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!

Monday, September 26, 2011

What we've been up to ....

 Here's a glimpse into what we've been working on lately

Before we jumped into place value to 9,999 we reviewed place value to 999 with a fun partner game. 
Each student's desk is taped off into 3 sections with the headers: standard form, expanded form and word form at the top.  The deck of playing cards is the bright green stack in the back
Dry erase board is used to keep score. 

 The opposing partner draws a card from the deck and shows it to their partner.  The partner then correctly sorts what form the card is in.  The opposing partner affirms or corrects and gives a point or does not award a point. 
 student's game board with correctly sorted forms
 orange cards were challenge cards where the students had to write the number in a certain form.
They loved it and it was great review. 

Science: We are learning about soil and experimenting with humus, clay, and sand. 
 Here students are using the hand lens to observe the types of soil

 We record our daily findings and activities in our Soil Journals
 This was by far our messiest eperiment yet. Playing with wet humus, sand, and clay and seeing which one could be rolled into a ball. 
Clay and humus were are winners.
Clay took first place in the most messiest of them all.

Behavior Party numero uno: CupCakes
We provided the cupcakes and then students got to create their own cupcake by choosing the icing, and toppings. 
It was a HUGE success.

is your mouth watering yet?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I love Wednesday (with a Hawk's Nest spin)

What I'm Loving Wednesday (why not?)
I decided to put a spin on my what I'm loving Wednesday with different categories.

1. On Pinterest: (because it's so many things I love about FALL)
Source: via Jennie on Pinterest

2. Twitter find: Reading and Writing Strategy posters

3. Personal Choice:
This Halloween tree. I really want one. We saw this at the beach this summer and I squealed with excitement:)

4. Classroom related: 
I love doing hands and eyes with my students. This works exceptionally well when we are doing board work during Corrective Reading.

Happy Hump Day. Half way there!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

any whole brain teachers out there?

Why I just now discovered and came across Whole Brain Teaching I have no clue.  But now that I've found it, I am hooked. They had me from claaassssssssssssssss- yeeeeeeeeeess.

If you aren't sure what I'm talking about check out these excellent videos of teachers modeling Whole Brain Teaching

Here's a kindergarten example of the 5 rules

and one more for 6th grade order of operations

I have started implementing some of the first steps during my Corrective Reading Direct Instructional Block.
We use the gesturing, rules (our STAR rules for Corrective) , teacher student game, and the hands and eyes.

I love, love ,looooooooove this whole model and want to dig in and learn more.
I also want to begin using the Class teach-okay during my math groups.

So tell me blogging many of you are whole brain teachers? If so care to share your thoughts, feelings, techniques, etc.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1st 7 days of school recap (part 2)

Some more activities that we did the first 7 days of school

a. We talked about reading...what it is..
what real reading and fake reading looks like
(thanks Pinterest):)

b. I did this last year with my students and it was a huge hit.
We went over our journal expectations by exploring a flip chart I made that had a sample diary/journal entry, a survey to see who had kept a diary/journal before, and brainstorming activities of why people may write in a journal.  I then explained how we would be using our journals this year, when I would collect them, and how they would be graded. 
Then the fun began.  
Scrapbook paper, stickers, cutouts, old text books (from the 80s) markers, etc equaled in some super awesome journal covers.  Check them out below. 

c. Punctuation hunt. 
I found this idea on Pinterest as well.  
Students were given an easy reader book and had to hunt and correctly sort the sentences based on their punctuation.  

 Look at that excellent tracking and checking of the sentence
 my example that I modeled for the students
then we tallied up our results and created a bar graph

Hooray for hands on learning fun:)

Monday, September 5, 2011

1st 7 days of school recap (part 1)

A few photos of some of the things we have been doing during the first week and 2 days of school.

1). After reading First Day Jitters one of the follow up activities was a cooperative group vocab exercise which is pictured below.
I love doing partner and group activities with my students as it provides great opportunity for practicing social skills and working with others.
 we love our clipboards:) Can't head to groups without them
I also allow the students to pick a place to go with their buddy.  We later decided that this location (right by all the centers and fun games) was not the best choice for minimal distractions.  

2) My Job/Your Job
This is a great back to school activity.  We met up at the small group table and discussed jobs that students might have, and the jobs a teacher has to do. We discussed what would happen if we didn't do these things? Once we created our anchor chart we all signed it as a contract reminding ourselves of the importance of being responsible and doing our jobs in the classroom. 

3). Principal from the Black Lagoon (see original post here: Principal from the Black Lagoon
 here is the picture from our interview with the principal.  Each student had their index card with 2-3 questions on it.  Before our Principal came, I had them practice reading into the microphone.
 Comparing and Contrasting posters in our groups

Part 2 coming soon.

A Glimpse into the Hawk's Nest

I am finally getting photos of my classroom posted. 
Because I had to move rooms (again) this is how my room started out:

Here is what you see now when you walk into Room 214
 view from the second door entrance. We use the main door which you see pictured here:

 view from the main entrance door.

 future bucket filling board. Going to be introducing this soon to the students. Until waits in anticipation

 My behavior resource board which is above our future "peace place" Here I have posted strategies and resources to help deal with controlling anger and taking a time out to get it back together. I teach these to the students throughout the year.

 the other half of the board is our math section.

 My lakeshore organizer. (this was before i stuffed it full of lesson plans and materials)
 Our behavior sticker chart and check out board. This is part of our classroom token economy.

 Book center and Morning Meeting/Social Circle area.

 The polka dot table for small group instruction.

 Another bookcase, teacher closet/storage, and computer area

 what can I do when I'm finished with my work poster

 quotes for teacher sanity...I mean motivation.

 my hobby lobby mirror. I heart it

Hawk Land. No students allowed beyond this point:)