Saturday, October 25, 2014

You Oughta Know October Blog Hop!

Welcome to my post for Mrs. McClain's blog hop...

I think you oughta know about the MANY uses of STICKY NOTES!

I love love love sticky notes and I use them in a ton of ways in my classroom! I'm going to share a few of those ways with you today...

 Whole Group Lessons:

I use sticky notes for whole group lessons a lot & students will stick one of their sticky notes to the "Sticky Note Parking Lot" at the end of the lesson.

Often I will use sticky notes during a read aloud for students to stop & jot. I will give students a certain number of sticky notes, have them number them, then stop during the read aloud, ask a question, ask students to make a prediction, ask a question, etc. and they will stop and jot it on their sticky note.

At the end of the lesson I will ask students to park a certain numbered sticky note or their "best" sticky note. I can easily use these to gauge which students are on, approaching or not on the target. I use the organizer above to easily sort out which students have mastered the objective, standard, etc.
I keep these organizers in a binder. Simple sticky notes can be a great (and easy way) to assess students' learning. You can grab a copy of these organizers by clicking the photo above.

Small Group:

I also use stickies a ton in reading groups/book clubs. The kiddos love to write on sticky notes so what better way to get them to write about their reading than writing questions on sticky notes an sticking them inside their books. When the students get to the sticky note, they stop and answer the question.

In order to ensure quality answers, we use the above T.A.P. bookmarks to rate our answers. Students can receive a point for turning the question around, a point for answering the question perfectly and 1-2 points for proving their answer using details from the text. You can grab these book marks by clicking the picture above.

Individual Conferences/Goals:

My students also use sticky notes when they are working on individual reading goals from our C.A.F.E. board. Many of the strategies they are working on lend themselves to writing their thoughts while reading on a sticky note. I.e. Ask questions, make predictions, summarize a chapter. The kiddos love that they have some ownership over these stickies and it isn't just stopping and writing when I decide they should. The stickies are nice too because they serve as natural book marks, so when I individually conference with my students, they know right where to go in their book to prove that they are working on their goal.

I even carry around a little bin of "supplies" to my individual conferences so kiddos can restock on stickies and so I can create "model" stickies for kiddos who need them.

There are SO many uses for stickies including tons beyond what I'm sharing here. How do you use stickies?

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Five for Friday: Journals & Charts & Freebie!

I'm linking up with Doodlebugs for Journals & Anchor Charts & a Freebie, oh my!

Our grade level started using interactive math notebooks this year. I recently found THIS amazing resource from Blair Turner and it was worth EVERY penny! I really mean it too, because I'm not one to spend a ton of money on TPT products, I'll try to figure out a way I can make it/do it myself or ways I can make it fit my teaching style better, etc. But this is second grade math interactive journal perfection!

The kiddos LOVE adding to their journal. We do a version of Math Centers/Math Workshop and they LOVE when I tell them the teacher rotation will be their math journals.

I hope this will eventually be an independent rotation but for now they need my support so I use it as an opportunity to expand on/reteach my mini lesson while they cut & glue.

Our grade level has also started using (at the reccomendation of one of the 3rd grade teachers) interactive reader's notebooks. I bought THIS amazing resource from Nicole Shelby  to help with that.

I've been using it in small pieces about 2-3 times a week. So sometimes it takes a full week to complete an entry, but I'm finding it's working well because it isn't taking away from any of my "normal" lessons.

I also am using parts during reading group - i.e. summary entry was made after completing a book in a reading group so we could talk about that story in relation to what we learned about summaries.

One of my girlies says: so can I look at this page when I'm reading to make sure I'm thinking about what's important? I could of hugged her! YES YES YES, that's what these journals are for!!!!!

The toughest thing with the interactive notebooks is all the cutting... so I've started to really put the paper cutter to use when I prep for an interactive journal day!

I was inspired by Nicole Shelby's interactive notebooks and used her "What stuck with you?" bubblegum theme for author's message. My kiddos were even impressed with my artistic anchor chart... it made my day that they noticed my hard work :)

On the anchor chart note, I'm loving our addition and subtraction strategy anchor charts this year! Last year we included "count on fingers," "use manipulatives," etc. but this year my kiddos are more proficient with their math facts so we have included more "complicated" strategies! Our subtraction one isn't quite finished yet!

Finally, the promised freebie! Although this is not an "anchor chart" per say, it is certainly a chart that is a huge part of our daily routine. Each day we complete this "number of the day" chart for the number of days we've been in school. It has really helped my kiddos with their number sense, especially when it comes to 10 more/10 less! I have the cards printed and laminated then taped to one of the giant post it note chart papers so I can move it to the easel during morning meeting and stick it up behind the easel during the rest of the day. This would also work really well to gear kiddos up right before math! I hope you can find it useful in your room.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Whole Brain Wednesday:

Welcome to another Whole Brain Wednesday!
Today I'll be sharing another quick and easy strategy. It's one I use daily and one that I can't believe I haven't shared yet...

The 10 Finger Wooh!

When kiddos do something great in a whole class setting such as: a very thoughtful answer, putting forth extra effort, being a helpful classmate, etc.... in a WBT classroom, they get a 10 finger wooh. The teacher says "Give _____ a 10 finger woooh! & everyone wiggles their fingers at the student and say "Woooooh!"

Even better... if a student deserves more than a 10 finger wooh, they can get an 11, 12, 13 or even 14 finger wooh!
The teacher will say: "Give ____ a 12 finger wooh!" and the class will respond: "Woooooh" wiggling all their fingers at the person, then "Woooh" wiggling 1 finger, "Woooh" wiggling 1 finger.

You can put some variations on it too... like when we were skip counting, I'd ask kiddos to give a 15 finger wooh counting by 5's or a 10 finger wooh counting by 2's. This is SUCH an easy strategy and can SO easily be implemented in your classroom!!!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday: Books on Books on Books

I'm linking up with Mrs. Jump for Book Talk Tuesday and I have a unique post for you today.

As some of you may know my blog started out in college as a blog to review books and offer teaching suggestions and resources.

I recently updated my "Great Books" tab to include a direct link to every book I've ever reviewed or posted on Book Talk Tuesday. I hope this will serve as a resource to those of you who are looking for a great read aloud or book for your students to read. Included with every "review" is reading level & resources. In addition, most of the book links include vocabulary, web resources, before/during/after reading ideas & more.

If you don't want to go check out the Great Books tab now... here are picture links to a few of my favorite books that I've posted about...


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Friday, October 17, 2014

Five for Friday: Fall Fall Fall

Linking up with Doodlebugs for another Five for Friday

We are all about bats the past week and a half! Check out Tuesday's book talk here to see what we've been up to!

We went on a field trip around our town and to a farm last week. The kiddos had a fabulous time, especially in the one room school house! The questions were priceless... "how could all those grades fit in here?!" "how did the teacher know what to teach?" "why did the students have to use chalk?" Yes we have reached a generation where very few kiddos have been exposed to chalkboards in a classroom!!!

I've expanded my "teach your hand" to "teach your foot" while students are waiting for the rest of the class to finish writing something down during a whole group lesson. To learn more about teaching your hand and foot, check out this weeks Whole Brain Wednesday.

I've been dying for an excuse to use the magic curtain strategy I learned about in my grad class to build excitement and get students talking about a new unit. We are starting a unit on matter, so I decided to cover up solids, liquids & gases on the carpet to build excitement while my kiddos ate lunch (they eat in my room) wondering why I wouldn't tell them what was hiding under the table cloth!

You might have thought there was candy or critters underneath with how excited they were when I finally revealed what was underneath. After observing and discussing with their partner, they had to make a prediction about what we'd be learning about in science.

We made these awesome pumpkins last year and it took FOREVER... so this year I smartened up and had our 6th grade reading buddies help us out with the cutting. These are really cute and simple... 11 same size orange circles, fold 10 in half and make a slit about half way from the fold side. Slide the folds onto the 1 not-cut circle and spread them out to create the pumpkin look. Then glue on a green stem... easy peasy!

Have a lovely weekend!

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