Monday, September 15, 2014

States & Regions Stations

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE teaching Social Studies? American History has seriously turned into one of my biggest passions over the last year! The first 4-5 weeks we are working on States and Regions. We culminate this unit with our State Float Project (read more about it here) so in perpetration for that, I teach the regions through stations that put those research skills to work!

We are about half way through the unit so far...this week we are working on the Midwest Region. I wanted to share how I implement the Regions Stations in my classroom. The stations are the same for each of the 5 Regions...the states inside the region are the only thing that change.

Each week they get a new journal page that they trim to fit into their journals. We color in the region and then list all the states in that region. (left side) Then on the right side, they research through a variety of resources to get as much information about the climate, landforms, economic resources and landmarks. The cool thing is they find out so much more about these states through the research!!

Here's a look at all the stations:
 At 2 different tables I separate books about each state. They get to look through the books and learn as much as they can. In their reading, they also find answers to their questions in their journals.
Last summer I contacted the Visitor's Center for each state and requested a guide from their state. 48 out of 50 states sent stuff for us! Most came with a travel guide and a map. The kids would spend all day at this station if I'd let them...they love looking through all the pictures of places they could visit one day. :) 
I put the climate map at one table grouping and a landform map at another table. The kids have the opportunity to use these maps to answer journal questions in addition to the information they've found elsewhere. 

The QR codes are also apart of the States and Regions love getting the iPads and exploring the website about each region
The kids LOVE the maps! I had a group of kids who spent about 20 minutes today looking for Devils Tower in South Dakota (because they found a picture in the SD Tourism Guide) They knew they were looking near the Black Hills National Forest, but just couldn't find it. Eventually one of my kids announced they needed to look at the Wyoming map and sure enough, they found it. Such a proud moment for this group of 4-5...they were determined to find Devils Tower! 

On of the last stations in the room is the natural resources map. I found a map online that had the natural resources listed for each state. They look at this and then cross reference in the state books to find out if it is also an economic resource. 

And just because, I'll share a few other fun things going on in Room 207...
This is our History Timeline. As you can (clearly) tell...It never got finished last year. I am determined to add to it when we finish colonial life this year. :)

This is something new this year...and sorry its not "Katie-fied" yet, I'm working on it. The Secret State of the day. I pull a "capital, state" card and post it to the board each day. All day I use this capital and state as my form of getting the classes attention. I say "Helena" and they say "Montana" ...and get quiet. To be honest, I just randomly said it all day, because they were SO on task at the stations, I rarely had to redirect. 
Where Am I? Board. This is another new thing to the classroom this year. (and available in my TpT store) Students can research the answer on their own time. This weeks clue says: "I am visiting the Empire State Building." The kids job is to research and figure out where I am, then write their answer on a Post-It note.  I use this as an extra credit assignment so they can turn it in on the assignment they want the extra credit applied to. 

That's pretty much my Social Studies classroom at the current moment...
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Wedding Video

I was given the opportunity to work with Motion Blur Films for our wedding videography. I must say...having your wedding documented through video might just be the best decision EVER! I didn't really know what to expect and I was completely blown away. Mat and his wife amazed me with their balance of being professional and fun...and were so easy to work with! If you are in the North Texas area and are in need of videography, check them out!  They might just being DFW's biggest videography secret. :)


Katie+Seymore // Fort Worth Botanical Gardens Wedding from Motion Blur Films on Vimeo.
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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Wedding Photo Backdrop

4 days before my wedding I was browsing Pinterest and came across this idea....the even crazier part was that I seriously wanted to do it. :)

My family was coming into town the next day and I knew this would be hard, but I sent Seymore to Home Depot for two pieces of plywood. The next day we painted them with chalkboard paint. The can says to wait 3 days before chalking, but since I didn't have 3 days, I waited one day. :)  I made a transparency of the above picture and borrowed an overhead projector. 
I traced as much as I could and then freestyled the rest.  I was thinking it would take hours to finish, but surprisingly it took about an hour to trace and then add my own touch to it. 
I am so happy I decided to add this last minute project to the list because it was so much fun and made for some great pictures! And the best part is we did it for under $40! 

What you need:
Two 4' x 8' pieces of plywood
Chalkboard paint (the can, not spray paint)


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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wedding Welcome Bags

My mom jokes that she always knew I would have a destination wedding...funny that the destination wedding was for everyone else, not me. :) My best friend reminded me that I needed to have Welcome Bags for our guests at the hotels we had blocks of rooms reserved. So...I got to work. 

Powerpoint is my new best friend. So many fun things you can do in this program and its so easy to manipulate! I started with packages of brown bags from Michael's (and used my 40% off coupon each time) The monogram was made for free online here at I used it all over and I loved it. Lots of different fonts and card stock, add some snacks and water...and you get all this! And for fun, I spray painted clothespins :) The hotel manager said its the cutest she's seen. My guests seem to really enjoy them too! It was the least I could do for them since they traveled to see us get married! 
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Monday, May 19, 2014

It's All In The Details...

It's been a crazy 2014 so far! It seems as though lately, I've been more about the wedding details than the school details. I found out really quick how expensive a wedding can be. :) I knew in the beginning I wanted my touch on as much of this as possible. I wanted to make and create as much as possible without it seeming like a "homemade" wedding.  With some fun fonts and Powerpoint a lot of great creations were made. Just wanted to share some details of the wedding process that were handmade by yours truly with the hopes that it sparks your inner creative too...because REALLY, none of this was hard. :)
We bought little bottles of whiskey and hot glued these little hand made notes to the front of them for the boys. I had signs made for all my girls too but couldn't keep the secret long enough to get it to them. Pretty sure I asked everyone over text message before I bought the wine bottles. I owe you guys a bottle of wine! :) This was just a chalkboard background with a frame and various fonts...made in Powerpoint.
These were the menus for the Rehearsal Dinner. The restaurant we chose had a set menu and usually just printed a Word document (probably in Arial font) to lay on the tables. Instead, I created these in Powerpoint and printed front and back on card stock. 
Same story for my Bridal Breakfast my Aunt did for me. My invitations had already been ordered, so I just used the design and recreated their menu. She had them printed on a shimmery card stock and they looked great! 
My invitations were one of my first tasks. I seriously thought it would be the death of me!! :) Designing maps, getting everything perfectly sized in Powerpoint, saved as a PDF without everything shifting or! They turned out amazing though! I loved them. There were printed on Kraft Card Stock and bound together by a strip of light blue card stock.
The envelopes were also the same Kraft "paper bag" color. (I used two different cameras on these pictures so the coloring is off) I used Powerpoint and some very fun fonts to create each guests personalized envelope. I guess I fell in love with fonts that were very similar to my handwriting because SO many people thought I did these by hand. Ha! #trickedya :)

My program fans were one of my favorite things. I saw this idea at a Bridal Show and knew I wanted to do them...just not for $6.50 a piece!!! I designed the program (in Powerpoint) and had them printed on Kraft card stock. My family had a big party and made the fans for me! Cut the burlap, painted dots, glued fan sticks, glued paper to the burlap and hot glued bows. This was a huge task but they didn't disappoint. I am in love with how they turned out!!! 

This wasn't exactly free....but I did design it for free. :) Love how they turned out

We had a fun Candy Bar where guests could fill these bags with as much candy as they wanted. These were just brown paper bags stamped with our monogram. 
These were our thank you notes we left on the tables. It was a piece of card stock folded in half. I used tons of different fonts and used a Thank You example I found on Pinterest. But again, as the theme is going...just opened Powerpoint and created away. :)

And last but not of my favorite gifts. One of my flower girls also became my step daughter on our wedding day. I wanted her to have something special and for her to know how much she means to me. This was created in Powerpoint, printed on card stock, matted on another piece of card stock...then hole punched for the necklace to be laced through. 

I hope this inspires you to get out your computer, download some cool fonts and start creating!
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Guest Post at All Things Upper Elementary

Head on over to All Things Upper Elementary for my guest post appearance on their blog.  I even included a FREEBIE just for ATUP readers!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Love Tattoo

A place I swore I'd never go again...
But for this, it was worth it.
Love cannot be erased, it cannot be's inscribed on a wrist heart that will remain forever :)
I am so in love with our love tattoos.