Saturday, April 16, 2016

The One Where the Kids are the Teachers

I'm going to just skip over the fact that I haven't blogged ALL YEAR. What? Ooops! Our year has been great and you can probably guess. 

Instead I'm going to share a little something we've been working on in math. The last two weeks we've had state testing, PD days, drills, everything to cut down on our math time. So here and there we've been working on graphing! 

I didn't want to spend a day on each kind of graph having the kids answering questions, instead they became the experts on one particular type of graph and then presented to other third grade classrooms! Anytime they can present to other classes they LOVE IT! 

To start them off with correct information they watched a BrainPop Jr video about their particular graph. We LOVE BrainPop! The original idea was for their presentations to be like BrainPop videos but the groups picked posters, Prezi's and PowerPoints instead. 

Day One: They completed a BrainPop note catcher and created their own survey and graph. 

Day Two: Students put their information into a presentation of their choice. 

Day Three: They added a five question quiz and prettied up their presentations. 

Day Four: Students practiced their presentations and presented! 

My students learned a lot about graphs AND even more importantly they learned a valuable lesson in audience engagement: candy


Short and sweet post attached with a freebie to help you if you want to do the same!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The One Where...We We're On a Break!

It’s been a nice, long break from the blogging world! I don’t think my brain ever shuts off even a day from school but it was nice to cut back and enjoy the sunshine! I think all teacher's (and Ross) agree, a break from school is needed for your sanity!!  I also spent my summer enjoying this little nugget, Santo!

(It’s hard to get work done when I spend all day telling him how cute he is)

Tomorrow I start my third year in third grade and I thought what a better place to start than my new classroom! This year brings many new and exciting changes. First, I will be teaching math, science, and social studies. I am so so excited for this because I believe so strongly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in the classroom. Second, this means I will have two sets of students throughout the day and I will share kiddos! Third, I moved classrooms! For some this can be overwhelming or a turn off, I on the other hand would have majored in classroom design if given the chance so I was ecstatic! 

To keep my long winded self on a short leash I’m going to share pictures and very short captions! 

 View from front of the room.

 First, I got tables my dad MADE ME TABLES! They are whiteboard tables and I couldn't be happier with how they look! 

This year we are focused on workshop model across all subject areas and I think the tables will be PERFECT for class collaboration! 

Small group table (added my name in burlap because students STRUGGLE spelling it!) I'll see if it helps! 

 Love this fun little rug, and that my room leads to the playground.

 And that we have a mountain view. *Squinting only required in picture*
Using the windows to display goals and data charts...saves wall space! 

Our math area, I'm obsessed with my math posters from, Ashleigh's Educational Journey. 

 Also, loving my number line from Amy Lemons! 

Free accountable talke sentence starters from Miss Jacobs' Little Learners!

 iPad station

 What Stuck Today is my exit ticket strategy and is free on my TpT! 

My Desk area storage system. 

Bulletin Boards around the room


 Always my favorite spot in the room :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The One With An Organized Book Room

In general, and by general I mean Pinterest, school bookrooms aren’t often talked about or explained. How do you keep all those books neat? What is the checkout system? Where do you put them all? Today I asked myself all those questions and I will attempt to answer them in this post! I may or may not have made it clear that I am a clean-freak, borderline OCD. If it hasn’t been made clear before, this post will lay it out for you!

My great friend and coworker (so lucky I work with some of my closest friends!) and both love a clean room. Her room is impeccable and mine tries to keep up! There is one room in our school though that could use a touch of OCD and that was our book room. Maybe a whole slap of OCD. 

Here’s the before: 

Our school is lucky enough to have a book room and we wanted it to be used to the best ability. The books came in the middle of last year, at different times, and smooth system couldn’t be made. Next year will be different! 

In addition to organizing the book room we wanted to go a step further (into full blown crazy) and move it into our storage closet. Our storage closet with things from the 70s and dust from before I was born. I wish took a before of this room, instead we have the hallway this room threw up in. 
*This might have been over our heads*

We started by taking everything out of the old storage closet, about 45 minutes in we realized why it’s been 30 years since anyone’s touched it. Luckily, we had summer school students minions to help move everything out. Unluckily, 8 year olds don’t stack things in the most efficient way and our hallway quickly looked like this. To be honest, after a full day it still kind of looks like this:

I would like to point out, this is one half of the hallway.

Once it was all cleared out and sparking we could begin the process of organizing (our true passion in life.) Most books were labeled, some were in the right boxes. Our favorite leveling app today was Scholastic Book Wizard. Most of the books were scholastic so it was easiest to use their app. In my own classroom library I’ve used Level It and Lit Leveler.

The actual process of organizing the bookroom went pretty smoothly! We both set aside our love for matching bins and KGFonts to create a pretty nice looking book room! (If I don’t say so myself!)

Gotta love a good before and after! 

The most important part of getting this bookroom organized is keeping the bookroom organized! We don’t have it all figured out, but here’s what’s in place so far:

1.    Each shelf (or two) is designated to ONE book level. This way the book room can grow and we won’t be redoing it next summer!

2.    Each colored bin represents a type of book throughout the room. Blue bins are leveled books without teacher guides, red are scholastic leveled books with teacher guides, and yellow are Mondo leveled books with teacher guides. (This is what I think will keep them organized the most!!)

3.    Accountability. This is where we could use some help. We’re thinking of giving each teacher 5 clothes pins to use to clip to the book bins they are using, enough for each small group. This way they can easily remember which level and which colored bin. Expert OCD thoughts on this?

4. And a little...

Today was a lot of trial and a few errors. Overall we are happy with how the room looks! Tomorrow we will either clean and clear out the hallway or just sit in the bookroom with the door closed and admire our work.