Sunday, November 23, 2014

Where Has The Time Gone?!

Ok, so I'm just going to pretend like it hasn't been almost 3 months since my last blog post.  Time has totally gotten away from me-with being in three weddings within weeks of one another, preparing for family & friend visits, and getting my newbies adjusted to their new classroom has been quite more time consuming than I've expected.  However, things are finally settling into place and I couldn't be happier! :)

My room is pretty much the same as last year, with just a few minor add ons or cosmetic changes.  Here's just a mini tour of our home away from home...

Math Focus Wall

*Changes per unit

Table Signs

I added IKEA frames to our computer table with our class website (including easy access QR code) as well as what students may work on during the morning, daily 5, and math centers.  Nice, simple reminder just incase we may need it-wink, wink :)  I've also added question stems to each table using the same frames and some from Michaels.  

Grab these HERE!

It's a MUST HAVE during "Royal Readers" which is our small group reading center.  

My QUEEN crown came all the way from the Magic Kingdom at the new Fantasy Land {makes me wish I was there every time I put it on!  Student crowns courtesy of Michaels :) }

Cooperative Grouping Mats and Name Tag Helpers

My new sanity savers, seriously.  I've made these mats based off of the Kagan grouping mats, just added a little more pizazz.  The numbers place students academically while the icons are randomly placed.  Time saver for putting students in groups, and handing out independent practice, which 9 times out of 10 is leveled. So I simply have to say, "All the 1s come get your paper, then 2s, 3s, and 4s." or  "All the crayons collect the materials for your group."  or "The glue bottles are in a group, erasers in another, etc."  or "Find someone who has a different letter then you, and who is not sitting at your table (As find Bs)."  Makes getting into groups so much easier and incredibly fast! #HappyHappyHappy

Try them out HERE!

Name Tag Helpers--

One side for reading help, the other for math.  Love to see my kids actually USING these!! Counting money, telling time, and contractions have been a breeze to teach! And I don't have to spend $25 on a class set EVERY YEAR!  

Find them HERE!

White Board Erasers- #DollarTree

I wrote each student's "secret number" on the side with the netting in the event of no one being able to find theirs. Which SOOOOOO did not happen at the beginning of the year... #lie

Sparkle Pens--Must Have!  

I use these for pretty much everything, but I also let the kids use it to trace their SPARKLE WORDS (aka good word choice words) while at the writing center.  Motivation Station! They also make our interactive math notebooks that much prettier :)

Weekly Anchor Chart Display 

My kiddos are OBSESSED with anchor charts this year! Totally NOT complaining! And yes, that is a giant size picture of my dog, Benson. 

New Bulletin Board to display Monthly Family Writing Projects.  **I'll be posting about these soon!

Old board-blah...

New Board~ #TripleBorder 

October Writing Project- WANTED Poster

November Writing Project- Turkey Disguise

Love this one for obvious reasons...

LOVE the creativity here!!  Their stories were even better :)

Made this little cutie using my new Silhouette Cameo--I'll have to spend an entire post dedicated to that little gem! In the meantime, put it on your Christmas List!

**Grab the Turkey Disguise Project HERE if you haven't done so already!

Work on Writing Center--

I have a MUST DO writing assignment students must complete each week.  The assignment is posted on a sentence strip next to the pink writing sign at the top of the pocket chart.  Below it, are the different components of 6+1 Trait Writing I want them to focus on while completing their must do.  Once they've finished, they may choose an "EXTRA" activity to work on.  Right now we are up to letter tiles, writing a friendly letter, making a list, and research.  It's working out much better this way, gradually adding things this week.  Students feel more comfortable with their choices their making, and also the quality of their work is much better than in years past.  I love when things work out better when you think you're behind schedule!

I once again started using 6+ 1 Trait Writing to teach my littles the various components of what makes a good writer (rather than simply handwriting and using correct spelling, which is what they think thought!)  I used this "program" when I first started teaching and can honestly say the kids really enjoy it and are making meaning of how to improve their writing.  You know it's working when we're reading a book and someone shouts, "Woah! They used great WORD CHOICE in there!" or "You can really hear their VOICE in this book!"  Seriously, makes my heart happy!!!

You can grab a set of these 6 Trait Writing Posters HERE!

*The Mailbox holds the Friendly Letter Templates.  They give them to me for a quick check once they're done and I let them "mail" their letter to their friend  (aka leave it in their friend's mailbox or slide the note under their classroom door on our way to lunch).  They take the letter home if they wrote it to a family member, and of course get to deliver it to another teacher if that's who they wrote to. I use a template from one of my Teacher Created Resources books--I love that company!

This will be added after Christmas most likely.  I made this little ditty from my dog's old "Greenies" dental bones box!  They are such sturdy well made boxes, I have a tendency to hoard them until I figure out a use for them. This Student Shout Out Box was a perfect fit :)  They'll write on square pieces of colored paper I've had sitting in my desk for about 3 years because I thought they were post its, but aren't, so I really have no use for any type of paper that isn't a post it. 

Writing Samples (letter, story, book, list, and card) along with a Writing Rubric for students to assess themselves once we get into the whole "story writing" thing-- #SlowAndSteady

The SPARKLE WRITING is for someone who produced a BEAUTIFUL writing piece while at the writing center that week.  We display it here and the student receives a little treat for doing such SPARKLY work! They of course get to share their writing aloud with the class, too!

Base Ten Holders-

Got these babies at the Dollar Tree.  They are small enough to stack inside our math cabinet, yet big enough to hold a smaller box for ones cubes and dice (use these for building numbers), while the tens, hundreds, and thousands (paper manipulatives printed off) fit perfectly without getting smashed! They're easy to grab and go since we pull these out at least once each week. #PlaceValueIsNeverEnding

This hot mess...

Just got organized into THIS beautiful creation!  #Ahhhhhhh #Relieved

Got these at Big Lots for about $4/ box.  They fit folders perfectly!!!! #WishIHadRoomForMore

iMath! Center Bins--

Math Facts
At My Seat
Teacher Choice
Hands On
! Computer

They have a "MUST DO" math activity to complete each time they go to that particular center, and then can choose from any of the games and activities inside the basket.  

The Must Dos correlate to the skill(s) we're practicing in class, or a spiral review of some sort--that's what I check for assessment.  The other games and activities don't necessarily provide a "product" so the Must Dos are great for keeping tabs on my little friends!

Headphones for our class iPads--

Best $25 I've ever spent! Got these at 5Below while I was back home for one of the 18 weddings I had this year. :)  #PeaceAndQuiet #SanitySaver

Used command hooks to hang and yes, my friends wrap them up beautifully each time!

Word Work Centers-- 

These little gems came from Lowes and I've had them for a little over 4 years now and they still look BRAND NEW!!! I change their choices out once every nine weeks, while changing out their "Theme Centers" once a week, or every other depending on mastery of the skill. 

New Star Student Instagram Wall! 

 Students post a "comment" about our Star Student of that week to place on their "Star Student Instagram Poster." I have these displayed in the hallway this year instead of in our classroom.  Everyone loves reading the comments from 7 year olds, such as, "I like your face." 

You can grab your freebie of this HERE!

Welp, that pretty much sums up some of the things we've got goin' on.  I can't believe it's going to be Thanksgiving already--Excited to travel home and to start Christmas shopping!  I would say decorate, but that's already been checked off the list.  #DontJudgeMe