Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Collaboration is Key

Collaboration is key for my teaching practice!  I love sharing and listening to others at school, across my county, in Florida and across the US.  Teachers have so much to share and so little time to share it.  Sometimes we just have to set time aside and take the time. Yes, the papers to grade will still be there and may be dust in my house, but I feel refreshed!
Our school and county are supporting teachers and not only encouraging collaboration, but finding creative ways to plan for additional time for collaboration.  It does call for a little extra planning for the teachers, but it is nice to have extra time to plan and collaborate on instruction as well as assessment. 
I have been blessed to live in sunny Florida as there is an abundance of bloggers here!  It is encouraging and comforting to see what others are doing across the state.  We can relate to each other, share stories, experiences, frustrations and accomplishments.  It has become such a support system!
What is more fun sharing with these fabulous bloggers and teachers? A meet up at Sea World where Florida teachers get in FREE!  Yes, you heard me right! A school id, pay stub and your teaching certificate is what you need for your FREE annual pass! #
Teacher bloggers and Teachers Pay Teachers has encouraged collaboration with so many.  That's why we all get read blogs, isn't it?  A new idea, connections and a quest for innovative approaches is what brings us all together. 
Last weekend I went to New York to meet other teachers from across the country.  We had time to sight see, enjoy dinners together, attend a Brain Pop training, and visit the TpT offices to meet the faces behind the scene!  We even had time for a show on Broadway.  #tpttakesnyc
There were definitely lots of teacher superstars there!  Do you see any faces you recognize?  All I can say is I am re-energized, inspired and ready to take on my firsties! It was an amazing weekend.
So tell me,  do you take the time to collaborate?  I do hope you can find the time.  I know it makes me a better teacher as my teaching practice evolves.
post signature

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Project and a Freebie

A pumpkin project is such a fun way to foster the home-school connection for your students! Our first grade team has done a pumpkin project for several years. This year we are taking a walking field trip to the pumpkin patch to learn about pumpkins and to select out pumpkins!  So exciting:)
This project is as simple as 1-2-3!
1- Send home the parent letter explaining the project.
2- Assign the planning page where students can work with their families to create a supply list and a diagram to help assist with the creation of their character.
3. Students complete their pumpkin project sheet at home.  They will need to identify the main character, setting and details from the story.  There are different versions available depending on your grade level or student ability levels.

The best part is when students bring in their completed pumpkin projects to share with the class! Here are a few from last year!

Pete the Cat
 Henny Penny
I hope you join in the fun this year.  I have added this unit to TpT as a FREEBIE!
post signature

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday {10/10}

Where did this week go?  It totally flew by so quickly.   I am linking up with Kasey from Doodlebugs Teaching with Five for Friday!
Divider 1
We had a Wonders Unit review built into our reading series this week.  The kids had a great time practicing their sight words with Bingo, Boo! Sight Word game, Sentence Scrambles and I Have, Who Has.  All four activities can be found HERE.
Divider 2
One of our county's focuses this year is writing across the curriculum.  Thinking maps are key in organizing information and students' thoughts.  We focused on double bubble maps during reading this week to compare and contrast information about characters in the text.  This was our first go round of students making their own maps and including their own information after several times modeling this thinking map. 
Divider 3
We are loving our Go Noodle Brain Breaks! I feel like this has been mentioned so many times, but I still talk to people all the time who have never heard of Go Noodle! This was our new yoga pose this week.  The kids actually said their legs hurt after this 3 minute activity!!  CRAZY:)
Divider 4
Occasionally, my son leaves me "love" notes  before he leaves my room to go to class this year! They are so sweet and I can't believe that this is his last year in elementary school with me!!  Where has the time gone?  (Insert sigh...)
Divider 5
Last, but not least!  I attended  Deanna Jump's conference in Orlando today!  It was not only filled with amazing, hands on activities for kinders and firsties, but Deanna's love of teaching and enthusiasm is contagious!  I am so inspired.  I also got to spend the day with my blogging buddy, Tamara Russell from Mrs. Russell's Room
Such an amazing way to end the week.
Looking forward to a fun filled weekend. 
More details to come:)
post signature

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's Cookin' in Your Class?

HELLO October!!
Florida Octobers are a little different as they mean temperatures drop from the 90's!  This weekend central Florida is getting a "cool" front and night temperatures drop down to 60 with daytime highs at 82!  I am so excited:)  YES, REALLY!!
I celebrated fall last Sunday with my sweet friend Tamara Russell from Mrs. Russell's Room and my favorite fall dessert (and now hers)! Stay tuned for the recipe and a FREEBIE at the end of the post!
I am also linking up tonight with that very same friend for "What's Cookin' in Your Class?".  You can check out Tamara's post along with her fabulous fall resources by clicking on the picture below:)
For those of you who follow me, you know our district's adopted reading series is Wonders by McGraw Hill.  I have organized my units and classroom with this Wonders Supplemental Unit.  It includes flashcards, phonics games, vocabulary activities, study guides for a home connection and word work spelling lists.  Here is a sample of what's included.
I then added my Phonics Interactive Notebook {Wonders Supplemental-Grade 1} to my word work center. It is available for Units 1 and 2 with additional units coming shortly.  My kids love the twist added so they are not doing traditional style worksheets. 
Next week is a review week so we will be working on reviewing  using Sight Word Bingo, Quiz, Quiz, Trade and Mixed up Sentences!  The topics are open ended and include Columbus, How to Carve a Pumpkin, Going Batty, my Halloween Costume, My Favorite Halloween Candy and Spider Facts. 
 At the Writing Center, we have used themed class journals.  The kids LOVE seeing what their friends have shared before they add their writing! There is a mix of narrative, informational and opinion topics.  Hope you can use this FREEBIE for your class:)
As promised, Pumpkin Crunch will be sure to WOW your family and friends! It is a Pinterest favorite at my home and I am sure you will LOVE it if you are a pumpkin fan:) Click on the picture to see the recipe under my Yummy Foods board and be sure to follow me on Pinterest while you are there!
post signature

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday-Repurposing Math Manipulatives

I am linking up today with Christina at Sugar and Spice
 I love when something comes to me while planning a lesson!  I was prepping for a graphing activity and I wanted my kids to work in partners to roll a die and record the result on the graph.  So, I needed to find 9 large dice or cube shaped blocks.  Walking through a second grade class, I spied base ten blocks with thousands cubes! {Insert angels singing!!}

What other manipulatives do you repurpose?
Please share:)
post signature

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wordless Wednesday-Flip Books

Happy Wednesday to you!!
I am joining the fun with Miss DeCarbo over at Sugar and Spice!
We are using flip books at the Writing Center this week to retell the beginning, middle and end of Little Red Riding Hood!  I love the simplicity of flip books and kids love the novelty of the flip! 
Do you ever use flip books in your classroom?  Please share!!
post signature

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Basal Texts and a Giveaway

Do you teach with a basal reader or by standard-creating your own curriculum as you go along?  I believe there are definitely pros and cons to each.  The county I teach in has adopted Wonders by McGraw-Hill for our reading curriculum.  Even though the content is given to us, teachers are always looking for ways to organize and supplement the series.

I have worked with my blogging buddy Tamara Russell from Mrs. Russell's Room to enhance the Wonders curriculum and to organize all of the components within the series and our classrooms! We are having giveaway with our NEWEST WONDERS PRODUCTS!

My students were introduced to our Phonics Interactive Notebook{Wonders Edition-Grade 1-Unit 1} last week!  We will work together so my students understand how each page of the journal works.  Once I have introduced each type of page, the Interactive Phonics Notebook part of the Word Work Center during our Daily 5 Rotations.  

I am so glad Tamara Russell from Mrs. Russell's Room has joined me in this giveaway!  She has become such a true friend and such an inspiration in my teaching, blogging and product development. The Wonders Supplemental-Focus Wall Resource is AMAZING!  It is everything you need and more:) Click HERE to see her previews.

Don't forget, I also have s Supplemental Resources for each unit.  They are available in units as well as in the bundle.  Plus, my store is 20% off through Monday night for Labor Day! Click HERE to check out these resources. And now that you have navigated your way through Wonders, you, my friend, have found the GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Good luck!
post signature