Five for Friday!

Once again, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!
 This week is mostly focused on technology in the classroom, so take a peek and enjoy!

Feel free to link up, also! :)

I know that I have written about Go Noodle before, but I have to bring it up again. We may not be trying to thaw out from under 6 feet of snow, but here in Connecticut, it has been bitterly cold -- into single digits when you include the wind chill and very few of my students own winter coats! Many of my kiddos get their coats from local charities, but those are rarely delivered before Thanksgiving. All I know is that Go Noodle has been my saving grace! My kids love working to earn more Go Noodle time and it definitely helps to shake some of those wiggles out! Some of my kiddos' favorite activities are the yoga ones!

One of the greatest benefits that I have seen is that one of my students with fine and gross motor interventions written into her IEP has flourished! Her motor-planning and cross-body capabilities have improved ten-fold! Additionally, her confidence is through the roof and I honestly attribute it to her time on Go Noodle!

Pebble Go has been a God-send! Really! Anyone out that in bloglandia use it?! I was introduced to Pebble Go by a colleague during the summer while we worked in a program for English Language Learners in grades 4-8. For those who don't know, Pebble Go is a research database for the emergent reader. Students have the opportunity to research assigned topics (or topics of interest) at an emergent reader level! 

Unfortunately, there is a fee, but this summer I proposed it to my Principal and she agreed that Pebble Go is a must-have for any school!

This has been one unbelievably stressful week in first grade for everyone. Unfortunately, there have been some changes at our school -- some first grade students were shifted around to other classes, one of whom landed with me. This young girl is lovely. She is one of the most intelligent students I have met. She is also very needy. And loud. And she is not handling the class change very well. Additionally, one of my loopers moved this week and boy oh boy do his friends miss him already!!

In school, we haven't had either administrator present for the past 3 days for various reasons and... there's a long weekend coming up, so I'm sure you know how that goes!! As a class, we have been working diligently to keep things in order, to stay focused, but my kiddos are a little shell-shocked. So many changes, so much inconsistency. In their own special ways, my students are begging for things to change.

Today, we took a walk. We are truly blessed to live but a block away from the beach. Even in the New England cold, it was such a calming experience. We all engaged in a Visual Thinking Activity and took some time to discuss how things change. It helped me to feel rejuvenated and I feel ready for that last push to the holiday weekend. 

How do you get your class centered after crazy times? How do you help them to stay focused when everything around them is pulling their attention?

Two years ago, our school received a grant for 30 Chromebooks and a Chromebook cart.

Last year, our district received a grant and placed an additional 30 Chromebooks in each school.

This year, our school has purchased an additional cart and 30 more Chromebooks allowing 30 Chromebooks to "live" on each floor of the building!

Beginning this week, I was asked to house the Chromebooks for grades PK-1. I have been spending some time working with my kiddos on how to log into them, how to make sure that the wifi is working, and how to choose and activity to work on. They make me very proud! Having the cart has enabled me to add 2 more "Tech Buddies" to our Job Chart, totaling 4 students deemed our Computer Experts! These kids are so intuitive, even for a group that of 24, I am personally aware of 11 that do not have internet in their home at all. These kids blow my mind every day. I am so glad that the district and our Principal see the importance of providing us with the necessary tools to teach our kids at their level.

Additionally, it allows me to provide my Tier 2 and Tier 3 students with the resources they need to get in their minutes on Lexia! <3 Lexia... but that's a post for another day ;)

Last Friday, I entered our classroom to find that Master Splinter's cage had been moved to another part of the room. Naturally, I thought it to be very odd and immediately checked on our little fella. As I approached the cage, it was clear that something was wrong. Normally, our guy is curled up sleeping under a pile of bedding with his face peeking out. I didn't see him! I opened the cage and dug through all of the nastiness that is a hamster cage and he was nowhere to be found! Upon further inspection of the cage, it was clear that someone had removed a piece. Now, we had conferences the night before so I was at the school until 8:00pm. But, I did leave the classroom unlocked for the last half hour while I met with parents in our school library. When my kiddos came up to our room later that morning, I was worried about their reactions. I didn't want to tell them what had happened and scare them unnecessarily, but at the same time... I hoped that they wouldn't notice. You see, Master Splinter is nocturnal and he sleeps almost all day. Unfortunately, they noticed pretty quickly that he was missing and it broke my heart to tell them what happened. We. Looked. EVERYWHERE! But we just could not find him. We placed treats along the baseboards and turned out the lights in case he was still in the room. 

He didn't come out. 
On Monday, the treats were still there.
On Tuesday, the treats were still there
On Wednesday, we cleaned up the stale treats and put out new ones. My kids were distraught.
On Thursday morning, we were sitting on our magic meeting carpet when one of my students began to yell, "Master Splinter! He's back! HE CAME BACK!" I honestly didn't want to look. I was SO nervous that he would be sick, injured, or worse... When I did check, however, I found Master Splinter, our lovely little class pet, walking around at the bottom of a tote bin that I store my morning meeting manipulatives in. It was clear that he had been there for days... I think he got in and didn't know how to get out. The whole class was cheering and I may or may not have teared up a little. They were ecstatic, I was relieved, and I didn't have to report a missing rodent to the custodial staff. Everybody won!

When we got him back into his cage, we found that he was STARVING -- he ate SO MUCH food, SO QUICKLY! I called the vet and they told us to monitor intake and output of both food and water.

My kids are ecstatic to have him back! Just look at that little face! Love<3

Definitely something to be thankful for!

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  1. Well, thank goodness you found your little hamster in time. They do have a way of getting out.. and not always to their benefit. You want to teach kids how to take care of a life without the life and death part if possible! See you around. Kathleen Kidpeople Classroom

    1. I know, I am so relieved that we found him! We are all so very confused on how he got out, but the kids have been great about double and triple-checking the cage before we leave each afternoon.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. I have several lab pets that I am very fond of- but none of them can escape! The kids love them too- bearded dragon, cockatiel, and two guinea pigs! Thanks for sharing your hamster story and Happy Thanksgiving!
    Teachers Are Terrific!

    1. Sounds like you have an exciting class! My little loopers just love Master Splinter. I bet they would love adding some new friends to the family!

      Thanks and have an wonderful Thanksgiving yourself! :)

  3. I love Go Noodle but have never heard of Pebble Go. I'll have to try it out! I'm glad you found your hamster. :)

    My Carolina Classroom

    1. I don't think I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't love Go Noodle!

      I think I will do a post about Pebble Go soon. I have had a lot of questions about it and I'm currently working on putting together some information for the staff at my school. I will be sure to pass it along! My kiddos just love it and it has been a spectacular addition to our curriculum! If you have the chance, I believe they offer free trials -- definitely try it out!


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