Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Whole Group Teaching Linky

Today I am going to be majorly productive...But first, in order to prepare, I must have a cuppa java and check out in with my fellow bloggers to see what's new. I have decided to join up with Leigh at The Applicious Teacher about 

Whole Group Instruction:
I was reading all the already published posts and although we all do things similarly with WGI, there are those little twists and tweaks that make it our own. I love catching a glimmer of other classrooms and adding a little piece here and there.

So with that in mind I tried to think of something I do that hasn't been mentioned. Last year, the year of the new, never had before, document camera, I discovered a whole new way to get my little explorers to be engaged. They loved the document camera and at first it didn't matter what I was doing, they just loved seeing BIG, live fingers! Giggle giggle.

Finally life settled down and they all dreamed of the chance that they would, someday, get to see their HANDS up on the big screen. Did I say superstardom? So I began to have them "help" with "teaching" as we corrected our morning work. 

I begin with them taking out a colored pencil or crayon except for yellow, because the teacher can't see yellow when she's at home at night grading papers. (They all know this mantra and say it as they choose their marking tool.) Then, looking for those showing readiness and good behavior, one by one they are picked to come up and write an answer, explain how they got the answer, and/or corrected an answer.
Those at their seats make corrections
 or add a star if they are correct.
 I find that this reinforces learning for those who got it correct but better yet it immediately catches and corrects the understanding of those who didn't understand. (First graders don't go back to check a graded paper and say Hmmm why is this wrong?.)
This is also an opportunity for them to share a good thinking strategy or asking that all important question which often does lead to further instruction.

Sorry I have no pictures but I hope you found this useful and again thank you for sharing your ideas.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Secret Cleaner Must Have, and Summer-itis

I have been off a week and I have come to realize that I am totally deadline oriented...or maybe I am having difficulty without deadlines and due dates. What I need is summer lesson plans for my bucket list! Otherwise I seem to waste contemplate the day away deciding what project I should could want to do. So I have been doing lot of catching up on my favorite blogs, and many new favorite ones, and am linking up with
LINK UP HERE

I don't have a specific organization idea but I have come upon a product that is so helpful in taking off the gummy stuff left from labels. I used it on my 25 buckets that I could not get the sticker to peel off. No Problem! It takes permanent marker off almost anything like my white board when someone grabbed the wrong marker without ruining the finish! It easily cleaned off all the tape from all the desks. It is biodegradable and smells good too! What is this miracle product you ask? You won't believe it. It's



Yes, it's actually an air freshener from Trader Joes. I told the maintenance guy at school and he now carries around for various clean ups.


Meanwhile, I have read 3 books and have been walking ( I'm up to 3 miles in 45 minutes YIPEE). 
These poor shoes!
and I am suppose to be getting ready for a Math Club that I organized for the summer that starts, yep, tomorrow. But I have completed 2 projects I was working on for my TPT Store. 
(so I guess I haven't been exactly a slug basking in the sun.)

I want to change my theme from Explorers to Detectives. I just couldn't get into the Safari Jungle Zebra Stripe thing. But I like the CSI, detective sleuthing, So I worked on a new 
Detective Themed Clip Chart Behavior Plan.


But then someone asked me to make a 
Bible Themed Behavior Clip Chart 
 so I made this one too.

Now I don't know which one I want to use!! 
You can check these out by clicking the picture or here.
I will be adding some Freebies soon but I always have trouble on how to add them to my blog. 

Anyone have a easy way that they can share? Google Docs doesn't seem to work for me anymore.
Help!

I will blog about my behavior system along with my freebies VERY soon.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

5 for Friday and 3 to go!

3 days to go ... It surely has been a busy month, with assessments, year end events... But I'm down to 3 days to go. With grades submitted we have been filling the days with activities I had prepped but didn't have time to complete. Nobody has questioned why we were pretending to be in a snow globe in June.. Hmmm... what does that say about my teaching?? We also had a Snuggle 'n Read party. Oh instead of talking about it let me show you! Here is my 5 for Friday (late as usual).

1. I was adding stories to their writing binders and I was not only amazed by the writing (length and content), but look at these drawings!


I love this one showing Joseph in the "transparent" well. Shows the ability to think in 3D.


2. Here are our "Winter Globes a la  June" Only in California
 would we think about a BBQ in the snow!

I have no  idea about the pink snow 
or maybe a sunset sky

3. For math we had free choice of math games and centers. 
I loved this design. Notice complete with a collar and dog tag.






 4. Our Snuggle 'N Read. They were allowed to bring in a small blanket and some books. We moved all the desks away from the middle and chose the spot on the floor to  read. I passed out little munchies to snack on and suggested we try to read quietly for 20 minutes and then we could share about our books with a friend. 
They read for 35 minutes and were still quiet. WOW!! I could not believe it. It was almost recess so I told them could share. And the did. Very quietly...the EEKK way. 
A Teacher's dream come true!


It is a wonderful thing to teach reading, but the real reward is to see them LOVE to read! 

4. My end of the year gifts were a big hit. Our theme was explorers this year so I had to have a header that was fitting. I also had to be sensitive for I am keeping one of my littles back. But she is so excited to be helper next year!

Thanks to Teachersclubhouse.com for the math games with a deck of cards.
I bought the Buckets at the dollar store. The deck of cards were 2/$1.00. I used my points at Scholastic for books at different levels and each student picked one that they wanted. It was like winning the lottery!



 5. My goal this year was to have a clean desk. This is my desk finally clean! Okay so it is the end of the year, I still made my goal..Right? Maybe I need to be more specific next year. LOL


And that is it for my week. 
Click here to link  up with Doodles Bugs Teaching and add your five for Friday!



Sunday, June 2, 2013

June Currently

So sorry about my absence, but the last two weeks have been speeding down a a track faster than I can keep up. But here is a snapshot where I am at this moment, taking a breath, and enjoying a morning coffee...Ahhhh (smile).

I decided to link up with Farley's Currently, and I see that many of you have already beat me too it and it's only, Oh my it's already the 2nd of June! Well here goes...

It is so peaceful listening to the little mama bird. She comes every year and makes a nest in our awning. What would be better today if I was able to be sitting on my patio in the early morning sun, but alas we are experiencing our normal May Gray along the Southern California coast. (But I did say it was June didn't I).

I only have 7 more days... well really only 5 more "teaching days" and the A water park field trip, and then the awards and talent show day. They don't really count. But what I am really enjoying is that I am not spending this time doing lesson plans-done, grading papers-done, homework-none this week! I actually went to a family get together ( my niece graduated from high school as a junior) without a to do list circling in my head.


I'm hoping to get a start this week sorting through and cleaning out files so I can begin packing. We have to pack up everything every year because we might be moving classes. I don't even know what grade I will be teaching yet. Meanwhile I have a Summer Math Club meeting each week this summer with about 20 incoming 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders. My plan is to play math games and activities just to keep practicing math concepts over the summer. So I do need to decide what manipulatives and math activities I need to pack separately. I also have been asked to tutor about 5 kiddos of different ages and will need to access material for that. So I guess sorting out things will be a MUST Do!! and 2 days won't be enough time. 

I am so ready for vacation... I just want to get away from doing things for everyone else. I know this is a selfish wish, but going away from all the demands, escaping into a book, and having someone cater to only ME sounds so nice. Really though, My hubbie is good about giving me some decompress time. Do any of you have trouble transitioning to summer lay back and no deadline looming? I am so task orientated.

Meanwhile I do need to get my school stuff and house organized because I just learned that I am going to be a Grandma! So excited and so much want to be there to support my daughter and her husband. My plan is to have my lessons planned and copy what I know I will need ahead of time. So I am really hoping to stay in 1st and not move grades this year.

Need new sunglasses (They were sat on) new sneakers to begin my summer fitness walking plan, and a desk for my spare room I am changing from the "junk room" to a guest/office. I have been pinteresting and have many ideas!

Okay I promise to blog more, post more ideas and freebies this summer. Thank you to all of you that are better at posting than me, you keep me encouraged. Wishing a happy summer to all and keep in touch!