Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December Currently !

Linking up with Oh Boy 4th Grade for the December Currently :) 

You know when you have had a crazy day and you just want silence.. yeah that was today- no radio on the way home, no phone calls, no tv... it's excellent! 

I love how every time I remember I only have 3 classes left and I will be finished with my masters I get a huge smile on my face! 

It has been a long 3 days, factor in no specials on Wednesdays and it makes it even worse! I could so use a nap right about now. 

The other night the hubby mentioned wanted some brownies and I have been wanting some ever sense! 

Currently, I'm content I don't need anything necessarily, other than to just stay on the couch :) 

Honestly, I have a fake tree but I haven't put one up at all the past two years :( Our dog has a tail that is destructive and I am not willing to put my ornaments through that torture! Not to mention we spend most of the holidays with our families and never at our own house. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Apples, Apples, Everywhere!

Exploration #1: The Leveling Model. Joan, Jane, John, Jen, Jack, and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of apples. Joan found 9 apples, Jane picked 5 apples, John got 3 apples, Jen fetched 4 apples, Jack found 7 apples, and Jill got 8 apples. The six friends decide to share the apples equally among them. Use stacks of unifix cubes to model the apples that each friend picked (use a different color of cubes for each friend, if possible). Then use the cubes to distribute the apples among the friends. (That is, find the arithmetic mean number of apples for the friends.) How many cubes (apples) are in each stack initially? How many cubes are in each stack after distributing apples? What is the arithmetic mean number of apples?

To begin I had 6 different stacks with a different number of cubes in each stack. I then moved cubes around until each stack had the same number of cubes, 6. 

Exploration #2Balance Model. Joan, Jane, John, Jen, Jack, and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of apples. Joan found 9 apples, Jane picked 5 apples, John got 3 apples, Jen fetched 4 apples, Jack found 7 apples, and Jill got 8 apples. Use a balance (Links to an external site.) to determine the arithmetic mean number of apples for the six friends. On one side of the balance write an addition equation to represent the number of apples. On the other side of the balance write a multiplication equation where one of your other factors represents the number of people. You need to determine what the other factor is that will make the balance level. What missing factor proved to be the one that balanced the original side? Why did the missing factor prove to be the balance point? What is the arithmetic mean number of apples?

To begin the task, I placed 9+5+3+4+7+8 on one side of the balance. 

I then needed to find out the multiplication equation that would equal 36. I knew that one factor would be 6 because there were six people in the problem. Knowing my facts, I knew that 6 X 6 is 36 and the resulted in a balance. The missing factor is the balance point because it is the same as finding the mean using 36 divided by 6. It is like finding the mean using the inverse operation. 

Exploration #3: Collect a number of pencils from students. The aim is to use eight pencils, but collect more so that from this number, eight pencils of different lengths can be used. Lay the pencils end to end (this works really well in the grooved tray of some marker boards or chalkboards. With the pencils laid end-to-end, measure the total length of the pencils with adding machine tape or similar strip of paper. Now fold the paper in half; fold this fold length a second time, and then this length a third time. Unfold the paper to observe eight sections of equal length, each the arithmetic mean length of the pencils. What mathematical process summarizes the laying of the pencils end to end? What mathematical process summarizes the folding of the adding machine tape? Why does the length of any of the eight pieces of paper represent the arithmetic mean of the length of the pencils?

I collected pencils of 8 different lengths, measured in inches: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. When I laid all the pencils out end to end they measured a total of 52 inches. When I measured one section of the receipt tape, it measured to be 6.5 inches. When you fold the paper into 8 section, that represents the 8 different pencils. They are all folded the same size, which represents dividing them all equally. The mean is the average, or the amount of 1 section. 

Exploration #4: Joan, Jane, John, Jen, Jack, and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of apples. Joan found 9 apples, Jane picked 5 apples, John got 3 apples, Jen fetched 4 apples, Jack found 7 apples, and Jill got 8 apples. When they got back down the hill, they wanted to share the apples equally. So they dumped their apples in a bushel basket and proceeded to distribute them fairly. Model this situation with unifix cubes and use them to find the arithmetic mean. What mathematical process summarizes the dumping of apples into the bushel basket? What mathematical process summarizes the distribution of the apples? Why does the number of apples each friend eventually gets represent the arithmetic mean of the apples?

Initial apples 

Apples all in one bucket

Apples when sorted out of the bucket

Putting all the apples into the bucket is like finding the sum of the apples, adding all the different peoples apples together to find out the total. When dividing by 6, or the number of people, that is the same as dividing the apples among the people. If they knew there were 36 apples and 6 people they would automatically know they each received 6 apples. This can also be represented by giving each person 1 apple until all the apples are gone. The number of apples each person gets the mean of the apples because it's the average. On average, each person picked 6 apples. Not everyone actually picked six apples but on average. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

5 for Friday

For the first time in a long time, I'm linking up for Five for Friday

I feel like every night this week I have had something to do. From graduate school to conference night I am EXHAUSTED!! I am definitely using tonight to sit back and relax.

This week I received a new guided reading/small group table and I couldn't have been more excited! All of last year and up until this week, my guided reading table has been a semi circle with no cut out in the middle. This made it impossible for me to reach all my kids as they were reading! Not to mention the table was huge and took up a TON of room!  Now that I have my new table, I have a lot of extra space and I am so excited about rearranging!! 

Sunday is my grandma's birthday and I am making a strawberry cake for the very first time! Advise from you long time bakers ?!?!

With conferences being on Thursday night I did a lot of progress monitoring this week. I am so thrilled to say about 95% of my students grew in all the assessments I gave them! Some of them have not grown a full reading level yet, but have mastered all their digraphs and most of the s, l, and r blends we have been working on !! Hooray ! 

With conferences and the fall festival these past two weeks, my school had a door decorating contest. Many teachers did a Halloween theme, but my teammate and I joined up together for a Fall scene! Lucky for us we have 2 amazing teacher assistants that worked extremely hard! We WON !! 
Under the pumpkins our students sequenced a story! We adapted the cute activity from A Cupcake for the Teacher !! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Little Late November Currently

This sinus infection, in combination with all the work I have going on, has me a little behind on the November Currently. Late is better than never though ... right? 

Listening: Nothing really, but Big Bang Theory is on the TV as I'm working away

Loving: it's almost time for Thanksgiving and Christmas! I love love love the Holiday season! Spending time with family, having a nice break from school, and having a pretty good excuse to make crafty things in my classroom!!

Thinking: I'm still getting over this sinus infection and I'm exhausted! If I didn't have report cards, and graduate school work to do, I'd go to bed right this minute. 

Wanting: Other than wanting to go to bed, I'd like the time to curl up with a good book and not think about a single other thing! 

Needing: Finishing up report cards and grad school assignments, both of which are due tomorrow :(

Yummy: Corn Puddin' -- more specifically my grandmas! She passed away last September and no one can make it like her! Aww I miss her so much :( 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Proficiency and Fluency Part 1

Task: Addition & Subtraction Game 
  1. You are designing a game for your first grade students to play to give them some practice on: CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.6 - Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10.
  2. In order to design this game you want students to generate 2 numbers - either by pulling number cards or rolling dice
Addition/Subtraction War: 
      In this game, you and your partner will get a deck of cards. You are to divide the cards between the two of you. Each of you should have the same number of cards. To play the game, each person will turn over two cards. You will then add your two cards together to get a sum, or subtract your two cards to get a difference. The partner with the highest sum, or lowest difference, gets to take all four cards. Next, you will repeat. Turn over two cards add/subtract your cards and the person with the largest sum or smallest difference will take all the cards. Continue doing this until one person has all the cards. Divide up the cards and play again. 

Part 2:
Design a game that would develop fluency for multiplication or division. If you modify one that you have seen somewhere that is fine. Just let us know where it came from.
This same time of game can be used for multiplication. Instead of adding or subtracting the cards, students can multiply the cards and the student with the greatest product would take all the cards. 
To differentiate for students of all levels, a multi sided dice could be used. Students who are working on basic facts can use regular 6 sided dice, while students who are ready can use 9 sided dice. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Skeleton Tower

  1. Note the figure below. It is made of cubes that form stair steps. The center of the tower is 6 cubes high. On all four sides of the top tower are stair steps that extend from the center.
  2. How many cubes are needed to build a tower like this, but that is 3 cubes high? -- 3 + 8 + 4 = 15
  3. How many cubes are needed to build a tower like this, but that is 4 cubes high? -- 4 + 12 + 8 + 4 = 28
  4. How many cubes are needed to build a tower like this, but that is 5 cubes high? - 5 + 16 + 12 + 8 + 4 = 45
  5. How would you calculate the number of cubes needed for a tower N cubes high?
  6. How do the answers in parts 1-5 help you?

I struggled to find the equation for "n" layers. Using the work to find the the other answers did not help me much. I tried to see a pattern and found that you are adding four to each layer starting from the top but was not able to come up with an equation that worked to show that for "n" levels. It has been quite a while since algebra class! I pulled from way back and used all the strategies I could remember, but still couldn't make an equation happen :( 

Curriculum Evaulation

My county does not have a set math textbook or resource that we all use. In fact, in the four years that I have been teaching, I have never seen a math textbook or teachers guide. For one of my masters classes I was asked to evaluate a textbook that I had access to. Since I do not have a textbook that I use daily, I chose to closely examine the "EngageNY" resource that my teammate and I use for our math block. 

This resource does a great job of linking all the lessons together. Students are not jumping around from one concept to another, but flowing smoothly. However, the lessons do not provide much for differentiated instruction across various development levels. Students are all doing the same tasks as a whole group. (This is one reason I chose to teach my whole group lessons in my small groups, I can now provide the extra scaffolding or advanced questioning that my students need.) Students do have an opportunity to practice independently and then talk with the class about how they solved their problems or the strategies they used. This part does lend itself to great discussions. 

This curriculum follows a very modern style of teaching. Students are using number bonds and relating facts, they are encouraged to draw pictures or use manipulatives. The lessons do not follow the same format in which I was taught. Students are encouraged to think for themselves and help the teacher move the lesson. This resource does not have the teacher up talking for 30 straight minutes, but instead has the students talking with a partner and answering questions to help themselves gain knowledge. 

My ideal math curriculum would give students a variety of examples, as as experiences. Students should have the opportunity to chose the method they would like to solve a problem instead of having to do it a certain way. The ideal curriculum would introduce multiple strategies, but not force a student into using one particular strategy. Just like in reading we do not always make predictions, or chunk words. We know many strategies to help us read but we must decide which one works best in a given situation. The same applies for math, students need all the tools, but must decide which one is the most useful for a given problem. The ideal curriculum would also have students up moving around. Students would not simply be sitting on the carpet or at their seats working problem after problem. They need to be working with partners or group members on a common task. This could be real world application problem or even a simple word problem. Having students working together allows for discussion and brain storming. Another aspect of an ideal curriculum would be differentiation, suggestions for tasks for students who are struggling, as well as for students who are above level. This does not mean that the teacher must do those tasks, but examples to help the teacher design his/her own task to meet the needs of all students. The final thing I would put into the ideal curriculum is writing after each unit or every few lessons. There is a big push for writing across curriculum's, not only in reading. Students being able to put their thoughts and ideas about math down in writing is just as important as them being able to express their ideas in any other curriculum. This type of curriculum is most suitable for mathematics teaching and learning because it can scaffold student learning while also encouraging students to use critical thinking skills. Teamwork also allows students to develop those communication skills that are necessary outside of the classroom. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tuesday Ramblings

I have just finished reviewing my plans and materials for my observation tomorrow. In my county, teachers in years 1-4 have 3 observations a year, one announced and two that are a surprise. I'm feeling pretty good this year and told my principal she could come whenever she wanted... not knowing she would choose two days later. Although I was able to pick the date, she decided she wanted to see a whole group math lesson and at least one guided reading lesson. Moving down from third grade, I feel pretty great about my whole group lessons.. but some days I struggle with guided reading and what these little babies need. 

I've spent most of the night cutting and preparing centers from Cara Carroll and I can't wait to see how engaged my students are. 

Another thing I have been concentrating on a lot lately is my whole group math time. My team decided to use the EngageNY math lessons for our whole group math time (our county doesn't have a set math book). This is going quite well but I am having to eliminate bits and pieces due to time constraints. I have strongly considered only doing a 5-7 minute whole group math talk and then breaking into small groups to teach the meat of the lesson.

 Does anyone else do this?!? 

I feel like I can really see which of my students are getting it and which are still struggling! The other great thing about math groups is my assistant also pulls groups during this time. He always sees the one group that I do not see, plus two others. I want to think that my students are benefiting from this smaller instruction, but I don't want them to be shafted from their whole group time either. 

Incorporating math talks has been a rocky start, but my students are picking up on it quickly. For those of you who have seen or who use the EngageNY program, I'm using problems similar to those in the "application" section as our number talk. These are usually a review from previous lessons and allow my students to think deeper about the problem. 

What do you think? Suggestions about whole group/small group? 
Anybody else use EngageNY?? Thoughts? Advice? 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October Currently

I'm linking up with Farley for the October currently. I'm a  few days late, but late is better than never .. right? 

I am addicted to cooking shows! Right now I'm listening/watching to Southern At Heart! In about an hour.. it'll be the UGA game, Go Dawgs!! **I never watched college football until I started dating my husband. He is a hardcore UGA fan and pulled me in :) **

Loving: I love cuddling up on the couch with the hubby, or in this case, the pups. It's rainy and gross here so it's a perfect day for it! 

Thinking: I sure could use a nap right now. The rain beating on the roof, being curled up in the blanket, and the dog in my lap makes me so sleepy. 

Wanting: As much as I enjoy cuddling up on the couch on these rainy days, it's been raining for a week here in NC and I am in need of some Vitamin D!! 

Needing: The reason I'm not taking a nap.. I need to finish up some Graduate School work and some work for regular school. I'm in the process of redoing my centers for math and reading. I have 1000 ideas running around in my head and need to get them out on paper to see what is going to work best! 

Boo-tiful: I recently started back at the gym and realized how much I really missed it! I love the way I feel when I finish a workout, not to mention how much better I sleep after a good day at the the gym! 

What are you up to ?!?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Chicken Nuggets :)

Sorry Ya'll... Another Grad School Post! 

Here is the scenario ...

McDonald's sells chicken nuggets in boxes of 6, 9, or 20. Obviously one could purchase exactly 15 nuggets by buying a box of 6 and a box of 9. Using only combinations of boxes of 6, 9, and/or 20 nuggets:

1) Could you purchase exactly 17 nuggets? 
2) How would you purchase exactly 53 nuggets?
3) What is the largest number for which it is impossible to purchase exactly that number of nuggets?
4) Let's say you could only buy the nuggets in boxes of 7, 11, or 17. What is the largest number for which it is impossible to purchase exactly that number of nuggets? 

So ... 

#1: I could not come up with a way to purchase 17 nuggets. You could by 20 and throw 3 away, or you could purchase 3 boxes of 6 and throw 1 away. Purchasing just 17 is not possible. 

#2: To purchase 53 nuggets you could purchase 1 box of 20, 1 box of 9, and 4 boxes of 6. 
1 box of 20, 3 boxes of 9, and 1 box of 6. 

#3: The largest number that cannot be purchased is 43. I used excel to list all the multiples of 6, 9, and 20 and then combinations of numbers. I then put the numbers in order from least to greatest, eliminated the duplicates and found that 43 is the largest number not listed. 

#4: I solved this problem in the same manner. Using excel, I came up with 54 being the greatest number that you could to purchase exactly. 


For my class this week, I was asked to watch a video and reflect on the use of reform based mathematics curricula. 

Personally, my school does not have a "text" book or a given math curriculum. When I started teaching 3rd grade we were introduced to a program called KEMS through the National Training Network. KEMS started in the third grade and worked up. This program started with a pictorial representation and practice, then moved to concrete and then to abstract. I am now in 1st grade and we do not have a math program. Teachers develop their own lessons using ideas, each other, TPT, and of course Pinterest. Our 3-8 just started a new program that I am not familiar with all all. I know very little about this program, other than it is being referred to as "Project C3M." 

Although I do not have a set curricula, I can see where these types would be an issue. If the standards state that students need to learn the algorithm, they will be tested on the algorithm. Not to say we need to teach to the test, but at this day in time the test is a HUGE deal. 

If a program teaches students so many different methods, how does one have time to master that one method? I can see students getting confused and wasting time deciding which method they would like to use for that problem. Just like the standard algorithm, each of those other methods requires you to memorize a set of steps. I have always said it is important for students to understand the why, before they begin to use an algorithm. This is where the teacher before comes into play. If a student in third grade masters the basic concept of division and how it works using pictures or models then will then be ready for the algorithm. I would never take time in my day to day life to draw out a "lattice" in order to solve a division problem. I have the standard algorithm memorize and can usually see the numbers in my head enough to complete the division in that manner. 

Another issue I see is the push for calculators! Is it important that a student know how to work a calculator? OF COURSE IT IS.. but should they be so dependent upon it they can't do anything else? NO! I remember in college taking a few math classes where calculators were not permitted? Allowing students to rely on a calculator is setting them up for failure! 

What are your experiences, thoughts, ideas, loves, hates of this curriculum? Do you use it? Do you not? 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Who Am I? Where Am I? How Do I Lead?

For my Teacher Leadership class this semester we were asked to answer these three questions. It could be an essay, a multimedia presentation, a photo essay, etc. I chose to use Powerpoint to make an image of each question, with a combination of quotes, pictures, and text. I encourage all teachers to ask yourself these three questions and jot down your thoughts, then go back to them at the end of the year and see if you answers remain the same. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Storage Unit Exploration

Storage Facility
The owner of an empty building wants to construct walls to divide the building into individual storage units. All the space in the building will be used for the storage units. Each storage unit will have a door on the outside (perimeter) of the building.
Part A
Design the Storage Building
The grid that follows represents the rectangular floor of the building. Draw lines on the grid to divide the floor into 9 individual storage units.
The following rules apply:
  • Each unit must have a rectangular floor.
  • Each unit will share one side with the outside edge
    (perimeter) of the building.
  • The storage units must not overlap.
    The sizes of the storage units and the number of each size that must be included in the drawing are shown below

    1- 5 X 5 
    2- 5 X 10
    1- 5 X 15
    2- 10 X 10 
    1- 10 X 15 
    1- 10 X 20
    1- 10 X 25

    For this problem, I started off with the largest piece and put it in place first. I then started adding the smaller pieces that equaled that large piece. I was able to put all the pieces in buy continuing to work from largest to smallest and added pieces that would equal the next biggest piece.

    When I finished, all my pieces were in place and met the criteria ! 


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mentoring A Fellow Teacher

I am almost finished with my Masters degree in Elementary Mathematics!! For one of my classes this semester, I am required to choose another teacher at my school and serve as their mentor in the area of mathematics. (I am also required to document my journey through this course on a blog and did not feel I could handle two different blogs, so I will be posting about my everyday classroom adventures, and my graduate school mathematics adventures here). I chose to mentor my teammate! This is the second year we have worked together and are both in our fourth year of teaching. From the start, I have felt more comfortable teaching mathematics and she feels more comfortable with the ELA aspect of the classroom. We work very well together and balance each other inside and outside the classroom. This is the second year in a row my teammate has taught a combination class, had I had more experience in the lower grades it would have been my honor this year. This year she is teaching a K-1 combo, but only 7 of her 24 students are Kindergarteners. Due to this, most of her class will be mastering the same standards and my 21 first graders. We both have high, average, and EC students in our classrooms. We will focus a lot on small group math instruction, while using lesson plans from I anticipate that with a combo class, and the wide ability levels I have in my own classroom, small group instruction will be more beneficial to all students, as opposed to a long period of whole group instruction. In order to measure our student's growth we will use county benchmark testing, as well as the mid-module and end of module assessments that accompany EngageNY. We will use standards based grading to ensure that our students are meeting all of the first grade standards for mathematics. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September Currently

Hello All! I'm linking up with Farley for the September Currently :) 

Listening: My group of firsties this year are such chatter boxes when I come home I do not want to hear a sound. Luckily for me, the hubs had to jet off to work right about the time I walked in the door. I haven't had the TV on at all tonight! 

Loving: I am almost done with our reading benchmark testing, only 8 more students to go! We do not do a beginning of the year, county wide, math assessment- CRAZY I know, so I have my students working on one while I am pulling others! 

Thinking: WOW I AM EXHAUSTED! On Wednesdays, my students do not go to a special, they only have PE in the morning, not getting that afternoon break makes a HUGE difference! I'm still trying to get back in the swing of things as well! 

Wanting: A Yeti cup! My Teacher Assistant has one and I am so jealous of it! We only have one teachers lounge and it is at the other end of the school, a cup that kept ice all day would be a dream come true! 

Needing: I should be doing laundry, or getting ahead on some graduate school work, but blog stalking just seemed to happen :) While I'm on the subject of Graduate School, don't be alarmed if you see talk of different math task for school uploaded in the coming weeks. One of my classes required us to have a blog and I knew managing two would be TOO MUCH! 

3 Goals: 1) Be patient: I have to keep reminding myself that this first graders are still babies, they haven't reached the point of my group at the end of last year. I feel like it is taking so long for them to learn the procedures and start to follow the rules. I have incorporated some aspects of Whole Brain Teaching and we started our "practice cards" today. I'm hoping after a few days of missing their free time they will understand I mean business! 
2) Lose Weight: I have been "dieting" off and on for a while now and every time I have a few good days or weeks something happens and I fall off. I'm trying to keep a steady healthy eating kick going. I'm hoping as school starts to settle in my sister in law and I can work out a gym schedule! 
3) Be positive: I have a bad habit of speaking my mind, even when my opinion isn't such a positive one. Another teacher at my school is working on this goal along with me. It's hard to break a habit you've had since you were young, especially when you get it so honest from a parent! I'm trying though. My teammate is keeping me one the right track, we balance each other so well!! 

What are you up to ? Link up with Farley ! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Lucky Charms !!

So as many of you know I am in grad school and I am almost finish. For our class this semester we had to keep track of our activities and thoughts in a blog. I wasn't trying to manage two different blogs so I'm adding some "course work" to this one :) 

Our first assignment was the following Lucky Charms problem: 

Setting. Lucky Charms® has a "Toy Story" promotion. Inside each box is one of five figures from the movie "Toy Story": Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Rex, Hamm, or Green Army Man. You want to collect all five of these toys for your child, who loves "Toy Story."

Problem. How many boxes of Lucky Charms® will you have to buy?

Conducting a Simulation. Since we do not want to buy the boxes of Lucky Charms®, we will use a simulation. However, the set-up for the simulation is up to you. Will you use a die, a random number generator, a spinner, draws from a hat, etc. to conduct your simulation? How many times should you run the simulation, given that you could imagine one person buying many fewer boxes than another person in an attempt to collect all five prizes. In the space below, create a system for simulating the prizes coming from a box of cereal. Be sure to note any assumptions made.

How many times do you plan to run the simulation?
I ran the simulation 10 different times using a random number generator. 

What assumptions did you make in setting up the simulation?
I assumed that one number would occur more often than others. 

How many boxes of cereal should someone buy to have a good chance of getting all five prizes? How did you arrive at this number?
A person should have to buy around 11 boxes of cereal to have a good change of getting all the prizes. I ran the simulation 10 times and each time recorded the amount of "buys" it took to get all 5 prizes. I then took an average of the 10 simulations and arrived at 11. 

Do you believe you have enough data to make a sound conclusion? What if you compiled results from everyone in class? 
I do not feel like my 10 simulations are enough to make a sound conclusion. However, if we complied results from everyone in the class and took the average we would have a better idea of an "ideal number" of boxes to purchase. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Assessments Already ?!?

That's right, we are starting the second week of school tomorrow and on Tuesday my county starts our benchmark testing, mClass Reading 3D. Now if any of you teach first grade, you know that having those babies sit and work independently at the beginning of the year is a stretch and this is where the problem arises! I completely forgot how needy first graders are at the beginning of the year., this is only my second year in first grade as it is!  I went into this year thinking about how much last years babies could do, that was a HUGE mistake! 

I have been stressing out ALL weekend about what my firsties can do independently while I being testing all 21 of them! Now don't get me wrong, I will be glad to have the testing out of the way and to get all that wonderful data for those lovelies, BUT ... WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I SUPPOSE TO DO WITH THEM ?!?! 

I need advice, help, answers, resources, reassurance, anything that you think may be beneficial!!! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Better Late Than Never - Classroom Reveal

I can't believe it's time to get back into the daily grind of the school year! I feel like Summer just started! I guess that could be since I spent the first half of vacation at school! Open House went well on Wednesday night and my room is all ready for those bright smiling faces tomorrow morning! We had to make a last minute change, my teammate will now be doing a combo class, again, and I gained three more kiddos!!! I'm trying to stay positive and make the best of it though :) 

I never got around to posting pictures of my classroom before Open House, so here are a few before the days of learning take over and it doesn't look so new and clean anymore. 

**I just realized/remembered I'm going to have to have another table, more chairs, and another bookshelf! Not to mention, I'm not sure if that carpet will hold 21 firsties! 

 Super Improvers Wall as you walk in the door. 
 View from the doorway- The back of the bookcase is chalk and normally has a welcome message for my students. 
 Classroom view from the door. 
 Looking left from the door. Student cubbies and tables
 Front of the room from a side angle
 Front/Side area- behind the chair is our calendar and Letterland area. 
 View from the front of the classroom. 

WARNING! This next image has nothing to do with this blog post :) 

This weekend, the hubby and I, went to the NASCAR race in Bristol, TN. While there I made a new friend with this Praying Mantis! He sat on my boot for 30-45 minutes just looking around! The people sitting around us thought it was the coolest thing! 

If you are already back in school, I hope your first week went well! If you are starting back tomorrow with me, I'll be thinking about you :) 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Five For Friday

It seems I am always a day late when it comes time for Five for Friday! I just can't even get it done on time! Late is better than never though right? 

I spent all week at a Reading Foundations training and I learned so much! It was an amazing week filled with lots of new knowledge and ideas about teaching reading. We discussed how all the parts [phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension] all fit together to made a solid reader. We also discussed ways that we can help our students be successful in al those areas, plus ways to identify areas a student may be struggling. Parts of the training were reassurance that we were already doing the right things in our classrooms! 

Before training each morning, I went to school to work in my classroom! We received our calendar for the teacher workdays next week and everyone went into panic mode. Not only do we have 9,000,000 meetings, they also moved Open House to a Wednesday instead of Thursday. Losing that whole day makes HUGE difference on my stress load! 

After working on my room for about an hour each morning this week, I also went to school today to work from 8:00 - 3:00. I accomplished so much today and am feeling a little bit better about my classroom. 

 Word Wall is up! Just have to add the Kindergarten words for the beginning of the year! 

Calendar and Letterland is up and ready to go :) 

Just tonight, I submitted a Donors Choose project for MP3 players in my classroom. Currently, I only have 1 old tape player. It only sometimes works, and my students struggle to get the tapes in. I'm hoping that having 10 MP3 players will give my students wonderful opportunities to sit back and enjoy listening to a good book. 

This year, I am incorporating Whole Brain Teaching into my classroom and I am SO excited about it! Here is my Super Improvers Wall, just waiting for a title :) 

What did YOU do this week? 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August Currently... A few days late

Good Morning to all you wonderful people reading this little blog of mine! I'm linkin' up with Farley, at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the August Currently! 

Right now I am listening to the sweet sound of NOTHING. The TV is off, the Hubby is sleeping, the pups are curled up sleeping. It's just me and the blog this morning :) 

I am loving these last few days I have to curl up on the couch with a good book and the pups. Next week is a Reading Foundations training, followed by teachers workdays the next week. 

I CANNOT believe I finally sold a product on TpT! I am so excited!! Its crazy to think someone actually wants my stuff!! 

With that being said, I want my creative strike to hit again so I can make even more things! Maybe this afternoon ;)

I just came back from a 10 day vacation with my grandma! (more on that later) and I really need to do laundry. Lucky for me, I get to spend the morning at the eye doctor, so that will have to wait also! 

B2S RAK: I'm planning to make notes of encouragement to all the teachers at my school and leave them with little candies in their boxes. I am always the first person to get to school, other than the janitor of course, so I should have no problem keeping it a secret! 

If you haven't already, go link up with Farley now! For those of you already starting back, I hope your first few days are wonderful! If you're like me, enjoy the last few days of summer! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quick Update :)

As many of you know, I am vacationing with my grandma right now in St. Louis, MO. We have been having a blast and I will have a lot to share a little later. I just wanted to pop on and say that the word wall cards that match my Bright Chevron Header Cards are now ready in my TpT store.

These would be the perfect addition of a bright pop of color for any K-1 class. Right now, all of Kindergarten and first grade is included, but second grade will be added soon. Click below to check them out :)

 I'm so very new at this whole TpT thing. Any advice would be greatly welcomed :) :)