Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow Day Online Learning

What happens when there is a snow day a week and a half before the end of the grading period? PANIC! Don't get me wrong, I'm oh so thankful to have these couple of days off to catch up on housework, do a little schoolwork, spend time with the hubby, and snuggle with my fur babies, but the the end of the grading period is quickly upon us and I'm feeling a little anxious. Not.gonna.lie. I begin to wonder how will I fit in everything I still need to teach and include time to review concepts we've learned over the past nine weeks? 

Well... to help keep my kiddos on track, I spent some time last night updating my class blog to include resources that parents could use to reinforce concepts we've been working on. I thought I'd share what I included just in case you could use some of these same resources with your kiddos.

Have you used Learn Zillion in your classroom? It's a free website that offers video tutorials and lesson plans for Math 2-8, High School Math, and English Language Arts 2-12. These videos are Common Core aligned and really explain the standards in kid-friendly language. I know that they are continually adding new resources to their website, so for all of you K and First Grade teachers out there, hopefully your standards will be added soon. You can add your class and encourage your students to create their own account for use at home. Beginning in grade 3, Learn Zillion gives teachers the option to assign quizzes to students to complete online. For my parents, I posted the link code to a couple of videos for word problems, since that is what we've been working on in class.

For reading, we've been learning about fables and folk tales and I found a couple of great websites that students can visit and explore many different fables. Click the pictures, or the links below each picture, to go to the website.

In Writing, we've focused on opinion writing this nine weeks. I gave my parents two websites that they can pull opinion writing prompts from. Click on the links below to visit these sites.

I usually use these YouTube videos in class when we talk about our weekly spelling pattern, but since we won't have time to view them in class, I thought I'd share them with parents so their child could view them at home. Click on the picture, or the links below the pictures, to be directed to that YouTube video.

My kids love watching Geraldine the Giraffe. There are also many more videos for other spelling patterns.

Here are a few Science related videos. Again, click the pictures, or the link below each picture, to be taken to the video.

I personally think shopping is the best thing to do on a snow day! Don't you agree?! Head on over to my shop for 28% off!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Have you heard?!

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Teachers are Heroes sale this Wednesday, February 25th! My TPT shop will be on sale for 20% off! Make sure you use the promo code HEROES at checkout to get 28% off your total purchase!

{graphic courtesy of Primary Punch}

I know I've been busy adding goodies to my wish list! Here are some of my newest products you may want to checkout...

My best selling product...

Happy shopping!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Recognizing Student Achievement

I love celebrating student achievements/accomplishments in the classroom. Whether it's achievements in academics, or in behavior, I love being able to recognize individual students every month in some way or another! 

I shared a picture similar to this one a couple of weeks ago in my Five for Friday post. 

I reserve one table in the center of my room for my four "Leaders of the Month". My school's focus is on fostering leadership in motivated, engaged students. We look for students who are showing their leadership skills with their attitude, ideas, management, helpfulness, influence, gratitude, and hope. I wanted an area that was special for our classroom leaders. In addition to having their own set of special supplies at their table, I call my leader table to line up first, come to the carpet first, get their snack first, etc... This is just my little way of recognizing student accomplishments each month. 

I created a set of monthly certificates for me to hand out to my "Leaders of the Month". I print these in black and white and on colored paper. I also give my leaders a piece of candy and a pencil just to make this award extra special for my kiddos. When I announce our new leaders, the whole class erupts in applause. It's actually a pretty special moment! I love when they encourage one another! I *try* to pick different students every month. This means sometimes I am recognizing a friend that I have seen make progress in an area.

I figured someone might be able to use these ideas and certificates in their own classroom, so I put my monthly certificates up in my TPT store. I wanted to give you many options just in case you use another term in your classroom instead of "Leader of the Month". This product includes Star Student of the Month, Student of the Month, and Leader of the Month. I also included a birthday certificate, just for fun, and a blank certificate in PowerPoint format that you can edit to meet the needs of your classroom. Just add a text box to the slide in Power Point and you can make your own certificate for STEM Student of the Month, Most Improved Student of the Month, Writer of the Month, Reader of the Month, and Math Genius of the Month, just to name a few ideas. I'm sure your wheels are already turning thinking of fun ways to recognize your kiddos! Head over to TPT and grab this product on sale until Tuesday!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Three Little Pigs {A Fairy Tale Study}

Fairy tales are one of my favorite units to teach! Not only do I love reading them aloud to my kiddos, I also love exposing them to different versions of a familiar fairy tale. This unit always leads to great conversations! You can find so many unique versions of familiar fairy tales out there! Have you seen some of these? Oh the cuteness!

Now I don't read to my kiddos, but I did pick four to concentrate on during our Three Little Pigs study. The rest of them I set aside in our reading bucket for students to read to themselves throughout the week. Here is what our week looked like...

I chose one version of The Three Little Pigs to read a day {Monday through Thursday}. We started by talking about important words that we will come across in our book. As I read the book aloud, I used the think aloud strategy to get my kiddos to connect the similarities and differences between the different versions we were reading. Each day we charted the characters, setting, problem, and solution as a class. 

Students can also record story elements in their reading journal or on a story mat using sticky notes. 

Then, my students completed a beginning, middle, end flap book to retell the story in their own words. To help them get their thoughts together before they wrote, we put together these character puppets. They practiced retelling the beginning, middle, and end in small groups before writing on their own.

You can also use popsicle sticks with story element pictures for students to use to retell the story.

On Friday I let them choose two fairy tales that we read throughout the week to compare and contrast. 

{I did not start my unit with the The Three Little Pigs. We actually began with Little Red Riding Hood and I used that fairy tale study to model how to write about the beginning, middle, and end of a story and how to compare/contrast different versions of the same fairy tale. You can find my Little Red Riding Hood unit here.}

These activities come from my Three Little Pigs fairy tale study.

In this unit you will find...
-story elements graphic organizers to use with three specific versions of The Three Little Pigs {The Three Little Pigs, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, and The Three Little Javelinas}
-graphic organizers to use with any version of The Three Little Pigs
-a student mini dictionary to record important words from the text
-anchor chart story elements labels
-story mat labels
-character pictures for puppets
-story elements pictures for popsicle stick retelling
-compare/contrast graphic organizers
-two opinion writing prompts with graphic organizers and writing paper
-pig and wolf craft templates

This unit is in my TPT shop and will be on sale through tomorrow!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Five for Friday {Valentine's Day}

I'm linking up on this very cold Valentine's Day with Doodle Bugs to share five random things from my week.

In Science this week we have been busy learning about stars. I projected a constellation map on my SMARTBoard and had my kids choose their favorite constellation to draw. Then, I helped them look up the meaning of each of their constellations. This quick little writing project made a cute hallway display. Here is my example...

We also began talking about our star, the sun. My kiddos made these shadow sticks at our school STEM Lab. I thought it was such a great idea! 

It was either too cold or too cloudy this week to use them outside, so we just used the projector instead to make our shadows. 

Who doesn't love getting food delivered to school?! This was what was delivered Friday for lunch...

My favorite!

In Math we have been learning how to add up to four two-digit numbers. I used this free app with my Guided Math groups this week. They loved it!

It's called Base Ten Blocks Math.

Of course who could forget celebrating Valentine's Day... on a Friday... on Friday the 13th... without having outdoor recess in a couple of days... Gah! I did manage to get some snaps in of our V-Day fun though!

I made these Valentines for my kiddos. 

Thank you to Rachelle Smith from What the Teacher Wants for sharing these for free in her TPT Shop!! They were a hit!! The Crayola smelly markers came from Michaels. 

My kids wrote one thing they love about their family on a whiteboard and stood in front of this background for a little photo shoot. I uploaded our pictures to our class Shutterfly account.

Take a look at these Valentine boxes and Valentines! They got so creative!

There you have it, a whole buncha randomness to kick off your Saturday! I'd love for you to join me tomorrow as I share our Three Little Pigs fairy tale study! Happy Valentine's Day!