Friday, September 20, 2013

Five for Friday {Open House Week}

Hey lovelies!


This was such a busy week! I had Open House on Monday, had Progress Reports due Tuesday, was out for a training on Wednesday, stayed super late at school on Thursday finishing work, and unfortunately attended a funeral of a co-worker on Friday. Thank goodness for the weekend!

1. Here is a little snapshot of my Open House.

You can check out how my Open House from this post.

2. I can't believe I already did Progress Reports!! Eek! I've already had my kids for six weeks! 
Parents just signed up for Report Card conferences! This year is just flying by!

Check out their amazing writing from this week! They are already growing so much!

3. I just went to a training for an intervention program called Voyager Passport. It is scripted so there isn't much leeway in things I can do. I understand the program wants to make it predictable for the struggling students. It contains the 5 components of reading and we start using the program at the end of the month for our tier 3 students. The program does have a lot of progress monitoring so there is tons of information for RTI.

4. Here is my beautiful new Common Board.
For each subject we have a standard, essential question, goal, scale, and tracking for students understanding of all that! Whew! It is so much information but here it all is on this board!

Huge props to my teacher friends who helped/did the board while I supervised!! I LOVE my team! They are the most wonderful and supportive team a teacher could ask for! We share everything, encourage each other, help each other, and motivate each other to do our very best! I honestly don't know what I would do without these ladies this year!

5. Sadly I went to a co-workers funeral this afternoon with my team. This was a wonderful co-worker who had been battling cancer for a year. He was such a great man who always had a smile and a Gator hat on. He helped our team so much! He always made sure we had copies....this seems silly but in a school full of 1,275 students copies can be hard to come by in a timely manner. He always just took care of our team and looked after us. His family was comforted by the support of our school and I'm glad I went. He'll be missed!

On a happier note next week we are getting a surprise in my class. I must be a crazy person to take this on or else really LOVE my class this year. I think it must be a bit of both. I can't tell you just what it is just yet but you'll see next week. Leave a comment and guess what "it' is.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Open House

I just had my Open House this Monday! Here is what I did to prepare for Open House.

I sent out several reminders by putting it in the weekly plan (sent home each Friday) and e-mails.
I copied lots of important handouts for the parents to help their child succeed in school focusing on reading and math. I gave the parents a bookmark to encourage chapter book read alouds together at home and some popcorn for popping in our room.

The kids made these adorable pennants for their parents with their goals for the year.

I made a powerpoint which you can download here in a PDF. I presented this to my parents so they could know all about our class. After the presentation I e-mailed this to the parents.

I made these magnets for the parents to hold their kids work up on the refrigerator.

It was a successful Open House! I didn't have the best attendance only 10 out of 18 parents came. But all the parents got most of the information from the e-mail and paperwork. I know it is going to be a great year!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wrapping up the Week

Just reflecting on my past week with my kiddos! My students are getting into their routine and meeting my expectations! They are really doing a fabulous job with everything I put in front of them and I'm super happy with my class this year! I am still being very strict with them but I think they are really starting to know me and the lighter/silly side of me. I'm still feeling like this multi-tasking teacher though: 

This past week we had three birthdays in our class: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Parents must have been busy in January of that year! I have five kids with birthdays in September. The kids were super excited to take home the birthday bag and eat cupcakes in class.

This week I had my kids bring in family photos. I sent home this letter explaining that I wanted the our classroom to represent their families and feel more like home for my students.

This is how I am displaying their family photos. All of them aren't up just yet but I think they look really nice! Each picture is above that students' cubby.

I also attached these boy/girl signs I've had for a long time above their notebooks. I separated their notebooks into cubbies and wanted to make it easier for them to get them quickly. This was my solution! These notebooks are not kept in their desk because they are used for centers not desk work. I have a readers response journal, poetry journal, and spelling journal. I also have a science journal in their right now because we haven't used those just yet....eventually those will be in their desks.

Speaking of science....I have tons of little scientist who love exploring! This week we have been talking about making observations and sorting objects. We made a anchor chart about what making a good observation looks like and sounds like. We also made another anchor chart about sorting objects by color, size, shape, and texture. I didn't take pictures because we make them together on the SmartBoard and their is too much glare. I'll have to try and figure that out. Anyway I made these observation trays for my kids to observe and sort. They loved this and were so excited when they got to switch trays. They all had magnifying glasses which are totally not necessary but a fun tool to use.

This week I also took some time to catch up on things I like! I started working out with some co-workers and we're doing the T25 workout. It's great because it is only 25 minutes but it's pretty intense. My legs were sore! I also read the Divergent series this week. Yes, I finished two books in one week. These books are amazing! It was such a fast read! I started last Sunday and finished the first one on Friday night. Then I immediately downloaded the next book Insurgent and finished it today. Yes, I am fully aware I'm a book nerd. I love it! Now I'm waiting for the third book to come out October 22. I already pre-order it!

Through all of that I'm getting ready for Open House tomorrow night! Stayed tuned this week  to find out all about how I do Open House! Have a great week!

Monday, September 9, 2013

September Style {Monday Made It}

Whoa it is Monday...the weekend went fast! Today was a crazy day filled with lots of kiddos (a teacher had to leave unexpectedly so the other teachers absorbed her kids) but also full of fun because I threw those lesson plans out the window. Only for today...I wish I could for the week lol. We read a funny Curious George book, practiced Daily 5, did math centers, wrote about our weekend, explore and observed nature in science. 

Here is what I have been making so far for the month of September: 

1. Take home bags:

I decorate these bags with paint pens. As you can see I have a birthday bag, student of the week bag, and estimation bag. The kids love taking home these bags! The bags are fun but encourage reading, writing, estimating, individualism, and creativity!

I just added this to my TPT store last night.
You can use this product as an assessment for addition fact fluency, in small groups to learn facts fast, or in math centers. I use this product as practice for learning math facts fast with a sand timer. The student write down their answers on whiteboards or say them aloud. This would be a great tool to use for student who struggle seeing the pattern in addition and need extra support. If you laminate the cards students can write and wipe answers. 

Hope you have a lovely evening!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Just Keep Swimming {Five for Friday}

I'm trying just to keep my head above the water right now with all the new curriculum, new leadership, and new district mandates.

When I forget about all and actually teach I make the most impact! I'm enjoying my class this year and  staying positive about everything going well!

Here are five wonderful things from our week:

1. Books in the mail: 
I love love love getting snail mail! I love Amazon Prime shipping even more! It is like getting a present for yourself when you see a package on the door! My present to myself was a box full of wonderful books! I got Star of the Week, Interrupting Chicken, Lacey Walker Nonstop Talker, Wimberly Worried, Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Happy Birthday, Mouse, and some other titles I can't remember. You can find tons of used and new books on Amazon on the cheap! 

2. Stay in line:
My kids were having a tough time finding their spot in line so I put numbers down on the floor to organize them a bit more. I used to do this when I taught Kinder but I haven't done it in a few years. My kids this year just need it though! The teddy bears are for the line leaders and door holders. 

3. Read to self: Keeping up with their stamina and reading for 13 minutes! I put some of my developing readers on RAZ kids. They are working hard to build their stamina but need more books they can read on their level which RAZ kids has!

4. Math centers: Learning how to "math talk" through games.
    They love math centers so much! I have differentiated their games. The two boys are playing a game called Blast off addition where you land on a star that gives you a sum and you have to come up with an addition problem. The three kids below them are a simple match the number to the number word and picture. 

5. Star student:
My kids picked our star student today. I told them a star student is someone who follows all the rules, goes above and beyond in class, is helpful, friendly, and kind to their classmates. I gave them some think time and our class list on the smart board so they could write down their answers on a sticky note. The kids think everyone should be a star but one person was voted for four times so she got to be the star of the week. I'll have the kids choose a different person each week to be the star!  I use Erica Bohrer's fabulous Star Student packet. My kids love being recognized and being a star! 

Have a beautiful weekend and take some time for your family and yourself! I heard some great news this week from a former parent who tried for 8 years to get pregnant again and finally did! More great news from a former colleague that tried for a long time and is 20 weeks pregnant! My current co-worker who has been trying for 3 years told me this week she is going to have a baby in May! I'm so excited for all three ladies! Miracles happen around us all the time we just have to look for them! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sunday Snapshots { My 2nd week of school!}

Hey friends! Here is a little peek at my second week of school! I wanted to do a quick blog post before I leave town for a fun weekend at the beach! Thank you 3 day weekends!!

To be continued.....

Okay above is how far I got to writing on Friday night before passing out on my computer. Then we went out of town and had a fabulous weekend full of family and friends at the beach. Sooo instead of posting on Friday night it has become a Sunday post! 

Is anyone else guilty of falling asleep on their computer? Is this just a teacher thing since we're so tired all the time?

Back to the blog is a snapshot of my awesome second week with my kids. I adore my class this year and hope that this isn't just a honeymoon period with them!

I got these amazing storage pockets at IKEA. Which oh my word if you haven't been to expect to be in their for a long time and don't go in the wrong way. We did and it was kinda a nightmare. I thought it was going to be similar to Target and I could not have been more wrong. I was just popping in for a few things oh how laughable that is now that I know all about the store. IKEA has such affordable prices and a huge selection. What a wonderful place to get more for my classroom!

Anyways I got these storage pockets for my kiddos headphones. They each have to bring their own to school. The reason we put this on the supply list this year is because last year we had a lice epidemic. Yes, epidemic it was all over every grade level. I removed everything and anything that could have held lice and cleaned it repeatedly. I have some school headphones for kids that didn't bring their own but I only have 2 kids that didn't bring them in. Also I have more than 12 children but 4 brought in earbuds that I placed in ziploc bags in the last pocket.

Great kid stools I got at IKEA. My students fit perfectly in them and love using them! 

I found this great bath mat again at IKEA that is perfect for my sink area.

I got these great pillows off Amazon to make my class a little more comfy. I thought they would look cute in the front of my room.

My kids started word work this week and are doing stamps in this picture and magnetic letters below. I also let them use wikki sticks, smelly markers, and alphabet stickers this week. They think that word work is the best thing that every happen. Which is kinda true at least for spelling words and sight words.

I projected my all the spelling words and sight words on the board as a reference for them. They are posted around the room but I thought this would be easier for them while getting used to spelling words.

I cleaned up my library area and moved all my red book boxes out. I put all my nonfiction books in with my fiction books. It was a space saver for me and I didn't like how the old red book boxes looked. I now have science leveled readers, spelling notebooks, reading response notebooks, science notebooks, and poetry notebooks in the cubbies.

I got an awesome package this week with this cute bag! I won it in a giveaway from Run! Mrs. Nelson Has the Camera. I use it now as my new school bag and love it! It has six pockets all around it and stands up very nicely too.

My last snapshot is from morning message. I love having it on the smart board. It is easy to change each day and the kids love interacting, writing, and being the pointer.

Hope you all had a fabulous 3 day weekend!