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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Scarecrow Acrostic Craftivity

Wow, did these scarecrows turn out cute!  I love how they make the hall so festive!  Teachers are walking by and telling me how cute they are!  I love that they are all a little bit different!

Pick up your copy today!
Happy October!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Whole Brain Teaching - Management Techniques

Do you like to get control of your class in a quick and easy way?  You do?  Well, wait no more!  Using Whole Brain Teaching has been one of the best things I have done in the 22 years of teaching!

"When I say, "Class"
You say, "Yes""



Now everyone in the class has stopped what they are doing and are looking at me for the next direction.  I use this all day long!  Now you're thinking -- I bet they get bored with this and stop listening.  Not at all because you change up the way you say, Class.  The kids always repeat back in the voice that you say class in.  So if I say Classity, they say Yesity.  

Say it like a pirate, high voice, low voice, slow or fast.  Be creative!

What I love is when I say "Class" in the cafeteria or when the students come in from recess and we have all 4 sections together and the entire group says, "Yes" and looks at me!  Whaat power!  Now you would think that the other teachers would get on board with me!  I'm working on it!

I had a sub the other day and I taught him how to do this and when I came in later he was using it and smiling!  Success!!

My students are taught that when I say class not only do they say yes but they stop what they are doing, fold their hands and look at me!  It is very effective.  It takes some practice but when they have it - they have it!

These 2 techniques will get you started.  Go to www.wholebrainteaching.com to get a boatload of information and everything is free.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Five For Friday Week 3

I just love youtube videos to teach with.  This week I used 2.

Compass Rose - The kids loved this one.  They were singing it the next day by themselves!

There Was a Crooked Man - This was the poem we read this week for fluency.  Check out this previous post.  This video was great for vocabulary.

My daughter (15) and I make lanyards. We've been selling them to the teachers.  I love them because they don't break when you catch them on something.  I can't tell you how many beaded lanyards I have broken.

When I went to the Wisconsin Blogger Meet-Up I won these 3 books from SDE.  I donated the Reading Recipes to my best friend who teaches kindergarten - she was very excited.  I haven't had too much time to look into the others yet. Since I'm using math centers this year the Math Play should come in handy!  Thank you SDE!  Have you ever been to some of their conferences.  They are pretty good.

I'm attending this conference in October.  About 10 of our teachers including me attended a Smekens conference last year and it was amazing.  We learned so much.  I can't wait to go to this one and dig into deeper reading skills.  I love that it's early enough to use in the year!  Anyone else going to go in Kenosha?  I'd love to meet up with you! Click on the brochure and it will take you to the site.  You can see a video link and all their resources that are available.  You will not be disappointed!

Scholastic News are wonderful magazines!  I've been getting them for years but if you're not using the online version you are missing out.

This is the opening screen where you choose which issue you are going to use.  Currently, you can get in without a password so anyone could try it but you can't download printables.  Click on Open your Digital Issue.  Then it will open to the cover.  There's a super packed video to show that lasts a few minutes.

Here's the center pages.  You can push a button to have the computer read it aloud.  Each student in our room has a chrome book I'm thinking of putting it in a center for them to work on. Each purple word reads the definition!

 There are skill based worksheets and common core standard games to play.

I feel these are worth the extra money.  We only bought one classroom subscription to share and we bought the third grade one too to use for differentiation!  Not sure how it will torn

Added Bonus to my Week!

A student brought in cupcakes with Mile High frosting!  He tipped the packages over and they all turned upsidedown.  So... I got to turn them over!

Second Added Bonus!

Got an email at 4:00 tonight that I will have a student in my class on Monday!  This student was on my classlist at the beginning of the year and then moved out the first day of school.  I just threw away all his nametags yesterday!!!  

Have a fantastic weekend!!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Five for Friday Week 2

Gay Su Pinnell & Irene Fountas wrote
phonics and lessons: letters, words, and how they work!
Wow is this resource full of ideas.

Our school purchase Grades 1-3 and I'm digging into it!

This week we did a Short vowel activity.

The price for both books is $99.  Plus there is a cool CD resource with the binder on the disc.  It sure makes it easy to print and find the page you need!

A book that goes along fantastically is Sing a Song by Gay Su Pinnell.
Check out my post this week if you missed it!


I wish I were these ladies!  Wow - they are just phenomenal.  I would love to sit with them over a cup of coffee and pick their brains!


This is my new method of lesson planning.

Favorite Recipe!
Southwestern Stew Pot Recipe

Southwestern Stew Pot Recipe

We like things a little spicy so we add extra hot sauce!

Started conferencing with students.  I quizzed a few on their sight words and helped edit sentences!  I'm still working on procedures for the classroom and how to work in our centers so it will be a while until they are completely independent.

Each student in our class has their own chrome book.  We keep them in a charging cart.  This year we also purchase mice for the class.  I wish companies made better headphones.  One students broke the first day in the "hinges"!  How frustrating.

Students go on raz-kids.com or IXL.com.  After they take their MAPs testing next week they will also be able to use compass learning which links their lessons directly to their scores!

See you next week!  

Thursday, September 10, 2015


This summer I went to a Wisconsin Blogger Meet Up!  It was a great time to meet and talk with other teachers.  I wish we could do this more often.

We were all given a prize because so many things were donated to the day!  I won 3 books donated by SDE and a subscription to planbook.com.  

I'll admit I was a bit hesitant about the planbook.com if not a bit bummed at first that this is what I had won but now that I've had a chance to work with it these last few weeks I am really delighted with it.   It is really easy to use!

My main concern was that it wasn't going to fit everything I like to write down for lesson plans.  I like to add a lot of details such as which students I'm going to collaborate with.  I have always made up my own lesson sheets so that I could have exactly what I wanted.  Before I had won this I had purchased a couple of plan sheets that included the standards but they didn't fit my detailed wants.

First you set up your schedule.  I love that you can color code the different subjects.
This is a blank lesson plan for my writing lesson.   I was able to make a template to fit my needs.  When I fill out the lesson I just move the cursor to the spot and type.

This is what it looks like filled out.  I can also bold, underline, highlight etc.

Another neat item is that you can add links to your plans.  So I added this youtube link.  Not only can I click on it to show the students but it will save it for me for next year if I want to use it again and transfer the lesson plan.

There are many different views you can use and print.  This a list view of just one subject.  By clicking on it you can edit it.  There is a unit option too.  I haven't explored that yet.

This is a view of my first week.  When I print it out I print for the day. 

I am really liking this plan and you can get it for $12.99 for the whole year!  In 2016 they are going to be adding a gradebook!  

I would like to thank planbook.com for gifting this subscription to me!  I hope many of you find this useful too!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Print and Play Math Activities for Fall and a Freebie

This week we are starting to become a little bit more independent in our center time.  We are using centers from my Print and Play Math Activities for Fall.  I started making these last year but never got around to publishing it for everyone!  The kids love these centers and they can't wait to play the games more than once.

What I love about these centers is that I have tried to differentiate the skill so the students can pick or I can assign the level that is appropriate for them.

Race to the Top comes in three different levels of subtraction.  I'll be introducing this center in a few weeks.  I like to play with the whole class and model the game before I put it in the center.  Then everyone already knows how to play and I do not have to take class time to teach the centers.

This is a class favorite.  Who doesn't love Bingo Dabbers!  Of course you can you use crayons instead!!  Students pick an apple and add.  If they get it correct they get to dab it!  The partner needs to check their answer.

This can be used as a whole class, small group or partners.

For  whole class: partner up the students.  Then the teacher picks a card from the clocks and displays it on the doc camera.  The student finds the card.  Call on someone to tell the time.  Then they add it to their card.  This way does not give the most practice per student but you are able to teach the game for them to play it independently later.


Pick up Witchy Subtraction to try it for Free!  This is subtraction from 14.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sing a Song of Poetry - Fluency Lesson


Sing a Song of Poetry by Gay Su Pinnell and Irene C. Fountas compiled this fantastic resource of poetry to use for the year.  It is published for grades K-2.  There are 250 poems!  Each printed without pictures.  Students focus on the words.  You don't have to choose poems from this book but it sure is making my lesson planning easy!  I do not have to hunt down poems or retype them.  Cost of the book is $29.50.  It was worth it.  It's even cheaper on Amazon!

My Weekly Poetry Schedule

Monday:  Introduce the poem.  Discuss any vocabulary that may interfere with the meaning of the poem.  I read the poem aloud to them 2 times while they listen.  They chorally read the third time.  They put it into their poetry folder (with prongs) and buddy read the poem each 2 times.

Tuesday: We chorally read the poem 2 times.  We highlight any rhyming words using their poetry folders while I demonstrate on the white board. Read poem with buddies 2 times each.

Wednesday: Chorally read the poem without me. Underline skills that we are focusing on for the week.  Such as long a words.  Buddy read the poem 2 times each and read a previous taught poem.

Thursday:  Chorally read the poem as groups such as girls, boys, 7 year olds, etc.  Color a picture on the poetry page to show that they understand what the poem is about.  Buddy read 2 poems.

Friday:  Students are on a rotation to share reading aloud a poem.  They can choose to read the current week or a previously read poem.

You could choose to send the folder home on Friday.  At this time I am not doing this.

This weekly activity is a great boost to fluency as they listen to the teacher read, their partners read and gradually improve themselves as the week goes on.

Feel free to demonstrate poor fluency when you are reading the poem to them.  See if they notice!

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