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Monday, August 26, 2013

Pin-To-Win... Winner

Quick post... I've just got back from school trying to get all of my preps for the week complete. I'm zonked and off to bed.

But first... the pin-to-win winner is Molly! You'll be receiving your sentence pack shortly!


If your still wanting this pack, it's currently 50 cents off... not sure how long that reduced price will last.

Have a wonderful week!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Peek at My Week & Pin to Win!

This Sunday I'm switching things up a bit and joining a brand new linky: "A Peek at My Week" from Jennifer at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings. This linky is a fun way to share all the happening of the week, whether they are part of the school day or not.



This last week was our start to school, but this week really puts things into high gear. Fourth grade is the first year that students start switching, so we have a transitional week to get the students comfortable with the new routine.

Buttons thanks to: I Teach, What's Your Super Power for frames & paper; Kevin & Amanda fonts
Monday is our first official switch day in 4th. We will have shortened switches (30 minutes rather than the normal 50 minutes) so that students can be helped around the building, get to where they need to be, and just get accustomed to not staying in one location all day.

I will be teaching ELA: two sections of reading and writing. For onel reading group, we are going to begin the book Fourth Grade Rats by Jerry Spinelli and in the reading group will begin Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. Monday is going to be a day full of prereading activities for both groups since we will not have the full time frame.

In communications, I will be introducing mentor sentences, (I rave on Jivey's creations, often, you can check them out here). Rather than dive straight into the first lesson, I plan on reading Max's Words by Kate Blanks, and explaining to the kids that like Max we are going to collect words, phrases, and sentences. I hope to have enough time to allow students to begin to personalize their composition books/journals.

Find out more about Max by clicking the picture below:




Tuesday we are diving into both chapter books. In one reading class, we will be dividing up into 2 groups so that half the class can be working on the novel study, the other half working with my co-teacher on reading skills. Half way through the hour we will switch.

In the other section of reading, we are going to read through the entire novel together. Over the course of the week, I will be introducing literature circles that incorporate the use of the iPad. I'm still finalizing rubrics, instructions, and app choices, but I hope that this can become a topic that I can share about more.


Lord help me.. I begin one of two graduate classes today.. tomorrow is the other one. I'm going to email the professors after posting this to see if I can Skype in from time to time, to see if I can avoid the necessary evil that is road construction that is roadwork between here and campus (it makes the 40ish minute drive take closer to an hour). I honestly don't know what I was thinking in taking both on campus classes when switching to a new grade level, but I will survive! {On the bright side, only two more left after this semester... I should be done by June!}


Throughout the week, in addition to mentor sentence practice in the full class (during communications) we are going to be reviewing sentences. I'm not sure if it's texting/tweeting/or just summer brain, but my students have forgotten what a sentence is. I created a small review pack of activities that we will be utilizing throughout the week.

Here is your chance to pin-and-win.. {I will try to blog about all of our experiences throughout the week too if you'd rather wait and wishlist this item for later.} Otherwise, pin from here or my TPT store and leave the URL of your pin in the comments. Tomorrow I will randomly choose a winner and send you the pack!




"There is a spot that I love full well" begins the alumni song... and that spot is K-State... and more precise during this time of the year... Bill Snyder Family Stadium. I am so psyched for this season. My husband has 3 cousins who are playing so it'll make it that much more fun.

As soon as school lets out we are heading to Manhattan, for a little tailgating, and home opener. I cannot wait!!


There is a peek at my week! Be sure you link up your plans this week too!



Saturday, August 24, 2013

5 for Saturday : Back to School Edition

Hello again friends. I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her 5 for Friday. I know it's Saturday, but it has also been the first week of school. So I hope that's a good excuse for the delay. Lots of pictures and stories follow!

fiveforfriday2

1.

I started my first week of school with the kiddos on Tuesday. After anxiously awaiting all summer to meet my homeroom students, the day finally arrived. The night before, I prepared a small gift. Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a picture at the start of the day.

The picture belongs to the wonderful Teri at a Cupcake for the Teacher. If you click the picture you can get the same freebie tag that I used!

2.

Thanks to my BBB, Jivey, my students had a fun time sporting some cool shades on our first day. We talked about our goals for the school year. What a great project from a fun freebie!


3.


My husband is the bomb.com! He sent these beauties to school and they've been smelling and looking good all week! Love the flowers and my hubby too :)

4.

Jivey, helped me out on day 3 as well. Our first two half-days were strictly homeroom. Thursday and Friday were devoted to homeroom switches. For my activity, I did "Saving Fred" an activity Jivey shared a couple of weeks ago. 

The kids LOVED it! It was a great teamwork activity. I heard from the other homeroom teachers that my activity took the tops with the students... so you know it has to be good.  Click here to get the PDF for the activity.




5.

We also talked a lot about expectations and rules this week. I took a few buzzwords (and a few of these key words are areas that this class really needs to work on--we are a very chatty crew.) I started each poster with a focus word and gave each table group a specific color. Students were to write down what the words looks and sounds like in the classroom/lunchroom/recess. After a couple of minutes, the poster was rotated to another table.


This display has been nice to point back to throughout the week, especially with our never ending chatter. Check out  the first line in orange :)




And because it's been forever... and my teaching friend across the hall had such a cute display, I thought I'd share a picture from her room as well. 

Students wrote about some of their goals for the upcoming year in a fun display!




It's been a fun, exhausting week. Chatter or not, I am truly excited for all that this school year will hold! 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back To School: Classroom Reveal

Hello Friends!

I feel like it's been way too long since I've last blogged or commented or read much.. which can only mean one thing... Back to School Time is here! I won't make too many promises about keeping up this first week too much, but I will try!!

Even though today was my first day of school... I'm backing up just a little with this post. There have just been too many events to share about since my last post.

To start.... my classroom reveal. I love my little home away from home!

Sorry for poor picture quality, the windows are great, but they don't always lend to great lighting via my phone :)

Front of the room... the green crates will hold two different sections worth of ELA journals for mentor sentences and other written work.

A look from the front of the room
Makeshift cubbies for now.... and my glorious windows :)
View from the sink in the back corner

Small group table. Birthdays, punctuation posters, and  prove it posters. The posters use question stems from a product I purchased and the punctuation was a revamped poster, so I don't have copies for sale. Sorry!

The following pictures were featured in another post. They are up close of some of the other aspects of the room. I have more information on where I found the items pictured in that post.



Board soon to be filled with talks on theme
Fraction of my classroom library... I love books :)
Favorite board in the room. Can't wait to start filling it up next week!


After all the fun today... a little tweaking to tomorrows plans. I think I'll stop for there tonight. I'll be sharing soon about Open House & the first days of school in the coming days!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

What's On Your Wishlist?

It's here, it's here!

As we are all prepping our classrooms, going through professional development, or in survival beginning of the school year mode we have been anxiously waiting to here when our favorite and most wish-listed products will go on sale at TPT.

Well friends, I am happy to announce it is finally time!

In celebration of this momentous event, myself and a group of wonderful wonderful bloggers came together to create a fun linky to showcase our shopping carts and our favorite products.

If there's one thing we teachers love to do, it's shop for our classrooms, right?

Join us by linking up with 2 of the top wish-listed products in your store and 1 product on your wish-list you just have to purchase! *If you're not a blogger or TPTer, still feel free to comment with the item that you can't wait to get off your wish-list!

Use the graphics below if you'd like!

My #1 most wish listed item is the Differentiated Place Value Centers. I created these last year to supplement my place value unit. I had several students, all of whom where at different levels of understanding. What I thought might be a quick review, turned into a full blown unit and I was running out of supplies. Thus, this packet was born.

In it you will find:


6 games and activities to supplement your current lessons. You will not find lesson plans within this pack.


One of my newest products is also one of my most wishlisted. It's the Interactive Writing Goals. I have these printed, laminiated, and on my wall waiting to be used. Students will choose a goal for each writing piece and use a magnet or a cloth pin to indicate which goal they are working on. A student goal reflection sheet and bookmarks are included. The chart and be for all of the 6+1 traits (the bookmark shows all of the traits, another without presentation).  I cannot wait to get started with this visual!


My store will be 20% off August 17-August 20th! Don't forget TpT will add to that sale too if you use the following code:


One item on my wishlist...and let's be real. There are a lot more in that basket is the ready and waiting for the BIG sale, so it was hard to narrow it down!

However, the 4th grade ELA team is embracing mentor sentences; I think 5th may give it a whirl as well. Although I already have the first batch all ready to go, we want to be prepared for the rest of the year. My teammate and I will be purchasing Jivey's Mentor Sentence Pack. 

Jivey has laid out the program in an easy to follow way (with examples of sentences you can use too!) Everything you need is included. A great 10-15 minute start to the writing period!







Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Where I Teach Tuesday


I'm loving all of the new teachers/blogs I've discovered through this linky. I was able to participate in Teacher Week last year... and the where I teach segment was my favorite part.

Click to see my post from last year. 


New grade level, new position, new classroom... has meant new decor! My classroom isn't quite reveal ready, but I thought I'd share bits and pieces of my room. {For more about the district, check out last year's post above.}

I have a(n) addiction  love of children's literature. This is just a small fraction of the books I have in my room. The book labels are by the wonderful Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files... you'll see more of her pieces in my classroom :)


 One goal this year, is to focus more on theme. What it is. How it's different from a moral or main idea. These posters from Beth Newingham are one way, I hope to keep on track in referring to different books we read and some of the themes within those books.

I spent the bulk of the day just trying to hang stuff up, and I thought that the late afternoon light would lend itself to the pictures of my room. I was wrong, and way too tired to try to make the pictures look any better. {Sorry in advance for the glare and super dark spots!}




This is probably my favorite bulletin board so far. The pencil is a freebie from The Teacher Wife. The mentor text and student exemplar signs are from Ladybug Teacher Files, and the "work on writing" is from Amelia's Interactive Writing Kit!

If you've followed me for any chunk of time this spring, you know that I've been bitten by the mentor sentence bug. I cannot wait to utilize Jivey's mentor sentences and I think this board will be an interactive way to display what we are learning. I plan to have a picture of the book we are using, or at least the title posted at the top. Then when students write their own sentences, and we find a few really good ones, they will be posted from the middle of the board down.



 On the dividers between the windows I have more of The Ladybug's Teacher Files work. I love these acronyms for CRAFT & Voices for reading and writing!


 Last, but not least, my student writing goals. These are based on the 6+1 traits {I haven't posted the publishing one yet; I think the other traits are generally harder for most students}. I plan on having students move magnets around on to the goal they want to work on. Working on goals, reflecting on goals is something that I want students to work on. I want them to have ownership in their work.

That's a peek at my room, I'm hoping I'll get the last of the unwanted furniture moved out tomorrow, and the last of my posters and whatnot hung, labels made and printed, and a couple other odds and ends before the total reveal. 



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