Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Back 2 School! Classroom Decor! {freebie too!}

So what your classroom says about you says a lot about you as a least I think so! I spend A LOT of time setting up and getting my classroom ready. I love making it look inviting/warm/friendly/comfortable I do have a bit going on but I try not to go over the top too much (however many would disagree!)
 I have loved being able to make my own decor, because I can make things exactly as I want.

As you can see from the picture below, I am totally ready for school to start...
He he he okay maybe not so ready! I'll get there though!

I'll be sharing more pics as things get put away and cleaned up. Anyway my classroom decor this year was inspired by an alphabet that I saw and I made my own!
They are pretty cute don't you think?! You can find them here, they are currently on sale for 20% but will be on sale again soon...

This alphabet also inspired a few other projects including homework folder labels.

You can add individual student names! and they are FREE, (Sorry they were free for a short time) you can get them $3 and use them every year!

Be sure to check out the other link ups too!

Next Week: Keys to Success!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back 2 School! Assessment!

Well it seems ALL I have been talking about lately is ASSESSMENT... since that's what I talked about in my Guided Math post, you can read about it here

This post is still math related but it's more relating to COMMON CORE.  So if your anything like me sometimes reinventing the wheel is not possible and you just need something quick and easy and did a mention free? (ok maybe not quick and maybe not easy, but you know what I mean...) Anywho I came across this website the other day and I just feel it needs to be shared! It has COMMON CORE MATH for each grade level K-6, you just click on your grade level and then on the standard. 

There are activities, levels of rigor and then you can click on assessing that standard! It is soo awesome and will make your life a little easier :)

 Here is where you can find all this fabulous stuff! Howard Country Public Schools It will say grade 1 but you can select any grade level on that home page. I hope this site helps you out :)

Come back next week for...CLASSROOM DECOR!!! 

To check out the other awesome teacher talking about assessment click either picture below to find the linky party.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guided Math Chapter 8!

ASSESSMENTS...oh assessments! There is a need for them most definitely but how to fit it all in, sometimes it just seems like that's all I do! Obviously I need to make some changes so I'm not feeling that way all the time.  I don't know how your school/district/state works but where I live there's a lot of emphasis put on reading assessments and tests but not so much on math. I did find something that I really liked last year from AIMSweb, however I can't share it with you :(. It's the Early Numeracy Indicators. If you have access to AIMSweb you can get these tests. They were a great place for me to start with my first graders. There are 4 tests: Oral counting, Missing numbers, which number is bigger, and number identification I believe. 

Assessment is very important because it helps guide our instruction. We can see what students can do successfully or not so successfully. It helps the teacher make instructional decisions. "I need to reteach odd and even numbers" or "Joe, Sally and Tom need a reteaching of change unknown addition problems." Now this doesn't have to be after a test it could be a simple exit ticket or observation of the student's work. Something that I totally need to work on...

I use observations, formal tests and then informal tests like exit tickets and quizzes.  I also try to use checklists... I was not as consistent with them as I need to be, but you guys are teachers you know we have SO much to do everyday that sometimes things just slip past us! This year however I will try my best to keep it up. My checklists are divided by quarter and have the standards we are teaching for that quarter. What assessments do you use in your classroom?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back 2 School! Behavior Management!

How many days do you have left of summer break? Let me check the calendar...40 days until I'm officially back to school! But I really don't mind I'm completely in love with school and sometimes I kinda wish summer break didn't exist! LOL! But anyway in those 40 days I have lots to do. Including putting my classroom back together. I moved classrooms so everything is completely unorganized :( 

So anyway! I'm linky up with Stephanie from Mrs. D's Corner and Sara from Mrs. V's Busy Bees and I'm so excited to share my take on all these topics.  

This week's topic: BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT!

As far as I'm concerned...if you ain't got it what's the point in teaching?! Am I right or am I right?! If procedures, routines and expectations aren't explicitly taught learning doesn't happen because you the teacher have to spend all your time managing student behavior. Now I'm in no way an expert in the behavior management area I'm a newer teacher headed into my 3rd year of teaching so I'm still learning myself...I hope even if it was my 33rd year of teaching I would continue to learn and change my techniques.

If you think you don't need to teach them "how to do it" your WRONG! I found myself thinking this right before Spring Break when my students were struggling to come in at the beginning of the day. They line up outside in the hallway (no talking) then they come in and make their lunch choice and hang up their backpacks and then go to their seat and start their entry task. Well on this particular day things were OUT-OF-CONTROL! There was yelling and talking and nothing getting down, and so I began thinking "Did I ever teach this procedure? Did I really go over not to talk in line, how to move your magnet for lunch count, how to hang up your backpack and turn your folder into the basket? Did we really practice these morning expectations at the beginning of the year?" Well it seemed we didn't! So my first tip is just because you think your students are old enough or have had enough experience with a specific routine or procedure...TEACH IT anyway, your way and make a list of every PROCEDURE or ROUTINE you have your students do throughout the day and make sure you have a plan to teach it.  OR you could use my list! I tried to think of everything possible that needed to be taught to the kids at the beginning of school. I came up with 54 procedures/routines so far, if you have others I would be happy to add them. 

Click here to go your list!

In teaching all of your procedures and routine, consistency is KEY! Have students practice and I mean PRACTICE until they do it exactly as you envision. If it takes 4,6,8 times or your whole morning, in the end it will pay off! The time you spend with your routines in the fall will make your life so much easier for the rest of the year. Don't forget to reteach all those procedures and routines after long breaks too!

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT! I have used a behavior clip art and I have found it to work pretty well but I also used tickets. I gave out 6 tickets a week, but the students could earn or loose tickets throughout the week. At the end of the week we traded in tickets for prize coupons. I use Mel D's reward coupons, they are AWESOME and don't cost a lot to implement either, the kids L-O-V-E them :) You can read about them here. I have found I get much better behavior giving out coupons rather than taking them away ;)

Well I hope you have enjoyed my tips! Now I want to hear from you! What are your go-to's for behavior management?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Guided Math Chapter 6!

If your anything like me I have been thinking all this Guided Math stuff is great but exactly how to I do it? I was excited to read this chapter since I believe that in order for Guided Math to be successful, your students have to be successful during Math Workshop. I have never done Math Workshop before so this year will be a big change! Most of what Laney states about setting up Math Workshop reminds me of " the sisters" and how they go about implementing DAILY 5.  I found it super helpful to have a day by day lesson plan when launching Daily 5. I'm sure those ideas could be easily adapted to Math Workshop. 

I'll be blogging more about this at a later date, but until I would love to hear your ideas! I have been "pinning" up a storm on Pinterest to look at what others do. I just love learning from others!

This summer I am working on getting all of my math centers/stations organized, I used some centers last year but I wasn't as successful as I wanted to be. Currently I am making 4 copies of each activity and will be placing the activities in bins or tubs (haven't found those yet or decided!) My plan is that if a student finishes one activity they could go and pick another one, time permitting, that way there will always be enough activities for everyone. I can't decide what size of group would best...

I'm very excited to start Guided Math this year, when I implemented Daily 5 last year it was hard but well worth those initial rough days in the beginning. I believe Guided Math will really help me know exactly where my students are at, where I see strengths and where I see weaknesses. Working with the small groups will really allow me focus on those students are in need of more help.

So what are your thoughts? Do you do Math Workshop, Centers or Stations? How do you teach your procedures? 

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