We were just informed by our administrator that our entire building 1-5 will be reconfigured! That's 30 teachers!! Wow! Two teachers per grade level will be changing grade level and almost everyone will be forced to switch classrooms. As you can imagine we are all in an uproar. Yikes! I'm trying to stay positive. I've decided to focus on getting organized and looking forward to being in a room with heat. lol But, I sure am going to miss all my storage and the picture windows to the playground. :(
Anyone else out there moving?
What changes are you making and what is you attitude of choice?
Summer is coming to a close and that big yellow bus will soon be unloading the littles at our doors. After hours of training, room organization, shopping trips, and planning, I think I'm ready! Here are some things I'm excited about implementing this year:
1. Interactive Notebooks - I'm excited to be using interactive notebooks this year! I used language and reading interactive notebooks toward the end of last school year. This year I will be adding science notebooks to my plans. I've been following the Science Penguin all summer on Facebook and I love her enthusiasm and ideas. Her latest post is all about Force and Motion.
Click on the link below to check her out!
I love the language and reading interactive notebooks that I used last year! Several of my co-workers are jumping on the wagon with me. I'm excited for them to see how well they work and how much the kids LOVE them! I'm sure you all know about Teaching with Blonde Ambition but if you don't..... GET OVER THERE AND CHECK HER OUT!! :) Click on her link to get to her Teachers Pay Teachers site and grab up her interactive notebooks. They are worth every penny!!!
I have a few tricks for time management and the organization of supplies.
1. I pass out the days notebook pages first thing. They are waiting for the students on their desks when they arrive along with their morning work. 2. Morning work is completed 1st. They cut out anything that needs cutting before coloring. You will find that some kids LOVE to color!! They love it and they will dawdle at it for waaayyyy too long. So, we cut first then use extra time to color. 3. As we move on from morning work they put their notebook pages in mini folders on their desk to go back to as they finish other work during the day. It's perfect for those early finishers. When notebook time does arrive everything is ready to go. They just grab their folders and notebook and meet me at the carpet. 4. I remind my perfectionists that they may go back on their own time to make pretty touch ups later. :)
Do any of you have experience with these notebooks? If so what are your tricks? Do you have other notebooks from other sites that you have tried with success?
I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!! I can't believe it is almost half over. Wow, time flies. :)
We have a new addition in our house. Samantha Rose was born June 7th weighing in at 7 pounds 4 ounces. She is healthy and beautiful and we just couldn't love her more. I unfortunately came down with C-Diff in the hospital so I have been VERY ill the past 3 weeks. That is some serious business!! I'm feeling much better now with the help of family, rest, and strong medicine. :)
I'm very fortunate and plan to take the fall off of school this year to spend time with the new baby and be a stay at home soccer mom. I can't help but be a little sad about missing those first back to school days in my classroom though. I have to admit the beginning of the year, that fresh exciting start, is my very favorite time of the year. I've been looking around and thinking about how to help my long term substitute have the smoothest beginning possible. I have collected lots of ideas throughout the past couple years on my Pinterest pages.
Get to Know You/ Art Ideas
Bulletin Board Ideas
I plan to lay out some fun beginning of the school year ideas for my substitute and let her put her own spin on things. This way she has pictures and ideas of how to have a fun successful beginning of the school year. I feel bad just handing her a stack of my favorite books to run with. :)
Of course she will get a copy of the Daily 5, CAFE, and other wonderful resources that she can follow and rely on. But that is for a different day and a different post.
Check out my Pinterest pages to see if there is anything to help your room start off with a bang of fun!!
Hello out there bloggy buddies! It's been a long time! Life over at the Lutton house has been busy and rather exciting. Since I've talked to you last:
1. Rich (my husband) scored a new job as a full time fireman. 2. I looped up to the 4th grade with my wonderful class.It's going well. I will post more on that at another time. :) 3. My Kids started at their new school. They love is. (shewie) 4. My baby started kindergarten. and............. 5. Baby Lutton # 4 is on the way!!! CrAzY!!! ExCiTiNg!! BTW it's a .....................................................GIRL!!
Life in the fast lane just got faster!!
I recently stumbled upon a site called TweenTribune. It offers news articles geared towards tween aged kids. The articles are short and attention grabbing. I went on and created an account for my class. Each student is given a log in and password. Right now I'm using this site to take tracking our thinking while reading a step further. Students track their thinking on post its while they read and then use those thoughts/post its to compile a writen reaction to the article. Fun right?! At the end of each article we can read the reactions/comments of other kids their age. Then, my kids can log on and write their own comments. There is no greater motivation than seeing their writing published online! Of course as the teacher I have the power to check and ok all the comments before they actually get published.
We have already discussed tracking our thinking while reading earlier in the year so the students are very familiar with this concept. But, I have noticed lately they are having trouble transferring their thinking into their writing. We do reading response logs and this area is one they struggle with.
Here is what I did:
1. Picked an article I knew they would have serious opinions about. (Should We Have Summer Break?) Gathered them on the carpet around the chart paper with the ipads and had them all log on to that article.
2. We read the article and tracked out reaction/thinking on the chart paper as we read.
3. When we were done reading and discussing we looked back at our notes on the chart paper and compiled them into 4-5 coherent intelligent sentences that captured our thinking/reactions.
4. We then checked out writing for things like using specific names, using proper grammar, punctuation, detail, etc.
5. I plan to use this activity to give out both a reading and writing grade.
I'm so very excited to present a wonderful giveaway today!!
The HearALL Assessment Recorder!!
I know you have seen these giveaways popping up around blog land. I was so excited when Learning Resources contacted me about reviewing this product. I get to provide yet another reader with the HearALL Assessment Recorder! This awesome recorder is worth $100 buckaroos girlfriends!! So, get in on the fun!!
I've been using this handy little gadget in my classroom for well over a month now and my students and I LOVE it! What do I love about it you ask??
It's light weight and easy to use!
The sound is very clear and high quality.
It allows me to be in two places at once.
The reluctant/shy students are motivated to read aloud to it.
The kids are under it's charm and stay focused when reading to it.
It doesn't need batteries.
You can play back recordings on the spot, save for later, send to a parent via email, upload recording to your blog, etc... (So much potential!!)
Wonderful way to practice fluency! They can buddy read in a fun voice (cowboy/robot/alien/etc.) then play it back and listen to themselves. Super fun!!
I so love a linky and now that I have a little more time on my hands, (I mean a LITTLE) I'm joining in on the fun over at ...
Besides the fact that her blog design is AWESOME!! She is celebrating with a giveaway. Why not type on over and show some love!?!?
Here is a list of the things I soooooo could not live without!!
For the sake of cornyness (is that a word?) I will not say my students. :) But, seriously I love those little turkeys!! Even the turkeys that are very hard to love. :) I'm off right now taking care of my little guy who had surgery. I went in today to catch up on sub plans and one of my little guys came up to me and said in a sooo very serious voice, "I missed you more than this whole room Mrs. Lutton".
(heart melting into a puddle of goo)
1. My Library!! I have worked so very hard to build up the classroom library that I have and I love it! I know I have a book buying problem and I've slowed down tremendously but I have a passion people what can I say!!
2. Xtramath.com- Love me some xtramath!! This is a free site for math fact practice. It has made a huge difference in my classroom. It makes math fact practice fun and we do it every day.
3. This girl LOVES her some Sharpie markers!! Seriously LOVE EM'!! Enough said!
4. Pinterest is a must for me. I will same I'm a little less obsessed and I don't check it every night. Hey!! I admit I do have some small obsessions. Is it so bad?!? Pinterest has been a way for me to organize and utilize ideas and has allowed me to improve my teaching. If you don't already then jump on over and follow along!! I've have a couple people checking in on my pinning. :)
5. Have I mentioned how very much I adore my co-workers? They make me laugh. They pick me up when I feel down. They inspire me. They make work fun and I'm so very lucky to have them! 6. Did I mention DIET COKE!?!
There are so very many more things that keep me chug a lugging through the day but hey, we just don't have enough time to cover them all!
I made a solid effort to sneak in persuasive writing before the year ended. My kids LOVED it!! I gathered some awesome picture books to show author examples, modeled, and whipped up some snazzy charts. I think that next year I will review letter writing and then jump right into persuasive writing. They just go together so well. I'll have to say that the Common Core looks highly on persuasive writing so I want to do it up right! :)
Here were a few of my favorite books. They were great! Super funny, with beautiful illustrations, they would make wonderful additions to any classroom library. My kids were CRAZY for the I Wanna books! I think I'll put a twist on my LaRue books next year to mesh with elections. Never too soon to plan ahead!! :) Now, I just have to not forget. hehe! I have to say I get so many wonderful ideas from all the wonderful blogs and the awesome Pinteresters that I need to get better at writing all the awesome ideas down on some kind of organized map. Imagine that!! :)
I swear I'm not one big sales pitch but I purchased this Persuasive Writing unit on Teacher's Pay Teachers. It has come in super handy! If you know Jen from Runde's Room than you know she has been blogging a long while. She has some super cool stuff in her store and I can vouch that the Persuasuve Writing unit is wonderful.
If you want to jump over and check out Runde's Room she just recently posted about a Daily 5 book study.
You know how I LOVE Daily 5!!
Now for the charts I whipped together! I took information from the writing unit, threw in picture book examples, snazzed it all up with my sassy sharpies and......POOF!!
My kids focused on writing letters to people trying to "persuade" them to do, think, buy, etc. Most of them wrote letters to parents that were very similar to the ones in the picture books I read. I see taking things a step further next year when I loop to fourth. I want to see them choosing candidates or issues, then writing to persuade. How cool would that be!?! I did have a few who wrote a few sentences and would run up to me saying they were done. Go figure!! :) We work on writing during Daily 5 time and I couldn't have my conferences/guided reading interrupted so I broke things down for them.
All in all things went well! I had two girls tag team a letter to convince me to allow them to bring in their cat. I read the letter and planned to respond but they took my not saying no, as a yes. The next day in walks a grandma with a cat. I guess we need to talk a bit more about persuasion and permission! Ha! It was a very nice cat. :)
Please feel free to comment with other materials, books, and/or tools you use for persuasive writing. I would love to hear from you!
I hope this little post finds you all rested, suntanned, and about to begin your summer breaks!! I'm home with my little guy who had his tonsils and adenoids taken out today. He is such a little trooper!! It turns out he has sleep apnea. I'm so excited for him to start getting good sleep!! He is resting and doing great and I have a little time on my hands to take care of him, grade papers, and do a wee bit of posting.
I'm going to try to do a bit of posting on the happening of the last few weeks. We've had so very much going on!! Up coming topics include: (in no particular order)
I officially survived the week back from break! The kids were a little spring feverish but good. Routines and familiar faces are nice. I finally announced to the kids that we were looping. I have to say I was really nervous. I don't know what I expected their reactions to be, but I was anxious I would see disappointment or a big "OH NOOOOO" in their eyes. It turns out they all cheered and began to yammer about how awesome the whole thing was. I had a jokester who grabbed his head and fell to the ground with a loud - "Oh no, not again!!" but he was teasing. (I think:) I sent the letters home and didn't receive any -Over my dead body!! phone calls. :) All in all things were good.
On another note I received another email from a neighboring district asking to visit and observe my classroom. I'm flattered and motivated to whip up some worthy lessons. They are coming to see my D5 in action. I hope I don't disappoint. This will be our 3rd group since Christmas break. Pretty cool. Once upon a time someone made me feel like a horrible teacher and I've been on a mission ever since to prove them wrong. Maybe I owe them a thank you! :) NOT!! hehe!
My Pinterest followers have exploded since the whole charts post. If you haven't checked it out take a look!!
I have a BIG giveaway in the works!! I haven't done one in a long time so I'm a little nervous. Expect awesome stuff to be coming soon!! I'm doing a product review and then a giveaway. I just want to really use the items a while in my room before I post.
I hope April is treating all my blogging buddies right!! Happy weekend everyone!!
I'm a crazy busy mother of four! My daughter Morgan is an independent 13, my oldest son is high energy 12, my youngest son is a 10 year old flash fanatic, and little Sammy is only 3. My husband is my best friend and high school sweet heart. I teach in a fourth grade classroom surrounded by wonderful co-workers who I couldn't possibly do without. All in all, life is busy and life is good!