Star of the Week

Thursday, July 25, 2013 No comments

Ahh! I am currently on a plane. Yes...a plane~ and I am completely panicking because I do not like planes. My poor fiancĂ©, he walks out with scratches and nail marks all down his arm because of how terrified I get. Today was a very emotional day. I had to leave my puppy at a PetHotel. I was so devastated that I couldn’t even walk her in. Wesley had to take her in while I cried { hoo cried} in the car. It has been sooo emotional. 

Today marks the first day of something new! Today marks the first day as “Try It Thursday!!” Let’s talk about the W’s. C’mon teachers! You know the W’s.
Who? Me, you, and everyone who wants to try something new.
What? It’s a chance to try new things in your life. 
Where? At the luxury of your OWN home. 
When? Well~ we will start out posting every Thursday. Hopefully other teachers will link up with me and want to try something new as well.
Why? {Why in the world did I start this? As a teacher, a woman, a puppy mommy, a fiancĂ© and a thousand other things I could fit under that title ~ I decided to make sure that I try something new all of the time. As I write this, my fiance says ~ “what about food? Try some new foods!” bahaha nooo thank you!  I started this because as a new teacher, I am always scared to step out of my box. Now I have NO excuse not to push myself. Hopefully this will push you to do things you were worried about.

Let’s show you what the first thing we tried!!

This week is Star Student of the Week. I know...sounds babyish but in facts~ our students need this type of love. They need someone to show that they truly love them and care for them. As I looked on Pinterest, I realized that no one really has a step by step process of what their Star Student of the Week consists of. This week will be the first Try This Thursday. 
First I went to Target and spent a whopping 15¢ on a red folder.

Then I took out a black Sharpie and had my way with the folder. I 
decorated {not gorgeous} the front of the folder. It says {wanna guess?} STAR STUDENT OF THE WEEK!

On the inside of the folder, I created a very nice Congratulations for the student who won the Student of the Week. This allows the student to see a personalized note from me.

Inside a plastic sleeve, I placed a letter to the student and the parent to inform them of what is expected as the Star Student. {They are not getting off that easy.} The week will be all about them. They will have something to do every day.

Inside the folder will be the “Read All About Me” Poster. Of course, the first week will be all about me so that the kids know who I am. They will also see how it works. 

The folder will be located inside a bag. The bag is from Target and it has Dr. Seuss characters on it. Inside the bag will be markers and colored pencils. This will help them color the “All About Me” poster. 

Now, I didn’t just leave it at the folder. I kept going. I made them a Star Goody Bag. I went to the dollar store and bought a ton of “stuff” for the bag. I put sharpeners, erasers, a pencil, a book mark and a dinosaur grow toy. I spent $8.00 on the entire goody bag. They are allowed to keep this bag of goodies.

The folder, the markers, the colored pencils, the goody bag, and the poster will all be located inside the folder. 

Here are some basic questions that I have been asked previously...

How do you pick your Star Student?
To be quite honest...I don’t pick the Star. My kids do. My kids know to look out for people being extremely nice and helpful. To be on the lookout for people using nice words or helping people who have had mean words thrown their way. I have my students write who they chose and WHY they chose them. It cannot be just because they are their friend.
What do the days looks like?
Monday - Sharing bag. They take home a brown bag and share some of their favorite things from home. 
Tuesday- They share the All About Me Poster.
Wednesday- Bring a favorite book {Usually, I will read it to the class}
Thursday- 20 questions. They students who are not the star get to ask 20 questions to the Star.
Friday- The students make a book or a card and compliment the students.

I do try {I don’t always get it right} but I try to make it during the week of their birthday. It makes them feel wayyy better. 
Don’t you have other awards?
I do have other awards. I have a reading award and a math award that I do every Friday. I usually base this off who has made the most amount of progress and Fasttmath and Reading Counts {or Accelerated Reader}. 

I hope this has helped you create an awesome Star Student of the Week. If you create something, try to link it back to me so I can see all of your creative ideas. :) 

If you want the document to be sent to you, then leave a comment and I will send it as fast as I can. I can also personalize the name for you when I send it. I do not send it in a word document because then things become altered, so if you would like me to include your name, then please leave it in the comment box.

Thank you so much for reading my first Try This, Thursday. I cannot wait for more posts.

Happy shopping and Happy Pinning. 

The new math...

Saturday, July 20, 2013 No comments

Hello everyone!
This week has been chaotic. My best friend just found out she is having a boy!! {Yippee!} I have been in trainings ALL week long for Common Core. Can I just brain hurts. It is so interesting watching this and seeing how the school district evolves through this new process. 
One of the things that is changing is our math block. However, we are not being instructed how to change it. Of course, I get on my handy dandy Pinterest and pin dozens of things for math. Which leads me to where I am going with my math curriculum. Our math block is one hour long. Below is how the math block will look in the future. {Keep in mind...I am lucky to have an hour math block. If you do not have an hour math block~ then adjust to your schedule} We are going to say my math block starts at 9.

9:00-9:05/9:10~ Review homework. {I always check the previous nights homework. This is what I review so I can fix any mistakes. Sometimes I would partner the students who didn't get it with the ones who did}
9:10-9:30~ I make sure I don't get past 10 minutes of review because then the students start to play and I lose my math time. I call the students to the carpet. We do a mini-lesson. This is the lesson from the book but I modify it because I don't always LOVE our book.
9:30-10:00- We do BUILD. are probably thinking..."Ronnie- I have only seen BUILD in the primary. " Well due to Copyright laws with BUILD, I changed it a little to BUILT. 

I knew you would be curious of how I made BUILT, so I will show you.

B~ Buddy Games - I currently have about 44 games. Some that I made, and some that I found on Pinterest or TeachersPayTeachers. Below are some pictures of what my Buddy Games center looks like. 
This picture is the crate of the files for the games. I have about 30 games in here right now. The folders in the picture on the right is ~ the folders that have to either be laminated or need to be cut after being laminated. {I try not to laminate 20 times a week or cut 20 times a week. I sit down at once and do all the laminating and cutting at once.} Each tab is a chapter. I made the games {With the rules} inside each folder. 

This is what is inside each folder. I label it as variable and I put a B in the right corner, so when the students return it, they know it goes in the green crate. In the bottom left  of the folder it says Chapter 3. I wrote this on there for two reasons. 1- So I can remember where it goes 2- so the kids can put it in the correct spot.
U~ Understanding Technology. Now- this is not just putting them on the computer. This is using the applications that are on the computer. I have quite a bit of things that I allow the students to use. The first thing they MUST do is FasttMath. This is another way for them to get better at their math skills. They do this twice a week. The person with the most gains wins the Math Award for the week.  One of the biggest ones will be a re-teach lesson from a previous test. We use the GoMath series and they use amazing ways to reteach the lesson. Sometimes I will allow the kids to go on RiverDeep but that is a rare occasion.
I ~Independent Work ~ This is like BUILD. The kids will have a math worksheet that is similar to what they are working on or a previous skill.
L ~ Learning to solve problems~ This is one that does not go with the original Build. This is going to be in their math journals. I take spiral notebooks and cut them in half. I have an extra table in my room and that is the "Problem Solving Table" The kids go there and pick up a problem solving card. Not one that they have previously done. Then they copy it into their notebook. They will then pass their notebooks around to group mates and their group mates will check each others work.
T ~ "Teacher assistance/help" ~ This one is when the students come to me. I had to incorporate this in because then I will forget who comes to me.

This is how I will see my groups. We will be doing 2 rotations a day. Now, What I like about this, I can change this whenever I need to. I actually put this in a Powerpoint and with that I can adjust it however I want. 

If you want any of my games then you can see my games at TeachersPayTeachers.

Happy Shopping and Happy Pinning!! xoxo


Tuesday, July 2, 2013 No comments

As you know, my theme for this year is CandyLand. I found SOOOO many ideas for homework for this year. One of them was the version of Monopoly's homework. Well, I don't like Monopoly. Not that it is a bad I just simply don't understand it. I feel like it is such an intense game and hard to understand that I just gave up. I will simply blame this on my mothers ability to scare me away from any board game with her amazing mathematical skills. {She's a CPA}.

I decided to take a different turn with my classroom. I loved the idea of having a board game in the classroom. I thought...and I thought...and I thought some more. How can I put a homework game in my classroom WITHOUT using Monopoly AND incorporating candy into it?

Lo and behold~ while I was driving...okay my fiance was driving- I told him to go to the educational store. Lucky for me, he loves the store. I think he secretly thinks he was a kid again so he could finger paint. So we were at my local educational store {Ace Educational}, and I bought pieces for CandyLand. I bought a {science fair} trifold. We threw them into the trunk and had to wait until we got home before we could play with it.

I came home {3 hours later ~ the wait was EXCRUCIATING} and I popped all the pieces out and had Wesley help me lay it out. We had all of the pieces everywhere! Penelope {our 1 year old Yorkie} was trying to grab them. I am chasing her, Wesley is holding the board, and she's sliding on the board like she's going to home base.It was a comic act {haha} but we got the pieces down.
This is the board that I made. I wanted pink because I feel like pink is a candy color. Some of the pieces have words on them. Some say no homework, free gum-ball {yes...I have a gumball machine in my classroom~ I will get to that later}, no shoes in the classroom, sit where you want. I tried  to do it every 6 pieces so that the kids had a constant goal in their mind.  

These show you the pieces of the CandyLand that I made {yes, made} and printed on white cardstock. The reason why I printed these, was because I made several games using CandyLand and I did not want to keep buying new pieces.

These will be the students pieces. I will cut them {when I have time ~ like on a plane} and since they are laminated, I may be able to use these next year. 

i hope you enjoy this as much I enjoyed making this!

Happy shopping and Happy Pinning!