Saturday, December 12, 2015

Shutter + Christmas Cards

A little shutter made its way into our Christmas decor this year! 


This faithful little shutter sat un-painted and hidden for the past two years because I couldn't figure out what to do with it.  I even moved it into our new house hoping inspiration would strike one day. A can of red spray paint and glitter blast brought this bland shutter to life. Now it's home to Christmas cards from family and friends. 

We have the perfect spot for the shutter(s) on our landing. I was so excited to keep cards on display showing off cute pictures of family and friends.

Shutter number one is filling up! It's almost time to bust out the second shutter.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Watch Out Discovery Channel! We're Space Experts!

Let me start by saying, this was one of those projects where I wasn't really sure what was going to happen. I knew what standards I was teaching and gave each of my students a solid rubric - but from there I was anxious to see the direction it went. I can honestly say I learned a valuable lesson about trust and being willing to try - even when you think it may be too much to handle.  I was so amazed by what the students created together. It was a swift reminder that I don't always have to be in control of every little detail. Hop over to our YouTube channel to see what I mean. 

Now, let's get down to business. Who can get me in touch with Discovery Channel so we can start broadcasting our knowledge of the universe? Email me. :)

This project was broken into three different phases. Overall, it took us about 5 days total (or five class periods of 50-min each). The last day was more of a catch up/clean up/submit to YouTube. 

First, we broke out to in expert groups based on interest. Students were able to choose if they wanted to research the Sun, Moon, or Earth. On Google Classroom, I provided a "research guide" with specific questions about the Sun, Moon, or Earth (depending on their topic of research). I tailored the questions to our specific standards to ensure students were researching the appropriate facts. Plus, I provided specific links because I didn't want my students to get lost in the world wide web - it can happen you know!

The next step was to create informative movie clips about their respective topic. You can view those on Google Drive here. This is where the fun began! Students collaborated in their expert groups with a partner to develop a script for their movie clip. They were informed their movie clip would be used in a collaborative iMovie in the following days. In our school Maker Space, we have a green screen available - so we decided to do some filming in outer space thanks to the DoInk app!

Once partners had filmed a movie clip, they AirDropped it to their partner. The final step of the project was to form a collaborative group with one Moon expert, one Sun expert, and one Earth expert. From there, students put all of their movie clips together and began the editing process. Students had access to their rubric/checklist via Google Docs at all times. Prior to each class, we would review the rubric to remind students of what was expected for the video. You can check out the rubric here

Today, students were quite giddy when they heard their videos were officially published to YouTube (with parent permission!).  They were so excited to go home and subscribe to our classroom YouTube Channel. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Figurative Language in Literature

Our figurative language study is in full swing! This week, we are focusing our efforts on finding examples of figurative language in literature, music, and in our daily lives. Inspired by a colleague, I am challenging my students to listen and think about figurative language all hours of the day. As they find examples of figurative language, they are invited to add those examples to our class collaborative Google Slides. 

Did I mention we are 1:1 now? Life changing, folks! We just recently started utlitizing Google Classroom now that we are 1:1 with iPads. 

To begin, I created a bare-bones Slides project with the different types of figurative language we study in 5th grade. After assigning the collaborative Google Slides in Google Classroom (how many times can I say Google in this post?), we defined each of the types of figurative language as a class. This isn't the first time we've discussed figurative language, so the definitions were more of a refresher after the long holiday weekend. 

Then, I partnered the students and gave each duo an opportunity to pick a book from my special pile of "figurative language friendly" books. Students read the book together and were adding to the Slides in a matter of minutes! We had so much editing happening at once it caused a bit of panic. We'll refer to that as GAFE Growing Pains. :) We did some troubleshooting and solved the problem with "disappearing" text. 

"Owl Moon" by Jane Yolen 
"Pigsty" by Mark Teague

Here's a snapshot of the titles we used. There were several more I found online, but I didn't have access to those books in my personal library or our school library. 

If you are looking for good books to add to your mentor text stash or your classroom library, I highly recommend the following titles! I apologize to your bank account in advance. 

Pigsty by Mark Teague
Fireflies by Judy Brinkloe
My Mama Had a Dancing Heart by Libba Moore Gray
Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee 
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Yesterday, I Had the Blues by Jeron Ashford Frame
Parts by Tedd Arnold
Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger

What books do you use to teach figurative language? Share with me!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

My Two Cents

I think about how much students are always watching my actions. They see my in the grocery store (ignore me while we're there but then tell me how they saw me buying chips at Hyvee the following morning.) They are always watching for my example on how to react in situations. They watch how I treat their peers and how I respond to situations when I'm upset. They make sure I say the Pledge of Allegiance with them every morning. Heck, they even watch when I sneeze. True story: while teaching second grade, I was discussing the importance of washing your hands after your sneeze to prevent spreading germs. One student piped up and said, "I know Ms. Furnell sneezes in her elbow! I've seen her do that before!" Whew - that was a close one. Good thing I wasn't sneezing in my hands otherwise I would have been ratted out... quick! 

My point:  kids are always watching for the example of how they should act.

I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I do strive to share the positive -- spread awareness on topics close to my heart and use social media as a platform to make others feel good. Would I want my kids to see what I post on Twitter? Sure I do. Would I want my nieces and nephews to see my blog? Of course.  

I often use Spiderman as point of reference in my classroom. 
"With great power comes great responsibility." 

I'm usually saying these famous words in regard to our science experiment or iPads. However, I think we can apply it to social media. We have great power with social media to be the change we wish to see and promote positivity and kindness OR we have the power to put a damper on those around us with our negativity. We also have a responsibility to teach our future tweeters and Facebookers how to be kind "behind the screen" and treat others (friends and strangers) with respect and dignity online just as we would face to face. 

Last week was difficult watching post after post riddled with negativity about everything going wrong in the world. I, personally, took a break from social media because it became too overwhelming to read.

I know life isn't always sunshine and roses. Trust me - I get it.
However, think of how contagious a small smile can be - can't we have the same affect with our posts online? Can't we help spread happiness online just as we would in person?

So maybe... Just maybe! If we start spreading happiness those in the future will follow in our footsteps and spread kindness online as well. 

I'm in. Who's with me?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sure.. I Enjoy Football

I can't exactly classify myself as a "die-hard" football fan. Let's put it this way, I enjoy going to games for the jumbo soft pretzels and seeing my friends - not necessarily in that order. I have fond memories of attending Chiefs games with my family, Mizzou games with my friends in college and now my husband, but I'm not the type to remember the score... who we played... those awesome plays... Nope. Not me. 

Luckily, my husband loves me through it. 

However, when I found out a certain Fantasy Football draft was going to be held at our house, I decided to:
a.) find other plans for the night

when that didn't work....
b.) invite myself
c.) class up the join
d.) decorate, cook, and decorate some more

After some research (you think I'm kidding), I matched NFL teams to my dishes. 

We enjoyed Philadelphia Eagles & Cheese Sandwiches
(Recipe from Taste of Home)

Buffalo Bills Chex Mix 
(Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats)

How about some Seattle Seahawks Summer Sausage?

No party is complete without dessert....
Kansas City Chiefs ScotCHaroos (this was a stretch, but delicious!)
(Recipe from Pillsbury)

My work here is done. 

P.S. Who won the Super Bowl again? 
I'm kidding.. I'm kidding. 

Kind of...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Couples Shower Fun: Hartleywood Game Night!

There are few things I love more than hosting people in our home. Ever since I was a young one, I've loved to entertain and be a hostess. 

When we had an opportunity to host a couples shower for two of our very great friends who will be getting married in November (friends who helped us tear down wallpaper I must add!), I volunteered our home immediately! 

After brainstorming a bit with the bride and groom to be, they both suggested a game night! After some pinning and punny conversations with my husband, we hatched the idea to host, "Hartleywood Game Night" in honor of the future Mr. & Mrs. Hartley! 

As usual, I reached out to my super talented design friends and ask them to whip up a few things for the party. My friend Maggie (you may remember her talents from our wedding) created the Price is Right sign with the future Hartley's hashtag and a graphic for our Family Feud game! I was able to decorate the house with the amazing game show style signs! 

Our first game of the evening was... you guessed it... The Price is Right! We had guests at the par-tay shout out prices as the bride and groom competed to win each of the household items. 

The Handsome Game Show Host! 
Our second game for the night was Family Feud! Thanks to Youth Downloads and his amazing Family Feud PowerPoint, we were able to play Family Feud - wedding style! Did I mention we had a pretty handsome host too?

We split the room into Boys vs. Girls and let the games begin! 
It. Was. Awesome. 

Another one of my oh-so-talented best friends made these adorable Wheel of Fortune inspired cupcake toppers! 

Kudos to Abby Graves!
Guests were invited to leave well wishes and advice for the happy couple on a Jenga block. At the end of the party, Elyse and Tyler took the game home! 
The kitchen was full of yummy treats, but among the deliciousness was the WORLD FAMOUS Dicus BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders and homemade BBQ sauce! 

I couldn't get enough of Maggie's amazing game show graphics, I stuck one on each of the food labels as well. 
No Leftovers Here!

A great night spent with great friends! 
How cute is this happy married couple to be?

We Can HARTLEY wait until November 7! 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Photographing our Morning Procedure

Tuesday of this week began my SIXTH year of teaching! As each new year approaches, I find myself slightly changing our back to school routine. I imagine I'm not the only one who changes their plans from day-to-day and year-to-year. :)

One very important procedure we have to have down is our morning procedure.  Students begin coming into our room at 7:50 and we are out the door for specials by 8:12! Students have to check in, write assignments, get unpacked, etc. etc. There's a lot to do in that short period of time!

Last year, I wrote about using the "My Job, Your Job, Our Job" model to create our morning procedure. It worked wonderfully - my kids loved it. They knew the routine very well. 

This year, I decided to switch things up a bit. My kids were eager to start using our classroom iPads and I felt the morning routine would be the perfect opportunity to start. 

I grouped students by birthday (original, I know!) and asked them to take photographs of their morning responsibilities. This would include using the restroom (no bathroom pics please!, writing assignments, sharpening pencils, etc. 

After a quick tutorial on taking pictures, I sent the students on their merry way. 

This lesson also provided an opportunity for me to teach students more about our Connected Classroom. Using the Apple TV, I was able to demonstrate the "AirPlay" function and how to "AirDrop" images from one device to another. 

Once students had taken photographs around the room, we gathered together on the carpet and shared our ideas. While students were sharing, I assumed the role as the "Note Taker" and told students I would collect all of their information in a fancy document. 

Honestly, they thought of things I didn't even think of! 

It was a great way to incorporate technology into an often "boring" part of the back to school routine. 

Tell me... how do you teach routines in the classroom?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

It has been a long time since I've read a book that kept me up in the wee hours of the morning to finish reading.  

For the month of August, my book club chose to read "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah. From the moment I opened the book and began reading the story of Vianne and Isabelle during World War II - I could not put it down. I toted the book around with me everywhere I went in hops to find a free moment to continue reading. 

Be forewarned that your heart will break and you will ache for the lives lost during World War II and the cruelties so many endured. Throughout everything, The Nightingale tells a story of hope, passion, and survival. 

I highly recommend! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tying the Knot - To Top it Off

During the wedding planning process, Etsy and I became quite close. 
Photo Credit: MNC Photography

One of the items on my "to find" list was a custom cake topper for our wedding cake. I spotted the shop Better Off Wed and I knew I had to have her make a cake topper for us. 

Photo credit: MNC Photography
I wasn't planning on using gold tones in our wedding reception until this beauty arrived in the mail, It's sparkly gold color inspired me to include more gold tones in the reception decor. 
Photo credit: MNC Photography
Perfect. Just perfect!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Let's Celebrate!

My list of favorite things about teaching grows each and everyday. Here's one of the things I love about being a teacher (put quite nicely by Todd Whitaker):

One of my goals for this brand-spankin' new year is to celebrate more. One way to celebrate more is with birthdays. We've all got them! Each one of my students deserves a day where they can be truly celebrated. 

Therefore, I present to you our birthday treats of room 52:

I made my schnazzy birthday tags with KG fonts, ribbon, and tasty kid-approved snacks. 

You can download your own copy of these birthday tags through Google Drive here.  

How do you celebrate in your classroom? 
Share with me! Help me reach my goals!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Bench for Bruce

Yes - I'm sitting on the toilet. Awkward.

Let's just take a minute and remember this bathroom. 

Our first house project was ripping down the dreadful wallpaper in this master bathroom. You may remember this post.  I'm standing by my previous statement: Please don't ask me to help you tear down wallpaper. Please! I beg of you. 

Along with the wallpaper, we invested in new faucets, hardware for the drawers, and a new paint job.  My original intention was to spruce up the bench that came with the house. Unfortunately, we thought it would be a good idea to use that bench as a step stool during de-wallpapering and it was destroyed. Oops.  

R.I.P. brass bench. You lived a good life. 

Since then, I've been hunting for a NEW bench. 
My hunt was unsuccessful. 

Yesterday, I was walking around a flea market in my hometown and this bench popped out to me. It pleaded with me to save it. 

$10 later... it was saved!

I started by peeling off the existing cushion. The cushion had been repurposed three times before and had enough dust in it to fill my garage. 

It. Was. Gross. 

I gave the bench a new paint job with spray paint. Then, I picked up a yard of fabric at Jo-Anns, a foam cushion, some batting, and rewrapped the plywood that came with the bench. 

The highlight of this experience was investing in my first staple gun. My crafting possibilities are endless now - thanks to my new ($12) staple gun!

Here's what it looked like in the bathroom before it's little makeover:

And after it's 24-hour makeover!

Let's be honest... 
We all know who is going to take over the bench. The boss - Bruce. 

Did I mention we got a cat? Oh yes, we have a cat now. 

Hmm.. what shall I staple next?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tying the Knot - Early Morning "Donut" Call

What's better than finding a bag of fresh donut holes waiting for you the morning after a wedding reception? Not much, folks. Not much!

For each guest that stayed at the Hotel Bothwell for the evening, they were treated to my absolute-favorite guilty pleasure: donut holes.

The donut holes arrived from heaven and were waiting outside each and every door at the hotel. 
Oh, wait. I mean they came straight from the Sedalia favorite, Papa Jakes Donut Shop. 

Let me tell you a little bit about Papa Jakes. 

If you arrive at Papa Jakes later than 9:00 A.M., you are out of luck. No donut holes for you! They sell out QUICK - especially on the weekends. 

 Every slumber party I've hosted since I was a little girl included donuts from Papa Jakes. My dad would wake up at the crack of dawn and get to Papa Jakes so we could have donuts when we rolled out of bed at 10. 

Hopping off the bus when I was in 4th and 5th grade, I was taunted by the smell of the donut shop because my elementary school was right next door. 

My girlfriends and I would meet at Papa Jakes in high school to have breakfast together. 

My (fellow-donut-entusiast) nephew Beckett and I enjoy trips to Papa Jakes together. 

It's just "the place to go". 

Your life will be complete once you've had Papa Jakes. 

Seriously, your presence meant a "HOLE" lot!

Now.. Go Treat Yo'Self!

More details coming soon.
Catch up on my other wedding posts here

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tying the Knot - The Rehearsal

June 19, 2015
Perhaps it's the teacher in me, but I assigned everyone an activity at our rehearsal. Oops. 

You can the girl out of the classroom... (for the summer)

Each guest was invited to complete a Mad Lib about "The Happy Couple" which happened to be Scott and I.  The Mad Libs asked guests where they traveled from, how long they had known us, and to leave us with some advice. 

Much of the marital and relationship advice included to be kind, laugh, respect one another, tell jokes, maintaining personal hygiene (very important!), and always remember why we fell in love to begin with. 

I purchased the Mad Libs for our rehearsal through Groopdealz earlier this spring, but there are many options available on Etsy. Click here to see more. The set we purchased can be found here

The best part was reading  the responses once we were home and settled after our honeymoon. I have to give credit to our friends and  family - they are very creative with their adjectives!

For dinner, I was excited to include a few personal and family-centered details.  For the main course, guests were invited to build their own burger. On two chalkboards, we encouaged guests to build the classic California favorite, "Big Mike" and the Sedalia, Missouri classic, "Guber Burger". 

 Why the "Bike Mike" you ask? Ask anyone in central Missouri about Burgher Haus and they'll be able to tell you about the great family-owned restaurant in California, Missouri.  Scott's family has owned and operated the Burgher Haus since 1977.  One of the many gems on the menu is the "Big Mike".  I love visiting Burgher Haus with Scott because (a). everyone refers to him as Scottie (b). we get hugs from family members (c). the food is always amazing and (d). Jane's bread pudding (which happened to make an appearance at our wedding, too <-- details coming!)

Why the "Guber Burger"? Oh, I'm glad you asked. Whenever anyone asks me where I'm from, I always proudly state, "I'm from Sedalia, Missouri - home of the Missouri State Fair and the Guber Burger." Then, I get to rattle off all of these really fascinating facts about my hometown and leave people completely and utterly amazed. 

We were surrounded by so many loving family and friends the entire night - and it was amazing. Just the tip of the iceberg for the entire weekend. Still counting our blessings (almost) a month later!

Writing about all of our wedding details is making me a little emotional - in a good way of course!
Catch up on our details here

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tying the Knot - All the Little Details

It happened!
We said, "I do!" 

Seriously, it was the best day ever. 

Now, we get to spend our forever and ever together and that sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me

 My next few blog posts will be dedicated to sharing the little details from the wedding. All of the little details came together because of incredibly talented people in our lives. 

Guests who stayed the night at the  Hotel Bothwell were treated to a welcome bag upon check-in. Each bag was stuffed with treats for their stay in Sedalia and a welcome card detailing the events for the weekend. 

Thanks to my very talented friend, Maggie, and Emily from Fox and Gypsy for turning my jumbled ideas via email into a welcome card masterpiece. As you can see below, the welcome card included the ceremony details, reception timeline, a little background on the Mr. and myself, and some activities to pass the time. 

Isn't it incredible? Lets all band together and encourage Maggie and Emily to start an Etsy shop to share their talents with the world. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Bringing Passion into Science

We always wrap up our year in science with informational writing. For four years (the entire time I've been a 5th grade teacher), I have changed the project. Fourth quarter would roll around and I would get the itch to switch things up a bit and make the project more fun and even better

Back in January, I read the book "A More Beautiful Question" and was inspired to structure my informational writing unit around asking an "un-googleable" and more beautiful question. We used the Genius Hour approach to form our research topics and my kids were OFF.  You know you've got your students hooked when they asking to write ALL day.  

I wish I could have bottled that excitement and engagement for writing and sprinkled it throughout the year when we needed a little bit of motivation. Hmm.. maybe I should call Shark Tank?

Fast forward to 4th quarter in science. At this point, we've wrapped up our state testing and my kids were ready for a new project. I used the same approach as earlier in the year and asked the students to focus on a topic (science related) that they were passionate about. 

On day one... I walked through the thinking process myself. I narrowed down my absolute-favorite science subject (solar system) and started thinking aloud to help pinpoint a specific question. Through all of my thinking, I came to the big question: how can humans live on the Moon? Then, I sent my scientists on their merry-thinking way. 

On day two... I introduced our nonfiction magazines. I projected a picture of Sports Illustrated and asked my kids to discuss what kind of information I would be reading in this publication. Hands flew up in the air and everyone told me it was about... sports. I showed a few other magazine covers and had similar discussions. I wanted to illustrate the idea that some magazines are meant for specific audiences. I'm only reading HGTV magazine because I'm super into home improvement right now! You won't find me reading a Sports Illustrated anytime soon.. sorry Scott. Then, I had my students break into small groups based on their passions. These small groups had the task of designing a magazine cover and picking a title. 

From there, students took their passion projects through the writing process and published magazines! 

This may be the project I'll be repeating during year five!

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