Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It #7

Holy cow!  Is it already time for another Monday Made It?  It's hard to believe that the week has already flown by!

For as much as I was an overachiever last week, I feel like a complete and total slacker this week. (Don't freak out...I do have a couple of Monday Made Its way at the bottom of this post, so stay with me!)

What have I been doing? know how all teachers have a list of things they wish to do over the summer?  I've been putting off so many little things that I really want to do with my son while he is still young and doesn't mind hanging out with his mom...

So, I had a list of things I absolutely had to do with my eleven-year-old that just won't wait for another summer and we did them...this week:

1.  Go to a real DRIVE IN MOVIE!  This has been on my summer list for the last four summers and I decided that I would never ever forgive myself if another summer went by without doing this!  So, the hubster and I packed up the car and put my son and his buddy in the back seat and headed out to see the new Batman movie.  We all loved it and the boys loved the whole drive in movie experience!  We will definitely do this again next summer!

2.  Hit Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL...REAL HARD!  Noah's never been there, and if you are a parent of an "only," like me, you know that sometimes it isn't the most fun to ride a roller coaster, screaming your little heart out, next to...your mom!  (Dad's a puker, so this is never really an option!)  Anywho, we were able to go to this amazing amusement park with a buddy and his family and had an absolutely, positively AMAZING DAY...that included absolutely no puking!  This is another experience that we must repeat next summer!

3.  Go get ice cream...OFTEN!  We had ice cream every day last week and I don't regret a single scoop or calorie!

4.  Read a book with my son.  Noah and I have done this a few times.  I buy two copies of a book and we read and discuss...for fun!  This year, Noah chose the book.  I wasn't sure how much I'd like it, but it was THRILLING!  We went out and bought the rest of the set.  Noah's almost done with the third book and I'm still working at number two, but this has been so much fun!

So...if you have a list of stuff that you've been putting off until "tomorrow," what are you waiting for?  Seriously.  This has been a week that has been positively great for my soul!

My Monday Made Its are certainly less than inspiring.  I did put together a couple of containers of the "Smart Beads" that have been invading Pinterest as of late.  There are lots of different ways to put these together.  I found these cute little "teacherly" paper buckets at WalMart for less than $1.00 each and filled them with Mardis Gras beads that I had laying around the house and a few extra I picked up at Dollar Tree.  I also used some letter stickers from my scrapbookin' stash to put labels on the buckets.  Of course, I made a set for the "Wonderful Linda" and a third set for a 6+1 Trait Workshop that I'm conducting this week.  I thought that I'd try this approach with workshop participants and then finish off by giving the set away as a door prize.  (Sorry that my photo is less than wonderful!)

If by chance, you've been living under a rock and haven't seen these, the idea behind Smart Beads is relatively simple:  when you want to recognize a student for sharing something, or coming up with an idea that hadn't occurred to you, or whatever you want to recognize your students for, hand them a strand of Smart Beads.  They can wear them all day and hand them back in at the end of the day in exchange for a classroom reward.

My apologies to the source of such a swell idea for not being able to figure out who you are and giving you proper credit!

My second Monday Made It comes from Stephanie over at Fifth Grade Dugout.  She showcased her "Big Inflatable Baseball of Science Reflection" and I was all over it!  I'm always looking for ways to help my students better reflect on what they have learned, and the "Beach Ball Reflection" is a terrific way to make this happen!

I know, I can actually BUY these at your favorite teacher store, but I prefer Steph's reflection items over anything you can find out there.  (Not only are these cheaper...Dollar Tree...but the questions are better!)

Instead of doing this exclusively for science, I chose to do this for nonfiction reading and/or any topic introduced in the classroom.

With a nod to Stephanie's baseball and the questions that were on this, I wrote the following questions on the ball:

  • I'd like to share the best part of today's class with you.  It was...
  • A question I still have that I'd like answered is...
  • I didn't know that...
  • I wish...
  • Three important ideas from today's reading/topic that I'll remember are...
  • Rate your understanding of today's reading/topic on a scale of 1-10 (10=I'm an expert!)  What can you do to improve your understanding?
Just like Stephanie, I think a reflection like this would be great during the last five minutes of class.  I can also see using this like an "exit slip" and passing this off to each team of students before they get to leave our classroom.

Don't forget...sharing is caring!  Do make a duplicate for an amazing friend like the "Wonderful Linda!"  You won't regret it!



  1. Love the beach balls! I will definitely be making a stop at the Dollar Tree today. Did you write on them before or after you inflated them?

    Inside this Book

    1. Hi Lynn!

      I inflated, then wrote on them!

      Thanks for asking!

  2. Love it! And those are way better (and cheaper) than the ones you buy at the teacher's store. Thanks for sharing! And, I'm your newest follower.

    Learning's a Hoot

    1. Thanks for jumping on board Kristi! I also appreciate comments like yours...sometimes we need to know we are on the right track!

      Make a wonderful Monday!

  3. I love the beach ball idea. That would make a fun, engaging way to end the day. My students leave over a 20 minute span at the end of the day, so this would be a great use of time. Thanks.

    1. I agree Lauren...when you have a large span of time before you leave, it is a great time to reflect on the day's work. Now I have all these ideas about putting together another ball for the end of the day!

      Thanks for your insight!

  4. Yay! Those beach balls turned out great!!! I made a few more for reading also...think I'll do a "Fun Get To Know You Ball" soon. Thanks for linking back to me! :)

    Fifth Grade Dugout

    1. Not a problem on linking back to you Stephanie! You have an ENORMOUS blog that is really filled with great stuff that I've been sharing with some junior high colleagues as of late!

      Love love love your creativity and enthusiasm!

      Enjoy your Monday!


  5. I LOVE that you did such great stuff with your son! You ARE wise to do it now. My son is 21 and we're lucky if he will go out to eat with us:)

  6. I love that you read a book with your son! My boys are reading more and more books on their own, so I think I might need to start reading books with them!!!! Have a great week!

  7. Very cute ideas!! If you have time stop by my blog and join my "Classroom Tours Linky Party"! I would love to see your classroom!! If you aren't ready just quite yet, share a before pic and then go back and share an after pic! :)


    Brigid's Daily Lesson Log

  8. Did you just have the students throw the ball around and answer a question that was on the ball?