up.
Friends can give you inspiration.
Friends can let you down.

There are so many clips to also use:
Bruce the shark: morals, don't judge people by how they look, stay focused on your goal, or you don't have to listen to your friends if you don't agree with them.

Crush lets squirt fly out of the EAC:  Crushes reaction is to chill and see what little man can do.
Morals: Some kids can rise to the occasion, relax

There are so many more...

Well party people, I have an 18month old who is not sleeping through the night.  So, I bid thee adieu. ~ Tara

Library Project Pass to Help Kids Stay focused

Our librarian is sooooo fantastic.  She is going to allow small groups to work on computers or in small groups on projects during the last half of the day.  The problem is... when you send a third grader in... more times than not, they come back with nothing.  Here is a focus sheet to help them focus on why they are going, record information, and return within time limits.  Enjoy~ Tara

Click on this link to go to my webpage for the PDF.  Sorry, I really dislike google docs.  I'm not so talented at learning technology on my own.  Decorating cakes either for that matter.

I hope to be back in the blog world after Science Olympiad. Chow~