Friday, May 15, 2015

Has it REALLY been that long?

Oh man! I didn't realize how long it'd been since I last posted! For the sake of being OVERWHELMED with all I have to say I'm linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching to make me stick to FIVE things on this lovely Friday!

Shadow day is always a hit! We ventured out on a breeze day in April to measure our shadows every hour-hour and a half. It is such a fun but crazy interrupted day! We love seeing how our shadows move and shrink throughout the day. One of my grade level partner's kiddos said "my shadow shrunk like my underwear does in the dryer!" Out of the mouths of babes!

We just started our shape unit last week and have been using tons of foldables from Blair Turner's Interactive Notebook!

We also played some guessing games, asking questions to guess our shape. The questions were: how many sides does the shape have? How many vertices does the shape have? How many corners/angles does my shape have? Are any of the sides equal length? Are the sides parallel?

We worked hard through April and are just now wrapping up our Fairy Tale unit. Some of my high flyers used this 3-way comparison chart to compare 3 different versions of Cinderella. They did such a nice job showing the very specific similarities and differences!

If you haven't heard of any of the I Read to You, You Read to Me books you definitely have to check them out! We LOVED the fairy tale version to get us started on fairy tales and they are WONDERFUL for fluency AND point of view... so many uses! 

My kiddos were obsessed for nearly a month, asking to do more activities with them! Definitely check them out if you haven't! There are also a Mother Goose, Scary Tales and Fables versions too!

Finally, I'm hoping to do a full post on having a student teacher, but here's a peak at my student teacher playing a Mystery Place Value game!

WOW it felt awesome to post again on here :) Thanks to those of you tuning in!

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Five for Friday

As some of you may know I've had a student teacher since about January and that combined with grad school and becoming a Jamberry consultant and everything else has made it tough for me to post as often as I'd like, but with today off for Good Friday, I'm back with a Five for Friday post!

 We've been working on time. We had such a fun time timing each other to find out how long different actions would take! The actions they chose were too funny... swinging arms dancing, disco dancing, push-ups, hand washing... you name it, they thought of it!

Our amazing reading consultant worked with my student teacher to introduce found poetry. If you've never heard of found poetry it's so easy and fun! Take a book with beautiful language like Owl Moon, read it asking students to listen for beautiful language. Record the beautiful language on chart paper. Put these phrases and words on sentence strips. Students then manipulate these sentence strips to create a poem. It was awesome having 3 teachers in the room for this!

The poems they came up with were pretty awesome!

My kiddos have been doing an awesome job making inferences. I found an awesome what's in the teacher's bag? activity here. The students LOVED it!

We also made picture inferences! I found some awesome pictures for making inferences thanks to pinterest and we did a "carousel" activity where each group made an inference about the pictures around the room.

Our student teacher came up with the idea of turning ourselves into clocks! We had fun figuring out what time our bodies were showing.

The Harlem Wizards visited our school and one of my kiddos was picked to do a few tricks with "Big Mike" so cool!

Hopefully will be back with at least one more post next week!

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Five for Friday (on a Friday!)

Hey all, I'm actually linking up on a Friday for a change! Late on Friday, but still Friday!
Also doing a little blast from the past in this post because it's been a while!

A few weeks ago we were delving into our money unit! We love the game Rich Robots! I found it here a while back. It's a great introduction to coins.

More Money, Money, Money! We love Blair Turner's Interactive Notebook! This great activity had flaps that made this sheet into a fun flap book. Check it out here.

For my grad class, I did a co-teaching action research project on topic & detail with one of my favorite co-workers! Here my kiddos are getting serious about topic & detail!

I have a student teacher right now (part of why I haven't posted much, it's actually a lot of work!) but let me tell you, it is making it SO much easier to do reteach! I grabbed a group of kiddos who struggled with subtraction with regrouping and did a little reteach activity today. I got this game from Amy Lemon's I Can Regroup Addition & Subtraction Centers!

Check out my new favorite app Shadow Puppet! My students wrote How To stories and recorded them using this app! It's basically a really fun presentation app. You can do a lot more with it than my kiddos did on their first try, but seriously so fun & such great final products.

Check out one of my favorites by clicking the image above.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Whole Brain Wednesday - Amping it up!

Anyone else feeling in a bit of a slump this time of the year!? The snow days, delays & early releases have me in a mixed-up teaching slump! I can't wait to have normal schedule, full days and full weeks! I think my dog is one of the only ones who is still enjoying all this New England snow!

So this brings me to the topic of today's Whole Brain Teaching...

Today I'm going to share how I'm "amping' up the WBT in my room during this winter weather slump!

You know the feeling... (or at least you do if you live somewhere where it snows a lot!)
Delays... 2 hours off of instruction time, kids all amped up from extra sleep or play time!
Early Releases... If it's announced early, all day feels like a half day, which we know is out of the normal schedule and crazy! If it's announced part way through the day.... chaos ensues as kiddos go to the office to call home or as it begins to snow and all eyes are out the window.
And then, Snow Days... one fewer day of summer and don't even get me started on the day after when they're still all jacked up about playing in the snow!

So how can WBT help get you through the winter slump?! I'll tell you...

#1 Amp up the Rules!

We practice the rules every day... but what about practicing them multiple times during the day? Before your reading block, after recess, before specials! Help the kiddos remember the super-easy-to-follow rules that make the classroom so successful! If you don't know about the rules... click the picture above to check them out. Or, if you need a set of rules for your classroom, go visit my TPT page here.

Also, encourage your kiddos to help their friends out by holding up a number to represent the rule a friend is breaking. It makes your job easier, and let's be honest kiddos love to boss each other around ;)

#2 Amp up the Super Improvers Wall!

If you don't know about the Super Improver Wall, check it out by clicking the photo above! I am handing out improver stars left and right since the winter slump hit! Even if it only is a burst of motivation, it's enough to get us through a few more minutes! I'm giving them out for even the tiniest improvements... YES! You started your independent work right away, improver star! YES! You came to the rug quietly, improver star!
Check out some of my WBT Super Improver Walls here.

#3 Amp up the scoreboard!

Click the picture above to read about the scoreboard! The scoreboard is SO easy! It doesn't have to be fancy, it can just be a smile & a frown drawn on the white board. So there is NO excuse not to amp it up. Give out those smiles & frownies constantly... every lesson, every transition, every time you use class/yes, etc.
And of course make sure you follow through with a little fun time at the end of the day. We do a lot of games from ABCya on the Promethean board before buses as a reward for more smiles. We also have played Around the World and other fun (& quick) games as rewards. Some teachers in my building do an extra GoNoodle video at the end of the day for their reward. There are lots of other things you could do too that are quick and fun!

Hope you're motivated to Amp It Up with the WBT to help get you through the winter slump!

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