Friday, November 15, 2013

Five for Friday!

Quickly checking in for the weekly Five for Friday, seems to be the only day I am committed to blogging :)  Here it is!

First, I am very excited to be offering my Thanksgiving Math Pack for FREE, yes, I said FREE in my TPT Shop.  The only thing that I ask if you download it, is please rate me.  I would love to know how I am doing and if my products are useful.  You can check it out HERE.  The Literacy Pack is available for $3.00 too.

My kids are loving our realistic fiction unit.  Since this is only year 2 of fully implementing Lucy Caulkins' Writers' Workshop, I had not taught Realistic Fiction before.  I had a lot of fun creating my 2 week unit for this.  The kids created characters and plots this week.  Most of them began writing.  I can't wait to see how they turn out.  The Unit is also available in my TPT store.

My kids rocked the fractions test today!  I am so glad because I feel like this is SUCH a hard concept to teach.  Check out the centers I used at my Fraction Post.

This Bingo Board is really helping with homework completion.  It's simple.  Whenever the child does all their homework (reading and word study), they get to put their name on the Bingo Board.  Then, I simply pull a number on Friday for a winner.  They like it, I am hoping the Novelty doesn't wear off.

This is our re-telling road!  The kids love when I pull it out.  Right now, they walk down with a buddy so they can retell the whole thing.  One day, we will shift to walking down alone.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five for Friday!

What a quick week!  Here's a quick recap to link up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!  Here we go:
The most exciting thing that happened is that we got beautiful hardwood floors installed!  We bought the wood in August with the intentions of doing it ourselves, which we totally would have had we been able to nail it!  Since it was a concrete base, we had to glue it and that made us really nervous so we spent the money (well worth it!) to have the floors done in a day!  I LOVE them!!!  Now we just need area rugs :)  We have also noticed that it is actually warmer with the floors than the carpets, who knew?!


It was parent/teacher conference week!  We had Monday and Tuesday to meet with parents/get report cards done/work in our classrooms/do a million other things (you know how it is!)  I always like meeting with parents, even for just a brief time because it reinforces the kids are learning and still excited about school.  The other good thing about parent conferences is report cards are done :)

We did a great Veterans' Day activity this week too.  I found a super cute craft on pinterest (but just tried to locate the source and it just links to a jpg so if its yours, THANK YOU!  We wrote to soldiers and I am sending out the package this weekend.  I thought it was a meaningful way to learn about the Day as well as cheer up our troops.  To any service members who are reading this, Thank You!

I LOVE to travel.  It helps that my husband is a teacher and also loves to travel so we get to spend or summers on the road.  Anyway, I love bringing this into my classroom so every Friday is "Travel Friday."  Today we went to Hungary, which is the country my husband taught in for a year as an international teacher.  My kids get SO excited to "fly" to a new country every week.  We fly in our airplanes, learn the language, see the sights, and do different activities.  It is so fun.  If I can get my act together, I hope to share more about it on the blog :)  I'll keep you posted!  Next week we are off to Peru!

A few things to be excited for this week/next week!  First, tonight my husband and I are celebrating our first anniversary (a week early!).  We are spending the night in the city (DC) to see John Oliver.  I am so excited.  I wish he would hurry up and get home.  I am also excited because this magical picture showed up in the forecast for Wednesday: 

Apparently we may be in for a snowstorm!!  Last year if this had happened I would have had a minor meltdown because I wanted my wedding outside and snow was not an option... This year, I say BRING IT ON!

Enjoy your weekend :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fraction Action

I was browsing bloglovin and saw a couple posts about Workshop Wednesday.  I am excited to link up with Ideas By Jivey for the first time... and it worked so well because I just finished my Fractions unit, which is this week's theme :)

The county switched our curriculum around this year and we are knee deep in fractions right now!  I am always so intimidated by fractions before I start... so many big words, numerators, denominators, fractions of a whole, fractions of a set... lots to teach!  However, today, as I met with my kids during week two of fractions I noticed they have it!  They picked it up pretty quickly and I am hoping its because we've been busy bees playing games in my new fraction unit!

My Fractions Unit is three weeks.  We started with a pre-assessment.  In week one, we focused solely on fractions of a whole.  Here are a few screenshots from week one games:

In Week Two, we are moving onto fractions of a set.  They are understanding the link between fractions of a whole and fractions of a set.  Many of the games are the same for week two, but fractions of a set.  Here are some other ones:

In week three, we put it all together with a mixture of activities!  My favorite activity is Mystery Fractions.  Here, they get a fraction piece and they need to trace it in the circle to see how many times they can trace it to figure out the fraction.  It's fun for problem solving.

These games have worked out really well in my class.  You can purchase them in my TPT Store.  If you have a promethean board, buy this pack because in addition to the games, you have a daily mini lesson as well as daily number talks.  If you don't have a promethean board, you can buy the PDF version and put the games in your centers.

A post-assessment is included in both sets!


Friday, November 1, 2013


I always have done the standard read-aloud and asked follow up questions.  Most kids could do it independently after a few months of these questions, but not every kid got it.  This year, I accidentally stumbled across something that worked.  I put hand motions with everything for comprehension.  We review them all the time, and we took reminder pictures of the actions to help the kids remember.  I see them using this all the time without even prompting!  I thought I'd share in case in can help anyone with group comprehension skills:

In the beginning, in the middle, in the end (three fingers!)

 Problem and Solution

 Characters and Setting


Hope you found this helpful!  I love it :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Five for Fraturday!

Ah!  Another week where I didn't get to post until Saturday!  Maybe next week will be my week to come back to the blogging world more regularly :)  Here I am though to link up to Doodle Bugs Five for Friday!
My old teammate from my old school sent me this picture this morning... made my week!  I had this little one 3 years ago and left the school 2 years ago and I still made it as her hero :)  This is why we teach :)

My kids are doing an awesome job with our start of our small moments unit!  They really are latching on to the idea of finding a tiny moment and then stretching it out!  This is the first year the kids haven't struggled with the concept... maybe because everyday I look like a goober emphasizing the ideas of STRETCHING it out :)  I will try to take some pictures of the kids progress next week so you can see how awesome they are at writing already :)

We also started our geometry unit this week.  The kids only have to know what a rectangle, circle, square and triangle are... and their attributes.  They already learned this in kindergarten so we have been powering through to trapezoids, hexagons and pentagons (which have provided some of them a bit of a challenge).  We also started talking about 3-D shapes.  I made this game for next week that I think is really cute :)

 It will be available in my TPT store by the end of the day :)
We had a full moon this week, which explains my kids behavior on Thursday.  I couldn't understand how they had been so perfect on Wednesday during math centers and Thursday it looked like we had never done math centers before!  Then I noticed the full moon and ahhh, it clicked.  Does any one else feel the curse of the full moon in their classroom?  Fortunately, by Friday they were back to their perfect little selves :)  I love my class this year!

Speaking of my class, I have a couple changes this week.  One of my little ones is moving :(  I am so sad about this because he is such a hard worker and I was really looking forward to seeing his growth this year!  Hopefully he will continue to achieve in his new school.  I also got a new student who doesn't speak any English.  I have had my ELL students before, but never one with no English.  I know that at this age, he will pick it up quickly and I have already seen this... any tips of the trade for helping him out as much as I can?

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Small Moments Writing Unit

I love fall Sundays... I love sitting and watching football and creating things for my classroom.  Today I have finished my small moments unit!  Yes!  Writers' Workshop is planned for 3 weeks!!

My kids have really settled nicely into the Writers' Workshop routine this year.  They actually love this writing time and are trying their best during the whole 45 minute block.  I can't wait to start Small Moments with them.  I find small moments a bit challenging because the kids have a hard time focusing on ONE small moment, but we will work hard on it!  Below are some screen shots of my small moments unit, which is now available in my TPT store for the Promethean Board.  

Everyday I have a quick mini lesson (which are broken down by day with teacher notes in the flipchart).  My mini lessons focus on adding details and how to write a good story.  Then my students write for about 30 minutes before we share at the end of the block.

How do you run writers' workshop?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five for Friday 10/11

Things are finally getting into a routine at school so hopefully I will have more time to blog, but for now here is my five for Friday!  I love linking up to Doodle Bugs for their weekly linky party!  It has been quite a week!
First, the past two weeks haven't been the easiest.  My grandmother, Nanny, fell last Tuesday and we have been on hospital watch since then, knowing that she wouldn't recover :(  She passed away to join her husband and daughter last Saturday night.  This week we were able to celebrate her life surrounded by friends and families.  I wanted to share this photo of her at my wedding last year.  How lucky I was to have her at our wedding, but I wish she had just smiled at the camera!  We tried so many times and she kept turning around to talk :)  She will truly be missed.
I am loving math this year... as I feel like I have mentioned before.  Below are a few pictures of my kiddos at math centers:
At this center, the are playing "guess the number"  This was a great activity to help them describe the numbers!

This activity had them cut out different formats of numbers and decide if they were odd an even.  I had a cheat sheet for them to refer to, but they did a great job!

Here is the game Abracadabra!  They need to roll two dice and add them together.  They then remove a marker off their board that is in the column of that sum.  The first person to make their board disappear wins!

This is a fun fall activity.  They simply roll the dice, add them together and the color in the fall item.

At the teacher table this week, we worked on tens and ones.  We made the numbers using cubes and then compared them.

They loved counting by fives by stacking the cups in order.  They liked to see how fast they could do it.

All of these math centers, plus two more weeks of centers are available in my TPT store.  It is my Number Sense Unit.

I took today off to recover from the week's events and happened to have time to finally put my sight word units up on TPT.  I have been using them in my classroom and they have been ready, but I hadn't finalized them for sharing.  You can check out my whole sight word unit at my store, but you can also see there are 18 smaller units.
Here are some screen shots of what you would be getting:

It's on sale for the weekend!  Head over and get it!  My math unit is also for sale!
Who watches Homeland?  That is the highlight of my week right now!  I love that show!  We  also just found Brooklyn nine-nine with Andy Samburg.  If you need a good laugh, check it out :)
Its been raining in Virginia for three days now... and it looks like it will go on for the rest of the weekend.  I do love rainy days, its relaxing and soothing I think.  Hopefully the sun will come out soon though!  Until then, I plan on enjoying the coziness of a rainy day!

Have a great Columbus Day weekend!