25 September 2015

Five for Friday

Another fantastic week has come to a close...which means I am one week closer to my first Fall Break! We have 2 more weeks to go, and I am so looking forward to having a break. It's not that I'm tired of teaching or stressed out. That's not it at all! But...I am looking forward to time to recharge, so I can keep teaching full throttle. I love teaching, but let's be real...it's mentally exhausting! This will be a much needed break for me. I'm hoping to post some pending products to TpT and organize my clipart, but we'll see how much I actually get done.

In the meantime, I'm linking up again with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Head over to her blog by clicking on the button below and check out more blogs!

We've been working on place value, so I've been trying to come up with some creative ways to practice while still sticking as close as I can to Engage NY. I made this spinner activity to use as an independent activity while I small group on another skill. The kids loved flicking the paper clip, and I love that they were practicing their place value skills. You can click HERE to download a free copy of the page to use in your room! The fonts are all KG (Geronimo Blocks, One More Night) and the adorable stars are from Krista Wallden's Dragonfly Creative Kit. It was a a FREE DOWNLOAD! You can download the kit HERE. I made the spinners myself using my mad shape skills. Ha! I'll be making more pages to accompany this one, and when I finish I will put them on my TpT store.

One of our activities was counting up on an empty number line, and some of the students really struggled with it. While the others were working with the Place Value Spin, my small group and I used these old, magnetic, dry erase sentence strips to practice counting up. I bought these sentence strips 6 years ago, and I used them ONCE. I'm glad I was able to dust them off and use them again.

More place value! This was another way we practiced empty number lines and writing in unit form. I'm really happy I decided to let the kids write directly on their desks. It took a LONG time for me to embrace this because I like desks to be clean, and this is a bit messy. But, it beats digging out the whiteboards and gives them a bigger work surface. I bought the plastic sleeves holding the charts at the Dollar Tree.

I laugh when I see this picture. It's from the beginning of the school year, and I was teaching the kids a chant. I look excited (and maybe a little bit crazy), and I really hope I have this same excitement all year! I love my new school, and I'm really glad I listened to Him and closed one door so He could open another one for me. 

Okay, okay...I couldn't help myself. Have you "peanut-ized" yourself yet? I want to "peanut" all my students. They'll love it! Go try it HERE

I hope you have a restful, happy weekend! 

18 September 2015

Five for Friday

Happy Friday! I'm tired after a long, GREAT week of teaching, but I really wanted to pop in and give you some highlights from my week. So...I'm linking up again with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Click on the button below to check out more!

Let's just say I'm addicted to brag tags. I just started using them this year, and the kids and I are hooked. I bought some great sets from Not So Wimpy Teacher, Lucky Little Learners, and Primarily Speaking, but I needed one for my August homework. These turned out too cute!

My comprehension group finally started rotations. After watching them struggle to untangle headphones, I stole this drawer unit from my husband's office to use instead. Each color coordinates with a specific iPhone. Each drawer has the books specific to that iPhone. So far it's been working great!

I had this great plan to make these adorable name tags for the job chart, but I just never got around to it. So...I made the covers for my class brag tags a little bit bigger and used them instead. They look so cute!

My new school had their first ever Math Night. I really bribed my kiddos BIG TIME to come. I promised fun math games that they could take home! I had a great turnout. Stay tuned for another post on how I use these materials to practice math facts!

The genre posters are my most FAVORITE thing in the entire world right now. I just LOVE them. They are from Primary Graffiti. You can check them out HERE. Thanks to a Periscope by Ashley Schroeder from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd, I was also able to print them poster size! They look fabulous on the wall.

This was a quick one, but I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great weekend!

11 September 2015

Five for Friday

I can't believe that another week has come to an end! I am really enjoying my new batch of second graders, and that makes it so easy to get up and go to work every day and even stay up late at night and create fun stuff for them to use. But, no matter how much I love them, I am still soooooo tired on Fridays. Whew! They do suck it out of me!

So...I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday  and giving you a quick peek into my week!

I made these expanded form self-checkers my very first year of teaching. I broke them out today for the first time after a 2-year hiatus from teaching math. I remember it taking me FOREVER to figure out how to make them, but they were sooooo useful. I'm going to try to update them for my teammates...and hopefully it will be a lot easier this time around!

We just started using CKLA after beginning the year with Treasures. It has definitely been hard for me to embrace it because it just doesn't fit my teaching style. So...I've been doing everything I can to make it more engaging for the kids and myself while also not straying from the curriculum itself. The kids seemed to LOVE the first domain, which was fairy tales and tall tales. The skills strand feels a little...well, bland. I've tried to turn comprehension questions into teamwork projects and make chants for the phonics pieces.

I might have even wore a cowboy hat one day. :)

I found this awesome book at Pottery Barn Kids in Denver last weekend. It takes kids through a story of a boy becoming a reader, finding a place to read, someone to read with, and how he should use voice. It is amazing. Definitely try to find it!

These A-Z bookends were another fabulous find at Pottery Barn Kids. They matched my classroom perfectly, and I am now just waiting to bring the Diary of a Wimpy Kid collection up to school to put between them.

I decided I wanted to make a fun shirt to wear to work today, so I whipped this one up last night. I seriously love my Silhouette Cameo and my heat press.

Click on the pic below to head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching for more Five for Friday link-ups!

04 September 2015

Five for Friday

Happy Friday! Week 5 is in the books, and I cannot believe how fast it is going by! I seriously love my new school. My kiddos are great, my teammates are great...I'm just so happy! Since I have some extra time, I am linking up with Doddle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday! Click on the button below to head over to her blog and check out more blogs!

I was trying to think of a way to liven up a somewhat boring math review today. I knew I had this Twister game that was just dying to be used! I wrote different expressions on it, and the kids took turns throwing bean bags on it. All the students had to answer the problem not matter where it landed. The idea was that they would solve the problem and then be able to explain which strategy they used to solve it (doubles, doubles +1, +9, etc.). Man...they loves it! I will definitely be using the mat again. The plastic design was great for using Expo markers on it.

Good grief it took me FOREVER to make this little boat mystery picture. I was trying to match it to the addition strategy we were learning. The kids loved it. The first one I made was a simple smiling face, and they begged for another one. When they're that excited, how can I say no??? Check back soon for these to be added to my store!

We just started our new curriculum, CKLA, after already being in school for 4 weeks. I'm having a love/hate relationship with it right now. The planning piece is relatively simple because they do it all for you. However, I also know my kiddos, and after 20 minutes read-aloud, they're getting pretty squirrelly on the carpet. So, I try to make things a little more interactive for them. Our first domain was fairy tales, and there was a part that had riddles that checked their comprehension. Instead of sitting on the carpet and just asking the questions, I typed them up and taped them all over the room. They had an answer sheet, which I made using a tutorial from Amy Lemons at Step into Second Grade. You can check out that tutorial HERE. They also traveled with a buddy.  When the timer went off, they would rotate to the next card. They love any activity that allows them to walk around and use a clipboard!!! I will definitely be doing something like this again.

I scored this great app for free last night! It's called Snap Teach Reading Comprehension Skills. It is different non-fiction texts that can be read aloud to the student. The best part is that it tests their comprehension. (Okay, so the best part might have been the fact that it was FREE!) The voice is a bit robotic, but I can't wait to let the kids try it out. Head to their website HERE and check them out. 

I linked up with Ashley at Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie at Lucky Little Learners for their monthly #2getherwearebetter linky. This month was all classroom reveals. You can click HERE to go see my classroom reveal! Click on the button above to head to Angie's blog and connect with the link up!

I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend! I plan on doing a lot of...nothing. :)

02 September 2015

Classroom Reveal!

It's here!!! I am so excited to be joining in with Ashley at Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie at Lucky Little Learners for their #2getherwearebetter Classroom Reveal!

And...I also thought it would be fun to share this over at Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week since it's Classroom Tour Day!  

Before we head into my room, I want to give you a bit of background into why I set it up the way I do. A couple of summers ago, i went to a Debbie Diller training in Denver. It totally changed my mindset on how I organize, how I teach, and how I set up my room. I embraced the idea of a not-so-visually-overstimulating environment with only purposeful material on the walls. I took down all the brights and went with more toned down colors like gray, teal, and a golden yellow. The walls are BARE at the beginning of the year. The idea is that you hang up things as you teach them. This would be my anchor charts, vocabulary, and other important content work. 


It just works for me. Plus my new room is TINY compared to my old classroom, so I have to be really strategic about what I hang up and where I put certain things. 

So here we go!!!

This is where I greet the kids each day with a handshake and eye-contact. I love the first-thing-in-the-morning connection.

After I greet the kids, they come in and move a star to indicate which lunch they want. The stars used to have their names on them, but it took FOREVER for them to find their own names, so I erased all of them. (Tip: Did you know that you can scribble over something written in a Sharpie with an Expo marker, and it will wipe off?) I really just needed them for the lunch count.

This is looking at the front of my room. (And my back was against the cabinets on the wall. Told you it was tiny!)

This is looking over into the library, which I'm currently stressing over. I don't like the layout, but I'm cramped for space, so the angle is necessary.

The kids come in every morning and write their Daily News in their planners. They can also see what supplies they need t start the day. I made the supply cards after I had to repeat myself one too many times one day. You can check them out by clicking on the picture below. They save me so much time!

Here is a closer up view of my sad library. It used to be my favorite part of the room because I had a bench, 2 totes they used as seats, and multiple pillows. Now I'm lucky to squeeze this in. 

But I LOVE my library basket labels!

These pod organizers are a big time saver, too. The students have personal supply boxes in their desks to use for certain things, but they mainly use the community supplies in the numbered caddies. I found them at Walmart 2 years ago. They currently hold writing notebooks, crayons, scissors, glue sticks, sticky notes, Expos, and erasers. 

The 3-drawer units also have a special purpose. We level for math and reading intervention time, so other kids come in and out and need a place to keep their materials. The top drawer holds math manipulatives and notebooks, and the bottom drawer holds materials for my reading comprehension group. The middle drawer currently holds our readers for our new reading curriculum.

This is our meeting area. We typically begin a lot of our lessons here. We also end our day here as we discuss our favorite things from the day and things we need to work on. It's definitely cramped space, but I value this time so much that it's worth it.

As you can see, I don't have a desk. (It's a good thing, too, because I have NO IDEA where I would've put it!) I haven't had one since my first year of teaching, so I don't miss it. I usually find myself sitting at my kidney table more, and I'm forced to keep it clean since I use it so much! If you look really close, you can see my teacher toolbox on the shelf! The yellow frame is a cork board from Kohl's. 

Here are the rules. They're WBT based, and I got them as a freebie a while back from Melissa Shumway. You can get them for free by clicking HERE. I was strategic about putting them at the front of the room this year so I could constantly refer to them. It has paid off tremendously!

This is the back of the room, and I use it for supply storage. I also post our schedules and jobs. My jobs are pretty basic and are based on a book study I did this summer on Teach Like a Pirate. You can download them for free by clicking on the picture below!

One thing I love about my new room is all the shelves. I love nothing more than organized materials perfectly placed on shelves. It makes my teacher heart happy!

This is a close-up of the labels. They are color-coded by subject. I have a tutorial on my blog about how to make labels for your teacher tool-box, and I used that same method to make these labels. You can check out that blog post HERE

I LOVE MY WRITING WALL. For real. I could just stare at it all day. The paper pennant thing is from the Dollar Spot at Target, and I cut the letter son my Silhouette Cameo. Of course, we just started a new curriculum after 4 weeks of using this...and it's now changing. Sad-ville.

These stickers are such a life saver! They have multiple uses: partners, reporters (for answering during group discussions), community jobs, supplies...the possibilities are seriously endless!

This is our brag tag area. I use a mix of brag tags from Lucky Little Learners, Not So Wimpy Teacher, and Primarily Speaking. They get to wear their brag tags on Fridays, and they LOVE them.
The paper tassels in the windows are from Schoolgirl Style. That big letter C serves as a multiple response strategy. Kids will go to that spot to show their specific answer as C. 

This is an old calendar pocket chart I repurposed as a computer login chart. Each student's individual login information will be housed here. It also currently serves as the newly earned brag tag holder. When students get their brag tags necklaces on Fridays, they stop here to see if they have any new brag tags. You can see some brag tags still in it.

Whew! That was a whirlwind tour of my classroom. If I could change anything, I would figure out a different arrangement for my library, but it will work for the time being.

I can't wait to check out more classrooms during these classroom reveals! Click on the buttons below to head over to both of the link ups. Have a great week!!!