Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Two for Tuesday: June 14

I'm linking up with Chalk One Up for the Teacher for Two for Tuesday today! 

Today, I'm featuring two of my top sellers that are essential for back to school: Math Facts Made Easy: Addition and Subtraction Addition!

This is part of a growing bundle {that I'm slowly working on finishing} and I love!!! 

Here's the details on the packs:

And some amazing feedback!

Head over to TPT to get these two products for the price of one before I remember to re-price them! 

Monday Made It: June 13 2016

Well, I just realized that today is TUESDAY and not Monday, but I figured I would still link up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It! I've been out of school for a week, and have been busy working on a bunch of projects!

This summer, I was asked to teach summer school. At first I had a mini-heart attack ... 

And then, I found out that it was only a month, half days, and way more money than I thought... so I started doing a happy dance! 
We are teaching thematic units, which I am beyond excited about ... and we get to do ANYTHING we want ... It's like the teaching experience everyone creative has always dreamed about! 
It's going to be hard to wake up so early, but at least it will be FUN! 

I decided on Fairy Tales (specifically fractured fairy tales) and am so, so, very excited to wear a crown for four weeks! 

I also decided to try out planbook.com during summer school so that I could decide if it's something I want to do over the course of the school year. I wanted to make it cute, and luckily, I found Ladybug Teacher Files  tutorial on how to make this website work for me and have been playing around ever since.  I'm loving the way I can make it cute and organized ... and I can just copy and paste everything from year to year!!!! 

I worked hard at trying to balance work/social/home remodeling life last week! I also transformed my old kitchen table as my first diy of the summer ... unfortunately, I don't have a before picture, but I found a similar table on craigslist... below is a similar table to what I had, except it was round and all wood, no tile. I HATED the hunter green legs and the blah top (it was more of a cherry stain), and have had it covered with a table cloth for the past two years because it was the opposite of any kind of home decor that I had in my house (but I had bought it for a mere $40 at a Goodwill, knowing I could eventually make it look much better!)

Kind of Before:


I painted the legs black, sanded down the top and stained it with a kona color, and added a high gloss finish. I'm not so embarrassed anymore! 

I totally revamped my Calendar Math Unit, and if I do say so myself, it's stinking adorable!

I loved using this daily in second grade to reinforce math skills and get kids talking... check it out... 

What did you make this week?

Friday, June 10, 2016

ELA Vocabulary

This last year, my team and I worked HARD to get our kids ready for not only the state test, but our rigorous programs in fourth, fifth and sixth grade. We use the Wonders teaching curriculum, which has great stories to go along with the common core standards, but isn't always the most organized when it comes to close reading. We also use Spalding Spelling and Shurley to teach parts of speech and sentence structure. While this last year was a huge learning curve for me, I learned so much! One area we reflected back and identified a need for more direct instruction after receiving our state testing scores is ELA vocabulary terms. Everyday, we go over math vocabulary terms but we do not go over vocabulary terms. So, I set out on a mission! My teammate found a list of vocabulary words recommended by our state testing - ISAT, and I also looked up other words, and looked back and thought about terms that our kids struggled to remember this year. I came up with about 150 vocabulary words to go through over the course of the year. Now, I won't hit all these words daily. Just like everything else we do at our school, it will be done in a spiral format. I will start with the first five words of set 1 and cover those on day 1, day 2 the first 5 words of set 2, etc... So, by the end of the first quarter, they will have heard all of the words at least 5 times (with the words at the beginning of each set being added to every time we go back, so once you've covered the first five words of all four sets, you go back to the first set and do the first 10, then the first 15 and so on and so fourth) . It's what we do to teach math vocabulary and it works wonders!

In each product, there is: a list of all words included, student vocabulary cards with and without pictures to help jog the memory, and a PowerPoint slide show to review slides everyday.

I don't post the cards in the room for the students to see for a few reasons - I want them to memorize the definitions in order to use them when it comes time for end of the year testing, and I just plain don't have the wall space!  

I am so excited to use these products! I cannot wait to see them in action, and know that they will work wonders...

To see them on TPT:

To see my teammates math vocabulary:

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Summer Reading List 2016

This year, I am teaching summer school for the first time, redecorating my bedroom, refinishing an antique dresser, creating at least three year long products for my team to use next year, and updating all of my files on TPT that desperately need updating. Among all that craziness, I will be tutoring, trying to move a ton of rock out of my flower beds, and having a social life. I'm also hoping to do some reading - just for me! I usually try and read a little bit over the course of the year, during breaks and when there's nothing good on TV.

Today, I'm linking up with Lucky to Be in First  and nailing down my summer reading list! I was excited to come across this post, because I've been thinking a lot today about what book to pick up first, and after reviewing my "want to read" list, I know which one will be accompanying me out in my lounge chair tomorrow!

So, first up is the list of books you should read- you should see a theme here - I'm a sucker for anything with a crime or with witches ...

1. Anything by Kathy Reichs ... I'm just slightly obsessed with Bones and these are such easy reads!
2. The Witching Savannah Series - Witches and magic galore
3. The All Souls Trilogy: More Witches
4. The Silkworm and The Cuckoo's Calling: Because, who doesn't want to read more JK Rowling?!?! 
5. The Girl on The Train: Gillian Flynn-esq masterpiece 
6. Gillian Flynn. All of them. 

1. Career of Evil: More JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith
2. Pretty Girls: Karin Slaughter
3. #Girlboss: Sophia Amoruso
4. The Good Girl :Mary Kubica
5. Go Set a Watchman: Harper Lee
6. Red Queen: Victoria Aveyard
7. Luckiest Girl Alive: Jessica Knoll 

I'm looking forward to having a busy yet productive summer, and reading lots! 

If you have a summer reading list, link up and share! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Vocabulary Stories: Teaching Vocabulary through Drama and Fun!

Are you bored with vocabulary instruction?

Tired of filling in boxes and coming up with sentences?

Bored with doing the same thing over and over, and want students to take charge?

Have students who don't participate?

This year I was introduced to a new strategy for teaching vocabulary and it is highly engaging, interactive, and fun for the whole class!

The use of Vocabulary Stories helps students define, use, and apply vocabulary words which leads to better reading comprehension skills. 

Steps to Implementation: 

1. Choose 7-10 vocabulary words that are not content based.
2. Create a meaningful story that teaches a moral or a lesson using the vocabulary words in context.
3. Decide on motions to go along with each of the vocabulary words 
4. Introduce the story to your class - discuss the meaning of each vocabulary word and show students the motion you want them to use.
5. Practice daily to see improved vocabulary use - remember to do the motions every time: if there are parts that could require a specific actor, you may have individual students come up and perform that part (you can include dialogue
6. Perform your stories for other classes, your principal, or parents and see how impressed they are! 

Sample Vocabulary Story for Third Grade: 

Egregious: remarkably bad
Distraught: mentally confused, crazed
Duplicity: cunning, trickery
Acrimonious: bitter
Paucity: scarcity

Don’t worry be happy.  If you have ever made an egregious mistake because of someone else’s duplicity, don’t be distraught, or acrimonious. Turn the other cheek.  We can only be a better world with a paucity of negativity and a plethora of kindness.  Turn your frown upside down and smile!

Do you use vocabulary stories in your class? Share them here :) 

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Monthly Top Ten: Spring Break Edition!

I've been holding out on posting this month's Monthly Top Ten, well for a few reasons ... first, I didn't get around to making one because I couldn't think of anything clever, and second when I did think of something, I needed to wait until it was relevant to post ... so of course, it's all about spring break!

Woo!HOO! We made it! I don't know about you, but third quarter is always the most insane time for me. Every. Single. Year. Something. Bad. Happens.

This year, it was no different.

I definitely earned my TWO, count them, TWO, weeks off.

{I'm totally loving this extended school year schedule}

So, in honor of 18 days without having to set an alarm, here's this late edition of the monthly top ten?: Spring Break Edition!

So, how am I celebrating my 18 days off?

1. Of course, Netflix has been playing in the background, and of course today, I finally finished all the seasons of NCIS (I've been working on that one for almost a year!), and now I'm at a loss of what to watch to hold my interest ... any good ideas out there?

2. I'm working on painting my front door black to add a little curb appeal to the front of the house... however, the weather hasn't been appreciative of my desire to be productive - rain, hail and that weird grapple in between stuff?!?! has led to blue paint on the outside of my door for longer than expected.

3. Sleeping in, enough said!

4. Last weekend, I hosted a Nerdy 30 birthday party for a friend... complete with glasses and a nerdy dress!

5. Thrifting! I love a good thrift store find, and this time around, I scored! I bought some house hold decor from a cute new shop that I will be returning to (old books, a cute old sifter and recipe box for the kitchen and some cool old glass jars filled with vintage marbles, jacks and dice), a bread machine, a few sweaters, an adorable dress, and several other things ... gotta love thrift store shopping on a teacher's budget!
6. I had a good friend and her kids over the other day to see the house, it's coming along pretty amazingly ... but I desperately need to get some stuff down outside ... It was nice to see her and her kiddos and catch up!

7. I'm excited to see my family for the first time since starting college for Easter! I'll also get to celebrate my lil brother's 21st birthday! Love some good family time!

8. The boy and I went to run some errands today and I talked him into lunch at Kneaders ... so delicious! I'm hoping for one more outing to lunch for Hawaiian food next week ... keep your fingers crossed for me as he works nights and I'm interrupting prime sleep time by being home for two weeks!

9. I took my laptop to the local coffee shop earlier this week and got a lot of work done... I'm planning on doing it a few more times next week to get the class I've been taking wrapped up ... I hate having extra homework to do! (I started doing some tonight, but decided that this would be a better idea :))

10. RELAX and be ready to come back a happy, refreshed, healthy teacher.

How to Participate:

1. Save the Picture above and insert it into Powerpoint or Word, your choice of editing software
2. Insert the ten things you are most looking forward to over spring break - it can be random, or in order... just make sure you have ten :)
3. Write a blogpost and include a link back to this blog
4. Link up here:
5. Be nice! Leave a comment on at least two blog posts from the link up!
6. Have fun, and enjoy your spring break!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Student Led Conferences: How to Set Up Students For Success

This is my first year doing student-led conferences. As a school, we have student led conferences after first quarter and third quarter. This method of conferences seemed daunting at first, but this time around, I'm feeling confident and so much more at ease. After this last round of student led conferences, I will never go back! They teach real life skills and allow students to reflect on their learning. Check out this post for more information on how to set students up for success with student led conferences!

Check out the Reflections Here: