Monday, September 30, 2013

 Freebie and a Pumpkin Books on TPT

I have a little freebie for you tonight. Last year, I made a b & d Letter Reversal poster. I really liked it, but this year I have more students than ever that are reversing the letters. So I decided it would help to make a sticker that my students could place on their work folder so it would be easier to access. Finally, instead of talking about it, I got it done. If you would like it free, click here 
It prints on Avery Labels 5160.

I also uploaded a new product on TPT. It is two different pumpkin books. One is called "Where is Pumpkin?". It is a book with position words

One is called "Where is Pumpkin?". It is a book with position words. I have always used foamies from Dollar Tree or Target for the pumpkin that is attached to the book or you can use the one that are in the pack.

There is a full-size Teacher's edition in color and a student version in black and white.

My kids have always loved this book. I also have included a "Pumpkin, Pumpkin Who Do You See? book. There is a pumpkin sight word game, a patterning page, a position word cut and paste. Check it out if you are needing a pumpkin reader to go along with other pumpkin activities.
Have a nice evening!

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

 Five for Friday

I'm joining up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her linky party Five for Friday.

1. My first one has nothing to do with school. Last Saturday, one of the older ladies at  church, invited a lot of people (ladies and girls only) for a tea party. She has a backyard that takes you to another world. I thought I would share some pictures.

Here are a few pictures of the spread she had out for the girls. The adults had twice as much food!

Here is a picture of the girls with Mae. She crocheted all of the hats that the girls are wearing. She told me it took two weeks in her spare time to make each hat.

2.We are working on writing descriptive sentences. I decided since our story this week is about pets, we would write about a lost pet. I wrote on a piece on a piece of paper. "I lost my pet. Please call 587-8600 if you find him." Then I asked the kids if there was anything wrong with it. I guess we had been working on punctuation so much that everyone kept saying, "You forgot your period." Haha, at least they were trying. After a while one of the kids asked what kind of pet it was, whew, finally. So I wrote it again, "I lost my dog. Please call 587-8600 if you find him." So I kept questioning them, what else is missing, they came up with color and it's name. I was trying to lead them to size so I told the kids that thing I was thinking of something you would notice across a field. One student raised her hand and said whether the dog was wearing a collar and another said what color his eyes were. Were they listening to me? I said you could see it across a field. With much coaxing, I got them to size. Yes! We finally got all of our important information and they worked on brainstorming for their own Lost Pet page.
2. Scholastic Book Fair is coming to our school next week. There has been a competition to see which class can bring in the most money to donate to buy books for the school. It's cute to watch the kids putting their money in the makeshift bank I made. We have on of the biggest classes in the building, but the older kids just seem to be better at begging and pleading to their parents. lol

3.Why would Treasures introduce possessive nouns this early in the year? I did everything I could think of to explain it to them. I told them that they actually already use possessive nouns, now we would learn how to write them. I made an anchor chart with them and had them all write a possessive noun on a post-it. Then we looked at all of the post-its and then went over it all again. I had them write another possessive noun on a post-it nouns book
4. I know it rather late, but we just got started with our journal writing. I'm very excited about the writing I am getting at this point in the year. Most of them aren't writing things like I see a cat. I see a dog. etc... I started the first day writing back to anyone who wanted me to read their journal. It is a little time consuming but I think it is worth it. 1) It shows them that I can read what they are writing. 2) I get the chance to show them correct spelling of a word they used when i use it in my sentence. 3) They are very motivated to read what I wrote to them.  Today, they wanted me to read the journals out loud, so I put them up on the Smartboard and read what they wrote and my response. They were very excited to get their journal and write again after that. Here are a few of my favorite entries.

5. Pumpkin Update: I was just about to give up on our pumpkin. The shell was getting soft, but there were no signs of growth. Yesterday afternoon, I saw just a hint of green starting to break through. Here is how it looked this evening.

I'm really glad it is Friday, these pictures don't tell the true story of my week, I'll share that later. Have a restful weekend!

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

 Wednesday Wow!

I'm joining Em @ Curious Firsties for her linky party Wednesday Wow. It's easy, all you have to do is share something upbeat that is going on in your personal life or at school.

First off I'm still on a weight loss journey. This was week seven and I have lost seven pounds. I had really hoped to have more weight off, but I guess slow and steady wins. I'm still having problems with my knee so I haven't been able to do much in the way of exercise. One of these days, I'm going to an orthopedic doctor to find out what is wrong with it, but I always forget to call and make an appointment during the school day. Am I the only one that has that problem?

In the classroom, I purchased this from Jen Ross @ The Teachers Cauldron My students have loved using it each day. It is a daily math folder. the pages are put in sheet protectors. the students write in it with a dry erase marker. There is a number grid to do a mystery number, number of the day, a coin page, greater than/less than, and more. This notebook will give the kids so much practice with these needed skill and they love using it.

Happy Wednesday!

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

 Five for Friday

I'm joining with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly linky party Five for Friday.

1. I want to tell you about one of my little friends in my class. She can be just an absolute treasure and then completely, for no reason do a 180. She is one of my older students, but you wouldn't guess if from the way she acts. She is always blurting out and if I give someone a compliment, she always pipes up, "What about me?" When she gets mad, she says, " I thought you were a nice teacher, I wanted to be in your class. I didn't know you were a mean teacher. I want to go to the other class!" She gets upset with other kids easily also. The other day she came to me and said another girl was staring at her. I said, It's probably because you are so pretty." You should have seen the look on her face when I told her that. I told her the next time someone is staring at you, just remind yourself, "Oh yeah, I'm beautiful!" She walked away with out another word and a very happy look on her face. I wish she were always that easy.

2. We have been studying the body systems in core Knowledge So as I said in my last post, I pulled out this song from Scholastics "101 Science Song and Poems for young Learners" to go along with what we have been learning. I must say the kids learned the whole song very quickly. We only worked on it 3 days and most of them had the words and tune.

3. You know how all kids seem to just love puppets, when I found this puppet awhile back in an alphabet puppet book that I pulled out and put with my Human Body unit. It was all I could do to keep the kids from coloring blood dripping off of the skull! lol
 To add a little learning to it, we glued this little information page that I made on the back of the puppet. Now we are ready for to sing the song with the puppets to another class. : )

4. When I first got on Pinterest, one of my first pins was this
from The Techy Teacher. I have wanted to try it out ever since I first saw it. every year, I would forget about it until it was too late. So finally last week I remembered to buy a pumpkin so I could give it a try with my class. I just bought a small pumpkin (not a mini) so it would sit in the window sill. I'll let you know how it goes. I am a little concerned that the flies will be swarming all around it, but we'll see.

5. Before I cut the pumpkin open, we of course had to do a little pumpkin exploration. I have already ran out of my allotted copies for the month so instead of using the really cute pumpkin page I found, the kid wrote in their journal instead. We estimated the weight, measured it with Unifix Cubes, measured how big around it was, how many lines were on it, etc... After I cut the top off, I passed it around for the kids to smell and touch. all of the kids got to take home a their own pumpkin seed planted in a cup.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

 Wednesday Wow

I'm joining Em @Curious Firsties for her weekly linky party Wednesday Wow. Each week you can share something positive whether it is at home or school. Just a little positivity in the middle of the week. This linky party is one I really need, I have really been down with my job since school started. I feel overwhelmed with all of the extra things that we are having to do. I don't know if it is just my district or if all districts just keep piling on the "Must Dos". I have actually thought about looking for greener pastures next year. Still in teaching, just a different district.

Anyway, that is why I really need this linky party. I need to be reminded of the good things going on. 

#1 I told my daughter I would stop staying up at school soo late this year. I hadn't really kept my promise until this week. we left at 5 yesterday and 4:30 today. Wow, it's amazing how much I can do at home when I go home early. : )  When I looked at what I was doing at school, it was mainly talking to other teachers or the principal. I like talking to them, but I really have enjoyed getting home early.

#2 Today as we were reading some of the poems in our poetry journals, I pointed out a few words that were in the poems that they were always wanting me to spell. I also reminded them that they could use the min word walls to find sight words they didn't know how to spell. My heart soared as I was reading them tonight. Some girls had looked up the word teacher and eat and a boy in class had found the word mountain. It was so cool to see them taking the initiative.

#3 We have been studying the human body the last couple of weeks. This week we are learning a song from
Scholastic's "101 Science Poems and Songs for young Learners" called "Bones". It is really cute and it has a  lot of good info. It is to the tune of "Home on the Range". Today was only our second day to work on it and I thought the kids did fantastic. Several of them have already picked up most of the words. After we practiced the song a few times, we labeled the skull, rib cage, spine and hips on the skeleton that's on the song page. Later this week, we are going to make a skull puppet with an information page on the back. If you don't have the book from Scholastic, I highly recommend it.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

 Wednesday Wow!

I'm joining Em from Curious Firsties for her linky party Wednesday Wow! It's easy, all you have to do is share something positive that happened  either at school or at home.
I think this linky party is just what I was needing. I have been letting myself dwell on the negative too much! Why is that so much easier to do? Well at least it is for me, maybe I'm the only one.

My Wednesday Wow is about school and it's personal. My daughter goes to my school and she is in 5th grade. Her class has 30 kids and several of them are behavior problems. We found out this week that the class is going to be split up! I'm happy for my daughter and happy for her first year teacher. One other bit of good news is the 3rd grade position that was left open last week has been filled! I'm so happy for those students! :)

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

 One Long, Short Week (and a freebie)

Why is it, that the weeks that we are off on Monday or Friday seem the longest? This week we were off Monday and there was no school Friday because we had Parent Conferences. I worked every evening having conferences until 7 on Tues, Wed and Thurs. My principal had told us we could do that and then not come in on Friday. I was all set to have Friday off and then I guess she found out that we weren't really supposed to be doing that, this was after I had been up at school late for three days. Most of my conferences went well, but I had 8 no shows. So I called them all and told them I would be up Friday morning. I got 3 more in today and I had 2 reschedule 3 for next week. It's tough getting them all in with 27 students.

We had to teachers to resign this week. It makes me sad to see them go, but I think there are a lot of teachers in our district that would resign if they could afford it financially. They just keep piling more and more things on us that we are supposed to do. When I add up the times of what I am supposed to be doing and teaching time each day, I have 10 minutes left over for transitions, bathroom break, etc... I'd like to say I have no wasted time in my class, but so far, I haven't been able to get through a full day's lesson plans and we have already been in school almost 5 weeks. We are making progress, but it is slow going.

It's not all bad, I have some really sweet kids. when I look at each one individually I can never figure out who is sooo loud when the talking starts, it just becomes a dull roar in my room. I bought a music box to try Teeny Tiny Teacher's idea. We ran out of music probably 2 hours before school was out. They liked the idea so I will be using it some more, I'm sure eventually they will earn some extra recess.

I am also excited about the future of this class, I think they will be a group of great readers and great writers! Here are a couple of sample of their writing from this week.  I got this pack from DeAnne at First Grade and Fabulous. I couldn't find it in her store, she may be updating it. It was made using kdg sight words, to extend the lesson, I had my students write at least one more sentence to go with the first one. We did a group edit checking for capitalization and punctuation using the Smartboard. It was great, when I would put one up they would say, it is missing a period or it doesn't have a capital. I'm hoping after doing that as a group, they'll remember on their on page next time.
I can see it. I see something that's red and it's juicy. It is an apple.

Here are a few pictures I took while the kids were doing free exploration/free centers while I was giving tests. This first one cracks me up, this little girl is the smallest and sweetest girl in the room. 
"Don't mess with Seme Corley."
I love it!

Here are a couple of kids using the lawn chairs I bought for reading. 

Working on a pattern block puzzle. 

Working puzzles. 

So while I was trying to test, it got extremely noisy. I was sitting there wishing I had a dool so I could try out Teacher Tipster's "Shhh the Baby's sleeping" tip. Well I didn't have a doll, but I did have this. 
 Meet Valentine.

Since I didn't have a doll I thought I would try Valentine. (BTW: he is wearing the tank top so he won't get so dirty. ;P) So I picked him up and walked around the room. I said in a quiet voice, "Boys and girls, Valentine didn't get any sleep last night because the roosters were crowing all night long (Our school is has a farm with a bunch of roosters right behind it). He said he needs a ten minute nap, please be quiet for ten minutes. He said he would choose the quietest group to join when he gets up. Here he is laying down.

 So it actually worked for about 8 1/2 minutes. so I picked up Valentine and took him to the quietest group. After a while I pick him up and he told me which other group he thought was being quiet and then he went to join them. Later it got really noisy so I went  and picked up Valentine. He told me my class was so loud his ears were hurting. There was only one thing left to do.
My kids were sad to see him go. I told them he wasn't used to loud noises because he had been living with Delaney and I for the past 2 years and we just aren't that noisy. I'm hoping next time I bring him out they will be quieter for even longer. ;P

I don't know what kind of tests you have to give at the beginning of the year, we used to give the DIBELS, now we have changed to the easyCBM. It is similar to DIBELS, but instead of naming letters, the boys and girls give the letter sound. They also have a Whole Word Reading test instead of the Nonsense Word Test on DIBELS. I made some pages so the parents could work with their kids at home. If it is something you can use, pick up a copy. I would appreciate a comment if you do ;) You can find it HERE.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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