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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Big Apple!

 This year, just before Thanksgiving, I was fortunate enough to visit New York City. This sparkling city has grown to become one of my favorite cities in our country (that I have visited). In just a short time, my aunt, cousin, and I were able to pack in SO many wonderful things to see and do.


A view from the plane

I highly recommend The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. It was an amazing performance by so many talented artists.

The famous Rockettes!

The show ended with a beautiful scene from the Nativity.

Hakuna Matata!  The Lion King on Broadway was AWESOME!

Photography was not allowed.... but Stephanie was able to snap a quick shot on the sly!

The American Museum of Natural History is a giant building with several floors of animals, artifacts, and history galore. I love dinosaurs, so I could not resist a picture of good ole T-Rex!

Stephanie and I taking a break with Teddy Roosevelt!

A very exciting experience was being a part of the live studio audience on The View. We had awesome seats and were able to actually speak to some of the girls. And, oh, we were on TV for a split second or two!  :)

Gotta have that coffee!

The highlight of this experience was being so close to Candace Cameron Bure. I am a huge Full House fan. She is such a beautiful person inside and out.  Audience members went home with two gift cards, some jewelry, and her new Hallmark movie.  






Saturday, November 7, 2015

And the Award Goes To......

A great big THANKS to those of you who participated in the Linky Party. It was a lot of fun for me, and I hope each of you were able to take something back to the classroom and gained some more business!


Now, onto the gift certificate business.... I used Random.org to enter everyone into the drawing. Your number in the linky stood for your number in the drawing and was randomly chosen through that website. 




To claim your reward, please email me at gcutrel@tycomail.net and again, congratulations!




Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere!

Our first art project is complete!  The students had a really good time creating their Funny Face Pumpkins this week.  Since my artistic abilities score at about a zero, I rely on others to help me provide projects for my students to enjoy. Thanks to Deep Space Sparkle for providing this project on TpT!


I like to make sure the students know what to do step-by-step during any kind of art project, so I do it with them!


First, we colored the pumpkin, then the students painted over it.


As you can see, some students were very meticulous with their painting. I think I might have some artists on my hands!


After everyone was finished painting, and we allowed time for the pumpkins to dry, we cut them out.  This was a great informal assessment of fine motor skills as well!


And of course, we had to make our faces look FUNNY, so we used black, white, and green construction paper to do that!  Finn did an excellent job making his pumpkin funny!


  And the final product!  The students were able to be as creative as they wanted to be. Big eyes, sharp teeth, funky hair, and even a ninja pumpkin were created. The children had so much fun making these and I think they did a really nice job!  To integrate ELA into the project, we finished by completing a sequence activity; ordering the steps of how to carve a jack-o-lantern.



Thursday, October 1, 2015

2015: Here We Come!

Well, my baby Bulldogs and I are full force at school and we have accomplished so much already! The students have settled nicely into our routines - as am I, due to some changes in how I teach this year! I have always liked the idea of cooperative learning and small group instruction, but we are taking it to another level this year.  Mornings, we immerse ourselves in Literacy Centers and afternoons we have fun using Math Tubs. The students catch on to the idea quickly when I explain the concepts each week, and then it is up to them to complete their work in their center with their partners. Letting go of control and lecturing has been MY challenge, but it has worked beautifully for the students and they are showing progress and much success with this method.  Of course, there is always teacher-lead instruction to introduce a concept or objective first, then they disperse into their learning centers for supplemental learning. 


Below are some examples of our Math Tub activities. See something you want to try?  The caption will tell you where you can find these products on TpT!


Missing Addends:  In this center the students have to match the addition or subtraction sentence to the correct number that is missing.  They record their answers on the chart that is pictured, bring to me to check, and then return to their center to erase their answers. (I use dry erase markers and laminated paper for this activity).

Domino Fact Families:  The students love using the dominoes in math centers. We use them for a variety of math concepts. You can find this center idea on TpT by Miss Giraffe.

Fact Family Robots: Who doesn't love robots, right?!  This is yet another fact family game where the students have to match all the number sentences with their correct family members. They then record their answers. This is a free activity by Reagan Tunstall you can download from TpT. 

More domino action using ten frames!

Quizmo: An oldie - but goody! One child calls out the problems, and the others (usually 3 more) play the game.  They take turns covering the sums and/or differences.

Of course we integrate technology into our math centers. Here, a student is matching numbers to equal the sum of ten. This is a challenging activity, but the students love it!

Simple addition and subtraction timed games is what this little fella is doing.

I also use Starfall in my room for both reading and math. Here, my non-English speaking student is learning basic words in English. 

And finally, we are enjoying getting used to working in our math journals.  The students were asked to independently write four correct subtraction sentences on the wings of the dragonfly.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Adventures

Photo Creds:  The Pirate Queen Teacher


Many teachers deem summer as a restful time of the year.  It's a chance to get rejuvenated for the upcoming year; take some time for yourself and enjoy a work-free environment...... YEAH RIGHT! Not for this chick!  :)  My summers are usually jammed packed FULL of activities, events, and summer camps.  Not to mention, that I also work two part-time jobs.  I'm not typically one to sit still for long periods of time, so an eventful summer suits me just fine!


As soon as summer lets out, I head straight to the farm...potato farm that is.  Primary, my job is making sure the "good" potatoes are loaded onto trucks for delivery to the plants that make chips.  It's a HOT and DIRTY job, but easy money!  I've been doing it since high school so it has become a summer habit!

When I said dirty... you thought I was kidding, right?!  

The third week in July, I travel to Black Mountain, North Carolina where I am camp counselor at my church affiliated camp, which takes place at Cragmont Assembly.  The camp is a week long venture. We house approximately 200 students ages 9 to 18.  Camp is similar to one big vacation bible school. Counselors teach two classes daily and students can participate in recreational games, drama, art, and choral programs.  Worship service occur every night as well. Cragmont is a very special place for the adults and children - we have created lifelong friendships and give God the glory for it all!

Eastern NC counselors AKA my church family!

Just a few of the kids on the trails to the top of the mountain!

A beautiful group of ladies that bunked with me all week.

The day the students arrive, the staff heads to Ihop for a BIG breakfast!

How our classes look.... High school gals are much more attentive than what I am used to with my second graders!  :)

Amidst all the craziness this summer, my family grew by one! My cousin, Will and his wife Laura gave birth to their second baby girl.  After spending all day at the hospital, we were pleased to hear that Miss Carrie Ann had been born and was doing well. 2015 seems to be the year of the baby because another cousin and a really good friend are also expecting - all within the next couple of months!




I think now, I can finally say that things are slowing down.  I am ready to start the new school year and get back into a routine with my new babies!  Hope everyone has a wonderful year and lots of success!  





Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Linky

Welcome to Day 2 of Teacher Appreciation Week!  If you missed out yesterday, you can check out some great teaching secrets for your classroom HERE.   Also, you don't want to miss out on the two giveaways we are hosting this week.  If you didn't enter yesterday, you can do so now.  Make sure you enter for both prize bundles so you have double the change to win!



Enter to Win Prize Bundle #2 Here


Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here

Today, we are offering a collection of high quality classroom resources at a huge discount.  Below is a list of Best Selling Resources that have been discounted by 20%.  You can receive an additional 10% off at checkout by using the code THANKYOU.


My best selling product on TpT is one that is very useful if you are teaching an embryology unit. You can find it below - "Twenty One Days of Hatching Chicks."  I have created posters for each day of development for 21 days. I find this very useful as it gives my students an idea of what the embryo looks like before developing into a chick. Check it out below!



An InLinkz Link-up

We have also put together a collection of $1.00 Deals to help stock up your classroom for the rest of the year and next year.  I know I have added several of these deals to my cart.  Don't forget to use the code THANKYOU at checkout for maximum savings!


My dollar deal is a steal!  I have put my 100th Day Glyphs on sale for Teacher Appreciation Week. The students really enjoy creating little old ladies and men and they will get a kick out of them actually having names (inspired by the grandparents in my life).  Go check it out and rack up while you can on other $1 deals!



Good luck everyone!!
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Monday, May 4, 2015

Show Some Love! It's Teacher Appreciation Week!


It's a great week for educators! What's even better is the chance to participate in a linky and huge giveaway for those of you who work super hard at providing quality education for your students! I have always been appreciative of the teachers and professors that helped to mold me into the teacher I am today and for that, I will always be grateful! 

So, here's my chance to give back! I'm sharing some teacher secrets on "what works" in my classroom and I'm encouraging you to enter the contests for many, many, many awesome prizes! 
Real World Experiences
A big part of my teaching strategies involve exposing my children to things outside of the classroom. If they know that what they are learning is something they could encounter in everyday life, it increases their understanding and keeps them motivated to learn!
In the spring, we take the second graders to see a minor league baseball game. We read Just Like Josh Gibson in our reading series and study the history of the game that entire week. A field trip to a real ballpark puts the game into perspective for the little ones. 
The mascot, "Riptide" from the Norfolk Tides - the triple A team for the Baltimore Orioles. He always visits with our students when we are there. So much fun!
 
Technology
Since we already live in the age of technology, and just about every child knows how to use something electronic, I incorporate technology in my teaching daily.
On the computers, the students complete Reading and Math tasks on a website called ScootPad. They LOVE it! They earn coins for every problem completed and then redeem the coins for rewards. The great thing about this site is that it is Common Core Aligned! 

We use QR codes galore in our classroom - in just about every subject! Here, a student is watching a video on the life cycle (on an iPod) of a chick after having answered questions about the development of the chick on that particular day.

This student is using the iPad to scan the QR codes posted in the room about Groundhog Day traditions in the US and Canada.

Interactive Journals 
This has been my first year working with Interactive Journals and the kids enjoy working in them. It's so much better than working on a worksheet or in the workbook and it gives the students an early glimpse into what studying looks like when we review their pages.




In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I have joined a linky party with several other TpT stores for a HUGE giveaway! See the information below.  And remember, the more entries you have on the rafflecopter (below), the more chances you have to win.
Just take a look at everything you could win...One lucky reader will win this entire prize package!!!
Prize Bundle #1 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
We aren't finished yet....take a look at everything a second lucky winner will win!!!
Prize Bundle #2 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
Be sure to enter both rafflecopters for a better chance at winning one of these amazing prize bundles!

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #2 Here

You won't want to miss out on all the other great secrets being shared by successful teachers!  Be sure to check out all the other great posts below.