Saturday, August 30, 2014

I Survived!

Me on Monday of Teacher Work Week
I survived teacher work week! I was also able to meet 19 of my 25 students at Open House on Friday. Looks like I have a great group that seem eager to learn. I thought I'd share a couple of files with you. This will be my first year having a student that has a peanut allergy, so I thought I should post a sign outside my door alerting to that.

I also wanted to share the stationary I created for the first week of school. I like to get a baseline writing from every student. This will help me evaluate their writing skills and set goals for them... using capitalization and punctuation correctly, spelling sight words correctly, adding details, and so on. I intend to brainstorm all the things they can possibly tell me about themselves and then have them write about themselves for me to read. Creative Clips came out with some cute S'More Graphics and I couldn't wait to use them somehow!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Classroom Tour 2014-2015

My classroom is finally finished. In the 11th hour they hired a new teacher for 3rd grade so I felt the need to finish it so I can be available to help her teacher work week.

Here is my writing station, all ready for my bar from Ikea to be hung, that has the containers you can hang on it and my Whole Brain Teaching rules board.

Here you can see my Behavior Clip Chart, my Daily Schedule and my Parent Wish List... got the cupcake idea
from Pinterest.

Here's my calendar, the Super Improver Levels from WBT, 7 Habits of Happy Kids, Life Skill of the Week,
Jobs and Morning Routine.
Above the board our Nonfiction Text Features and Reading Strategy Posters I got from my last school.
Here is my Super Improver Board, students will start off with a White Card, Beginner Level, then once they earn 10 stickers
they move up to the next level, Green Card, Learner Level. I'll put my writing and math posters in this corner.
Carpet Area with my Spiral Wreath with the Birthday Chart hanging below it.

Classroom Library leveled for Accelerated Reader.
Here's the computer nook, workstations and carpet area.
Storage area with boxes set up for sorting community supplies during Open House.
The Back Counter, it will house all of the things my teacher desk use to.
Sink Area
This is my Science Area, it has Engineering and Design Process Posters, Science standards and the Scientific Method.
Reading Group Materials, Chevron Baskets from Michael's.
Genre and Reading Posters... oh and my name banner.
Reading Strategy and Skill Posters
Reading Group Area
Reading Group Area...aka my new teacher desk
View from the door. I've already put out the students' Literacy Binders, Communication Folders and Welcome Treats.

I love setting up my classroom for a new year! Below are some links to some things that are in my room, just in case you want to get them for yours ;)

*Chevron Labels by Learning in Wonderland
*Melonheadz Genre Posters by Rachel Lamb
*Melonheadz Reading Posters by Amy Groesbeck

Monday, August 11, 2014

Free September Resources

September Task Cards from The Teaching Oasis
Hopefully you're family with my website The Teaching Oasis {link to the right}. It's full of free resources for {Virginia} teachers that are geared towards 2nd and 3rd grade.

I started the site back in 2010. Funny thing is, I use to share my resources freely on the Second Grade Teachers Club when a teacher took my resources and several others and started selling them on Teachers Pay Teachers. That's when I had a light bulb moment... if she could sell my resources, so could I. So for two years I successfully sold items. Then God laid it on my heart to offer up my materials once again for free and run the site off of donations. So as hard as it was, I was obedient and did just that. Donations have been able to keep the site live so all is well. Oh, and is it bad that I googled the teachers name {because I will never forget it} when I was in the hospital recovering and saw a mugshot of her... apparently she had been arrested for petty theft a couple of years ago. Can't say I'm surprised, as she has always had questionable character. It's unfortunate that we have people like that teaching our children.
Anyway, I just uploaded updated September Task Cards. Same text, different design. I assume teachers print these and laminate them and place them in a writing center.
 These word wall cards can be printed and laminated, then cut apart. You can keep them in a center or put them on a bulletin board.
I also added monthly poems back to the website. Envision a composition notebook. Opened to a left and right page. On the left students can glue the poem. On the right they can glue the journal strip, respond and even draw and color a picture.

So if you want to stop by and download some free monthly resources, feel free. Click Here

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Student Treats

In preparation for my upcoming surgery I was busy putting together all types of treats I knew I would need once school started.

The first treat they'll get will be their Welcome to 3rd Grade boxes they'll get during Meet the Teacher which is held before school starts. To any student that doesn't come, it will be waiting on their desk when they return.

Welcome to 3rd Grade Treat Boxes

Welcome to 3rd Grade Treat Boxes
I purchased these cute favor milk cartons from Michael's. They came 12 in a pack, I believe they had pink, blue, green, red packs to choose from. In each pack was 4 chevron printed, 4 polka dots, and 4 solid colors.  I added a mini bottle of hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works {5 for $5 with a 20% off coupon}, Target Brand Fruit Snacks and 4 Tootsie Rolls. I picked up some sheer ribbon from Hobby Lobby and made some tags on my computer. You could easily just use the adhesive that came with the carton to create them but I had to be difficult and punch holes and use ribbon to hold it together.

Student Birthday Treats
Student Birthday Treats
I ordered these cute little containers off of Etsy. They came with the cup and the dome lids. I bought a set of mini slinkies from Party City and a bag of Wonka Mix Up Candy from Walmart and added the slinky and 4 pieces of candy to each cup. Then I added white shredded paper that I got from Michael's on top and put the lid on. They turned out super cute!

What do you do for welcome treats and/or student birthdays.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fluency Fridays
Fluency Card Bank from Lakeshore Learning
I began Fluency Fridays 8 years ago with the DRA {Developmental Reading Assessment} starting putting emphasis on Words Per Minute and students couldn't progress on to the next reading level if they didn't meet the fluency rate requirement.

Every Friday I would check all of my second graders fluency. Flash forward... I teach third grade now and not every child needs fluency rate practice. Every Fall when I complete DRA assessments I make a list of students who failed a level because of WPM as well as a list of students whose WPM is borderline. Usually that's around 8-12 students. On Fridays I check those student's fluency only.

I was finally able to capture some pictures of how I set up my fluency checks while teaching summer school. I use the fluency record that comes with the kit to track their progress and I used a program called Graph Club years ago and created this graph {sorry I don't have an electronic copy}. Students read the colored copy from the kit while I follow along in my binder. I also use the minute timers the kit came with to measure how many words they can read per minute.

I use a 1 inch binder for my Fluency Checks
I copied one Fiction and Nonfiction Passage from each level and put them in sheet protectors in the binder.
I started this student at a level E, as you can see it took two tries to pass that level and then she went onto level F. During the year, I would give her the Nonfiction E but for sake of time this summer I just went onto the next level.
As you can see this student's fluency was inconsistent this summer.
This student was only able to stay on level G this summer but you can see that his fluency doubled from the beginning of summer school until the end.
This student was able to progress through 3 levels this summer. I also remind them that their fluency drops when the begin a higher level but then usually by the second reading they bounce back.
Every year I've seen students who've struggled with fluency increase their WPM and most importantly their confidence by do this every Friday. What do you do to increase fluency in your classroom?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


I am now fibroid free! I had my surgery on Monday and came home on Tuesday. I was only suppose to have a 3 inch incision and they were only to remove a fibroid that was the size of a small apple. Well after doctor removed what was the size of a peach, she felt around and found 3 more fibroids the size of golf balls that never showed up on any ultrasounds because they were embedded in the uterine muscle. So they had to cut much deeper and I ended up with an incision the about 6-7 inches wide. It's very similar to a C-section cut. I've had a steady stream of visitors plus my mom came to stay with me so I've had plenty of people taking care of me. But I showered and dressed myself this morning! So I'm doing pretty well considering. It still hurts to get up and sit down but once I'm into position I'm fine. Looking forward to a pain free lifestyle. After speaking with my doctor, it's no wonder I've been in so much pain and had so much bleeding, she said she had never seen anything like it before. She said they must have been there for years to be the sizes they were.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Currently August

Welp it's August which means I'm currently more than halfway through my summer vacation!

I am so tired...I cannot believe it took 5 hours to go what should have taken 2 hours! But I had a great time at the Lakeshore Store, stocked up on construction paper, got my chevron name plates, even a cute welcome bulletin board set for the hallway. Now tomorrow morning I'll be up with the chickens hauling this stuff into my classroom. I would have done it today but I got back too late. Well it's time for me to go to bed, my left ankle is starting to swell and apparently needs to be elevated!