Monday, June 9, 2014

The One With Monday Made It

I am so excited!  This is my first Monday Made It.

As a first grade teacher every time students hand in assignments there are always 1 or 2 students who forget their names.  I'm tired of asking "who's paper is this?" over and over and over.  So I recently found this on Pinterest and fell in love.

 Unfortunately, I cannot find the original source for it.  I've tried to locate it but I have no idea where it came from.  I believe it's linked to Mrs. Brown's Blog but I could not find the post that had the pic.  So if there is no post, there were no directions on how it was made.  So that means I had to get creative.  My favorite thing to do.

If you remember a few posts back I talked about the hoards of scrapbook supplies I have.  So I dug out some scrapbook paper that I liked.  Laid them out and glued them down.  I then found these punch-out letters that I bought from Wal-Mart several years ago.


I glued down the letters then, as you can see, it was huge so I had to cut it to a decent size.  I cute it to 6" x 11"

Then came the part with the clothes pins.  I have a ton of clothes pins.  I use them a lot.  You can get them usually at Dollar Tree.  If they are out (which has happened to me before) head to Wal-Mart.  I found another post on dying clothes pins.  All you need is food coloring (liquid drops... I bet Easter egg dye will work too), 1 tbsp of vinegar and boiling water.  I put this mixture in a jelly jar (minus the jelly, of course) and let the clothes pins sit for about an hour.  Take the clothes pins apart or the metal pieces will tarnish (unless you want an antique look).

While the clothes pins were soaking (sorry no pic), I laminated the paper part and then headed to my local Dollar Tree for some adhesive squares.  Well, just my luck they were out.  However, I did find some gel Super Glue.  

I laid out the clothes pins where I wanted them and then glued them down.

Tah-Dah!  All done.  I will use the poster putty to attach it to the wall.  

Hope you enjoyed my Monday Made It!


Friday, June 6, 2014

The One With The Guided Math Book Study-Chapter 2

Today (a day late...sorry) is the chapter 2 book study of Guided Math by Laney Sammons.  If you would like to start at the beginning, please click here: Chapter 1.

Chapter 2: Using Guided Math to Create a Classroom Environment of Numeracy

This chapter goes over they many different portions that help make up a positive mathematical classroom experience.

In a classroom, students' environments are rich in reading and writing concepts.  As teachers we have word walls, anchor charts, posters, books, journals, and conversations all pertaining to reading and writing.  Laney Sammons says that the same needs to be applied to mathematics instruction.  We can help get there using the Foundations Principles of Guided Math.  I have jazzed up the graphic Sammons used in the book.

These principles are actually adapted from the Guided Reading principles.

There is not a specific way to teach but I have noticed that the traditional way of teaching math was not working.  I noticed I was not able to actually teach to all students.  Some students got it and others didn't.  Well, in a realistic classroom all students are valued and respected.   Teachers need to have the expectations that all students can do math.  There is no more excuse of "this student is just not good at math."

Just like with reading, we need to have a mathematically rich environment.  Your classroom needs to be set up in a way that promotes this kind of environment.  This can be accomplished by using word walls, math focus boards, anchor charts,  math journals, and a space designated for calendar time.  I don't currently use my word wall for math but it is such a great idea.  Since I am moving into a brand new classroom next year I am finding ways that I can make my classroom more mathematically rich.  I have decided to plan a space for a math focus wall.  This wall will include our math vocabulary and other math concepts for the week.

Also, your classroom arrangement plays a huge role in the success of your students.  The classroom needs to be set-up for Guided Math.  The classroom needs appropriate spaces for each part of Guided Math.  It needs to have places for group work and individual work.  Students also need to have access to the supplies and manipulatives they will need to complete their work.  The classroom arrangement can help promote a students' independence.

The home area  can be any area where the students' supplies are kept.  These spaces are using their desks or tables.  Students need to be able to access their supplies quickly and easily.  

The large-group meeting area is a space that the teacher has deemed appropriate for the entire class to be able to take part of the lesson.  This is usually a carpeted area, or any place that is comfortable for the students. 

The small-group area is usually a table that will fit up to 6 students and the teacher.  The small-group area needs to have all the supplies needed to teach the lesson.  The teacher usually has some way of taking notes or to keep records on the students.  This could be a clipboard, binder, or a notebook.

Lastly, Sammons talked about the math workshop area.  This area is a space where the students will work independently.  These spaces could be a desk, table or a place on the floor.  During this time, the teacher will be working with a group of students.

Organization and Storage of Materials

The materials need to be organized in two ways.  One way for teacher use and one way for student use.  The area organized for the teacher is done in a way that the teacher can easily find what he/she needs.  The materials for the students are organized in a way that the students can quickly and quietly get what they need without bothering the teacher.  The student materials can be organized into Steralite containers (usually 97 cents at Walmart).  For students to identify the supplies they need quickly, you could tape a picture or label the side of the container that faces out.  I would suggest not to put the teacher materials in the same space as the student materials.

This was a long chapter full of ideas and plans to make the classroom a mathematically rich environment.   As I'm reading I am finding ways to make my classroom more enriched for math.  Take a look around your room and see what can be changed. We all want our students to be successful.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The One With June Currently

Well June has arrived.  I hope this summer doesn't speed by like it did last year.  However, it didn't help that I taught summer school.

I'm joining Farley @ 
for her June currently.


Listening:  I was listening to Will and Grace.  However, that ended and now I have switched it over to Friends (big surprise!?).  

Loving:  I love being on summer vacation.  It takes me a little time to finally get into not having a lot going on.  I was supposed to be at a training today, tomorrow, and Wednesday but we ended up with a leak in our garage by the water heater.  So instead of making money I'm spending a ton getting a plumber to fix it.  Fantastic!  

Thinking:  I love being able to wake up and just start the day slowly.  It's nice not having a million things to do.  I am able to sit back and think about changes I want to make for next school year... and actually get them done, too!

Wanting:  Well I waited forever it seemed for the plumber, who has now finally shown up.  I'm just hoping the leak is not too bad.  I think it maybe coming from the line coming up through the slab (foundation) but it could be coming from the line that connects to it.  I'm hoping for the latter.

Needing:  This is in connection to my wanting.  We had to shut the water off because the garage was flooding.  We had to go to my parent's house last night so we could take showers.  I'm hoping it gets fixed soon so I can take one today.  We might have to spend the night in a hotel if it is not fixed tonight.  You don't realize how much you need and use water until there isn't any.  We have drinking water but no water for showers, brushing our teeth, cleaning, etc

Summer Bucket List:  
Read!: I'm currently reading Guided Math by Laney Sammons (I am also doing a book study with it, too).  I want to finish reading and implementing it before summer is over.
Clean!: I need to get and keep this house super clean before school starts again.  I never have time at the beginning of the year to keep up with it.
Organize!: I also need to get the house organized.  We received a lot of gifts from the wedding that need to be put away.  I also would like to make our lives easier but getting it really organized.  I think if it's organized (more than it is now) it will make it easier to keep clean at the beginning of the school year.  I would also like to reorganize all my teaching stuff.  Such as my files, books, and papers.  That should help with the beginning of the year chaos, too.

Well, that is it.  Link up with Farley to let me see what you currently have going on!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The One With Guided Math Book Study - Chapter 1

Like many other teachers out in blog world, I am currently reading Guided Math by Laney Sammons.

I started reading it this week in between my busy schedule of watching Orange is the New Black and Revolution, cleaning, grocery shopping, and making stuff for my classroom.  Oh! and Facebook stalking.  I noticed that on The Primary Gal Facebook page, she was doing a Guided Math book study with about 10 other bloggers.  Is this a sign?? I think so!

If you would like to follow along with the book study, click on the picture below.

I'm not part of the book study per se, but I'm jumping in anyway!

Chapter 1 of the book goes over mostly what you are to see throughout the rest of the book.  The author talks about how the way we all learned math was not helpful to make us lifelong mathematicians.  Many adults can't even mentally figure out the tip on a restaurant check.  That's pretty scary!

At the end of the chapter Laney Sammons asked the reader 2 important questions:

1) What aspects of it are successful?
   
   I think back about the year of teaching I just completed and see that there wasn't much that was successful.  The students were not engaged majority of the time and I spent so much time keeping them on task.  However, not all my years have been the same.  Some things in previous years that were successful were the ability to do hands-on activities with the entire class.  It saved me time and we were able to use the Promethean Board together.

2) What aspects of it trouble you? why?

   My district requires 90 minutes of math instructions.  Our curriculum was out of date (it was adopted in 2007) and just wasn't good.  I found it hard to keep the students engaged for a full 90 minutes.  Some students got it easily and others still needed the help.  I found it hard to keep the kids that got it to stick with me while I continued helping the ones that needed it.  Looking back I can clearly see that my teaching wasn't helping the entire class.  It hindered the highs and I couldn't always get to help the lows.  


If you are reading Guided Math, or are thinking about it, start at The Primary Gal's blog to get started in the book study.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The One With Blue Raspberry Nerds Slush

I just went to Sonic to try their new blue raspberry slush with Nerds candy and it is YUMMY!

Go try it!

Well, today I spent some time doing some things for my classroom.  I made owls that I am going to use for my center grouping.

I used to scrapbook and I have a ton of scrapbook paper left over.  I am constantly trying to use it.  I downloaded an owl template from Classroom Compulsion.  I printed it on cardstock and cut it out.  I used it to trace and cut out all the pieces for my owls.

 I made an owl for each group color (yellow, green, blue, orange and brown).  After I had all the pieces cut out I glued them all together and laminated them.  I will use permanent marker to write the students' names on them.
So cute!!!

I also took some time out to update my owl themed teacher binder for the 2014-2015 school year.  If you have downloaded last year's you will get the updated one for FREE!

Go check it out, pin it, and tell your friends!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Owl-Themed-Teacher-Binder-2014-2015-732763





Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The One with the End of the Year Wrap-up

Let's just pretend that months haven't past since I posted last.  I really thought I would do better at keeping up on this... FAIL!  Epic fail!

School is finally out.  This was a very trying year.  The class started out great but as the year progressed they became argumentative and disrespectful.  Not just we me but with each other. 

This year also brought on my state's new evaluation system.  I am not a fan!  It is a horrible system and I hope they get it fixed before the next year.

Looking back now though, I can also see many good times I had this year.  I thought I would share with you somethings that helped wrap-up my year (this will be a long post).

First off... I GOT MARRIED! #WHA-WHAT!!
It was great.  It was bit on the windy side, though.  The rest went off without a hitch.

I also got to tour our new school and see my new classroom almost completed.  I love it! 



We also did a closing ceremony to say goodbye to the old school.  It was a bitter sweet day.  The old school needed to be replaced but I started my teaching career at that school.  So sad!  During the ceremony we all let balloons go.
We went to the zoo as our end of the year field trip.  It was a lot of fun.  We saw lots of animals, played at the playground, rode the train and carousal, and ate snow cones.  Here are some photos of it all:




We had a "fun day" during the last week of school.  We normally have a field day but we no longer have a playground (that's where the new school is being built).  There is a park two blocks over from the school.  We walked over and did some activities for our fun day.  We did a ball tossing contest, sack races, tug-o-war, and a hula hoop competition-just to name a few.  The teachers also joined in on some of the fun. (Sorry there is no picture of my doing the sack races.)
We did a lot of GoNoodle.  My kids love it!  If you have never done GoNoodle in your class... you need to!  Some of my kids favorites are singing Let It Go from Frozen and doing Dinosaur Stomp by Koo Koo Kanga Roo.

During all this time, I had to pack up my entire classroom.  It was a lot of work but thank goodness I have a part-time associate to help me out (probably not next year and I will miss her).  She did most of my packing. 
Then my classroom was basically empty and my summer began.  I almost cried (but I didn't) looking at my room all empty.  I'm going to miss that old, rundown classroom.

Now to the end off this very long post.  My sister has started a blog.  It's not a teaching blog.  She will be blogging about life as a mother and wife. Go check it out: Creative Life In Kansas

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The One with St. Patrick's Day Fun

So I'm just going to act like I haven't blogged in ages. I'm sitting here watching Roseanne while I wait for a plumber to show up. We had a leak somewhere between the two bathrooms. We removed the drywall in one bathroom to see if it was a fix we could do ourselves. Only to see that we can't find the leak. We can hear water somewhere but we see nothing. So we think it maybe under the slab. Agh!
As I was typing this the plumbers showed up. They are now digging in the yard.
I had to take today off to deal with this. I had plans to work on stuff for school and the wedding (that is less than 3 weeks away).  However, nothing has been done as I'm typing this on my phone so I can keep checking in with the plumbers.

Last I checked with the plumbers was the scene from my dining room window:
Looks like a mess!

Anyway, let's get down to business. We had a lot of fun doing St. Patrick's Day activities, finishing our informative writing and starting opinion writing.

Monday was a fun day.  I love St. Patrick's Day!  I love the corned beef, wearing green, and the green beer.  We didn't get to have the corned beef and green beer at school but we still had a lot of fun.  I planned for them to make these cute leprechauns to hang up in the hallway.  I found them on First Grade Parade.
I love the way they came out.  We read lots of St. Paddy's Day books.  We even had a visit from a leprechaun.  I told the kids during our morning meeting that I had set up a trap and caught a leprechaun.  I had a bag that I cut a small hole in the corner.  Then I asked the kids if they would like to see the leprechaun. They were so excited!  I reached my hand inside and started feeling around.  Then I poked my finger out of the small hole in the bag and told them I guess he got away.  I told them I knew he was in the bag when I got to school so he must be loose in the school.  We then made wanted signs to hang up in the hallway so we can find him.  Here is the one I created for it (unfortunately I don't have a copy of one the kids completed).
We hung them up in the hallway then went to recess.  While we were at recess the leprechaun came out of hiding and messed up the room.  Things were thrown on the floor, the trash cans and chairs were tipped over, and he wrote on our whiteboard.  He wrote "The leprechaun wuz here! Ha Ha Ha!"  One student said I did it but then another one said "No, Mr. Michelbook knows how to spell the word 'was'."  That made me laugh.

The kids cleaned up after the leprechaun and it was time to get back to work.  We decided it was best to be super quite while we finished reading and worked on Daily 5 to see if the leprechaun would come out of hiding.  

That lasted almost the whole day.  It was pretty great.  Unfortunately, we never did see the leprechaun again.  
I love St. Patrick's Day!  Sorry this post is over a week late.  BTW, the plumbers have finished and I have no idea how much it will cost.  They did tell me that is will be pretty much just the cost of labor.  I'm a little terrified to see the bill when it arrives in the mail.  The leak was in the slab but they were able to run a new line without having to jackhammer the slab.  Jeah!