Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thanksgiving Math Choices and a Sale!

I know that I've said things like this before, but.... I really am going to try to blog more.  I don't know if it's old age or what but I've really been struggling with time management lately.  Then, when I come home start working on things for my classroom and get sidetracked!  The problem is that the work never ends!!!!!!  Anyway, tonight I have sort of been forced.  Today I was preparing my math tubs for November and found a mistake in one of my products!  Ugh!!!  I hate when that happens!

So, I want everyone to know that the mistake has been fixed.  If you have previously purchased my Thanksgiving Math Tubs, please go to TPT and re-download the product.  If you haven't, then you should definitely check it out!!  Also...everything is on sale in my TPT store!  I hope you can find something!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Behavior Calendar Freebie!

Hi there!  I hope you have all been finding lots of great deals on TPT!  I've got a free one for you!  My  behavior calendars are updated for the 2015-2016 school year!  There are three different versions of the behavior calendars to suit your needs.  You will need to download some free fonts (listed in the description) from Hello Literacy.  You will be glad you did because they are awesome!

While you're there I hope you check out some of my back to school products! Take advantage of this amazing sale! Be sure to use the BTS15 code to take full advantage!

300 × 250

Here are a couple of my favorites!


Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Beach Buck Behavior Plan

OMG!  I see so many people posting about getting ready to go back to school!  I've been teaching summer school for the month of July!  One more week.  I am having so much trouble even wrapping my head around going back to school for real!  Honestly, it's been a very interesting summer and I've learned so much, I just haven't had much time for anything else!

I've recently had a request for an update for my Beach Buck Behavior Plan.  The plan now includes an option for students to clip up to purple.  If you are going to use a clip chart, I do agree that giving students a chance to move up can be very motivating.

I personally no longer use any kind of behavior monitoring chart, but this is still the behavior plan I use in my classroom.  I only use the beach bucks to "catch students being good".  It has worked beautifully and I don't miss my behavior chart one bit.  I only use the coupons to reward good behavior.  Sad choices are dealt with depending on the nature of the crime.  Sometimes kids need a talking to, sometimes they need space, it just depends on the circumstances.

Anyway, it's free at my TPT store so check it out if you like!  Enjoy your summer!!!!

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Sale...Trying to come back!l

Summer Sale on Camp Kindergarten! 

Hope you can find something you can use.  I'm working on vamping up some of my original products so if there is something you need just let me know and I'll do my best to get it taken care of for you!

Here are a few of my favorites!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Picasa and Mother's Day Book Pics

It's been forever since I've blogged.  I don't know what is even happening.  Between the dogs, school, new house and many television shows, I've just been so busy and out of touch.

I have had so much trouble finding an easy way to upload pictures to the blog!  Does anyone else have this problem?  Tonight I bought the Picasa Web Album app and it was actually not to bad. However, I just couldn't seem to rotate pictures...ugh (I'll keep working on that)! I was able to do almost everything from my phone.  So, here is the test...can you see the pictures!  These are from our Mother's Day books.  Some of them are pretty funny.  Have a great night!

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Five for Friday and Insects :)

Try number two!  I hope my pictures show up this time!!!!

On a Saturday of course!  

This week we started our insect unit!  
We practiced close reading using the Fly Guy Presents Insects book. 

We started with a schema chart.  As we read this and other texts we confirmed our schema and added to our new learning.  I'm surprised they only had two misconceptions!  We spent two days reading this book and creating our chart.

Then we used the text to understand new vocabulary words and shared our learning with table top blogs!  As you can see, results were varied!  :)  The instructions were to explain their words using pictures and or words.

 "Antennae is a thing is on the body the antennae help them hear and help them taste and help them touch and help them"

If you want some more ideas I made a free close reading pack for this book!

We used construction paper and paper from our scrap bin to create these awesome insects.  
Without any instructions!

I recently started using Amazon Cloud Drive for my pictures.  It's so easy!  I have an app on my phone, when I click on it my pictures upload to the cloud drive.  I copied the url to get pictures on this blog.  Now fingers crossed they are actually going to show up on this blog!!!

I brought home the hermit crab tank for my husband to clean.  Confession... the kids in my class love them but I'm afraid to even pick them up.  I put in the effort, but I still fail as a teacher with class pets!  We did get some cool pictures of them though!

This guy could really use a new shell, but he loves this one too much to leave!

 Not letting go of the coconut!!!
We went hiking at Red Rock and found these cool nests.  My husband swears he sees caterpillars in there.  It makes sense because last year at this time we saw tons of butterflies.  I think these are spiders though! And if I'm right we need to get!

Okay!  Hope you can actually see the pictures!  
Check out Doodle Bugs Teaching for more Five for Friday!

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Alternatives to Worksheets-Phonics

I've read a lot of great posts from bloggers doing a book study on Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites. This is a great book.  Marcia Tate actually came to our district for staff development day a few years back.  I truly believe this was one of the best staff development days ever!  She was very inspiring!

I personally do not believe in frequent use of worksheets in the classroom.  They do have their place, but they need to be chosen very carefully.  There are a lot of great teachers who effectively use worksheets in their classroom.  I just personally believe that there are more effective, engaging ways to teach and practice skills.  I do not have a perfect solution, but I do think I have a pretty good system.  

Today I want to talk about how I teach phonics, with few to no worksheets.

At this point in the year, I spend between 15 and 25 minutes teaching phonics each day.  I use a lot of Heidi Songs.  We do a lot of practicing with white boards or butcher paper.  I don't like spending a lot of time at the copy machine.  Students get their independent practice during Daily Five. Below you will find my phonics routine as well as my plan for next week.  At this point in the year, we begin each lesson by singing the Sound-a-bet.  The star student points to the letters and words while the class sings. Every phonics lesson is followed by a round of Daily Five. 

Mondays-  Review skills taught the previous week, usually by doing whiteboards.  Students come to the carpet with their whiteboards, markers and erasers. Start by singing Sound-a-bet (I made this a long time ago and I keep it in a pocket chart.  If you search sound-a-bet you'll get the picture).   Then students set up their boards by drawing a straight line down and a straight line across.  We use Spelling Through Phonics strategies.  I tell students the word, then they say it, stretch it, and spell it.  I move around and help as needed.  then I say "show me" so I can see how everyone did.  Next I choose a student to spell the word and I write the word on my board as they say each letter.  After dictating four words, we go back and say each word sound by sound, then read the word.  Next we erase words.  I'll say something like "erase the word that rhymes with dog.  Monday's words are clap, crib, flag, frog. If we have extra time, we do four more words. Then we do a round of Daily Five. 

Tuesday-Students come to the carpet with their whiteboards, markers and erasers. Sing Sound-a-bet. Introduce new sight words for the week, place them on the word wall.  Sing sight word songs (Heidi Songs) and spell them on whiteboards.  I learned this strategies from another amazing staff development day when Heidi actually presented!  This works perfectly because on Tuesdays I truly only have 15 minutes!

Wednesday- Sound-a-bet.  On Wednesdays I usually introduce a new concept.  Sometimes I introduce with a sort, sometimes with whiteboards, and almost always with a song! This week I'm introducing Bossy E.  A lot of my students already know about Bossy E from small group lessons, but I think all of my students are ready now.  We will start with Heidi Songs Bossy E Song and poster.  Then I will follow a whiteboard lesson from my CVCe Spelling Practice for White Boards unit.  We will end with a round of Daily Five.

Thursday-Sound-a bet.  Review Bossy E and sing Bossy E song.  Put students in groups with butcher paper to brainstorm words with Bossy E.  Share.  Daily Five. 

Friday- Sound-a-bet, Review Bossy E and sing Bossy E song. Play Bugs I Have - Who Has? CVC-CVCe Words.  Daily Five.

I don't like to do the exact same thing every time. Here are some other things I do:

Picture sorts in the pocket chart.  I have sorts for everything.  I have a lot of Heidi song products and she has some great sorts that you print in black and white onto card stock.  

Words Their Way sorts are great-

This is my Beginning Blends Combo pack.  I honestly only use the big cards.  Sometimes I do the worksheet where kids circle and write the word.  They like when I turn it into a coloring contest.  Worksheets have a place, they just shouldn't be the focus of every lesson.   

Once a week or so, I put the kids into groups and give each group a different sort (from previous weeks) and let them race to get the cards matched and sorted.  They love a good competition!

Class Books-Alphabet, blends, digraphs.  You can just give them a blank piece of construction paper!

Posters-students work in group to illustrate concepts

Smart Board Games

There are so many more great ideas that I'm sure you all are using in your classroom.  I think that if we just have a handful of strategies we can effectively keep kids engaged and excited about learning.  I don't believe daily worksheets do this for kids.  I'd love to here your ideas!

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