Friday, February 8, 2013

Five for Friday

I told myself I would try to blog once mid week. It didn’t happen, so I am joining up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.
1. Scariest words for a teacher

This morning our principal came over the intercom and said, “Teachers, we are in a Code Red. This is not a drill.” We spent the next ten minutes on full lockdown. Our doors lock from the hallway. I was flustered and tried the wrong key as a million thoughts went through my head. I turned out the lights and gathered my 18 students to the corner of the room. They crawled under tables and chairs.

We sat there with no idea what was happening. After a few minutes, I calmly whispered to them to get comfortable. I told them that we would be sitting there silently no matter what happened. I told them we would be brave and stay quiet even if we were scared and even if someone knocked or tried to get in. I was praying silently. My student teacher was holding hands with a little girl who had started to cry.

We got the all clear and still had no idea what had happened. I work at a lab school on a university campus. They consider anything at the university to be on our campus. The incident happened at an office building on the edge of campus about half a mile away.

The news report I read about it said the school was on lockdown for six minutes. I can honestly say that was the scariest six minutes of my life.

2. The Smart Spray is Working

This summer I painted my reading table with chalkboard paint. My class LOVES it. Every time they sit at the table they ask if they can write on it. I thought it would get old, but not yet! During math groups this week we were working on fractions on a number line.


After working on thirds together, I assigned each student a different denominator. They worked away drawing their number lines. In each group there was at least one superstar to suddenly look around and realize that each number line showed 0 to 1. They pointed it out to their neighbors.

I did the happy dance. I gave ClassDojo points for insight. I grabbed my phone so I could capture the moment. It made my day.

We use a water bottle and sponges to clean the chalk. After listening to students complain about getting sprayed with water when I sprayed the table I started calling it, “Smart Spray.” After this lesson I joked with my kids that the smart spray was working!

3. What to wear?

I’m taking part in a case study with the LSI Marzano Center. This week was my third taped lesson. As with the other two I was up late the night before trying to figure out what to wear. This time my husband looked over and said, “Didn’t you wear that last time?”

Not helpful.

The lesson went well, and we tape the coaching session next week. As in getting taped while watching tape of my teaching.

I think a shopping trip might be in order this weekend!

4. SumDog

My class is OBSESSED with SumDog. They actually log onto Edmodo and post things like, “Meet me on SumDog at 4:00.” They love the contests. They love the games. They love earning coins to make purchases to dress their avatars. They love playing against their classmates. My monthly contest winner last month answered almost 15,000 questions correctly over the month.

I love the fact that they still view SumDog time as a reward. It is by far the best way I’ve found to study facts!

We are going to create a school-wide March Madness-style SumDog challenge with a bracket and all. Has anyone done anything like that before? Any idea where I can find a template?

5. Clip Art

I am obsessing over some clip art. I regret not making more purchases last weekend. But this one and this one and this one are calling my name. I see some fraction projects in my future. We’ll see how long I can hold out!

Have a great weekend!


  1. Wow! I'm sorry you had to live threw the longest 6 minutes of your life this week! Yikes!!

    God bless you for tolerating chalk. I can't stand the stuff. Maybe it's because my first few years of teaching we only had chalk boards (I am NOT that old, but where I was teaching was a little behind) and it would get all over me and in the air. I couldn't take it. That table sounds fun though!

    Husbands are never helpful when it comes to wardrobe. I think you definitely deserve a shopping trip!

    I haven't heard of SumDog. I'll have to check it out!

    I'm REALLY obsessed with clipart. And fonts. Ridiculous! ;O)

    Collaboration Cuties

  2. My students use Sum Dog in Math Lab, and they love it too! How cute! My kids are in first grade, though, so I'm not sure if they know how to post messages to each other yet or not!

    I love the chalkboard spray paint for your table! I made chalkboard paint for my laundry room door at home, and it is so much fun! Did you have to do anything special to prep the table for the spraypaint? I wonder if I would be allowed to do such a thing? I saw where someone else had showerboard cut to the shape of her table and the kids use dry erase markers on it. My students (and I!) would love that!


    Blooming In First

  3. Your table is awesome. I wish I could do that...I'm going to need to talk to my principal, I think she could get on board!

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

  4. Your #1 is just scary.
    Your chalkboard table is a great idea! But where did I put all my chalk? Not sure our custodians would like all the dust! I think we were spoiled with the invention of the whiteboard and dry-erase markers!
    So nice to meet you and happy to be your newest follower!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe
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  5. Oh my goodness! I can't even imagine how scary those 6 minutes were. I hope I never have to experience it...and you never have to again either! Definitely after that you deserve a shopping trip...or two or three. I've really gotten in to using clip art, borders, and fonts lately too and am regretting not buying more at the TPT sale last Sunday too. LOL!
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  6. How scary, I'm sorry. We had a lockdown drill during afternoon recess. Everyone was in the building in a minute with doors locked. I thought that was horrible.

    I just bought clip art last week at the sale and forgot all the curriculum stuff, crazy.

    The First Grade Princess