Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blog on Fire Award

Thanks so much Janine, from Faithful in First, for giving me the Blog on Fire Award. I am always so appreciative for blog awards because blogging has become such an important and wonderful part of my life. Thanks to all of my followers for that! and to all of you fellow bloggers too! As part of the award, I need to share 7 things about myself and pass the award on to 7 other bloggers. So... here goes....

1) I am working on my doctorate in early childhood studies. I am finished with my course work now and working on my comps. All of the writing is getting me down, but I am continuing to persevere.
2) I have a passion for teaching young children. I want every child out there to have a wonderful teacher and a great kindergarten experience. 
3) I LOVE the movies. It is one of my favorite things to do. My favorite movie is "You've Got Mail."
4) I have 3 wonderful children (Madison 18, Holden 13, and Abby 8) and a very supportive husband (Jef).
5) I am addicted to Sonic drinks :)
6) I have a super furry sweet cat name Silver who acts more like a dog than a cat.
7) Reading is my all time favorite thing to do! I love books... I love children's books, novels, any books I can get my hands on.

Here are the 7 blogs I want to pass the Blog on Fire Award to...



Family Weekend at UT

I went to visit my oldest daughter, Madison, last weekend. It was family weekend at UT. We had lots of fun!!

Number Line Mystery Game

I absolutely LOVE Kim Adsit's Number Line Mystery Games!! She has them in several of her packets. I have played them with several classes and the students have loved them too!!

These slides came from Kim's blog post Number Line Mystery and Leaf Drop Games and Mr. Pig's ig Book. Kim gives a brief description of the activity below. It is a great way for students to look for patterns in the number line and to explain their thinking using math talk. The game gives students practice in number recognition and counting as well. 
Kim's post has a free download for this number line mystery grid on it. The grid is a great way to keep the cards in their correct rows and columns so the students can play the game on their own in a math station.
You can find the number line mystery game in these units Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, Apples and Pumpkins Math Game Pack, Halloween Math Game Pack, Go Buggy, St Patrick's Day, Spring Math Game Pack, and Winter Wonderland. You can go to Kim's TPT Store to purchase them.

Classroom Management

I know the year is well underway for everyone, and that most of you have management systems already in place, but I saw these two ideas yesterday and I wanted to share them.

This idea came from Tammy Loftus at Hobbs Williams Elementary
She uses an apple tree behavior system. Students have to add a worm to their apple when they change their color for making bad choices or using poor behavior. I like the connection to the worm in the apple and the way worms ruin an apple.
Each student has an apple with their name on it. The consequences for poor behavior are written at the bottom of the tree. The worms are stored in the basket beside the tree. The first time the students move their color, they add a green worm to their apple. If they have to move it again, they add a blue worm, and so on... 

This idea came from Amanda Fowler at Mike Moseley Elementary
The second idea had to do with when you need a student to help monitor the class. I never liked the idea of having students take names and the quiet game can get old fast. Amanda had to step away from the whole group area for just a minute to get something, so she asked a classmate to be her monitor. All the child did was sit with the kids and watch them. When she returned, she asked the student to name three friends that did an excellent job while she was away. He named three friends. Then she asked each one what cheer they wanted and then the class did the cheer for their good behavior. 
Go to Dr. Jean's Cheer Cards to download  32 cheer cards for free. They are perfect for putting on a ring by your whole group area.

Apple Glyph

This apple glyph idea came from Shari Sloane and her site Kidscount1234. I changed the wording just a little to meet my needs. We started the lesson with an apple read aloud. Here are a few of my favorite apple books...
If I were to do this lesson again, I would go back and change the stem question. I would not make it "right" or "left", instead I would make it has as stem for "yes" and does not have a stem for "no."
Here is the glyph in Spanish.
Materials: red and green 9 X 9 squares, 1 X 2 inch green rectangles, 1 X 1 1:2 inch brown rectangles
Since my school does not have a worm die cut, I used a clip art pattern to make my worms. 

We made the glyph like a directional art activity. I told the students the question. Then I went around the room, passing out the pieces, and asking the students to answer me in a complete sentence. Then we cut and glued together. They had to cut corners and round to make the apple and the leaves. 
Then we analyzed our glyphs. The students brought their apples back to the carpet. Then I asked them the questions for the glyph again. Students sorted themselves on either side of the carpet based on their answers. After they sorted themselves each time, we counted how many were in each group and made comparisons using more than, less than, and the same. 
I forgot to create an "Analyzing the Graph" page for the lesson. We talked about our comparisons, but we did not chart them anywhere. I went back and made one for the download below. 

Apple Glyph

Apple Glyph Spanish

Analyzing Our Apple Glyph

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Favorite Read Alouds Linky Party

Courtney from Swimming Into Second is having a Favorite Read Alouds Linky Party. To check out everyone who has linked up or to add a post of your own, take a look at Courtney's post.


My favorite chapter book to read aloud to my students is Attaboy, Sam! by Lois Lowry. 

Description straight from Lois Lowry's website....
Why won't Sam Krupnik allow his mother to enter his bedroom? Why has he started calling his toy box The Lab? And why does he carry a Ziplock bag in his pocket at all times? What's the big secret?

Well, his mother's birthday is approaching, and she has told her family that what she really wants are homemade gifts. Sam has decided to invent a special, surprise perfume just for her - a concoction that will combine all of her favorite smells. Now the question is: Exactly how does one go about bottling the quirky collection of scents on Mrs. Krupnik's list of favorites? If anyone can find a way - or at least have loads of fun trying - it's Sam.

Every year, when I read this book to my students, it makes me laugh all over again!! My favorite parts are when Sam's perfume starts smelling up his room so bad that he can't go into it, when it explodes all over the place, and when he finds the perfect new gift to replace it with.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More Shapes in Math Work Stations

I learned about the site Hummingbird Educational Resources a couple of years ago, but I have not been on the site in a long time, so I forgot how many great resources you can find there. If you are not familiar with this site, make sure you check it out.

I especially love the ABC, Phonics, Literacy page. It is full of great ideas for literacy stations and letter work.  There are lists for letter based art projects, letter dress up days, letter movements, letter science activities, and many other letter activities.

I found these ideas for shapes that could be added to my shape math workstation post.
Give students pipe-cleaners and have students create 2-D shapes. Then they can describe their shape to their partner using the attributes.

Give students magazines and have them find pictures of particular shapes.

Students use attribute blocks to create the shapes in the book Mouse Shapes. 
Then they describe their creations using the attributes. 

Students use pre-cut shapes to create pictures. 

Students use play-doh to make shapes. Then they describe their shapes to their partner. 

Pocket chart shape sort. 
You can use the pictures I posted in the first shape math work station post for this sort.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spaces and Places Room Makeover

I recently attended Debbie Diller's one day Spaces and Places 2.0. I tried to take all of the tips and suggestions from her training and book and implement them in my model classroom. Here is what I did. I hope it helps those of you are who struggling with room arrangement and organization.

These are the most important suggestions I took away from the day on Spaces and Places.
1) Have a color theme. Two solids or a solid and a print border work well. I went with blue and light green because I already had a lot of blue in my room. In her book Spaces and Places, Debbie talks more about this and makes several suggestions for possible color schemes.
2) No one needs multiple alphabets and number charts up. One is enough. Since I had my alphabet displayed on my word wall, I took down the other alphabet I had. I also moved my number cards over by my calendar and used the empty space below my calendar to display my number line.
3) Label all of your literacy stations to match your management chart. This helps students to be more independent when going to their stations. If you have limited space, use portable stations. Make sure you label where in the room the portable stations are to be taken when used. 
4) Place your word wall where your whole group teaching area is. See my recent word wall post for more information about word walls.
5) Use the same background and border for all of your bulletin boards.
6) Be careful not to over clutter your calendar and word wall area.
7) There is a lot of cute border out these these days. Do NOT over use border in your room. A little border goes a long way.Use the same border throughout your room.
8) Be sure to leave space for anchor charts and displaying student work.
9) Sort and organize all of your materials. Use plastic tubs because it is easy to see inside them. Label everything. Keep math items together, literacy items together, etc.
10) Be careful not to hang too many things from the ceiling.
11) Only make anchor charts for those important pieces that you want students to refer back to time and time again. For more information on making effective anchor charts, see my recent post on anchor charts.
12) Keep the doorway of your room clear from furniture and clutter. Do not block it so that people cannot see in your room. Leave it open and free of furniture and other items. 

13) And a final point Debbie made.... cute is for our hair and the way we dress.... not for our classrooms. :)