Recent Posts

Friday, August 29, 2014

FREEBIE! - Mental Math Center

I'm excited to share this little freebie with you!
I'm currently obsessed with the bright, clear, and adorable clipart from Krista Wallden at Creative Clips. So, when I got these adorable little soccer dudes, I just HAD to create!
Since, I don't have a classroom this year, one of my sweet friends sent me a few pictures of her kids using this during math centers...(Pardon the cropping...I had to cut their sweet faces out!)
So, the center activity consists of task cards, soccer ball number cards, and a recording sheet.
Students read the question on the card. It may say something like "What number is 10 more than 43?". Then they look for the soccer ball that shows 10 more than 43. 
The kids then match the soccer ball to the correct task card (as you can see on the top two cards in the picture). If this game were played on the floor or at a table, students would be able to "make a goal" by putting the matching soccer ball right on top of the goal!
I've gotten some great feedback from teachers at my own school who are using it in 2nd and 3rd grade as a review of 5 more/less and 10 more/less addition and subtraction skills. The kids are all excited about the soccer theme and love "making goals".

Be sure to grab a copy of this forever FREEBIE! Happy Teaching! If you like what you see, be sure to follow my blog & check out my Close Reading Mini-Series or Math Center How-To for lots of ideas! Also, be sure to grab some other freebies by heading over to Freebie Friday at the Teaching Blog Addict!

Monday, August 25, 2014

EDITABLE Open House Presentation

This weekend I worked on a fun little editable project that you may enjoy! There are 20 slides that are ready for you to personalize. Take a look in this sneak peek!
 Add your name to this page! I've also added a page without the words "Open House", just in case you have a different event name.
Here is a preview of all the pages once they are completed. 
This page works as a little getting to know you page.
You can let parents know all about your schedule here.
I like to show parents what their HW checklist will look like so that they are not confused the first week of school. I added an image of it to this slide.
Want parents to volunteer??? I included this slide and one about class parties!
 This product also has 4 blank pages with editable titles so that you can add extra pages with any specific information you need to share with parents.

 If you would like to see a larger preview or grab this editable presentation, click here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Teacher Week - What? Friday

Linking up with Blog Hoppin' Today!
Sadly, I skipped Thursday, because I'm not in the classroom this year, and don't start teaching Character Education as a special until mid-September. Right now, my job is all communications.

However...I am very excited about WHAT Friday!
Today I'm going to share one of my favorite topics to teach in Reading/Language Arts. I absolutely love teaching math, but I know close reading is a hot topic, so I figured I would focus on that for now. :)

Close Reading
I LOVE doing close reading activities with students in order to truly make them understand the text, rather than just glancing through it to find the answers. I have also done a lot of research on the topic for my Master's because it was the topic of my research paper last semester. I was surrounded by close reading!
I did a 5-Day Close Reading Mini-Series this summer to give people some tips and insight into using it in the classroom. You can check that out by clicking on the image above!
I create close reading passages that I know the kids will be engaged in. I also try to make it fit with our unit so that the passages can be classwork and homework. Below is a weekly layout of how I use each set of passages. This is included in each of the sets in my store.
Here is an example of one passage. I use the passage for the entire week. We work on repeated reading to finding unknown words, conquer new vocabulary, find evidence in the text, explore main idea and key details in EACH paragraph, and analyze why the author uses certain text features.
Here's an example of one of my students completing the Vocabulary Builder.
After doing about 3-4 days of digging into the passage, students use what they know to write and explain what they learned. {BTW - Take a look at this hilarious drawing from one of my firsties! Those are suppose to be meerkat tails. HA!!!}
During close reading, I love giving students highlighters and pencils. Sometimes we also use colored pencils. This helps them to identify evidence and then record their answers. I frequently grade and send these home so that parents begin to see their children referring to the passage for evidence. This is a biggie with Common Core (or whatever version of Common Core your school uses lol...I'm in FL and we have new FL standards, however, they are basically the same as Common Core).
Here are a few of my close reading packs if you are interested! Click on the images to grab them!

And a FREEBIE! :) Enjoy!

Be sure to link back up to hear from other teachers!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Teacher Week - Why? {Organization Tips & Tricks!}

 Linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Day 3 of Teacher Week!
"Why Organize?"

Let me first start off by saying that I'm OCD when it comes to my classroom. It's always tidy. (Custodians loved me! lol) Now my house...not so perfect {sigh}; I'll live! Here are a few tips that I LOVE and that help me stay organized and sane. Enjoy!

 I organize all my centers in clear gallon sized ziploc bags. The kind with the sliding zipper, NOT the squeeze kind. I put one of everything that kids need at that center (minus the manipulatives) and then store them in a filing cabinet by topic. This way when I need the center, I just take it out of the ziploc and put it in our center bins for the kids. Sometimes, I even just leave it all in the bag for them. My students last year were very good at putting things back because they were well trained! HA!
I try to keep one hard copy of a recording sheet so that I can make copies easily. Having them in bags like this is also SUPER helpful for remediation. When I had parents ask for resources to practice during the week, I could just send home the whole center ziplock. Safe. Easy. Convenient for me!
Here's a look at a Word Work center that had a few more components than other centers. Still, they all fit in the bag! 
I am obsessed with my planner from A Modern Teacher. It houses everything: my lesson plans, my Master's homework, my blogging stuff, To-Do Lists, notes from meetings, calendars. EVERYTHING. It is a lifesaver, plus it's pretty. Having everything in one place is extremely helpful for me.
~Computer Organization~
This is my home computer. Please ignore the mess! This was taken while I was working on a paper for my Master's. However, it shows my wonderful background! I like to know where all my files are so that it doesn't take long to find things. I have also found that it is helpful to have files right on your desktop when uploading things to different sites.You can the background above for free here!
This is one that I made for my work computer. Same concept, but the titles changed to more work related things. :) Can you tell I have a lot in progress?

Head back over to Blog Hoppin' to get other organizational tips and tricks!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teacher Week - "Where Tuesday"

Linking up for Day 2 of Teacher Week with the ladies at Blog Hoppin'! This one is a little abnormal for me, because I'm out of the classroom this year. Buttt...I figured I'd show you around anyway!

Last year, when I was IN the classroom, it looked like this...

But this year, I'm Communications Director & I teach Character Education to K-2, so I use all the classrooms in the school. Here's where I work! It's a private PK2-5th grade school that's been around for 45 years! It was my elementary school, and I feel so at home here!
 Pavilion & PK Playground
 You can't see the big playground from here but from here it is behind me.
Our hallways are colorful and walled with bulletin boards that are painted. The blue and green walls here are all bulletin boards. This wall above is painted with white board paint! HOW AWESOME!? Our art teacher is beyond talented!
This is one of my current favorite classrooms! It is a co-teaching 1st grade room. The teachers have set it up so well this year! Love all the space that two rooms includes!

Be sure to link back up to check out other teachers and their spaces!

Pin It button on image hover