Sunday, January 29, 2017

Five for Friday

Thank you, Kacey for another week of great stuff!

     Information overload, are the two words that sum up my week.  Monday started with an in-service day, on Wednesday I attended a fantastic writing workshop, and on Thursday a group of teachers and administration worked with a scheduling consultant to develop a building schedule.  Lots to take in and process.

     Our student teacher started this week.  We are glad that she will be with us throughout the entire semester.  Friends, if you've had a student teacher you know how much talking goes into the first days.  When I wasn't involved in information overload our student teacher and I were in conversations.

     I was able to put another product in my TpT store - Read Aloud - Inventors.  February 11 is the national observance day for Inventors Day.  This product connects poetry to your daily classroom read aloud.  
     Visit my TpT store to grab your copy for half price!

     Time out for a project!  Have you ever felt like your students needed a change of pace?  That was where I was at on Friday.  After a sub for two days and the introduction of student teacher, everyone just needed a little change.  A quick Pinterest search turned up these cute little guys.  Since we live in northeastern Wisconsin, snowmen will be around for a while.  Thank you Pinterest for the idea.
     Here's to another full week!  Benchmarking my students and a couple of meetings are already on my schedule.

     Have a great week!  I hope you stop in again for another look into my classroom.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Welcome, Friends!

     Hope your week is going well.  It's been crazy for me in-service day, welcome a student teacher, workshop day, and work in district with administration day.  I think Friday will be the only regular day in my schedule!

     Today brings a thrifty freebie for you!!!

     My kiddos have really been subtracting up a storm lately!  If you have taught two- and three-digit subtraction with regrouping to your students you know some students just get it and others need LOTS of practice and guidance.  Once they master that skill then the dreaded zero is added into the mix!  Zero can bring super confident students to a screeching halt.

     Like so many of you I think scoot activities are fantastic in the classroom.  Valentine Scoot has a zero in every problem.  By the time the students are finished they will be rocking subtraction across zero with confidence!  When we do scoot activities in my classroom, the students wander wherever they see an open card.  I do not make them follow in order.  I've found that this allows the quicker students the freedom to search for all the cards and not try to rush a slower student ahead of them.

     While the students are working, our classroom paraprofessional and I circulate around with our answer key and bright colored marker.  We frequently stop students to check their work and immediately mark each problem that is correct.  Students having problems are retaught and they continue working.  

     Sometimes I tell the students to be sure to check with a teacher when they have three problems completed.  This will  also alert me to anyone having problems.  If problems are noticed, I can quickly pull a student or two aside and work with them.

     Have a great Friday!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Happy Thursday!

     January is resolution time for many, I'm no exception.  Since second semester is fast approaching I've resolved to get ready for the end of the year.  What!!!  

     This semester I've decided to attempt to get rid of 100 things by the end of the year.  I've got to tell you that my classroom is pretty organized and neat.  And I've seen many of your neat and organized classrooms when you post your pictures.

     So what can I get rid of in my classroom and cabinets?  My plan is to start with my most organized space.  I'll really look at all the items in that area and get rid of things I'm not using.  For example, I think that my guided reading area is pretty organized.  It has to have everything at arms length and easily accessible.  Just a quick look turned up several books that needed to be added to my classroom library.  Now I didn't get rid of them but when I was putting the books away I found three books that no one will read because they are somewhat old.  I'm sure no one has selected the books in a couple of years.

     That's three items, only 97 more!  I'll keep you posted on my progress.

     The Fly Lady is a great resource for organization and staying on top of keeping things neat and tidy.  Stop by her site and visit a little while, you'll be glad you did.

Tomorrow's Friday and you know what comes after Friday!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Five for Friday - On Saturday

Thanks, Doodle Bugs for hosting!

     Wild weather!  Many schools in our area have had cancellations and delays this week.  Our school was fortunate to have an early release and a late start.  Two short days - woohoo!!!  More weather is forecast for next week, we'll see what happens.

     Back into the groove.  Finally!  Does anyone else suffer from the ailment "Repeating Expectations"?  To keep a positive attitude I try (and I know you do too) to gently remind students of the expectations/rules that were in place before Christmas vacation.  You'd think the kiddos would just get sick of hearing the same words.  Finally, on Friday I told my class their biggest problem is not keeping quiet.  I moved a few students and the class was really quiet during one particular unstructured time.  I was just about to praise the kiddos with a brownie point and the loudest boy in the class says, "Wow, it's really quiet in here."  I went on to praise the class and quietly talk to the loud boy reminding him that he made the most noise.

     Two-digit subtraction began last week.   Those of you that teach that skill understand how hard it is for the little ones to remember all the steps.  This week I am happy to say about 80% of my math class has the concept and if assessed would do well.
     We have done TONS of practice.  We have danced, we have patted ourselves on the back, we have even bounced around the room to celebrate "getting it".  I'm hopeful the last 20% will grab the two-digit subtraction concept this week.
     But wait... then we move on to subtracting across zeroes!!!

     Sentence work this week - the kids worked on identifying each kind of sentence by it's proper name.  A fun time was had by all when special/fancy post-it notes were used to record the different kinds of sentences.
     Everyone was excited when they received an email from Mrs. Brown that contained several moon related activities links.  The activities were a perfect reinforcement for skills we worked on in science class.  

Coming next week - Inventor's Day Read Aloud unit.  
Visit next week for more information.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Hey Friends!

Today I'm sharing a freebie with you.  I know you all love freebies!  This week my students worked on idioms.  Second grade is the perfect grade for this skill.  The kiddos develop a sense of humor and really get the punch line of a good joke.

To grab this idiom freebie click on the link to download the activity from my TpT store.

Thanks so much for stopping by each Thursday!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Thrifty Thursday Is Back!

Hello, Friends!

     Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style is back!  I know you all understand how busy December can be.

     What a week - it is a challenge to get back into the 'school day' sleep schedule (not that I stayed up that late every night), reminding the kiddos about the classroom expectations, and especially the long stretch without a break.

     This week I'm showing you a thrifty project that I was able to complete during Christmas vacation.  I've been wanting to update a few things in my kitchen for awhile.  As I searched the stores for the just right window treatments nothing popped out and shouted, "Take me home!"

     So, that led me to making my own.  I probably spent more time searching Pinterest for inspiration than it took to actually make the window treatments.  Anyone else ever have that happen?

     Here is what I came up with.  I decided how long I wanted the valance and added several inches to make the tucks.  I sewed my valances but I saw many no sew window treatments.  The major time consumer was ironing all the seams to prep for sewing.  This is a step I wouldn't skip.

     Finally, hubs mounted the valance about eight inches above the window trim.  I like the look of the taller window. Total cost for three windows - $13.00 and about two hours of my time.  I know not all Walmart stores carry fabric, we are fortunate to have fabric at our local store.

     I would encourage you to take a little time and update the look of a window or two in your house!  You'll be as pleased as I am!