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Friday, April 26, 2013

What are the chances?

This week we have been learning about probability.  I have used things like spinners, dice, and bags of items to teach this concept.  

Today, my kiddos had the chance to create their own bag of items.  To begin, I gave each student a brown lunch bag.  I had several types of foam stickers that they could choose to put "in" their bag.  Once they had their items in the bags, they had to write statements about their bags using the words certain, impossible, most likely, least likely, and equally likely.  This made them really think about what to put in the bag so that they could use each term.

Here are some pictures of the activity.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Math Journals

When I first started blog stalking about a year and a half  ago, one of the first blogs I came across was Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes.  I immediately fell in love with Janaye's math journals!  She completely inspired me and I knew that I was going to have to get my kids making these notebooks!  I began midyear last year and my kids loved them!  They felt so grown-up and really used them to go back to when they couldn't quite remember something.  

So this year, we started from day one!  My kiddos are still excited to add new information and they use them all the time for reference.  "Look how thick these things are!" is something that I am hearing a lot lately.  They are not perfect, and I have already thought of some changes.  However, I am still pretty proud of them and wanted to share.  So without further ado, here's some pictures of our awesome journals.

 Overall, I am pleased with the way they are turning out.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Back to Blogging!

I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted!  Talk about slacking!  Like you all, I have been running full blast since school started in August. 

About a week before we actually started, we found out that our school was on the "low performing" list put out by the state and we would have to go an extra HOUR each day so that the students could receive extra interventions in reading.  I was thrilled to gain the extra hour since I wanted to implement the Daily 5 in my room.  Now I would have time!  However, what I didn't realize is how tired I was going to be!  I really thought that it would be no biggie and we would breeze through.  Boy, was I wrong!  I found myself dragging by the end of the day.  Now, however, we are smooth sailing and man are the kids making tremendous progress!

Check out this super cute group of kids!  This photo was taken after they recorded their "Story Elements" rap.  I am so blessed to have the opportunity to watch these kids grow and learn.  They are truly an amazing group!

Check back soon for a post on my interactive math journals inspired by Janaye of Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Classroom Reveal

 Finally!!   I am ready to show my classroom.  You will notice that my classroom has very little wall space.  That forces me to use the blinds to hang stuff from.  My front wall is mostly taken up by my white board and the back wall is cabinets and sink.  But, I manage.  I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out.    Please know that once school starts, I will be taking down the "premade" posters and replacing them with student work.  I just don't like bare spaces and those posters give some color.  Take a look.

View from front door

Library area

View from back of room

My area-  I traded my big desk for this small computer table

Front of room

Team Caddy

Book Bins

Those rectangles have letters on them.  This will be my word wall. 

Love my globe!  It's actually lights up.

Behavior expectations/ Clip Chart

Found this bulletin board at Goodwill for $5.  Perfect for this space!  I redid Cara's posters to match my colors.
Binder cover that each student receives

Hopefully, that wasn't too many pictures for ya!  Just wanted to show every angle.  

I get to meet my kiddos on Monday and then officially start on Wednesday.  I am super excited and am anticipating an amazing year!

I linked up with Beg, Borrow, Steal for her tour of classrooms.  Head on over there and check it out.  I've also linked up with  Swimming Into Second's Show Off Your Space.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What is Original? and a Freebie

A while back, I posted a free Number of the Day on Google Docs.  I was then notified by a seller on TpT that mine was similar to hers and that might cause her a problem since she was selling hers.  I took mine off of Google Docs.  Since then, I have had MANY emails requesting the Number of the Day download. 

That got me to thinking about "original".  What does it mean anyway?  I have seen many things duplicated by teachers on TpT and TN that I know the seller did not invent.  I purchased two Matter units from two different sellers.  Both of those packets contained Root Beer Float activities.  And what about Oobleck?  How many sellers have that in a packet?  I have seen things duplicated from Lakeshore, Really Good Stuff, Carson-Dellosa, etc.   Check out the Back to School packets.  Most all of them contain some type of getting to know you bingo with the same questions.  So the only thing original in the way it's arranged.

How many times have you thought, "Oh, this would be the coolest idea to do for ___!", only to find out someone else already thought of it?  In the world of teaching, is there such a thing as "original"?  Math concepts, reading strategies, science's the SAME everywhere and the activities are the same.  Seriously, I remember putting celery in food coloring to see how the water travels up the stem when I was a kid (a long time ago).  Someone may put a little different spin on it or add a cute graphic and font, but the concepts are still the same.  Many of these "original" ideas came straight from a text book!

I'm not trying to cause anyone any problems.  I'm not trying to be negative or nasty.  I'm just saying that because my Number of the Day was "similar" to hers, does not mean I shouldn't post it.  So, I have decided to put it back up.  FREE FOR THE TAKING! There are 20 premade numbers and one blank so you can create your own.  I only used numbers that would make the telling time to the nearest 5 minutes.  I'll change up once we have covered time to the nearest minute.

Click here to download
I apologize in advance if this post offends anyone.  That was not my intent.  My goal is to help children become successful. And if I can help a teacher or two along the way, that's even better.  What are your thoughts about "original"?  I'd love to hear them!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Made It and a Freebie

Our beach vacation was wonderful.  I was kinda worried that it would rain the whole week, but the weather was just beautiful.  My family was able to relax and make some fabulous memories.  Now that we're back, it's CRUNCH TIME!  I officially go back to work on the 16th, which is just right around the corner.  I didn't get a lot accomplished this past week, but here's what  I've got.

I made some super cute labels for my kiddos' journals.  The math and science will be the same for boys and girls.  Reading and writing are a little different.  I have half sheet size labels that I printed them on so it was super easy to just peel and stick them to the notebook.  Check 'em out.

If you would like these, you can grab them for free here.

Our first science unit will be the Solar System, so I made a solar system vocabulator.  The idea came straight from the host of this linky, Tara.  You can check out here post here.  

The little vocabulary cards are FREE for the taking.  Just click here.
You can purchase the tubes at Forney Educational for only $4.
Well, I'm off to work in my classroom for a little bit.  I have to go to the dentist this afternoon for a crown.  Don't forget to link up!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Family Vacay and Made it Monday

 WooHoo!  Family vacay time.  We are packing up and heading to the beach for a few.  My girlies are super excited and I must admit, I am too!  Can't wait to hear the waves crashing and watch the sun rising up over the ocean in the mornings.  Total relaxation!

Finally went to school to start my working on my classroom.  This is what met me.
View from front door
View from back of room

I've been working really hard to get it back together, but I'm not quite ready to post pictures of the finished product yet though.

Click here to go to join the fun!
And now on to Monday Made It with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics.  One thing that I made was this "Compliment Can".  I found this cute trash can at Dollar General.  I hot glued the lid on and then created the label.  This is where the kids will put their compliments that they have for each other.  Then, at our Class Council meetings, I will read the compliments aloud and give the slips to the kids to keep.  They really get into catching their classmates doing something good.
I also put together some Shared Journals that I got from Tara, used my Cricut to cut some vinyl to put on my clipboard container and made some anchor charts for my math board.

If you are interested in the math charts, you can get them here.

Hope you have big plans for the last few days of your break!  Don't forget to link up!