Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Beer Me!

Over the past few years I have actually begun to love beer. I’ve always been a Cabernet kinda gal but sometimes an ice cold IPA or Pilsner is in order. It's safe to say my newfound admiration of hops comes from my husband. He is always ordering craft beers when we are out to dinner or buying new 6-packs to try when we are at SPECS or HEB. So, when I was beginning my pallet creations my mind wandered to beer- I may have been sipping on one at the time but that’s beside the point. One of our close friends has a bottle opener screwed into the side of their kitchen cabinet and I always thought it was such a convenient idea, especially for a house with beer lovers. Obviously, re-selling bottle openers isn’t very creative so I decided to put a little spin on the idea and the custom pallet bottle opener was “born”.

I have made a few custom orders for close friends and family as well as a couple on Etsy. Some include; the state of West Virginia, the state of Texas in Longhorn burnt orange, a burnt orange Longhorn head (Hook 'Em Horns!) and a Texas State bear claw. 
I love making these because I know that they are special to the people who are ordering and/or receiving them. It’s something different and personal and there’s no better feeling than knowing you were the one who created it for them. If you can't get enough of these, check out my Etsy page and order one! You'd be utterly adored by the whomever you give it to!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Guess Who? Fun with Geometry

Who said geometry in the upper elementary grades can't be fun? Although the 4th and 5th grade standards get more complex with classifying shapes and putting them in hierarchies- you can still make it entertaining. 

Last year I stumbled upon this blog post, loved it, pinned it, and then forgot about it. I can’t tell you how many times I have done that! One of my New Year resolutions was to actually look through the ideas I’ve pinned/saved before taking the time to search for more and good thing I did! The archived Quadrilateral Quotes blog was rediscovered. I decided to take her amazing idea and add a little bit more depth to it. I started out by making my own quotes and quadrilaterals and letting the students match them on a giant anchor chart. 

I made sure to laminate them and use sticky tack because I had a hunch the students would be moving some things around and sure enough, they did.

After they matched the shape and description, I let them choose the polygon they wanted and create their own character. 

I made sure that they used all of the descriptive attributes such as; sets of, parallel sides, acute angles, perpendicular lines, etc. I didn’t want them describing a square by saying “I have four sides and four right angles.” We talked about how in fourth and fifth grade they should be using more expressive and specific attributes to describe shapes. This also happened to line up perfectly with language arts since they were working on using quotation marks and punctuation correctly.

It was wonderful to see their creative sides emerge in both the creation of the creature as well as their quotes. Some students even asked to use the protractors to measure the angles of their “creature” for a more accurate description! I placed them on my door and everyone passing by seems to love them. I can hear other students reading the quotes and guessing the shape.

 If you like this idea, check it out in my TpT store.

I also have task cards and activity sheets that correlate to these 4th and 5th grade geometry standards!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine's Celebration

It took me a while to decide on a cute Valentine's Day idea for my students because every time I would find one, another would catch my eye and another and another... So, after scrolling through pages upon pages of Pinterest ideas and finally realizing I was running out of time, I committed to Rolos.
It was quick, inexpensive and most importantly, adorable! I bought the clear plastic bags from the $1 section of Target (seriously dangerous when you are a teacher- or just a human) and a Valentine's size bag of Rolos. Since I work with about 12 students I got away with buying one bag although for a whole class you'd probably want a couple. After dividing 4 Rolo candies into each bag I printed out the saying, "I like the way you roll!" and simply stapled it to the bag.

My fourth and fifth graders loved it. Most of them gave a little laugh after reading the saying, which is what I was going for. Happy Valentine's Day Ya'll!!