Thursday, June 27, 2013

More Classroom Pictures

I hope that everyone is having a great week! Friday is tomorrow! Why do the summer weeks fly by!?

I went to my classroom Tuesday and about 2 hours today. I believe my room is basically done. YAY! I still have lesson plans and all that stuff to do, but the hard part is done. Below are some things that I completed over the last few days! You can see past post for many other pictures!

I bought small dowel rods (craft section at Wal-Mart) and hot glued the ALREADY painted cute animals. I will use these for pointers.


This is behind the door to my room. Under the “What’s for Lunch?” sign, I will post the menu. The magnetic dry erase board is for the students to make their lunch choices. I will put their name on a magnet, so they can place it into their choice.


This is outside of my door. I will post my newsletter, reminders, and little messages.


This is my very small mailboxes to sort work or things that need to go home. I plan to purchase a larger one when I get instructional money.


My Writing Center is finished! This will just be where students get materials for the center and take them back to their seat. I have paper, stencils, markers, crayons, stamps, etc. Below are clipboards for writing the room, and small dry erase boards.


Below my lovely Smart Board is what I plan to turn into a listening center. I am going to find a headphone adapter to plug in multiple sets to the CD player. In the pink box, I have my instructional CD’s.


These are I Can statements and standards.


I have broken down the reading standards into domains.


I hope you enjoyed this little tour. I will do a full tour when everything is really ready!! Enjoy the day!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Made It- June 24th

It is time again for Monday Made It with 4th grade Frolics! I love to see what everyone has made! I usually add something I have made for my classroom, but this time I am going to show a TPT product.

My first Science unit is sorting by color, size, shape, and texture. I created some sorting mats and sticker books to use with this unit.


You could obviously use a variety of things to sort like blocks, foam shapes, candy, stickers, crayons, etc. I would copy these onto cardstock and laminate.

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I then created the very FUN sticker books! What kid (or adult) doesn’t like stickers?? I have a ton and I am always trying to find a way to use them. The Dollar Tree has a variety of sticker books.

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I am going to use foam shapes for this book.

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I hope someone else can use this! Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Picture Book Party

I am linking up with!

I LOVE to read to my classes, so this party is perfect. I can’t wait to see everyone’s suggestions!

I am just going to focus on two books for the first week of school. I am using them this year and I have already created some mini- units to use with them!

The first book is Gingerbread Man: Loose on the School. I have talked about this book before and I just loved it! I would use it to introduce the students the school building and most importantly principal, nurse, office staff, P.E. teacher, etc.

The second book is The Kissing Hand. I love this book! This is a great book to help the students uneasiness of leaving their parents. Click the link for my TPT product to go with this book.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five for Friday- June 21st

I have to say that I am so glad it is Friday! I usually only say that on a work week, but this week has been rough!

1) Swimming Lessons: Andrew (my 4 year old) took 3 days of swimming lessons this week! He is doing really well!


2) I only went to my classroom once this week, but I did accomplish some organization with my posters!


3) We are not going on any big vacations this summer, but we are planning a trip to the mountains for our Fall Break! I have been looking at cabins all day!

The Laughing Salamander

4) So, now to the rough part of the week! On Tuesday night, I came down with the dreaded stomach virus. UGH! I rarely get sick during the summer. I have had this same virus 3 times this year! WHAT?

5) Then this morning, Andrew got it! He only got sick once, but has been feeling pretty puny until just recently. I quarantined him to this chair for the day. Notice the trash can? Yuck!


I am looking forward to hopefully no one else getting sick!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mentor Text Memo- Science


This week The Collaboration Cuties are focusing on Science books. I am so excited about this because I taught 5th grade Science (and Math) for the past five years!

One of the standards that we taught was the difference between learned and inherited traits. Stellaluna worked perfectly!

This is a very popular book, but just in case you have not read it, below is a little synopsis.

Knocked from her mother’s safe embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna lands headfirst in a bird’s nest. This adorable baby fruit bat’s world is literally turned upside down when she is adopted by the occupants of the nest and adapts to their peculiar bird habits. Two pages of notes at the end of the story provide factual information about bats. “Delightful and informative but never didactic; a splendid debut.”—Kirkus Reviews


The kids always love this book and I almost always tear up! While reading I ask the students to look for learned and inherited traits. They are able to find many different examples! Learned- sleep right side up, eat bugs   Inherited- see at night, eat fruit

We then make a class Venn Diagram that compares and contrast birds and bats.

For lower grades you could do some of the following: (all found on pinterest with links included)

Click the picture for a wonderful unit on TPT! This is recommended for first, second, or third grade.

Hope this helps! Stellaluna can be used for so many subjects and grade levels.

Have a great Thursday! The weekend is almost here!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Poster Organization

Hello everyone! The week is flying by! I went by my new classroom for a few hours yesterday and really focused on organizing. My main project was going through my posters. I left behind many posters, but I still had a few posters that were just lying on a shelf.
A few weeks ago, I posted this photo that had found on Pinterest.

I loved the idea of having them hang, but I did not have a rod in my room. So, what is a teacher to do? Improvise and make it work, of course!
I did have a extra chart stand and hangers! I went through my posters and threw away the ones that had two of or just knew I would never use. I then divided them into different subjects- Reading/Writing (2 of these), Math, Science, Social Studies, and Miscellaneous.
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I also moved my teacher binder items to an even larger binder. I then created a separate student data binder. So far, I have my sight word list and report card. I will use this for checklist, test scores, and group notes.
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These cute dividers are from the Target Dollar Spot.
I then added some paper to my steralite containers. This idea is everywhere, so of course I had to make my version! I love how they match my binders!!
Have a great day everyone!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Teacher Tips

I am linking up with Caitlin from Kindergarten Smiles for New Teacher Tips!

I am entering my 9th year of teaching and I still get nervous about the first day or even week of school. I feel like I starting over since I am moving from 5th grade to kindergarten! I am going to focus on upper grades since that is what I am used to.

I taught 5th grade for 5 years and I feel like I had the beginning of the year down to a science! HA! Just kidding! However, I do have some tips!

1) Have a plan for supplies: Kids at this age are so excited about their new notebooks, dividers, glittery pencils, mustache shaped erasers, etc. As soon as they come in the door tell them what to do with their supplies or they will be everywhere! I have this posted on the SMART Board for them to read when they arrive. I liked to have table (groups of desk) supplies. I have each child put in their glue sticks, scissors, crayons, etc. in a box and then I divide them out after school. Now this can put some kids into a panic. They will not want to give up a special item that they bought. I tell them that if they have something special they want to keep then that is fine.

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2) Give the students their schedule: Kids, just like adults, want to know what they are doing and when. I can’t blame them one bit! I type their schedule and have it on their desk when they come in. As soon as possible, go over it with them- especially if they switch classes. This can be the most stressful part to a child.

3) Introduce yourself: This seems like a no brainer, but even older kids can be scared or intimated by teachers. They want to know who you are and what to expect. I introduce myself to each class through a name card. I just take a large index card and fold it in half. I write my name and draw some pictures that tell about myself, my family, hobbies, etc. I also have each student make one and we go around the room.

4) Begin Teaching: In MY opinion, I think it is important to jump into the curriculum on at least the second day of school. Start slow, but start! I am not a teacher that does introduction games for the first week. I just think that is crazy! Start teaching and get your students into a routine. This of course is different for younger kids. They need more time for rules and procedures and I totally get that! Older students have been through that over and over. They need rules and expectations, but not a week of it!

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I hope this helps first year or even 10th year teachers! I can’t wait to read all the post for some help with kindergarten students!