Veteran's Week

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 No comments
Oh my goodness...I love November. It has such rich information throughout the entire month. It makes me so happy teaching all of these amazing social studies standards throughout the entire month. Let's start from the beginning:

The first week we do our voting and we use a lot of things in relation to voting with the governor and President. In 2016, the voting will be amazing because the kids will be able to vote for someone that they really would want to vote for. Last year I blogged about can check it out here. This year, I am allowing you to download the document used to vote.
Just click here!!

For Veteran's Week, we had an amazing guest speaker come to the school. If Ms. Thompson ever reads this, know that we thank you for serving our country and teaching our kids amazing things! <3 We have the anchor chart up from last year (see below).

 This year we added a few new elements:
1. We have a poppy poem. The kids LOVED this! I found it on Pinterest. If you wrote this then thank you for writing this! 

2. We each wore a [paper] poppy and in order to wear the poppy they had to answer the question: Why do we wear poppies? The answer is to show honor and our thanks to the men and women who served our country.
3. We added a weekly brag tag. This year I have tried really hard to create all these types of brag tags based on the theme for the week. The kids love this because they are able to tell peers that they are experts on the specific topic. 

We read the book Pepper's Purple Heart.
We also created lap books (picture coming soon) from Keeping up with Mrs. Harris. I loved creating these with the kids! The kids learned so much and were able to show it in their lap book. We also read a book by Class of Kinders
Hopefully, you can use some of these amazing things next year!
Keep track of our blog so you can check out the Thanksgiving events! 

Off leave

Saturday, October 10, 2015 No comments
I can't believe it but I start school again on Monday! I'm really excited but bummed because I'll miss my little boy! Stay tuned for bat week next week and all about the bl blends! 

Thematic Units

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 No comments
I'm finally back in the teaching world. I had baby W. He just melts my heart!
Now I feel ready to get back to tell you all about what's been going on. I came back to work on October 12 and I hit the ground running! This year has been a little different because I'm implementing a theme every single week along with a blend each week. I started to create units based on what we are teaching each week and honestly, I feel like my students have made major gains. 
Why do thematic units?
Imagine a kids brain is like a computer. In the old days if you wanted to switch programs you would have to shut the computer down. It was a 10-15 minute project. That would be 10-15 minutes of learning time what we would lose. By the end of the year, it could be an entire weeks of learning that you've lost.
How do you do themes?
I choose a theme based on the book for the week. I will use the week of Halloween as an example for our themed week.
Theme: Witches
Blends/digraph- ch [ I have 1-2 a week]
Math-we were working on matching tens and numbers together so the game had a boiling pot with the base tens, and then a witch for the number. It literally just had the cute fun game with a witch on it.
Writing- we wrote a "how to" book on several things. 1- how to make your own stew [or potion] (if you were a witch, of course). 2- how to put a spell on someone 3-(not a how to but still works) how to be the best witch of them all. They were a lot of fun to write and we enjoyed reading what everyone's stew (or potion) would do to people.
Reading- during reading we read Piggie Pie. Have you read it? It's so cute! That was for our interactive read a loud. Then for shared I wrote a book called something witchy and we read that several times along with identifying the ch on each page. The kids love these little books because they add them to their "paper" Baggie and are able to read from there anytime they want. We then read a poem called Witches. I wrote it and we read it everyday and then we were able to place it on our poetry journal. 
Themed weeks are such a huge hit! At the end of each week, the students get a brag tag that they can add to their necklace that says they are an expert on that topic. All my kids get one because they all worked equally hard to learn about the topic.
October themes:
Bats, spiders, fire safety, witches
November themes:
Voting, Veterans Day, thanksgiving 
Come back monthly to check out our new themes!
Do you do themes in your classroom?What are they and what do they look like?

K-2 Conference Guides

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 No comments
I use to be the worst at conferencing. Honestly... I didn't like it. It was a struggle because I never knew what to do. So instead of actually pulling conferences and guiding students, I would pull small strategy groups or work on something else. I realized that the students were never finding out if the things they were doing were correct. I came up with this conference form and hopefully this will help your writing instruction as much as it helped mine.

 When should you conference?

Honestly… it will be very difficult at first.
I struggle with pulling conferences at first,
but once I get into the groove- then I am good. You should be able to pull 3-5 students PER DAY. That way over a week you will see each student at least once. Are you going to do this as soon as you start the school year? NO! I had to put timers on my phone to help me stay on track. The first week, I got through 8 of my 20 students. The second week was 10, then 14, then finally I got through all 18 in one week. It took me four weeks to get my rhythm. I did keep track of which students I saw and made sure the following week that I targeted the students that I missed.  

 How do you conference?

It is so easy to say “fix this- and this-
and this.” As teachers, we need to get out
of this terrible habit. Okay-so what do you do?

First- Always welcome and say hi to them.
Ask if you can read their story. Don’t just take
their story. This is special moments to them
and it’s not your place to be rude about
their stories.
Second- Give them something to compliment
 them on. Don’t worry there is a page in
the file that has a list of things you can
compliment them on.
Third- Now tell them what they need to work 
on. Only give them one item to fix. The reason
why??-because they can’t remember everything! One thing will be sure to get done. When they come back to you, you will be able to see if they completed the task. Now, you are probably going to see 20 things that they need to work on. If you are OCD like me you can write errors on a sticky note and refer back to that later.
Last- Write it down!!!! My first year I made the 
mistake of never writing it down. I kept repeating 
myself to the kids on everything they needed to work on.
I had no way of monitoring their growth or to
check back to see if they completed the last task.

On the document, you will see that there is a section for compliments. You can keep track of the last compliment that you gave them so you don't repeat yourself. The next line is the teaching point. What did you just teach them to do? It's kind of like a reteach but in writing. The last line is the next step. I always ask them what they are going to be working on next. Then I fill it in. For my students who are strugglers, I will have them sign it because then they feel like they are being held accountable and they HAVE to do what they signed.  I hope this helped you with conferencing notes & guiding the conferences. If you want to purchase the K-2 conference guide you can click :here.

Keep Track of Data

Friday, July 17, 2015 1 comment
One of the hardest things as a teacher is to keep track of all the data that is thrown your way. You have all of the math tests, science tests, text dependent questions, reading response, writing conferences... what did I miss? I bet I missed like ten different things, but you get the point. One of the things that I must have is a very well organized binder. I want to have all student's information in one place. This is how my data binder was born.

There was several things that I needed to have in my binder. Some of them I did not take pictures of because it had too much important information on it.
1. Way to keep their Reading Running Records information on one page
2. Any informal Reading Running Records
3. Any test scores
4. A way to track their Report Card information (Math, Reading, and Writing)
5. Rainbow Words
6. Rainbow Math
7. Student Information
8. Transportation form (it's a legal document in our county)
9. Any other pertinent data that shouldn't go in the student portfolio.

This is the front cover of the binder. I bought this from 1st Grade is WienerFUL. One of the things that happened this year was that in the state of Florida, we don't use CCSS. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to utilize the entire pack, BUT it's AMAZING!!

Once you open the binder, there is a list of all the students. I bought this from Office Depot and this is how I kept track of all the students. Each student has a tab and it is based on their letter (or number). 

 This is one of my favorite things in the binder. Before I have the students tabs (but after the label sheet). It is a master sheet that keeps ALL of my students information on their Reading Running Records {RRR}. This is every single student in my classroom. 

*How does this work? It's really simple. You place the students name at the top of the page. On the left side, you will see the information from the RRR book, AND what is the mastery level. Then you will fill in each box under the student's name and across from whatever they mastered. As you can see, some of them are in pink. The reason why they are in pink is because they mastered that specific section of the RRR. At the bottom of the page is the levels that the student currently reads at. I write the letter that they read on and then directly underneath the letter is the number that they answered the questions.
This is the individual student tracker page. I mark in this every time I work with the student and their RRR. I like to use this because then I have one for each individual student. As you can see there is a pink box which is for Trimester 1 and then the blue box is for the final trimester. On the left side I highlighted everything that was mastered. That way I don't go back and repeat anything that he already mastered. As you can see this is helpful as well because you can see how much he progressed over the ENTIRE school year. The first two things filled in are the scores and dates when they walked into my classroom. 

***If you want to purchase this document, you can do so in my store for $2.00. It's also a little different with nice borders and prettier font. Editable RRR is perfect for you!***

 This is not my product but I LOVE it! This is from Mrs. Jump's Class. I used this document all the time. There were other things that were very helpful in this file. I used this informal record all of the time. I tried to complete one per day. It became my goal. Once I got really good at tracking the students I was able to bump it up to 2-3 a day. I did this about 2-3 weeks after their latest RRR. I highly recommend using this!
I doubt you will have this, but I wanted to show you how I kept track of the math scores. The  way that we do this is all through the computer. We enter in all of our data to show what questions the students answered incorrectly. Then We print out the form to show what questions were answered incorrectly. Then I am able to highlight the standards that the students did not master. Now when I go back and do a re-teach, I am able to hone in on the specific skill they need help with. I currently use this tracker to keep track of what needs to be retaught. Unfortunately, it's only for first grade and it's LAFS & MAFS from the state of Florida. I have been thinking that I will create a CCSS for K-5. You may have to give me time though...Sorry!!

This is what I use to track what I entered on the student's report card. Each part of the report card is broken up by a specific benchmark which has 2 -3 standards in it.  I use the X or # to mark if the student mastered it or not. I use a bright purple highlighter to mark off which standards were not assessed. At the end of the year, I make a copy of the standards and send it home to the parents. I can show this during conferences and make notes on the page if I need to. I have one for Math, Reading, and Writing.

If you want a copy of this, just leave a comment below so I can email it to you.

The next part is from Jen Jones and it is called Rainbow Words. I love this!!! If you are working with kids on their sight words then you have to get this! I keep the tracker in their binder section and every Monday when I check sight words, I just open to their file for rainbow words and begin testing the students on their words.

 I know this is a super long post, but I appreciate you sticking around and reading all about my data binder! 

Font Books

Thursday, July 2, 2015 No comments
Hello everyone!
Happy July! I love July 4th. It is one of my favorite holidays because it's a celebration of our country becoming independent. There will be a sale from July 3rd - July 5th on my TpT store in celebration of July 4th. Also in other news...this is my due month! We are officially in the month that the baby is due. I can't believe it either. 

As bloggers, we are CONSTANTLY using different types of fonts. We know how to space things and then change the size and use all of our favorite fonts. One of my problems [that I assume you may have as well] is that I have SO many fonts that I can't keep track of them all. I always want to use different fonts but sometimes I forget what the fonts look I tend to stay with just my favorite fonts. I know!! It's a shame! It really upset me and I needed a way to have all my fonts in one spot. This is how the Font Book was born.

This is the cover of the font book. What did I do? I created a document (see below) and I wrote the title of the font and then I changed the font on that line to match the font that I labeled it. I only chose the fonts that I really loved. I use a lot of Kimberly Geswin fonts, Cara Carroll fonts, KB Fonts, and KA Fonts. 
After I type up the fonts and print it out...I laminate it. I like LOVE to laminate things and this is noon exception. I then laminate the pages and cut them perfectly. I can then put them on a ring or keep them together. In the end, they look like the picture below. I have all the fonts in one place and now I can use this to find all the fonts that I want to use. [Don't mind the little puppy paw in the picture.]

Hopefully, this helps you while you work on any project that involves fonts. It is a great tool for me and I hope it is for you as well!

Summer Slide

Sunday, June 14, 2015 No comments
Hello everyone!
I hope your end of the year events are going well. We ended our school year on June 4th and being 33 weeks pregnant- I COULDN'T WAIT! Not only did I end my school year but we also moved into our new house the week before school got out. It's been very crazy over here and now since school is out- I am getting the nursery ready. Although my personal life has so much going on... it doesn't mean my babies don't have work as well. I created a summer packet for my kids and this was awesome because it targeted everything we had learned this year. 

I bought gallon ziplock bags and put all of their little goodies inside of it. 
What was inside the bag?
- Addition & Subtraction Fluency Set
- Week 1
- Week 2
- Week 3
- Week 4
- Week 5
-Week 6
- A parent packet with websites and tips & tricks for reading & math
- A page for passwords
- A pencil
- A list of books to read for summer 
- Dolch sight words

The underlined items are things I found online and are not in the summer slide packet. 
So what is inside the Week's 1-6? Well each front cover is made to be printed one sided only. On the front is a cute little cover where they can write their name. On the back is a reading log. I made every two weeks the same color and then I switched to a different color. Once you open the packet there is different activities to do. For example each week has some type of writing exercise. [Don't mind my ugly nails.]
There are also math activities to do. [Sorry- I can't find out how to rotate it back.]
There are coins, ten frames, tally marks and many other activities based on the first grade curriculum. 
There are also two stories in each packet. One story is a fiction story. There are questions that go along with it. There is also a non fiction story-mainly about animals- and there are of course questions to go along with that.

Each week also has math word problems and if you need more word problems you can stop by my store and purchase word problems based on the months. There are also fill in the blanks for the correct verb tenses.
There are also some character traits pages and each packet has a sight word list. Then the students are to make sentences using the sight words listed above.

Hopefully this was super helpful to you and that you want to help your kids become even more successful! I can't wait to hear your comments below!

Math Word Problems

Saturday, May 2, 2015 No comments
Hello everyone!
I have some great things to share today! One of the things that I have for you today is math journals! I was so tired of my kids not being able to understand a word problem, that I ended up creating math journals for my kids. The math journals are awesome because I can monitor them doing their math journals and word problems. 

I did create these for most grades. I am in the process of adding more for the grades so check back often for updates to see if there is a math journal for your grade.

1st Grade-
*Update 9/17*Includes September, October, and November

2nd Grade-

3rd Grade-

Update: July 17

Update: September 16 *sorry for the delay! Baby W came! <3

Blends Posters

Monday, March 16, 2015 No comments
Hey everyone! 
It's Spring Break and I am posting a ton of pictures of blends posters! I know that I have previous posts on blend but I am almost finished with all of my blend posters. I wanted to share them with you and hopefully you can use them in your classroom!

I hope these can help in your classroom! They sure do help in my classroom!

Dr. Seuss Week Part 2

Sunday, March 8, 2015 No comments
Hello everyone,
What a week!! Dr. Seuss week is over and we had a blast. I know I posted about the balloons last week, but our week continued and we were having such a great time!

On Monday, we watched "Oh the places you'll go" and it was read by John Lithgow. We created our balloons! ( See previous post) They came out so cute. Surprisingly, I didn't take any pictures of them...

Tuesday, we started the book "Green Eggs and Ham" and we created our own persuasion story if you should eat Green Eggs and Ham. They came out super cute and while we were writing our stories, we also ate "Green Eggs and Ham"
What did I use? I used Waffle Pretzels, vanilla frosting, and green m&m's. My husband was such a great help, and these are actually a picture of his because mine came out looking awful! 

On Wednesday, we read the book "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish". We actually created our own "aquarium." We made our own fish and then we wrote rhyming sentences on the fish. Of course, since my kids are in first grade...they totally did not want to color it red and blue so they colored it whatever they wanted! 

On Thursday, we read the book Sneetches, and we ALL wore yellow shirts. My entire team wore yellow, and so did almost ALL of the kids. We put green stars on our bellies and became Star Bellied Sneeches. I luckily remembered to grab a snapshot with me and little baby Eyre.

On Friday, me and a co-worker wore matching shirts that said "Thing 1" and "Thing 2". Of course, with my big belly, it looked like the baby was Thing 2! haha

We all made blue hair!! We used bulletin paper and then cut the ends so it looked like it was hair.  

Here is another one of us wearing our blue hair. In the back, you can see the aquarium. We have little fishes and we have our cute blue hair. Notice that everyone in my classroom is wearing a red shirt! It's because they were all things.

Here we are wearing our blue hair and our thing shirts! A huge thanks to this amazing girl! She helped make my dream of being "things" come to life!! She made the shirts because she knew I couldn't be trusted with it! haha

Thanks Jen! I love you to the moon and back!

 I hope your Dr. Seuss week was just as successful as ours was! I can't wait to hear your comments of what you did for Dr. Seuss week!

100th Day

Saturday, February 28, 2015 No comments
What a relief to be over the 100th day!

It was super fun- but I went home and PASSED OUT!!! It exhausted me like crazy. I wanted to share with you some of the really cute things that we did as a class.

 In this picture, we made these really cute 100 count hats. We put a sentence strip around their head and then we used 10 pieces of construction paper. We then did 10 different designs on the hat itself. 

 Here are the things that we put on the ten strips:
10 animal stickers
10 math facts
10 sight words
10 thumb prints
10 books we read
10 hearts of love
10 things we learned this year
10 I'm a star sticker
10 of their first name
10 of any of their own design

We then created a 100 snack bag. It was really fun and good. We had a ton of food (and leftovers) that we ate some the following week. We made a little bag and then we watched a hundred day video while eating our yummy snack.
Here is what was in our snack bags:
-chocolate chunks
white cheddar popcorn
-fruit loops
-Teddy Grahams
-Vanilla Wafers

Of course....there was ten of each snack in each grab bag.

Things I forgot to photograph that we did as well:
We made a big banner that had 100 compliments,
100 math facts,
and 100 words that we know.

By the end of it...

We were like this. We were exhausted and we all relaxed. 

I hope your 100th day goes super smooth and you enjoy it. Leave some comments on what you did during your 100th day of school.

Dr. Seuss Week

Thursday, February 26, 2015 No comments
It's almost Dr. Seuss Day!
I am super excited, especially being in primary. I am able to have so much fun with my little babies. Each day next week, we will be participating in some events daily. One of the events that I created today and I wanted to share IMMEDIATELY was this adorable goal setting balloon. As you know, Oh, the places you'll go! is about going off to great places even if you are scared. I created a balloon file that you can use to set goals with your kids. 

One of my besties colored her balloon, and already set her goals!

I love how they came out and you can get them for yourself on Teachers Pay Teachers. The first person to respond to this, will get this document for free!!!!

Click the link Dr. Seuss- Oh, the places you'll go! to purchase this fun document!