Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pitner's Potpourri

Please head over to Pitner's Potpourri's blog. She is constantly posting AMAZING free center stuff! Right now she has a center on sorting singular and possessive nouns. TOO perfect for my kiddos right now. She is a 2nd-3rd grade looping teacher in my county, but I'm not just biased. I have printed out and used a ton of her things.

She is so close to having 100 followers and is also having a giveaway!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's Been a While...

Hey ya'll! It has been a VERY long time since I posted last. I, like every single one of you, have been extremely busy. I have been reading everyone's posts, but I've been to worn out to post myself. The lack of creative juices have also had an impact.

I am going to post some pictures of "stuff" we have done, and some stuff I plan on doing. Blogging has changed the way  soooo many of us teach now. I love how we can share our ideas and use other's ideas in our own classrooms. Pinterest has also done the same.

I apologize for the lack of creativeness (is that a word?)

One week (a looong time ago) our skill was sequencing. I always want kids to know how we use these "things" we rant on and on about in their everyday lives. Soooo---we followed a recipe and make Chocolate chip muffins! Groups had to follow the recipe on the back of the box and work together to make the muffins. They loved it! AND I was blown away at how well they can crack eggs! NOT ONE broken shell in the batter!

Here are some pics:

It was crazy hair day...

We rolled the cart of muffins down to the cafeteria where our sweet ladies baked them for us.
AND OH MY...they were soooo yummy!

We wrote a letter thanking them for baking the muffins AND cleaning our bowls and spoons! Such sweet, sweet ladies!

Here are a couple of pictures from our Edible Island day...

I saw this on a blog I adore, Persnickety Pickles and I knew I had to do it. I made a physical map sheet for the kiddos to illustrate their own Edible Island. I tried to make it just like hers.

Here is my Edible Island. The only thing I thought of on my own was using Reese's Miniature PB cups as plateaus. The other candies and thier uses were all Katie from Persnickety Pickles.

I took some bites out of my graham crackers to make a peninsula...and a bay.

Every kiddo made their own. They were so creative and adorable.I took their pictures and will place them in the hall along with their physical maps. I would post those pictures, but that would be toooooo much editing.

Maybe one day soon I will get caught up, stay healthy, and be rested enough to begin posting on a weekly basis.
For right now, this will have to do.
I still read everyone's amazing posts which inspire me daily.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Mandy Gregory over at Mandy's Tips for Teachers is having a very interesting giveaway. She has created reading response projects, and she wants a few teachers to try them out and give her feedback. Head on over for a chance to win this 25 page document that sounds very awesome!

P.S. - I have been MIA lately, but I promise I have good reasons. More on that soon. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Student Initiated Groups

I read the most fabulous book on assessment in the reading workshop last weekend called, Day to Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop: Making Informed Instructional Decisions in Grades 3-6
  by Franki Sibberson and Karen Szymusiak.
One section caught my eye right away: Student Initiated Groups. Basically students get to sign up for workshops on skills they want to work on. Some examples are: sticking with books, reading different genres, learn better strategies for choosing good books, chapter book series, reading aloud more fluently, etc...

So I created sign up sheets for these. The picture in the book just shows these glued to a poster board, and the kiddos just sign their name in the white areas. After everyone has signed up, you post a large desk calendar listing the dates for each group meeting.

I haven't done this yet, but plan on doing it in two weeks. (Pictures to come) I just wanted to share the idea, the book, and the sign up sheets.

Click Here to download the workshop sign up sheets.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Literacy Stations

I feel blessed to have all my pull outs (resource, ESL, Title) at one time (the hour before we go home 1:15-2:15-love).

Kids aren't missing bits and pieces of lessons, and I AM not having to remember when to send who where. I was planning on doing Daily 5 rotations during this time, but then I found out about our state's adoption of the new "test" when we switch to common core in 2014.

Our kiddos will have to TYPE an essay of sorts, upload it to the internet, then later on DEFEND..that's right I said DEFEND their point of view. Ummm...I didn't even do this in college. Most Ph.D programs make you do this.

So our goal is to keep working on writing, especially persuasive essays, but also to find some time to teach the kids typing.

I was introduced to Dance Mat Typing by one of our special ed. teachers. I LOVE IT, and so do the kids!
dancing animal
1. It is free.
2. The main "character" who teaches you to type has a cute British accent.

So here are my new stations for our "enrichment" pull out time.
(1 hour)
1. Dance Mat Typing
2. Read to Self or Partner Reading
3. Word Work
4. Vocabulary  (adding vocab. to interactive notebooks, working on foldables, etc...)

Since I wasn't..cough...prepared for word work today they used pipe cleaners to make their spelling words.

Gross...crushed Goldfish. Excuse her mess.
Thought I'd share.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Random Question and Thanks

Ya'll I need to know where these cute little people (clip art) come from. I can't find them anywhere? Who makes them? I NEED them. Anyone know?

In  other news...

Also- Thanks soo much to Pitner's Potpourri for naming me as one of her Top 10 favorite blogs! And ya'll if you haven't checked out her blog, please do so. She is one of our amazing teachers in my school district. She has posted lots of awesome center ideas and printables.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Changes...and a random freebie

   I have been out of school this week due to the Tennessee Walking Horse Show Celebration. The first three weeks of school is always a blur, and having this week off every year is such a blessing. It gives me time to think about what worked and what didn't. I get to tweak things basically.

I was super rushed moving into my new classroom, so it wasn't perfect when school started. I have been in my room twice this week, and it is coming along. I moved a HUGE bookshelf that really couldn't hold much. (neat shelf from an old store...held jars of penny candy at one time I think...)

Ya'll...just a warning, this is terrible! I cannot believe it was such a hot mess back here.

Well.....I found surprises underneath that shelf....lots and LOTS of surprises.<RAT droppin's>

 I did not take a picture because...ewww that's gross.

Here is the after  :::insert harp music and angels descending with a soft glow of sunlight here:::

Now, had I actually remembered I had taken a BEFORE picture I would have taken the AFTER picture from the same angle....ahem...yea.So anyways- the ginormous shelf used to be against this wall and my desk was in the middle crammed between the computer tables and cabinets. It is wonderul now. Still cluttered underneath, but those are baskets of "stuff" to file. Note to self: Next summer's big project will be scanning all worksheets/paper work onto a flash drive.

I love my floor lamp on top of the filing cabinet. 
Thanks to Leigh for that idea!

Say hello to the TV I only use to watch the School House Rock DVD! My stinkin' computer won't play it.

Not perfect, but it'll get there.


Here are some more pictures of finished "projects" from this week:

This is my Every Day Counts board. Some of you may have this with your math program. I love me some Singapore math! I don't know if this is strictly with Math in Focus series.
 We got our Calendar materials in VERY late (back ordered), so we will start this on Tuesday.

The infamous Debbie Miller Class Promise...oh how I love thee!

This is my little table by the front door (right). I keep my binder with the kid's information (emergency contacts, registration forms, etc...) I  keep lunch forms here too. Easy peasy.

ALSO- I keep those Brain Quest Cards in there! Just in case we are lined up but waiting on a few kiddos or have a few extra minutes.

Close up of the pencil me some Pinterest!

Another pinterest find! I bought sparkly-black-sticker scrap booking letters. Easy, EASY! Ummm I have had to kiss my brain toooo many times this week...for all the hard work..while
 I was suppose to be off....right?

 ANYWAYS- I plan on posting a neat/easy science activity on Tuesday that takes
 no planning at all!
Thanks for stopping by and checking out updated pics of the room.

Here is a random freebie...Math question word bubbles! I am putting these around my Every Day Counts board. I made these last night, and am currently cutting them out of lamination. This is a way to remind yourself and the kiddos to push that thinking further!

 Click HERE
P.S.- sorry about the black line border thingy. It happens every time I save a DJInkers picture.