Sunday, January 25, 2015

Words, Backwards Flashlight, Giveaway

We started something new the end of last week and I'm kinda excited about it:)
http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/balancedliteracydiet/Home/index.html
Let me back up.....it started with this pin from The Balanced Literacy Diet.  They recommended that the student find 2 words in their reading and then become masters of those words making a card with pictures and clues for that word.  Then their classmates try to figure it out.
 
There's so much I love about this!  So, we made our first card last week.  I made it part of their homework.  They have to read every night so I told them while they were reading to search for great vocab to make a card on.  Here are some pics of some of them:


The word for this one was reluctant.  Love that pic:)






 
They did a great job for their (and my) first time doing this.  We are going to do it at least once a week.  For the next one they have to have the definition with the word on the back:) 
They really enjoyed taking turns putting their pic on the ELMO and having their classmates guess:)  I am hoping for several things by doing this:
- each student will expand their personal vocabulary by looking up and illustrating words from their reading
- each student will expand their vocabulary and learn new words during the sharing with their classmates
- these words will "stick" and some be used in their writing to strengthen it:)
- we will have fun while learning and sharing
 
The kids really got into this and I am sure next week will have some super challenging words:)  I am going to give each kiddo a ring so they can keep all their cards on it and have it handy for writing:)
 
Thanks to Head Over Heels for Teaching, Flashlight Friday is a huge success again this year!  The kids love it and can't wait for Friday to have some flashlight reading time.....except last week!
Hard to tell in the pic but there are 23 littles on the carpet in from of me!  This time I had the flashlight for a read aloud!  Their idea....all because they are HOOKED on this book!!!
and I mean HOOKED!!  I LOVE that they LOVE to be read to:)
 
I'm ending this post with a little giveaway:)
Since Valentine's day is just around the corner, I am giving away my 2 V-day themed sets.
 
Ends at midnight:)  I'll choose 2 winners to win both each:)
Have a blessed Sunday!
 
 
 
 
 

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Made It - January

It's Monday Made It time!  I have a couple of made its to share with you this month:)  Most home and one school....I promise....I have lots of school made its in my head BUT that's about as far as they have gotten lately....and I'm ok with that:)
If you have been following me on Instagram, you know that I have been on a fitness journey.  I even shared some of my before and during pics in my 14 in 14 post a few weeks ago:)  (I say during because I still have quite a ways to go but the good news is, I finally am headed in the right/healthy direction!!)  So with the fitness journey has come better eating.....I would say I have been at about 70% clean eating.  I decided to dig in deep and go all clean for 30 days and see what happens.  Started that the other day.  So I need some yummy things that I can add to my food that's natural/not processed so I planted another herb garden:)  That's my trunk full of herbs....sorry if you live up north and have snow and ice....one of the perks to living in Florida:)
I used an old crate we had sitting around:) 
As you can see it has slits in the bottom so I was going to line it with plastic and then poke holes...then my wonderful husband had the brilliant idea of screen:)
Oh how I wish you could smell this fab mix!!
You know me...cram it in there till it's full!  There's purple basil, sage, pineapple sage, lemon thyme, rosemary, and spicy oregano.
I had to pot the peppermint separate (in the silver container) because it can take over:/

Saw this idea on Pinterest and had to try it out in our classroom.
This idea is from Kindness Seeds.  She called it a Shout Out box.  You can read about it here.
Here is my version:)
holla: def. used to call attention to something:)
The kids can fill out these little (apparently sideways) slips.  I like her idea about keeping it anonymous:)  I'll read a few of these every few days or so depending on how it catches on.  Love this idea....sometimes I feel like focus in this world is mostly on the negative and not the positive and who doesn't like to be uplifted?!  So excited to try this in my classroom:)

My last made it, I shared a little about a few posts ago but wanted to share again and update:)
Before my sweet daughter went back to college, we made gratitude jars.  Gratitude is my OLW for this year.  I had been thinking about it for a while.  There have been lots of changes this school year and I haven't dealt with them or the stress very well at all.....to the point of losing my joy and coming home a grumpy mess.  Anyway...I decided those things are out of my control....I only need to worry about things in my control and let the rest go AND find something to be grateful for in each day....I'm sorry if that sounds bad....I am very thankful for SO much I have....work and changes and other stuff just got to me:/ 
So now I find one thing I am grateful for that day...usually work related, because that's what was pulling me down, and write it on a little slip of paper and put it in my gratitude jar.
 
I found this wonderful little box to store my little papers to write on.
That's the bottom of my jar, filling up:)  Now when I have a bad day, I can come home and dump out my little slips and read them and feel better:)
There ya have it:) 
That's all I've got for now....of course I have the unending list of things I want to make/do, so I might be back later to link up to my own linky:)
Remember this is open all month and don't forget to leave some love on the blogs you visit....give someone a "holla":)
Thanks for coming by:)
 
 
 




Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sneak a Peek at my Week

So far 2015 in my classroom has been great!  My kids came back on Monday and were quiet and for the most part on task....not sure if it was a Christmas break hangover or they were ready to work.  Well, I have to say, the whole week has been that way:)  I thought I would give ya a little peek at what we have been up to this week:)
 
This week/year started with some changes for my kiddos and me....
I had forgotten until break was almost over that I completely rearranged my classroom the last day before break.  Surprise!!
Not sure why I didn't buy these and use them sooner, but I didn't...they are from The Brown Bag Teacher.  That was one change my kiddos had.  They have adjusted great!  I love them.  I have always, well except during the lovely state test, had my desks in groups, so these are great.  It's a quick and simple way to "team them up" for partner or group work:)
We have been hitting fractions hard and the kids are loving it.  Today we did mixed numbers and improper fractions and I showed them a little strategy to flip a mixed number to improper fraction and you should have seen the light bulbs go off!!!  Love it when that happens:) 
Sadly, over Christmas break one of our hermie reading buddies died, so I had to get a new one.
The shell of the new one has an angry bird painted on it.  Of course they super loved that.  I pick different kids each day to read with the crabs during our Daily 5 rotations and believe me, they don't let me forget:)
 
Change to our math routine...right after our Morning Math Meeting,
 they go back to their desks and I have some type of a problem on the board they have to prove with evidence.  I have them work in partners and groups of 3.  I LOVE the conversations I hear going on as they talk things through:)
 
 I teach math mostly in a workshop format, so this got added to the beginning.  It was something we saw at a training and I liked it...keep in mind it is still new to them...
These were some results of today's "prove it".  I really love how they used a number of strategies to solve the same problem.


After a few minutes, I call time and usually pick one team to go up front and present...today I chose several because I was so impressed by the different ways to used to prove it.
It makes me happy that they came up with several ways.  I tell them they can't build a house with one tool, so they need several tools to solve problems:)
We also made new goals.  (the board is full now...this was taken mid process)  The goals they made Monday are for the next 9 days because that's when the quarter ends.  This fab idea I got from my friend 3rd Grade Thoughts!  Check out her posts about class goals.
We also started a new Think Math question.  The kids beg me for this too!
Since we start every Monday with a Book Frenzy (The Book Whisperer) we had a book raffle on Monday too!  I have an awesome group of readers this year.  Makes this teacher's heart happy!
 
That wasn't all we did this week...just some of the highlights!  I hope maybe you got an idea or 2 you can use:)  Have a great weekend and don't forget what Monday is....