30 October 2015

Five for Friday

Phew! What a week! Coming back off a two-week break was rough enough, but then topping it off with my school's annual Halloween parade and party was especially exhausting. I'm glad to be linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday and bringing my week to a close. You can link up by clicking HERE.

We had some district assessments this week, and it really messed up our schedule. We only had 25 minutes for math, and I needed to come up with something quick but still purposeful. I had the kids draw spinners on their desks with Expo markers, draw 6 (somewhat) equal parts and label them with +/- 1, 10, and 100. The used a single die to make a 3 digit number. Then they used a large paperclip to spin. They would add whatever the spinner landed on to the number they had rolled. They loved it! It was quick, and it was easy to clean up. The kids use felt squares to erase, but as you can tell on this desk, it was in serious need of a wipe down. So we used Lysol wipes to wipe the desks off at the end of the day. They were good as new! It saved me copies, and I didn't have to drag out the whiteboards.

While visiting my friend Shari's kindergarten classroom, I noticed her centers rotation board. It was a wheel that she turned daily to change the kids stations. She got the idea from Greg at Kindergarten Smorgasboard. It is GENIUS. You can read all about it HERE. Don't those sticky notes make me look all professional? Ha! But...it's working for now. Each day I simply turn the wheel. DONE. So much easier than changing cards every day. When I pull small groups, it's usually 1-2 kids from each group. When we're done, I call a different group and the current group heads back out to their station. It has changed my life!

Ahhhh...testing. We just can't seem to get enough of it, right??? But, I did need some testing folders to prevent wandering second grade eyes. I taped 2 file folders together and then laminated it for durability. They are the perfect size for my little guys.

Speaking of testing, I mentioned my kiddos taking district assessments this week. Well...everything was going okay...until they had to type their answers. And by answers, I mean, "explain your thinking" answers. Like sentences. Can we say disaster???? There were many tears. So, for one of their stations now, they are allowed to play typing games on the laptops. They've got to become more familiar with a keyboard!!! If you haven't checked it out yet, go to ABCYA for some great typing games. You can check it out HERE. I leave a sticky note on the laptop with the names of the games the kids can play with they're at that station. The game is the picture is Jump Key. I especially like it because it forces them to use the shift key for a capital letter.

I've mentioned before that we use CKLA at my school. We have these amazing domain studies, and our current one is Ancient Greek Civilization. We were studying about the first Olympics, so I made these incomplete fact cards. After our read aloud, the students walked the room with buddies and had to find at least 5 facts they could complete to write in the 5 Olympic rings on their papers. If you look close, you can see some of the words are underlined. That's a scaffold in place to help write complete sentences. The kids love any activity that allows them to walk around, use a clipboard, and have a buddy. Win!

And...here's a little bonus for this week. This was our wall for Red Ribbon Week. I used a pack from Pamela Zweygardt. The minions turned out too cute! Go check out her pack on TpT. And in the meantime...have a great Halloween weekend!

01 October 2015

Currently October 2015

It's October! And you know what that means??? Fall Break is in one week!!! My kiddos have been in this district for the past 7 years, so they're used to these fabulous breaks, but I worked in a different district. But now that I teach in the same district that we live in, I get to enjoy these fabulous breaks as well! I will definitely enjoy the long time off.

But, in the meantime...I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for her monthly Currently. You can head over to her blog and join int he fun. Just click on the picture below.

Listening: It's not the Atlanta Falcons, but I'll listen to or watch pretty much any football game. It's really the only sport I can handle. I think my husband likes that about me. ;)

Loving: I don't want to sound like a broken record, but...I'm loving that Fall Break is in one week!!!

Thinking: I have big plans for conferences. Too bad I haven't really started on them yet. And they start on Monday. Ugh! But...I did have the kids start some awesome forms I found on Jodi Southard's TpT store for FREE!!! Click on the picture below to go download them now!

Wanting: This week is a busy weekend. I really want to take E to the library's Harvest Festival on Saturday, but I'm also running a race in Denver (Hot Chocolate 5K!) early Sunday morning. So, it would be really nice to finish all my work for next week on Friday night so I can have the whole weekend free. We'll see...

Needing: E is obsessed with Jessie from Toy Story and wants to be her for Halloween. I've been procrastinating a bit on ordering it, thinking she would change her mind...but she's firm. Or at least as firm as a 3-year can be. I need to hop on that pretty soon!

Boo-tiful: Seriously. Colorado in the fall. 'Nuff said.

I hope you have a great start to your October...I'll see you soon for Five for Friday!