Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thoughs on Looping Anyone?

I just recently found out that I will probably be looping with my class next year. I'm excited because I love the group I have but nervous because I've never done it before. I want to keep it fresh and fun but stick with the same routines. I know it's almost spring break and we are all very ready. Will being together for two years be like that? I know it will rock to start off the year knowing their strengths and personalities. I know what books they love and what quirks they have. I know we will hit the door running when fall comes and won't have many of the routine hang ups that come with not knowing your students.

Has anyone out there looped and have advise for me? Does looping feel like a wonderful fun ride like the picture above? :)

Better yet does anyone have a parent letter for looping?
Monday, March 19, 2012

Gotta Love A Giveaway!!

Live 2 Learn is new on the block and having a giveaway!! If you have a minute run over and join in! She only has 4 entries so far and she needs her fellow bloggers to show some LOVE!! :) Besides that makes your odds of winning pretty darn good!  :) Click on the button below to go over and win something cool!

I hope Monday treated all of you a okay! I know this warm weather is giving me and mine some serious spring fever! I have 9 days until spring break and I'm super excited/nervous. We are moving, and wow, it is gonna be CRAZY!! 

Happy Tuesday everyone!
Sunday, March 18, 2012

Charts and Poster Continued

Jennifer over at Lifelong Learning asked an awesome question about what to do with charts and such when you run out of room or are done with them.

First of all, I don't display them all forever. I only display what we are currently working on. I like for people to be able to walk in my room and be able to instantly know what we are learning about at the current time. I try to avoid clutter but WOW is that a challenge! I hang the ones I love on a hanger with clips in case I need to refer back for review or something. I keep them in  my coat closet where they are kept safe and sound.
 Mine look something like this but are white.

I like to make them with the kids so I always do them over the next year. I do cheat a little and do some of the bubble letters and drawings before hand. 

You could keep pictures of charts and keeps them in mini photo albums in the kids tubs. The kids can grab them out for a reference or you can send a kid to reread one if they are struggling with something. Like - I see you are struggling with sitting in EEKK position for buddy reading. Why don't you go review the EEKK position in your photo albums. I've always said I'm going to do this but I just get too busy.

 Something cute and little like these albums would be good.

What do you do with your charts? 
How do you organize/store them 
and how long do you hang them?

 Jennifer's button is below if you want to check out her sassy blog!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Charts and Posters Everywhere!

I kinda have a thing for chart paper. No, really, I have issues! :) My co-workers tell me I spend way too much time on them. They always tell me to pass them around when I'm done. I know my co-workers are reading right now going, yep! But, since they NEVER comment and only jam to my rockin tunes you probably won't hear this from them. hehe! Love you girls!! 

I love my charts to have color and sass. I have to say I wanted to link up with Ladybugs linky party to show off all the fun charts I've made this year but I didn't know just how to do it. Should I go through  my pics and just put them all on one post to display? Should I link up several times? Hmmm.... Decisions! 

Then, I thought, duh!!!! I keep all my charts along with all the sassy ones I find already organized on Pinterest. Soooooo.... Why don't I just share my Pinterest link? Here is a preview of what you will see if you choose to go check out my charts!

 I have 100 pins just for charts on Pinterest. You should really go take a look! Some of the charts are made by me and many others were found on amazing blogs. I have copied and used many of them this year. I swear it made a huge difference in my teaching!! Remember if you click on the pin you like it will take you to that blog where you can read the entire post it went with. Which means you will not only get charts but lesson ideas and inspiration as well!! You can't beat that!!

You have to promise me you won't make fun of me for being a psycho pinner! Make sure you follow along while you are there!!

Follow Me on Pinterest
 Click on the Pinterest button above 
to check out the wonderful madness!!
Friday, March 16, 2012

New Look for the Library and Linky Party!

I gave my library a new look! I love my new labels! I used scrapbook paper and labels. I was SUPER frustrated when I went to laminate them and the monster ate like 6 of them!! UGH!! But alas I whipped some more up and tadaa! I now have a new look! I think it matches the rest of the room pretty nicely. 
I'm really into using beige's and blacks with 
splashes of color all around.
I used Velcro to attach the tags to my baskets.
Do you like my sassy book shelves? I made them myself! I made 4 of them and then talked my dad into making more for me. :) In the past 4 years he has made several for me and my co-workers. They love them!
I like how the labels look with my CAFE board. 
This is my anchor chart for text to self connections.
This is the back side of my classroom. The books on this shelf are all buddy reading books. I have multiple copies of all of them. Do you like my READ letters?! I made them with plain wooden letters, scrapbook paper, and magnets. 

This is also a shot of my Daily 5 buddy reading chart that covers EEKK reading position. Elbow to Elbow, Knee to Knee!

Now for the linky part!! 
Ladybug's Teacher Files is hosting an anchor chart linky party and you should so type on over there and link up!! It just started tonight so there is plenty of time to get in on the action! Click on the picture below to check it out!

Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment! 
I would love to hear from you!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Let's Get These Blogs in Order!

I would like to point out the way I organize all the blogs that I have found. If you teach a particular grade you can go to my sidebar and click on your preferred grade level and tadaa!! I have blogs arranged by grade level.
It looks just like this!
I have so many blogs saved on there you could spend days cruising along them finding great ideas and inspiration. 
Here is the thing!! I took a break and I wasn't active for the past 5 months. I know that so many wonderful blogs have popped up and I've missed them. I would really like to have a complete list so......  
If you want your blog on here or you know of a blog I'm missing leave me a comment and I will add them pronto!
Sunday, March 11, 2012

Susie Q Came for a Visit!

We kicked off reading month with a visit from Susie Q the certified therapy dog. Our teacher of the hearing impaired students has an adorable puppy who is a certified therapy dog. Not only is Susie Q ADORABLE but she can also read sign language!! Yep, she is one smart puppy! She did tricks for us then sat and listened to each of the students read. Soooo cute!! She laid her little head on their laps while they read snippets of their stories to her. We were in Daily 5 mode so we were all over the room. I think the kids wished we had a dog. Now wouldn't that be interesting! Here are a few shots I took of the gang reading with Susie Q.
Saturday, March 10, 2012

Stepping Out of the Box

I had the opportunity to step outside of my box last week. Our local ISD asked if they could come in and video tape me during Daily 5. I was super chicken but decided I needed to step outside of my comfort zone. So permission slips were sent home, my kids got busy planning their wardrobes, and my room got a good scrub down. You should have heard my girls all fired up planning what they would wear. I was tickled the morning of the taping when my boys came in with their hair all gelled up. Too cute!

I have used the Daily 5/CAFE in my classroom for the past four years and I really do love it! My third grade co-workers started it this year and they are excited about the results they are seeing in their classrooms. The ISD plans to run some Daily 5/CAFE workshops this summer and they wanted a video showing teachers in our county using the model in their classrooms. I was SUPER nervous but I think it went well. They taped me teaching a mini lesson on text to self connections and then conferencing with students one on one. For the last bit I had to stand three feet from the camera and answer interview questions while my students worked quietly in the background on their Daily 5 choices. I got a little tongue tied but my kids in the background rocked it out!! I was sooo proud of them that day! The woman who taped us had announced that they could expect her to walk around and tap their shoulder if they needed to focus or settle down during the session. As she packed up she looked up all of the sudden and remarked on how she hadn't had to tap a single shoulder. They were so impressed with the kids behavior.

She sent me some of the pictures that she took with her camera and I have them here for you to see. I love the one of the little guy in the green chair. Sooo cute! He is so on task and it's funny how his shoe laces match the bean bag. Remember this summer when I was debating the bean bag chairs? Well they have worked out great!! I totally recommend them!

In the end, I'm super flattered that they asked to come to my room for the taping and proud of myself for conquering my fears and letting them come.
Thursday, March 8, 2012

Nonfiction Summaries

Welcome back! I'm glad you're reading along and I hope you find a thing or two that you can use in your room!

This post goes right along with my two previous ones. I've been hitting nonfiction text pretty hard since after the holidays. I started off by making sure the kids know what nonfiction text features are and how they benifit the reader. I talk all about that in the previous two posts. Here is a picture of the nonfiction text features I cover.

When I'm sure the kids are all settled in and feel comfortable with the text features I move into nonfiction summaries. We covered fiction summarization in the beginning of the year and I knew that nonfiction was going to look a lot different and be much more challenging for them. I made this sassy graphic organizer to help with that. I only have a picture here because I can't seem to located it in my files. UGH! I will find it though and put it up for all of you to use if you wish! (Promise)
I explain to the students that we focus on the title, pictures, and the first section to get our opening sentence. We then divide the article by sections using the headings. We give one sentence summarizing each section and add it to our organizer.
After we finish up the chart organizer we wrap it up and put in into a neat nice paragraph. I take this time to talk about grammar. I also talk about not wording our summary sentences the same as the author did in the original article. I tossed it all together and threw it on our bulliten board.

The kids are really getting good at summarizing. I think this skill will be a great resource to them as they get into the upper grade where they have to read and pick information out of text books on a regular basis.
Sunday, March 4, 2012

National Geographic Explorer/Pathfinder

On my last post I mentioned a student magazine that I use to teach nonfiction. Well, I failed to mention what magazine that was. Oops! I've been getting this amazing magazine for the past two years and I use it for all kinds of things. It has awesome eye catching articles that go right with many science/social studies GLCEs. The magazine comes in different reading levels. The articles essentially stay the same. Both levels have an article about rock climbing with the same pictures. The lower level has larger print and easier to read text. I can then differentiate and have higher readers being challenged while my lower readers are not threatened. Click on the picture below to see what they offer online for students and teachers.

I was in no way solicited to push this magazine. I just really find it that valuable.
Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Little Nonfiction

I've been so very busy with lots of fun projects and I thought I would get myself in gear and start sharing!! I've hit nonfiction text features pretty hard since Jan. I used these adorable posters which I found on TpT!! Go Lesson Plan SOS! I've been MIA but I love you two and all your sassy lessons!! These posters are colorful and the kids stayed engaged with the lesson.

Click here to get these super sassy posters!!
 I introduced 3-4 features a day using these posters. We were holding our snazzy magazines (Which I love!!) and we went on a little scavenger hunt. I would introduce captions and the kids would hunt for one and then we would discuss captions and so on. As the kids became more independent and familiar with nonfiction features I introduced this sassy graphic organizer!

Guess where I got this??! YEP! Lesson Plan SOS Those girls just have it going on! For the link to purchase this from TpT click HERE.  To go see their sassy blog click on the button below.

I took this organizer and put my own words in. I put things like find 3 captions and tell what page, find 2 pictures and tell their purpose, find 1 bold word and tell its definition etc. I then set the kids loose with their magazines to hunt for nonfiction text features. We would gather back and share.

I hope you enjoyed this little segment of nonfiction text features!! I have more to come so stay tuned!
Leave a comment if you have any ideas to add, suggestions, thoughts, etc..

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