Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made It {July 28}

I'm linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!

None of my "made its" are super exciting this week, but I made some things so I decided to link up.  I am not able to get back in my room for at least another week (probably 2), so I'm trying to get as much together as I can before I head back to the room.

I've been working on making some labels for my library and labeling the books I've acquired this summer.  I went through my books at the end of the year and did some organization of nonfiction books.  I'd love to make labels for those, but I can't remember the categories I made.  I use little Avery round labels for the back cover of my books.  Students did a great job putting books back in the correct bins with these last year.


I spent a rainy day putting together some new Reading A-Z books.  I printed off levels C-H (6 books per level; 6 copies per book) before leaving the summer so I'd have a jump start on my school year.



I worked on this little guy to update it with new fonts.  I purchased a couple new fonts and wanted to give it a little facelift for the new school year.  You can download it here.  It is a freebie!


Be sure to stop by 4th Grade Frolics to get some new crafty ideas.  Hopefully I'll have something a little more crafty next week!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five for Friday {July 25}

I'm linking up with Kasey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.



1.  I spent time walking every morning with my teacher friend around the corner.  We met last fall when I was on a walk and have enjoyed a morning walk many days this summer.




2.  I picked this guy up at a free veggie stand on my way out to my parents last night.  It became some zucchini bread.





3.  Earlier this week I had some fruit in the fridge that needed used up.  I found a recipe on Pinterest for strawberry blueberry muffins.  Yum!



Pony beads, various colored/sized pom poms, felt

red, white & blue craft sand; bag of suction cups (need to order sun catchers!)

box of popsicle sticks, bag of feathers, 2 ziplocs of ornament-shaped foam.
4.  Someone at my parents' church used to be a big crafter but was not longer crafting.  My mom said she donated tons of materials and wanted me to see if there was anything I wanted.  I came out with much more than I thought I would.  Any ideas for using above items?  Please share!


Blog Meet-Up Goodies!  
Picked these goodies up at various vendors throughout the Exhibit Hall.
5.  I finally sorted through a big pile of Vegas freebies and packed them to go to school in a couple weeks.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {July 23}

I'm linking up with Christina from Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.


I scored this paper from Office Max for $4 a pack!


What back to school deals have you found?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {July 16}

I'm linking up with Christina from Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.


This was my little travel companion in Vegas.  One of my students named him "Pengy" and he acted as a Flat Stanley throughout my trip.  I sent the pictures to students because they knew I was "teaching the other teachers" this summer (their words).  I got some strange looks as Pengy posed all over Vegas, but it was worth it because they loved it!

My question for you is what is the silliest/craziest thing you've ever done for your students?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Blog Meet-Up

We are safely back in Ohio after our wonderful adventure.  On Wednesday night, we had the opportunity to attend a blogger meet-up.  It was crazy the number of people there!  I got to see some old friends and met some new ones.  It was very loud, so a bit difficult to hear, but lots of fun.  I didn't take may pictures, but here are a few.

I saw my new friend Lcie from The Beezy Teacher.  She attended my session Monday and we chatted a bit at the blog meet-up too.  I'm excited at the possibility of collaborating with her in the coming year. She teaches in Germany, and I think that will be a great experience for my class!



Below is a photo of Ohio Bloggers.  Many of us had met prior to this meet-up, but it was great to meet some other people I've been chatting with!  Hoping to see more of them soon!

Amanda (One Extra Degree), Christina (Sugar and Spice), Sarah (Permanently Primary), Me, Em (Curious Firsties), Michelle (Fabulous in First), Jenny (Luckeyfrog's Lilypad)

The craziest thing that happened was that we had find a partner and line up around the room (inside/outside circle).  Holly (who went to Vegas with me) was on the inside of the circle, and as she rotated, she found Mary.  Mary and Holly both did their pre-student teaching in my classroom; Mary now lives in California.  We all went to Mount Union.  I had seen Mary a few times throughout the week and kept thinking she looked familiar, but couldn't figure out why. Small world!

Holly, Me, Mary

I'm having a sale on Teachers Pay Teachers this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) in celebration of my week in Vegas and my birthday.  Everything is 20% off.

I Teach K {Day 4}

Today was the 4th and final day of I Teach K!, sad face.  I had a ton of fun this week and learned so much.  There were only 3 sessions to attend today, but both presenters were rock stars!

The first was with Crystal Radke from Kreative in Kinder about kindergarteners being authors.  I loved her steps to teaching writing.  You work on each step until most of the class has it.  I never thought to do it this way, but will definitely be trying it this year.
1. Brainstorm
2. Draw Picture/Color
  - draw with pencil, color with 5 or more colors
3. Label
4. Write a sentence
   - use one label word in your sentence; use sight words for the rest of the sentence
   - this was a "light bulb" moment for me!
5. Check for capital letter at the beginning, spaces and end punctuation



She used the "Rocket" books by Tad Hills as part of her writing instruction.  My Amazon list is growing...  I also liked that as they started writing, students write the numbers from the steps above at the top of their paper and checked them off as they completed the task to help keep them on track.  Kids made vocabulary books with cute paper covers and blank pages inside. The cute paper went with the theme, then students wrote the word and an illustration to show the meaning of the word. They could then use this as a reference in their writing.




The second and third sessions were with Mary Amoson from Sharing Kindergarten.  One session was about calendar and incorporating a variety of skills into calendar time and the other was about centers.  I got some great ideas for both times during my day.

My favorite part of the calendar time was the little games that kids can play at calendar then go revisit during center time.  Her kiddos are certainly on the ball and you can tell they love their teacher!  I like the organization (everything was VERY organized and color coded in her room) of this all about the number chart.  I might need to find some more space around my calendar area.



During centers, she had some great center organization.  I'm going to try the "have to" centers and the play-based centers.  All of my centers were "have to's" but I don't think I have to ask them to play!  If 4 students were allowed at a center, she had 4 sets of materials each in a different color (if cards or paper pieces) for easy sorting and clean up. Yes, please!  Below is a picture showing how she incorporates science and social studies into her art center.

I decided to save the Blog Meet-Up for another day (most likely tomorrow) since packing needs to happen tonight.  Such a great experience; thanks SDE for the opportunity!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Teach K! {Day 3}

Today was our third (and last full day) at I Teach K!  I attended four sessions again plus a Pinterest Party and Blogger Meet-Up.

The first session of the day was with Shari Sloane.  I saw her last time I was at I Teach K! and knew I had to go to another session.  This session was about "fitting it all in" in regard to literacy.  She had some great ideas for letter of the week (which we don't do in our curriculum) but I still found some new ideas to use possibly during whole group and/or literacy centers.  One thing I liked was a "did it dot" (a sticker) that students could earn for having a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence, spaces between words and an end mark.  I also liked that she accepted invented spelling but made sure she reviewed spelling with students so they could learn from their mistakes.  I felt like what I am doing with our alphabet chant was validated, so that was appreciated :). She had lots of good book suggestions; one I immediately added to my wish list was The Vowel Family.  My favorite idea was so simple; it was a "why didn't I think of that" moment.  The picture below shows her "Question of the Day".  Each child puts a linking cube in the pan balance to indicate their answer.  What an awesome idea!!




Next up was a second Deanna Jump session about Common Core Nonfiction.  I love using nonfiction texts in my classroom and was excited to learn new ideas to teach it.  My favorite resource she shared was All Things Animal TV on YouTube.  It has great nonfiction videos about, you guessed it, animals. The photo below shows her nonfiction text features book.  I know it is very difficult to see.  Do you also see all the other photographers?  I loved the idea of the kids making a little book of their own to demonstrate their knowledge of text features and to use as a reference for their future learning. I picked up a couple of ideas on some graphic organizers to try to help kids organize their thinking and writing for nonfiction.



After lunch I went to a classroom management session with Peter Harry (Harry Kindergarten).  One of my favorite things from this session was his "secret signals".  For example, when he wants a child to sit on his/her bottom, he taps his nose.  This is so that teaching is not interrupted and the child is not called out.  I use some hand signals, but I think this would be a great way to communicate with my students and keep lessons going.  He also had flip charts (Power Points) to go with almost anything and everything he did.  He used his kiddos' pictures as much as he could, which I'd like to do more of!

My final session of the day was back with Shari Sloane.  This session was about fluency and comprehension.  Shari is very musical (love her CD's!) and gave some great ideas for using music to teach comprehension.  For retell (sequencing) she suggested "Baby Bumblebee".  For prediction, "Baby Shark" was used.  I will definitely be incorporating some of that into my classroom.  I also loved her idea of having comprehension strategies with cues: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.  The visual was a beanie baby (animal), the auditory was a pop culture song related to the strategy and the kinesthetic was a movement that related to the song.  I can see this working much like HeidiSongs, which I've found to be very effective in my classroom! Below is a picture of a graphic organizer I will use for remembering the key parts of a story.

It was a full but exciting day!  I'll be back to share my fun at the Blogger Meet-Up tomorrow and my final day the conference.  I'm sad it is over tomorrow!