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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Monthly Monday Made-It September

So I'm joining in with 4th Grade Frolics to show what I've been up to since the last Made It.

I've actually been pretty good with blogging lately so you can see what I've been up to in my previous posts and see some classroom pics.
So I finally did what I have seen floating around the web and what I pinned from pinterest last year and did the above.  I know.  My "h" in lunch fell off.  Of course I did not notice that while I was taking the picture.  lol  I could not find it either, so I have to make a new one.  Did I remember to do that this weekend?  No.  So we still have Lunc.  lol  I used $1 clocks I got from the Target Dollar Spot last summer I believe and my adhesive vinyl and cameo.  I'm happy with it and it beats the kiddos asking every 5 minutes if it's time.  It is definitely helping with that, although they still ask for recess.  I didn't have a clock for recess and since we only have it 2 days a week, that's the clock I didn't do.  
You can see more things I did here and here.  I also finished up the Grammar Game activity pack that I have been working on to go with Unit 2 of my reading series.  
As you can see it just works on grammar skills and it doesn't HAVE to go with a particular reading series.  It doesn't go with any of the stories or anything.  I just did a grammar pack of games that go with the skills we learn in that unit.  I thought it would be a handy thing to have for review and for Word Work for Daily 5.  It has 5 activities in it: a noun sort, noun scoot, plural noun match, proper noun scoot, and possessive nouns silly sentences.  I am very happy that I got it done.  You can go to it on my tpt page by clicking on the pic above.  Unit 1 I finished before school started.  You can find that pack by clicking here.  
Well that's it.  As I mentioned in previous posts, it's been busy but we're starting to settle in.  This weekend it was nice because I didn't have to go anywhere and the piles of papers to grade haven't started yet.  Monday starts Day 13 for us and my students will start spelling tests and homework packets so the grading will begin!  lol  I hope it's going well for everyone else as well and I hope you'll take the time to check out my other posts (they only have a sad 4 views).  Have a great day everyone!  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Getting into a Routine

This is the last chance (thru 9/8) to have Donor's Choose double your donation using the code INSPIRE.  I'm really hoping to get this project funded so my students can have these resources to use in the classroom.  I have a lower group this year too.  We took the NWEA MAP tests this past week and I got the lowest scores I have ever gotten.  9 kiddos scored in the 150s or below (and they were NOT my sped kids) and the target for beginning of 2nd grade is 176.  I really think that the iPods would get my reluctant readers reading.  If you are able and willing to donate, here is the link to my project.

So things are slowly starting to get into a routine at school.  We started our first story in language arts, David's New Friends and we got everything done with it, we needed to.  Of course since I haven't started guided reading groups, we have extra time to fit everything in, even with the day off on Monday.  I won't start guided reading groups (book clubs as we call them) until October when we are finished building our stamina on all of Daily 5.  Otherwise it is a disaster.  You really DO need to take the time to do it and practice it.  My co-teacher usually rushes it and she has more problems with the students staying on task because of it (I don't tell her that though).  So we have been working on Read to Self and we are up to 10 minutes of stamina, although to be honest I have 3 boys who are probably at 1 minute of stamina.  I just didn't want to make the whole class stop when the other 22 ARE at 10 minutes.  These boys are my low boys, get reading help, and don't want to sit and read.  I get it, it's harder for them, and let's face it the books they CAN read are not that interesting.  We did I-PICK and I  had them pick 4 books at their reading level and 4 books using the I-PICK strategy, however as I mentioned before, they did not do the I-PICK strategy.  One of my boys that I mentioned above, picked Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, my fattest chapter book with the most words.  They are tiny and a ton on a page.  I think that book is a level U and he is reading at a level H.  There are no pictures nothing.  That's what I'm saying.  Just picking a book because he thinks it makes him look cooler, even though he can't read it.  I just let it be because he does have 4 books in there that he can read.  We need to practice I-PICK some more.  This upcoming week I'm also doing the idea I saw on Pinterest of a "Shopping Schedule" for trading out the books in book boxes.  I made my cute little posters and will introduce it to them on Monday so they can start trading out their books and hopefully do a better job of picking books since they have to last a week before they can "shop" again.  It will also be good training for making sure they are putting the books away correctly in our book nook.
We also started Work on Writing this week.  When I mentioned how we were going to be doing Work on Writing, what it meant, and showed them my writing center, they were not all that excited.  lol  We made our i-chart and got started and they LOVED it.  They were very sad when they had to stop at 3 minutes!  I said, "See, I told you it was fun!  That's why it's on our chart!"  So they have been excited every time we have done it and are up to 7 minutes of stamina on that.  My plan is to introduce Listen to Reading next week as only 4 kids can do it at a time, so the others will practice 1 of the other 2 while they are working on that and we will rotate so everyone gets a turn 1 day next week.  I also need to take their headshots so I can add them to the check-in sheet I made for my Smartboard.  The students will drag their picture to the activity they are doing.  My goal is to start book clubs and full fledge Daily 5 by the week of October 14th.  That gives us time to learn all 5, build up our stamina, and practice how changing between them will work.  Have to practice that quiet transition time too.
I will leave you with some pictures of our classroom from this week.  :)
Read to Self




My Writing Center



My poor "h" fell off the wall for Lunch.  I can't find it so I have to make a new one!  My writing center has the kit from A Cupcake for the Teacher, the topic cards from Teaching with Love and Laughter, and the Common Core prompt Cards from Falling into First.  
Work on Writing




Have a wonderful weekend!  :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

September CURRENTLY

I'm going to TRY and keep up with this in the blog world this year.  I'm linking up with Farley's Currently for the 2nd time ever I think!
Doing this reminds me that I need to print out the ones for my students to do!  That's another goal I should have put down!  lol  It will be a good way to kick off their writing binders this year.  
I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  I was happy with all of the stuff I got done this weekend, which you can read about in my previous posts.  I also had a great day with most of my family grilling out and hanging out.  We tried a pinterest recipe of taking sugar cones and filling them with mini marshmallows and different baking chips and cut up fruit (strawberries and bananas), wrapping them in foil, and putting them on the grill.  They were really good!  Definitely a keeper!  
I'm also excited because my Donor's Choose project is one of the projects featured on Mrs. Fultz's Corner Donor's Choose page!  Woohoo!  You can check out my project here.  
Well I really DO need to go to bed now or I will be really sorry in the morning.  Have a great day/night everyone!  :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Donor's Choose & More

I have been lucky over the years to have 2 projects funded through Donor's Choose.  Both projects were for 2 iPod Nanos for my listening center in the classroom, so I now have a total of 4.  This is great and has worked out well for Listen to Reading as part of the Daily 5.  I also had CD walkmen that I bought from overstock.com, these did not work so well.  The students had a hard time working them, the batteries died a ton, and we had a heck of a time finding headphones that would work AND actually stay on/in their ears.  So I just posted a new project (first time in 2 years) to get 2 more iPod Nanos so I can have a total of 6.  You can check out my project here: http://www.donorschoose.org/project/ihelp-ipods-for-fluency-accuracy-and/1060017/.  Through September 8th, you can type in the promo code INSPIRE when making your donation and Donor's Choose will match it.  That's an awesome deal!  I'm hoping this project will get funded too.  The last 2 times I was lucky because big corporations came in and ended up funding them for me so I didn't have to rely on the few donations I got.  If you would like something for your classroom that your district can't afford for you and you don't want to bankrupt yourself, I would definitely recommend going on Donor's Choose.  It never hurts to try!  :)
So I was very happy when that went through this morning and then I worked on school stuff today since my colored ink and lamination sheets came in the mail and I printed and cut out Common Core - Writing Galore - August/September by Stephanie Stewart over at Falling into First.  Love that it has all 3 types of writing students need to be able to do for Common Core plus a creative one that has to do with the theme for the months and that students can choose the topic they want to write about.  I'm putting this in my writing center as some of the choices for Work on Writing and even Writer's Workshop time.  Can't wait to get started!  I'm introducing Work on Writing this week.  Writer's Workshop will have to wait until next week due to NWEA MAP testing.  I also actually printed out my own units I have on TPT too, which I have never done!  lol  It was always about getting them done and ready for others!  I am very excited to use them this year and am so happy I had the time to get it ready to use this week!  I printed out my unit for our 1st Treasures story, David's New Friends.  I won't be starting guided reading groups yet, but I'm excited to use all of the whole group things I made to go with the story.  I also printed out my 2nd Grade Grammar Pack to have all of the games and activities ready to go for Daily 5 Word Work so the students will have extra practice of the skills.  So I was very happy with what I got done.  I just need to put on my shopping list that I need to pick up another ream of card stock!   lol
One last thing I just have to say.  So I'm watching the MDA telethon and it's great that it gets more attention now and they have bigger acts involved, but I was a little sad that it was only on for 2 hours and that Jerry Lewis can't host it anymore.  That was always a huge part of Labor Day weekend growing up, having the Jerry Lewis telethon on and seeing him stay up the whole time, over 24 hours, fighting hard to raise money for "Jerry's Kids."  I donated using the text donation tonight and I hope that they are able to raise a ton of money now that it's down to 2hrs.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day off tomorrow in honor of all of your hard labor!  :)