Sunday, August 20, 2017

Back to School

Switch grade levels and rooms this year. Moving is no joke. It was exhausting and pricy - but I got great deals at Amazon, Ikea and Target. And yes - if you're with any of those corporations you may sponsor me. :)

So I decided on two rugs that are actually nice to look at - instead of one big primary rug.  First, it's pleasing to the eye but also it gives a runway - I mean aisle - down the middle. Any teacher knows the feeling of doing your thing at the board and getting a call. Climbing through students is not fun. For anyone. Problem solved. Rugs are from Amazon - as is the rocker.
I'm also using Ikea magazine holders again. This year these will be used for book bins and will be reinforced with some kicky Duck Tape. 

I changed out my primary bins for these cute colors - thanks Target for getting with what teachers want. #PrimaryColorsAreDeadToMe. And again, I glued lazy susans onto the bottom of trays to ensure supplies are accessible by all.

I decided to ditch my teacher desk a long time ago.  Does anyone really sit at a desk? I have an area where I project and a horseshoe table for small groups.

Yes. That is a teepee. I bought it a couple years ago from Target and it sat in my trunk until this month. It just was a no-go for 4th graders but I'm excited to use it for the Student of the Month reading area for my 2nd graders! My library is on point. I love the F&P leveling system and books are easy for the kiddos to find once they know their levels. My goal was to create a space that would excite kids about reading.

Organization is key here. Without desks, books and workbooks have to be stored around the room. Kids have jobs to manage their space and I just hope I created the kind of room that kids want to be in and learn in.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Glue Sponges - Jump on that bandwagon, people!

So... glue sponges. I don't know what's taken me so long honestly - but, as teachers we have eternal hope.  Every year I hope my students can just glue. That's not too much to ask, right? I taught 2nd grade and used journals A LOT! But, often their pieces would just fall off the page. Ugh and Grrr! 
I taught 4th this last year and - shockingly - the same thing.  I started to suspect it wasn't the gluing skill that needed work. Fast forward to my packing up and switching classrooms as I'm moving grades (back to 2nd!) and my good, hard core, X-treme glue stick was packed up.  So, I used the NAME BRAND "quality" kids glue stick. What a bunch of crap. It did not stick! But, even in 4th grade, using the glue bottle was - ahem - challenging.  Picture glue on elbows, tables and palms covered so they could peel it off. I gotta admit - that one brought back memories!
Hello, glue sponges!
Kid tested in 2nd grade summer school and - viola! Success!
I chose these containers because they fit half a sponge perfectly but are big enough for 2 kids to share.
Once done put on those lids and teach your students to listen for the click!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Literature Circles

Students finished their culminating projects for their literature circle groups.
Keeping Safe the Stars 
Trumpet of the Swan
Island of Blue Dolphins
Tiger Rising
The One and Only Ivan 
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Sunday, June 4, 2017

End of the Year Haiku

Wow, week 38
Saying goodbye will be hard
This year - gone too soon.
I can't believe we're already at week 38. 
This year has flown by - it seems like yesterday I was standing out meeting 33 new students and families. The whole year ahead of us. Since then we've immersed ourselves in great books, shed tears over characters and story lines, we've written great opinion pieces and poetry, we've divided large numbers, multiplied fractions, created our own math games and witnessed history in the making. When the outside world was uncertain we found comfort and security in the classroom, among our friends. We've come together on field trips and learned all about the history of our great state and spent time building engineering projects and circuits. We've participated in literature circles, melodrama and even taught a lesson! We've sewn and drawn and painted - tooted our recorders and created journals full of examples of our learning. And we've re-written books to make them our own! We've had a full year and we've grown a lot!
This weekend I was thinking of my students and hoping that next year's teachers really know how special each and every one of these kids are-
-how funny, talented and kind they are.
I worry, too, about new classes and worry that by the time 5th grade comes around others will have assigned roles to us that we just take on as our own. The smart one who is not allowed to struggle with learning. The quiet one. The artistic one. The rambunctious one. The one who can't. The one who won't. The one who loves to read. The one who hates books. I guess my last announcement is just to be careful with assigning roles or labels to others. Even the ones we think of as positive can really put someone in a small box and tends to let people off the hook, allowing them to not to get to know one another - thinking they already know what they need to know. Hey, if you're someone that has been labeled be loud about letting others know there's more to you than meets the eye.
Finally, thank you, thank you, thank you for making me feel so very welcome and appreciated this year. This has been the best teaching year ever and I have every one of my students and their families to thank for that. Your support, trust, and patience was invaluable.
Thank you.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Open house

It was so great to see all the families at open house. The room looked great because the kids have done great work - take a peek

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Book Recommendation

Scholastic orders are due 2/17 and we just got a great book recommendation from a very trusted source -- our very own Room Mom, and school librarian, Jenn! 
For your consideration....
The Girl Who Drank the Moon is available for $5
  • Item #35Y5 in Arrow January
    • Grades: 4 - 7
    • Ages: 9 - 12
    • Reading Level: GRL: X ▼
    Newbery Medal
Short Summary
A fearful town sacrifices a baby by giving her to Xan the witch—and a magical epic adventure begins.