Science Tools & Safety

Friday, August 30, 2013
I survived my 1st week of school!  Yay!  I am so totally exhausted but we’re off to a great start so I’m happy.  I’m dropping in with a quick post to share some resources that I found that are great for starting off the year in science.

I’m not sure why, but last year I had trouble finding resources for science tools and lab safety.  Last year I showed this video from YouTube.  It’s really intended for older kids, but it worked for my 3rd graders.

I recently came across this one.  It’s kind of corny and made us laugh.  It’s sung to the tune of Call Me Maybe so the kids were able to get into it.  In fact, they begged me to show it over and over and over again.  I think I have it memorized now.

I also came across this pack from Christina Cottongame at TpT.  It is A.Ma.Zing.  To me, the best part is the adorable science tools foldable.  Plus, Christina includes lesson ideas for teaching about tools and safety, foldables we can add to our science notebooks, and handouts.  Click on any of the pictures below to check out this unit for yourself.

I hope you enjoy your long Labor Day weekend!

Envelope Book *Flash Freebie*

Saturday, August 17, 2013
I know you have already heard about the Back-to-School sale at Teachers Pay Teachers.  I am so excited!!  I have been eagerly awaiting this sale for so long.  I have so many things I want to buy but I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting.  The waiting is almost over!

Now, for all you 3rd grade teachers out there who use the Journeys textbook for reading, I have something for you.  As I have been getting geared up for the new year and making plans, I decided to start the year off with a bang and make an envelope book.  This envelope book is to supplement A Fine, Fine School written by Sharon Creech.  I just love this story!

This envelope book covers the following skills:

story elements
character traits
character changes
text-to-self connection

Each page will also fit into a composition book if you would rather add them to a reading journal instead of making an envelope book.  If you’re interested, hop on over to my TpT store and check it out.  It will be offered as a FLASH FREEBIE for a few short hours so HURRY!

Have a great weekend!

Frixion Eraser Test

Sunday, August 11, 2013
A few days ago I posted about my new love with Frixion markers.  I was asked whether any eraser would work, so I decided to test some. I’m posting today with the results of my eraser test.

I’m going to start with how the markers erase when writing then move on to how they erase when they are being used for coloring.  I think that I’ll be using my markers mostly for grading papers and modeling work on the data projector.  Markers and pens just show up better than pencils.

For this test, I grabbed some erasers I found laying around my house.  I included the eraser that comes on the cap of the marker.  In my opinion, it works better than the rest.  The best part is the eraser is angled which makes it easier to use.

Here are the results.  All of the erasers worked pretty well.

Now for the coloring test.  I like to add a lot of colorful diagrams to my science journal.  In fact, I sometimes refer to my science journal as my coloring book.  With that in mind, I needed to see how the Frixion markers would hold up because I do tend to make mistakes.  I intentionally used the darker colors from the set since those would be the hardest to erase.

This is where I noticed a HUGE difference in the performance of the different erasers!!  The eraser on the marker itself is the clear winner.  You can still see faint traces of what I erased but it works good enough for me!  I noticed the other erasers had worn down the paper and if I had continued to erase, I would have created a hole.  The Frixion eraser did not damage the paper at all.  I am amazed!  I’m seriously considering getting the Frixion colored pencils.  Not that I need them - I just WANT them.

On a side note, check out some of the fuzzies left behind by the other erasers.  Frixion erasers don’t wear down so they don’t leave fuzzies behind.

Frixion markers are expensive but they are worth it.  They had to have been made with teachers in mind, or at least, with me in mind.  The cheapest I have found them so far is at Amazon.  Click on the picture below if you want to go check them out for yourself.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid endorsement, but maybe it should be. ; )   I bought these markers after stumbling across them on the internet.  I’m just really, really impressed.

Fabulous Feedback – August

Saturday, August 10, 2013
It’s that time of year again and things are cRaZy around here.  I’m dropping in for a brief post to announce that I’m joining Christina’s Fabulous Feedback linky

Last August I posted about my paper bag books.  If you missed the posts, you can check here and here.  I love being able to make interactive books to perk things up around my class.  The best part is they are easy peasy to make.

I recently received some encouraging feedback on my Paper Bag Matter Books from two wonderful people.  With busy schedules, I know it can be hard to slow down long enough to leave meaningful feedback.  I’ve been guilty of it, but it does really mean a lot to the seller. 

Anyhoo… to show my appreciation, I would like to offer gwdfdf and Chrissie Rissmiller a free product from my store.  Please email me at hootyshomeroom (at) gmail (dot) com so I can send you something special.

I’m Lovin’ It – Frixion Markers

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
I’m linking up with Covered in Glitter and Glue for What I’m Loving Wednesday.

Some other bloggers mentioned they loved using Frixion erasable gel pens so I checked them out.  All I could find locally was a 2 pack of black.  I snatched them up because I knew if I loved the pens I could get color ones from Amazon.  Amazon has everything!

I fell in love with these pens!  So, I hoped onto Amazon to order some in pretty colors.  Low and behold, Pilot also makes Frixion markers and color pencils!!  Who knew?! This is what I ended up buying.

They are the cheapest pens and markers around but they are definitely cool!  I tend to make mistakes (A LOT!) so having pens and markers that really erase is worth the expense.

Frixion markers work great in planners. 

Here’s how my planner looked after I finished erasing.  Dang – these markers erase well!!

In addition to using my new markers in my planner, I plan on using them in my interactive notebooks.  They are bright, erasable, and don’t bleed.  Check out this math entry:

Ooops. No biggie!

Here are some quick links if you want to go check out these markers for yourself.  These picture links will take you to Amazon.

Is anyone else in love with these pens?

The Frixion pens and markers have built-in erasers on the caps that never wear down.  Gotta love that!  However, I did a little experiment this morning to find out if any eraser would work.  The short answer is yes!  However, I found out that some erasers work better than others.  If you're interested, I can do another post to show (with pictures!) the results of my eraser experiment.

Freebie Palooza

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
We all love a good deal and it doesn’t get any better than FREE!  Each month I’m going to showcase some freebies that I particularly enjoy.  I’m hoping that by putting them all in one place it will be easier for you.

This is a great way to show your fellow bloggers some love.  If you want to join in on the linky fun, grab some of your favorite freebies and start posting.  You can post about your own freebies but be sure to spread the bloggy love by including a few from other people as well.  Tell everyone how valuable the freebie is and show them where to snag it for themselves. 

A freebie that I really like using in my classroom is “A List of Character Traits” by Mrs. R.  You can grab it at her TpT store HERE.  It’s a 2 page list of character traits that I have my kiddos glue into their reading journal.  They refer to it all year long when we’re discussing traits.

Since we add these to our reading journals, I shrink the pages so they both fit onto one page.  I used to do this with a copy machine by reducing, cutting, and pasting.  Now I do it with my printer’s dialog box – SO MUCH EASIER!!  Your printer’s dialog box probably looks different than mine but the concept is the same.  This is what I do when I shrink & print a pdf.

After we trim off the top, right, and bottom margins, we use the left margins as a glue tab.  The trait page hangs out of the journal so we fold it back.  You can see in the picture where I creased the page.

This is how the trait page looks folded up nice and neat in the journal.

If you only put glue under the left margin, then you will be able to lift the page up and write stuff underneath.  I have my students list their own traits.

This freebie is from the wonderful Kim Sutton.  If you ever have the chance to attend one of her trainings, you HAVE to do it!  She’s very upbeat and informative.  This is her Math Riddles Set #1 which you can pick up from her TpT store. She has a ton of math resources on her Creative Mathematics website.  In the download, Kim shows you how to set up a riddle board but, of course, I like to put everything in our journals. 

I have my students cut out the cards and glue them into their journals so that each card is a flap.  Math Riddles Set #1 comes with answers (thank goodness!), but I don’t share them with my students.  We pick one riddle a day and discuss possible answers.  I allow my students to pick the answer they like best.  Then we lift the flap and write our answers.  

I found this Fakebook freebie from Best Teacher Resources on TpT.  I’ll be honest – I haven’t used it yet but certainly plan to.  This is a great way to have kids show what they have learned about historical figures, scientists, and characters from novels.  I plan to add Fakebook to our journals so I trimmed off the margins and glued it in as a flap.  I’m going to have my students lift the flap up and add more details underneath.

I would LOVE to see some of your favorite freebies and how you use them in your class.  Please join the linky and share.

Monday Made It: Aug. 5

Monday, August 5, 2013
I can’t believe it’s already August!  Where did the time go?!  This is probably my last Monday Made It post for awhile.  It’s time to get all my previous projects together and set up my classroom.  Hopefully, I’ll have some classroom pics to share soon.

New project…
I made shelf markers out of paint sticks.  I got this idea from Mrs. Jones Teaches and I’m hoping it will help keep my classroom library more organized. I assign my students numbers each year.  The plan is for the kids to use “their” shelf marker when selecting a book. Not only will the kids know where to put their books when they are finished, but I will also be able to tell with a quick glance who has a book checked out.

Mrs. Jones’s shelf markers are definitely cuter than mine but I’m starting to feel the pressure to finish up with the crafty stuff so I can get the room put together. 

Another new project…
Lots of people have been adding READ signs to their classrooms.  I LOVE every single sign I’ve seen.  However, I decided to be a little different.  I created a TRY sign.  I want my students to remember to keep trying.  Sometimes things get difficult but you can’t succeed unless you TRY.

Old project…
I made this last summer but I’m sharing it anyway.  We do A LOT of cutting and gluing in my classroom.  That causes A LOT of trips to the trash can and that causes A LOT of commotion.  Last year I solved that problem by putting mini trash cans at each table.  It worked really well for me.  These are cheap pots that I bought at Walmart and decorated by adding fabric.

I can’t wait to check out what everyone else has been up to.  Have a great week!


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