Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Techy Tuesday - Moby Max

You can follow Tracy at her new blog: The Knit Wit Teacher

I'm linking up with Taking on Second for Tecky Tuesday.

Today I'm going to talk about MobyMax. If you are not using this program yet be prepared to add this to your list of classroom tools.

MobyMax is such an amazing resource because it has a FREE version and has an wonderful differentiated instruction component.

MobyMax allows kids to work at their own pace at their own level. It has Math, Reading, Language Arts, Math Facts, Writing, and Test Prep.

Students can "earn" game time by completing the lessons but don't fear...you have the power to turn the games off if your students are more interested in the games than the lessons.

If you pay the $79 for a year membership then you are granted progress monitoring reports that allows you to see how much a student is using the program, how well they are doing, and during their time in the program if they are on task.

While there are reports with the free version they are not as detailed.

From a teacher point of view I love this program because it pushes them and prepares for state testing. The wording and layout of the problems along with the test component all contribute to helping students with state testing.

Take a look at these student problems:

MobyMax gives the students lessons prior to the problems. If a student misses the problems it will show them how to do it. If they get stuck on the problem before they answer they can click a button to get a mini review. 

If you haven't tried out MobyMax then head on over and look it over. You may not have time to start using it this year but it's a great program to implement in August and use throughout the year. 


Monday, May 26, 2014

Top 10 Things To Do This Summer

I'm linking up with Mrs. Deanna Jump to talk about my Top 10 Things to do this summer. I'm still 9 school days away from vacation but my mind is already planning. In no particular order:

1. Play with my kiddos. I love this picture of them because you can see their personalities shine through. They are my world and I miss the little things while we are in school. I feel like crazy Mommy when I'm juggling work, home, and the kids. Summer lets me take a step back and enjoy them. I can't wait.

2. Work on 4th grade material. I have NOTHING for 4th grade. My files are filled with primary material. I'm a little stressed but it's a good stress. This is an adventure I can't wait to begin. I'm ready to fill up my TPT and work on blog posts. Our new design should be ready soon!!! 

3. Move Classrooms. This is just a small section I have packed and ready to go. This will be my 4th move and hopefully my last. I can't wait to paint and get started on my Super Hero themed room. It's going to be fantastic! 

4. Shop at Half Price

I love Half Price. Anyone else go in with a shopping cart ready to fill it up? My hubby always laughs at me when I go in. It's so exciting to know I'm going to come out with a whole cart full of books and not feel like I'm broke. This summer I'm hoping to stock my shelves with great chapter books. Anyone have any "Must Have" suggestions?

5. Bake:

I love to bake. It's a stress relief for me and something that I want to improve on. I recently discovered Sally's Baking Addiction and I must say I am now addicted. Her book is AmAzInG. Her recipes are FANTASTIC and her directions are easy to follow with clear explanations.  She walks you through each step with pictures and gives you tips and tricks along the way. If you haven't visited her site before Go. Now. 
Trust me on this. 

6. Vacation!!! 

Doesn't this this just scream relaxation? My family is planning a trip to the cabins this summer. This is a new trip for us but one we are very excited for. I'm not sure if I'm more excited for the pinball machine or the pool.....

7. Reading

Hi. My name is Tracy and I'm a bookaholic. 

I own 100's of books and have 100's more on my Kindle. While I love my Kindle I love the feel of a book in my hands even more. I love going back and rereading and finding my favorite parts. This summer I plan to read everyday. 

8. Wine Trail with the Girls

I have been friends with these girls since High School. And even though we've been spread out over states we always get together when we can. This year we are planning a wine trail. This is a new trip for us and one I'm pumped for. 

9. Teacher Friends

I have the best group of teacher friends a girl could ask for. I would be lost with them and I can't wait to spend the summer with them. 

10. Time w/ the Hubby

One of the perks of being married to a teacher is that he understands lesson plans, PT conferences, After school commitments, and everything else we do. Another perk....we are both off for the summer! 

9 days and counting my friends! We can do it! 

~ Tracy

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Indiana Bloggers Sale!

You can follow Tracy at her new blog: The Knit Wit Teacher

It's Indy 500 time here in Indiana and that means it's time for a sale! Several Indiana bloggers are linking up. You'll want to check this sale out. Trust me! Great products for only $1!

In my store I have my Back to School / Open House Giving Tree for Sale: 

My Back to School getting to know you activity pack: 

NWF practice Basketball pack. My kiddos love these.

And a Jamestown Colony Card game. Uppergrades love this one: 

I hope you are able to check out some of the amazing products that are on sale! Happy shopping friends! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Blogs We Admire!

      Moving from 2nd to 4th is slightly terrifying. Don't get me wrong, I know I'll love it, but it's a big jump for me. I've taught PreK-2nd, and I've always stair-stepped my way up. Jumping to intermediate is slightly scary. 

     When I found out I was moving, Michelle and I immediately began planning. Our teaching styles are very similar so I know that we can share materials.  Even with that though,  I began to search TPT and Pinterest for ideas. I've had to get out of primary mode and start thinking like an intermediate teacher. 

     I've stumbled across some amazing blogs and products along the way....which brings me to this post. 

     The amazing Amanda Wilp from:

organized The Secret Admirer challenge in the Facebook Free-for-All group. I'd never participated in this before but I was very intrigued so I took a chance and signed up. I'm so glad I did!

 I've stalked:

blog for awhile now and her TPT store had some products that I wanted to try out in 4th grade. Especially her Literature Studies packets. I can't wait to start lit groups with my 4th graders, yet at the same time I didn't know where to start. I looked through her products and noticed: 

    Andrew Clements is one of my favorite authors and one that my son loves. I asked to review that product and did my happy dance when Amanda emailed me with my granted request. 

    Just let me say, if you are looking into Lit groups, head over to Meg's TPT store and check out all of her resources. 

    Because I am currently teaching 2nd graders and No Talking is a 5.0 AR level book, I reviewed the materials myself. Sorry for not having great in action photos. I'll add them next year!! Because trust me friends, I will be using this product along with Meg's other Literature Study products. 

    What I love about this product is how it will make your students think about the book. I love the "Pausing Point" pages. Another plus is that you can use this pages with other books! They are not character specific. This product does an amazing job of making kids stop and think about character development, theme, story development, key events, character dialogue and more. 

    Reviewing this product has been a true pleasure and has me pumped to begin my journey as a 4th Grade teacher. Thank you Meg for allowing me the privilege! 

    - Tracy 


Friday, May 23, 2014

Five for Friday ~ May 23

This week has been pure CrAzInEsS!! I know I think that at the end of every school year but this week takes the cake. 

Meet Owyn & Gavin (O&G). 

My baby boys turned 5 this past Wednesday! Part of me can't believe it and the other part of me is thinking PTL. Raising twins has been an adventure. Raising identical boys... I'd say even more so. They are each other's best buds and yet they have days they are each other's enemy. They stay up late EVERY night talking in their beds and are always the first ones up EVERY morning. 

This past Sunday they also caused me some major anxiety. After some investigating I found out that they wanted to see if Baby Kitty would land on the pillow....

To see if he would land on the pillow they climbed on my oldest son's top bunk. Held Kitty over...AND. LET. GO!! 

Baby Kitty missed the pillow. When I heard Kitty crying the Momma was carrying her around the kitchen and Kitty was crying. I thought the Momma had hurt him. (Momma's had some issues). I put Baby Kitty on my chest and he laid on my for about an hour. It was about this time I realized Kitty hadn't moved. Panic set in. 

I put Kitty down on the floor and he couldn't walk and when I looked closely I could see he had a bloody nose.  Remember that it was Sunday so I had to wait until Monday to get him into the vet. 

About this time I started questioning O & G and the story came out.

After 2 vet visits we found out that Kitty had a concussion, some brain swelling, and a broken nose. The vet prepared me for the possibility of permanent brain damage and told me that if Kitty got worse or made no improvement then he would need to be put down. 

Nick and I took turns syringe feeding the kitty and taking care of him. Did you know that cats breathe primarily through their noses? And if they have a broken nose then when they try to eat they start chocking? I know that now! I also know that if a kitten has a broken nose then they can't smell which means when you try to force feed them they can't actually taste it so they don't understand what you are trying to do. It was a rough few days with feedings. 

We gave him medicine for the swelling and an antibiotic and we slowly started to see improvements. Today I'm happy to say that Kitty ate for the first time!! YAY! Trust me, you can't understand the relief I felt. It's not a good thing when you think your child killed the kitty. 

Kitty will now be known as "Lucky"

This past week we read "The Great Kapok Tree" to go along with this book and our Rainforest study I found a WONDERFUL resource on TPT. If you are a K-2 teacher I highly recommend this product.

Last week I realized that my kiddos needed a few geography lessons. We really needed to work on location and where we live. I sat down and got busy.

I plan on using this activity this coming week. I think my kiddos are going to like it and I hope the next time someone shows them a picture of Indiana they can identify it.

My school is having a major classroom swap. I'm moving into 4th but into a current 3rd grade classroom. The third grade teacher is being moved to 1st and the 1st grade teacher is being moved into my spot at 2nd. This means that none of us can move until someone moves. That being said....

I've started packing. We still have 9 days of school left but we have to be ready to move on day 10. Did I forget to mention that our office is moving and the bathrooms are being remodeled? What the means for us is that we need to be moved before the construction guys start so that we aren't in their way. These last 9 days are going to be busy, busy, busy.

How many days do you have? Are you as crazy as I am right now?

I'm starting to think about my new room and how to decorate it. I'm really excited about moving and my brain is going in a million directions with ideas. What's your favorite class theme? Decor?

Have any ideas/ suggestions? Let me hear them!