July 2015 Currently

Oh yea! It's July and that only means that it is time again for another Currently linky party with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade! I was SO overwhelmed with the SBAC, report cards, end of the year activities, and closing of CUMS in June that I completely missed last month's currently. Hooray, to me submitting my post on the first of the month...YAY me!!!

Without further ado, here is my July Currently:

Listening: My sister is currently walking around the living room, office/work area, flipping under couches, digging in plastic bags, and flipping her room inside out trying to find a razor that she bought at Target. It's been 30 mins. and she has decided to forget about it. First world problems...

Loving: I saw this meme from The Teacher Next Door on FB and it totally describes how I feel right now. Seriously, it's still the beginning of Summer vacation. Let's enjoy it, shall we?

Thinking: I'm going on a road trip with my sister and friends later this month, meeting my #squad (Yes, Tay Tay, a.k.a Swiftie, is brainwashing me) at The Anaheim Packing District for a much needed #squadgoals get together, going to my friend's baby shower in SF, attending a few more ball games at the stadium with my baseball loving friend, and meeting my current colleagues for a Charming Charlie shopping spree. I am beyond excited to be spending time with the people I love & making memories in life! 

Wanting: These damn Target Clips.  I'm jealous of everyone who has more than 3 sets of them. Enough said!!!

Needing: I still need to clean my garage from me moving back from last year. Will this be the month it gets done? (Most likely not).

All Star: Empathy. My mother, friends, and a lot of my students' parents tell me that I am able to put myself in their scenario/situation and genuinely care about what they are going through. I guess I agree to a certain degree. 


Summer '15 Reading List

Ahoy! Summer is here and it is my first week off. One of my favorite things to do during the summer time is catch up on all the books I want to read on my Barnes & Noble Nook. So . . . needless to say, you can only imagine the amount of geeking out I was having when I found a Summer Reading Linky party from Lucky to be in First!

Below are the books that I have read and recommend & the ones I would like to read this summer!

Before I begin, I would like to start off with the disclaimer that I LOVE LOVE LOVE YA novels. And yes, even though I am in my 30s, YA novels still makes me feel like I'm lost in the book and feeling all the feels. Or, anything with a dystopian society is a MUST read for me! Just sayin' . . .

The books I read and I highly recommend to any hopeless romantic out there because of all the funny banter between the couples are (minus Wonder because it is just a heart touching book that will make you think about being a kinder person):

1). To All the Boys I've Loved Before by: Jenny Han 
2). P.S I Still Love You (sequel to To All the Boys I've Loved Before) by: Jenny Han
3). The Consequence of Loving Colton: by: Rachel Van Dyken
4). Eleanor & Park by: Rainbow Rowell
5). Paper Towns by: John Green
6). Wonder by: RJ Palacio

 Now the books I WANT to read because most of them have been sitting in my Nook's library unread are:

1). Fan Girl by: Rainbow Rowell
2). Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by: Jonathan Safran Foer
3). Grey by: E.L James
4). The Testing by: Joelle Charbonneau

What books do you recommend and will be reading? Link up with Lucky to be in First to join the fun!

Lucky to Be in First


You Oughta Know About TenMarks

Hello There Fellow Blogger! We are at a home stretch here (some already made the home run and to you I say, "Yay!"). Another school year has almost passed us by and with that said, there are some of us getting ready for the SBAC. I start next week, on the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend. That should be fun, no?

What are some things I have been trying to keep my students motivated, learning, and not getting burnt out about all the Interim Practice tests we have been taking? Well, I am about to share it with you while linking up with the awesome, Jasmine McClain from Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for this month's You Oughta Know.

I LOVE technology, so I MUST share with everyone a new useful website that my students can learn skills they are being taught in school while keeping them engaged. I was first introduced to TenMarks by my school district's Math TOA during a district wide collaboration session. 

TenMarks is an Amazon company. It is currently free and they are offering a free Summer Math camp online program for parents. They claim that by doing this program, it will help students not go through that summer vacation dip students usually go through when they come back to school the following academic year.

I will say, as a teacher, I do love this website. It gives me data that I can analyze and it asks students questions by standards in their grade-level. I also get to assign which skill and standard I would like students to practice in. 

I can see overall how my students performed on a standard:

AND I can also see how students individually performed on all assigned standards:

With the data, I can see which students are mastering a standard and which ones aren't. TenMarks then gets even more precise by telling me what specific part of the standard wasn't mastered and the most common mistakes by all students in my class:

The questions are very similar to an assessment and if they don't answer the question correctly; there is a hint video that pops up. Teachers can then see if students watched that video or not. It's pretty telling which students will click whatever or they are actually trying. The best part though? Students MUST answer each session of a standard with an 80%  or greater accuracy to unlock characters, special jam session games, and etc...

Here is an example of a question from the Multiplication standard:

I also love how students get to print a school and home log-in cards so they can practice TenMarks at home. The negative? If you would like it to make differentiation, then you would have to get the premium version which does cost money. The free version does everything the premium version does, except provide interventions. But . . . I feel like I can live without that because I will be able to make the intervention myself using the data and reports that I am being given.

Hopefully, you do give this a try! My students have been going on TenMarks to brush up on skills to help them prepare for the SBAC next week. Even though it looks like it is a testing format versus a game, students like being able to unlock game features and characters.

AND . . . don't forget to check out these other wonderful bloggers' May's You Oughta Know!


You Oughta Know About Skoolbo

Ahoy, there blogging friends! It is that time of the year again for me to link up with Jasmine McClain from Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for another monthly "You Oughta Know About..."

And this month, I really wanted share with all of you a free online CCSS educational game called Skoolbo that is fun, engaging, and educational for students. 

Skoolbo was created by educators and game developers with the purpose of creating accessible learning solutions for kids. It focuses on ELA and Math Common Core State Standards and the games are broken down by each standard and skill. 

Students get to create their own character and by playing the "games" they earn points to buy their characters new accessories and vehicles the character uses for each game. 

I was contacted a few months ago by Skoolbo to pilot the program in my classroom to see how my students and I liked the software. 

As a teacher, I like how I am able to assign each student the skill and standard I would like them to focus on; making it differentiated for each students' levels and needs. Most importantly, I am able to track their progress and share the reports with their parents.

Best of all? It is FREE for teachers, students, and parents. Parents are able to download the game to their desktop or laptops at home and students are able to continue practicing their skills outside of the school setting. I love this part because as teachers, there is only so much time my students are allowed to go on their one on one laptops and use this. Allowing it to be accessible at home, increases my students' options for extra practice of skills in a fun and engaging way in multiple settings.

But, you don't have to take my word for it. Here is a demo video of what students get to see when they play one of the educational games:

April Currently

Whew... another month has come and gone; meaning only one thing: linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for April Currently!

Listening: What can I say? T Swizzle just knows how to speak to my heart and she does it again with this song. SO glad I got the Deluxe version of 1989 from Target because this is my anthem y'all!

Loving: Fox TV's new drama, Empire. It's really all about Cookie Lyons and Jamal Lyons okay? 

Thinking: Sigh . . . Smarter Balance test and panicking, worrying, freaking out about whether or not my students will remember everything I taught them and apply the skills and strategies they have been working so hard for in class? I really hate standardized tests!!! 

Wanting & Needing: Summer vacation! My countdown began already. 10 LONG weeks left . . .

My Blog Name: I really wanted to incorporate a name that I could use no matter what grade level I taught. So specifying a grade was definitely out of the question for me. Then I knew I wanted to incorporate my name on it somehow. So, because my last name is Li, I decided to change the spelling of "lovely" to "loveli". I hope people get that and don't think I am a horrible speller cause that wouldn't be good, now would it? LOL!


March Currently

Wow... where did February go? It's like I blinked and the next thing I knew; it was March already! But hey . . . I ain't complaining because March means SPRING BREAK baby!!! Oh, it also means *drums rolls please* that I am linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for March's Currently (still can't believe I missed February's...Grrr....)

Listening: To my favorite band's new song, "Sugar". I mean I already LOVE Adam Levine to pieces and then he goes and does this music video surprising newlyweds at their wedding. My heart is melting as we speak! (Also does Adam look good in a  suit or what? Behati, I am SO jealous!)

Loving: How cute are these 2 new TOMS canvas shoes? I just ordered them and they are calling spring! Isn't the lace detail on the aqua ones so pretty? I'm glad I didn't get the crochet ones since these are kind of similar.

Thinking: About how quickly I will bolt out of my classroom door when that teacher bell rings at 2:45 p.m. I will be hopping and skipping and twirling to my car so I can get ready for my 2 weeks of Spring vacation! Yeeeehaaaaa!!! 

Wanting: For this week to end. 'Nough said. 

Needing: For my So. Cal weather to come back. I am a big wimp when it comes to rain and cold. Why why why??? Where is the sun? Rain, rain go away please come back another day! 

Spring Break Plans: (singing to the tune of Will Smith's "I'm Going to Miami", except replaced with "Hawaii"). My sister is the Maid of Honor for her BFF and guess who gets to be her +1? That's right, this lucky teacher here! It just so happens that it is the same week as my Spring Break. We have kayaking, snorkeling, luaus, and museums lined up before the wedding. I am SO excited because it has been a while since I vacationed for the pure purpose of relaxing and basking in the sun!!!


Classroom Friendly Supplies Sharpener Review

Ahoy, blogging friends! I was recently given the wonderful opportunity from Troy Decoff of Classroom Friendly Supplies to review their classroom pencil sharpener. I've heard SO many wonderful things from teacher friends that have this pencil sharpener and this was a great opportunity for me to give this sharpener a try!

If you're anything like me, you know classroom pencil sharpeners can be quite the NIGHTMARE! They're noisy, messy, and often break quite easily. UGH!

From my student days, teachers always made us use the pencil sharpener that was attached to the wall. Not only did I HATE using those as a kid, I hated them even more as a teacher! The case always fell apart spilling all the pencil shavings and the students always mess around with the hole section and that cap always fell off! For the last few years, I tried another well known electronic pencil sharpener and I used to think it was the best I would ever find in a classroom pencil sharpener.

BUT . . . Lo and Behold . . .

Classroom Friendly Supplies' pencil sharpener results compared to the one I sharpened with my electric pencil sharpener. I am seriously SO impressed and amazed at how sharp my pencil is. Now my kids won't complain how quickly their pencils become dull (I hope) and won't have to sharpen as much. The best part though? It is quiet and mess free!!! 

I know I got on the bandwagon of this awesome pencil sharpener a bit late, but if you're like me just discovering this or have never heard about it yet, then I recommend that you head on over to Classroom Friendly Supplies website and try one out for yourself. It'll seriously change the way you feel about kids sharpening pencils in class!


You Oughta Know About ...

. . . Book Scanner App & Classroom Check Out App !

Happy 2015, everyone! I am linking up again with the wonderful Jasmine McClain from Buzzing with Mrs. McClain to bring you this new year's You Oughta Know About . . . Book Scanner App!

If you are a teacher that has your own classroom library and your school uses Accelerated Reader, then this post is for you!

About 5 years ago, my 5th grade friend and I spent months coming to school on a Saturday to label each book that had an A.R quiz in our school's entire library and our own classroom library. I know what you might be thinking: "cray, cray"! It's okay, I had a stipend position that paid us to do that. So worry not. But as you can tell, that was some tedious stuff; coming in on a weekend having to type EVERY single book title and author on A.R bookfinder, copying and pasting all the reading level, grade appropriateness, and etc... onto an Excel sheet, to printing a label for the book's spine, and then finally sticking all that info on the book. Sounds stressful, right?!?

Well, stress no more! This is where the bookscanner app comes in. It works on any phone that has a camera so that you can scan the book's barcode, just like you would scan a Q.R Code or a barcode if you use Target Cartwheel to find if an item has deals.

After scanning the book, the app gives you all the A.R information you or your student may need to know. Just as so:

Now you will have the book's quiz #, book reading level, points students earn, and interest level of a book in A.R. I even keep an old old iPhone that has a scanner in my classroom so students can check the information when they can't find it on my book's spine or on A.R bookfinder.

The best part of the bookscanner app however, is that it then sorts a book inventory list on your phone for you and allows you to have a list of all the books you own in your classroom library that has an A.R quiz. 

Simple and easy peasy like Mac 'n Cheesy right? Now no more worrying on organizing your classroom library. But wait, what about if you allow your kiddos to check out books from your classroom library so they can read for A.R time or at home? No worries, I got you covered again!

That's where Classroom Check Out App comes in and saves your day! No more losing books you spent your hard working dollars on or forever saved Scholastic points on. The Classroom Check Out App will help you with keeping track of your books that have been borrowed & checked out and to which student.

First, you scan the book the students want to check out so that it registers in your phone's system. It even allows you to scan and see how many copies of one book you have:

Next, you create your class list:

Then, just like magic . . . you are now able to keep track of everything at the palm of your hands! It tells you which student has which books and the date that they borrowed your book. 

I hope you can find these two apps as useful to you as it has been for me. I don't know how I survived the last 5 years without these 2 apps! 


January 2015 Currently

WOW . . . another year has come and gone. I seriously CANNOT believe it is already 2015! For my first post from the new year, I will be linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

Listening: Catching up with Season 8 of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians". I seriously have not had much television time this school year. It's nice to just veg out on my couch and watch mindless show with absolutely nothing to do!!!

Loving: I have also been catching up on all the books I have not had a chance to read during the regular school year time. I just finished 3 books and they were ALL so amazing! The first one I read was If I Stay after renting the movie version Redbox. Then, I went and read the sequel, Where She Went

There were a lot of mixed reviews on the sequel and a lot of people didn't (*Spoiler Alert) like the happy ending. (*Spoiler Over). For me though, I absolutely LOVED the sequel and Adam's point of view. I will admit, the ending was rather rushed, but not every book is going to end the way one wants it to. 

Then, the 3rd book that I can't believe took me so long to discover is Eleanor and Park. Wow! Just absolutely WOW is all I can say. It took me back to high school crushes and I just fell in love with Park's character and his entire family! I hope there is a movie version of this. I would love to see how it is interpreted into a movie.

I am now working on reading Paper Town

Were it not for the fact that I get super lightheaded and nauseous from taking antibiotics for my root canal infection, I would've finished this book last night. 

Thinking: And speaking of root canal infection, I can't stop thinking about it. I have been to SO many doctor and dentist appointments this past week. First of all, I didn't even know there are different types of dentists and they all focus on a different thing. I first went to my regular dentist for a cleaning, then had to go to the endodontist, then the oral dentist. Now, I found out that my root canal infection is so bad that there is no saving the tooth so I will have to get an implant; which I have been researching and found out is extremely costly and my insurance does NOT cover it. Seriously a pain in the buttocks!

Wanting: Some Pinkerry Yogurt and KBBQ. The perfect combo to a lunch or dinner!

Needing: To heal. I have lovely kiddos this school year, but they come in with all sorts of colds and flu to school. I not only had the regular cold and flu, but it got so bad that it turned to a sinus infection. I pretty much have been a walking mucous for the last 3 months. Pretty disgusting, right?

Yes, Maybe, I Wish: Yes, to having an extra week off! I get 3 weeks off and I can use it to recuperate my body. Maybe I should start getting off my butt and start putting all the Christmas decor away, but I am not ready to do that yet. I wish that I had  a personal assistant to run and do all of my errands. I can't help but feel entitled to my vacation time and I just want to do NOTHING, NOTHING I tell ya!

That is all for my January currently.  Wishing everyone the best 2015 has to offer!