Friday, May 17, 2013

5 for Friday and My 100 Follower Giveaway!!!

Another busy week has come to a close.  I felt like the days went slowly, but yet the week went fast.  As I look back, I am wondering if I really got enough done.  I still have a ton more DRAs to do and not a lot of time to do them.  Yet, I seem to remember feeling this way every DRA season and somehow I always get them done.  Even if I have to forsake all teaching for several days.  :-(

Since it's Friday, it's time yet again for Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday linky.  I'm going to try to keep it quick because there is something super duper exciting at the end of this post and I don't want you to fall asleep before you get there.  Hehehe.

Gas Leak Investigation
I will start out with something not academic, which became one of the reasons I did not get as many DRA's done as I should have.  On Thursday, Heather called me into her room during prep time to see if I smelled gas.  I didn't at first, but when I got near her desk, I definitely did.  There was a strong natural gas smell.  

Not good.  

Since I had to go pick up my kids from library, I did not have time to help her figure out what to do, but I got the secretary to go check out the situation.  Then, I promptly forgot about it.  I took my kids to the computer lab and was trying to get a DRA done when the fire alarm went off.  Surprise surprise.  I should have predicted that.  

Feeling great frustration, I dropped set down the iPad and got my kids lined up and outside in a somewhat orderly fashion. Giving them constant reminders that "We don't talk during fire drills."  

Well, that rule went out the window after about 10 minutes.  Once the fire trucks pulled up with lights and sirens, we all knew it was going to be quite awhile before we could go back inside.  

In fact, we ended up spending 50 minutes outside sitting on the front sidewalk and then finally taking a walk around the nearby park to get the kids moving.  The whole time we were out there, I was kicking myself for not bringing the iPad and books with me.  I could have knocked out a ton of DRAs!  Hehehe.

Actually, probably not.  The kids were too distracted by picking dandelions and scratching sticks on the sidewalk.

So, why did we have to spend so long out there?  Where did the gas come from?  

Here is the official answer.  I am still not sure I really understand.  

"PSE&G informed us that they are engaged in a routine maintenance process in [nearby town], which involves releasing small quantities of gas into the air.  The related odor is currently detectable in some areas of [our school district].  The maintenance is scheduled to finish in approximately one hour, and the odor should dissipate soon thereafter."

Right.  Make sense to me... 

Plants, Plants, Plants
In science right now, we are all about plants, plants, plants.  A few weeks ago we planted seeds and did the bean in the bag window experiment.  This week, the kids had a lot of fun making their own Piecing Plants Together foldable flap books.  This is something my student teaching cooperating teacher did, which I loved and have continued to do with my students.  I have parent volunteers make layered flap books and then guide the students to label each flap with the different parts of a flower.  Then, they draw a flower over the flaps with the parts of the drawing corresponding to the flap labels.  I should have taken a picture of the completed book, but I hope you can get the idea from this one.

The kids get so excited about the flaps and drawing the flower on them.  When we start taking notes under each flap, they don't even realize how much work they are doing.  They are eager to fill up the white space with information about seeds, roots, stems, leaves, and flowers.  I have a cool PowerPoint and SMARTBoard presentation that I use along with this, which includes lots of great pictures, video clips, and songs.  At the end of each lesson, all of us get up, sing, and act out motions to the Plant Parts Song from Mrs. Jones' Room. 

Invent a Flower Project
This year I added something new to our plant unit: An Invent Your Own Flower project.  I found a free project sheet somewhere online, but it has no credits section, so I can't find it again.  Sad day.  I wish I could share it with you.  Anyways, the kids had a lot of fun creating their own flowers at home and then presenting them in class.  They had to name their flowers and tell what was unique about them.  Again, I was impressed with the creativity.  Some of the flowers grew in cookie dough, were edible and tasted like your favorite foods, provided electricity, or destroyed the world!  Little Shop of Horrors anyone?

Realistic Fiction Book Sort
This week hailed the beginning of Realistic Fiction Writing.  At least it was supposed to...  With the DRA going on, it's hard to have time to teach, let alone introduce a totally new unit.  However, I did have time to get the kids thinking about the realistic fiction genre by having them do a book sort.  I used this anchor chart to go over the features of realistic fiction.

Then, groups of students were given the task of sorting bins of books into Realistic Fiction, Other Fiction, and Nonfiction categories.  I wanted them to begin to recognize the unique characteristics of realistic fiction, which they did.  Their sorts were quite successful and the resulting discussion was productive.  Hopefully next week I will have time to actually teach more about realistic fiction. and to let the kids get writing.

Now, on to the stupendously exciting number 5 of my 5 for Friday...

Drumroll please...

It's time for my...
100 Follower Giveaway

I have 101 followers!!  

Woo hoo!! 

I am so excited to have reached this milestone.  I thought I would never make it to 25!  

Blogging has been an amazing experience of making friends and growing as a teacher.  I am so thankful to be part of this world.

To celebrate my blogging milestone, I am hosting my 100 Follower Giveaway!  I am so excited about the awesome and generous bloggers who have donated and the awesome prizes they are offering.  Since so many donated, I divided the giveaway into three parts.

Giveaway 1 is Winners Can Be Choosers.  The winner will get to choose prizes of his/her choice from 11 different TpT stores.  Plus, they will get to choose a prize from me.  I am offering a choice between a $10 TpT gift card and a $20 donation to Bite Back.

Bite Back is a program that helps raise money for mosquito nets to prevent malaria.  For just $20, two families can receive mosquito nets that will protect them all from catching malaria.  Malaria is a serious disease that ravages many parts of the world.  In fact, each year anywhere from 350-500 MILLION people are infected with malaria and around 1 million of those people DIE.  90% of those that die from malaria are children.  It's hard to believe, but malaria actually kills more people in Africa than HIV/AIDS does.  I seriously have trouble wrapping my mind around those facts.

Those are children.  Children who should be healthy and happy, attending school and playing with their friends.

Instead, their lives are cut short by a disease they probably would not have caught if they had only had a mosquito net.

As you can tell, there is a huge need for malaria nets in Africa and many other third world regions.  These nets can protect the family while they sleep, which is when the female mosquitoes bite and infect people.  Each net is only $10, but it can make a huge difference.

That is why I am offering everyone a choice.  A choice to help prevent malaria.

Now, I do not want to make anyone feel guilty if they would prefer to choose the TpT gift card.  That is totally cool.  However, if you would like to make a difference, I would be so excited to donate 2 mosquito nets in your name.

Giveaway 2 is a Plethora of Products.  The winner will receive 9 great products that are a $32 value.  Some great bloggers donated some awesome products, so I would definitely recommend entering to win.

Finally, Giveaway 3 is a chance to win the Pencil Sharpener of Your (My) Dreams from Classroom Friendly Supplies.  If you win this, know that I will be tremendously jealous.  I have seriously thought about rigging it, so only I can enter... Hehehe.  I didn't though, so definitely enter.  In fact, feel free to enter all three giveaways!!

Thanks to Michele Olson for the frame and Jennifer Jones for the font.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!  I can't wait to announce the winners!  The giveaway runs until Monday, May 27!


  1. Love the idea of the realistic book sort! :) I just might have to "borrow" it!
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. I love to buy books at Amazon and Scholastic!
    Polka Dot Kinders

  3. Anywhere I can find a deal!
    Crystal Shepherd
    The lamppost in 1st grade math

  4. I usually buy books from Scholastic Book Orders or I like to shop on Amazon. I also like to grab books from Kohl's when they have ones I like for the Kohl's cares because they are only $5.

    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. What a great give away! I buy a lot of my books through scholastic, or I go to library book sales a lot!

    Rebecca Thompson

  7. I like Scholastic or Amazon.

  8. What an incredible giveaway, Becky!!!! I am honored to be part of it!

  9. Amazing giveaway...crossing my fingers - what a wonderful way to end the year! :)

    1. Thanks for entering! I hope you do have a great end to the year!

  10. Oh...and I LOVE to buy books on Amazon!!!

    1. Me too! I just wish shipping was free!

  11. Congratulations! After that gas leak story, I'll bet you'll be doubling your numbers quickly. Never a dull day for teachers, eh?

  12. My favorite place to buy books is on Ebay. Retiring teachers and 'cleaning out' moms and grandmothers offer incredible bundles for low cost.

    1. Nope, never a dull day. :-)

      Also, I like the idea of getting books from retiring teachers. If only I knew some...Hmmmm...

      Thanks for commenting and following!

  13. My favorite place to buy books is Scholastic or Amazon.

  14. My favorites are Scholastic & Amazon.

  15. Scholastic, Amazon, Friends of Library sales, warehouse sales....LOTS of places!

  16. I have good luck at garage sales...when I visit my mom we hit them on Saturday mornings!

  17. I like to buy books from Scholastic, Amazon, Thrift stores, and garage sales. :)

  18. I buy books from Amazon or Scholastic!

  19. I go to the Scholastic warehouse sale twice a year. It is the best.

  20. Garage sales and scholastic are my go to for books!

  21. Garage sales, thrift stores and Half Price Books! :o)


  22. Scholastic points! wendy

  23. Congrats on 100 followers, Becky!!!!! I am so excited to be donating to your giveaway!!!!! :-) I, myself, and hoping to win that darn pencil sharpener that I once had that got accidentally thrown out! HAHA! :)

    Smiles from 2nd Grade

  24. Becky,
    Great giveaway. I REALLY like your $20 donation to Bite Back...great cause. I actually just watched a doc on the Panama Canal and the impact mosquitos and malaria had.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  25. The reason for the gas leak baffles me. Gas lines are part of an intricate network but there should have been precautions to prevent gas leaks in other areas for tests like those. I do hope that gets sorted so similar incidents can be avoided in the future. That said, congratulations on reaching the 100th follower milestone. Congrats to the winners of your giveaway too! -Maisie@JBW Technologies

    1. I know what you mean. The whole situation was so weird. Thanks for the congratulations and for stopping by to comment.

      Compassionate Teacher