Thursday, March 31, 2011

Conference Day

Tomorrow is Conference Day. I really love conference day.  I enjoy connecting with my students' parents.  I have the privilege of teaching at a Christian school, so I am able to pray with the parents, and pray for my students with their parents.  I love that! I also love all of the organization and "stuff" that has to be prepared for the meetings. I always compile a folder of information so our communication can be clear and organized.  I make a cute cover sheet with a class picture on it. 

This quarter I'm including a "Top 10" list of things that they need to know when they enter 3rd grade in the fall.  I use that list as an opportunity to point out any areas of weakness, as well as areas that need special attention over the summer.  Click on the picture for a copy.

I made this conference form to record the information I want to share.  This is my "script".  It helps me say everything I want to say including positive reports. Click on the picture to print a copy.

Of course, I include a handwriting and reading assessment.  You can find my assessment rubrics here.
What kinds of things do you share with your students' parents on conference day?  I would love to hear some of your creative ideas!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Secret Student

My class treasure chest is magical.  I'm convinced.  My students will do anything to pick out of it!
I use it in different capacities all year long.

Anytime I see an area that needs motiviation, I use the treasure chest.  And it works like a charm!
My most recent use for it, is the Secret Student.  Sometimes, when we are walking in line I will announce that I am picking one, and only one, student who is the best student in line.  It's that time of year when behavior starts to crumble.  So it's necessary to pull out all the tricks, and this one is a keeper!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

And the Winner is...

of the Ocean themed canopy is Kindergarten Works!!!

KindergartenWorks said...

I totally commented on your canopy during a picture linky party. Love it! I follow your blog. I would love to share this canopy with my favorite teacher down the hall as it fits her theme... a great end of year present. My favorite all time theme are two non-fiction balanced literacy units we do- pumpkins in the fall and bats here in the spring.

Email me your address (, Kindergarten Works, so I can get it shipped to you! Congratulations!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Last Chance!

Today is the last day to win this spectacular ocean-themed canopy!!
Go here to find out how you can win!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tasty Teeth

Next time you read Grandpa's Teeth by Rod Clement to your class (which I highly recommend!),

Or the next time you're studying dental health

Make this yummy snack:
(that I made for my daughter's class today when I was the mystery reader)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reading Groups & Center Instructional Materials

Have you seen this A-Mazing FREE reading instruction resource???
It's The Florida Center for Reading Research.

It's amazing because it offers FREE instructional materials that support the Florida standards (and I'm sure other state standards as well).  I use these materials mostly in reading groups for differentiated instruction.  But they're designed to be used as centers as well.  My room mom cut and assembled each activity into this binder for me:

Then, she hole punched each activity and cut all of the coordinating pieces and put them in baggies.  She paper clipped the baggie to the instructions.  I also kept a copy of the original behind the instructions. 

Here's the links to the pdf's by grade level for you:
Once you click on the link, scroll down to the activities.  It is divided by skills that you click on and get these wonderful pdf's.  They are all inclusive, too! No other materials to gather or assemble!  LOVE THAT! 

Butterfly Giveaway

You have to check out Mrs. Schroeder's butterfly giveaway!  My fingers are crossed and  hoping for a win!
And don't forget about my fabulous giveaway! Check it out to win this beach themed canopy!
The giveaway closes on Friday!

Yummy Spelling Practice

I introduced a very difficult spelling pattern this week in spelling and phonics.  The students are learning the final syllables -cious, -tious-, -sion, -tion, and -ture.  We need lots of reinforcement this week so the students can master this pattern.  I saw this cereal at Publix last night, and it was buy one get one-so that gave me an idea.

I put the students in 4 groups and gave them each a cup of the cereal.  I called out a word and they had to work as a group SILENTLY to spell the word-or their team was disqualified from that round.
It worked like a charm.  We spelled lots of words and they stayed silent! 
We couldn't find every letter of the alphabet so they had to improvise a little, and they made it work.
After our "game", they silently munched on the Alphabits and completed their phonics sheet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My First Giveaway!

 I'm so excited to announce my first giveaway!  One very lucky follower will win....drum roll please... 
This beach themed canopy!! (not the wicker chair-wouldn't dream of trying to ship that!-but take heart-I found mine on the curb on bulk pick up day for FREE).  Anywho-this beach themed canopy was the focal point of my beach themed classroom last year.

Here's how you can win it:
1.  Become a follower.
2.   Leave a comment about your favorite classroom theme.
3.  Post about my giveaway on your blog for an extra entry.  Leave me a comment letting me know you posted!
This giveaway will close midnight, Friday, 3/25!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Do you Ebay?

Have you ever shopped for "teacher stuff" on Ebay? didn't hear it from me, but there is a category for educational materials.  Go to all categories, then everything else, then education and learning.

Here's a few deals I've come across recently:

set of 4 $6.95

Happy Shopping!

The Water Cycle pt. 2

Water Cycle part 1 can be found here.
A quick look at a Water Cycle organizer I'm using with my students. 

It's simply a 3 flap book with one flap for precipitation, condensation, and evaporation.  The students will illustrate their understanding of each.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Teacher Tube and the Water Cycle

Do you know about Teacher Tube? It's like Youtube but, you guessed it, it's ideas posted by teachers. I'm on the hunt to plan some dynamic water cycle lessons. One tool I love to use in my teaching is songs. I can't sing a note, but my 2nd graders will never tell! I found these songs on Teacher Tube. Keep scrolling down as well for some other ideas I found in my hunt. If you have any great water cycle ideas, please comment!

1.  I always teach this song as well:
The Water Cycle Song: (to the tune of She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain)
“Water travels in a cycle, yes it does. Water travels in a cycle, yes it does. It goes up as evaporation, the clouds make condensation, it rains down precipitation, yes it does.”

2.  This is a new one I found: 
"The Little Water Vapor" song to the tune of "The Eensy Weensy Spider."
The little water vapor evaporated high, (raise hands)

Into a cloud, it condensed by and by. (pat hands, making a fluffy cloud)

When the cloud was full, it precipitated rain, (wiggle fingers, cascading down)

Down fell the water, to start the cycle again! (make circular motion with hand)

3.  Here's a fantastic lesson and video from Scholastic.

4.  Here's another water cycle video.

5.  Of course hands on activities are key.  I plan on doing this one from Proteacher.

I'm also on the look out for some kind of "edible water cycle".  I've got a cupcake idea in the works...

Well it's my spring I'm off to stay up late and watch a good flick-because I can!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's C.O.W. Day

Classroom Organization Wednesday
(a day early!)
When I looked at my little corner of the world the other day, I was a little embarrassed, to say the least. It was a mess! Here's a peek-(Don't judge me!)

I have all of these file folders of stuff that I need to have accessible daily, but I didn't have an organized system to handle them all.  Enter $8 clearance filing rack from Office Depot.  I was inspired to organize!!  I moved the book shelf so I don't have to go behind  my desk to access it. 

I put the miscellaneous files on the bottom rack of the file cart.  I put my daily folders (one for each day of the week with the day's supplies in it) on the top. The red folder is an "immediate action" folder.  The 2 blue folders in the back are "copies to made" and "absentee work" folders.
My little corner of the world is a lot less cluttered and a lot less embarrassing now!  As I'm looking at this,  I've decided I'm going to add one of the 3M hooks on the side of the book shelf for my purse and lunch box to make the renovation complete.
What's really funny is only took me about an hour to clean it all up and reorganize!  What have you been inspired lately to organize in your classroom?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wacky Wednesday!

Today is Wacky Wednesday (Dr. Seuss's birthday!).  I  made a giant Dr. Seuss hat from bulletin board paper.  As my students read Dr. Seuss books today, they were on the look out for prepositional phrases.  They wrote them on sticky notes and put them on the hat.  I've never seen them so excited to find a prepositional phrase!

 They read books in groups and filled out a readers' response sheet that I found in What the Teacher Wants Dr. Seuss packet! It's amazing.  You have to check it out!
 We also made these cute self-portraits from What the Teacher Wants.
 I'm linking here: obSEUSSedLinkCollection