Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It with a Freebie

My first Monday Made It of the summer! first snake sighting since moving to NC 3 years ago...uuuggghhh!!!  I've heard so many people tell snake stories...hanging from trees, hanging from garage doors (no lie!), slithering across patios...and I'd been feeling very fortunate that I didn't have any snake stories to tell.  Not so anymore!

This morning I was taking some scraps out to our compost bin, and I almost stepped on a BIG, black snake...shudder!  I don't know what I would have done if I'd actually stepped on it...we're not going to think about that.  And I'm glad it was the plain, black variety that everyone says is harmless. But, I still think I'll be having one of my boys run the scraps out to the compost bin for a while!

OK...back to Monday Made It.  I'm linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics :)

Like I said yesterday, I've been thinking a lot about the upcoming school year, but not doing anything about it.  So, I've started doing!  Today I've crossed three things off my list...I'm feeling productive :)
  1. I've added my kids names into my Stick Pick app (love can use it just like a can and craft randomly picks the kids names.  And if you want to, you can set it to give you questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy.  I think the app costs about $2).
  2. I set up my parent emails and contact list in Outlook (since I teach at a small, Christian school, I have most of my kids information already...I'll only need to add any new students that registered over the summer).
  3. I updated my classroom rules posters, AND uploaded them to TPT as a freebie!
Like I said, I teach at a small, Christian school, so I was able to add scriptures to my Classroom Rule posters that show the rules' roots in God's Word.  Each poster also includes examples of what the rule means (ie. Be Kind - use gentle words).

The rules that I use are simple, and cover just about any situation you can think of:
  1. Be Your Best
  2. Be Responsible
  3. Be Respectful
  4. Be Kind
  5. Be Safe
I'll often ask one of my kids who's breaking a rule, "Are you being (fill in the blank) right now?  And they'll look down and answer, "No...".  Then I ask them how they can fix it.  I find that it works pretty well the majority of the time...most kids really do want to do the right thing.

Since I know that many of you won't be able to post classroom rules with scripture on them in a public school classroom, I've uploaded these as a Powerpoint file, so you can make any changes that you need to accommodate your classroom and teaching.  If you'd like to grab it, just click on the picture above :)


Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Peek at My Week Linky!

This is my first time participating in A Peek at My Week!  I've had fun reading others' posts for this linky, but never had the time this past school year to join in myself.  So here goes...

So, I've been THINKING a lot about the next school year, but not actually DOING anything to get ready.  Well, last night I started a list of things I want to do before school starts, and WOWZA...I've got some work to do!  Here's a little peek at my list:

The only one I have done is 'set up Class Dojo', which I did this afternoon.  I'm so excited, because my teaching partner and I set up the behaviors to match the 'Citizenship' items on our report cards, so now we'll have DATA to go back to when we put those grades together!

So this week I'll be working on my Back to School list, trying to shorten it up before we get to crunch time!  I should have lots of time because my son and husband are going...get this...Shark Fishing this week.  I keep telling our friend Jordan (the guy that they're going with) that I want my men back with all of their limbs intact!  This is how I picture Jordan Shark Fishing...

So you can see why I'm concerned!

The thing that REALLY made me realize that it's time to kick it into back-to-school mode is that on Thursday I'm going to Raleigh for Laura Candler's literacy conference.  I registered for it back in April or May, and it felt like the end of July was SO far away!  And now here it is.  This week.  Sigh.  Don't get me wrong...I'm excited to go to the conference, but I can't believe there's so little summer left!

Anyway, there's a peek at my week.  I hope you have a good one!

I Teach Core Knowledge Social Studies...Anyone Else???

So, how many states have now abandoned the CCSS?  My own state, North Carolina, just voted them out.  Of course, it remains to be seen if the Gov. will veto that vote.  I'm starting to understand why the teachers who've been around a while get a little cynical about these things.  I'm also feeling pretty fortunate to work in a private school where this isn't an issue for me (sorry!!!).  On the flip-side, there are issues that arise from NOT using the same standards as most other teachers across the country.

At my school, we use the Core Knowledge curriculum for Science and Social Studies, which I LOVE!  It's a great curriculum with well planned objectives and lessons. BUT, we don't study the same things, in the same order, or at the same time as others who teach my grade level (4th/5th).  And some of the World History that I teach isn't typically taught until Middle or High School, so it can be hard to find resources to use that are appropriate for my students.  Sometimes I find myself feeling like a bit of a loner out here. 

Is there anyone else out there who uses Core Knowledge?


Anyway, I've been going through each objective and listing the resources that I'm planning to use to teach it (there is no textbook - just lesson plans and suggested resources/materials).  In the process, I've needed to create some of my own resources, so I'm offering them to you as freebies :)  Just click on the pictures below to get them from my TPT store if you any of these would be useful to you!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Day...with FREE printable!

I can't believe I haven't posted since November!!!  Between Christmas and my classroom life got just a little busy...

Anyway, I wanted to share the love that I'm giving to my kiddos for a belated Valentine's Day.

 We were out of school most of last week due to Snowstorm Pax, so we're celebrating tomorrow.  Today we had a teacher workday, so I haven't seen my class for almost a week :(

When they come back tomorrow, these little cuties will be waiting on their desks...

The words inside the fish bowl say 'so glad we're in the same school!' (sorry for the less than stellar photography).

Jamielyn from created these and offers them as a free printable on her blog.  There are tons of other free, super cute printables too.  Click on the picture above to go check it out!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fiction and Nonfiction Summary Writing FREEBIE!!!

As I sat here this afternoon grading the summaries that my students had written using Jen's Comprehension Strategy Posters For Nonfiction Text (which I LOVE!!!) I was disappointed to see that several of my students didn't seem to understand how to write a summary...even after all of my modeling. 

One student had written his opinion, a couple had written their thoughts about the text, but few had been able to actually pull out examples from the text and summarize it in their own words.  So, I decided to create some scaffolding sheets that will help them when writing summaries (Which we'll be doing a lot next week as I re-teach!)

Click on the picture below if you'd like a copy :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What's Your Schedule Linky!

Hello friends!
I'm linking up with Susan over at TGIF (Thank God It's First) for her 'What's Your Schedule?' linky!  I love this idea...I'm curious too, and can't wait to check out other teacher's schedules!

I teach at a private, Christian school with grades TK-8.  We aren't affiliated with a church or archdiocese, but are completely independent.  When you hear this, you may think "spoiled, rich kids in a fancy school", but that's far from the truth.  The majority of our parents are not wealthy, and are sacrificing 'nice to have' things to send their children to a private school (unfortunately, the nearby public schools are really struggling).  We also have a good number of full and partial scholarship students.

My scheduled hours are from 7:45 to 3:45, with the morning bell ringing at 8:25 (kids start arriving at 8:00) and dismissal beginning at 2:50.  By the time car riders, after school clubs & sports, and after-school care kids (we offer various clubs and sports for students after school, and have our own after school care program) are all picked up and my room is empty, it's usually about 3:15, then I have planning from 3:15 to 3:45.

I'm the 5th grade homeroom teacher, and I teach Language Arts and Social Studies to 4th and 5th grade, while the 4th grade homeroom teacher does Math and Science.  Other than specials, which have assigned times, we're able to make our own schedules.  This is what mine looks like:

The times over on the side look really crazy, but it's because our schedule changes a bit from day to day depending on specials, etc.

Depending on what we need, I might use the flex time on Friday afternoons as an additional Writing Workshop or Social Studies time, Ketchup & Pick-les time (students with unfinished work 'catch up', and those with everything finished 'pick' something fun to do), or Fun Friday.  I'm with the kids for lunch, but am blessed to have a 45 minute planning period each day during specials. 

I like to get to school early, and usually arrive between 7:15 and 7:30 to make sure I've got everything ready for the day.  My youngest son goes to school with me (he's in 7th grade) and usually has some kind of sports practice 2-3 times a week, so we're almost always there until 4:30 or so.  It's a long day, but I LOVE my school, so I don't mind :)

Go and link up with Susan to share your schedule!!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Currently

How can it possibly be November already?!? 

So, I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for the November Currently...

Listening...everyone else in my house is still asleep, and I'm trying to catch up on Bloglovin' when I should be doing other things.

Loving...that parent/teacher conferences are done!  Yesterday my teaching partner and I cranked out all of our conferences together (except for two who didn't show up, and one who had to leave because we were running behind and she had to be somewhere for an appointment...I felt SO bad!).  We started at 7:45am and finished at 7:30pm.  It was a LOOONNGG day, but it was worth it!  All of our conferences went GREAT...even the ones I was a little worried about.  And the best part is, after getting to know my students' parents a little better, I love my kiddos even more!  It was so amazing to sit across from parent after parent and hear from them:

1.  How much they love their children
2.  How much they want to support their children and their childrens' teachers
3.  How they know their kids aren't perfect, and they want to be told about any problems...academic or they can be part of the solution
4.  How much they love our school
5.  That they think we're doing a great job teaching their children

I KNOW that conferences are not always like this, and I feel SO blessed to be teaching in a school with so much parent support!!!

Thinking...our refrigerator is dangerously close to EMPTY and I really need to take a shower and go grocery shopping (I will in just 5 more minutes!!!).  I love that my daughter has been planning our dinner menu and writing a grocery list for the past few's a little thing, but it makes a BIG difference to me.

Wanting...nuff said. husband wants to go hiking at Linville Gorge today, and we'll go, but I hate that in the back of my mind I'll be thinking about all of the things that I need to get done around here...laundry, lesson planning, know how it goes.

A yummy pin...Frozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls.  I'm SO making these as one of my Christmas cookies.  I know the link to the pin is hard to read, so just click on the pic below to access it.

 I hope you're having a wonderful and relaxing weekend!  Go and link up with Farley to share your November Currently!