Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Students Are 100 Days Smarter

Hello, Friends!

Today marked our 100th day of school. I snapped this picture Monday and shared it on my Instagram page yesterday. 

80 days left and so much left to teach.  This is the time of year I start to stress the most.  Testing is around the corner and another year is almost over.  But, that means that summer is getting close. I am ready for that! ;-)

So, here is how our day went today.  
My instructional coach had her mom make some of us some t-shirts.  I LOVED my shirt and couldn't wait to wear it today.  It says my students are 100 days smarter.  They sure are! :-)

My students thought my homemade streamers was the coolest thing ever.  They loved walking through this all day.  

Shhhh...don't tell my students but we had fun and reviewed our math skills today.  We used my 100th day packet and worked on place value, addition, and probability.  Flipping heads and tails was the post popular activity. 

Our favorite part of the day was writing.  I choose to have them write about what they will do when they are 100.  Their writing was HILARIOUS.  I loved that so many of my boys said they would play golf.  I had one who wrote that he would have restaurants all over the universe.  One of my smarties said that he would go eat at McDonald's every day and eat all of their cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets.  Such creative answers! 

I took their pictures this morning and while they were playing Heads Up 7 Up (the rainy and cold weather needs to go away) I made them into "old people" using the Aging Booth app.  It was well worth the 99 cents.  Here a few of my favorites.  They all turned out so cute!

I was productive after school and put them all up in the hallway.  Everyone that walked by made a comment on how cute they were.  

Last,  my munchkins begged for me to turn into an "old person" too.  So, I did.  I decided that I need to start saving my money now.  I see a need for botox in my future.  By this picture, it looks like I may not age very well.  Yikes.  They loved it though!

I hope that y'all had a wonderful day!

Lots of love,

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop: Technology in the Classroom

Hello, Friends!

Technology is everywhere!  Each grade level at my school just received 5 ipads to share.  I am ecstatic, and so are my students.  For the last two years, my students have been using my iPad and my iPhone for centers.  I had to start somewhere and I knew that I needed to incorporate technology when I could.  

If you are lucky enough to be a 1:1 iPad classroom, I am jealous. ;-)  I hope to be one soon.  If you only have access to one iPad, you still should check out these websites/apps below.

I wanted to share with y'all today 5 ways that I use technology in my classroom.  

Number 1: Class Dojo
If you haven't heard about this FREE website, go check it out now.  This is the classroom motivator in my room.  All you have to do is sign up, add your students, and customize your behaviors.  You can give points for correct and incorrect behavior. What I love about this website is the sounds that it  makes when you give or take away points.  The sound is an automatic reminder for my students to keep working and stay focused.  I also love that you can print out parent reports each week for parents to see their child's behavior.  My students also LOVE the little monsters. 

Number 2: iMovie
Right now, we are currently working on making a "movie" to teach the class about severe weather.  Below is a clip that some of my students did last year to share why you should live in Greenville.  From this video, I learned what my students know about communities.  More specifically, their community.  You can make an iMovie for about ANYTHING.  Students get to import pictures (that I've already saved on the camera roll for them), talk about their pictures (hello Common Core), and add music.  Student engagement...CHECK!  

Number 3: Evernote
I just recently learned about Evernote at one of our faculty meetings.  This has changed the way that I take anecdotal notes in my classroom.  This is a free app.  I have a post it note for each student in my class.  As they are reading, doing math, or doing something that I need to make a note of, I click on their post it note and type away.  I also have added in pictures of different things that we are doing.  Super easy and such an easy way to show parents what is going on with their child academically and behaviorally in the classroom.

Number 4: QR Codes
I could go on an on about QR codes.  We use QR codes all the time in my room.  Anytime my students see that I have put QR codes in their math or literacy centers, it is always a hit.  They are super easy to make.  Student engagement will be amazing once they scan they little cards with a QR reader.

Number 5: Popplet
Last, is another free app that I just recently found out about.  Popplet is so neat because students make their own graphic organizers.  The first time I used them, my students created a graphic organizer to show me what they learned about the person from their book.  They loved creating the little circles and typing away.  You can also add pictures to your camera roll for them to import.  Below is a graphic organizer that one of my groups created to show me what they learned about winter.  

I hope that you can use these websites or apps in your classroom.  Your students will love them and be engaged the whole time.  Student engagement makes for one happy teacher.  

If you are looking for more bright ideas, check out the sweet Melissa from Common Core and So Much More.  She has a terrific blog post about tips for new teachers here.

Lots of love,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Game Plan for the Week

Happy Saturday, Friends!

I decided to get my plans all done today since the Super Bowl is tomorrow.  If you've been reading my blog, you know I am a HUGE football fan.  I'm puling for Peyton Manning and his Broncos tomorrow.

Since I actually have them finished, I was able to have time to create some visual plans for you. I'm usually still doing lesson plans on Sunday at 9:00, so I very rarely have time to share my week with you.  Yay for being productive.  Maybe I can keep this up! ;-)

So, here is the game plan for the week.

In reading, we are still plowing through fables.  We will be reading That's Not Fair Hare, Andy and the Lion, The Rabbit and the Turtle, The Blind Men and the Elephant, and Town Mouse and Country Mouse.  I found two ADORABLE packets below that I have been using throughout this unit for guided reading groups and shared reading.

In math, we are finishing up our graphing unit.  This is one of my FaVoRiTe units to teach because my students just seem to get it every year.  They also love rolling and graphing and creating their own graphs.  I'm using my winter roll and graph packet and my winter accessories roll and graph packet.  The winter accessories roll and graph packet is a freebie on my Facebook page. I also have 2 review centers during my math center block.  We finished up my winter centers last week, so now I will be using Amy Lemon's this week.  

In science, we are finishing up our weather unit.  We are still working on severe weather.  I found Hope King's weather packet last week and it is adorable.  I wish I would have seen this earlier.  It is absolutely amazing and exactly what I needed to teach my weather unit. 
In writing, we are writing fictional stories.  These are so cute.  I cannot wait to share some of them with you.  We read Arnie the Doughnut (highly recommend...it's too cute) and they chose an object from a bag to personify.  

Our WORD chunk this week is the ong/ung sounds.  

AND....Tuesday is our 100th day of school.  I will be using these two packets.  So hard to believe it has already been 100 days.  Wow!
What are you teaching this week?  

Lots of love,