Currently: Awesome April!

Happy April Everyone!  I hope you are all doing well and having some sunny weather!  This week my 3rd grade students and I are back in the classroom full-time!  Now it is time to join Anne in Residence for her monthly link-up:


Last weekend I have spent a LOT of time planning for this week.  It is a HUGE change for the kids; they are going from two part-time days in school and three part-time days online to five full-time days in the classroom.  Luckily, the weather looks good for next week so we will be able to go out for recess!


I am craving my first ice cream cone of the season in my favorite flavor:  maple walnut.  I love ice cream, especially when the weather warms up!


Everyone I know these days is discussing the Vaccine.  Which one did you get?  Did you get both shots?  I got the Pfizer vaccine, and I get my 2nd shot this coming Saturday (April 10th).  There seems to be no way to predict one's reaction to the 2nd vaccine.  What was your experience?


I am enjoying being able to use my right arm and fingers.  It has been 5 weeks since my surgery to repair my broken wrist.  I am able to remove my brace when I am in my house and when I am sleeping.  I am so thankful and grateful to write and use my right hand to some degree.  I can lift one pound with my right wrist.  Wow!  I can ride my Peloton and stand up with the brace on, of course.  Last month was full of challenges and successes as far as the arm goes!


I am already preparing for next week.  I have to gather all my materials and lessons.  I find that if I am well-prepared and organized then I can concentrate on the kids' learning.

Well, that is all my news for right now.  I hope all is well in your neck of the woods!  


Currently ~ Marvelous March!

Hello there!  Welcome to another installment of Anne in Residence's:


Twelve days ago I slipped on black ice and broke my right arm/wrist.  My orthopedic is making all my decisions.  I had surgery on Wednesday, and I am making good progress after recovering from the day after the surgery.  I am going back tomorrow to find out if I will get a cast or a split as well as to see the occupational therapist.


I imagine spring.  The sun is warming up, and it is so much lighter later in the day.  I want to feel the sun on my face!


I am not making dinner.  Luckily, I discovered Lasagna Love, nominated myself, and enjoyed lasagna today for lunch.  Lasagna Love  includes volunteers who make lasagnas for people who need a lasagna for whatever reason.  You can nominate anyone, including yourself, if you have need of a free lasagna.  They even deliver the lasagna to your door!  What a great idea!


I am reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle right now.  It is a good read because it is inspirational and honest.


My new favorite clothing:  ponchos!  I found these on Amazon, and they are cozy and warm.

As much as I love typing and adding pictures, this is it for this month!  Every day gets easier but ...Here is some good news:  I am learning how to eat and write with my left hand.  I can still learn and adapt!

Happy March everyone!  Stay healthy and well!  Thank you for visiting the blog today!


Turning Your In-Person Morning Message Into An Independent Work Google Form

Hello there!  Today I would like to share a way that I make sure all my students see and read my daily Morning Message.

Background:  This year (so far) has been hybrid.  One group Monday and Tuesday; one group Thursday and Friday; and all online on Wednesday.

Years ago, I took a Responsive Classroom class and started a Morning Meeting routine which includes a Morning Message.  I always made my messages educational so that the kids could review what we have been learning.  

Hybrid learning put a wrench in my routine because only half the class could read the message.  That's when I decided to turn my Morning Message into part of the kids' daily independent work that they do on the computer every afternoon.

Step 1:  Create Morning Message.

I create the Morning Message in Google Slides using:

Here is the Morning Message for Monday:

Step 2:  Create Google Form.

To create the picture of my Morning Message, I follow these steps:

1.   File.
2.  Download
3.  PNG image

Then I head over to Google Forms and create a new Blank Quiz.

Add image (which I downloaded as a PNG).  Here is another example.

Step 3:  Add Questions to Google Form.

I always add 5 questions:  4 that review material in the Morning Message and one short answer for the Fact of the Day.

Step 4:  Assign to Google Classroom!

Step 5:  Go back and change the size to show on the "Big Screen" in class!

If you would like to try out my George Washington Morning Message in a Google Form, it is free on TPT!


Currently It's Fabulous February!

Hello there!  It's February, and it is freezing as winter has returned!  Today I am delighted to link up with Anne In Residence for her month link-up:

I love using Canva to create graphics!


I am so happy with all the extra daylight we have now!  It really makes me feel hopeful and happy to have the extra sun late in the afternoon.


Last month I read a very interesting and eye-opening book:

This story tells about a Syrian couple who immigrates to England from Syria.  It is quite a story and makes you realize how terrifying the world can be.

I recently finished a Book the Month title:

The main character, Emmy, is a very successful Instamum who becomes the target of a follower's mother.  Click on the book to read more at Amazon.  I enjoyed this book.  Amazon gave it a 4 out of 5, and I would agree with this overall score.

Right now, I am reading this book which is part of Reese Witherspoon's Book Club:


Follow the Author

This book also involves a very strong female lead character who will make sure right decisions are made. Her African American babysitter is accused of "stealing" her child while in an upscale supermarket.  I am just beginning this book, but it seems appropriate for these fragile times.


Last February I remember how life was so normal.  We went to Tarrytown, New York for a long weekend.  We learned that important history had happened there.  If you watched Turn, Washington Spies (it is on Netflix now if you missed it!), you know about Major John Andre.  He was captured and hanged in Tarrytown.  


I have 5 Girl Scouts in my class this year.  I bought 2 boxes of cookies from each of them to share with family and friends.  I was a Girl Scout back in the day so I am happy to support a worthy cause.  There is a new cookie in town, and my sons gave it rave reviews:

If you have a chance to buy some Girl Scout cookies, make sure to try these out!

Wish Listing

A lot of my cloth masks are too tight and make my ear lobes hurt.  I googled this problem yesterday, and this product was recommended:

I have put these mask extenders in my cart but have not pressed the order button.  If any of you have figured out a solution to the too-tight mask causing my ear lobes to bend, please let me know!  Also, if you have tried out this product, and it's a keeper, I would love to hear that as well.

As always, thank you for popping in to visit the blog!  Happy Valentine's Day!


Pear Deck Draggable™ Activities

Are your students dragging their feet when it comes to online learning?  Would you like to infuse your teaching with some interactivity?  If so, Pear Deck™ is for you!

I spend A LOT OF TIME making learning activities for my students.  After all my effort, I still have students who are less than enthusiastic.  Enter Pear Deck™!  The kids love having active learning opportunities during remote learning.



(Click here to see this product on TPT)
How to make your own Pear Deck Draggable™ Activities?

1.  Open your presentation and the Pear Deck™ Add-on.

2.  To the right ~ under "Ask Students A Question" ~ click on the Draggable™ button.

3.  This window will open:

4.  Choose a color for your Draggable™.
5.  Choose an object to drag:

6.  Add the object to your Draggable™ activity, and you are good to go!  You can create your own activities or:

Here are links to free Pear Decks™ that I have made.  Please feel free to copy them and try them out with your class!

Math Review:  Week 2:  Word Problems

*Would you rather…?

How to Make a ™ Symbol
I am adding this last part in because it took me a long time to figure out how to add the "trademark" symbol.  Hopefully, I won't get sued for not using it earlier.
Click:  Alt   +  0 1 5 3  
I made that banner for my Google Classroom™ on Canva.  The custom dimensions are 1,000 by 250.  Click here to start creating on Canva!
In closing

If you have any questions about Pear Deck™ or using the Draggable™ option, please let me know!


Logging In Students to Pear Deck: Give Them A Link!

Hello there!  Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend!  I am back today with more Pear Deck How Tos. 
                    I made this image at Canva.  If you want to 
                    try making your own graphics, head on over!

*In order to use Pear Deck, you need to add it to your Google Classroom.  You also need to log into the Chrome Browser.  Once you have added Pear Deck, you can take any slide deck and make it interactive.  

How To Give Your Students A Link

For remote learning and younger students, I recommend this log in method.  Here is how to post a link in the chat (where students love to go!):


With "in person" remote learning, I tend to adapt my lessons to Instructor Paced.  If you want to go the Student Paced route, you would post the link right in your Google Classroom.

As with everything, there is a learning curve to this.  It takes the students a while to get logged on.  Of course, at least one student gets "kicked off," and you need to repost the link to your lesson in the chat.  

My favorite way to use Pear Deck is to incorporate it with Break Out Rooms.  This way the para can work with students in a small group.  Again, adding this element takes practice.

Please try this out, and let me know how you do.  If I can make the instructions clearer and easier to follow, I would love to know!

If you would like to read my other Pear Deck post, click here.

Have a wonderful long weekend!


Happy New Year! It is time to celebrate with the "Currently ~ Just January!" link-up.

Happy New Year Everyone!  Thank you so much for popping in today as I link up with Anne in Residence for her monthly link-up:

We are fully remote for the first week of January.  I see my students every day online, but it is so much better to see them in person.  I am hoping for our hybrid schedule for next week!
This week we started with Non-Fiction Reading and Writing.  I have been busy creating teaching materials.  Here is an example that I made on Canva which is an online design resource.  I use this site frequently, and it is easy and fun to use!
As the week goes on, and I adjust to teaching online, I feel more confident.  It is amazing how quickly you forget when you do not use the technology for two weeks.  Every day gets a little better!
I am also feeling grateful that all our snow has melted so that I can go out for walks every day.
By the way, if you would like to check out an adorable book and enjoy the snow vicariously, here is a suggestion:  

I am definitely not organizing at my house!  I spend most of my time working on Google Classroom independent work which I need to assign every day for my students.  Every day I assign the Morning Message as a Google Form with 5 multiple choice questions; 2 questions to answer about our read-aloud; a chapter that I read to the kids; and a multiplication review.

I am resolving to write in my blog more frequently!  I need to make writing a priority because I consider my blog a type of diary or record of what I am doing.  I have gone back to read some older posts, and I totally forgot what was going on "back in the old days."
The last in school day before Christmas, I decided to do dictionary work with the kids.  
I asked, "Who knows what a dictionary is?" 

Answer:  "Back in the old days, people had to use dictionaries to know how to spell words."
None of the kids had used a dictionary.  Amazingly, they were engaged and fascinated that they could find words they knew in the pages of the dictionary.
Consequently, I resolve to talk about the "old days" so the kids know how much life has changed in such a short time.

 Check out another creation I made on Canva!

I wonder every day when life will be "normal" again.  I love walking with my friends and family outside because that is the only way to have a visit.  I wonder if school will ever be "normal" again, too.  What do you think?

As always, I appreciate your visit!  Please leave a comment to say hello!  Stay healthy and be happy!

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