Five for Friday on Sunday...oops

Doing my Friday Five with Doodle Bugs on Sunday cuz that's how I'm rolling this weekend!
Here's a peek at my random week...
This was how the week started....now I know this isn't cold to most of you BUT I am in Florida!
Meet Heidi and Herman Hermie!
These little fellas joined my classroom this week.  I got the idea of using them as reading buddies from another teacher at our school a few years ago.  Some of my kiddos aren't really doing their best on their homework so I have brought these guys in to motivate.  The students who go above and beyond on their homework get to read with a hermie for the day:)
Trying to escape?????
The Hermies even did Flashlight Friday:) 

 
We have been doing long division for a few weeks in our Morning Math Meeting but a lot of my kiddos can't remember all the steps:/  I found a division man anchor chart on Pinterest from Mrs. Sims and Mrs. Mathis' blog and loved it and made one for my kids.
It's helping:)
We have been working hard in our reading small groups with characters, settings, and events.

The kids love to use the glass puddles to read with every once in a while:)

and this is how I ended my week:)  Roots painted, high and low lights and got me some bang action.
sorry about the awkward selfie.....I stink at selfies...lol:)
Have a great week all!

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Word Problem Wednesday

Popping in super quick to share an idea with ya!
 
I don't know about you, but my kiddos struggle with word problems more than pretty much anything....they struggle with remembering what all the words mean...
 
- how many fewer
- in all
- how many all together
- how much greater
- _ times as many
 
You get the idea.  Some of my peeps get confused as to what operation to use.  I have the cute posters up, and that helps....but practice makes perfect:)
 
A few months ago I decided we needed some more word problem practice...so Word Problem Wednesday was born:)
Every Wednesday afternoon I devote to word problems.  Random word problems from our textbooks.  I try to mix it up lots:)  The kids really like it and look forward to it.  They all have their dry erase boards
and their books and I also put each problem up on the ELMO.  I set a timer and give them 1-2 minutes to solve it depending on the problem.  Now, when I started this I was having the kids raise their hands.....well my teammie started doing this too and she added some more fun. 
A) using Class Dojo to pick kiddos randomly
B) adding some simple prizes
Love that random button!!!!!
"Prizes" are simply pencils and erasers.  They love it even more now;)  With the random picker, I call on the student it picks...if they have the wrong answer I hit it again and pick someone else.  Once I get a correct answer, they all hold up their boards to show me their answers and I can see who got it and who didn't.  Word problems have become fun and not so threatening now:)  Last week our time got cut about 10 minutes short and they were complaining......did you hear me?!?!?!  Complaining because we didn't do word problems for long enough!!!!  Maybe this is something you can do in your classroom:)
 
Would love to hear how you tackle word problems with your kiddos:)

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Friday 5

Linking up randomness from my week for Doodle Bug's
http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.com/2014/01/five-for-friday-linky-party-january-17.html
If you read my last blog post, you know I read the book Word Nerds and am soooooo jazzed up about it!!!!  Well we did another activity from the book.  We did word illustrations.  The book is full of ideas and examples.....one example they showed was illustrations similar to the ones we put in our vocab journals.  Then they gave examples of kids putting the pictures right into the letters of each word.  Well I showed my kids the examples and I was SO EXCITED with what they came up with for their first try at this.

I just LOVE how these all turned out!!!!  It really shows me they understand the vocabulary.

And are ya ready for this???????  Are ya?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
They had their test on these words and EVERY kid in my class got a perfect score except one and he only missed ONE!!!!!!  That's amazing considering I have 4 ELL students and some consult kiddos!!!!  I am so excited about this book and trying out some of the other ideas in it:))))  If you missed my post on Word Nerds, you can see it HERE:)
 
A  few weeks ago I got new glasses....the classroom kiddos still aren't used to them.....
one of my teamies kiddos said I looked like a witch and one of my own said I looked like an old lady.....hmmm.......Oh well, ya win some and ya lose some:/
We had our fab Flashlight Friday again today!  The "newness" and fabulousness has not worn off!  They LOVE it!  Beg for it and are as quiet as mice when the lights are off and they are reading:)
If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen this hot mess......the PILE monster has been in my room this week......several times.....he's following me:(
Finally, we ended our Literacy week with a vocabulary parade a la Miss Alaineus style:)
The kids had a blast and some of them came up with some great words and outfits!

LOVE this one:)

This was my word!  Any excuse to wear jammies and a robe to school:)) 
Sleepwalking:)
Happy 3 day weekend everyone!!!


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We are becoming Word Nerds!!!

Have you heard of this book?
Well, I hadn't until I saw it on Abby's blog The Inspired Apple.  So I decided to order it.  My ONLY regret is that I didn't have it sooner!!!!  People this book is awesome......like life changing....classroom changing AWESOME!!!!
 
So over Christmas break I read it and got OH SO EXCITED about teaching vocabulary.  We take a test called I-Ready and my kiddos were low in vocab and I was looking for something to spice it up and raise those scores!!!  I also have 4 ELL students and what I was doing wasn't working for all of them...some but not all.   Time for a change and I am convinced, this book is just what my class and I needed:)
 
I'm going to give you a little peek into my classroom last week as I introduced our first "vocabulary cycle".  *NOTE* Please keep in mind a) I am new to this "system" b) I am implementing things a little at a time and c) PLEASE don't just go by my posts....you have to read the book to really get it.
 
On my Monday Made It last week I blogged about the vocabulary lanyards I made for my class.  Well I chose words from our reading series and our science vocabulary words for this first vocabulary cycle.  I introduced the words with cloze sentences.
The kids loved this activity.  Forgive my sentences....I had no sentence strips so had to make them and then didn't do them in marker:/  Learning as I go....
After we did this I handed out the lanyards to some of my students.  We only had 9 words so the first day only 9 students got lanyards.
I wrote the vocabulary words in black.
 
Then we worked on our vocab journals.  This book gives several ideas, templates, forms....the works in the back to use.  We set our journals up using a modified version of the Frayer graphic organizer.

The first day we wrote the word, a child friendly definition, and an illustration.

The kids were super into it...we used dictionaries and iPods and iPads to look the words up.
We used the Dictionary app on the iPads and iPods.
 
Day 2 we looked up synonyms (examples) and antonyms (non-examples) using a thesaurus and iPads and iPods again:)

Well, as we were looking every once in a while my kids would say "Mrs. Eiken, there isn't a synonym!"  Panic!!!  No, not really....then I would say "Well then I guess we just have to use our brains!"  And we did.  I couldn't believe the conversations that were buzzing around the room and the connections they were making with other words....for example....one of our vocabulary words is coyote....one of my students said "wouldn't a synonym be hunter?" and then another said "yes, it's a hunter and it's also a predator and carnivore."  Can you see the light bulbs going off?!?!?!?  I was so excited!!!  So we added our synonyms and antonyms to our journals.
 
The next morning I added some of the synonyms and antonyms to the rest of our vocabulary lanyards.
Here are a few.  Word Nerds recommends color coding:)  I put synonyms in green and antonyms in red.  Now at this point, everyone is wearing a vocab lanyard:)
This is where our words go at the end of the day:)  I had this hanging up Monday morning when the kids walked in and boy was their interest sparked:)
Word Nerds is FULL of activities and ideas to get kids up and moving and using the words in several different ways.  One activity I chose to do last week is called Color Words.  I gave each student a blank note card.....on one side they had to write their word.  Then they had to choose ONE color that symbolizes that word.  ONE and color the side with the word the color they chose.  On the other side they had to write an explanation of why they chose the color they did.  Here are a few examples of what my kiddos did.
 


They loved this activity!  It really made them think.....really think:)  Makes this teacher happy!!
 
We also did another activity they talk about in the book called "Scramble".  At any point during the day I call out "Scramble" and the kids have to get in their word network group (with their synonyms and antonyms).  The first time we did this it took them a while to "find each other".  Another GREAT idea to get them up and moving and really connecting to and understanding their vocabulary words.
 
We have lots more to do this week with our vocabulary cycle before we test. 
 
People, listen......I have just scratched the surface of all the amazing things this book is spilling over with!  I can't wait to see where this new journey takes my kiddos:)  I think it's going to be a fun ride!
 
We are WORD NERDS!!!

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