Twas the Week Before Christmas

I was going through old emails and found this poem I wrote my first year teaching! Yes, along with being fabulously nerdy teacher, I also like to fancy myself poet! Of course, I sat down to design this little Christmas Poem graphic:

If you are a teacher who knows how this feels, can I get an “AMEN!” ?  Does anyone else have school through the 23rd?! Whew! Merry Christmas to all you teachers out there, enjoy a much deserved break!

Oh, I almost forgot, here is a  gift from the Nerdy Teacher–Click here to download the Twas the Week Before Christmas poem.  Please feel free to forward this along to your fellow teachers as we deal with those candy-cane infused little monsters  munchkins.





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50 gigs FREE?!

Yes, you read that correctly…50 gigs FREE. I was doing a little research today for a Dropbox alternative and found Note: I still love Dropbox, but we are having some difficulties with it and our iPads. What caught my eye was 50 gigabytes of free cloud storage. You might be thinking what I was thinking, that must be too good to be true, but it isn’t! All you have to do is download the app on your iOS device and you get 50 gigs FREE. (if you don’t have an iOS device you still get 5 gigs). The 50 gig offer is only through December 2, so grab yours before it’s too late! is really similar to, except it doesn’t sync the files directly to a folder on your computer (which is, incidentally, one of my favorite Dropbox features) But you can still invite collaborators, share files, link to files, and there are plenty of applications that are compatible.  I’m going to start using it to share some of my bigger files that clog up my Dropbox…


Note: I am in no way affiliated or compensated by…I just really, really like FREE resources!

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Where to start confessing…

I don’t know where to even begin confessing…About a month ago I started a new job as a Technology Integration Specialist and I’m just beginning to figure out what on earth that means! I’m planning to continue sharing resources and ideas, but they might look a little different because I’m not just teaching 4th grade anymore!

Confession: I really miss being a classroom teacher! I hear from other specialists that I’ll get over this, but right now I miss having my own students and classroom and I miss knowing what I’m doing! Ok, so it’s kind of nice not having grading and the million+ other things that a classroom teacher has to do, but it’s also very weird. We’ll see, maybe by the end of the year I’ll never want to go back to the classroom…Speaking of here is one of the things that I get to do in my new job:

1:1 iPads in the classroom:

I am SUPER lucky to be working with an amazing second grade teacher to facilitate a 1:1 iPad pilot. Yes, you read that correctly, 1 iPad for every student. Swoon! (I’d go back to the classroom in a second for 1:1 iPads!!!) Not only was I given an iPad to use, but I have spent many hours working on plans and ideas for iPad integration in the second grade classroom. Check out my Diigo resource list here: iPad Resources

If you are lucky enough to have any iPads in your classroom you should check this out…I will continue to add to the list as I find more ideas and resources!

One that we are really excited about is ePud Bud and this could be used in any classroom, not just the iPad blessed ones!

You can use this website to make your own eBooks! You can scan pages in or have kids create them, but they can be loaded on any device or viewed on the website. Cool, cool, cool!

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How many is too many?

Blogs that is…how many is too many blogs?  I decided I needed some new blogs to follow. So I casually started surfing the web–2 hours and about 30 blogs later I couldn’t stop. Each amazing Media/Library blog led me to another amazing blog (darn blogrolls!).  

This wave of additions to my Google Reader got me thinking that my Reader could use some sprucing up. I went through and reorganized my favorite blogs into folders and then discovered “Bundles”. Eureka, I can share my folders with the world! So, I have added a tab on the top of this blog “Blogs I Follow” where you can check out what blogs I follow (I know, very creative labeling). Just another discovery on a hot summer afternoon 🙂

PS. I’m kind of a Google Reader evangelist, so if you don’t have a reader or don’t know what a reader is, click here to watch a great video explaining Google Reader in Plain English.

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What I’ve been doing

I read somewhere that bloggers are not supposed to acknowledge or explain any blog hiatus. You are just supposed to jump right back in like you never left. Well, I’m not going to do that. The Nerdy Teacher has been absent from this little blog for about two months now and this is what I’ve been doing:

Applying and Interviewing.  (For a new Job in Minnesota)

Moving. (Classroom and House from Texas to Minnesota!)

Graduating. (With my Master’s of Education in Technology Integration!)

Leaving. (Saying goodbye to my class, friends and Texas!)

Adjusting. (What have I done?!)

Celebrating! ( Moving, my sister’s wedding!)

So there’s been a lot going on.

Photo Sources:

1. Job Search

2. Changes

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Sweet Probability

Remember a few weeks ago when I said that our kids tend to be low in Graphing, Probability and Statistics? I’ve been doing lots of hands on activities to help my students really understand probability and statistics, here are a couple of the ones that the kids really liked:

Probability Spinner:

I got this idea from, this is a great website  for 3rd-5th grade math practice. Find the spinner activity here. This is what we did:

We discussed the probability of spinning each color, something we have done lots of times. Red is 4 out of 8, or 4:8, or 4/8, green is 1 out of 8 and so on… They get that, but they don’t “get” what it means. So, we did an experiment. I give the kids spinners and they used a paperclip to see how our probabilities matched up.

The kids worked in partners and spun 32 times, keeping tally of what color the paper clip landed on. They they determined what the actual probability of spinning each color. We compared their outcomes to our original probability and students were able to see that it was pretty close to what we had predicted. By the end of this activity they really “got” that probability is not just a random number that means nothing, it is actually predicting what would happen.

Candy Probability

Another fun activity to learn about probability is the probability of getting the different colors M&Ms. I think they might have liked this one better, mostly because I gave them a cupful of M&Ms 🙂

Here is the record sheet I made for this activity:

Candy Probability:

Here is what we did:

I gave each student a Dixie cup full of M&Ms (I used to buy the mini bags of MMs, but now I just buy the big bag and use mini cups…way cheaper!) They separated them into colors and counted them.

Then we determined the probabilities and created graphs of the different colors.

You can see this child chose a scale that was too big for his was really interesting to see them try to figure it out.

There was lots of learning happening here with probability and graphing. The kids had to reduce their fractions and compare the probabilities. They also had a choose a scale for their graph that worked for the number of M&Ms they had. Hands-on, minds-on!

There you have it! Two hands-on activities that will help kids understand probability and statistics…and give you a little snack (great for a Friday afternoon 🙂

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Share it Forward: Teachers I Admire

This week for Share it Forward I’m going to pass along some of the blogs and websites of teachers I admire!

1. Beth Newingham:

Have you checked out Beth’s blog lately?! Wow. This teacher inspires me and makes me want to keep working and blogging…maybe someday I’ll have resources and experiences that will be worth sharing 🙂 I love that this year she is posting a Top Ten list each month, and she is clearly not just throwing these lists together! Each one is full of links, ideas, resources and other materials that make this nerdy teacher green with envy.

You also should NOT overlook her website: How does she have time for all of this?! Love it.

2. Angela Bunyi:

Angela’s classroom library and resources are amazing. Her blog is FULL of ideas for reading and writing workshop and she tells it like it is, something that I really appreciate! Seriously, her blog is worth reading and go back into her archives, all her ideas are relevant and awesome.

3. Two Writing Teachers:

This has been an invaluable blog as I’ve started using Writing Workshop in my classroom this year…or at least my version of Writing Workshop. These two exceptional writing teachers share ideas and stories from the trenches of teaching writing as well as encouraging teachers to be writing themselves! You must check out their tabs at the top with quotes and tools. This blog is worth adding to your reader!

When I was writing this post I also discovered that The Two Writing Teachers have a website! (I usually read them from my reader, so sometimes I miss things!) This will be a new go-to resource for me! Everything is so organized and user friendly!

So there you have it, three blogs that I read on a regular basis and scour for ideas! There are about 60 other blogs that Google Reader brings me, but those can wait for another day 🙂

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