Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tried It Tuesday-Dance Mat Typing

Happy Tuesday!  Today I am linking up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried It Tuesday.
Today I'm going to show you a great free website to help your students learn proper keyboarding skills.  In this day and age it is essential that children develop this skill, and it's so hard to correct once they've learned the two finger typing method.  (I know several adults who still type with two fingers!)
The website is called Dance Mat Typing.
There are 4 levels - each one introducing a certain row or letter/number combination.  Beginners start at Level 1.  It introduces the home row first (with cute talking characters), shows you and tells you about proper fingering.
Here is an example from Level 4.  I like how the keys are coloured to indicate which finger should press which key.
My students really enjoy this website.  It is very friendly and easy to use.  I hope you found this useful.  :-)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Peek at My Week-March 24-28

I'm linking up with Jennifer at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for A Peek at My Week.
Mrs. Laffin's Laughings
Before delving into the upcoming week, let me tell you a bit about last week.  We used 'Thunder Cake' by Patricia Polacco for our shared reading and mentor sentence.  You can't do 'Thunder Cake' without making cake, right?  Here is a link to the recipe from Amanda Madden.  The cake was a hit!  We made it on a cloudy gloomy Thursday.  Only one student did not love it.  We also looked at some myths and wrote our own class myth to explain why we have recess.  It was great!

(Cute corner border frames by Mad Clips Factory.)
Now for this week:
In literacy we are continuing to look at myths and legends - noting similarities and differences between the two.  Then we are going to write our own myth or legend.  They are pretty excited about it!  The myths connect nicely to our social studies unit.  Our curriculum changed so now Grade 4's study Ancient Civilizations from 3000 BCE-1500 CE - a huge period of time, right?!  We are going to touch upon Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome... and focus in more detail on Medieval Times in preparation for our end of year field trip.
In math we are 'remembering' how to tell time and calculate elapsed time.  I had to buy an analog clock for our classroom...  At our new school, all of the clocks are digital.   (What are your thoughts about analog time?  At my children's homes all of the clocks and watches are digital.)
In science we are finishing up our unit on Sound.  We rotated through our stations last week.
Now, here's for the best part!  My iPhone has been having trouble taking non-blurry photos lately.  Thanks to Apple Care, a brand new iPhone will be delivered to my door tomorrow or Tuesday.  So I should be able to finally post good photos again.  Phew!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Sunshine Blogger Award

A big humongous thank you to Rachel at A Tall Drink of Water for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!  (If you don't follow Rachel already you should.  She is awesome!)
The rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award are:
1.  Post 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
3.  Nominate 11 bloggers you think bring sunshine to the world.
4.  Make up 11 questions for your nominations to answer.

11 Random facts about me:
1.  I only like movies with happy endings.
2.  I like a wide variety of music.  My iPod contains something from nearly all genres.
3.  I love all things Apple-iPhone, iPod, MacBookPro...
4.  I don't like melted cheese - it's a texture thing.
5.  I don't mind writing report cards.
6.  I always have some sort of noise on in my house - tv or radio.
7.  I hate being cold but don't mind being hot.
8.  I love eating out.
9.  I love musicals!
10.  I hate being late.  I would rather be early.
11.  I am a Diet Coke addict.

11 Questions from Rachel:
1.  Who was your favourite teacher?
I loved all of my teachers but Mr. H. had a special spot in my heart.  He was my grade 5 and grade 6 teacher.  He always seemed genuinely interested in us.
2.  What kind of car do you drive?
I drive a Ford Fusion.  It is about 5 years old but I still love it like the day I bought it.
3.  What is your perfect summer vacation?
I'm really lucky that we have been fulfilling my dream of two perfect summer vacations each year.  We do a long weekend trip to New York City and also a trip to Cape Cod.  The first provides the hustle and bustle and shopping fun I crave, while the second provides the more relaxing, beach going vacation.
4.  What was your favourite childhood cartoon?
I have never really enjoyed animated shows or movies.  I always preferred the real-life stuff.  But if I had to choose one, it would be The Flintstones - because I'm old.
5. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I used to be a night owl but have changed into a morning person.  I blame my husband 100% for this. I used to stay up late, sleep in... but now, even if we stay up late, I can only sleep in until about 6:00 and then I'm ready to get moving.  Crazy, right?!
6.  What is your best trait?
Perhaps being flexible.
7.  What is the first thing you do every morning?
Turn on my iPhone and check my mail, weather, Facebook...
8.  Do you have any pets?
We have 3 beautiful cats:  Rufus, Abby, and Cassie.  We spoil them.  They are the bosses of our house.
9.  What is the best part of teaching?
I love the relationships formed with my students.  I love watching them grow and learn over the years.
10.  Would you rather visit the beach or the mountains?
Well, it's our March Break...  (By the way, those are my husband's legs.  My toes are much prettier and my legs less hairy.  :-) )
11.  What is something you can't stand?
I can't stand being late!

Bloggers I nominate:
This is a very tricky one.  So many of my favourites have already been nominated.  I'm going to break the rules and nominate these 5 blogs:
1.  Ali at Teaching Powered by Caffeine
2.  Becca at Simply 2nd Resources
3.  Susan at Happiness is Watermelon Shaped in 3rd Grade
4.  Alison at Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'
5.  Caitlin at Miller's Science Space

My questions for you are:
1.  What teaching moment are you most proud of?
2.  What is one place in the world where you have never been but would love to go?
3.  What is one bad habit you wish you could kick?
4. & 5.  When and why did you start blogging?
6.  What is your favourite thing to do outside?
7.  What is your favourite whole class game that you use?
8.  What is the last adult book you read (or are reading)?
9.  What is the last children's book you read (or are reading)?
10.  What is the first thing you do when you get home from work?
11.  What is your biggest pet peeve?

Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy if you stuck with me through this long post.  The weather has been unbelievable in the Miami Beach area this March Break.  It has been warmer than any of our previous visits.

Thanks again, Rachel!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

And the Winner Is...

A big congratulations to Bethany at Fab and Fun in 4th for winning my Fake Birthday Giveaway!  It is pretty exciting to be 11 ½ now!  As always happens when there is no actual February 29th, I have enjoyed many many birthday celebrations already.  We have four more school days until our March Break... Can't wait!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have an amazing weekend!