Sunday, June 30, 2013

Currently (a day early)

I have been wanting to link up with Farley for the longest time, but life has always gotten in the way somehow.  I'm NOW starting!  {Fingers crossed that I can keep up!!!!!}

I am currently sitting in my bedroom, blog stalking, catching up on emails---listening to nothing but silence!  It is the only time, pretty much, during the week that I do not have a shadow or a second head (or in some cases, third).  My kids think I'm still sleeping, while the hubs keeps them occupied.  Of course, I can't sleep forever, and I'm pretty sure they'll be banging down my door in a few minutes... :)

I am IN.LOVE. with next year already.  As you may or may not have known, we have been switching our babies for both Reading and Math instruction for the past few years...  We'll still be switching, but have our "homeroom" for the majority of the day!!  We'll be able to carry over instruction to different parts of our day, instead of feeling rushed and choppy-not to mention LESS TRANSITIONS!!!  Oh, I am soooooooo overly excited about this!!!

M I C K E Y M O U S E we'll be driving to Disney this summer!  While, the 15 hour drive isn't ideal, my oldest will love driving through different states looking at things.  Reminds me... I should head to AAA to get some maps for HIM.  :)  Oh--found a great app for travelling!  Wazes is awesome.  Not only tells you how to get there, but also tells you where construction is, POLICE are, accidents are...  Can't wait to test it out on our long trip!
I'm wanting our annual beach trip to the beach we always go to... but it was given up for our trip to disney.  One day I will have saved enough money to buy a place there....  I'll probably be 90 and not like heat anymore though.... but it's a second home to me, for a week every year (almost) since I was a kid!  Maybe I can talk hubs into a day trip?!?!?  We'll eat like 6 times that day to get in all the food goodness all while soaking up the sun on the beach?!?!?  Looking for dolphins?!  Can anyone add a few extra hours onto the day, pretty please?!

I am desperately needing some cleaning or packing around here...  clothes are everywhere.  Toys are everywhere... Teaching things I brought home are everywhere...  End of the school year was a whirlwind---both at school and at home... figuratively and literally!  ha!

Tip:  Blog about your classroom and life.  Don't use your blog to solely sell products.  Show your classroom ideas and products WITH pictures!  I hate clicking on posts to just read an ad...  occasional ones are great!  But, with those, add pictures from your teaching to it.  Makes it more personable.  Of course, I'm not an expert blogger---it's just my thoughts!  {I also like reading personal things about bloggers from time to time---makes them feel more like a person you can connect to, rather than a robot-trying to sell something, etc.)

OH-don't forget to follow me on bloglovin' to keep getting my posts!  Click {HERE} or on my link at the top!  I am planning something fun this summer--------you won't want to miss it!!!

I think I hear footsteps running up here---------Till next month,

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday {Story Problems}

Before I get into this linky, I wanted to let you all know that I now have Grade 3 and will be posting Grade 4 of my 'Owl Be Organized' Teacher binders!  (Read about them HERE-along with a chance to win one!!!)

 I'm joining the fabulous Cara from the First Grade Parade!  I went through my posts from the past year and am re-posting it again, for all the newbies that may have just stumbled upon my lil old blog!

 ******Original Post: Story Problems Posted on February 7, 2012******

I had previously posted about how I made story problem books for my students to use each month.  We have just finished my penguin ones last week and have since started the February ones.  I am pleasantly surprised at how well my kids are doing with them!  I actually just praised them the other day for this.  When they first started with me (remember, we group for math...) they thought they could just answer anything they wanted-but had NO idea about HOW they knew the answers.  They would look at me like a deer in headlights.  To them, I was just plain crazy because they just KNEW the answer---my brain told me!

So....  I thought I would have a few word problems a day for the students to solve.  They would work independently, with partners, in groups, etc.... BUT... only a few were benefiting.  I still had some that would not take the risk to tell me HOW and WHY they were doing things!  Along came Grinch Day, and I found some great Grinch word problems.  I decided that I would turn them into a booklet where they would have to explain reasons, and after trying to figure out the easiest way to do that, I thought about our "First, Next, Then, Last" worksheets we would use all the time in Language Arts-and my light bulb went off!  I had them complete this with partners, since the day was more "fun" than actual instruction.  (However---little did they know-they WERE learning!)  Afterwards, the kids were smiling and I asked them if they liked that booklet-to which they actually replied that they WANTED more!

Here we are-1 full month into it, and they are actually doing well.  At first, it was a little difficult for them to actually think about 4 steps they took to solve things.  (And actually, I have had a few teachers have a difficult time breaking some down into 4 steps.)  What I tell them is that sometimes we may not have 4 steps, but our first step could always be what our brain is telling us to do (add, subtract, etc...) and WHY...  it may sound like this:  First, I knew I needed to add because it had the words "how many in all."  Of course, sometimes there may be 5 steps, so I tell them to combine on one or 2.  It isn't a perfect solution, but it has gotten them to break down their thinking and to REALLY understand why we do things in math!

I have created March story problems already, but have started to think ahead to April where I may rearrange the page a little---giving them less space to show work and more to write and possibly taking away the scaffold a little bit and NOT having the First, Next, Then and Last...  BUT, I may just wait till May for that (or I'll just make it both ways).  

I thought I would give you a small sample of the booklets I've made.  I included 2 from February and 2 from March.  You can access them here

Let me know how they have worked for you!  If you liked them you can find the full sets here for February and for March.   You can see my entire year's worth of story problems {HERE}.  I also have a bundled version {HERE} to save money!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Continue to get your blogs with Bloglovin'!

I've been neglecting my lil old blog lately!  I'm so sorry for that.  I've been enjoying Instagram and find it much easier to keep in touch with everyone and show off things that we have been finding!  

So, if you haven't heard by now, google reader will be going away July 1st.  Click to follow my blog on bloglovin' over at the top of my page!

It's super easy to set it up.  It took me less than 5 minutes to do so!  Head here: and sign up!  It will even transfer all your blogs you follow now right over for you!  Easy peasy!

For more detailed instructions check out Ms. Smarty Pant's blog and if you have a blog, check out A Turn To Learn to see how to set up your own widget (which is just as easy!)

Also, a bunch of teachers are having giveaways for this occasion, and I thought, why not!  I've been super busy adding new teacher organizing packets to my store, that I thought I would give away 2 for free!  By the end of the week, I will hope to have K-6 done.  However, with the weather and my computer's temperment right now, it might be through the weekend.  The best part is that it is PRINTER FRIENDLY and also includes a Common Core Checklist for the grade you choose---as well as has an editable file! 

Use the rafflecopter below to enter!  (click on the pics to see them in my stores!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Throwback Thursday!

 I'm joining the fabulous Cara from the First Grade Parade!  I went through my posts from the past year and am re-posting it again, for all the newbies that may have just stumbled upon my lil old blog!

 ******Original Post: Hello Out There?!?!  Posted on September 14, 2012******

Wow!  I totally have lost track of time.  Guess the beginning of the year does that to you.  We've been busy, busy, busy...  testing, testing, testing, no less, but it's OVER!  Now the fun begins for us as we start to switch our kiddos.

I have 22 lovely littles in my class this year that are just FULL of energy and personality!  Ha!  :)  Really, they are great, but by Friday, I'm spent!  whew!  I'm ready for the routines to kick in and have some "quiet" time in the room.  ;)

Here's some pics from our last 8 days of school!

Cut and paste activity for what a Good Learner looks like.  {It's part of my Back to School Bonanza packet on TPT}

Find someone who....  They LOVED this!  {also part of my Back to School Packet}

Finished page!  HOW adorable!  We completed 4 pages and I am putting it together as a book for them to have.

This week we did a fun activity getting to use Venn Diagrams.  We read Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and talked about our  names.  We usually graph the letters in our names and talk about why we like our names.  Then we compared our names to each other and completed a Venn Diagram!

First, cut out the names.  I had them typed up in boxes so that all they needed to do was cut it out.

Then they spelled their names on their desks.

Then they found the letters they had in common and placed them in the middle of the diagram.  I had them pile the same letters on top of each other to keep them from having a million a's or i's in the middle.  It also helped them find those common letters.

 (I did allow them to have double or triple letters on the outside of the circle if they would like.)  

Click on the picture below to grab yourself a copy of this activity to use in your room!  You'll need powerpoint to change the letters in the boxes.  I used Hello Literacy's Hello Font, Hello Ali  (free and adorable!!!)  I enlarged the Venn Diagram part to 11X17 (I think that's the size on the copier)

Have a great weekend friends!  I'll be back soon with an adorOWLble Owl Glyph that we did today!  I need to get them up on a bulletin board and take a picture to share!

I'm also linking this up with Manic Monday over at Classroom Freebies!  Check out all the other goodies there!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

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