Sunday, March 18, 2018

Pick a Partner Resource

Wow... it's been a long time since I've been able to blog! I don't know about you, but I could certainly use a vacation, Spring Break is just around the corner for me and I'm hanging in there.

My district is moving toward the Kagan Cooperative Learning Model, however I have not been trained yet. In the meantime, I created a resource that will hopefully save me some time in the classroom. I spend entirely too much time, choosing my students partners. I try to control who partners with who but at this point in the year I need to step back and allow my students to make their own choices. 

I came up with a partner resource pack. There are 3 different versions to choose from. Print and color for your convenience. I even included a slideshow to use with the Partner Sheets. 
  • Partner Sheet- have students choose 6 different partners, they should each write their name for the same food match. 
  • Partner Cards- give each student a card, have them pair up with someone who has the same card as them. 
  • Individual Cards- give each student a card, have them find the “food match.”
This document can be found in the Resources section of the Teaching Oasis

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Winter Olympic Reading Challenge

Due to our recent "snowcation," I was up in the middle of the night creating resources because I couldn't sleep. I decided to create a Winter Olympic Reading Challenge for my students to complete. At the moment they are participating in a math challenge to earn a "Super Bowl Learning Celebration" but I also wanted to challenge them in reading as well. My goal is to have them read 500 minutes but I've broken the minutes up into three categories so that I can award Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals (brag tags).

You may be able to use the challenge in your own classroom. I uploaded a editable PPT into the Teaching Oasis Resource Folder---> February Folder along with the correlating brag tags. 


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Reading Assessment Strategies

My Team BFF and I coordinating for our grade level's holiday program.
Tunics from Agnes and Dora, Leggings from LuLaRoe

I'm very grateful to be on Winter Vacation, for the educators who are still in school, you have my thoughts and prayers! This year my district is out from December 18th to January 1st, we return on January 2nd, that's 11 whole school days of rest and relaxation. 

One area that I've been struggling with this year are my reading assessment scores. I have on level, above level and even gifted readers in my classroom, however, my scores do not reflect that. This tells me that I need to teach more reading assessment strategies. For the most part, we take our reading assessments on paper. We have not transitioned to online testing as of yet so these materials may or may not be conducive to that. 

When we come back from vacation I plan to teach my students about QAR: Question Answer Relationships. I found this great product from Adrienne Wiggins to use with my 3rd graders. 
Click for Link
I plan to use this graphic organizer with all reading assessments. I got this idea while sitting in a CSIT (Child Study Intervention Team) Meeting. Apparently our 4th grade teachers use something very similar to this and I knew I needed to implement it with my 3rd graders. I wanted to teach QAR first because I want students to understand that every answer doesn't necessarily have proof back in the text. 
Reading Assessment Graphic Organizer: Click for Link
A couple of years ago our reading specialist made a "Reading Detective" bookmark to help guide students on assessments. I adapted it to align with this graphic organizer and will print and laminate them for the students to use when we return. 

Reading Assessment Bookmark: Click for Link
All documents have been uploaded to the Teaching Oasis Google Drive but direct links were also included.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Content Vocabulary Talks

Whew... the first nine weeks is over, 27 parent conferences have been had and report cards are finished! This was by far the most overwhelming busiest first quarter of school I've ever experienced! If this is any indication of the rest of the school year, my goal is to squeeze out a blog post monthly because who know's if I'll have time to do more than that!

I wanted to share an idea I've been doing with my third graders in math. I saw the idea while in a teammate's room. She had a Science Anchor with (animal) vocabulary words on it. At the top of the chart it said "If the answer is _____, what is the question?" So if the answer is "instinct," what is the question? Students had brainstormed possible questions and she had listed the final question next to the vocabulary word on the chart. 

I immediately thought about the math vocabulary bulletin board in my classroom. I had been wanting to do something with the words after I remove them. I've decided to only keep them up for the quarter and then take them down for the next quarter's words. So, everyday I've chosen a "review" word from last quarter and posed this question...
  • The answer is angle, what is the question?
  • The answer is difference, what is the question?
I then give them a couple minutes to talk with their face partner or shoulder partner about possible questions. Then students share out their questions and I record them on the chart paper. I reread all the questions and students again talk with their face or shoulder partner about what they feel the "best" question is for the vocabulary word. We then decide the best one and I put a bubble around it. 
 This is a strategy that can be used in any subject. It really taps into the higher level thinking as they can't use the answer in their question. Some questions are more on the mark than others but with discussion those students are realizing how their thinking may have been too specific or not specific enough.

Can you see yourself using this strategy in your classroom?

The Math Vocabulary Cards were purchased from Amy Lemons and created any word cards that she didn't have that I needed. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Can't believe it's October!

I can't believe it's already October! Tomorrow I host my 2nd annual Parent Math Information Night and next week I start Parent Teacher Conferences. It's going to be a busy month. 
Here are my Parent Math Night Goodies
I created a PowerPoint Presentation for the information session and I also put together an informational packet for parents. I also included an SOL Math Review Sheet as well as Card Games activities for students to play at home. 
My students have been hard at work. I took a few pictures to showcase some of the things we've been doing. 
Students Wrote about what makes them "CRANKY"
We read Crankenstein and students wrote about what makes them cranky. We then created out own "Crankenstein" from Krista Wallden's Frankenstein Craft Printable.
Students Wrote about the Pumpkin Life Cycle
Last week we read several books about the Pumpkin Life Cycle and students wrote a short report. Then then used Amy Lemon's Pumpkin Craftivity to complete their covers. 
Reading Groups
My teammate snuck in while I was doing reading groups last week and tweeted this picture of my students working on writing the main idea and supporting details of our guided reading book. 
Guided Reading Rotation PowerPoint
Speaking of guided reading... I absolutely love the PowerPoint Slide I created for rotations. I use the acronym READS and we go through 2 rotations a day. Then for the 3rd rotation I pull a flexible reading skills group or conduct writing conferences while students work on word study. I love the fact that's this is projected the entire time and that students can track how much time they have left to complete their task. 

Well that's all for today, I've been at a vendor event helping my friend at her LuLaRoe booth and I'm utterly exhausted, I'll be sleep soon!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Survived BTSN

Well, I've survived the first two weeks of school and our annual Back to School Night! I've been doing great with the goals I set for myself... except for goal #3, which is to leave school after the buses pull out. But I guess late nights are to be expected the first couple of weeks of school. But now that BTSN is over, I'll definitely be leaving by 4:15pm each day!
Me... rocking Back to School Night!
Speaking of BTSN, here's a photo of what I had waiting for parents on their child's desk. 
  • Food Permission Slip
  • Movie Permission Slip
  • Learning Handbook (a copy of all study guides for the year spiral bound into a book)
  • Parent Handbook (policies and procedures of our classroom)
  • Student Log In Card for access at home
  • "Pineapple of my Eye" paper for parents to write a note to their child on (Ford's Board)
student desk
I thought I share a couple more photos from our classroom so far.
We read The Potato Chip Champ by Maria Dismondy and completed a writing activity from Stories by Storie
We talked about mathematicians and completed an activity from Amy Lemons
My students have been earning Smart Tags and stickers on their Super Improver Cards
Here are some of our Anchor Charts that we've created.
Our "Stuck? Try 2 Before Me" Poster. Christina Bainbridge had this as a handout but I made it into an anchor chart for our classroom.
So that's what we've been up to in room 303, hope to share more photos next week!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Classroom Tour 17-18

This is me before Open House on Friday. I wore the same skirt last year, I just switched up the shirt.
This year's Welcome Bunting.
View from the Door
SMART (Brag) Tags and the Super Improver Wall
Classroom Library- my chapter books are organized by series and my picture books are in the buckets. 
Leadership Teams (Classroom Helpers)
My Hydration Station will be in the corner. We have the Wellness Station next to the paper towels. 
Anchor Chart Wall. Back Counter.
Computers. Bookshelf.
Guided Reading Area, my Smart Cookie Station during Open House.
Smart Cookie Treat Bags- Bookmark, Smart Tag, Smart Cookie Notepad, Smart Cookie Sticker, Scentos Mini Pen, "Nerdy" Cookie
Guided Reading Area, my Smart Cookie Station during Open House.
Reading Bulletin Board
Math Bulletin Board
Door- I'll post photos printed on my Polaroid Zip. 
Desks- SMART Folder, Agenda, Information Packet and Flipbook
That's my classroom this year. I actually moved down the hallway but it's basically the exact same room. I'm looking forward to year 14!