Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2nd Quarter (another 9 weeks of fractions) Now Available at my TPT store!

Happy Tuesday Night!

My first blog hop was a success.  I'm looking forward to future hops/linky parties this school year. I was so inspired by the response of the blog hop that I FINALLY completed the 2nd volume of my newest TPT product "Fraction of the Day"!  Honestly, I had no idea creating fraction problems would be such a time consuming task!  I'm super proud of the product I'm creating and hope it's something you can use as well.  If you missed grabbing your freebie version of this monster, you can grab it by clicking here.  If you like what you see, consider purchasing the first two quarters by clicking the picture below.  Thanks so much for all of the support!  I'm beginning the 3rd quarter pack later this week.  Stay tuned...

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Back to School Blog Hop (and a Freebie)

Happy Friday Everyone!

I’m so excited to participate in my first ever Blog Hop!  I'm joining other fabulous 5th grade teachers to offer this Back to School Blog Hop!

I remember my first day of teaching 5th grade, I was unsure and intimidated! I was a K-2 teacher previously so jumping to the "big kids" at a new school was a beyond nerve-racking experience!! The kids were so big and I was the "new teacher" in the building.  I felt like they could smell my fear.  I knew pretended like I knew I was the one in charge so I began teaching procedures like I've done every other year with K-2 students.  Well...I learned in the first hour, on the first day of school that modeling the "don'ts" of chair behavior/raising hands is unnecessary in 5th grade. BEFORE I learned this humiliating  valuable lesson, I demonstrated for the class what NOT to do (jump/climb out of your chair trying to get my attention).  I demonstrated this using my rolling chair not the brightest idea on my part.  I landed in the chair wrong and fell out of the chair and into a book shelf.  I was completely humiliated wanted to crawl in a corner and die, but quickly recovered, playing it off as if I meant to fall and injure myself.  The positive in all of this was, I never had students trying to climb out their seats that year. :)  The long and short of it is, 5th graders need routines taught in those first few days; just pick and choose the "bigger" routines to teach because it's not their first back to school "rodeo" like the smaller kids.  It also helps to remember 5th graders are just as nervous as you are; however, you're in charge and it's not always going to go as planned. Typically, nothing is ever perfect on the first day, just don't let them see you sweat...you meant to do "that".  In hopes of getting your year off to a great start, grab my freebie by clicking the picture below.

You can see more great Back to School tips by visiting Kate over at Kate's Classroom Cafe. Our group of bloggers has a great pack of goodies to send to one lucky winner to help your year get off with a bang!

Enter below for a chance at this awesomeness: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

State Testing Vocabulary Idea {Freebie}

Happy Wednesday!

We've been slowly unpacking from our family beach vacation and I figured I needed to share something that worked very well for me last school year.  It's called Word Rock and it's from Lady Bug's Teacher Files.  I found it on her site and printed out the complete file.  Below are the steps I took to implement her clever idea in my own classroom.

Binder available for student use any time

A completed Word Rock form 

A list of direction vocabulary found on our state tests.
  1. I used the colored boom box sheet and placed it inside a binder for student access.  
  2. I copied several sheets of the black and white boom box for the binder.  
  3. I downloaded several Kidz Bop versions of popular songs I knew my students would like (i.e. party rock anthem, what does the fox say, moves like jagger, etc).  
  4. I filled in the information on the black/white boom box sheets using state testing vocabulary words often found in directions.
  5. On a Monday, I introduce one of the words to my class by playing a Kidz Bop song for about 10 seconds. 
  6. I slowly turn down the music on my SMART board and introduce the track of the day.  On Day 1 I read the information in a fun upbeat way while displaying it from my document camera.  Days 2-3 I call on students to give me the information in their own words (without displaying the information on the sheet).  I introduce and practice 2 words a week.  Once I get to 5 words I do a review of each of the words (1 a day before introducing any new words).
  7. When we've practiced the new "track" for the 3 days, I put it in the binder (referenced in step 1) for the children to access whenever they would like.  
It's been a blessing and a fun/quick way to cover important "direction vocabulary" students will encounter on the state tests.  I hope you can find a use for the free resource as well!  Until next time...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fraction of the Day Freebie!

Happy Tuesday!  I only happen to know what day it is because of my gym schedule.  Don't you just love the summer?!  Anyway, I'm back again with another freebie as I occasionally think about school.  This year the only changes I plan to make are to my math instruction.  I started Guided Math late last year and it wasn't as effective as it could've been. I will continue Guided Math from the very beginning this new year.  After reviewing my state test results for math from this past school year, I decided I needed to refine my craft and try to do better.  A team member of mine does a daily math problem with team points.  This was the jumping off point for my Fraction Problem of the Day idea.  Also, in North Carolina, a majority of the state testing focuses on fractions; therefore, the two things combined helped inspire my newest product!  I don't believe in teaching "the test", but clearly there are things I needed do better this year.  :) 

I'm planning to use the Fraction Problem of the Day as part of the morning work.  Students will come in, get settled in the morning routine (completing morning seat work, getting homework out, writing in planner, etc), and then individually come to the front of the room to solve on a scrap piece of paper the problem of the day.  This freebie begins with 4th grade problems and will progressively get more challenging as the days go on.  I will have 180 fraction problems (a problem a day for the entire year)!  My hope is that the children will become fraction experts and will be able to apply their knowledge to ANY fraction problem.  The problems will be mixed operation calculations and problem solving.  I'm looking forward to seeing if this new addition to my daily math exposure for students will make a difference.  Ok, back to the table points.  Basically, each student will answer the problem and place the answer in their table group pile, container, or however you want to organize it.  My team member uses the magnetic pen containers you put on white boards (at Dollar General) and has one for each table group. Anyway, to begin her math lesson, she has the class help her solve the problem of the day.  Then, she quickly checks each groups answers submitted.  She gives a point for each correct answer submitted to the table groups. I think this is fabulous because there are no consequences for incorrect answers and only positive rewards for correct answers.  The problem of the day can go in a clear plastic frame or in a page protector on a small pocket chart table stand (how I plan to display them).  I hope you can use this product however it fits the needs of your class!  You can grab your copy of the freebie by clicking the picture above.  The remaining weeks will be available at my TPT store in the near future (by September 1st).  Thanks for hanging in there with me to explain the how and why behind my newest product.  I would love to hear what you think if you choose to download it!  Have a great week! 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekly Common Core Spiraling Review Freebie in one download!

Happy Monday almost Tuesday!

I've been truly enjoying summer break and have been slack on all things school related!  I LOVE being a teacher, but really think I needed a mental break for a few weeks before considering looking at anything school related!  Over the past couple of weeks I've been a workout machine, pool regular, Pinterest chef/baker, and household organizing fanatic!  While doing everything mentioned above, I've been enjoying our little nugget and ALL the extra time I get with her in the summer months!  There's still tons to do and play dates to host; however, I'm ready to look at and think about school again a few days a week!  

Several people have requested the morning work spiraling review be located in one central spot for an easier download....your wishes are my command! ;)  You can download weeks 1-12 by clicking the picture below.  I don't have past week 12 because I ran out of time this past year.  I'm also not sure how I plan to use them this upcoming year or if I want to try something a little different...more to come on this!  Leave a comment if you like my work or have suggestions for other items you would like to see. Until next time....

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

End of Year Awards (Freebie)

Happy Wednesday!

Yesterday was our last day of school!  It was a bittersweet day for me because I really LOVED my class this year!  My class was incredible and it was definitely hard to see them off after the 5th grade celebration. :(  Before our celebration we had a mini celebration in the classroom and handed out class superlatives.  This is a first for me, and I'm so glad we did it! It was so much fun and the children enjoyed their certificates because they were chosen/voted on by their peers secretly.  Normally, I do the candy bar awards; however, the lower grades are taking over those awards so I needed something different and fun to mix things up.  The idea for my certificates was created from a TPT seller, but can't find a blog name for her.  You can check out the sheet that inspired me by clicking here.

The certificates are simple, but I'm loving them because of the chevron print and Dr. Seuss font (goes with our classroom theme).    Click on the picture below to grab your free copy if you choose.  They are really cute when printed in color.  Have a great week until next time! :)))

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Back from a LONG Hiatus!

Happy Saturday Everyone!

I'm back from an extremely long hiatus!  I apologize to all of you wonderful followers on my blog slacking.  Life has been BONKERS!  My husband's travel schedule was insane to say the least and life as a single working mom when he travels is exhausting!!!  We are almost done with this school year (only 1 1/2 days to go with the children) and I'm extremely bummed out!  I have LOVED my class this year!  They will always have a piece of my heart!  I haven't counted down the days until summer because I'm not ready to let them go to middle school! :(  Don't get me wrong...I'm super pumped about summer time with my own little nugget, but I wish I could keep the same class next year!  They are incredible!  Since I last blogged, I've set up an Instagram account and would love any followers (click on the button at the top right of the page to follow me).  I'm thinking it will be easier to show what's going on more quickly than the blog on occasion as well as provide a window into what I do when I'm not in the classroom. ;)

I leave you today with a picture of our family from April and an easy/quick classroom behavior management idea inspired from a Pinterest post.  More frequent posts to come!  Enjoy the weekend! :))

Our first family photo session since the newborn/family session 2 1/2 years ago!  The loves of my life! :))

Paint bucket from Michaels stocked with fun writing tools for students to use when they are working quietly and are on task.  The bucket has gel pens, erasable colored pencils, sparkly crayons,  and sharpies.  I go to students demonstrating desired behaviors and ask if they want to "trade" their pencil for one of my writing tools.  Of course they ALWAYS say yes and they get to use the chosen tool for the rest of the day.  If they get off task, then I trade them back and the tool is lost for the day.  At the end of the day all children return my supplies back to the bucket and we start over the next day!  It's AMAZING what they will do to use "teacher writing tools".