Sunday, October 27, 2013

Visual Plans With More FREEBIES and a GIVEAWAY!

Peek at my Week Linky ButtonA Peek at my Week
Today I am linking up with 2 different Peek at my Week parties!  I love seeing what everyone is up to and getting great new ideas and even scoring some amazing freebies!  I have a couple of freebies in my plans for the week.  Be sure to download the pdf by clicking on the pictures of my plans.  Once you download the pdf file all of the pictures and links are clickable and will take you straight to the products!
I am a notorious over planner.  This week we have Internet Safety Week, Halloween, and we begin AZAC testing.  So, it’s safe to say that you may see some of these same activities and lessons on next weeks plans!!!
I am all about routines in my room.  I always joke that my kids probably wouldn’t even notice if I didn’t show up on Friday and they could probably run the day themselves!  I thrive on routine, it makes planning easier and I know my kiddos do too.  It’s nice to know what’s coming and what is expected of you.  That’s not to say that I can’t go with the flow and that things always go exactly as planned…we all know that rarely happens!  Even with my routines in place I am pretty flexible.  If something comes up or we need to get something done, I can monitor and adjust with the best of ‘em!
We use the Treasures reading series and this week we will be reading The Planets in our Solar System.  I have typed up a reading/writing culminating task, click the pic after downloading the pdf file to grab it for free!
I’m thinking about doing some future blog posts on some of the other weekly routines in our room.  Let me know if there are any specific ones you would like to see.
After doing ORAs on all of my kiddos, I noticed that several of them are struggling with making inferences.  I pulled out my Inference Task Cards and my “Roll, Read, Keep,” game board and will be using those at small group with those kiddos next week!
Math centers aren’t changing a whole lot next week.  We had ipad lab on day 4 last week and library at the end of the day Friday, so we didn’t make it through all of our workstations.  I will be adding a few activities from Aynsley Patton’s adorable Monster Math Centers.  You can click the link in my plans or HERE to check them out!
I also made a math scoot to review elapsed time on Thursday.  We did my addition scoot last week and it was the quietest my room has been during math in a long time!  If you missed the free addition scoot you can grab it HERE.
*If you download my free scoot activities, please consider leaving feedback and following my store.  As a follower, you will be notified when I upload new products and you won’t miss out on future freebies! 
Just to sweeten the deal, I will giveaway my Inference Task Cards to one lucky person who leaves feedback on either scoot activity and follows my store!  Winner will be chosen at random by the end of the day tomorrow!  I will contact you through TpT!
Have a happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Spark Motivation…..Reading!

I’m linking up this morning with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for  Spark Student Motivation Saturdays. 
I posted this picture on my blog and Instagram this week.
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My students have become hoarders.  Many of them have piles of books at their desks.  And, I can’t tell you how many times I heard at conferences last week that, “They are so motivated to read,”  and “I have never seen them go through books like this.”  What are we doing to spark motivation in our kiddos? 
We use Accelerated Reader at our school.  I know there are mixed reviews on this program.  I believe that if you use it the way it was designed to be used,  it can be very motivating for students.  Even my most reluctant readers have become hoarders of books!  At the beginning of the quarter I sit down with each student to make their own personal goal for how many points they will earn that quarter and we record their goal and book level on this bookmark. 
I laminate the book marks first so they can be used all year.  I write their A.R. level and goal in sharpie and when it changes I erase it with dry erase and write the new one! Click on the pic to download our A.R. Rock Star bookmarks for free!
The stars at the bottom help each kiddo track their progress toward their goal.  When they have met their goal for the quarter they get to put a star on our grade level bulletin board in the hallway for the world to see!
AR Board
The different colored stars represent the different classes.  My class is red.  I’d say they are pretty motivated!  Once they put their star on the board, they are also invited to the end of the quarter goal celebration party!  First quarter’s party was a doughnut and orange juice party! 
The thing I love the most about this is that each goal is set individually for each child.  They are only competing against their own personal best and not everyone else in class! Love A.R. or hate it, it’s working in my room and I couldn’t be happier!
Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five For Friday

Can it be that 2 weeks in a row I am actually on time for Five For Friday!  I’m feeling pretty accomplished!
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I was scrolling through Instagram about 2 weeks ago and I spotted the cutest Halloween math centers created by Aynsley Patton from Mrs. Patton’s Class.
  I had just uploaded my Halloween themed centers to TpT and thought it would be fun to do a little product swap.  The best part is that we both would have math stations done for 2 weeks!  I contacted her and we swapped centers!  Her centers are absolutely adorable.  They work on important place value skills that my kiddos could definitely use more practice on!  I couldn’t wait to get these printed, laminated and ready to go!
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I am in love with this activity to practice rounding to the nearest hundred.  We spent LOTS of time on this last week but I still have several kiddos struggling with it.  I quickly got these cuties printed and laminated just in time for my helper grandma to come in.  She pulled kiddos out in the hall and used these to review the skill.  When she was finished, I asked how it had gone, she said they were really starting to get the hang of it and that several students from other classes walked past on their way to the restrooms and slowed down to check out what they were doing!  I’d say they were a big hit!
I also can’t wait to add this one to my math workstations next week!
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These adorable monster cards will be taped all around our classroom and they will have to hunt them down and complete the number patterns.  I am a huge fan of anything that gets them out of their seats and I just know they are going to love this! There are plenty of other fun monster centers!  Click on the links above to hop on over to TpT and check out Aynsley’s adorable centers!
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We got down to business on our plant investigations this week.  This year I have the gifted cluster class, which means that I have 11 students who are identified as gifted.  One of the things I love about teaching them is their curiosity and love of learning.  Immediately after beginning our first investigation, several of them were already coming up with other questions they wanted answered and other investigations we could do.  I love that they love learning new things!  The investigations that we are working on right now are all from my “Plant Parts Aplenty,” pack.
plant parts
You can check it out HERE.

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I seem to have a hoarding problem in my classroom.  It’s like they are worried that I will run out of books for them.  I looked around the room yesterday in disbelief at the stacks they had on their desks.  I grabbed my camera and snapped a few pics.
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A few caught on to what I was doing when I heard, “I’ve got a 7 stacker over here!”  I just about died of laughter.  I am sure my teammates are reading this and rolling their eyes…..gifted kiddo problems right?  I’m not sure that’s it though.  Plenty of my hoarders aren’t.  I would like to think that it’s the culture of our classroom to love reading so much that you don’t ever want to be without a book.  I would like to think that it’s because they are so motivated to read.  I’m not sure the reason, but we talked about the proper way to store our books and the fact that our classroom library is pretty large and there are plenty of books to go around!
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I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about Cory before.  He is OUR football reader from the high school football team.  My kiddos love Thursdays when he comes over from the high school wearing his jersey to read to them.  They beg him to make a muscle and ask him all kinds of football questions.  My favorite one was, “How did you get so big?”  They just adore him.  When he finishes reading we always give a class cheer to thank him.  This week he did his football team cheer with them.  He huddled them all up and yelled, “Somebody light me up!” To which they all responded, “ssssssss……..BOOM!”  They pretty much thought that was the coolest thing ever!
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My 5th Five for Friday has no picture to insert.  It’s just this……I am tired.  When I say tired, I know all of you teachers who are reading this understand the tired I am talking about.  I can’t wait for the weekend to be here.  I am thinking that I might just pretend the laundry and dirty floors don’t exist and take a big long nap on Saturday.  That is before I have to drive the girls to Nutcracker rehearsal, grab them something to eat, go to church, grocery shop, finish grading papers from this week………I’m tired just thinking about it all!  Here’s hoping that a nap is a real possibility. 
Happy Friday everyone!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Visual Plans {Freebies Included!}

I can’t believe it’s already Sunday morning!  I spent yesterday in my second home……
If my classroom is my home away from home, then my car wins as my second home.  I spent 3 and 1/2 hours driving yesterday to get my daughters where they needed to be.  God bless my busy teenagers, and PTL I drive a small Honda that gets great gas mileage! 
So, here are my plans for the week, I’m linking up for the “Peek at My Week Linky!”
Peek at my Week Linky Button
All of the pictures and links are clickable and lots of them will take you to FREE stuff, but you have to download them from Google Docs first.  Just click on any of the pics to do that!
In ELA this week, we are taking a break from our regularly scheduled programming of main idea to go back and review describing a character.  It’s time for our annual pumpkin book character project, and we will be working on that this week.  You can check out last year’s pumpkins HERE.
On Monday, we will review character traits by using the “Costumed Characters,” from my Halloween literacy centers.  During our writing time they will work to describe themselves using character traits and I am going to have them make face frames that I saw on Pinterest.
Tuesday, we will review describing characters with Lilly from Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.  We will use an anchor chart to brainstorm character traits that describe Lilly.  They will then work with a partner to find evidence from the text and write their evidence on sticky notes to add under the traits on our chart.
Lilly anchor chart
Wednesday, we will review yet again, but they will be doing most of the work this time!  We will read A Bad Case of Stripes or maybe we will watch it….I love listening to Sean Astin read it, he does such a great job using accents for the specialists!  Check out Storyline Online by the Screen Actor’s Guild!
The rest of the week will be spent getting our own character descriptions finished for our pumpkin projects.  The link to my project freebie can found in my visual lesson plans.
  Our grammar this week will come from my favorite pack….Jivey’s Mentor Sentence pack.  I am still IN.LOVE. with this and I just saw that the story our mentor sentence comes from is on Storyline Online!  So excited.  I am telling you, if you haven’t checked out her mentor sentence stuff yet, get on it!  The link is in my plans!
We will spend our time in math this week on addition with regrouping.  First, we will work on using addition properties and we will make a flap book in our interactive notebooks.  You can grab the flap books for free by clicking the link in my plans.  I copy two on a page to conserve paper.  We go through paper like C.R.A.Z.Y. at our school and are encouraged to conserve whenever we can.  I have them cut out the rectangle and then cut the flaps. We put glue down the strip on the side and glue it in their notebooks.  They use the lines on the notebook page to write their notes.  It saves paper and using the notebook page with lines helps them be neater!  Reading it back, those directions are slightly confusing….I will take a picture of their notebook this week and post!
Our math workstations this week will all come from my Halloween themed workstation pack.  I always put review skills in workstations.  I plan on blogging more about how my math workstations operate later this week, including what I do for my gifted kids who need to be challenged during station time!  You can click on the link above or the pictures in my plans to check out the Halloween workstations.  For the next 4 days, everything Halloween themed in my store will be 20% off! Click the pic below to check it out!
Sale button
Have a great Sunday everyone! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five For Friday…..Finally On Time!

I did it!  Not only did I survive 25 Parent Teacher conferences in 3 afternoons, but I got my Five For Friday done….on a Friday!  It was a busy week and I am exhausted, but I also was able to leave work at 1:30 today.  Conferences and planning done…..I was out of there!  I love my job and my school but it was nice to be able to grocery shop and pick my high schooler up from school for the first time!
Okay, here we go!
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I am ready for fall.  It’s my favorite time of year.  I love fall clothes, fall scents, fall decorations, etc….  The only problem is that fall weather takes forEVER to get here.  I keep thinking that if I break out the scarves and boots fall will come faster.  It isn’t working.
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This week in math we worked on rounding to the nearest ten and the nearest hundred.  I was so proud of my kiddos, using their vertical number lines to round.  It makes it so much more visual and helps them understand it conceptually so much more than just teaching the “rounding rules.” 
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This sight melted my heart and I had to take a quick pic.  He finished his math assignment and wanted a quiet and comfy spot to read.  Love it! 
C Reading
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I have jumped on the visual plans bandwagon.  I love that my plans for each week will now be saved on Dropbox and I will have links to everything to remind me. There is also the added bonus of possibly being able to help some one else get their plans done quickly!  And then of course there was the yummy dinner I was prepping along with my plans!
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My big accomplishment this week was that I ran.  I ran 3 times!!!!  And, my run last night was my fastest yet.  I still don’t necessarily like running and my knees don’t like it much either, but my work pants fit better.  I also feel better after I do it and it really does help relieve stress. 
Hope you all have a wonderful Friday night and a restful weekend!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I’m Happy, Happy, Happy…a GIVEAWAY...and Visual Plans!

If you have been following my blog for a bit then you know that my family LOVES Duck Dynasty.  So, when the time came to make some new math workstations for an upcoming rotation I just new that they needed to be Duck Dynasty themed.  I have plenty of fellow fans in my class!  They are going to go crazy over these!  It’s on like bing bong! Click on the picture to check them out!
Duck Dynasty Workstations
I’m also happy, happy, happy to report that The Blessed Teacher can now be found on Twitter.  You can follow me at @TheBlessedTeach .  I am still figuring out how this whole Twitter thing works with lots of help from my hubby.
I am going to giveaway my Math Makes Me Happy, Happy, Happy to one random new Twitter follower!  I will announce the winner tomorrow night so head on over and follow for your chance to win this Robertson filled pack!
I’ve been checking out visual plans on other blogs for a while now and I’ve been wanting to give it a try!  So, here goes.  You can click on the pics to download the pdf from Google Docs.  Once they are downloaded the links are clickable. 
This is going to be another crazy week!  As if ending last week with a candy crazy parade wasn’t enough, this week we have no school Monday and then two 2 hour days for parent/teacher conferences!
Thank goodness for one more day off!  I still have lots of conference prepping to do! 
Good Night Everyone! 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Five for {Friday}….Saturday…Again

I try….really I do….every week.  I promise myself that I am going to get this done and actually link up on a Friday.  Yet every week it’s the same story.  I am dead asleep on my couch by 9 on Friday night and once again I am linking up on a Saturday….sigh.  One of these days…I guess I’ll just keep trying!
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This week was c.r.a.z.y.  It was Homecoming week at the high school that our school feeds into so we played along and had a spirit week of our own.  On Friday, we ended the festivities with the annual homecoming parade.  It is a highlight every year with the band, floats, football players, cheerleaders, homecoming royalty, and LOTS of flying candy….a teacher’s dream!  “Our” football player who comes to read to us every Thursday is not only a star player on his team and a fantastic reader and role model, but he was also nominated for homecoming king.  My kiddos were so excited to see him drive by in the convertible Mustang and I wish I had taken a picture of his face when he saw my class cheering with their signs they made that spelled out, “Cory Rocks,” and “We {heart} #5,”  it was priceless.  And it earned my class extra amounts of candy being thrown their way.  I may or may not have been nailed in the back of the head by a flying box of Dots. {ouch!}
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The weather finally cooled off here in the desert this week.  I love picking them up in the morning and seeing them bundled up in sweatshirts whining that “It’s freezing out here.”  Yeah, freezing…..its 64 degrees.  Where I grew up that’s still shorts weather!
Anyways,  cooler weather means that I can leave the gym and attempt to get my fitness on by jogging the neighborhood.
Not too bad for my first run since May!
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Teachers Pay Teachers and Facebook added some excitement to my day!  Had to add online shopping to my list of chores for the day!
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My whole store is on sale for 15% off the rest of the weekend.  Combine that with the promo code and you can get 25% off of my products! WooHoo!  Click here to check out my store!
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I finally finished my newest product and just in time for the sale this weekend! .  My Halloween themed math workstations.  My class LOVES math workstations.  They are especially obsessed with “Whiz Kid Lawn Care.”  I had to make a fall themed version for our next round of stations.  It’s included in my Halloween themed pack. Click on the picture below to check it out and grab it while it’s 25% off!
October Math Workstations
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Parent Teacher Conferences.  Enough said!  I will be spending the rest of my weekend making sure I am prepared to tackle 23 conferences in 3 days this week!  Hope my voice holds up!  Thank goodness for my data binder.  It really does make prepping for conference a breeze!
Okay,  I feel better now.  I blogged, did 4 loads of laundry, uploaded math workstations, now all that’s left is a quick jog and I can fall asleep on the couch again tonight.  See you all next Friday….I hope!