Five for Friday!

Well, my busy weekend quickly turned into an easy one. I was supposed to have 2 basketball games tonight, and I was travelling tomorrow with my wrestling cheerleaders to a conference tournament, but this happened...
Doesn't look like much  now, but it is supposed to be 8 inches by tomorrow late morning. :( HMPH! I want spring! Not to mention we are supposed to get round 2 on Tuesday...1st day of Iowa Assessments...

Anyways...time for Five for Friday!

Tuesday's basketball theme was throw back... too cute! :)
My class started using GoNoodle! IT IS AWESOME! We have been able to go outside for recess 1 time since the week before Christmas! We need ed to get up and moving!

We did a little bit of data collecting in math this week. We took our data and created line plots, pictographs, and bar graphs. So much more fun when the data is something THEY created! :)
I've been struggling with getting my kiddos to write without an assignment. My kids rarely choose Work on Writing during daily 5 unless I tell them we're writing to our pen pals, or give them a fun assignment. Although, I would still like them to generate writing without me prompting them... I found a way to get even my most RELUCTANT writers actually writing. It was inspired by most reluctant writer who loves food. We wrote a paragraph together about his favorite place to eat, Subway. That gave me an idea for everyone to write a paragraph about their favorite place to eat. Then, I found the BEST APP EVER! I give you...Scribble Press!
Where you can write and illustrate your own book...

It's awesome!

And the kiddos are learning to edit and publish!

And be more descriptive with their writing.

Endless possibilities for illustrating!

Also, you can save your book as a PDF then print it! NIFTY! The app is only $3.99 and so worth it!
My cheerleading season is winding down and that means 3 senior nights. This year I have 8 seniors. I met most of them when they were sophomores trying out for their junior years. I'm so thankful to work with such a great group of ladies!

 I framed one of these for each of my girls.
and put together this little college survival kit. :)

Last night I had my first of 3 senior nights... 2 of my wrestling cheerleaders will be graduating in just a couple of months! :(

I hope you have a marvelous weekend! :)


A Day in the life {Linky!}

Hello everyone!

I came across this fun linky hosted by Where the Wild Things Learn to show everyone what your daily schedule is like!

Honestly, because my specials are at different times Monday and Thursday and I only have computer lab Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, my day to day schedule varies. Luckily my 3rd graders can handle it, and I always have our schedule posted so they can keep things straight.

Isn't this graphic adorable?!

My kiddos can start entering at 8:15, tardy bell is at 8:30. Unfortunately, most of my schedule wasn't created by me. I hope I can do things differently next year! My kiddos come in and take care of business like taking AR tests, going to the library, and writing in their assignment notebooks. I check for parent signatures for the previous day in assignment notebooks. I don't give them a consequence, I simply only reward if they have it. Most of the time it's a stamp or sticker, but to keep them motivated I'll occasionally give out new pencils.

I have changed how I do Daily 5 a lot throughout the year. Currently I start with a daily word ladder or grammar review. I also use this time to model a new strategy or a new writing assignment.

I do 3 20 minutes of Daily . We do the traditional choices. Listening to Reading is done with either Playaways or TumbleBooks on student computers. During break, I spent time putting reading groups together and I meet with a group during round 1. I have a coteacher and she also meets with a group. In the small groups they either read passages and answer questions with the teacher, learn new strategies, practice writing, or leveled readers. The passages focus on our basal skill that week. I use passages from ReadWorks.

During rounds 1 and 2 and 2 and 3, I have students share about their book, using a new skill or strategy.

After Daily 5 we move to our Basal Reading book. I'm required to do both Daily 5 and the Basal. On Mondays I introduce the vocabulary. We do an action for each word to help us remember what the word means. On Tuesday I read the story out loud to them. On Wednesday we do some type of guided writing with the story, usually with a graphic organizer. On Thursday we listen to the story on CD. On Friday we take the test. We review vocabulary every day.

After our basal story, we have 15 minutes before our special, so depending on the lesson, I will either start Science/Social Studies, or do some math review.

After special, we continue or start Science/Social Studies. Because I'm required to do Daily 5 and the Basal, and most of my schedule was created without my say, I alternate science and social studies.

That leads us to lunch and recess. After recess, we go to computer lab. In the lab we practice math fact fluency, typing, and do reading and math skills using a computer program.

After computer lab, we have 15 minutes before math. During 1st semester, I took this time to do a read aloud. However, after constant reminders and being completely frustrated with my students' behaviors, I stopped. I had students constantly digging in their desk and putting their heads down. I finally put my foot down and now use this time for D.E.A.R. They're not allowed to go to the bathroom, get drinks, go to library, or take an AR test during this time. It is 15 minutes of nothing but reading. A lot of kids are enjoying their extra time, but many are disappointed that I don't read to them anymore.

After D.E.A.R. is math. My district got a brand new math series K-5 this year. We use EnVision Math Common Core by Pearson. Personally, I think it is very difficult. It requires a lot of reading, reasoning, and explaining.

After Math is recess. After recess, students take care of more business. I usually assign a couple pages of cursive for them to work on and they also have time to do homework, go to the library, and take AR tests. I hardly ever teach anything after that last recess, but I'm going to start doing grammar lessons at least 3 times a week.

I send kids to get their things at 3:00, we pass out papers, and walkers and riders are dismissed at 3:10. Bus students have to wait in the classroom until their bus number is called. I usually have all students gone by 3:20.

I'd love to read about your schedules, so go grab the graphic here!

Don't forget to enter the 100 follower giveaway here! :)


It's time to celebrate!

Oh my goodness, I couldn't be more excited! I have officially reached over 100 followers on my blog! WHAT?! That is just crazy to me! I started blogging in July as a way to connect to educators all around the world, especially new educators like myself. I have made connections with so many wonderful teachers who inspire me! I'm so fortunate to have so much support from all of you! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

I wanted to celebrate by doing a giveaway via Rafflecopter. I contacted some of my favorite bloggers to help me celebrate! There are so many great prizes, and I'm so thankful to these awesome teachers! Let's take a look at the wonderful prizes you can win!

If you teach primary grades and haven't checked out Kindergarten Smorgasboard, you're missing out! This man is all about the glitter and mustaches! :) You can win ANY PRODUCT from his TpT store!
Not only do I love linking' up for Farley's Currently posts, but I love her creative ideas and energy she brings to upper elementary! Check our her blog and TpT store to see what 3 products you would like to win!
Deb is a fellow Iowa teacher blogger and she has AWESOME craftivities for kiddos! She's always doing giveaways on her blog and her TpT products are always 50% off for the first 48 hours! You can win up to $10 worth of resources of your choosing!
Have you see the Super Text Detectives products?! I just bought my January edition last week and I'm in love! Your kiddos will love using their crayons while they find evidence in both fiction and non-fiction texts! Check out this awesome resource here and visit Luckeyfrog's Lilypad's blog!
This Alaskan teacher blogger is my favorite for clipart! Her stitched art is simply the cutest! You can win her adorable love monsters! Check them out here and stop by her blog!
I love linking up with Tara for Monday Made Its! You can win your choice of any product from her store!
And of course you can win any 3 products in my TpT store!

The winners will be announced sometime on Tuesday, January 21st! 

Again, thank you so much for taking an interest in my ideas and following me on my journey! I can't wait to see what the future holds!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Peek at My Week!

Well, the holidays are over, and it's time to go back to school. BUT WAIT! The temperature is supposed to be -40 tomorrow with wind chill, so school is CANCELLED! I will be going in tomorrow though to continue to reorganize my classroom library and plan ahead for weeks to come!

So Tuesday, I will be reviewing classroom expectations and routines. We're a PBIS school, so we will also be reviewing different areas the month of January.

For Reading, we're starting a new unit in the basal. I'm required to do the basal, as well as Daily 5. I'm restructuring how I do Daily 5 a little bit for 2nd semester. The 1st semester, I did very little group conferencing. I felt my students were all over with abilities and skills, that it was better for them if I did 1:1 conferencing. During 2nd semester, I will be doing a lot more group conferencing, and only doing individuals on Mondays and as needed. My co-teacher and I will be working with groups on specific reading skills using passages from, doing hands on activities with word families, vocabulary, dictionary skills, etc, and building fluency by reading leveled readers from the Basal.

In Science and Social Studies, we are beginning new units in both, so it will be a week of introducing the topics and vocabulary and pre-tests.

In Math, we're starting meanings of division. I have 4 weeks until Iowa Assessments, and A LOT of material I haven't touched on. So for January, we will be doing a lot of introducing and "getting their feet wet" of concepts rather than teaching to mastery like I did for previous concepts. I HATE doing this, but I have to. Ugh.

I'm also going to do a lot more with language. I usually do D.O.L. 3 times a week, and writing 2 or 3 times a week in addition to cursive. We are just about done with cursive, so I will have more time in the afternoon to teach language skills. I'm very excited about this. I only hope I can keep my kiddos' attention long enough to teach them the skills. Teaching after last recess is a CHALLENGE.

Here are some picture of some things I've been working on in my room over the last few days...
First up, my (fingers crossed) solution for kiddos always needing/losing supplies! I attached a caddy to one student's desk for each of my pods.
You'll need:
Supply Caddy (at Target Dollar Spot right now!)
Mini Command Hooks
Nickel Ball Chains and Clasps
Voila! I included glue, pencils, crayons, erasers, scissors, and red pens.
New name tags and cursive chart (laminated) to use as guide and use with dry erase marker for practice!
 The start of my revamp of classroom library! Thanks to DonorsChoose, I was able to get book boxes!

 Also part of my Donor's Choose project, a revolving book stand that holds all of my books in a series! I LOVE THIS!
Well, wherever you are, I hope you're staying warm!


Five for Friday!

It's hard to believe that I'll be going back to school on Monday, well maybe. Forecast calls for dangerously low temps, and my district has already said they are discussing whether or not to cancel!

It's been awhile since I did a Five for Friday, and I kinda forgot to take some pictures at school yesterday, so some of these are going to be a bit older! OOPS!
I went to school Wednesday and Thursday and really did some work. I took down Christmas stuff, rearranged my room (including my desk), recycled and threw away things I did not need, reorganized bookshelves, and storage closets. I feel like I did zero work for next week! I will be back to school tomorrow and Sunday to really get plans together. I started planning from home last night and today, but really need to make copies and get myself a little more organized. 
Our house still has Christmas decorations up...oopsies! I guess I just don't want the festive feel to end! This is our tree with all the presents! :)
I know I talk about and post pictures of Maxwell a lot, but c'mon! This is just too cute! Max loves being held like a baby when he's tired...he was all tuckered out on Christmas Eve after playing with his best friend, Stanley, who is a Scottie!
Hope to make all the cheerleaders new silver bows this weekend. Christmas ribbon is the best!
I made some bookmarks for my kiddos to come back to! I hope they help them remember what readers and writers do! They're on sale at my store, but I'll give them away to the first 3 people who comment with their emails! Click the pictures to see them in my store!

I hope to be back Sunday to give you a Peek at my Week! :)

Stay warm and if you live somewhere where it is warm almost always...send some warmth to Iowa!

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