Technology Fun & Writing Idea -- Wildlife Avatar


It's my second official day of summer and what did I do?  Attend a teaching conference of course! Don't feel to bad for me though.  I got paid for it (and for tomorrow too!) and they even included little sack lunches so we could sit outside in the lovely Colorado sun and eat with our colleagues.

I went to the educational technology session and got lots of new cool tips and tricks.  One of these I thought could be a fun end of year computer lab project, but I'm planning to use it as a fun back to school activity in the fall (as it is my summer if I haven't mentioned that already).

Students can make their own wildlife avatars at Build Your Wild Self (even the name sounds fun!).  Then, they can use these on edmodo as their profile picture (another new find for me today) or use them as a writing project.  They can write about why they chose the many different parts of their avatar, and/or build one for a neighbor as they talk with them about what they like best.  Pretty cute!  I'm thinking I could use them as one of our first projects for a class blog next year if I'm brave enough to start it.

I chose the seahorse because I was just in Monterey last week and loved, loved, loved the seahorses at the aquarium!  My avatar has a rat tail in honor of my first real pet, the black and white rat Stimpy who could jump out of a garbage can.  Her polar bear ears remind me of a character in The Golden Compass, one of my favorite books.  The golden lemur arms represent the lovely spray tan that I spoil myself with during the summer, and she's perched atop the Grand Canyon to remind me of the week I spent there working as a swamper on a Grand Canyon river rafting trip.

What would your avatar look like?  Try it out!

*Update 1/16/13 - Check out tons more awesome tech tips at Katie King's blog Queen of the First Grade Jungle!  She's hosting a Techy Tuesday linky!*
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Last Week of School - Camp Coyote

I can't believe the last week of school is here!  During my Teacher Appreciation Week TpT sale buying I got a lovely little packet with some great ideas for the last week of school.  Click on the picture below to link to the product.


After checking out her cool ideas I decided we're starting a new third grade tradition this year -- Camp Coyote!  The kids are beyond thrilled to bring in blankets and sleeping bags for the week, and I'm so excited this gave the kids the motivation to actually clean their desks this year.  My room is spotless (or as spotless as it can be this time of year), with all the desks moved out and ready for "Camp" to start tomorrow.  I'm printing out t-shirt badges, thinking of additional arts and crafts, cabin team names, and how to make a fire out of construction paper.  Thank you thank you creator of Camp End of the Year for the inspiration and ideas!


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Writer's Workshop Victory!

After a writing mini-lesson this week I was so thrilled to see these three little post-its on one of my kiddo's writer's notebook!  We've been talking about audience, purpose and heartbeat forever and it might finally be sticking.  Hooray!





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Perimeter, Area and Fraction Math Mosaics

Making mosaic portraits to teach area and perimeter in the elementary classroom from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Thank you to the awesome teachers on Pinterest who came up with this idea!  You saved us last week when we needed a fun community math activity to review fractions, perimeter and area.  Cut out a bunch of colored squares, get some art paper and you're ready to go.  The kids made self portrait mosaics and then found the perimeter, area, and fractions that would make their art piece a "Math Mosaic."  Sweet!

How did students find the perimeter you ask?  I had them count each square around the outside edge until they found the total perimeter in inches (each square was roughly cut to one inch).
Making mosaic portraits to teach area and perimeter in the elementary classroom from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Making mosaic portraits to teach area and perimeter in the elementary classroom from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Making mosaic portraits to teach area and perimeter in the elementary classroom from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Making mosaic portraits to teach area and perimeter in the elementary classroom from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Making mosaic portraits to teach area and perimeter in the elementary classroom from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Making mosaic portraits to teach area and perimeter in the elementary classroom from I Want to be a Super Teacher


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Getting Ready for Wonka Week

I know it's not good to bribe kids with candy, but with 12 days of school left I'm pulling out the big guns!  Last week I started putting up the Wonka prizes one by one on the most unreachable shelf.  I didn't say much, but the kids certainly noticed.  The silence with which I took them out and placed  them on the shelf definitely helped increase the mystery and anticipation.  When the bowl (see through of course - very important that they can actually see the small candy bars) showed up on Monday afternoon they could wait no longer.  Today was day 1 of Wonka Week and so far it's been a success!
Read more about setting up Wonka Week and get the free printable I use for Wonka Tickets here.


*If you like my blog please consider using the affiliate links above for your online shopping. This means when you click on these links I earn a small percentage of any purchases you make, but the prices stay the same for you. Thanks for helping to support my blog!*
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Teacher Appreciation Jackpot -- May 6th!


Hooray for Teacher Appreciation Week!  The very first Teacher Appreciation Jackpot, an amazing "blog hop" event involving over 130 bloggers is taking place on May 6th and I'm participating!  Hit the jackpot on May 6th as you pick up an insane amount of teaching materials for FREE!  

To show some appreciation for all those fabulous blog hopping teachers, everyone participating is giving away one of our TeachersPayTeachers products for free on that day! Each free gift will be valued at between $3 and $8, and the total is now up to over $600!

Because so many bloggers are participating, this event will be divided into three grade level groups. Each of those smaller events is being coordinated by one blogger as shown below:  

PK - Grade 2 
April McNair on A Modern Teacher  
Grades 3 - 6 
Laura Candler on Corkboard Connnections
Grades 7 - 12 
Adrianne Meldrum on The Tutor House

Hooray for teachers!  Stretch that blog-hopping, mouse-clicking finger and get ready to download some seriously awesome stuff on May 6th.  I can't wait!!!

*UPDATE May 5th*
My free product is my End of Year Math Reviews Combo Pack.  This includes my Geometry and Fractions Around-the-Room Review and my Story Problem Treasure Hunt.  Click on either of the pictures below to go to my TpT store to download them for FREE.  I hope you enjoy them and find lots of other useful freebies today!


In addition to the Jackpot Freebies, as part of Teacher Appreciation Week, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a 10% off site-wide sale from May 6-8.  Use the code TAD12 to receive 10% off any items you purchase during this three day sale.  My products will also be 20% off on these three days.  I know I'll be stocking up on some items I've had my eye on.  I hope you do too! 



*UPDATE May 7th*
The Teacher Jackpot is now over and my End of Year Math Review Combo Pack is now back to its regular price of $5.  However, you can still get 20% plus 10% off all of my items until May 8th.  Happy Teacher Appreciation!!






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