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.