Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Look to the Stars! Earth Science is such fun

My students always love talking about the universe. They come to me knowing tons about it already, and that's great. But as I slowly move through our curriculum guide I find that they aren't exactly clear how it all works. I have to stop every five minutes to answer the waggling hands in the air.

They have questions like, "Will a black hole suck up the Hubble Telescope?" Nope, kiddo. That telescope is in a low Earth orbit it isn't anywhere near a black hole.

"What will happen when our Sun dies out?" Our planet will more than likely wither away and become a cold barren rock.

Which leads to my next answer...

"No, you will not be around in the 10,000 years it will take for our Sun to burn itself out. Don't worry."

We usually take a look at our universe from the outside in. Starting with stars, moving to planets, and finishing with our Moon. I separate it into two sections of stars and planets and then the Moon. This way I can get more grades for the ole report card. Oh, and I've only got two weeks to cover all of this information. Don't you love it? We just took our stars and planets test today. I haven't graded those yet. I'm saving up all that fun.

I planned ahead for our Moon stuff this year. I had them start the Moon calendar as soon as we started talking about stars. This way we can at least see some of the phase changes for ourselves. Getting them to conceive how this happens on a cyclic pattern every month is difficult to say the least. But as we were filling in our Moon calendar they had tons of questions which will definitely help us later on (I hope).

Oh, and did I mention that we are doing our Moon Phase chart soon? Why am I excited? Because we use Oreo cookies to do it. YUM! It's a guilty pleasure to walk around showing them how to scoop out the cream to represent various phases while nibbling on a chunk of chocolatey goodness.

I've got some task cards up in my store that we use to quiz each other before we take an assessment. But my biggest fun is when they start bringing in their Solar System models. Who would have thought I'd get so excited over Styrofoam and poster board?

But that's just me.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Literal Conversations with Fourth Graders

I've been trying to get my Fourth Graders to have more conversations. No, not that kind. They definitely have NO trouble talking to each other.

I'm talking about more in-depth conversations where they take what another person has said and respond to it in a positive manner. Sitting in a group, taking turns, using good eye contact. All of that good stuff. This kind of skill can only help them with college work later on in life.

I started by posting some Sentence Stems around the room such as "I agree with ____ because," "I disagree with _______ because," "I see your point, but," "I can piggyback off of _________." I refer to them heavily as I model responses to what they say. When they get ready to respond to me I remind them to think about using some of these stems.

Next we created an anchor chart that brought out even more stems to use with each other. Plus I added in some reminders on good conversation behaviors. Here's what we came up with:

Then, through some staff development I learned some new techniques to help them move into writing their responses and then responding to someone else written response. I started using this 'Literal Conversation' sheet with my whole class as we read an integral part in Sign of the Beaver.

Students write down their own response then pass it to a partner. Partner has to read it and respond with either agreeing or disagreeing and adding their own take on it. Then they pass it back to the owner who reads and responds as well. They loved it!

Next I'll be trying something called a Discussion Roundtable with a group of four students where they respond to a posed question. Taking turns they each read out their response as their team members are taking notes on what they said. After all this, they take all the information they heard and write a summary of their final response.

After nine weeks of this stuff, I have witnessed them using the vocabulary and techniques on their own without any prompting. Does an old teacher's heart good!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mentor Sentence Set 02 is up!!

I finally got off my tukis and started looking through some old projects. I couldn't believe it when I saw that I had four of the ten lesson sets done for my second Mentor Sentence pack. Why haven't I finished this already?

So I cracked down and got all the materials together. I listed several lessons I am currently trying to get my kiddos to comprehend. Then I pulled my current favorite books down off the shelf and figured out which ones fit which topics. It took me a couple of hours to seal up the final six, and it felt awesome! Too long I left it stagnant.

Here's a list of materials I used:

Week 11: Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson articles
Week 12: Miss Rhumphius by Barbara Cooney prepositions
Week 13: Sweetest Fig by Chris van Allsburg clauses
Week 14: Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown poetry – repetition
Week 15: Crazy Hair Day by Barney Saltzberg proper nouns
Week 16: My Brother Dan’s Delicious by Steven L. Layne compound subjects
Week 17: Trevor’s Wiggly Wobbly Tooth by Lester Laminack compound predicates
Week 18: Encounter by Jane Yolen figurative language
Week 19: Enemy Pie by Derek Munson Quotation Interrupters
Week 20: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt Comparative Adj/Adv

One of my favorites that I was introduced to last year and can't wait to use again is

It's a clever little story giving those very erratic coloring utensils separate voices. And they have no qualms about using them either. I like these kind of cheeky stories that make me laugh. The kids love them and get so creative when I ask them to write their own letters as writing tools. Hilarious stuff indeed.
For this book I included the usual lesson plan - that you can read more about here - that is broken down into five day sessions. Here's a couple of screen shots of those plans.

I just posted Mentor Sentence Set 02 in my store which was in dire need of some fresh stuff. This made a total of 51 items in my store. There's always room for more though!

My brain is already thinking of some great stuff to work on next. If you want to see a sneak peek go check out my TDQ Reading Log homework.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I taught teachers!

Our AP (assistant principal) sent out a request for anyone willing to teach a staff development session. Choice was ours. I immediately thought of that awesome session I attended over the summer. You can read more about it here: Comprehension and Technology

It's a lot harder to plan for teaching teachers than I thought. I had to do a lot of research and testing things out to get ready for the big day. I made some mistakes and spent too much money on stuff before figuring out that there was a free way of doing the same thing. I had some thoughts on what to do, but I needed an overall theme for it to actually work.

That moment came on September 19 when Patricia Polacco announced on her Facebook page that her brother Ritchie had let go of the grass. I love her stories, and her older brother figures into many of them. I felt like I knew him and was saddened to hear of the loss.

But it got me thinking about how social media is enveloping our children on a daily basis. They need to be prepared for acceptable use. Some teachers are creating bulletin boards and using sticky notes to introduce their kids to the idea of posting and replying.

That got me thinking of how to approach such an idea and remembered using Kidblog in the past. It's a closed system that allows the teacher to control all of the postings. The teacher must release posts before they appear on the website so rude comments, or inappropriate responses can be filtered out. Through my research I found edmodo and that led me to Backchannel, a paid app to use through my account. This program will allow students to have a running commentary open for instant response to the teacher's lesson. I later learned that Todaysmeet.com does exactly the same thing, but for FREE!

So I put these things together in a prezi and was ready for the day. I was so technologically prepared, I was gonna knock their socks off!

My confidence wasn't solid though. I was a bit nervous that I wouldn't have enough material to make it through the entire hour. But that fear proved baseless once we got into it. There was a bit of a struggle getting everyone onto Backchannel so they could see the last picture of Ritchie before he died. I didn't tell them anything about it and asked them simply to respond to what they see.

Then I put up a picture of one of Patricia's illustrations of her and her brother and most of them got that right away. Finally, I posted up Patricia's Facebook status to connect it all. All the while they were typing thoughts and connections and responding to each other's posts. It was great.

I read them My Rotten Red-Headed Older Brother from Patricia so I could use it later in my piece on how to use KidBlog to increase literacy. Everything went very well and I had many smiling and nodding their heads. It is such a great feeling!

I wonder if they need any other staff development taught??

Monday, October 06, 2014

Sunday Scoop - Only it's Monday

I just found a fun new Linky Party over at the Teaching Trio. It's a short and sweet kinda way to get ready for the week ahead.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oh Snap! Rounding Card set

At our last grade level meeting we were trying to brainstorm some great ideas to help our students with rounding. We were trying to figure out a way to have the students play a card game that might include some rounding. It wasn't working out exactly how we wanted.

I went home with Rounding on the brain and started googling some fun kid card games and found one that might work called Snap. It was pretty basic having the players turn over a card from a draw pile until a match was made. Whoever yelled, "Snap!" first won the hand. It got me thinking.

The idea for Oh Snap! Rounding version was born.

I brought the card set with four different colors and levels into the classroom the next day and let the kids play around with it. They immediately took to it and wanted to put in each of the higher, and harder, levels.

I videotaped them playing a round here if you are interested:

The card set is up for grabs at my store here.

The red card set is the first level where the numbers are written to the hundreds place. The students have to round to the nearest tens for each card. The second level is up to the thousands and rounding to the hundreds. There are two more levels that add more place values as you go.

The higher the levels go the more closer some of the numbers round to. So you really have to be paying attention in order to win the hand.

Fun times!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Place Value Stations Check Up

Hi y'all,
I told you I would be back once I had used all of the Math Place Value Stations in my room.

The kids seemed to take well to the idea of playing 'games' while learning math. I had introduced a few to them and then showed them the rest.

Each group go to pick one and play it until Math Workshop was over. A lot of them asked for the 'Go Fish' style game, Rustle Up Some Vittles. I did have to explain what Rustle and Vittles meant, but they got it. You should have seen how large their eyes got when I said that the Red Level card set had numbers in the Millions Place. You'd think they'd never seen a number that high before. I'm afraid to share what the National Debt is with them.

All of them are now in a separate bucket and many want to take stuff out when they've finished their work. Snake Bite is a huge hit for some reason.

They caught on quickly to the concepts and are enjoying them. That's what I wanted most when I set out to create this pack, so color me happy. I like that I can pull these games out further down the road, but on the higher levels once they master the concepts. Or not. We'll see.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Made it Monday - Donorschoose Project 2

I was so thrilled and honored that my Donorschoose project from last year got funded. The children loved using our new cameras and many would 'forget' to bring their regular one to class so they could have a chance to play with the really cool features.

Well, I'm at it again. This year though I want to go Tech Heavy in my classroom and get kids thinking on a much more interactive level. I went to a staff development over the summer that showcased how to incorporate tablets into your classroom. The speaker, Kristin Ziemke, spoke about having her first graders using it to conduct web cam reviews of material they were studying. It was mind-blowing. You can read my earlier post here.

When my principal announced that our school was going BYOD (Bring your Own Device) status, I was doing a jig. But when school started and not one of the 26 students brought a device, I was worried that all my ideas would fizzle out.

So back to Donorschoose I go. I put up a new project just in time because Bill Gates and his wife are doing a special offer where they will fund HALF of the project if we can get the other half funded. Wow! A free tablet for my classroom? Yes, please!

The project link went live early Sunday morning and I've already raised $250! That leaves me with only about $300 more to go. If you could find it in your heart to donate, even a little bit, to our classroom my students will have access to top notch applications and no one will have to fight for who gets to use the tablet next.

Here's a great letter that Donorschoose puts out to give you all the details:

Hi Friends,

I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed, so I just created a request for my classroom at DonorsChoose.org:

iDonate for the Future

Give to my classroom by August 31, 2014 and your donation will be doubled thanks to DonorsChoose.org. Just enter the code INSPIRE on the payment page and you'll be matched dollar for dollar (up to $100).

If you chip in to help my students, you'll get awesome photos and our heartfelt thanks.

Thanks so much,

P.S. If you know anyone who may want to help my classroom, please pass this along!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Place Value Stations and a TpT Second Chance Sale

How sad were you to see the annual TpT Back to School Sale come and go? That meant that school was starting and life was about to descend again. If you're like me summer came and went way too quickly. I was mired in a home remodel that took up way too much of  my time. I really wanted to spend some idle time creating some killer stuff for my TpT store.

Yeah, that didn't happen. It was too frenetic so I didn't get much anything done. But the workers are gone and the house has been officially released back into our hands. With that pressure being released my mind could get back into the groove of things and start creating again.

It felt so great coming up with ideas for my Place Value Stations pack. One of the areas I struggled with our new Math Workshop model last year was not having fun and engaging activities to help my students extend their knowledge. I wanted this kit to be something I would really use.

I created six Math games that deal with Place Value - reading, comparing, and rounding larger numbers. This is usually our first skill of the year and I wanted to crank it out to test run them in my own room. I have a broad spectrum of abilities in my room so I definitely needed to differentiate these stations. Each of the 6 games has three different versions, so essentially there are 18 games in all.

And I have them all done! Whoo HOO.

I am thankful that I have a test group to run these games through. They found that ONE mistake that I know y'all appreciate me fixing before sending your way. They had a lot of fun running around the room to play the Round Up Them Doggies. I posted ten posters around the room that have a rounded number at the top and a question at the bottom. Students are given an answer sheet and their small group was given a card to start with. They were to solve the problem on each card, record it on their sheet and then find the card in the room that has there answer on it. Then solve the next question and so forth until they had answered all ten cards.

The next station is called Around the Corral. Students play against one other person. They roll dice and each move that number of spaces around their game board. Both compare their numbers written in standard, word, or expanded. Whoever has the larger number gets to pick up a counter. The person with the  most counters at the end wins the game.

My group is having difficulty reading numbers that are larger than thousands place. They really do have the basics for reading numbers and I know they will easily pick up larger values. These games hopefully will give them added practice in a fun engaging way.

I'll be posting how they respond to the other four games, so be on the lookout.

For now the games are already up at TpT and you can get them here:

Place Value Stations

OooOoOOh, but hey, if you wait until Wednesday, August 20th, TpT is having a Second Chance Back to School Sale for ONE MORE DAY!!

You can grab this pack for 20% less, or not and I can finally afford those extra Oreos for my class and our Moon Unit.

Leave  me some comments below to let me know how you plan on using this pack.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Saving Fred - 4 out of 5 ain't bad

If you don't know who Fred (the amazing Back to School Ice Breaker) is, check out my earlier post here.

I really wanted to do this activity much earlier in the school, but there was so much to do Fred was a little forgotten.

Today we had our county mandated pretest in Language Arts to supply base data for the year. After an hour of testing, my little ones needed to get up and move around to release some pent up energy. This is where Fred came in and saved the day!

I had five groups all working to put Fred's lifejacket on before he drown. I tried to tie it into our Social Studies unit on the Inuit tribe by making Fred be the bait to lure seal and walrus in so the Inuit could survive a long winter. Fred, being Fred, thought he was just too good for a lifejacket and even went so far as standing UP in the boat. Of course it capsizes trapping Fred's lifejacket underneath. Silly Fred.

We are still working on using our Inside Voices, but for the most part they did a great job working together. There were no arguments, no tears, no one sitting off in the corner by themselves. Only one group lost Fred to the swift Arctic currents.

I tried something else this year in order to get more of them interacting with each other. I had each group split up and go sit at someone else's desk so that there was at least one  person from each group together in a brand new one. Then I had them share how their group managed to save Fred. The technique was amazingly similar and they were all participating.

Once again Fred revealed a lot more about my group than I would have learned without him.

Thanks Fred!

Monday, August 04, 2014

School starts TOMORROW!

A good thing that came out of the whole kitchen remodel dilemma was that I wasn't able to stress out like I normally do about a new year starting.

Kids arrive tomorrow! I think I'm in a good place with materials and lessons for the week. But if you are a teacher you KNOW there's no way to really be prepared for everything that happens on the first day.

I plan on reading First Day Jitters and do some activities with that. I found a great ice breaker activity Kristine Nannini called Body Graffiti where the kids break up into groups and pick one person to trace out on butcher paper. Then they write down things in different parts of the body.

  • Head = Things we are excited to learn about this year
  • Arms = Activities we do this year (writing, drawing)
  • Stomach = Things we like to eat at school
  • Eyes = Books we like to read
  • Ears = Music we like to listen to
  • Legs = Places to go in Fourth Grade (PE, field trips, Nature Trail)
You can find other great activities in Kristine's packet
The rest of the day is definitely going to spent trying to figure out how everyone is getting home, organizing supplies, and going over procedures.
So what are your plans for the First Day? Send me a comment below. I would love to hear how you are preparing for that new group of fresh faces. 

Blogality - Home Makeover 5

You'll be happy to know I have just cooked an entire meal from my very own kitchen. It was wonderful. There are just some tiny little detail jobs left in this month long
remodel. But it is done. The kitchen has been restocked and is functional again.

I just can't find anything any more. AAAAH!

Monday saw a return to the workforce, leaving the workmen to have their way with our kitchen. Since it was preplanning without students I was able to pop home at lunch time to check on progress.

Things plugged along all week. I was so excited to see the cabinet doors arrive. I love the Shaker style on them and just having them made out of real wood makes me happy. Those prefab builder cabinets had to GO!

It was slow going watching the cabinet doors and shelving go up. Have you heard of 'soft-closing' doors? Oh, it's awesome. The doors close by themselves. But the cabinet guy forgot to do that for some of them. He had to come back...several times. There were scratches on one panel, the shelves were cut too small and showed huge gaps, and pull outs weren't put in proper places. It was a trial.

You should have seen me doing a Happy Dance when the first door handle appeared. Just the idea that after four weeks of this remodel the finish line was approaching was so wonderful.

Other features like a bookshelf for my cookbooks and a wine rack with glass tray made me even happier. Friday and Saturday saw the entire crew rushing around our house to finish up. Friday was the Drop Dead Date for them to be finished or they would lose money. We wrote it into the contract that they would lose money for every day not complete on major milestones. They stayed until 9 P.M. on Friday night and came back at 8 on Saturday. Then they stayed until 6 that night.

All of Sunday was spent restocking the kitchen and unpacking the mountains of boxes in the back bedrooms. Five and half hours of trying to figure out where to put things. It was exhausting. I don't think we gained more cabinet space, rather it was just reconfigured. We had plenty of space before so I'm not all that upset.

Thanks so much for taking this journey with me. It was comforting knowing that someone was listening to all my whines. I would recommend a remodel for anyone but with warnings.

Just be prepared!
Here are some Before and After shots. Shoot me a comment and let me know what you think. Good job?

Friday, August 01, 2014

Five for Friday - August 1, 2014

I'm taking a little break from the Home Makeover to bring you some really (I  mean REALLY) great news.

 It's that time of year again when TpT brings one of their whoppers of a sale out.

It's the annual BACK TO SCHOOL SALE!!

CODE to use on the sale = BTS14

Start filling up your wish list. Set your clocks for August 4th and 5th. Many many many wonderful sellers on TpT are putting their stuff on sale to get ready for Back to School Mania. I am putting my ENTIRE store on a 20% sale for those two days.

PLUS - TpT will offer you an additional code to use so that you get even more of a savings.

By utilizing the TpT promo code with your already discounted store, Buyers (including you!) will save up to 28% off resources sitewide.

I knew you'd like that news so I put it first on my Five for Friday list.

The last Friday of the summer has arrived. Eventhough I've been doing preplanning stuff in my classroom all week, I still consider this summer. Kinda sad but I'm excited about my new class. There are so many of them but they all seemed really nice at Meet Your Teacher Day. The parents were pleasant and complimentary. I expect great things this year!

Dice and Donuts
That's how much I love my teammates at school. Over the summer I found some fun decahedron place value dice from the hundredths decimal place all the way up to the hundred thousands place. I knew my colleagues would be so jealous when they saw me sporting my new toy, that I got on Facebook and asked if any of them wanted a set. Turns out EVERY single one of them said yes. Oh, plus like five other people who also saw my post. I shipped a set to Minnesota!

My team got together for the first time on Monday to do some planning. I brought donuts to ease the transition back into the work mode.


We had a THREE HOUR meeting today to hear Tara Brown, the motivational speaker, pump us up for another school year with a brand new crew. I got a lot from her speech, but mostly am taking away how to empower my students just a little bit more. By Seeing them, Hearing them, and showing them what they say matters I can change the world!


I need to get my hair cut and maybe start thinking about what to wear on the first day of school. Teachers will be there on Monday without students doing final prep stuff. But the little kiddos arrive bright and early on Tuesday morning. I need to look good, right?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blog-ality Homemakeover 4

Tons to share this week. Can not believe how much has changed since last Monday. After talking to other Remodel Survivors, there's always these periods of crazy activity and then total slow downs.

Well, last week was full speed ahead. It started Monday morning with the floors finally going in. The boxes were opened and acclimated to our house since last Thursday. There was a bit of a scuffle when the installers didn't want to do a moisture check on the cement slab or lay a moisture barrier before laying the wood. REALLY??? We insisted and watched them pour this glue with a moisture component included called Mapie 995. Then the boards started flying. I was absolutely surprised how quickly they were able to get things going.

Within a half hour they had almost completed half the first room. Way cool! We left them to it while we went over to pick up our induction cooktop and pop up vent. We were gone for about three hours. Came home and couldn't open the front door. They had gotten the floors done so quickly that they went ahead and started on demo-ing the living/ dining room floors out. Something they weren't supposed to start until Wednesday. We had to scramble to pull our entire surround system apart and get the TV out of the way.

Now it's time for the cabinets to roll in. Tuesday morning started with not one pickup truck but two crammed full with our cabinets.

It was thrilling to watch them bring everything in and arrange it in the space. The kitchen is starting to look normal again, albeit different than what was there before.

Wednesday was granite template day. We drove out to the Rock Yard and had them place the framing pieces they put together Tuesday night up against the granite we chose. It is called Geriba Gold and works in a lot of the colors we have in the kitchen. It is so beautiful and has tons of movement. Playing with the framing was like putting a huge puzzle together. It was kinda fun!

By Friday it was ready to go in. I felt like dancing. I don't know how only two people were able to finagle all of those weighty rocks into the house, but they did it.

Definitely not without drama of course. As they are putting the pieces out, there's a problem with the cabinets. One side was 1/8th of an inch lower than the other side. It was a couple of tense minutes watching them while they tried to figure it all out. At the end they loosened the cabinet and slid it in. Then they couldn't slide the huge single sink piece into place. Can you imagine me cringing as they start shoving and gouging the dry wall until it goes in? Yeah, it was awful, but it's there.

Now it's time to fret over the island piece. The hole they cut just barely fit the cooktop and the pop up vent. They had to cut out these little side divets to make it fit. Only to discover that the pop up doesn't fit down into the cabinet correctly. There's this huge panel on the back that juts out like a little mountain. They have to carve out pieces of the cabinet backing to make it fit and then resupport it along the back. That's okay, though. The pop up is defective anyway and has to go back. It's bent and won't rise to its proper height. Never a dull moment.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog-ality Home Makeover 3

It's been a slow week. And I mean S  L  O  W. The workers came Monday morning to clean and patch up drywall and then they left at about 11 (leaving all the doors wide open mind you). And then nothing for the rest of the week.

They were supposed to start installing the brand new hardwood floors on Monday as well, but a certain kerfluffle involving warped boards sent our original order back to the warehouse. And sent us scrambling to locate a back up plan. NO one had what we were looking for. Lumber Liquidators has absolutely no stock on anything we tried. There latest TV commercials about the BIG SALE with tons of inventory? Lies. Bold outright lies. Well, if you want laminate flooring you are set for life. You want something real? Fah-ged-about-it!

We finally located a company in Tampa that had an engineered version of what we needed. We asked them to send us a sample so we could see what the top layer of flooring would look like. There was a brief moment when we almost ordered 65 boxes of a type that had a top layer so small I could break pieces off with my fingernail. We waited and waited for this sample to arrive. Even had a tracking number. When we saw that it was delivered to the wrong place...let's not go there.

Once we saw the sample and felt the layer was thick enough to not wear down pretty easily, we asked when they could ship it. This was last Thursday. They said it wouldn't go out until Monday. Which meant delivery on Friday of the following week. Umm, no. That would push our remodel completion date too far back. There was talk of flying me down to Tampa to rent a UHaul and drive this stuff back home BAH MAH self! The company suddenly decides it doesn't release product to the public, they only ship. So we wait, again.

It finally arrived on Thursday around noon.

And it's gorgeous! So  much variation in color between the boards that it will have a nice movement throughout the house. YAY! Oh wait, now it has to sit for five days and 'acclimatize' to our house.

The only other thing that happened to move this process further was the mantle for the fireplace showing up around 2 on Friday afternoon. We saw this neat design on line and the cabinet guy offered to make it for us. That was nice.

In the mean time. We paint. And paint. And paint. 2 hours each weekday. 4.5 on Saturday and a whopping 7 hours yesterday. Have I mentioned I don't like to paint?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blog-Ality Home Makeover 2

Whew! First week of the renovation process is complete. That first day was a big change with everything being demoed. After that it sort of slowed down with little projects each day being started or finished.

Then began the agonizingly slow process of getting the tile grout up from the cement. They tried chipping it, they tried sanding it, then they decided to grind it down. Each taking a day at least. It's all off now. But everything is covered in a fine layer of dust despite the plastic seal they are using.

The next project was what will be forever known as the "Firewall." We have 17 foot cathedral ceilings with oversized windows on either side of the fireplace. Decided that would be a cool accent wall and bought some stacked stone:

They needed scaffolding to reach the top most peak. Little did I know how much I would come to hate that scaffolding. But the wall turned out amazing. It absolutely defines the space {HGTV speak for WOW Factor}.

We asked them to leave the {dreaded} scaffolding to save us the cost of renting our own so that we could paint the sloping ceiling and the support beam ourselves. Boy, oh boy. That not a day of fun.

Five hours with a 12 foot extender pole and a roller. I was completely covered in 'parmesan' paint. Then another four hours to paint the beam to mimic an exposed beam.

What a week!