Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spelling Speed Words Double Consonants

A couple of weeks ago I created a spelling game for my sweets to use that coincides with our spelling program (Zaner-Bloser Spelling Connections ~ AMAZING). Before I began creating my own stuff I searched all over TPT and TN looking for some materials that go right along with our spelling program and couldn't find anything. I try each week to create a game to help students simply spell the word and a game to help students identify patterns in the words and sort them accordingly. This week we began with an anchor chart with 3 words on. I had the students at the rug and read the words to them. I asked them if they could see any patterns in all three words. . . and they DID! I haven't quite taught a spelling lesson like this before and I am never going back to the old way ~ I loved it and my sweets LOVED it. Every time we identified a pattern we wrote in on the chart. Then to wrap it up I had them turn-and-talk to a partner and try to each come up with a word that fit the pattern. It was so much fun and then they were allowed to write it on a post-it and place it on the anchor chart. Honestly, I was a little disappointed that today in spelling there was no new skill just a simple review which they ROCKED. It's so true if you are excited about what you are teaching your students will be excited.

This took about 25 seconds to make before I began teaching it with the sweets! 
Speed Spelling Double Consonant Words
Just wondering. . .
Does anyone else use Zaner-Bloser Spelling Connections (I use third grade in second grade)? 
How do you teach spelling?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Current Classroom Pictures . . . Part 2.a

     Now right off the bat this will be a two-part post. I LOVE outlines and list, henceforth, my title: Part 2.a. My classroom has a "loose" candy theme in mostly primary colors. I say "loose" because I see some amazing classrooms in blog word that have these themes that are so so so creative and everything connects. The perk to using primary colors: they are EVERYWHERE all the time. I love being able to keep the colors fairly cohesive.
      On Thursday one of my favorite college professors is coming to my class to observe a students teacher. On Friday my school is having Grandparents' Day. That was all the motivation I needed to do some deep cleaning in my classroom. It's been pretty consistently clean but it needed a bit more TLC than the usual. I mean it is more than half-way through the year and it's the first time I spent almost the entire Saturday in my classroom. I made a long mental list of all the cute things I need to create to make my classroom more functional.
     Now onto the pictures!

This is a snapshot of the "makeover" process and the beginning of the year!

My classroom library :) I created my labels over the summer and still need to create some new ones for some new categories!
My library check-out system is SUPER DUPER easy -  every student has a check-out slip and writes the title of the book the date they check it out and the date they check it back in.
Are communal class supplies

M&M Math Mania Corner - All my math workstations are housed in the middle. 
Pencil sharpener, paper, and Literacy Work Stations
(Literacy Work Stations need some cutesy labels!)

My Cookie Conduct clip chart behavior system - it's all in its own little corner of the classroom.

Every time a students' clip goes down they must fill out a blue sheet. The blue sheets allow the student to identify what they, why they did it, and what they are going to do next time. I also require a parent signature. The blue sheets keep parents aware of their child's behavior and leaves me a permanent record to reference if I need to. 

My desk! It's tiny but I love it. I originally had a huge one but I decided it took up to much space. 

I try to keep everything in the drawers so I ave a clean desktop. 

This is my round the school year bulletin board. This is where I display students' work. The candy wrappers have each students name on them. The big blue rectangle in the middle is suppose to identify whatever is on display. 
Disclaimer: If I knew how to create borders around pictures and put pictures in collages I would happily do it, but I haven't figured it out. Also, complete side note, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to watermark things I create in Pages on my Mac. Till I figure that out I can't post anything else onto TPT. Since I'm exposing my helplessness I have one more frustration. For the life of me I don't know how people create the adorable previews of their units for sale and put them in their blog posts. If anyone knows how to do any of this and remembers how it felt to be the new helpless little guy please let me know! I would be so grateful!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Before Classroom Pics

One of my FAVORITE things is to see other teachers' classrooms. I love seeing before and after pictures, themes, organization, decorations, and such. I mean before I had my own classroom I would take note of what I liked. Now I have my own classroom and it was not my style at all. The summer involved a lot of sweet talking my amazing handy-man grandpa! I made sure to document the transformation because looking back now it looks entirely different then the room I spend most of my life in! Ha :) During, student teaching my CT's classroom was HUGE! Now the school I am in is AMAZING! It is actually where I have ALWAYS wanted to work! Anyhow, the room I have is the smallest classroom in the school (but I only have 13 sweets!). It was/is a fun challenge trying to figure out the best way to use my space to maximize the learning. I leave you with some before photos with after photos soon to follow.

classroom view from one of the 2 entrances

classroom view from the other entrance 

view from the previous teacher's teacher desk

whiteboard and my projector screen is there (I have an Elmo and am addicted to it)

Those are the before pictures. I have in between the process photos, almost there photos, and real life school photos. I was blessed to have the whole summer to be in my room and go through the "inherited" stuff, paint, and organize. It was such a blessing and then the help from those closest to me was phenomenal! I sometimes wonder if parents truly realize all the time, energy, effort, and money we put into what we do. . . Some parents do and others I believe are still largely unaware. Good thing I do what I love for the sweets!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Figuring This All Out

Wow! So I believe I have taken for granted all the amazing blog posts I have read. They all look so pulled together and organized with nice pictures of freebies or TPT/TN packets. I must learn how this is all done. I'm sure in time I will arrive to that place (Lord willing). Well, I was super excited to come across this giveaway hosted by Tunstall's teaching Tidbits. Her blog sucks you in and keeps you going back for more and more inspiration. I'm happy to say that I am one of those teachers who gets President's Day off! Of course I'll be trying to plan and create great learning activities for my sweets. How ironic isn't it? A day off and I'm choosing work (and maybe some Hunger Games. . . ) Hope you enter the giveaway!

"Do You Feel Lucky?" Giveaway ~ Hosted by Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sweet Seconds

First Post Ever!

     I have to say I have been wanting to do this for a LONG time. I finally worked up the courage to start! I love teaching. I've wanted to be a teacher since third grade. When I discovered the blog teaching world, Teacher Pay Teachers and the Teacher's Notebook I was blown away. Oh how I wish I had know about this invaluable resource while I was in college. Of course, I now find tons of ideas and inspiration from blog land, TPT, and TN.
     Besides all that crazy good stuff ~ I learned how to create educational resources to use in my classroom. I also happen to be slightly addicted to it. . . :-) I am really looking forward to offering some freebies, gaining inspiration from all of you, and possibly giving some!
     Last week I introduced subject-verb agreement to my sweets! I created a couple anchor charts and a whole group game to do with them. I posted the freebie. Click on the link to grab it from my TPT store. I hope it is useful. Please let me know if you found it helpful.
Subject and Verb Agreement Freebie