Thursday, March 29, 2012

Missing My Sweets, Sub Stuff, and a Freebie

Sadly I've been out of school for one whole week sick, in and out of doctors' offices and hospitals. I truly love my job and my sweets. It is simply killing me not to be teaching them! I have been reading a ton on teaching methods, strategies, etc. and just want to go and use it all. Next week is Spring Break!! (of course all plans for day trips and the like are cancelled because I'm sick :(. 

I have been making labels like crazy for everything in my classroom. I have also really pondered the whole sub system. I am not entirely certain how emergency sub plans work. Are they super generic? Detailed? For every subject? I would love to read how you all organize and handle the whole sub situation.

I've also have been creating things for my class because I just can't wait to get back into school.

There Was An Old Lady Who. . . Cause and Effect

Flying High With Four Digit Numbers

I have a freebie from this unit: Synonym Student Book. Get it HERE.

If you download this freebie please let me know your thoughts! When I make things I want to make sure they are helpful to other hard working teachers!

By the way the first 3 people to follow my blog and follow my TPT store will get the Synonyms, Antonyms, Homophones Galore Unit for free. Don't forget to leave your email. I would love feedback on the product of course ~ want to do the best I can!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Guided Reading, Guided Math/Math Stations, Writing Workshop Oh My!

 For the past several days I have been out sick and dealing with doctors :( During this time I have been doing a ton of reading on guided reading, guided math/math stations, and writers workshop. I love each of these concepts and really want to restructure things so I actually am implementing all the components that would work for my sweets. I am wondering what everyones' thoughts our. . .

     I have the Ultimate Reading Binder from Lesson Plan SOS and I love it. If you do not have it I would highly recommend checking out their blog for more info. I purchased a couple books from the Barnes and Noble (side note I definitely get my use out of the teacher discount card).
Teacher Reading Binder: Ultimate Resource for any Teacher!
I believe Lesson Plan SOS and Made for 1st

     One is Launching Writing Workshop by Denise Leograndis and it is inspiring me. The catch is The Six-Traits of Writing ~ which I love. I need to find a way to mesh the two into one that works for me. This is what will be swimming in my head for the next couple weeks. Any thoughts would be welcome.

     I have also been working on a place value math station for my sweets, Buzz Into Place-Value. It is posted at my TPT store. I was finding my sweets were writing the number 320 when the place-value models showed 302 or or vice versa. I was sure to include some place-value model cards that had both the numbers 320 and 302 represented. First one to comment and follow my blog will get a free copy. I was having some email access issues and they are fixed!
Awesome graphics from Scrappin Doodles and The 3AM Teacher (I'm in love with both of their stuff!!)

I plan on making some labels for all the bins, drawers, and baskets in my room. I will be posting them as a freebie along with pictures so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Busy Times . . . Swallowed a Chick

     Well. . . I just finished third quarter report cards on Friday! I will say report cards have become less scary the more I do them. I find the keys to be entering grades into the computer as you record them in your grade book, jot notes about each student for applicable comments, and cut off your grades a couple days ahead of time (this allows for everything to be graded and entered into the computer!
     We have moved on from the time, measurement, weight, and capacity topics in our math program! We have moved onto three digit numbers and place value! I can't wait to create some things using The 3am Teacher's place value graphics! Stay tuned for a freebie and unit!
     I know this may sound crazy but I was taught the beauty of guided reading and totally believed it and loved it. Now. . . sadly I wasn't doing it in my classroom till about 3 weeks ago. I am HOOKED! I love it. Are school doesn't require it and I just didn't feel like I was able to fit it in. I reworked things and everything fits so lovely. Of course I'm blog stalking all I can about guided reading and trying to figure the best way to implement it, schedule it, and organize it all. I also am beginning to fall more in love with math stations and want to learn about writer's workshop as well. If anyone has any ideas, tips, or suggestions about any of it PLEASE let me know!
     I've been trying to squeeze in some creating! I bought some cute graphics from Scrappin Doodles and created two literacy stations. They go along perfectly with the book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick.

Old Lady Swallowed a Chick Noun & Verb Sort
Old Lady Swallowed a Chick ABC Order

The first three lovely bloggers to comment will get both sets for free (be sure to leave your email)!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Volume, Measurement, Capacity, Time

Grab it HERE

These terms are driving me crazy! I've discovered I love teaching about time, measurement, capacity, and weight. . . I have also discovered I do not like teaching them one after the other. Talk about CONFUSING. My sweets are doing a valiant effort trying to keep all the terms straight and we have been doing a TON of hands on activities to make it concrete but OH BOY. The other second grade teacher and I have already discussed breaking them up next year. We use envision math which I LOVE. I just think it's a little hard for the sweets to keep up with all the terms and then BANG no more time, measurement, capacity, and volume terms till third grade. Now of course we will have some of this stuff during math work stations because they need to be familiar with this stuff. I whipped out some containers (5 equal containers times 3), something to use as a "measuring" tool, and paint tape. Normally I look ahead and plan math, but since it's my first year I'm not alway quite sure what to expect till we are in the deep of it. Talk about a serious teacher learning curve your first year. Anyway, I created 3 equal tubs of containers, one tub had a bag of marbles, another tub had a bag of square foam tiles, and the last bag had connecting cubes. If you scroll down to the last picture you will see the containers and in the purple container I placed 5 pieces of paint tape so students could number their containers. At the bottom is a freebie I made to go along with this! If you grab it please let me know your thoughts. Does it work for you would you change it?

The materials - I have two more of the plastic tubs filled with the same containers

the containers

Volume Data Sheet

That's all for tonight! Let me know if you have any great measurement lessons/activities! I would love to try them out with my sweets :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award, TPT, Currently

Well earlier this week I was awarded the One Lovely Blog Award (you can read about it HERE). I am awarding the following ladies:
Second Grade Shenanigans This blog is wonderful. She has such great ideas to bring learning to life!

The 3AM Teacher This ladies creativity is astonishing.  I own every packet of clip art she has  put up for sale. I look for it and I love it!
Grab My Button!
Teaching With Love and Laughter This is a new blog I discovered and can't wait to keep exploring it! She also has a yorkie and I do as well!
Confessions of a Primary Teacher
Confessions of a Primary Teacher This is another newbie blog that I discovered and am loving it! 

Grab My Button
Sailing Through 1st Grade I look up to this woman. Her blog is perfectly amazing. Such great freebies and ideas!
I picked a couple of my old FAVORITES and some new discoveries that have "young" blogs like me (meaning we are new on the blog scene).  Ladies come and get your award! The rules are HERE

Here are a couple of my new Word Work stations/centers that are at my TPT store.  Go check them out here and please let me know what you think!

Fill the Right Pot ~ Double Consonants Ending in Y 
What's the Scoop? Drop the Silent e and Add -ing

The last thing up ad entirely late to the game is my currently. . . I'm linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade . . . 

I must say that I am in the living room where my sister is watching the The Bachelor. It's not quite my cup of tea but I was being honest. I just don't think I can stomach all the drama of these women. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hickory Dickory Dock the Mouse Matched the Clocks and Grading System

      First up is a glimpse of my first math unit! It is a math center for telling time on analog clocks and digital clocks. I also just so happen to be in love with The 3 AM Teacher's clipart. I just can't get enough of it. Click on the title to go check it out at my TPT store (while you're there you can allays follow to get the latest updates). 
Hickory DIckory Dock the Mouse Matched the Clocks

     Next up is my grading system. I love being a teacher. . . but I very much dislike grading (I was always told hate is a bad word. . . ).  That said I love my grading system because it's organized, portable, and one stop spot for my grading. I bought this purple 7 tab expandable file system at Office Depot! I created a cute little sticker label that was whimsical with candy because I have to look at this thing a LOT. I love being able to throw it in my bag and take it with me anywhere and know everything I need to grade is in it!

I then added my subjects on each tab. When students turn in work that needs to graded I put it in number order with the answer key in a paper clip in the right tab.

It can stand on its own!

Up close pic of my tabs. . . in the very first pocket I keep stickers and favorite grading markers and pens. 

Some of my favorites . . . I try not to grade in red. I would love hearing thoughts about grading in red ink?
     What does your grading system look like? That's all I got tonight! I have this amazing Creamy Vanilla teas awaiting me with one of those amazing Hot Cocoa cupcakes I talked about in my last post!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dr. Seuss

     I'm super excited to thank a couple of women for awarding me with the One Lovely Blog Award! It truly is a privilege and such an encouragement. Trisha at First Grade Frosting and Erin at First with Franklin were the lovely ladies who gave me the award! You must go check them both out and follow them if you have not already! I always love discovering new blogs and exploring all the posts.

I have seen a couple different versions of the rules and I'm going with these ones:

1. Link back to the person who gave it to you ~ Trisha at First Grade Frosting and Erin at First with Franklin
2. Pass the award on to 5 other Lovely bloggers ~ I'm going to think about five Lovely blogs and post those tomorrow.

3. Follow the person who sent it to you ~ I already follow both of their blogs!

     The month of March is jam-packed at our school! The fundraiser done by an organization called Boosterthon is still going strong! The kids are in LOVE with it. It really is wonderful. It is teacher friendly, incorporates character development, athletics and teamwork!
     My sweets are still in the midst of some Dr. Seuss educational fun! Dr. Seuss' birthday is on our school's Family Day. Let's just say it was a busy day. Here are a couple pics of the Dr. Seuss mini transformation (a work STILL in progress). . .

from the AMAZING Deanna Jump's Unit

I went to our library to check out some more Dr. Seuss books and she noticed and offered her Dr. Seuss stuffed animal collection! It made my day. My sweets are still excited about all the characters in our classroom. 

I'm a first year teacher still trying to figure out the best way to organize things. So far, I've come up with these tubs from Staples. How I do it is a whole other post! One of my favorite things to read on teacher blogs is peoples' organization ideas. 

I've had these peek out Dr. Seuss characters since my sophomore year in college. So excited to finally get to use them.

Short and sweet is the name of the game tonight. I made these amazing Hot Cocoa Cupcakes from Love From the Oven! If you have never had MARSHMALLOW CREAM BUTTERCREAM frosting you must go check this recipe out. I had several moments with frosting and cupcake batter!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vocabulary Creations

Oh my! Today was a GREAT day! 

First off - I danced in front of all the elementary school for our school fundraiser program. Let this be made clear I do NOT dance ~ at all period. The program our school uses is amazing. I completely understand why all my kids were so psyched about it. It was contagious and I danced. . . 

I had a blast teaching today. Starting Monday off right really does set the tone for the rest of the week. I figured out a couple ways to get through to a couple of my difficult sweets and it was SUCCESSFUL! Who knew one little skittle could be such a motivation booster. I've said it before and I will say it again "If you are EXCITED about what you are teaching your kids will be EXCITED." 

There is something I've been wanting to share with you guys. Now we all teach vocabulary and if you don't I would be a bit bemused. About a month ago when I was thinking of some ways to make learning fun I came up with this vocabulary introduction activity. My sweets keep asking when we will do it again. So far, we've been doing at the beginning of every new reading story. 
Here is how it works ~
1. Split your sweets into mixed groups (I have three groups in my classroom)

2. Assign each group a couple new vocabulary words (I assign about 2 vocabulary words to each group)

3. Tell them they will be paying charades so they must keep their assigned vocabulary words TOP SECRET (my sweets are extremely serious about this part)

4. Give each group a piece of white construction paper per a vocabulary word

5. Each group is responsible for finding the book definition, creating a definition in their own words, create a sentence with it, draw it, and think about how they will "act" it out in charades. 

6. I give my kiddos this sheet:
Vocabulary Creations FREEBIE

They fill it out as a group and then they create a "poster" for each vocabulary word they were assigned. The poster must included the book definition, a sentence, and picture "showing the vocabulary word.

7. When time is up I have each table "act out" their vocabulary word(s) and the class must guess what the word is (this is the charades part). Once the class guesses correctly they explain their poster and what they found.

This is an example of some finished posters. The words were: ranch, exhibition, dappled, and landscape business.

I would love to know some ways you teach vocabulary in your classroom!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Liebster Blog Award and a Freebie

     I am certainly feeling the love! Okay so when I read the post from Tammy at Second Helpings I was possibly jumping up and down in my car! All those "big" wonderful blogs that have been doing this for a while are AMAZING, but there are some amazing "small" blogs starting up all over the internet that are AMAZING to! I think this award is a great way to give them some recognition. I also loved exploring Tammy's blog. I love how she points out that blogging lets us reach students outside of our own classroom. It's a way of sharing the best we have come across with others. Now in my mind that is some great professional development. Every time I read a blog I almost ALWAYS come away with something I want to try in my classroom. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU Tammy! Go check her out!

NOW. . . onto the Liebster Blog Award

     In order to receive this award you need to have less than 200 followers. The purpose of the award is to highlight the up and coming blogs aka the new kids on the block.  I learned from Tammy's blog the liebe is the word for love in Germany.

     If you receive this award you link back to the blogger who awarded it to you, copy and paste the blog award onto your blog, and present the award to a blog(s) who are up and coming and deserve some notice!

I'm going to go and do some blog stalking and come back with a few of my favorite up and coming blogs! Be sure to check it out!

I present you with Johnson's Jungle
Blog Button

 Also, I will be giving a run down of Dr. Seuss' birthday with pictures. I used so many amazing wonderful resources from Lory Evans and Deanna Jump!

Lory’s Page

The Inspired Apple

I keep all my "themed" units in semi see-through plastic tubs from staples. I create labels to go on each one. Each label is themed to match its theme (kind of confusing) matching its theme.

To get this cute Dr. Seuss Box Label click here (it's completely free of the watermark)! Be sure to leave feedback or become a follower!

I'll be back have a restful Sunday evening! I'm also working on some freebie that will be available on my  TPT store with all my other freebies!