Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Made It-Time to Relax!

What I hope to be the relaxing part of my summer is here at last!  So, I'm linking up with one of my favorites, Monday Made It with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics!


Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend.


We "Made It" through Jake's graduation open house last weekend which is stressful primarily for the things you can't control, the number of people that will come and the weather.  My two biggest worries were running out of food and having horrible weather.  Luckily neither of those worries came to fruition.  We had a beautiful day...


and we even had enough grass to have a tent on the lawn!


I had fun making the centerpieces for the tables.  I was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest (of course!).  I thought it was fitting to have Smarties and Nerds since Jake is headed to an engineering university!


We did not end up running out of food...in fact, I still have pulled pork in the freezer.  But I'm not complaining!  It is one of my dad's specialties, and we will absolutely end up eating it all!  I especially enjoyed making the desserts.  It was definitely a team effort.  


Mom made the Pina Colada Cake, Dad made the Sweet Potato Pecan Cake...


I made the Gluten Free Lemon Cake and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Amaretto Cake, my mother-in-law made the Peanut Butter Fudge...


Jake's girlfriend, Maddy, helped me make the Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes...


and I will admit, Gordon Food Service made the brownies.  Yum!  Wish we still had leftovers of these delicious treats!  Dessert is always my favorite!  Can you tell?

Bonny is headed to Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey for her Masters degree in the fall so a couple days after Jake's open house was over, she and I headed out there to meet her new roommate and find an apartment.  I am happy to say that she and I made it there and back safely and successfully, her roommate turned out to be a sweet girl, and we found an apartment only four minutes from campus, but it was a stressful couple of days....

The trip which I had hoped would be nine hours max turned out to be eleven.  We left Tuesday morning and drove to the campus to take a quick look around.  At about 8 o'clock in the evening we decided we better find a hotel room.  All of you from the northeast may be gasping or chuckling at this point, but being from Michigan, it never occurred to me that I would need a reservation on a Tuesday evening nowhere close to a holiday.  Yes, we were only minutes from New York City, but shouldn't that mean there would be even more rooms available?  We soon realized the error of our ways, and I was starting to panic.  

We just happened to be in the campus security parking lot, so I went up to a couple of security guards who were standing outside and literally said, "My daughter and I drove here from Michigan today.  We can't find a hotel room anywhere!  Can you help us?".  They were our saviors! They took us inside, offered suggestions, and even started calling hotels for us.  We did finally find a room, but I don't even want to tell you how much it cost me!  It makes me ill to think about it.  

Bonny was talking to one of the guards about the apartments we were looking at the next day.  They immediately offered their advice and opinions, such as, "No, you are not living there!".  It was much appreciated to be steered in the right direction in terms of a safe area.  

It was a whirlwind of a trip...we drove their Tuesday, met her roommate Wednesday morning, found an apartment, and then headed back Wednesday night, stopping halfway home at a hotel in Pennsylvania.  But it all worked out in the end, and Bonny and I even took time out before we left to get our first glimpse of New York City and the George Washington Bridge.  It was an amazing sight! 




Made It #3 is a bundle I have worked on updating all year.  I just finished updating my 5th Grade Social Studies Study Guides and Tests Bundle yesterday.  The bundle already contained all the study guides and tests that you would need for the year for the 5th grade units.  Throughout this past school year I had worked on creating a second test option, which was strictly multiple choice.  I wanted a test that would be similar to the Smarter Balanced test where there are multiple choice questions that could have one right answer, two or three right answers, or all the answers could be correct.  This requires the students to carefully look at each answer choice.  My test bundle now contains two test options for each unit.  One test has a variety of question types, and the second option is all multiple choice.  If you would like to check out this bundle you can find it at my TPT Store.




The freebie part of my Made It is a flashback to a post I did almost a year ago, but I wanted to make sure people know this offer still stands.  It just so happens it was in a Monday Make It post last time too!  Here's part of that post from August 11th:

Made It #4 is actually a couple years in the making!  My district started using the MAISA units created by Oakland Schools for Social Studies a few years ago.  They are packed with activities that get the students much more involved and interested than the boring old social studies book.  I did struggle with a couple things though.  One problem was the same one we struggle with in every subject area...the lack of time.  I discovered that with my allotted time for teaching Social Studies, I would have to really pick and choose which activities I would use so that I could still get through all the units in the year.  The second thing that drove me crazy was the abundance of handouts for students. Some students have a hard time keeping track of where their textbook is let alone several different handouts for each lesson.  

So, two summers ago I spent a great deal of time going through the units and deciding which activities I would do with my students.  I retyped all the lesson plans only using those activities I felt I had time to use and built in time for vocabulary quizzes, study guides, and a test.  Then over the last two school years I created all-encompassing packets for each unit that contain all the handouts the students would need.  I even created typed answer keys of these packets for my special education inclusion students. Here's a preview of what one of my packets looks like.



I finally have everything compiled and I'm ready to share!  


If you would like the lesson plans and student packets that will last you for the entire year, please follow my blog by clicking on the Bloglovin' button (pictured below) which is near the top of my blog page on the right hand side...

Follow on Bloglovin

and follow my TPT Store (the logo below will take you there)...


and then email your follower numbers to me at ryesteph@aol.com and let me know you would like all the materials.  Be sure to put 5th grade Social Studies materials as the subject, and I'll be happy to share them with you!

I have created teacher resource sets to go along with each of these units as well.  They include a variety of materials such as vocabulary flashcards, games, and quizzes, unit review games, worksheets, and writing assignments, just to name a few. Here's a peek at one of my sets for the Road to Revolution unit.


All of these materials are available at my TPT Store!

If you are interested in the Social Studies textbook that I reference in the lesson plans, it is available on Amazon.  You can find it by clicking on the link below.  



Be sure to check out all the other Monday Made Its at 4th Grade Frolics!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

TPT Challenge Week 1: Makeover Madness!

This has been an entire week of madness for me as yesterday was Jake's open house, but I did try to squeeze in some time here and there to makeover one of my products so I could join up with Teach Create Motivate, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, Sparkling in Second, and Third in Hollywood for their TPT Challenge!


I am just getting in week 1's task with a few minutes to spare!

This makeover was long overdue!  My Daily Schedule Posters set was one of my first products, so old I didn't even have a cover page for it!


I added new cute borders, one of my new favorite fonts, and some adorable Melonheadz pics!   I also created two versions, the colorful background set and the white background set, just in case you need to conserve colored ink.  

Out with the old...


and in with the new!



You can check out my new and improved Daily Schedule Posters at my TPT Store!  For one week, it will be 50% off!



Hopefully this is just the first of many makeovers that I will get done this summer!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Five for Last Day of School Friday!

Today was the last day of school and somehow it felt like it was never going to get here and snuck up on me all at the same time!  It has certainly been an eventful couple of weeks, but I finally found time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!


Bonny finally arrived home from Asia...though she was less than thrilled that this once in a lifetime experience was over.  I cried in the airport when she left, she cried in the airport when she returned!



Jake graduated from high school this week.  We are all so proud of his accomplishments!



I had the kids create their memory books this week.  The best part was giving them an envelope filled with all the pictures I had taken of them throughout the year!  They got to choose which ones they wanted to glue into their books.  There were lots of laughs as we remembered special moments from our year together!


You can check out my 1st-6th Grade Memory Books at my TPT Store.




Tons of fun was had at Field Day yesterday.  As always, the "Find Your Shoes" event was a hit!



We are continuing to make progress in our efforts to have a presentable yard for Jake's open house which is a week from tomorrow.  This past week we finished up this trouble spot in our yard...


Water would always collect in this low spot, which made a muddy mess and would be difficult to mow.  So, we planted some water loving plants and filled in the area with rocks.  


Now I have to go bake my 8th pan of cheesy potatoes!  Make sure you check out all the Five for Fridays at Doodle Bugs Teaching!