Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Water Cycle

I just can't say enough how much I love my class this year! I love being able to joke with them. This is by far the nicest, most well behaved class I have had in my 6 years of teaching.

Anyway...  :)

I wanted to share our quick water cycle video with you guys. 

Assignment: work with your group to explain the water cycle. They could act it out, draw, or give some sort of presentation.

I am so sad that I messed up the last group's video! They chose to draw the parts of the water cycle and one of the girls narrated it. I am hoping we can rerecord this week. I accidentally just took a picture instead of a video. Ugh!

Other things we are loving:

Edmodo & blogging!

I am looking forward to getting our iPads. I know we will really take off with both of those when we have technology more readily available.

Have a great week!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Daily 4 - Read to Someone

Ok guys, if you haven't read The Daily 5 by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser, you need to ASAP!

I am loving the Daily 5, well, Daily 4 in my classroom.

I am astonished at how energized my kids are to read! I have presented the stamina part of reading as a challenge and they are eating it up. We are up to 18 minutes of FOCUSED reading! I mean, everyone is actually reading for those minutes. 

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Our accomplishments so far:
Read to Self - 18 minutes
Work on Writing - 12 minutes
Read to Someone - 10 minutes

My kids want to challenge themselves. They moan when the buzzer goes off signaling the end of reading or writing time! I could literally do cartwheels down the hall.

(Ok, I won't be doing that because I would hurt myself, but I am that excited!)

Take a look at our Read to Someone that we started today.

We went over our i-Chart and I explained EEKK!

Then I showed them how to check for understanding by retelling their partner what they heard them read at the end of the paragraph/page.

I also added something else. It was the listeners job to watch the words and point at any word their partner misread. They just pointed to the word and let their partner try to get it. I told the listener to count to 3 in their heads and then ask if their partner needed help.

Guys, they did great! My heart was bursting as I watched them patiently point out words and then help their partner sound it out! It was amazing.

This peer tutoring time is going to really help my students, I just know it!

We have taken our Checkpoints & screeners, so I will start pulling small groups next week. I am fairly confident that this group will be able to focus on their reading and writing even when I am busy with a group.

Awesome. Class.
Best. Students. Ever.

Coming up...

Setting up student's blogs!
Our first Educreations videos!

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tellagami Project

I am happy to share with you the Tellagami Project!

Paul Hamilton put this together and I think it turned out great.


Here is another video from Paul Hamilton that is insightful.

About Paul:
Creator of the Science AR App, the critically acclaimed educational app Formative Feedback for Learning and the revolutionary iBook series My Prep Year, Paul is changing the way digital content is being delivered in schools.
Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2013. Paul is a leader in the implementation of Augmented Reality in schools to improve learning outcomes, Professional Development of staff with integration of ICTs, and has expertise in the implementation of mobile devices into pedagogical frameworks.
You can learn more about him on his website:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Prepping Anchor Charts

Here are most of my anchor charts for this week. I like to prep them early.

I love this one!

We have started our weekly book check out. Here is our schedule:

Students get to change out their books in my classroom library once a week.

Here are the anchor charts from the first week of school:

Do you use anchor charts?
Am I the only one who does Google image searches and Pinterest searches for anchor charts?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Planning for a personal narrative

And so our writing journey begins...

I began by modeling how to "picture" plan for a personal narrative. The day before I gave them the prompt: Write about your favorite outdoor activity. I gave them 30 minutes to write. I wanted to see what they could do in terms of beginning, middle, end and grammar.

Let's just say we have some work to do.

That is pretty normal, though.

I really want our writing time this year to be engaging and useful. Every time they get to draw something, it is a treat, so I decided to take advantage of that.

**Disclaimer: This is not a great, original idea. I haven't seen it verbatim this way, but it isn't anything special.

I modeled how to set up the paper, where to put the prompt/main idea, and talked my way through my story as I added my pictures.

The kids immediately started to make connections/suggestions when I paused. I purposefully stopped and "struggled" with what to write/draw. I want my kids to see me cross things out and make mistakes this year. I feel like they get an unrealistic view of writing when I don't show them the starts and stops of the real writing process.

They really got into this activity. We are going to expound on their plan this coming week.

Tuesday: starting a personal narrative with a POW!
Wednesday: writing the beginning of the story
Thursday: writing the middle of the story
Friday: writing the end of the story

I will model with my own story, they will share their part with a partner by talking it out, and then they will put it on paper.

I will share some of their stories when they are finished!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Math Journals

We survived the first week of school!

Starting the year on Monday makes for a really long first week. It was a good one, but we were all tired by the end.

We accomplished:
  • setting up classroom routines
  • began a little WBT (5 rules & Class; Yes)
  • students applied for classroom jobs
  • I assigned jobs based on applications
  • the kids got on their MyKidsBank accounts
  • we started XtraMath
  • I introduced the kids to our iPads and my expectations (they were all over it!)
  • we set up our Reading & Writing notebooks, Math notebooks, and Socials Studies notebooks
  • we got on Edmodo for the first time
  • I made a positive phone call to all the parents
  • my kids did the pledge, thought of the day, and joke on the morning announcements
  • we got a good start on the Daily 4
I have a great group of kids!

We completed our bar graph unit in our math journals. The culminating activity was creating a bar graph without my help. We didn't have time for them to create questions, too, but we will get to that this week.

I love it when I am grading and I have stacks like this:

The far right stack are As, the middle are Cs/Bs, and the left need some reteaching.

I think we had a very successful first week. I always forget how slow we move the first few weeks! I have to get these kids back in school shape! We move quickly and efficiently in my room.  :)

September Currently

August went by way too fast.

LISTENING: I couldn't believe my ears when I started to hear the rumble of thunder and then the nice patter of rain on the roof. How nice to have rain! We have a chance tomorrow, but it should get up to 99 degrees, so it will be an icky rain.

LOVING: My new mail merge document for paychecks. I have been wanting to do this, but I have no experience with mail merge and just didn't want to mess with it. I came across this BLOG POST by the wonderful Katie Lyons at Teaching the Art of Possibility and I wanted it so bad!

I emailed her and she offered to share it with me because she wanted a proof reader before she put it on her TPT store. Score! I love it!


This is what my finished product looks like. 
You can get a copy for $4.75  HERE! If you have a classroom economy, this is very much worth the money.

THINKING: It is horrible, but I am going up to school tomorrow. Yes it is a holiday, but I opted to go home on Friday instead of staying late and getting things ready for this week. I don't really mind. It is kind of nice to be up at the building almost alone. I seem to be more produtive that way.

WANTING: I didn't get either of those before the first week of school. Sad day. Maybe soon!

NEEDING: Hahaha. Here I am blogging at 1:00AM. Not helping the situation.

FOR MYSELF: These are all things that get pushed aside by school stuff. I will make a conscious effort to put school stuff away and recharge this year.

Go link up!