Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Questionnaire Fun

One thing I love about the blogging community is feeling like you are "my friends". I talk about you to my husband and co workers like I know you for real. I don't think I am delusional, I just feel like I know you and I LOVE IT! 

So, I am joining in on the fun with "my friends" for some more holiday fun! Thanks for Fabulous in First for starting this. 


Hot Chocolate or Eggnog? 
Hot chocolate. I love the marshmallow gooey-ness that goes along with it. 

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them underneath the tree? 
Santa wraps them up. I remember one year he didn't, it was nice, but just not the same. 

Colored lights or white? 
White on the inside, colored on the outside. 

When do you decorate? 
Normally, after Thanksgiving. This year it took me a little longer to get into the spirit. We didn't decorate until the 13th because we had a party in my house on the 14th. 

Real or Fake Tree? 
Fake. I cannot handle all the needles on the floor. Pre-lit as well, no reason to mess with lights when they are done for you! 
This is my youngest. He is a show off! 

What Tops Your Tree?
A Santa. Nothing special about it, we saw it a few years ago at our local grocery store and bought it. Yep, a grocery store.
He is not as scary in person, just a bad picture. 
Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions?
Growing up, my mom worked shift work as a nurse. She always worked the holidays because of the extra pay. One year, my siblings and I were anxious and kept bugging my dad to open presents on Christmas Eve before she got home. "Just one, pleeeeeeaaaaasssseee!" is what I remember us all begging my Dad. (we were teens by the way) My dad was a push over (in a loving way) and he gave in, with moms permission though. I bet we called her a hundred times that night. When she got home at midnight, we just stayed awake and opened presents. That began a long tradition of celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve. We did that until we all had small children and stayed at our own homes for Santa. 

Do you remember your favorite gift as a child? 
No, I am 42. Sometimes I can't remember what I had for breakfast. 

Do you prefer giving or receiving? 
Both. I will be honest. I LOVE getting presents. I love making gifts though and giving them.  

What is your favorite Christmas song? 
Oh Holy Night. I love when a male performer sings it too. 

Candy Canes. Yuck or Yum? 
Yum! I love all kinds! 

Favorite Christmas Movie? 
Christmas Vacation, of course. I mean, that is funny any time of the year.

Do you shop online or at stores?
Stores for the most part. I am not a shopper though. I dislike crowds a LOT! I should do more online shopping, but I am a procrastinator. 

Photo Cards, Letter or Store Bought Card? 
Photo cards this year. I didn't include a letter. I love getting photo cards as well. I like the whole family included though, not just the kids. 

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Sparking Motivation: Adopt a Child Project

Tis the season for a heart warming story. 

I work in a Title 1 School, which means we have a very high free and reduced lunch population. We are not affluent and most of our parents are not educated and many are unemployed. We have a high number of homeless students (most live with family members) and we have a high transient population as well. 

Just an idea of some of the obstacles our kids face. 

Last year our Student Council sponsor decided our kids needed top help less fortunate kids in our district. Many of these kids are family members of our students. We have 3 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school. 

She contacted the elementary schools and ask them for names of needy kids. She assigned each advisory class a student to "sponsor". The students chosen filled out their wish list and our middle school students either raised money or bought the gifts for their younger student. 

This was year two after a very successful year one. 

The elementary students were brought to our school the Friday before school was released and the advisory class that sponsored them, threw a Christmas party for them.  

Santa makes an appearance and its one of the few times our students get to have a party. 

I did not have an advisory class this semester, but I paired up with the theater arts teacher and was able to join in the celebration. 

Our students, who are normally  the beneficiary of things like this, pulled off 35 amazing Christmas celebrations for these kids. It was AWESOME! Truly what the season is about. 

 The students brought a lot of goodies for themselves and for their adopt a child. 
 I wish I could show you T's face. He smiled the whole time! It was really fun for him. 
One of the parents bought him a bike. He was told to look straight at me the whole time.
When he turned and saw the bike, he was truly shocked. It was amazing! 
 This was all his stuff that he took home. There were toys, but he also received a lot of clothes as well. 
No, no diapers, just a lot of clothes in there. 
 He was very shy and didn't want to eat, but enjoyed having a "to go" box made for him. 
 Imagine his face with a smile from ear to ear! 
I was able to see him afterward with the school staff that came with him. He had gotten in his bag and put on a new coat that he was given and he was showing it off to them. It was truly wonderful to see and be a part of something so special.

I am linking up with Joann for Sparking Student Motivation, because this special event truly motivated our whole school to look beyond their needs and focus on someone else for this season. 

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Five for Friday- December 20th

Time to link up with Doodle Bugs!

YIPPEEEE!!! It's Friday and in about an hour, I will be on VACATION!!!!!
 Finally, right? 

Tuesday, I took my younger two boys to see Santa. This is the first year the youngest wasn't scared. They are so grown up! 

We received these cool hoodies from our principal and assistant principals. Too bad it's 68 degrees outside right now. Tomorrow's forecast is 34 degrees, so it will come in handy. 

I am such a procrastinator and last night was scrambling for a quick gift for my department. I ended up giving them a breakfast bag. I made muffins and included a K-cup for coffee. (we have a Keurig in our lounge). I wish I had thought of it sooner, I think those small creamers would have been cute in the bag. Oh well, this worked. 

Just a quick personal story here.  My third son, Hollister, is in 2nd grade. In kindergarten we learned he has significant hearing loss in one ear. We thought he was just quiet, in reality, he wasn't hearing so he didn't talk much. He has been slightly behind academically, but with some super teachers in 1st and now 2nd, he has finally fell in love with reading. He is currently in love with Mary Pope Osbourne's Magic Tree House series. I am beyond thrilled that he is so "into" reading now. Nightly reading last year was like pulling teeth and just so painful to endure as a parent. Now though, I can't get him nose out of a book! When I listen to him, I am just amazed about his fluency and how he attempts hard words. This was him at the grocery store yesterday. 

We also ended our Secret Santa here at school. Mine left me this cool Texas A&M bucket and glass with such yummy treats. I need a break from school to detox from all the sweets received. The background gifts are some of the sweetness my sixth graders gave me today as well. 

As I am sure all of you are, I am happy to have a break and relax with my family. 

Happy Holidays to you all! 

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

A freebie that motivated me!

Saw this post from Ho Jo's Teaching Adventure for last minute student gifts.

I teach 132 students, as much as I would love to give them all something, I can't. 
But this was FREE and PERFECT.

I gave them to them when they took their semester exam because that was the last time I would see them this year. 

I explained how it was redeemable for next semester with ME! 

They loved it! Now, I hope they don't lose them! 

She has different versions, so be sure to check it out! Maybe they can be New Year's prizes! 

Happy Holidays! 

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tried It Tuesday- Jeopardy Review Game

Our students have semester exams this week. This is not a fun week. I have two days to review the past 16 weeks with  my students. 

They were given a huge review study guide for homework last week. YUCK! 

Enter Cyber Monday and Tuesday. 
Jeopardy Review Game Editable Template
I purchased a Jeopardy Template game from Kendra Passerelli
It's completely editable to meet my needs. 

I took questions from the study guide and edited them for the jeopardy review. 

When you click on the amount, only the question appears. Then you click on the power point and the answer appears. The main menu of course takes you back to money screen. 

We played it yesterday. It was fun! 

I started the day off not so structured. I learned my lesson. By the end of the day, I had made this: 

I made small groups, gave each group a white board and a marker. Then, by the afternoon classes, EVERY CHILD had a white board and marker. Students had to have their study guide out. They could find the question when it appeared on the screen, they had to show ALL the work before answering. All students in the group had to have the correct answer with their work shown to get the points for their team. 

I think they enjoyed it. Because I slowed the game way down with them having to justify their work, we are playing again today. 

I am hoping it pays off when they take their test this week.  Honestly, they are so hyped up, it is too crazy for my liking, but I know it is better than boring worksheet review. I can hear some good "Math talk" going on while they work. 

Be sure link up with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday. 

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday Tried It- Another Math Notebook Testimonial

So, I gave myself an A for effort with this next "tried it". 

It worked, but it wasn't pretty. 

I wanted to make a flip book for percents for my students. This is the first time I was teaching tax, tip and discounts with my advanced students. 

I created this flip book during Thanksgiving break, but didn't print it because of printer issues at home. So, Monday morning, I printed what I needed before school and started making it with my first period. 

I love these kids. They know I make a ton of mistakes with them and they still love me. I think they secretly love to find typos and errors in things I give them. 

Anyway, we started putting it together and it didn't look right. It was actually an easy fix and we just trimmed what we could and rewrote one of the words. 
But, hating that it was wrong, I fixed it and reworked it for my afternoon classes. It still wasn't perfect, but better. It's something I plan on working on.

This is how it ended up. It worked. 
 The inside worked perfectly. I actually taught with the examples I had typed on the inside. They wrote the notes next to steps. 
I used examples from the same task cards they would be using. (I knew we wouldn't get through all of them) 

So, we have this great, okay, so-so foldable all about percent. Students worked on task cards from Live Love Math which are challenging!!! 

Another reason I love my kids is because they really do understand why we make foldables. WITHOUT BEING TOLD, they opened up their math notebooks and took out the foldable and worked the problems! 

I say SUCCESS!!!! That is the whole point of making these things. Students NEED to USE them. they don't have to be pretty or colorful either. 

Students need to understand these notes, foldables, flip books, whatever you call it, are their resources and must be used. 

I even had a student say to me, "Mrs. Hodges, We are creating a Math book, I think." I smiled and said, "Yes, yes we are!" 

Be sure to link up with Holly at 4th Grade Flipper and share your "tried-it's". 

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Made It- December

It's Monday and the second Monday of the month, so it is time for Monday Made It with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics. 

I was hoping to have some cute teacher gifts to show off. But, I just didn't do it this weekend. I was just lazy. 

I did make this door over the Thanksgiving break for my students. I didn't get antlers on it, so they keep saying, "Is that Rudolph?"  Since I never got around to the antlers last week and there are only 10 days, it will probably just stay like this. 

 Last week, I did create some combination cards for our upcoming Probability Unit.
Gingerbread Combinations

I  made a review Jeopardy Game for our semester Review. I bought the template from Kendra Passarelli on Cyber Tuesday and thought it was a better way to review than just worksheets. 

Jeopardy Review Game Editable Template

I made some percent task cards from Math in the Middle that I bought as well. 

Christmas Percent Word Problem Task Cards

I bought another Footloose activity from Middle School Math moments. I have three now, my students really love them. It is such good practice. I bought them first thing Monday morning and used them Tuesday. The sale was perfect timing for me. (Honestly though, I'd pay full price for these!) 
Ratios and Proportions Footloose and Problem Solving

Once again, my made its are all school related. I don't even have my Christmas stuff out at home. I am not a scrooge, just being lazy. But we have our annual Dessert Party for our neighbors and friends this coming weekend, so it will get done! I just need motivation. 

Can't wait to see what everyone has made! 

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