Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Craft alert: Magazine Christmas trees

The 2 days before we got out for Christmas/winter break, our guidance counselor came in to do a super sweet Christmas craft with us. Magazine Christmas trees! 

All you need for these super cute trees is the following:
*thick magazines (the smaller ones will not make a full tree and you may have to combine 3-4 small ones to get the full look)
*time to fold
*spray paint
*adhesive spray

 There are 3 different folds for the Christmas tree but they are not hard at all.  The part that can be tiring is folding all the pages.  My students were troopers and the lesson tied in for guidance was "perseverance and completing a project" 
 Once all steps are completed your tree will look like this
wa la

 Then you get to glam them up with spray paint and glitter 

The best part about our trees is that we talked about keeping them for themselves, or giving them away as gifts.  All of my students decided to give them to someone in their family for Christmas. Such giving hearts. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spreading Christmas Cheer

Our school adopted a local nursing home (the Lutheran Home), and our December project was to make them Christmas cards.  We went with the bright and festive papers and got busy with some thumbprint and fingerprint action.  Super simple. Super cute

We also discussed giving and the rewards of blessing others.  My students really got it and it made my heart smile when they said "can't we get them more things than just a card"? They wanted to do more. 
They turned out wonderful don't you agree?

 My Christmas tree card

 Tree number one in our room is pink. The kids love it as much as I do. It's right beside our bucket fillers so I think the tree feels pretty special:)
 lights off it shines so pinkly
 these are blue lights around the dry erase board right by the door. 
 ornament wreath hanging in our classroom
our second small green Martha Stewart tree.  
They take decorating these trees rather serious.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Me on the Map (a little late)

Found this fabulous idea for finding our location on maps on Pinterest and knew I had to do it with my students during our geography unit. 
They turned out amazing as anticipated:)

 Displayed in the hall . We received lots of compliments

Our school
 Our county: Forsyth
 Our state: North Carolina

hooray for pinterest! 
hooray for Me on the Map

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Addition Properties, Adjectives, and Halloween crafts (what we've been up to)

These pictures are from September but better late than never eh?
We have been super busy in room 214 and I haven't had much time to stop and think, let alone stop and blog. 
We have also been trying to finish up our Postcards for the Great Postcard Exchange. (mailing those out this weekend:))
Here is proof we are alive and learning:
 cooperative groups to review ordering numbers least to greatest and greatest to least. This is a great activity as the students receive a large stack of numbers to 9,999 which they must work together looking at the place value to help order the numbers.  

 Addition Properties: This was our hands on exploration of the Commutative property of addition.
Students explored creating problems with their unifix cubes and then flip flopping the addends to see that the sum stayed the same. Then they recorded the problem on the grid paper and labeled the problem.
 (below: one of my students brought in this HUGE Halloween pencil. Here he's using it to ace his addition properties common assessment)

 Finding the unknown variable in a number sentence.  Here we used cubes to explore finding the unknown in expressions.  Students created their own problems and had a neighbor sit down and solve it. They would plug it back in to check and make sure it fit in the equation.

 Halloween adjectives: Due to end of quarter testing and running out of time, I didn't get to complete all the plans I had for covering adjectives with some fun Halloween activities.  We were able to do a simple exploration with Halloween stickers.  Students are given a sticker in their word study journals.   After we talked about adjectives and went through a flip chart on the Promethean board, students had to come up with adjectives that described their sticker.  We then shared them on the document camera. Super simple, but super cute and fun.
 More examples of the students coming up with their "colorful words" 

 Halloween art: As most of you know, i love doing creative and crafty things myself and especially with my students.  After some pinterest inspiration I found rock creatures and pumpkin acorns. The above picture is my rocks and pumpkins:)
 Here are some of the students creations. I love those creepy Frankenstein faces
 boooooooooooooo GHOSTS!
 Here is another math actvitiy we did once end of quarter testing days were over.  
1st portion of the game was comparing numbers.  Students could make the Jacks, Ace, King, and Queens any number 1-9 they wish to help build their number.  We used Popsicle sticks to make the greater than, less than, equal to signs.  Each student took turns comparing and were allotted a point for each correct comparison.
for the 2nd portion of the game students pulled 3 or 4 cards off the top (depending on if you wanted to do three digit or four digit numbers). They then had to arrange their cards to make the smallest or largest number possible.  The student who made the smallest or largest depending on what I called out, earned points.  
Some students began catching on how to move their cards to beat their partner using the place value concepts.  

Thursday was the last day of the 1st quarter which made yesterday a teacher workday.  
Report cards, IEP progress reports, lesson planning, and a workshop. Teacher workdays are never long and productive enough. 

We also went to the fair for Special education day which I will also be creating a post about.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Assessment Tracker

Keeping up with formal and informal assessments can often be a daunting task if not organized.  My first co-hort teacher (who is also my best friend) and I came up with a system that worked well for our students. (As EC teachers we are having to document always and collect data 24/7)
Introducing the Assessment Tracker
 a simple notebook
 the cover sheet for each student. This is where I list the date, the assignment type, if it's informal or formal, and the results/notes
 example of math common assessments that we take each week
 the work samples follow the cover sheet and are in order by date
 we also graph and track our progress on reading and math common assessments which gives the students a chance to chart their growth, reflect on their performance, and set goals for themselves. 
I keep extra copies of the cover sheet in the pocket

Simple eh?
It works wonders. Perfect to take to meetings, conferences, etc.
How do you keep your assessment results organized?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What I love Wednesdays

I will be planning a What we've been up to post soon but for now this shall do.
Ps: due to my special educator duties, as well as being on the PBIS committee, and trying to hire an additional teacher, blogging has not exactly been a top priority. 

1. Place Value candy corn match up. I am totally going to be doing this for review week when we do our centers. 

2. Twitter find:
Virtual manipulatives from KBkonnected's twitter

Manipulatives include…
  • currency
  • base ten blocks 
  • bears in a boat
  • algebra tiles
  • clock
  • fraction tiles
  • geoboard and bands
  • tangrams
  • 100’s chart
  • …and much more
3. Personal Choice:
My candy corn pot and H pumpkin from last Halloween

4. classroom related:
this week is Bully Awareness week and today everyone wore Orange to school to stand in unity against bullying. 
All my students rocked their orange today. I forgot to snag a picture

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I love Wednesdays

It's that time again...WEDNESDAY! (half way over the hump) 
You know what that means. Here we go.

On Pinterest:
CandyCorn vases

Sometimes when the odds seemed stacked up thick against us, we have to keep pressing forward

2. Twitter Find:
it's science week in blog land and this awesome link showed up in my twitter feed for science journals

3. Personal Choice: My "Dorothy" emerald city flats. the kids love when I wear these. 

4. Classroom Related:
we are working on Properties of Addition. Today we covered the Zero and Commutative Properties. We explored with manipulatives to demonstrate and show how the commutative properties work (pictures coming soon) and tomorrow we tackle the Associate property. I am going to use the above example with unifix cubes to allow students hands on exploration. 

Happy half way through the week day!