Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Classroom Management: How to Line Up

I have some really active kids this year and they try to race each other to the front of the line even if I call them by table, so I went to Google and Pinterest to get some ideas!  Teach Hub had a great set of ideas.  You can also check out my classroom management board on Pinterest for some ideas!

Last week I tried something new...a line up song.  I chose a slow Jim Brickman-type song which kept my Speedy Gonzales kids from being too speedy but was quick enough to get my snails moving.  I played the song and gave them that time to clean up their areas and line up the door.  It worked!  They were quiet, in line, and my room wasn't a disaster.  AND, I had gotten them lined up in less than 4 minutes.  I am pretty proud!

Do you do the same thing?  If you do, I would love to know which songs you use so that I can put them into my Spotify folder.

Speaking of Spotify, have you been there?  It is awesome!!!

There is also a blog called Classroom DJ if you want some specific music for specific things!

On another note, if you are having some really difficult behaviors
(and trust me I 
know all about that because I had a load of them last year!) you may want to check out my behavior management pack!  I am constantly upgrading it when I come up with new ideas.  I've learned over the years that I have to be flexible and in tune with all of the kids that come to school unable to follow the rules.  I've also become more understanding over the years because I've learned that these kids have usually had in Utero trauma or have a lot of anxiety.  The pack has MANY pages of ideas that you can use individually and for your whole group.  You can click on the picture below to go check it out on TpT.

I hope that it can help you!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Repeated Addition Freebie!

Spring has definitely sprung in 2nd grade....but, you know they aren't really enjoying spring when they vote to stay in for recess because they are tired of the stuffy or runny noses, itchy eyes, and sore throats. Instead, we wrote letters so that we could 'fill some buckets' and attached geometric eggs that my friend Robin Sellers put on TpT. A lot of the letters said, 'you are egg-stra special to me' and I even saw one that said 'you are eggcilent'. I thought that was pretty good...and this student even knew to put an i next to the c to make it sound like an s!!! It was an exciting day as they snuck through the hallways and taped the eggs and letters to the teachers' doors around the school! Who knows....we may even do it again tomorrow! IF it works, you ride the wave, right?  Plus, who can argue with a bucket filler!

My kids are fired up right now because we have started working on multiplication. Every year the kids get more and more excited about it...I guess because they see older siblings working on it. I created an anchor chart showing the different strategies that could be used to find the product of the two numbers in the math problem. It worked so well that my students practices their multiplication and could even tell me which strategy they used! Some created arrays, some created pictures, and some used repeated addition. As we checked our dry erase boards they would say, 'I used repeated addition to find the product of 3 x 4 and it equals 12.' I didn't even have to coach them!!! I was so impressed with how well the anchor chart worked, that I typed a blank anchor chart up for you to use and even included the 'practice charts' that I will be using the next few days. So without further ado, here are the charts--they are simple, but they work!  ! Just click on a chart to go and download! Enjoy!!!! Hope you find this helpful! By the way, I couldn't get my camera to work today <blah to old batteries!> but I get most of my anchor chart ideas from the book Smarter Charts.  It gives you a lot of quick ideas to use and I love it!

multiplication in second grade

multiplication in 2nd grade
Hope this helps you with your anchor charts, repeated addition, and multiplication!!!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Keep Calm....and Wait for Recess!

It has been a while since I just seems to be moving too fast these days.  It seems like I spend more time filing papers and testing than I do teaching my students.  I just don't know how to fit everything in!

If you haven't been to my store lately, be sure to drop by and see what is new.  My kids are loving my new  multiple-meaning packs and I can see a real difference in vocabulary with my ESL kids.  I have such a hard time 'marketing' myself and pushing the things I make, but this pack is making a huge difference with my kids.  Here is the link.   Go check them out!

Multi-Meaning Words

ESOL Students

I also wanted to share this cute little t-shirt that I designed....I think every teacher I know feels this way right now!  Go grab this t-shirt!  You can choose from a variety of colors.  Personally, I love the coral! 

Recess Games

Can't you just see yourself in this?  
Boy....I am hating the cold, wet days we are having!

Until next time!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Writing Process---From a Student's Point of View

I recently spent a few days in a writing workshop hosted in my district that featured both poetry and non-fiction writing.  In the workshop, we discussed the merits of different writing programs such as 6 Traits and ideas that are taken from Lucy Calkins but spent a lot of time on developing mini lessons and how to make the most of the writing conferences.  Amid the discussions that we had in how we presented topics and edited with students, we never talked about the writing process as a whole.  We discussed the different steps of the writing process, but as we talked in groups or in pairs, I noticed something that was universal among us.  We all added 'extra' steps into the writing process.  Even more interesting to me was that these 'extra' steps were added at the same exact place by each teacher.  We may not have referred to them with the same vocabulary, but they were there, just the same.  I identified 12 steps needed to help students improve their writing:

Step 1:  The student brainstorms with a graphic organizer.

Step 2:  The student begins illustrating and labeling  the ‘nouns’ which will help with adding details.

Step 3:  The student begins writing a strong lead, a beginning, middle, and end, and a conclusion.

Step 4:  Conference with student. Is the student ready to convert this from 5 sentences to 5 paragraphs?

Step 5:  Check for a problem and solution or opinion. 

Step 6:  The student rereads and edits again if necessary. This can be done with a partner.

Step 7:  Conference with the student to revise the story.

Step 8:  The student rereads to make further changes and checks for clarity of the story.  The focus is on adding more details!

Step 9:  The student begins to rewrite the story to work towards a final draft.

Step 10:  The student rereads for clarity again.

Step 11:  The student adds details to the illustration to help tell the story.

Step 12:  Ready to publish!

Here are those same 12 steps in a poster format for you! I included a check off sheet, too!

I know that realizing this validated not only me as a teacher, but also me as a writer.  I had never thought about breaking it all down so that I could analyze the way I taught the writing process.  I hope that this helps you strengthen your writer's workshop like it has me.  

Here is a poster that I have used for a long time, but I lost the name of the author a LONG time ago!  If this is your graphic please let me know and I'll note you as the source.  But, it is so helpful!

It is incredible when something that you have thought about makes a connection with such strength that it changes the teacher's heart inside you.  

Here are 3 other things to remember....Maybe these can be the beginning of a few anchor charts for you.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

All About the Desert Habitat!

Desert Giant is one of my favorites to use when teaching about habitats. 

I have a unit that goes with this book.  Bet you didn't guess that!  So, here is what the cover of the unit looks like:

The unit covers these skills:
*  Knowledge of desert animals
*Saguaro (plant) life cycle
*Uses of the Saguaro Cactus
*Desert Animal Habitats
*How plants and animals rely on each other
*How plants, animals, and people benefit from each other
*an illustrated booklet for students to write about the desert
*locating the Sonoran Desert on a map of the U.S.

Here is a freebie from the unit!  Enjoy!

I also use the book Cactus Hotel when teaching about deserts as well!  The kids love it because of all of the information it has in it!  Here is the link to my unit for it!

I also wanted to share this book with you!  These are some pictures from the book Creatures of the Desert World that I blogged about a bit ago.  I use this as part of my unit also.  Aren't the illustrations beautiful?  Makes you want to walk right in! The illustrator, which I guess is National Geographic, is unreal!!

Also, for those of you that have your own laminator, I found these sheets CHEAP and they work really well.  These are the ones I have started using.  Just click on the pic to go look at them.  I use the 5 MILs when doing cards for centers and the 3 MILs when laminating a whole sheet.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Puzzle Pie Giveaway!!

Have you heard of Puzzle Pies? My friend and co-work, Heather from Hojo's Teaching Adventures worked together to create these fun little manipulatives to help kids with their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and <coming soon!!> division facts.
math center materials

How do I pull off a Puzzle Pies?

I've used these as a whole group activity to introduce them and my class is now working on them independently.  It is interesting to watch them as they turn the pie around to get a different view point!  My class is totally silent when they are working on them as a whole class...they are intense in their 'battle' to figure out how to complete the pie.  It is awesome!  For the kids that were ready to do them independently, they didn't want to be bothered by others because they wanted to 'do the puzzle' and were super engaged. I follow the Pearson and Gallagher model of Gradual Release of Responsibility very closely <you model, share it, guide it, and then move into the independent range.  Some kids can do this all in one demonstration or class time....for others, it takes a little longer and those are the kids that you pull to your table in small groups or even independently. 
The puzzles are so cool because it allows the kids to practice their basic facts and get in some much needed review work, but they have fun while doing it.  Plus, it gives you a way to move away from 'drill and kill' while having paper proof that your kids know their facts or just gave up and glued the pieces together.  If you aren't yet convinced, go grab our freebie and give it a try!
Here’s a quick little video of one of my kids working a pie.  You can even show this video to your class the first time you introduce them so that they have a little more understanding of what you expect them to do!
Here are the Puzzle Pies currently in our shop:

Puzzle Pies for RTI?

Let's say you have students that struggle with their math facts and it is delaying their understanding of other skills you need to be working on with them.  You test them and they end up in your RTI group.  You can pull these students together at your table and work on those pesky math facts as a group or in pairs.  Use manipulatatives to make them even more kinesthetic! Hint:  Start off with a smaller pie and then work up!

Puzzle Pies for Enrichment?

So how do you enrich your Little Einsteins?  Easy!  While others are working on addition or subtraction, go ahead and introduce math arrays and show them the connection between repeated addition and multiplcation and have them begin working on those pesky tables to get them ready for the next grade level.  (I'm coming at this from a second grade perspective).  Have them complete an array for each problem so that they can find the answer!
basic facts math center
Notice that the student here (she is working on an enrichment pie) is actually working on her pie without using the template.  Who said you needed a template?  It looks like she is ready to go to the next step. If they don't need the template to guide them with the gluing stage, drop that from the expectation.  And hey--it saves you from making another copy!  Just give them a piece of construction paper for gluing so that you have a paper trail.
You can even have the students create their own Puzzle Pie using this free template!

Puzzle Pies for Centers?

Once your kids are familiar with how puzzle pies work, put them into a work station, or as we call them here, 'purposeful practice'.  *I* just call them 'centers'!!  Be sure to have a place for students to put them until their dry or they will all get stuck together!  I have my students place theirs in the hallway to dry.  Now you have an easy assessment!

Puzzle Pies for Display?

math facts
Now is the fun part!  Puzzle pies make a great bulletin board display.  Other teachers or YOUR PRINCIPAL will ooooh and ahhhh over these because they are not 'the norm'.  They are great to show that you are showing higher order thinking or critical thinking skills in your classroom, don't you think?  =)  Also...if you have a tree in your room, you can punch a whole in them and add a string and you have an awesome little ornament or decoration.  Just let the kids color all of the pieces first and you can even use bottled blue to trace the lines and add some glitter for a little extra sparkle!
Here’s the FREE download we promised! You’ll get 11 pages of Puzzle Pies that you can use to introduce the concept to your students. That’s three addition puzzles, four subtracting puzzles, and four multiplication puzzles.
The giveaway is over, but thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Top 3 Wishes

I am excited to link up with Teaching in the Tongass! Thank you for hosting this linky party! P.S.  If you are reading this I am a huge fan of your work!!!

Here are my 3 most wish-listed items!

This first item is one of my favorites.  It is one of the easiest ways I know to introduce multi-meaning words.  My kids' vocabulary increases a lot from it and I have found that it really helps my struggling kids and my ESL students.

I use these <actually the second grade version> myself and have heard that some teachers even use these WITH their students and explain all of the different levels.  I need to start exploring this idea! If you teach first grade this is rubric set is a must have!

These are awesome to use in your math centers during these cold months!  There are a lot of activities that are helpful in this pack...I get a kick out of watching the kids work on these.  

I hope you have a great time shopping!!

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