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!