Monday, December 31, 2012

Rut. Stale. Moldy.

Have you ever felt that way?

You know when you are online and Foxfire/IE/Chrome just freezes up, you automatically hit the refresh button.  Everything on your page is freshly loaded, moving smoothly with everything in it's place.  

Sometimes I wish we had a refresh button in life.  Don't you?  

That's why breaks are so important.  It's like a mini refresh button.  {at least that is what they are suppose to be..........right?}  Even with all the projects, school & home, that we set for ourselves; homework given by our principals; family activities to attend; it's good just to be home!

Thank goodness for our mini breaks that refresh us!!

Back to school in 2 days!!  I hope to get all my homework done, since I haven't started yet.........


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Daily 5 Math.......Math By Myself

This year's Daily 5 board that includes the math options.

One of the storage areas for Daily 5 Math.

 Build an Equation

 Number Puzzles

Building Tallies

Most of the game ideas {if not all of them} came from Renee over at The Reading Corner!!!

Doing Daily 5 Math this year has worked wonders for my students' math comprehension.  We start our math block {system required 90 uninterrupted minutes, which means they want straight math with no bouncing back & forth between math and RLA} with the Topic of the day from the Envision math series.  The Topic lessons usually last 45 minutes, which allows for Whole Group: I Do, We Do, You Do.  The students are then dismissed to their seats for independent practice while I work with a small group of students at the horseshoe table.  We then meet back at the carpet to begin Daily 5 Math.  We follow the procedures of Daily 5 with mini lesson then the student's choice. Do to the nature of my students this year we are still doing everything at the same time {ex. every student is doing Math Writing at the same time}.   I have just started of few of my students {with the best self control and stamina} with free choice.  Don't get me wrong........they do have the choice of what they are going to do in each section, we just don't have multiple sections going on at the same time.  Implementation of mixed sections is going so slow...........wish me luck.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Reading Corner

I just wanted to share one of my favorite blogs!!  {It's not just for the freebie.........I really and truly LOVE Renee's blog!!!!!  Ask my friends..............I talk about her ALL THE time!! Oh I hope that doesn't freak her out.}  Renee has been blogging for about 6 months and she has shared a plethora {oh yeah, that's a big word!} of ideas!!  Don't be fooled by the name of her blog she is also all about math.  She inspired me to dive into Daily 5 Math this year, which has changed math in my room COMPLETELY!!!

Hope you enjoy her blog as much as I do!!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This is how I roll......

Tuesday nights are NCIS, NCIS: LA, & Covert Affairs night.

It is the only night I watch t.v. {consistently}

So this is how I roll on Tuesday nights..........

Yup.  That's right...........water, ruler, sharpies, scissors, train monster truck, laptop set to common core website, foam pieces for math puzzle, remote & eye candy in the background {sorry husband.........just sayin'}


Friday, November 9, 2012

We voted.........did you???

First grade wanted to do a voting special activity for the kids to make a connection to all the election hoopla but we wanted to stay away from all the politics.  So I mention to the others that I saw somewhere that some class somewhere in some school voted between Pepsi & Coke.  So we turned that idea into a week long project!

We did blind taste tests..........

 {B won}

We campaigned.........

We created voter registration cards.
We voted..........

 {signing in with their voter registration cards}

We tallied the votes.......

Pepsi beat Coke 44 to 30 {BOOOOOOOOO!!}

 We celebrated with Coke, Pepsi and red/white/blue jello cups!!!!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Word Work


Seems like there are hundreds of possibilities for Word Work.  Some of the first activities that I have the students work on during Word Work is working on their spelling words with wiki sticks {bendaroos}, links, & clay.  They are also doing Rainbow Words {using 3 crayons to write their spelling words on top of each other to create a rainbow} & Bumpy Words {using the bumpy shelf liner under their paper to write their words with crayons} this week. 

During Word Work the kiddos not only work on their spelling words they also work on the spelling patterns of the week {Treasures Reading Series} and High Frequency Words.  Last year I had a huge list of Word Work activities for the students to choose from.  TOO MUCH!!  This year I am limiting their choices so that I can switch items out to help keep them on their toesies!  The BEST thing about Daily 5 is the free choice that students have.  I love the way it provides them with the opportunity for students to have a sense of control of their learning.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Unresolved Piles

They are here, there, EVERYWHERE!!!  I can't seem to find time to deal with the PILES in my classroom.  Could it be all the meetings during planning, 4323897 phone calls throughout the day, SAT10 testing 3 days this week, school pictures, RTI, benchmark testing, DEA testing, midterms..............I could go on & on & on & on & on!

Where is the balance in all of this?  How do you add time to the day?  HOW DO YOU GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PILES??!!  I mean they just multiply like rabbits on fertility drugs.  One day they will.......................GO AWAY {I am hearing all the guys from Big Bang tell Sheldon this while I type, did you see that episode?}

On top of the first day of state testing & school pictures it RAINED ALL DAY.  So since it was such a crazy day @ school I decided it was FORT time at home.  So I leave you with a few pictures of the fun  Wee One and I had "workn"!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thoughts & Photos

This year's back to school has been topsy turvey to put it mildly.  We are deep into our 4th week back and I feel like things are just starting to fall into place.  I am not talking about routines & procedures.  I am talking about classroom organization, grade level, school wide stuff.  I have never felt so scattered or disorganized as I have during the last month.  But things are finally looking up!! Whoop Whoop!!!

The first 5 photos are pre-kids, pre-Open House.  Room furniture lay out complete but the classroom is no where near ready.

Our school wide 3 behaviors to strive towards.  We brainstormed during the first week of school on what those behaviors look like & sound like.
The students picked 3 illustrators from our class who show the most details in their drawings to illustrate 3 ways to Read.

The Snapshots of our 1st grade classroom.  The students drew their favorite part of our 1st grade classroom in the camera lense.

This was such an AH HA moment for the kids this year!!

Pictures taken today of my little readers building their stamina.  It is a 3 steps forward 2 steps back type of process this year but we have made it up to 5 minutes of Read to Self just today!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching & Excuses

I have been toying with the idea of Whole Brain Teaching for a while.  I have spent hours recently with my BFF Google researching WBT.  What I have found BLOWS. MY. MIND.  So I dove in last week.  We have learned the 5 rules, hands and eyes, & Mirror.   I can't wait to get in deeper into this!! 

This weekend, I really wanted to post all of the crazy pictures that I have taken since school started way back on August 14th but as luck would have it my camera is locked away at school & I just couldn't bring myself to go there this weekend.  So I have devised a new plan.  You ready for it? {insert Jeopardy theme song here} I will post them on Tuesday night.  That is really the plan.  Maybe recording it somewhere other than my head will be more effective than it has been in the past.  Who knows really.

I have loved reading about how others have started their year though.  I wish I could read my Google Reader more frequently but due to toddler and sleep restraints that hasn't happened.  Because of those things I will be posting lots of pictures with very short descriptions.  It will be a fun game of guess why this picture was taken. {Which EVERYBODY loves right?}


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In the beginning......

I went into my classroom this morning and was in such furniture shock that I immediately text my brother & sis-in-law for HELP.  Long story short I exchanged kids {C for my brother} with my sis-in-law and headed to Pals to 'pay' for my brother's help and then STRAIGHT to SCHOOL!!!

My furniture was so spastically thrown in the room we had to move furniture to be able to move furniture to move furniture!!  AHHHHH!!!!

After my brother's cell phone dies, he visits my 2nd grade buddy's room twice & repaired her bumble bee, bounced a ball off my word wall thousands of times, I FINALLY finished thinking about where stuff went & moved stuff around.  Oh and I also lost my debit card & sent him back to town to find it.  After calling and telling me it wasn't in the parking lot where we switched drivers he suggested that I call the bank & see if any charges have been made to it.  So I called the bank & said at least 14 non-sentences to the bank lady {I am AWESOME at non-sentences} while apparently I was going in and out of signal and it was then that my brother text me and said the glorious words, and I quote, "Found it." It was in my car.  I looked there & he looked there.  There is NO way he found it in my car.  I tore it apart!!  Apparently it was standing on its side between my seat and the thing between my front seats.  {I hope Husband just skims this part of the post or I am in DEEP doo doo again!!!}

But anyWHO I was talking classroom right?

So here is what the room looked like we I finally got so frustrated with Big Momma I had to leave.  Of course that meant that I totally ate myself STUPID at Amigos with the fam.

After loading these photos I realize they don't look much different from the first ones.  Oh well.  I will try again Monday.  It's fast approaching my birthday weekend and I all boycott all school stuff during my birthday weekend.  Oh well exceptt the fact that it is tax free weekend so there will be back to school clothes shopping!! {and maybe a little bit of school supplies purchases}

Happy shopping!!