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!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Made it Monday: Summer Recap 2017

Today teachers in my district report back to work for Teacher Work Week. I've enjoyed creating memories with my family and friends. I've been blogging regularly during the summer and hope to continue once the school year starts. Let's take a look back at all the creations I've shared this summer...

7*3 Long Range Plans- This week I shared my long range lesson plans. 

7*10 Open House Stations- This week I shared my idea for a Cookie Themed Open House.

7*17 Leadership Teams- This week I shared my idea for classroom jobs. 

7*24 Erin Condren Teacher Planner- This week I shared how I adapted my planner to fit my specific needs.

7*31 Classroom Library- This week I shared my organization for this year's chapter books. 

8*7 Fabric Tassel Curtains- This week I shared my classroom curtain project. 

8*14 Seven Habits Posters- This week I shared my new 7 Habits of Happy Kids posters from a template on TpT.

8*21 Team Birthday Gifts- This week I blogged about the birthday gifts I'm giving my teammates this school year. 

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Back to School Goals

Well we're down to hours now... in less than 3 days teachers report back to work in our county. Luckily, I've had the entire month of August to work in my classroom so it's pretty much finished (classroom tour coming later this week). With my classroom completed and copies made for the first two weeks of school, I have time to reflect on last school year and set some goals for the new year.
  1. Read aloud to my students every day. I know I read aloud to them most days, but this year I need to make sure I do it every day.
  2. Give positive notes to students every day. I purchased some super cute notes from Ford's Board, Positive Notes to Students- Fun Puns, this summer and can't wait to use them.  
  3. Go home when the buses leave. Since I'm an early riser, I'm at school before 7:30am each day even though I don't have to be there until 8:50am. I can get most of my work done in that time if I'm intentional. So this year I'm saying goodbye to long days and late nights. 
  4. Read my devotional every day. Some mornings, I'm just anxious to get to school and I end up skipping my devotional time. It's important for me to start the day off with my creator and in the right mindset. My devotional of choice, Jesus Calling. I also like to read one chapter of Proverbs a day, 31 chapters, 31 days in a month. And when I'm really going through, I pray/read Psalms 35. I've read it so much, I've actually memorized it and can recite it!
  5. Spread KINDNESS! Last year I started "Boo" Grams during the month of October and the teachers at my school seemed to enjoy it. I then thought that we needed something year round to keep the morale up. Thus R.A.C.K.ed was born... Random Acts of Coalminer Kindness (coalminers are our mascot). My goal is to RACK a couple of people a month. It doesn't take much, a $5 gift card, a pack of flair pens or tasty treats to brighten the day of a coworker.
So those are my back to school goals, what are yours?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Made It Monday 8*21*17

I've been super busy this week! My students finally showed up in my gradebook and I love looking at their lil' cute faces, in one short week teachers in my county will report back to school and I'm beginning to get a little anxious. 
This week I finalized my team members birthday gifts. We are a team of 9. My school is the largest in our county with over 1,200 students. Most teams have 9 teachers, a couple have 8. I don't give birthday gifts every year but this year I decided I would. I've already put together the gifts for those team members who had summer birthdays. We're meeting for breakfast and for a team meeting this week , so I'll give them to them then. Each gift bag includes:
  • a mini bag of Tate's Tiny Chocolate Chip Cookies, they are my most favorite cookie and Kroger had the mini bags on sale 10 for $10. I racked up!
  • a hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works that says Happy Birthday.
  • a Starbucks Gift Card
Now that I can see my students I can begin to put names on things. I don't know their nicknames yet but for the most part most students will go by their first name so I like to get a head start in labeling things. Here are past photos of the Welcome Bunting I put outside my classroom. 
The Welcome Bunting is available for download in the Resource folder at the Teaching Oasis.

My last idea came with the help of my #teamBFF Kaitlyn. She attended "Camp Chromebook" in our county last week and came up with a Digital Citizenship Poster for our classrooms. She sent it to me and I added some graphics and fonts. I love the way it turned out. I also love the fact that she used the SMART acronym, it goes with our school motto, Coal Miners are SMART!
Looking for more Made It Monday ideas, check out 4th Grade Folics!