Friday, October 31, 2014

Five for Friday: Oct. 31 Linky Party

Phew! I made it through this llllloooonnnnggggg week. We had conferences for two nights, book fair and Halloween parties. I am ready for the weekend and thrilled it is Friday!!! Here is my week in pictures!

I have been working on this pack and hope to have it finished this weekend. It has a little bit of everything in learning about turkeys. You will find some vocabulary, crack the codes, sentence structures, and LOTS of writing activities related to four turkey books that I adore. There is something for everyone =)

I had to take a picture of the stack of materials that I use on conference night. This is only for six kids! I type up a summary of each child, attach it to some papers that discuss high frequency words and reading comprehension, portfolios, math journals, and interactive poetry notebooks. Lots of info gone over during this 20 minute meeting!

My kids loved this number activity with monsters. It reviews numbers 1-10. I gave each child two cards and they had to find the corresponding monster. There were simple candy corns, ten frames, tallies, addition, and subtraction. We reviewed each number when we completed them all!

It makes my heart swell when I finally get the kids all situated in their stations and I see them actively engaged while learning. I had their reading programs set up on computers, a bugs and bubbles math activity on ipads, listening station with a Halloween story, one literacy and one math activity. They love doing stations and finally have mastered maneuvering to each one without any difficulty. Yeah! I love this time of year! It also a great opportunity to be giving the kids some more responsibilities. In my job assignments, I have one friend be the calendar helper. It lets me assess many common core for their assessments when they 'teach' the class =)

My 'Wall of Fame' is starting to grow with beautiful papers from writing and math. It is really giving the kids an incentive to do their best work to make it to the wall. Yeah!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween weekend. It is supposed to be cold and rainy in Cleveland so I am hoping it holds off until Trick-or-Treating is done!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five for Friday: October 24th

We made observations of our pumpkin over the course of the week after carving him last Thursday. It resembled the cover of our "Pumpkin Jack" book. I love this story as it brings the life cycle of a pumpkin into a full circle.  Next, we will put our own Jack into the school garden and watch as he decomposes over the winter. I love these hands on learning experiences!

So, my kiddos really have had a hard time keeping it together during our Read to Self time. Lots of distractions and talking with one another when they should be looking through their books. I need this time to meet with individual kiddos as well as conduct my small groups. I have quickly realized that I needed to tweak this area of my instruction. I made an activity for them to use with any book they would pick out of our library. In a word bank, I listed some of the high frequency words we have been working on. They must find a word in their story, write the word, and then the sentence it is in. I have to could have heard a pin drop in the room. Woohoo!

These next three weeks are going to be very busy as we have just finished report cards and will be preparing for three conference nights. I really enjoy meeting the parents and hearing about the kids from their standpoints. However, the days are so loooonnnggg.

I try to give each parent a little summary that they can take home of our meeting. Even though report cards just went home, this little token is a quick assessment key for them to keep in helping their child succeed in areas they find challenging. the mix of the school chaos, we are also getting ready for Halloween in our house. You know the frenzy the kids go through in deciding possible costumes?! We happen to be going through Kohl's and my son saw this sweatshirt with matching socks. We thought the Adidas pants brought the costume all together as the side stripes look like bones too. He was psyched to find this and I was relieved =) LOL!

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five for Friday: October 17th

I made this activity sheet to guide our pumpkin experiment. We hit many common core goals with this lesson in science and math. Observations, estimations, and measurement helped us to compare three different pumpkin sizes. I also brought in the properties of fire by lighting a candle inside the pumpkin. We discussed the properties that contribute to a flame...oxygen and fuel (wax in candle). We then used water and closing the top of the pumpkin to cut the oxygen in extinguishing the flame. Lots of learning going on in our room today!

We learned quite a bit about bats this week and 'echolocation'. The kids made an interactive poetry journal and we summed up our lesson with our bats made of our hands. As a class, we listed all of our facts and then chose which ones to put on our bat.

I'm in love with interactive notebooks this year! I have one for poetry and then another for math. We do the poetry in the morning and then save the math for the afternoon which has worked out great for us. The kids are getting more refined in their details and writing equations which is the benefit of keeping them in a journal. You can really see the progression from month to month. It will be a great keepsake for the kiddos at the end of the year too.

I have tried to do different things with learning our high frequency words to keep the kids engaged. This seemed to be a fan favorite. I used pipe cleaners to help string letters in making our words. It took a lot of concentration and it was great for our fine motor skills!

We have been busy here between two boys in soccer and trying to build a house. It is finally up but now we have to decide on colors and layouts and I'm totally not a visual person. Eeek!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday: October 10th Linky Party!

Happy Friday everyone! Here is my week in pictures......

We made our first glyphs this week and the kids did great! We worked very SLOWLY so that they could understand what we were doing but they got the hang of it....or so I thought. Before they went home, I reminded them to tell their parents that they learned about glyphs. Then one little friend asked another, 'What is a glyph again?' and the friend replied, 'Ya know, it's a pumpkin!'. Oh boy, back to the drawing board.
I have fallen in love with our interactive journals this year. It is the first time that I have done them and I am tickled with the excitement in the kids! I have noticed that many are struggling with ending sounds so this will need to be reviewed and reviewed again. 

My teaching partner walked into my room while I was planning. She said that it looked a little crazy. I have to admit that it may to others but I have a system that works for me. I always like everything laid out accordingly for the week in case I would need to miss a day of school. My husband travels for work and with three boys anything can happen!LOL! I am known for being a bit OCD and a little ADHD. My jazzercise friends laugh that when I get to our 530 a.m. class in the morning, I have already ran 5 miles too. It is one of my jazzer friends that posted the picture above onto my facebook page =)


When we write, I made word webs to help the kids generate ideas for their writing. They illustrate a picture in each circle while writing the words on the lines for the first day. We then use these to assist us in our writing theme for the week. I couldn't resist sharing the paper from a lil friend in my room on day two of our tools and verbs week.  In their writing assignment, they had to use a verb to tell how they use their tool. My little friend wrote this......
Although his words were not spelled correctly, he was able to match the verb and tool in the correct places. He was actually referring to shooting a bow =) I love invented spelling as it always puts a smile on my face. 

This was the first week I got the stamps and pads out and they will be gone for a little while. I gave strict rules in the ways to use them appropriately. I should've taken a picture of the table after the station was completed as it was decorated too =)

Have a great weekend!