Fun with QR Codes

My school recently got a whole cart of iPads and I've been testing them out this week. We don't have a lot of apps downloaded yet, but I've been having fun teaching students the basics of using an iPad. As the computer specialty teacher at my school, I have students on all different grade levels (1st-6th) and it's been fun {and challenging} coming up with lessons for each different grade.

Today I tested out a geography lesson using the maps app with my fifth graders, while my younger grades worked on the Raz-Kids reading app. Probably my favorite thing to do is QR code activities. Even my first graders can find the reader app, scan the code, and find the information/website they need. 

(Here's a good list of QR readers)

I even made my own QR code activity on groundhogs as a way to teach my students in grades 3-6 about groundhogs and why we celebrate Groundhog Day. Check it out if you're in need of a last minute idea for Friday or Monday.

My question of the day is.... 

What are the best apps out there for elementary students? 
Please comment with a list of the apps you absolutely can not live without! This computer teacher will be very grateful for the help. 

P.S. Please check out this message from one of our new sponsors:

Could you use a little something to update your classroom? Teacher Created Resources is giving away one (1) $150 Teacher Created Resources Gift Card. Use the gift card for books, decorations, games and more. Enter the Chevron Classroom Pinterest Giveaway for a chance to win!  All you have to do is start pinning your favorite Chevron decorative items and create your own “Chevron Classroom Board” on Pinterest. See official giveaway rules here. Giveaway ends February 17, 2014

Hey, You're Great!

This is a little throw-back post from over 2 years ago... yet it's one of my favorites. ;)

I know we all love the book, "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?"!  It's such a great book to encourage our little ones to fill others' buckets and in turn fill their own bucket.  If you want to see more, go {here}.

Well, I've found another amazing book to help 
with your students' self esteem. 

The book is:

This book is so cute! It's about a grandma teaching a lesson to her grand daughter.  Back in her day, Grandma felt the pressure to fit in. She bought her clothes from the Hap {like the Gap, but not}, worked out at Silver's Gym {get it? Like Gold's Gym...haha} and tried to be just like Mallory Emma McBane. Until Mallory started acting like Laura LaVan. This is such a fun rhyming book about the importance of being yourself and LOVING YOURSELF! 

Ok, I'm pretty partial to this book since a great friend of mine wrote it . 
It really has a great message and I like it so much
 I made a mini-unit to share with you for FREE! :)

Here are some of the activities to do with your students:

Student mini-book {just staple in the corner}:

They add a piece of tin foil to this page to act like a mirror!

Some writing activities too:

Whole class chart:

Whole class sequencing chart to go with the book:

Head over to Amazon, pick up the book and help your students feel good about themselves!

Clipart &/or fonts copyright and used with permission by DJ Inkers

13 Non-Food Valentine Ideas {with printables}

Since I've been SO conscious of what I'm eating on this fitness journey of mine...I've decided to change some of the things I do in my classroom as well.  My students will get PLENTY of candy and treats from their peers, so I decided to go the non-food route this year.  Once I went to Target, Hobby Lobby, and The Dollar Tree...I was SO inspired! Hopefully you can use these ideas for years to come and never have to repeat. :) I wanted the Valentine cards to be simple, but fun (and to save ink). 

Crazy Straws: Target party section {pack of 12 for 3.00}
Crazy Straws: Amazon {pack of 36 for 13.85}

Ring Erasers: Target Valentine's Section {24 pack for 3.00}
Heart Erasers: Amazon {pack of 144 for 8.77}
Pirate Erasers: Target Valentine's Section {24 pack for 3.00}

Race Cars: Dollar Store {pack of 3 for 1.00 SHOCKER}
Race Cars: Amazon {24 for 11.99}
Funny Glasses: Target party section {pack of 12 for 3.00}
Funny Disguise Glasses: Amazon {pack of 6 for 8.99}

Pip-Squeaks Markers: Target Dollar Spot {pack of 4 for 1.00}
Crayola Markers: Amazon {pack of 40 for 18.49}
Bouncy Balls: Target party section {pack of 15 for 3.00}
Bouncy Balls: Amazon {pack of 100 for 15.99}

Mini Ducks: Target Valentine's Day Section {pack of 3 for 3.00}
Variety Pack of Ducks: Amazon {pack of 26 for 13.94}

Dinosaurs: Target Party Section {8 count for 2.00}
Plastic Dinosaurs: Amazon {pack of 100 for 12.99}

Magic Spring Slinky: Hobby Lobby Party Section {pack of 12 for 2.99}
Valentine's Day Erasers: Target Valentine's Day Section {pack of 24 for 3.00}
Silly Smiley Slinky Pack: Amazon {pack of 50 for 14.97}

Heart Glasses: Hobby Lobby {pack of 6 for 5.99, but use the coupon for 40% off}
Heart Glasses: Amazon {pack of 12 for 7.95}

I just had to do it! HAHA----Whoopie Cushions: Target Party Section {pack of 3 for 3.00}
Mini Whoopie Cushions: Amazon {pack of 36 for 15.99}

{For all you non-teacher friends who want to download...
TeachersPayTeachers is a fabulous website and it's free to join}

Looking for something extra for your Valentine's Day in your classroom?

Martin Luther King Day!

We've been learning all about Dr. King!  We always start off with this book:

Martin Luther King Junior Portraits:
I just have to share these because they are so great! I have done them the past 4 years.   Even though it is a template for the kids to cut out, all of the Dr. King's portraits came out differently!  I'm not huge on cutting and pasting art projects, but these are so worth it. Do you have the book, "Martin's Big Words"?  It is a FANTASTIC and touching book.

I don't have the pattern for you, but I did find it for sale {here}

I'm not sure what happened to Dr. King's other eye! This is the joy of 1st grade teaching!  

I Have a Dream Writing:

I was inspired by all of the fabulous activities on the Primary Prospective blog for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I made this "I have a dream" paper so it could fit black and white pictures of my students (I wanted it to look like it was from Dr. King's era). The students had to write a dream they have and it must help others/world in some way.  Click here for that.  Here is my example (for privacy reasons, I cannot show pictures of my students).
Clipart and/or fonts copyright DJ Inkers.

MLK Booklets:
As we learn about Dr. King, we also learn many different vocabulary words. We write about the new things we learn in a Dr. King Booklet. You can get that booklet {here}


Click the picture to check it out!

 Here are some great web site links:
Brainpop Jr. (search Martin Luther King Jr. and they have a great video posted) {you must have a membership...but it's a to your principal).
Youtube has a great video that shows parts of his "I have a dream speech".

Oh and if you're in the upper-grades, don't forget Natalie's pack!

Resumes for Children {And a Lunch Date}

Have you heard about the website Resumes for Children

Resumes for Children is a website designed to help parents get their children prepared and on track to enter college. They suggest that all students beginning in the younger grades and up until 17 years of age can benefit from having their own resume. 

They also offer these resources to help parents:

We appreciate Resumes for Children for being a current sponsor of What the Teacher Wants! Please take a minute to check out their website.

{Want your company featured on our blog, Facebook page, or Instagram? Email for more information.}

*  *  * 

A few weeks ago, during our Christmas break, we were invited to meet up with some of our friends who are also Utah teacher bloggers. We met for a fun lunch date at the Cheesecake Factory (total yum!) up at the new City Creek Mall in Salt Lake.

How cute are these favors that Nikki made? She is a doll!!

Group shot of all of us.

It was a great time and we're so glad we had this opportunity to hang out with some of our Utah blogging friends!

Students' Reading =Boring?

When I first started teaching, I never even thought to teach my students how to use expression when reading.  THANKFULLY, I had an amazing mentor teacher (Jessica, I miss you) and she gave me this idea... Turn the book "Mud Walk" into a week's worth of lessons about expression.  VIOLA! After that week, my students were sounding like professional narrators! ;)

So... we use Mud Walk to teach expression and it takes about a week.  Do you have this book? Maybe it's in your guided reading library (level H). This book has everything you need to show examples of great expression (exclamation points, question marks, bolded words, quotation marks, etc.). I go through the book at read it with great expression and then I read it like a robot. I tell my student we don't want to sound boring like robots and then I start with the first concept.  
Over 5 days, we go through how to read:
*a period
*an exclamation point
*a question mark
*a comma
*quotation marks
*bolded words

Luckily, I have a step-by-step list for you {5 day lesson}.... here's an example of what you can download for free! :)

I use the posters from my Punctuation Perfection {freebie} to show each punctuation mark. I also use highlighter tape to highlight each part.

Example of one of the posters:

A Fitness Journey

Well...the year is over. I feel like it went by so fast, but so slow. I just wanted to talk about my fitness journey and how I've gotten to where I am (76 pounds lost)!

Please note: I went to college and got a degree in Elementary Education. I did not get a nutrition degree. I love you all, but I'm no expert. 

1.  I try to drink 96-120 ounces of water a day! 
2. I used to HATE exercising.  It wasn't until I started to lose a little weight that I started to enjoy my workouts.  Now, I do Jazzercise 3 times a week (which is a mix of cardio and strength training) and I weight lift 3 times a week.
3. My husband and I have been slowly cutting out processed food.  We've researched it and we feel good about eating as fresh of food as we can and not relying on a can or box to provide us with our meals. 
4. I know what you're thinking... You get having more veggies, but don't understand have less fruit. Well, vegetables are just so dang good for you!  There are benefits to many fruits as well, but nothing that compares to green veggies.  
5. Please note: RAW honey.  Raw (real) honey is not a clear golden color like you find in that cute little bear container.  Raw honey is not processed and is so delicious.  I use it in my coffee and to sweeten our home-made almond butter. 
6. Weight lifting has changed my body in ways that cardio couldn't even touch (but cardio is still good)! 
7. I just need to be nicer to MYSELF!
8. I love Almond milk! It's so healthy and light. My husband even makes it from scratch. 
9. Lean protein burns fat and I have some to burn. :)  I haven't eliminated carbs because I don't want to deprive myself, but I watch them very closely. 
10. I used to only eat things that were labeled "diet" or "light" or "low fat". Now... I avoid anything that has those phrases on it!  Fat is good.  I get my fats from avocados, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil.

  • Plan your meals ahead
  • You can't out work a bad diet 
  • Don't drink soda 
  • Love yourself
  • Listen to your body
  • Take it one step at a time
  • I don't necessarily count calories, I count my macronutrients 
  • No one is perfect and you won't eat perfectly every day!  You should see my food diary on My Fitness Pal from the last couple of weeks. HA! {to follow me on MFP: rachelleblake}

So, are you ready to do this?  There's no better time than today to start! YOU CAN DO IT!

I linked up with Blog Hoppin's link up for Day 3 "Fitness"!

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