Math Family Fun Night

White Oak Intermediate School, led by our math interventionist, Amy Banks, hosted a Math Family Fun Night on January 24, 2019.  Almost 100 students from the 3rd-5th grade, along with their parents and siblings,  participated in the activities planned by the grade level teachers: Loree Tatum, Shawna Casey, Stephanie Hunter, Laura Odom, Heather Brantley, and Shannon Ummel.  Students were rewarded with a hat pass for attending, and door prizes were given away.  Click on the images to link to additional resources for playing games using cards and dice and the slideshow of the event.

Crochet Snowballs for CASA

The newly formed Crochet Club at White Oak Intermediate was busy before Christmas break creating snowmen faces. The original intent was to deliver them to the pediatric unit of the local hospital. Instead, they were presented to Shelly Smith of East Texas CASA. Shelly used them to adorn Christmas gifts given for foster children. The pattern is included below the images.  The ski cap was created using the snowman head pattern. At row 10, create a row of double crochet, followed by another row of single crochet before tying off.

5th Graders Share the Gift of Reading

Public Disclosure:  The contents of this blog post is the brain child of 5th grade teacher, April McFall.  I am a casual observer, reporter, and amazed fellow educator!  Mrs. McFall created an amazing opportunity for our 5th graders to share the gift of reading with the PreK students in our building five years ago.  It has become a very important annual tradition.  In the past few years, her efforts have been supported by fellow 5th grade teacher, Shannon Ummel.  The fifth graders created Christmas alphabet books and number books for the PreK students.  They also illustrated them.  Mrs. McFall compiled them and packaged them in gift bags.  With the help of 5th grade parents, each PreK student will receive an originally authored and illustrated alphabet and number book along with a pair of pajamas and other books donated by teachers and parents. The fifth graders and PreK students met together in the computer lab for the exchange.


When students return from Christmas break, they will create a slideshow of their book to post on their own blog. You can enjoy their amazing creativity by clicking through the slideshows embedded below.
123 for Achilles

ABC for Achilles

123 for Addison

ABC for Addison

123 for Aurora

ABC for Aurora

123 for Brea

ABC for Brea

123 for Elijah

ABC for Elijah

123 for Ethan

ABC for Ethan

123 for Fannin

ABC for Fannin

123 for Jaiden

ABC for Jaiden

123 for Jo

ABC for Jo

123 for Keagon

ABC for Keagon

123 for Kenzley

ABC for Kenzley

123 for Kylee

ABC for Kylee

123 for Macee

ABC for Macee

123 for McKenna

ABC for McKenna

123 for Paisley

ABC for Paisley

123 for Ruston

ABC for Ruston

Our Own HPCF Acronyms

As a teacher, I am so grateful to my PLN.  I do not know how I could do this job without the sharing of ideas from not only my co-workers in my building, but also the wonderful educators I follow on Twitter.  Wes Fryer is one of those educators.  I am passionate about teaching Digital Citizenship to my 350+ students, and his resources on copyright have been invaluable to not only my own understanding, but my ability to convey what my students need to understand also.  I have used the creation of his daughter Rachel’s acronym Harry Potter Can Fly in my classroom for many years. This year, I decided to let my third graders come up with their own acronym.

Gifted/Talented Innovative Invention Convention

The fourth and fifth grade gifted/talented students are hard at work preparing for the Innovative Invention Convention hosted by Region 7 Education Service Center.  Students will leave around 8 a.m. next Monday, November 12th for the event.  Students need to wear a White Oak shirt and bring a sack lunch.  Region 7 requests that students make sure NO PEANUTS or PEANUT PRODUCTS be brought due to allergy possibilities. Any adults that plan on attending the event must register with the school by emailing Ashley McClanahan ([email protected]) by Wednesday, November 7th. Students will return to school around 2:30 p.m.

Compassionate Crochet Club

My co-worker and friend, Pam Cranford, taught me to crochet two years ago on our trip to TCEA in Austin.  More than once, I wanted to toss my yarn and hook out the window, but she encouraged me to persevere, so I stuck with it.  I was able to complete two messy bun beanies that trip.  When I returned home, I began seeing items crocheted out of plastic grocery bags.  I was intrigued.  What a wonderful way to recycle.  My first attempt was making ottomans, but after sitting on them awhile, they quickly lost their height and became big floor cushions.  I have alternative seating in my classroom, so the idea struck me to crochet seat cushions for my “tree stumps” since our theme this year is camping.

Some students also became intrigued and wanted to learn to crochet.  I posted some how to videos on our Makerspace webmix and began the process of teaching them the craft.  Once students are fairly proficient, we are going to start crocheting to meet some needs in our community.  I was inspired by the Magic Yarn Project, and realized we have needs right here at home.  The first project will be to crochet these smiley face balls to take to the pediatric ward of our local hospital at Christmas. I am excited about where this all may lead and the joy it will bring my students and the recipients of their labors of love!


Let the Internet Adventure Begin

We are six weeks into this new school year, so I am a little late in getting this post up.  Our theme for this year is camping.  In Technology, students will be going on a “Internet Adventure.”  I wanted to share pictures of my classroom, mainly to bless you once again with my cute grandchildren. By the way, I have added two since the beginning of last year!

I have discovered over the past 12 years of teaching, attention to ORGANIZATION and PROCEDURES are huge stress relievers.  I made two important organization decisions this year over previous years that have already paid huge dividends.  I am equipped with a lab of 28 macbooks.  Most of the computers are about 10 years old, and although they are laptops, they are not holding a charge for long.  I have to have all 28 plugged in. That means 28 cords!  Last year was frustrating because students would have the cords all tangled up by the end of the day.  This year I simply color-coded them with tape.  The number cards are in 5 colors, so students know to match the cord with their color tape closest to the computer with the color on their computer card number.

The next decision involves the Makerspace.  I have all the supplies in buckets that are labeled.  Those buckets sit in stacked crates.  Last year, most students were successful in putting the items back in the correct bucket, but they did not know where the buckets came from.  Great confusion and arguing ensued as a result.  This year, I split the tag that shows the supplies and taped one-half to the bottom portion of the bucket and the other half to the crate itself so it “matches up.”  Result: NO MORE ARGUING about where something belongs.

Here are my “tree trunk” alternative seats.  I love the way they turned out.  The cushions are crocheted from plarn (plastic Walmart bags).




New School Year Prep

I have said it before, and I will say it again.  The one thing I dislike most about my job is writing blog posts.  Seriously, as the technology teacher, this should be a major thing I can model for my students, especially since I am responsible for introducing them to the world of blogging.  But, I digress.  I am going to be more intentional this year about “just getting it out there.”  So this is what has been rummaging around in my brain the last week or so.

There are a lot of tasks that have to be completed to get ready for the new year:  classroom decor, students lists, organizational items, and the list goes on.  I have discovered a great tool (actually an add-on) that made part of those tasks so much quicker and easier for me this year.  It is the Document Studio add-on for google sheets.  Since I teach every student in the intermediate school, I need to be able to take the spreadsheet shared with me and create documents that would hold individual student information.  The images below give you an idea of what I am describing.


This is a sample of the spreadsheet info I receive.  When the spreadsheet comes to me, student name is in one column by last name, first name.  I use the sheets Add-On Split Name to separate the name into first and last name in their own column.  Very handy!  Then I use the Document Studio Add-On to take the spreadsheet information and place it on individual google docs (or you could make it a pdf) to print and give to each student to access in the computer lab, like this.

This add-on is like using mail merge in Excel.  It was very easy to use.  The free version limits you to 50 files a day, but the pro version is unlimited and only $29 a year.  To me, it was invaluable for printing the 350+ name cards I needed for the computer lab. If you need to do a similar task, I would highly recommend Document Studio.