Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The things we do for our students … :)

Hi Ya'll!  I sound soooo southern?!?!?!  HAHAHHA yea this New Englander DEF DOES NOT have a southern accent, but I "have" one during my Smoky Mountain Rose:  An Appalachian Cinderella read aloud … I know my southern accent is soooooo amazing awful! :)  But… hey my students were SUPER engaged and loved it (and that is what matters)!  

Ya'll want to hear about some science in my class...

Well… our mealworms have arrived to our class.  I am soooooo not an insect person, but I am trying my hardest to suck it up, put a smile on my face, AND teach this with excitement!  I will tell you that my students are LOVING their little mealworms.  Each student has their own vial with 2 mealworms.  They get to observe the mealworms through the lifecycle.  When my students arrived this am, they went right to check on them (super cute)!  Check out some pics of class observations AND my FANTASTIC para who totally stepped in to help me out!!!!  She is awesome!!!! 

PS… I always add misconceptions on our schema anchor charts because we are learning and it is OKAY to not KNOW everything and to change our thinking!!!! :)

ALSO  happening today was … 
I was in need of some word work for my friends … so I whipped up making words out of springtime center.  What I love about these activities is that all of my students were able to do the same activity.  When I was running my guided reading group, I could hear them talking about manipulating the sounds and how words were spelled.  I love hearing them work together, staying on task, and discussing their work!  #proudteacher   Making words from the word SPRINGTIME … you can get it here

That's MY day!!!!  :)  :)  :)  Ya'll have a good night!    

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I HEART School Supplies and a GOOD sale! #impulsebuyer

Can we be honest here?  I have an unnatural obsession with school supplies!  Like… I need to have (hoard) soooooo many school supplies because they are cute OR (even better) on SALE and could make something in my class MORE cute?!?!  Yepppp… that is the story of my life!  Between Staples, Michael's, Walmart, Amazon, Lakeshore Learning, Target … I mean even Home Depot … I can find something "cute" to enhance my classroom.   AND … I am sure I am not alone in this obsession!

Some current habits:

My cousins and I make dates to go to the teacher's store (they really just want to go to Buffalo Wild Wings because they are OBSESSED with the nachos).  They also find many ways at the store to entertain themselves!

For instance, playing with a playground ball … sitting criss cross applesauce?!? #love

AND… their real reasoning on coming ...

My reasoning for the teacher store trip ...

So, I have been thinking a lot lately about next year and my classroom.  We still have more than 6 weeks (thank the snow), but I have started cleaning out and organizing some piles, etc.  I am in LOVE with my class colors, neons and black, everything matches.  So basically, I just need to make a few changes to the actual decor!  But, there is one spot in my class that needs some LOVE and that is the library!  I have 8373937 books and I have like 7 different colored bins, different sizes and shapes, so I have decided that I am going to go with black and lime green in the library.  I have started making some labels for the bins and fingers crossed that Really Good Stuff has a really good sale on bins … SOON!  hahahaha I am also impulsive and when I want something … I WANT IT … ASAP!

So … some stuff for NEXT year … and because it was NEW it was 15% off!  

AND … what I NEEDED to have for NOW!!!!
With a coupon, so it was like on SALE!?!

Also, a peek at the labels that I have begun creating for my class!  

So … yes … I have a shopping addiction for school supplies!  I mean I think it's necessary, not everyone in my life … agrees! :)

Well… off to Home Depot … no joke I am sure I will find a MUST have there hahahaha!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Get Your Story Problems On! #2legit2quit and a FREEBIE!!

Sooooo… I will be TOTALLY honest … I was NOT looking forward to teaching ALL of these story problems in that OA standard in the common core … SUPER AGGRESSIVE!  LEGIT … how was I going to teach story problems to my little learners?!?!  #2legit2quit

Where did I begin?  

I took a look at 2.OA.A.1 standard which reads:  

Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

Aggressive right?
(I realize I am being totally dramatic) :)

I also read some articles about the standard and ways to approach teaching this to my students.  I work in an urban community.  I have 22 students (yesss… ONLY 22) and 11 of those students are English languages learners (ELLs).  My ELLs are all at different proficiency levels and I know that vocabulary development is a CRUCIAL area to their learning.  When reading these articles, they mentioned not to have students rely on keywords.  Ok… so I needed to think of a way to approach these story problems.

The first strategy that I used for all my students was to teach them a routine to solve story problems using this anchor chart… 

Also this freebie below, I use with my ELLs, my rushers, and students who need help staying on task.  I use a clothespin and have students move the clothespin to what step they are on! :)  Click the picture for the freebie!

Step 1

 Read and Visualize the Story problem 

The first step is to read and visualize (Miss VonKahle … we use visualizing when we are reading… love when they make these connections).  Students are visualizing what is happening in story and asking themselves if they are adding, subtracting, getting more of something, or getting less of something.  They are (hopefully) making a mind movie to help them.  They are trying to determine the meaning of the story problem.  Below are pictures of the powerpoint that I use with my students to discuss the steps and determining what the vocabulary means in the problems.

What I was finding is that many students were unable to determine what fewer or more than meant.  I needed a concrete visual to show them.

Step 2

What do you know for sure?

Underline it!

Here is where I talk to my students about finding those numbers and words that will help them to solve the problem.  They need to underline what they KNOW!

Step 3

What are you trying to figure out?  What is the question?
Circle it! 

Students need to determine the question and circle the question.

Step 4

Write the equation that matches the story problem.  Is it a 1 step or 2 step problem?

This step is VERY important… they need to determine WHERE the unknown is.  Is the unknown at the start?  Is the unknown at the change (middle)?  Is it at the result (end)?  They need to take what they know for sure and what the question is asking to determine what that equation is.

Where is that unknown?  

Step 5
How will you solve it?

Use a strategy

Students must use a strategy to solve their equation.

Step 6


Yesssss… we USE a hashtag!  I am clearly obsessed with them and to get my students to remember to label their answer… we always say #label!  Hey… it works!!!!!!!  

So … the above powerpoint was created to help my students understand and internalize the vocabulary.  I have also made a similar power points for greater than, less, ate, gave, and other words that are confusing or may need further explanation.  We continue to practice, practice, practice our story problem strategies to build that confidence!  

  Take a look at some student work…

The above story problems can be found in my Get Your Story Problems!  product that can be found... here!  My students needed a lot of practice and repetition of story problems, so I created a ton :)!

I hope this HELPS you and your students to solve story problems!   

A big thank you to Melonheadz Illustrating and First Grade A-Z for the graphics!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Five For Friday!!!! #bringonvacation


I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday!

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Fairytalessssssssssss!!!!!  We are in our final stages of this amazing unit.  We are writing our VERY OWN fairytales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So engaging and so fun!  I love reading the versions of my students' fairytales and the different ways they are incorporating the elements of fairytales.       

 The little guy on the left is editing… using a dictionary!  Ummm… my students are SO fascinated with the dictionary it really cracks me up!  The little guy on the right is planning his fairytale.  #getcreative

So… to add a little more motivation and enjoyment to this unit… we listen to DISNEY fairytale music on youtube!!!!!  I call it brain music and it helps them concentrate!  Seriously, does it get any better?????!!!!! 

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LOOK what came in the mail?!?  I was lucky enough to peruse Facebook during lunch and saw a post from The Creative Chalkboard AKA Krista Wallden and her NEW amazing paper collection!!!!!!!!

Did you know you can USE flair pens on the paper with no bleeding through?!?!?!  #dreamcometrue

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FRACTIONS!  Greats hands on topic, especially the week before a vaca!

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The SNOW has melted… and it finally feels like spring!  

SOFTBALL SEASON for my little cousins!!!!!  

That's my cousin KK!  (I will get a pic of Kendie playing soon!)

#hssoftball #varsity #holdonto16aslongasyoucan

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OH HEY … I am on vacation!  Finally it's APRIL vacation!  I am not going away … unfortunately… 
 Buutttt… I did book a much needed SPA day!


I will be kicking off my vacation with MARATHON MONDAY!  

Thanks for reading my random Five for Friday!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Surviving Until Summer… hopefully!!! #dramatic #ownit

LOVING this linky party idea … hosted by Queen of the First Grade Jungle and Fabulous in First … I am REALLY feeling the spring fever in my class!  We have 5 more days until VACATION … that we desperately need!

Sooo ... check out a few ways of how I am surviving ... 

Outside of the Classroom

Shopping … it's my stress relief … and I am seriously obsessed with Nordstrom … I wish I wasn't but ... it has amazing stuff there…


As much as I complain about going … I LOVE LOVE LOVE the gym … AFTER!!!!!!  Even on the worst days … when I go to the gym … it really can change my mood and I feel sooooo much better!

Confession … I AM ADDICTED to fountain soda!  GAME CHANGER in my mood … when work gets challenging … I immediately hit McDonalds for a soda :) #gamechanger #moodinstantlychanged

Oh HEY!  Random (impromptu) nights out with my friends … with a couple of quiet ones … much needed … and totally KEEPS me sane!  

Inside MY Classroom

PUSHING the positive behavior … REALLY trying to reward my students for behaving properly … TALKING UP these brag tags and making a GIANT deal out of who earns them!!!!!!!!  (hopefully they will ALL earn them …)

You can grab them here!

I made these tags and gave these markers out to my co-workers!  We ALL need a little pick me up!  And… well… who doesn't love Mr. Sketch :)  #RAK #embracemycrazy

So I am in the planning stages (thanks to these awesome pages to keep me organized from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd)  I am working on hands on math centers to keep my little learners ENGAGED and learning until the end of the year!  As much as I want to chill out … this is the time that you need to bring your A game … so I am planning on bringing it!  Stay tuned for my fun end of the year math centers!  

Thanks for stopping by and seeing how I am surviving these last weeks of school!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Five For Friday and a Freebie! #5daysuntilvaca


I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching …Five for Friday Sunday!


For this math module, we have been working on story problems … I will be posting a blog post this week… on how I  attack this standard.  My students NEEDED lots of practice of these story problems.  Practice helps build their confidence and to get them to understand the vocabulary.  I created this story problem unit that is PACKED with over 80 story problems for 2.OA.A.1 standard!  It's funny how I was not even planning on creating this product, but my students needed MORE practice, soooo I found myself writing story problems nightly.  They are 50% off in my store until MONDAY!  Click on the pictures to check out this product!


In Readers' and Writers' workshop we are in our folktales, fables, and fairytales unit!  Here are some pictures of what we are working on.  We are reading the Cinderellas from around the world.  My class has totally fell in love with reading the different versions.  We are getting ready to start comparing and contrasting 2 of these stories!!!!!


In the afternoon on Friday, we get to have some FUN!  So my class chose to do reader's theater using fables.  This fables unit I found on TpT is amazing.  You can find it… here!  They read with their friends and filled out papers on moral.  Ummm #proudteacher that my little learners want to find the moral and read for fun!  #lovethem



My cousin, Kendie, coloring SOOOOOO many eggs!  She's getting a little CRaZy!!! hahahah AND ...I even found a kit to monogram eggs… #sopreppy


We are starting some fractions this week.  Here is a freebie for you.  It's the week before vacation and my little learners have MAJOR spring feverrrrrr!!!!!  So we will be DOING a ton of hands on activities … to keep them engaged and busy!!!!

Click the picture … for the freebie!  Students will sort equal and not equal parts on the flip book!  

Thanks for stopping by!!!!!