Sunday, November 23, 2014

Christmassy CVCs!

My creative juices are FLOWING today!

My students have inspired me to work so hard this year.  I have such a great group of little learners.  They make me WANT to make learning fun.  They make me stay up at night thinking of how I can make a lesson on boring irregular verbs engaging and exciting.   They'll also inspired me to delve into some great data tracking.  :) 

Speaking of data.....

We are VERY big on fluency this year.  With my initial fluency assessment, I found that some of my students were reading at 2 words per minute while reading a Kindergarten fluency passage.  No bueno!  So, we've hit reading HARD.   We've been stepping up game, for sure!  

A month after the initial fluency assessment, I did another and each and every one of my students had gains.  They are reading faster and more accurate.  I am so proud!  It just makes me feel like all of the hard work I'm putting into planning and teaching is really paying off.   One of my students is reading 30 words per minute faster!  WHAT!?  Crazy.

My students favorite LOVE to play BAM!  We call it Bam, but I've heard it called so many other things.  Basically, it is a stack of sight word flashcards and there are some cards that have the word BAM!  Students pick a card, read the word (keep the card if they are correct, discard if they are incorrect).  If they pick a card that says "BAM", then they have to discard all of their cards.  They are O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D. 

The game can be played with any words but we've been playing with CVC words.  I noticed that some most of my first graders came to first grade without any idea of HOW to sound out.  YIKES!  No worries - we are sounding out MASTERS now.  :)

To keep the game fun, I've been making holiday editions with new words.  Since my little learners are getting SO good at sounding out the words, I decided to introduce sentences!  AH!  

Here's my new Christmas edition of the games.  I made it all Christmassy and pretty for you.  Click the picture to check it out! 



Thanks for checking it out! :)  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bloglovin!

When I started my blog, I was overwhelmed with everything.  I got used to reading all of my faves right in blogger on the reading list.  But, then I heard about Bloglovin.  I didn't really know what it was (and still kind of don't) but I definitely set up an account.

Well...I decided to log on and see what it's about.  It's been over a year since I logged on last. Oops!

I updated my profile and I'd love for you to check it out and maybe follow me?! 

Just click this little cute picture!
Follow on Bloglovin

This post is short and sweet because I have a BUSY day ahead of me....at the water park! Yay!  :)

Happy Sunday, bloggy buddies!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Want to Make FaNcY letters?

Hey, bloggy buddies!  I took a couple days off from the blog world and I've been oh-so busy....because...GUESS WHAT...!

I sold my house!!!!  Well, I hope! :)  The inspection is in a couple days and, if all goes well, I will have to be out by August 13th.  Oh, you know why ELSE August 13th is important?  Not only will that be my official last day in my house, it is also the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. 

So, needless to say, I'm crazy busy. 

I went into my MESS of a classroom yesterday.   I tried to rearrange things, recover my boards (I have a TON of bulletin boards, but I'm not complaining!), and I hung some stuff up.  Then, I went home and got creating. 

I made new letters for my word wall.  These will be the letter headers (does that make sense?). 

I'm also making one of my 92038290 bulletin boards an I Can statement board.  It'll be where I have everything the students will be learning that day - split up by content area, of course.  

I've been thinking about this for a while.....I want my students to know exactly what it is we are learning in each lesson.  I also want them to be able to refer back to the I Can Statements throughout the day, so they need to have big enough writing to be able to see at all times. Also, I want to be able to change the wording at the last minute, if I need to.  So, my plan is to write them on dry erase boards each day.  

Sounds kinda weird, but I'll show you what it turns out like when I'm finished! 

So, for that board, I made the content area headers.  Here they are! :)

I had a friend ask how I did the chevron pattern on the letters.  This is something I learned from another blogger a long time ago (I don't know who! Sorry!).  So, I'll let you know how to do it... just in case you ever want to!

First, open up PowerPoint and create some text. 


Next, change the size and font.  I like a nice thick bubble letter-ish text for doing something like this.  I chose KG Second Chances Solid (check out Kimberly Geswein's store...amaaazing fonts).  

Then, highlight the words and right click.  
Select Format Text Effects.  
Once there, select Text Fill
Solid fill will be selected...but, you need to click on Picture or texture fill


Next, click on File and select an image from your computer.  I use my digital papers to fill in my text. :) With these words, I'm going to use a paper from my Boys Will Be Boys pack.  So fun (and my best seller!).  Select an image/paper and click Insert. 

You'll notice the words have a fun pattern BUT, your pattern might be all misshapen and odd looking.  Ew.  We don't like that.  To fix it, click Tile picture as texture.  You can play with the Scale X and Scale Y percentages to make the pattern look perfect.  For this one, I just kept them both 100%.

Ok, the pattern is looking better, huh?  But, the words could use something else.  YES!  A thicker outline, of course! While you're still in the Format Text Effects box, click Text Outline from the list on the left side.  Choose Solid line and choose a color.  I like black for these words. 

Eh, the outline looks better....but I think it needs to be a little (or A LOT) thicker.  So, to do that, click on Outline Style from the list on the left side.  Change the width.  I picked 3.00 pt but you can do whatever you want! 

Ah!  Click Close and look at your magnificent letters!  

Oh wait!  You want to add more text with the same pattern but don't want to do all of those steps?  

Just click in your text box and type away!  Your letters will show up all patterned, pretty, and perfect!

Well, there ya' have it!  Beautiful letters.  You could use these letters in your classroom (just print and cut out!) or in your products! :) 

Enjoy your Saturday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Aligned and Mapped!

SAD FACE.  I'm back at work today....

At the beginning of my summer, I had a goal of aligning the Language Arts, Spelling, Social Studies, and Science programs with our Reading program (Lead 21).  It was  HUGE task...but, I just finished it!  Lead 21 has so many components.  Last year, with it being the first year we used it, I just didn't take advantage of everything it has to offer. 

This school year will be so different!  Everything is aligned and mapped out.  I know exactly what I'm teaching each week for the entire year!  The best part, it's all aligned with Lead 21 - lessons will flow and students will be making SO many connections.  I hope it helps my first graders make sense of everything they're learning.  It'll be more of a "theme" each week, rather than random choppy lessons here and there. 

Here's what one month of my little calendar looks like :) 

I think I might go back and color code the different content areas so it's easier to find each.  But, for now, it'll do.  

It has Reading, ELA, Social Studies/Science, Writing, and Phonics/Spelling.  I left out our Math program (My Math) because I like how it flows and it seems to make sense how it is. 

This map will help me pick out the perfect morning work, independent activities, read alouds, and will be the BEST THING for when I'm planning my lessons.  I can look ahead and be so organized!  :)  I love NEW... and organization! 

Enjoy the rest of your summer while I'm sitting through PDs.  I'm jealous!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NEW! I love NEW!

Who dreads the school supply sale ads coming out?  NOT this girl!  I LOVE new school supplies.  I love new things in general.  When school supplies come out, I can't wait to get to the store and snatch some good deals up.

The best thing to get new?  Mr. Sketch smelly markers.  They are a MUST HAVE.  I have tons and tons.  And, although I love new and fresh, I can't seem to throw them away when they run out of yummy, smelly ink.  Hm, weird.  

Of course, I picked up a new pack of the normal pack of Mr. Sketch smelly markers. BUT...look what I found!!

Mr. Sketch MOVIE PACK! Ah! 


Let me tell you...the buttery popcorn was SPOT on.  It was almost like chewing on one of those buttered popcorn Jelly Belly jellybeans (GAG!).  To be honest, the nacho cheese made me want to puke a little. It's just not right to be smelling nacho cheese from a marker.  The others were great though! :)  So worth the $5.47 or whatever it was.  Oh, I got them at Walmart.  :)

While I was at Walmart, I picked up 30 boxes of crayons, 30 notebooks, and 30 folders for my class.  Most of my students come to school with NOTHING, so I like to hit up the sales and stock up. 

Oh, and I'm neurotic and like my students to have a nice, already labeled, green go-home folder (all the same green/all the same folder), a nice, fresh (NEW!) pack of crayons, and an already labeled journal. :)  Call it what you want - OCD, neurotic, control freak....

I also got some NEW fun crayons/markers and stuff for my SUPER SUPPLIES in my BEST BEHAVIOR BINDER (read a little about it here) and some glue, for when we run out mid-year.  :) 

I bought lots of BRAND NEW packs of markers for myself because I love grading in markers (especially the fine tip ones).  

Did I mention that I love new school supplies?  :) :) :) 

I go back to work tomorrow.................. :(

.......Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made-Its!

This will be my first time joining Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made-Its linky!  :)  So excited!


Fourth Grade Frolics

Here we go!



I like new things at the start of a new school year - new smelly markers (WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE WHAT I FOUND.....read all about it tomorrow!), new crayons, freshly covered bulletin boards with new borders, you know...new, neat, organized, fresh.  Ah.  Happiness. 

So, I decided to make a NEW behavior chart.  I love, love, love the clip chart.  It just works for me.  

I wrote all about how my behavior management system here.  And, here's a little pic of my old one. :)  I used to think it was SO cute...but, now that I look at it, eh.  I could do better....


And, I feel like I did better! HERE'S MY NEW ONE!


I made it prettier and I changed it up a little bit.  I always noticed that my students/parents would get mixed up with Great Job and Good Day.  They were too similar.  So, I made the top levels different and hope that they are better understood.  

Instead of Outstanding, I made it Super Student.   Instead of Great Job, I put Excellent Choices. Then,  I kept it the same for the other levels. 


I had tons of left over scrapbook paper, so I threw some of them together and made these Positive Reinforcement Clips!  I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to use them - but, I'm thinking I could choose one student per day to earn the clip.  When will they wear it?  Eh, the next day?  The end of the same day?  I'm not sure...still gotta think that out.  

They have a tiny clothespin glued to the back...so the student can clip it onto their shirts when they earn it. 


Sure, I could've printed the words in a fun font, but I didn't think about that... so, my handwriting will have to do. ;)

I LOVE my sucker flower....and so do my students!  :)  Here's my old one.  I only have a picture on instagram and I just can't figure out how to download the pic (is that even possible?)

Here's my new flower pot!  I haven't loaded it with the suckers yet...come on, it's only July 14th! ;) 


The paint was supposed to be NEON green....but, it took me like 9402 coats to cover up the clay pot.  So, it's more of a green green.  Oh well. :) 

Well, that's it for now!  Make sure you link up!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pinterest MAKEOVER!

I have been wanting to fix up my Pinterest boards for a long time now.  Something about them - the crazy, scattered ideas - bothered me A LOT.  I like things uniform and organized...and although you'd think Pinterest boards do that, it's just not enough.

I was reading up on the Monday Made-Its on 4th Grade Frolics and stumbled upon the directions to create uniform, neat, amazing Pinterest board covers.  Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files explained it so clearly - it was a piece of cake (a time-consuming piece of cake though...haha). I've spent the last 3 hours re-vamping mine and I'm SO happy with the results!

Here's a screen shot of what my page looks like....ahhhhh... Neat.  Organized. Happy!


Check out my Pinterest page HERE!

I have ANOTHER showing for my house (along with a fun open house!) so I have to cut this blog post short.  I've had 7 showings in the last 7 days and it's driving me bonkers!  I'm so excited because people are interested in my house but I'm so sick of grabbing my doggy and trying to find somewhere for us to go for an hour or two.  But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!  :)

Here's a pic of my little guy - who has been SO "go with the flow" lately....letting me drag him places at the most random times... he's the best!

Check back tomorrow because I'll be joining the Monday Made-It linky... I made some super cute things! :)