Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Very First Blog AWARD!!!

I was soooo excited to recieve my very first blog award! Kate and Lisen at Second Grade Smartypants have given me the "One Lovely Blog Award!!" When I got this news Friday I was soooo excited! I have been waiting all weekend to get home and share the news!

Here is the fun thing about the award, once you receive it you get to pass it on to others!
Here are the 3 rules to follow:
1. Follow the person that gave you the award.
2. Link back to the person that gave you the award.
3. Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers.

Here are the blogs thatI am giving the award to. Please make sure to stop by their blogs!

The Tattooed Teacher
Teaching Maddeness
Susies Seconds

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Classroom Decorating Day 1

I woke up this morning and laid in bed debating whether to lay out at the pool or go work in my room. Then, I got a text from a fellow teacher friend asking if I was going to school today. So to school I went! I like working in my room when I have someone there with me. When I need a break I have someone to talk to and she helped keep me going. If she hadn't been there I probably would have left hours ago! Here is what was accompished today: First I Scrapped the Franklin off the door and windows. Then I moved the loft (with Kate's help). You can see in this picture how my room was laid out at Christmas. The loft was taking up so much valuable wall space! I also changed the tables my computers are on and placed them flat against the wall and put up some fabric to hide the cords. I HATE CORDS! I also redid a bulletin board. The owl picture is from last year. I did a double border on the board this year and I really like how it turned out. I arranged students' desks. I saw in someone's classroom in the blogging world had a round table in the middle of the desks. I wasn't sure where to put it and I really liked how it looked when she did it. I will have to see how it looks with students actually in the room. It might be too crowded. I am not sure what I am going to use it for either.... Suggestions? I moved my desk/ small group table to the corner where the loft used to be. I started setting up my new reading area. I still need to purchase the rug and set the books up and some other stuff. And now for my big dilema.... I moved the loft which I am soooo happy about but now I have this wall! Its huge! I need a new bulletin board. Do you all have any suggestions on how to make a bulletin board? I hung paper up on a wall last year, but it kept falling down!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Doors, Doors, Doors Galore!

One thing I ABSOLUTELY love about teaching is setting up my classroom! Last year, I did an interim for a teacher who ended up not coming back so... LUCKY me! I get to stay! Last year I did a little bit of decorating but not much because I wasn't sure if she would be coming back, and I did not want to spend a lot of money doing a room I might not be in. This year however, I am not holding anything back! I am so excited to get my room ready!! I feel like decorating your classroom is kind of like baking a cake. You can't read and search for the best cake recipe until you have a kitchen full of all the necessary supplies. Also, to enjoy baking the cake, you need to have a clean organized kitchen set up just the way you like it inorder for the cake baking to be smooth and efficient. Just like a classroom right? Well I've decided on a theme, and Kinda know what I want to do, but I wanted to share with you all some of the other classroom themes and doors in my school. Once you see these you will understand the pressure I am under to do something fabulous!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Teaching Maddeness Giveaway!

Teaching Maddeness
I feel so honored to be mentioned in Amanda's blog post! She is sharing ideas that she finds on other blogs every Sasturday! Check it out! There is some great information there! She is also doing a giveaway for reaching 100 followers!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Professional Learning Summit Day 2

Wow! Today was a day full of wonderful ideas! As I mentioned before, our county wrapped all of our professional development into 3 days. Today we had an AMAZING speaker, Rick Morris. He has made me rethink the way I manage EVERYTHING in my classroom! The Theme for the day was Eight Great Ideas. Here is a summary of what we learned and what I am planning on doing with ALL of this information: 1. Sign Language in the classroom: One of the key topics today was that teachers are doing way to much talking in the classroom. Rick Morris showed us several ways for teachers to be able to HUSH and use a variety of methods to get the students talking. The sign language approach was more about less talking for everyone. For example, He showed us a method for having students use different signs to signal if they have a comment, question, or answer. By having the students sign why they are raising their hand, the teacher is able to see who they need to call on. If it is a student with a question, the teacher needs to answer them immediately. If it is a student with a comment, the teacher can signal for them to wait. You can download this posters for your classroom at his website: Sign Language Posters 2. Echoing in the Classroom Another great point that he made with regards to teachers talking to much in the classroom he referred to a method called "Echoing" which is when a teacher repeats what a student has just said. He made some very valid points for not echoing student responses which is why I will be trying very hard to bite my tongue and not echo student responses this year. Morris said that by echoing student responses we as teachers are validating their responses and not letting the students think. he suggests a simple "Thank you" after the student response regardless of whether the response was correct or incorrect. Let me give you an example- Teacher: "What is the capital of Tennessee?" Student 1: "Nashville" Teacher: "Thank you." Student 2: "Nashville" Teacher: "Thank you" Student 3: "Memphis" Teacher: "Thank you" Wait... The capital of Tennessee is Nashville, not Memphis, so why did the teacher not correct the student? By not validating any answer as right or wrong, the students begin to question their responses. Student 10 may be thinking, "wait, I thought the answer was Nashville, but he said Memphis. Could it be Memphis?" Then the student stops, looks up the answer sees that it really is Nashville, and then raises her hand to answer Nashville. Other Points for Not using Echoing in the classroom: -Echoing enables students -Students think they do not have to listen to their peers, they think that teachers will restate important information. -Quiet students do not have to learn to speak up. -Students say "Echo" when they need something repeated, then it is the responsibilty of the student who said something to repeat what they said. -By allowing multiple correct answers, more students are getting to voice their opinion. 3 and 4. Timers and Sound Makers Morris gave really good reasons for using music, timers, and sound makers in the classroom. We learned today that a child's attention span is their age plus or minus 1 or 2 minutes. He suggests setting timers in your classroom for that length of time to give students breaks and processing time. He used sounds to signal events. He had a sound for students to come and pick up hand outs, a sound for students to line up at the door, etc. He used music to signal transitional times and talk times. 5. Student Numbers Student Numbers are already something that I use in my classroom. It is a great time saving tool, plus you can write numbers on things and then be able to use them year after year! He did make some new suggestions though, like having a student job be to put homework and classwork in number order. Then that student can write a post it to you with numbers of work not turned in, then you know exactly who needs to go to study hall or finish something during recess. He also suggested using these check off sheets that you can get on his site to know who has turned in things like school forms, permission slips, etc. You can get all of the things I mentioned above, plus a TON more at his website: Rick Morris

Teaching Happily Ever After: Grids, Hands-On Charts, & Movement

Our County decided to do all of our professional development in three days this year. On day 1, all of the teachers in our county; K-12, Related Arts, and Special Ed. were all combined in one room to hear a speaker: Rich Allen. While it was a long day, he did have some insiteful tips for getting students up and moving in the classroom. I myself am very guilty of trying to suppress student energy, but after listening to Dr. Allen I am excited about implementing some new things in my classroom to get students up and moving.  Check out this blog from a fellow teacher in my county for some insiteful pictures and ideas from Dr. Allen!
Teaching Happily Ever After: Grids, Hands-On Charts, & Movement

Monday, June 11, 2012

Common Core and Envision Math

Are you transitioning to Common Core and use the Envision Math series? If so.... I hope that your have checked out the Transitioning to Common Core in your Pearsonsuccessnet. If you have not looked at this yet... GO NOW! here are the directions for how to find the VERY useful information: After completing the last step you will get to a pdf download that will show you each topic and the standard you are teaching.

The Ice Cream King

I found the cutest book at the book store the other day, and thought it would be great to read to my class. I absolutely love doing read alouds! The more I got into creating materials to use with this book, the more I kept thinking of ideas to go along with the story. I have included several ideas in my Literacy Companion such as teaching plot with a cute Craftivity with an ice cream cone. Students will write what happened at the beginning of the story on one scoop, the middle on another scoop, and the end of the story on the ice cream cone. I also included a writing activity where students create their own ice cream. I reall want to do this with the shaving cream and glue art project that makes a more 3D effect, but I will have to do some practice with that before I will feel comfortable enough letting my students do it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Staples..... REALLY?????

Little Miss Kindergarten Okay, so after reading the wonderful blog post from Little Miss Kindergarten I am a little upset that Staples will not be allowing teachers the opportunity to purchase more than the store limit for back to school sale items. I just wanted to share a little bit about my favorite office store, Office Depot. While I was in Office Depot a few weeks ago printing some stuff for school, I had a conversation with the manager about a list of items they receive each week or so that they have to DISCARD!! I know I couldn't believe it either! Throw away valuable school supplies! NO WAY! he told me that often times, they are allowed to donate these items to schools. HELLO Sign ME UP!! Office Depot donated TWO boxes full of pens, black ball point, and my favorite..... Multi-colored GEL pins :) So exciting! They also donated a box of 80 markers. So if you are upset about the new Staples policy, Cheer up Buttercup! Check with your local office supply stores about donations!

Freebie Friday!!

I'm linking up with TBA to share my Reading and Math Focus board headers! I LOVE freebies!! I can't wait to see all the great stuff that gets posted today!
Freebie Fridays

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nifty and thrifty

I found these 12 count white favor boxes at the dollar tree (everything's $1.00) and thought they would be great to use in my classroom for something. We have a school wide behavior management incentive program where we give the students "creek cask" for good behavior. I have been thinking about using them for students to store their creek cash in. However, after reading several blogs about bucket fillers, I think they would be great for that too!!! Ahhhh what to do what to do????? I may end up making a set for creek cash and a set for bucket fillers. Is that overkill? Any way here are some pics of how they are lolling with a little decorating :) I had thought about leaving them white and letting the students color and decorate them but my crafty side thought otherwise.... I used different pages of scrapbook paper, cut it to fit the boxes and glued the paper on and voila!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Envision Math focus board

I am planning on using math and reading focus boards in my class room this year. I sort of started doing this at the end of last year, but it was mostly I can statments and a few posters to go along with whatever the topic (math) or story was. I have already created the reading board headers and just finished the math board headers. I haven't used these yet, and I am not sure that I will use all of them (it just depends on how much space I will have on my board). I am posting these FREE for now on my TPT store. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Is there anything that needs to be added? I would love to hear ideas about math focus boards!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Stuff for my Room

So, I am house sitting this week for a friend, which is pretty much like a mini vacation for me. It is so quiet here! I am getting soooo much done! I made little bee's to use on my board for displaying student work, I updated my blog, and now I am creating new things for my classroom and TPT.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

TPT Previews Now Available!!!

I have FINALLY learned how to create a preview of my products for TPT!! YAYYYYY! You don't know how happy this makes me! I love being able to see a preview before I purchase items and now my followers can too :) Go to my TPT store now and download my first preview! Its not great, but like everything, they will improve with time :) Since I'm on a roll, Let me show you a couple of the pages from this product....

TPT Store

2nd - Balanced Literacy, Grammar, Reading Strategies -
Click here to visit my TPT Store!

Sweet Summer Time!

So, this summer I am determined to figure out all this blogging stuff! I am completely addicted to teacher blogs! I am amazed at all of the different things teachers are doing in their rooms. I love looking at pictures of other teachers' classrooms and getting ideas for my own :) I started my TPT store back in February and it is going pretty well. There is still so much I want to share and thought that its finally time to start blogging!! if anyone has any advice for me that would be great!! I would love to know how to make my blog look amazing like the rest of yours!