Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Techie Tuesday: Technology Tip for the Newbie Blogger

Hello, all! I am linking up at Technology Tailgate for

Yesterday I wanted to link up with Monday Made It hosted by 4th Grade Frolics. I had tweaked some word work games and created some homework menus and wanted to share them. I inserted the links for all of my shared google documents and thought-Wow that looks blah! I decided it would look better with pictures of my documents but wasn't sure how to do that. I new they need to be jpg format to insert them to my post, but wasn't sure how to do that. After a bit of searching I discovered how to convert PDFs to JPGs.  Here are the steps:

1. Download your google document as a pdf. Go to File: Download as: PDF

2. Find an online PDF converter.  I used pdf2jpg.net.

3. Click on Choose a PDF file and find the file you wish to convert. Open the file and then click the Convert PDF to JPG button. 

3. Click download and then proceed to insert your newly created JPG document.  

I also learned as I was putting together this post that hitting command+shift+3 will take a screenshot! You learn something new everyday! Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Monday Made It: Word Work Ideas and Homework Menus

I am linking up with.

I was surfing Pinterest looking for ideas to use with my fourth graders during word work time.  I stumbled upon these two ideas from the Monday Made It! host 4th Grade Frolics.  One is Word Work Scrabble and one is Word Work Word's Worth.  I tweaked them a bit and made one of each for spelling and vocabulary. Click on the picture to get a copy.  Enjoy!

 Spelling Word Scrabble

 Spell Word's Worth

 Vocabulary Word Scrabble

 Vocabulary Word's Worth

I also created vocabulary and spelling homework menus which include the above activities.  Click on the pictures to grab a copy. Enjoy!

 Vocabulary Homework Menu

 Spelling Homework Menu

Check out my Word Work board on pinterest to see where I got many of the activities I included on these.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Structure of a Writing Conference

This summer I read "How's it Going? A Practical Guide to Conferring with Student Writers" by Carl Anderson. If you have not read this and need guidance on conferring, I highly recommend it.

One thing I found very helpful in this book was his explanation about how to structure a writing conference.  I took his structure and created a cheat sheet that I placed in my literacy conferring notebook, so that I can refer to it as needed.  Here is the link to it, feel free to use it, share it, or tweak it to fit your needs:


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Technology Projects

I have taken on 2 major technology projects this summer. 

1. Scanning all my classroom library books into booksource classroom organizer:

This is a program where you can use your smart phone or tablet to scan the bar codes of your books and they will be entered into a database on the web. The database can be accessed from any computer. Students search for the book they are checking out by it's name or author in the database and then check it out on the computer. In order to be able to scan the books you have to install the booksource classroom organizer app on your smart phone or tablet. Did I mention that this is free!

So far so good.  I have one box of books left to scan.  I really hope this will make it a bit easier to keep track of my classroom library books. I will let you know how it is working once we get into the swing of things in my classroom.

2. Changing all my bookmarks to Diigo:

Diigo is an app that you can use to organize your internet bookmarks.  One of the features I like about it is that you can mark web articles as read later. So if you want to read them but don't necessarily need to bookmark the page, you can easily access them. You can also highlight things on your bookmark pages and you can type notes on a sticky note on your bookmark pages. Not only do you bookmark your pages but you also give them tags or labels. Then when you are just sure you had a web page bookmarked on how to use a book to teaching good endings, but can't remember the page name, you can search Diigo for various tags or labels to see what you find.  

Have any of you tried either of these sites? I would love feedback on them or suggestions of technology you would recommend!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fourteenth Book Done!

I finished reading my fourteenth Iowa Children's Choice Award nominee, Athlete Vs. Mathlete by W.C. Mack.  In this story twin brothers, Russ and Owen Evans, seem to have very little in common until the new basketball coach comes to town. He orders Russ the mathlete to try out for basketball and Russ discovers that he likes it!

This was a fun, quick read.  It would make a fun read aloud for third, fourth, or fifth grade classroom. It could easily be used to teach checking for understanding, making predictions, and literary elements.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Thirteen Books Done!

I just finished reading my thirteenth Iowa Children's Choice Award nominee, "Summer of the Gypsy Moths" by Sara Pennypacker. In this book Stella and Angel have two things in common. One they live with Stella's great-aunt and two they live there because they have no place else to be. The story unfolds with Stella's great-aunt dying. Read to find out how Stella and Angel deal with this and find places to belong. 

This book would work well for teaching theme or main idea and details. Check out the discussion questions provided by the author.

July Currently!

First of all I just have to say that I can't believe it is July, already! That being said I am Linking up with

 Oh' Boy 4th Grade
Oh' Boy Fourth Grade
to do the July Currently.  So here it is:   

Listening: I've never been a big watcher of TV, but I seem to have become addicted to crime scene shows. Three of them in particular and all on TNT: Rizzoli and Isles, Bones, and Castle.

Loving: I'm loving having the time to read and workout. I'm currently reading Frozen Heat by Richard Castle and Words Their Way. I am also reading the Iowa Children's Choice Award Nominees for the 2014-2015 school year. I just finished "Summer of the Gypsy Moths" by Sara Pennypacker. I'm also loving not have to get up at o'dark o'clock to fit in my workout rather it be a run, yoga, or strength training.  

Thinking: I've been thinking about change. My son is headed off to college this fall. We will miss him very much. Family meals will not be the same.  My daughter just turned 16. I sure miss the days when they needed me, but I am very proud of them!

Wanting: I've been fighting shin splints this summer. I would normally have built my mileage up 15-20 miles a week by now. I am hovering around 9-10 miles. I really want to get past this. I'm trying to be patient, I'm not very good at it!

Needing: I'm needing to get past the shin splints, so I can up my mileage and ditch the extra 7 pounds I have put on this summer. I seem to be the queen of grazing: sweet to salt to sweet to salt. Can you say lack of self-control?

Have a Happy Fourth, everyone!