Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene hit Greenville NC full force.  It is so sad!  Needless to say, we made it to school last Thursday and Friday, and haven't been back.  We have had teacher workdays, but unfortunately, many of the schools in Pitt County, my school included, do not have power.  I am hoping that we will be able to get back to school soon, but it is not looking good.  I feel terrible for my sweet babies who have not had power for 4 days now.   I didn't have power for 2 days, and I feel like I am still cleaning and restocking the fridge.  I have also spent the past 3 days cleaning my parents yard.  YIKES-they had 8 trees down in their yard alone.  I have posted some pictures of the damage in Greenville.  The pictures were taken by my friend Nic Boerio.  The website, http://www.justsomefire.com/, has a link to his and his friend's blog...check it out!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Here We Go!!

It's Here!!!!  I feel like the past week has been a blur leading up to open house tonight!  I have been rigorously working to get my room kid-ready, and I am stoked to share my pictures!! 

This is the bulletin board that is on the 3-5 hallway.  My husband was sweet enough to draw the bushel of apples for me!

The view of my classroom from the door!

My classroom library-I have labeled my book boxes using the labels from Beth Newingham's website.

Hat's Off to Good Books Bulletin Board!  The kids will write book recommendations for each other using the Cat in the Hat Templates that are shown on the board.

Center Rotation Chart!  I go into more detail about how this works on my literacy centers page.

My daily schedule and objectives headers.  I write daily objectives for each subject under the headers.

We are Bucket Fillers!  This will be the place where the students can write kind notes to each other after we read the book, "How full is your Bucket?"

Close up of the Bucket Fillers Sign!

This is my listening center.  The cutesy tablecloth came from Target.

This is my teacher desk/guided reading table.  I have a ton of storage at the back of the room, so I do not need a desk.  Instead, I keep things I need at hand in the black desk organizer, or in drawers at the back of the room.

This was the open house gift that I gave to my kids.  I got the printable from What the Teacher Wants.  This was a huge hit!  Most of the kids were eating cereal before they got out of the room!

This is what my pods look like in my classroom.  The empty purple bins will soon be stocked with back to school goodies!!
This is my math rotation board for this year.  Each group will move through two rotations daily while I work with guided math groups.  I stuck the names to the board with velcro so that I could change the groups as needed.  I got the idea for this chart from Clutter Free Classroom.  She has a fabulous blog!!
These are my math tubs.  They have pictures on the outside that match the pictures on my math rotation board to help the kids determine which tub to grab!

This is a view of my classroom from the back of the room.  The pocket chart to the right of the SmartBoard is used as a word wall.

So, that's that!  I hope you enjoyed all of my pics!  Ready or not, the first day of school is Thursday!!  Here we Go!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Math Tubs and Rotation

Over the summer, I have been bouncing around ideas about math instruction for next year.  I went to a math foundations workshop and learned a lot about why math instruction is important, and how to teach math.  One of the key ideas that they pushed at the workshop was that differentiation is extremely important.  While I attempted to do small groups last year for math, I often ran out of time, or was out of energy by the end of the math block. 

As a solution, this year I am going to try Math Tubs. After an hour of math instruction, guided practice, and independent practice, the students will have 30 minutes of math tubs.  They will use a rotation chart to determine which tubs they will be using during math tubs time.  Also, this will give me 30 minutes to pull small groups or individuals for additional math help.

I know that this is going to make my math block a little long-1 1/2 hours....but, I think it will be totally worth it to develop the problem solving skills that math enforces.

I have uploaded the rotation labels that I am going to be using in my classroom for you all to download.  I am totally inspired by the ideas that I saw on Clutter Free Classroom's Blog.  I love her math workshop rotation board, and that is how I visualize my rotation charts working.  Enjoy the Free Download!

Math Tubs Rotation Posters

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm having a SALE!!

I CANNOT BELIEVE IT IS AUGUST.  ALREADY.  I mean, I really feel like I am just getting into the whole swing of summer.  I have finally acclimated myself to RELAX, and now it is time to wind back up!!  So, in the spirit of Back to School time, I have having a 15% sale off everything on my Teachers Pay Teachers page....now, there are only currently 3 items there, but, those safari centers are the bomb dot com, and now they are less than $4!!  Practically a steal!!  The sale runs today through Friday, so go check it out and pick up some goodies!!

Click here to go to the Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale!!

Other great places for sales:

The LOFT-I literally tried on a pair of pants for $2.88 yesterday!
Old Navy
New York and Company
Victoria's Secret

Catch you later!!!

Great Back to School Giveaway!!

So, I am LOVING everything that I see at the Clutter Free Classroom Blog.  There are so many ideas for classroom organization and theming, that is it literally overwhelming.  I. Love. It.  So, imagine my excitement to see a new giveaway on their blog with a few of my favorite books, and some handy back to school downloads!!


Go check it out!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Spellin' like a felon!

Ok, so after battling-literally battling-with Google Docs, I have it uploaded.  Finally, after weeks of work, I have finished my spelling plan for the 2011-2012 school year.  It may seem like no big deal to some, but as a second year teacher, I struggled with spelling instruction-fitting it in my schedule, teaching explicitly and in a focused way, etc.....Let's just say...it is so stinkin' hard to fit spelling in!

That being said, I decided to come up with a very direct way to teach spelling.  I took ideas from various sources, mostly using the ideas from Beth Newingham.  She is wonderful!  Here's what I came up with:

Monday:  30 minutes of spelling instruction based on the spelling rule for the week.

Tuesday-Thursday:  30 minutes of spelling practice based on the spelling rule of the week. The activities on these days can vary depending on the needs of the group.

Friday:  20 minutes of spelling assessment.  This will include the spelling tests for the current week and spelling pretests for the following week. Pretests are given, and if students make a 90% or better on the pretest, they will receive a challenge list for the next week.

The google doc that I have attached is a list of all of the spelling lists needed for the ENTIRE YEAR!!  That is all of pre/posttests, the regular study words, and the challenge words!  I am extremely excited about finishing this list, and I hope you enjoy it and use it in your classrooms!   I consider this to be an extremely useful FREEBIE!!

Spelling Instruction 2011-2012

And below is the much cuter version I published on Scribd!!

Word Work 2011-2012