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Sunday, November 1, 2015

NOVEMBER Currently


Can you believe it is November? The first marking period is OVER! This is going too fast! I don't know where the time goes! So much more to do and hopefully enough time! 

Listening - Football! This is really the first Sunday all season that we have sat down and watched some games! We planned on making some dinner tonight - wonder if we will get off the couch and do that! LOL 

LOVING - Really! I am LOVING being a empty nester! Do you know how many grocery bags we used today???? FOUR! That's it! FOUR! It will last us all week too! And there was no junk in it! There was fruit that we will eat! I do LOVE and MISS my "babies" while they are in college. They are good though! They are doing their thing. They are getting ready to fly! That's how we raised them! They know they have a home whenever they need it. But I we are really enjoying being just us too. 

Thinking - Well, that was the plan all week in my head! HAHAHA Hubby had plans yesterday and I thought it would be a good day. Well, I woke up in a quiet empty house. I just stayed here all day and got stuff done. I did do report cards! I didn't have tons to put away. I actually want to clean out some closets. After cleaning out my mom's house, I am all about down sizing. I know I have stuff that I don't need any more. I know I have stuff that I will never use again. IT'S OLD! It's going out - soon, some day, whenever I get in there! LOL

Wanting to get my mom's house done. We have most of it done. Now what to do with the rest of the stuff! Trying to find a good home for everything. We don't have to rush but I want to finish. It will get done. A little at a time. WE are getting there! Thank goodness for my brother and sister- in-law helping! 

Needing - seriously! NOTHING! I have way too much here! I am going to start cleaning this house out when I finish with her house! It's all just stuff! I am done with stuff! My 50's are going to be about cleaning out and simplifying!  

Yummy - well Thanksgiving dinner! All of it is YUMMY! I did always like my mom's sausage stuffing. It has sage in it. YUMMY! I love the stuffing in the bird too! We'll see what we do for Thanksgiving. 

Oh, now I want a little cooler weather for November! 70's is too warm for November! I put the AC on! I am thankful it's not freezing, but I would like some fall weather! Be good people! Enjoy! November will go fast! Parent conferences and Thanksgiving break! Woo hoo! It will be December before we know it! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Carson Dellosa Applying the Standards Evidence Based Writing

Here is another good resource for writing. Carson Dellosa's Applying The Standards.This is a good resource to help students with using evidence based writing. It is a good start for teachers also. As we all get use to the new standards, we need some help too. This can not be used independently - at least with my kinders- but I will certainly use this as a resource to help keep me on track!  I would love to have these in a Smart Board format to share large screen with the class. The book has included a lot of information - Common Core alignment chart, assessment rubric, writing checklist, writing process packet and a key for planning and implementation.  They have graphic organizers too. I really think this is a resource that I will be able to use to model and work together. I like the fact that it has checklists for the students = there are visuals and words. What a good way for the kids to make connections. There is a checklist for the five steps of writing- brainstorm, draft, revise, edit, and publish. There is also one for peers to check. The stories/ideas are good and relevant to kindergarten (although not independent reading). The graphic organizers are helpful and appropriate too. We can use them other times also - always coordinating things! The ideas for think and revise are very appropriate also. These will be nice to do whole group and then hopefully move onto independent skills! It will certainly make a good foundation for the student's writing! Here is a video to watch about them also! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGYYKbm-imo&feature=youtu.be 
I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Carson Dellosa Story Starters: Opinion Curriculum Cut-Outs


Always looking for new ideas for writing. Not my strong suit. As I sit and type a review! lol Anyway - I like these Story Starters for the ideas. This is the opinion set. There are 36 cards. More than enough for kindergarten. I can't use these independently in kinder. That is ok - at least I won't have to think of ideas when we are writing opinions! I can see these being great at a center in older grades. I think that K-5 range is so broad! I like that they give them different things to think about on each card. This will help the younger ones see what they need to include in their writing. Has some great higher level thinking skills going on! I like the different topics - can use them at different times in the year with different units. Great to use different writing skills with the different units. Here is a little video about the Curriculum Cut-Outs.  I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.




Sunday, October 25, 2015

Carson Dellosa Math Challenge Curriculum Cut-Outs

OMG! These Math Challengre Curriculum Cut-Outs are so great! There are 5 for each skill. They are a great quick warm up, partner work, center activity, ticket out the door - whatever you need! There are cards for missing numbers, shapes,writing number sentences,counting, skip counting, missing numbers,and matching numbers to sets. They are aligned to the common core - very importatn.  What a great value! And they don't take up much space! I'm loving these! I haven't tested these to see if you could use a dry erase marker or not. I am just going laminate them to make sure. :-)  I love that I can use them for different skills and don't need to buy a whole bunch of different sets. I was afraid that they might be too difficult for my kinders to read and understand, but they will be fine! YEA!!! Great job +Carson-Dellosa Publishing I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.
 I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Learning Targets - Carson Dellosa

OH LIFE! It has been a crazy busy beginning of school. NOT BECAUSE OF SCHOOL! lol Family issues- it will all be ok- someday!

So I got another package in the mail! In the box was Carson- Dellosa's Learning Targets and Essential Questions! I can't post a picture of it cause technology and I are not friends tonight apparently. :( Here is the link for them though: Complete Common Core State Standards Pocket Chart and Cards Starter Set  Any way - I was a little skeptical at first. I had Complete Common Core State Standards Pocket Chart and Cards Starter Set. I wasn't sure what the difference was going to be. I really like these those. These make much more sense for my classroom. We use essential questions. These have essential questions. The cards are sturdy and they are two sided. Essential question on one side and I can statement on the other. The pocket chart is great - not too big. Doesn't take up precious wall space. I love that the cards are divided by subject ( two colors  - red and blue; language arts and math). Makes it so much easier to find them. They are also divided by strand too- ie- counting and cardinality; measurement, etc. These just seem more kid friendly. Carson-Dellosa is so cool they even made some videos about them! Check these out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qTxfme5F6Q  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4uM9K5uZXo  The first one is information and the second is a workshop video! Super cool! 
I usually do my essential questions for each lesson on a Smart Board document, but I think this might be easier to post for the standard that we are working on. I'm excited to use these and for once I know which bulletin board I'm going to hang the pocket chart on! Go check it out!! You know it's good quality stuff! 
I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Carson Dellosa - Interactive Notebooks- Math!

So these interactive notebooks have been everywhere! The blogs are full of them. I haven't gotten around to trying them yet. It's on the to-do list for this year. Now I know where to start! Carson-Dellosa has made a great resource for Interactive Math Notebooks! It has some great features! The pages are perforated so you can easily take them out to copy. Or do you like to take them out and put them in page protectors in a notebook - by topic or as a whole book? Do you file them? I'm trying to get away from files! I don't mind books (well, I LOVE books) but the less paper around the better for me! I'm trying to keep things digital. Any how! Back to the book - It is set up with the 5 domains from common core. There are a few - EASY TO READ!-information pages with some visuals. OK - I teach kindergarten - I have the same attention span some days! LOL It explains interactive notebooks, how to get started, how to organize, plan and manage and even has a grading rubric. Then it gets into the domains and activities. There are several for each domain, except "Numbers and Operations in Base Ten", that has only one. It has the most for addition and subtraction. There is a page for instructions and a page to copy for the student notebooks. There is also a whole section of reproducibles for the pages. They have included different flaps, folds and pockets. :) The directions are quick and simple. They give ideas for independent work for the students. So you get teacher directed and independent learning from each activity. This makes this so simple! I'm not as overwhelmed as I was thinking about interactive notebooks. I also think this is a great starting point. This makes it easy to start with notebooks. It's all set up. It's all in one place. Then you can use your creativity to expand on the idea. Thanks again Carson-Dellosa! I was just on their web page and this book comes in an ebook also!! How cool is that? How much more storage will we all have when the books are on our computers! :) AND... there is a language arts version also!! As always Carson Dellosa made a video to show how great it is too! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpfAaeR2k4k Check it out!!  I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.



Monday, August 10, 2015

Carson Dellosa #2




Well, I am loving this new Carson-Dellosa Colorful Chalkboard D├ęcor. Here is an official link!  http://ow.ly/QIn2a  This is a really a cute set!

 It has a lot in the set too! There is a bday chart, calendar, incentive chart, all-purpose chart (this has one of those cute and popular banners going across the top), calendar pieces and a door label. I LOVE the colors – they are bright but not overpowering. It’s somehow perfect bright! It’s got that nice chalk look too – you know like you colored it in. So here are some of my thoughts about how I will use this – I haven’t started decorating my room yet! AGHHH!!! Well, I’ve been in rearranging and pairing down on furniture. Now it will be time to start decorating! So – the bday chart is pretty obvious. ;-) I’m going to laminate it first so I can write the names and dates on it year after year. I’m planning on adding the kinders pictures to it also. I’m thinking around it – each one by the month. I might use the cute matching border, which is straight edge- as a frame for each picture. That would look super coordinated! 


The calendar is so cute and colorful. It has little birthday cover ups too. I’m not sure how I will use this. I usually do calendar on my smart board. So I will be thinking about what to do with this one. The cover ups I could use in different ways. I will laminate those too- laminate everything! I thought about using the numbers as place markers for the kinders to line up. I also thought about using them as center labels. The incentive chart – I really like how they did this. The color is on the sides but the main part is plain – easier to read and use! I’m not sure about this one yet either. So many ideas- improving behavior, building stamina, sight words learned, standard learned, etc.  I don’t want to put things on there that would cause some kinders to feel like they are not keeping up with their peers. I want it all to be positive! The all-purpose chart – yes, I will laminate that too! I think that may be outside the door. I would love to use it for parent info but the parents don’t come to the door for drop off or pick up. :-( I could use it as “Where is Our Class?” sign. I could use it for sight word of the day/week. I could use it as a message board to the kinders. I could use it for an exit ticket. I could use it as a “password” out the door – you know –they have to read the word to get past. So many plans! The door label- well,, duh! That will be on the door. I’ll write our class room number and my name on it. WAIT …. I could use some of the letters to spell my name. Well, might need to check the size! Could combine the two to make a cute welcome sign!

 I’ll be sure to post a picture when I figure out what I’m doing! Lol Won’t be this week though! Taking #2 child to college – 20 hours away! :-0 OK can’t talk about that anymore! I love the letters from the Colorful Chalkboard set. They have different patterns- solids, stripes, polka dots! All in that cute chalkboard look! The border is two sided also! Polka dots and stripes. I like that they are straight borders too. I know I said that already! So I must really like it! It’s just a nice change. I think you can use them for more than just borders that way! So ingenious! WOW! If it wasn’t almost my bedtime, I think I would head into school and get decorating! LOL That’s what tomorrow is for! Carson-Dellosa did a very nice job again! Way to go!! Here is a video of ideas to use this cute stuff too!  https://youtu.be/pmpNfuxAB3Q  I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.





Saturday, August 8, 2015

Carson Dellosa Common Core Assessment Record Book

I am sooo excited to share the news! I am a Carson-Dellosa Brand Ambassador! This is awesome! They send me products and I get to use and review them! AND…. There may just be a giveaway sometime!
 Look at the size of that box!!! You know there is good stuff in there!!

Now look at all the good things inside! I’ll be blogging about all them! So stay tuned

So I need to tell you about the first product!
 

  
Carson Dellosa has done it again! I cannot believe that they read my mind! LOLI have been thinking about a common core checklist book and thinking about how to make one and then they did! SO MUCH EASIER!
This is a fairly thin spiral bound book. Love that it can lay flat or be turned in half. (you know what I mean right? Only looking at one side of the book at a time! ) I’m hoping the spiral lasts through the year – that is the only thing with spirals – they can snag!  I was wondering though if it should have 3 hole punches also. Then I could put it directly into my data binder. There’s a thought for next year @CDpub!

Inside is great! There is one page of instructions. That’s it! No wasted pages that we won’t read anyway! Quick and to the point! YES! Please don’t waste my time with stuff I’m not going to read or need.
The standards are all listed my subject Math and Language Arts all at a glance. Then they are broken down by topics. AND COLOR CODED! Yes – the glance section has the color that is used in the section. The color is also on the edge of the paper as a tab like system for that standard! It’s awesome!
But wait – there’s more! If you buy it now you also get 2 pairing knives! NO NO NO!!! JUST KIDDING!!! At the beginning of each section, it tells you the standards again for that group AND gives a crosswalk! Vertical Alignment!!! So it tells you what is before and what is after for each grade! Now kindergarten has prekindergarten listed and there are not common core standards for prek, so they just put items that they should be able to do before coming to kindergarten. How nice will this be when we are sitting in a grade level meeting and can’t remember what they need to know next year?!?!
The recording pages are nice! There is space for five students on each page. They give you enough pages for 30 students! Let’s hope we don’t need that many! Lol There is space for names, dates or quarter of year, proficiency levels and notes. Yes, some pages have more room than others for notes because of how many standards there are. Don’t really know any other way this would work. Well, we could teach less… LOL There is also a blank page in the back if you need more!

This is almost one of those things that is too pretty for me to write in! I will get there but I will be making sure my class list is finalized before I write names in. OH you know I’m using matching pens for each color section! I have too! It will look so pretty! The students will all be advanced- just because!
I really think this will be an asset for all of us! It seems well organized and user friendly! Let me know if you get one and how you like it! I’ll keep you posted also!

I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review. 

Currently August 2015




Yes, it's late again! Really! I don't like being late! I hate it! It makes my stomach hurt. Sadly, it's becoming my norm though! What can I say? I'm sorry! You'll all forgive me though won't you? It's been crazy! I'm loving the boat theme. We never made it to the beach this summer. :( I'm hoping a weekend away with the hubs after school starts! We are planning on embracing this empty nest stuff! OK - I can't rehash all the stuff that is in there. You can read it and it's self explanatory.  I just wanted to get August up! Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Teaching With Intention Chapter 7


Well, here we go again! It's that time 
of the week when I am late to the party. Sadly I HATE being late! I cringe, I sweat, I rush to not be late! But somehow - in this blog world- I am late to the link up every week. MAYBE that will change soon when the kids leave for college and we are just two people in the house again. Come on! Let me dream! 

OK Chapter 7! Why can't I be Debbie Miller? She is so smart! This is a short and powerful chapter. I kinda wanted it to go on a little more. I sat down in my comfy chair on the deck, had my feet up enjoying the BEAUTIFUL cool evening and then the chapter ended. The thoughts were going through my mind though! 

I love Debbie's simple definitions of summative and formative assessments. I know them but love how she put them - that's what I want to tell the student teachers, the parents, and anyone that might ask. :-) You know sooo many people ask about them! The quote from Erma Bombeck is perfect also! How sad will it be when people don't know who Erma Bomback is?? :-( 

OK here we go:
Conferring- I love this part of the job. BUT it doesn't happen often enough. I love doing this during writing. I truly gives an insight into how the kids are thinking. BUT I need to do it more and in all subjects! (YEAR GOAL!)
Listening in- I have my notebook! It's ready! It's blank! I have had it for years and haven't used it yet! It has The LIttle Prince on it. My sweet niece gave it to me! <3 I'm using it this year! I am going to really listen in and record what they say. Why is it that every time I start to do this the phone rings or the intercom goes off or someone is at the door? We really need to not have so many interruptions. 
Observing - This is going in my book too! I need to write it down as it's happening. I have looked out at those faces and thought - "They are not with me." I have changed course. I knew in that moment why they weren't with me- but by the end of the day - I forgot! Too many things needing to be done and I can't remember it all. So that notebook may only last me till October! lol
Examining Student WorK Samples - I love walking around and examining them as they are working, conferring and listening in. It's so great to help and change those misconceptions right there as they are happening. Then I always find one at the end of the day as I go through them again that I think "How did I miss this?!?!?!" I thought I was looking at every one's. I thought they were doing great. OH - then it's the next day to get them back to change their thinking. Does this happen to any one else? Am I the only one?
Charting Student Thinking - Those anchor charts are getting ramped up this year. I am making sure we are doing tons and recording that thinking! 
Reflecting, sharing and teaching- I'm MAKING the time! I'm going to concentrate on the students and my teaching. NOT ALL THE MEETINGS!!! 

So assessment time is MUCH better with ESGI though! I BIG PUFFY HEART ESGI! I don't know how I lived without it. I had heard about it and did a little investigation but not enough. Then I WON a year of it! LIFE CHANGING!!! I couldn't go without it now! I don't like all the assessments we have to do but we have to do them. I want to keep working on being present in their life and letting them lead the ways. I want to make sure that I pay attention and not get too caught up in the every day stuff of teaching. 

It's those next steps that are so important after all this assessing! How can we make sure their thinking is on track? How can we make sure they are moving further? How can we make sure they are "getting it"? Sooo much to do and only 180 days to get it all done! 

Well, one more week of this book club! I'm going to miss it. I can't wait to read the next chapter! See you next week! I"m sure I'll be late, but I'll be here! 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Currently July!


One of these days I will make it on the first of the month! lol Not my All Star that's for sure! 

I love LISTENING to the quiet in the neighborhood from my back patio! It is one of my favorite places in of the house! We got some great new adriondack chairs and a fire pit this summer. :-) The new dining table is coming soon to match too! Can't wait! I will cry when we have to put it all away MONTHS from now! 

I do LOVE school! I just LOVE not having a set schedule in the morning! I have gotten better at getting up for school over the years - two kids and working 25 years will do that to a person! lol But oh- to just get up whenever (the kids take care of themselves now!), work out (if I feel like it), eat breakfast on the porch, read the newspaper, read facebook. It's just such a relaxing way to start the day! 

I'm THINKING I need to stay home and get some stuff done on that list! haha That is the fun of summer though- spontaneous trips and visits! I'll get to grocery shopping hopefully tomorrow- or we won't have anything to eat over the 4th! I will get to all of it. I hope! I'm still trying to figure out how some of you major bloggers do all the things you blog about, blog, teach, have a house and have a life! I can't seem to get it all done! 

Yes I do LOVE school. I LOVE being a teacher! I do LOVE summer though! I wish it would be longer! Might be because I will be sending my oldest off for her LAST (how?) year of college and my baby to his FIRST (how?) year of college 20 hours away!! Sending me happy vibes please! 

I really NEED a year of  nothing else- just reading! I go to BJ's and Sam's and write down more titles. I get the monthly email from Goodreads and iBooks. I write down more titles. Then I read blogs and write down educational book titles! Never enough hours in the day! Now I NEED to go to bed and read! 

Well, I don't know about this ALL STAR thing. I had trouble thinking what I was an all star at. I do like lesson planning and thinking what and how to get those students learning. So that's what I picked. Not totally sure of that one, but there it is! 

August- take your time! 

Teaching With Intention Chapter 5 Swimming With Sharks!


Oh this just gets better and better! I want Debbie Miller to come to my school classroom! I want to see her in action! I want to analyze every lesson now! Those questions on page 69! OMG!! Thought provoking! I want to make sure the kids are more engaged and participating in their learning! I love the quote from Frank Smith says, "We can only learn from activities that are interesting and comprehensible to use; in other words, activities that are satisfying."  I remember reading Frank Smith in college! :) I knew I had a great foundation in education! 
The whole computer file folder idea is great! I know I will be making one of those before I go back to school. Yes I'm with you @kindersmorgie - it will be laminated!  I also think that is a great way to start the kids thinking about their thinking. That is a perfect first lesson. I need to add more research into the class also. We do some, but not enough. I believe there will be many more schema charts also! Oh the wheels they are a turning! The kids will be DOING so much more this year! I will sit back and let them do the work! I will sit back and let them do the work! I will sit back and let them do the work! I need to go back to that early quote from Katy in chapter 3 - those voices in her head - "do this, do that! Slow down!" I will slow down and let them learn! I will slow down and let them learn! I will slow down and let them learn! 



 This is so much fun with this book! I do not want it to end! I really wish we were doing this one at school! Looking forward to Lesson Design next week! 


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Chapter 4 - Teaching With Intention




Chapter 4! Debbie Miller is making me think this summer! It's a good thing! I am really enjoying all this reflection about my teaching. What fun to be able to sit on the porch, listen to the soft rain, know dinner is in the oven and I still have the time and energy to blog! :) Happy summer! 

Classroom Culture is HUGE! So is School wide Culture! That may be another chapter or book! lol

So her big three things:
 1) Putting my own Thinking on Display  
2) Encouraging and scaffolding student thinking and
3) Intentional Use of Language 
These can be some tough ones! Hopefully I will be honest with myself - and you! 
Well, I think I agree with Greg at The Kindergarten Smorgasboard when he said about putting thinking on display not just at reading time! This is where we have all heard it for years and we all know the benefit of it. We need to move beyond it though. We need to show them how we are thinking all day long! That will be hard! That will take some NEW thinking on our part! Well, my part- can't speak for all of you! I need to make sure this is deliberate and thought out. I also think this helps with building that classroom culture. Talking to each other is IMPORTANT! Talking about things is important. Letting them know you are interested in stuff and interested in the same stuff as them, what better way to showcase thinking! 

BEING PRESENT! WOW! This one hits home! :( Not all the time, but sometimes. Probably more than I care to think.) There is always SO MUCH to do. I know I have caught myself thinking - oh, if they are working quietly on that and they are doing fine, I'll just try to get this one little thing done. But then I miss what they are doing. I miss the opportunity to talk with them - and see how they are thinking. I ususally catch myself and stop myself. Sometimes a sweetie will stop me too! Then I make sure I am present and remind myself that the other stuff can wait! I need to let that small stuff go! So this is my goal this year. Let it go! Let it go! Let it go! (You sang it, you know you did!) I want to let that OTHER stuff go! I want to not worry about what meeting I have or if I turned in some form or if I need to get something out of the cupboard. I want to be and stay PRESENT! This is what got the highlighted star in my book. Literally! I love the quote on page 51 - "It was as if I was so busy doing the stuff of teaching that I didn't have time to be thoughtful and reflective." WOW! So true! Thank you Debbie for being so honest! It helps us be honest too. I think I need a sign that has her line from page 52 - "I have to be actively engaged in what's happening now, at this precise moment." I may need it to be a poster, a bulletin board, a bill board on my way to work!
I'm going to be working on this thinking outloud stuff alot! I think I need to practice over the summer. The hubs and kids will be fine with that won't they? lol


Well, this is another big one. Do I do this enough? Do I help them get where I want them to be? I love figuring out their misconceptions as we are discussing things and working through stuff. Shouldn't that be the reminder that HEY we need to do this all the time? But we get caught up in that schedule and that curriculum and that lesson plan. There are many times I wish I could ditch the lesson plans and just teach what I know we need to teach. I think this might help stay in the moment. Would it? I don't know.
I do use Whole Brain Teaching - and I'm continuing to learn more and more about it. I do believe that this is HUGE for them to work on thinking.I  can tell when I "forget" or "don't take the time" to do something with a gesture or Teach/Okay. They don't have it. They don't remember it the next day, sometimes they don't remember it from the morning. This is so helpful! I need/want to do more and more with this - and include more thinking in this.
I loved Debbie's examples of Teacher Talk - How HELPFUL! This is a great reminder of what and how we should be doing it.
Oh and the PIAGET quote!!! Happy Happy HEART!!! Page 58 -
"Each time one prematurely teaches a child something he could have discovered himself, that child is kept from inventing it and consequently from understanding it completely. (1983)"
SO TRUE!!!
I love "Something To Try" on pg 59. This is/will be eye opening. I'm hoping in an ok way! I also think this will help in planning for next year and some room placement ideas.

I love the notebook idea! I can see all of us running out when the Back To School Sales start and looking for that perfect notebook to write down all those gems that the students will be thinking! This will be cool!
I hope I am encouraging their thinking. I give them time. I know when one child is trying to think, sometimes it's the other kids that are impatient and raising their hand to answer. I tell them to hold those thoughts. Their friend needs time to think. It's ok for us to wait.I want the child to not feel rushed. I want them to think.
I tell them they are "college bound". I tell them that they need to be thinkers to get there.
Oh that word BECAUSE! I love that they think that is the reason. Why? BECAUSE. That's it. Just because. Nope sorry - you need to tell me more.
The idea of a Thinker Wall from Greg is awesome! How great would that be?!? I'm thinking even hanging their quotes around the room. I have so many of the Teacher Quotes around, but it needs to be their QUOTES! I'm thinking this would be great! Maybe I need to buy two notebooks....

Can't wait to go swimming with the sharks next week! See you then! 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Chapter 3 Teaching With Intention



OK OK - I'm late this week! I don't know what happened - well, yes I do- LIFE! I needed to take my 88 year old mother food shopping, visit the in-laws with my kids cause DD got home from study abroad and wanted to see them, and I HAD to go buy new adriondack chairs for the patio! They are very comfortable as I sit here and type! ;-) 
You will all forgive me won't you?!?!?
And the worst part is - I read the chapter early and LOVED IT!!! It is what I am thinking the most about this summer- ENVIRONMENT!!! I felt just like Katy did this year! I wanted to start all over with the arrangement and organization mid year! I tried here and there but it's busy and hard! And can be expensive! You know that right? I have 2 kids going to college this year!   
I  want to get better at this this year! I want to start with a clean slate in that room. It's a great room. I just need to make it mine. I have lived in it for a year and I think I know some more about it and that will help! 

  • Meeting area - this is super important for us! It needs to be around the smart board. I need to move the computer to the other side of the room for this. Not a hard fix, but I think know it will make a difference. Why did I have to keep walking across the room to bring something up on the computer?? 
  • Small Group Table - I have this! :) I have the write on circles. I have a alphabet strips on it. It's ready. That was pretty good this year. The teacher who retired from the room left a low bookcase that housed all the guided reading goodies. Well, most of them. ;-) This was fairly handy. This year I want to do more guided math, so it's going to need to house some more!  What I need to do is to come to the conclussion that I don't have the room like I did in my other classroom to display all the pretty apples, sayings and chotskies that I have gotten over the years. :( Well, I will need to find a new home for those. They bring a smile to my face when I think of the little ones that have given them to me over the years. I'm moving this to the back of the room, I think. That way I will look at the entire room ahead of me while I'm working with a small group. 
  • Library - Yes, this needs some work too. I wasn't happy with where it was or how it was set up. Again - needed to live in this space. I also inheriated some more low shelves that I was using, but I need more(?) or better organization of it. I have my books all seperated and grouped! That is done! Now to make it accessiable to the kids and me! I love the idea of having the whole classroom be a library. I want to figure out where and how to put all the baskets of books so they look orderly and are easily assecciable to the students. 
  • Student display place/Anchor chart display - more organized and better use of the bulletin boards this year. They are in some weird areas of the room and I need to think how it is best to use them. And what to do with that chalk board!!! I want to use it for the kids, I want to get rid of it, I want to cover it?!?!? Still thinking! 

This I am happy with! I divide the tables into 4 parts using colored duct tape. That helps show them where their space is. I have a can for each student. It was a baby formula can that I saved from my babies and covered in the same color as the tape. Inside it has their pencil, scissors, highlighter, expo marker and sliding pencil box ( yes, same color as the table!) that holds their crayons. I like this because they can take it with them if they move around the room to work. They also have a chair pocket - you guessed it! - in the same color as the table. That keeps their poetry folder, writing folder and their TIDE folder. The TIDE folder is their take home folder. Totally Important Daily Essentials. We are the Crimson Tide! I think I will add a white board in there this year also. I have kept those seperate before but think it would be ok to be in there. I have given out index card cases before that hold alphabet, number and sight word cards. They tend to get squished in the chair pocket. I think I might try pencil pouches this year. Think I can find them in 6 different colors?!?! :)  Although, I have toyed with the idea of getting rid of the tables, I'm thinking of moving them to the sides of the room for centers. We'll see how it goes.

The coat closets in the room definatley bother me. They are just the rolling cabinets with doors and hooks inside. They take up a lot of room but they need a place to put their coats. So what is a person to do!

I feel like I answered these together! SORRY!

My goal this year is to really go through things and purge what I don't want, need or like. You know we keep stuff just because. If I haven't used it - it's going. If it's old and outdated - it's going! If it's not complete - it's going. You all some stuff that isn't completed don't you? You just put it in the drawer to keep it cause you ARE going to finish it one day!

I really like Debbie's ideas in this chapter! I want to do the self eval with my teaching buddies. That should be fun! I hope what I value comes through. I hope there is evidence of what we are learning about . I hope they can figure out about the kids too. This is important. We get so caught up in the crazy school stuff, I agree with Katy - there are those voices in my head - Do this. Do that! Slow down and do what's right. I need to keep reminding myself to slow down and no sweat the small school stuff.

 I would LOVE for Anne Goudvis and Debbie Miller to come to my room/school  and help us with room arrangement! Wouldn't that be awesome?!?!?!  I really like the idea for an area to swap furniture  - especially in August when we go back to school and all start rearranging. I'm thinking of suggesting it at school this year. I know I have a piece or two that I would like to get rid of and I'm sure that someone else could use it or want it. I also like the idea of making a wish list for parents. Oh and how COOL would that be to get $125 from the principal to spend on the classroom!

Well, there are my thoughts. More questions than answers as usual! That's the best part though - so thought provoking! This is a great book!! I'm so happy to be part of this book club! Let's keep it going! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Teaching With Intention Chapter 2











Chapter 2 is THOUGHT PROVOKING!!!!!!!  I am loving this book! I want to read the whole thing tonight! But I don't want to get too far ahead of the discussion! But I want to read it! OMG! This is a hard chapter cause it makes you think! It's good to think! This is the stuff that we should be thinking about! But are we? I hope so! I am trying my hardest! I know we all are! OK - I will stop using exclamation points. Hopefully. ;-)

I <3 Debbie's (yes, I'm going to use her first name like I know her!) list of beliefs on page 17. I highlighted them. I agree with them. As I said yesterday, my classroom environment is a work in progress since I moved. It was organized for the students and I am hoping authentic. Our influence - OH MY GOODNESS! THIS IS HUGE! Am I perfect? NO!!!!! Do I regroup and apologize if I need to? YES! There are some days that are better than others. We are human. I want to do even more workshop format teaching. I am hoping to implement math that way in the fall. That is the hope plan for the summer. I was sooo happy when Debbie said it took her a year to define her beliefs. We need to remember that! It doesn't happen over night. It shouldn't happen over night. I got to thinking about my philosophy. Remember when they asked that in college? Like we would have known then. We had NO idea! But they asked us and we were suppose to answer. I wonder if I can find mine and see what it said. I wonder what would be the same and what would be different??? I <3 how honest Debbie is! She bared her soul on page 18 "Whenever I found instances when my belief and practices were at odds (and there were more than you might think!), I had to make  tough decisions. Would I change the statement or the practice? More often than not it was the practice that was out of synch.I discovered that even though I'd say I beleived in something, I'd find myself doing things, and asking kids to do things, that had my scratching my head." WOW! This was very powerful to me! THANK YOU FOR BEING SO HONEST! I know I fall into a rut sometimes. I did it that way in the past and it's easier to just do it again now. It's just easier and quicker. Life is busy! School is busy. But.... if we always do what we always did, we'll always get what we always got - so said Henry Ford. I need to close the door at the end of the day! I need to take that time to write and self reflect. I need to make sure I am being the best I can be for my students. I sooo wish this was a book we were reading together at school. How powerful that would be! I may offer it up at school and see if anyone else wants to take that journey with me.  I <3 Debbie's wishes too! I WILL JOURNAL THIS YEAR! I WILL NOT LET IT GET AWAY FROM ME! I REALLY HOPE I CAN DO IT! 



I want my classroom to be everything it can be! I want it to be a safe, happy, literate, mathematical place where children want to learn and grow. I want it to be student centered! I want it neat and organized. OK that's probably for me but why not! I will be working on this over the summer. I like thinking about the end and working backward. I think we get so caught up in the new beginning, we tend to forget where we want to end. 


I want to do the best I can by the students I teach! That is my belief! And I'm hoping to expand on that over the course of the year as I journal about my beliefs and practices. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Teaching With Intention



I am so excited about doing this book study! I think I have felt this way for a long time but Debbie Milller has (as usual!) done a much better job of putting it into words!  I am sorry I am a little late getting to chapter 1 - my "baby" graduated high school last Wednesday! OMG - how did that happen??? I was just snuggling and giggling with him yesterday! And then it was the end of school - there has to be a better way?? WHY OH WHY do we have to put EVERYTHING away to just come back in a few weeks and put it back out???? It is crazy! I am NOT counting how few weeks we have between though! I'm living and having fun this summer!

On to the book club...

I just finished my first year in this classroom. I know I did NOT have it arranged the way I wanted to  have it. I was doing pretty good unpacking and then I couldn't go in for 2 weeks because there were mice in the school - my room was one place :(  -  and they needed me to stay out. So by the time I got back in, it was time to set up. I wasn't real happy with how it turned out. I think I have a better idea for this year. Hopefully!

As all have been saying - I  want it to look nice with student work every where. I want them ENGAGED in THEIR learning! I want them to be able to use supplies correctly and neatly. I want comfort. I want talking about topics. I want laughter. I want homey feelings. I want caring amongst the students. I want colorful. I want that "perfect" classroom. I want the students to feel safe. I want them to be responsible for themselves. I want them to be respectful of the room, the adults and each other. I want anyone who enters to feel like they are walking into a wonderful learning environment.




We are all learning! We are working together, seperately,on the rug, at tables, with materials, with technology, with books, with pencils, with whatever we need! I want them to be more independent and take more control of their learning. This is what I want to work more on this year. I want to be more of a facilitator than a teacher. This happens, but not as much as it should. I really think I could go with no tables or desks like @kindergartensmorgesboard. Just really need to think this through and be ready in the fall. And discuss it with the principal.




Well, I just told you that I want to work on being more of a facilitator this year. I also want to work on finishing organizing this "new" classroom. I want to go through my stuff and make sure that it is where it makes the most sense, all like items together. And if I haven't touched it in 2 years - it is GOING OUT!!! Why have stuff if you or the kids aren't using it! I know I packed it up and moved it. I know I should have thrown some more stuff out before I moved but.... baby steps people! Baby steps! I think this will help with not bogging us down with "stuff" and make sure that we are working together.



I believe I have a happy, fun filled classroom. I think it looks and feels inviting and colorful. I think I  work at creating a caring and loving atmosphere for the students. We have different places we can go to work on things in the room. Want to make sure that we preserve those and add to it this year. I know the students and I work hard at creating a community feel within the classroom.

Well, I am sure that I have not thought of everything I would like in my ideal classroom. But this is a start! Thank you for reading this little blog post! #teachingwithintention

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Currently



It's February!!! 



Oh my! It's February already! January went by fast! And we had NO snow days! A few delays and one early dismissal but no snow days! I'm glad! We have several built into the calendar and I would like those off. Then I can do what I want and have fun. I know! Snow days are fun too! But I'm hoping not to lose the make up days at Easter cause I don't want to use too many personal days! lol
Well, this is always fun to link up with Farley at http://ohboy3rdgrade.blogspot.com/2015/01/currently-february.html



LISTENING - yes, the Super Bowl is on! It's been going on all day. Finally at the kickoff! My NY Giants aren't playing this year, so I'm not really caring which team wins. It's a nice night to sit by the fire and blog! 

LOVING that I have plane tickets to go away this spring!! It's been a long time since I've been on a plane! I am soooooooooooo looking forward to visiting my daughter on her study abroad trip! This will be epic! 

WANTING and NEEDING - I would love a day to really get caught up! Not that you ever do but it couldn't hurt. I feel like I want to do so much and then I just want to relax - it's always a toss up about what to do! No use complaining - life is good! I need nothing! So many blessings to be thankful for! 

PAGEANT TITLE- well, as sarcastic as I am, one would think I could think of something clever for this but I can't! lol So I went with Miss Book Scanner! When we moved out of the other school last year, I brought home ALL of my library. It's 99% my personal books I thought I would scan them into the Book Retriever app. I love the app! The thought was to do a basket a day over the summer. Well, that didn't happen. There are still baskets in my living room. Some days I feel like that is all I do! I'll get there... I promised by the time my girl comes home I'll have it done. OH BOY!  Maybe I should be Miss Procrastinator! 




Saturday, January 17, 2015

Five For Friday





Five for Friday! 


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OK It's NOT Friday and it's LATE on Saturday afternoon, but I'm linking up!!! I wanted to do this last night but I started report cards instead. I know! Crazy right?!?! Well, I got them done! I even updated the Data Binder! WOO HOO! So here I am!!

So I'm linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching! This is a first for me! I've been planning all week! I even remembered to take some pictures! Feeling good about myself! haha
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OK This was last week but I'm still counting it! I'm a newbie here so I'm making my own rules! lol
I did a Twitter Chat that Debbie Clement hosts on a Tuesday night before Christmas. It's every Tuesday at 9. Practice is at 8. This week the guest EDU CELEBRITY is Mrs. Wills Kindergarten! Can't wait! Just use the #teacherfriends and stop over! It's fast and fun!  Oh sorry - sided tracked! So any who! I won a song from Debbie! AWESOME! She sent two cause she thought I had to wait awhile - which I didn't, but I'm not complaining! So we wrote her a thank you note in a shared writing activity. And she sent this picture! It made me feel awesome!! A true celebrity in the early childhood field! <3

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I did this blubber experiment YEARS ago! I always loved it! So I decided to do it again as we talked about animals and winter. I told them they couldn't talk and tell how their hand felt when it was in the blubber! It was SOOOOO QUIET!!!!!! We had so much fun being scientist! Thanks to Kreative in Kinder for the freebie experiment sheet! It was perfect! The bottom right picture is my hands in - they made me put them in after they had a turn! They weren't letting me get away with warm dry hands! 
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Here is my desk. Yes, it is my guided reading table. I got rid of my desk several years ago and I wouldn't go back. When we moved schools this summer, I had the desk removed. The principal and the custodian had to "think" about it - mainly looking for storage. I'm not sure what I would have done if they had told me I had to leave it in the room! So I linked up with Tammy at Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten for the #teachersgetorganized2015 I'm hoping it forces me to get something done this year! I did clean some of the things up, but it needs redone again. Things are not where they need to be or where they make sense. That is the plan for this week! I might try to take it all out and then put it back in.... we'll see how that works out! 
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Found this fun roll and cover activity at The Activity Mom. We had so much fun! The kiddos did a great job and loved using the cotton balls. You know they are snow balls! lol I love when they figure out the connections! It's like a big secret they crack! I'm sure I heard a few kids singing Let It Go as they were playing too! 

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This is my "baby"! This was his last day of classes for high school! He needs to go Tuesday for a final but I'll be at school so I took his picture already! He is all done high school! I find it hard to believe! He is done early - not June yet! SORRY! ;-) He has all the credits he needs and he did dual enrollment with a college, but there wasn't any good core courses for him to take this semester. So we went with "graduating" early. He won't get his diploma till June, but he doesn't have to go back! I can't believe that he is old enough to be done HS! Where does the time go? 


WOW!!! I did it!! I had 5 pictures! 5 Things to chat about! YEA!!! I'm hoping to be back next week! Have an AWESOME week! Thanks for reading! Please follow if you don't already. :-)





Sunday, January 11, 2015

Winter

Looking forward to a fun week of winter activities! Doing lots of fun things - well I hope they are fun for the kiddos! My goal this week is to take pictures of the fun activities so I can link back to the great people and show them their products in use! Goal #2 is to take some before and after (which means I would need to do something)pictures of my teacher desk for #teachersgetorganized2015
Goal #3 do some decluttering at home - 15 minutes each day. How can it be January 11th and I haven't done that yet?!?! Goal #4 - which probably should be first goal - is to make my student teacher feel welcome in the classroom! Can't wait! I love having another person there to bounce ideas off of and laugh together at the kiddos. 
Well, here's hoping for a two hour delay on Monday - a girl can hope! It might be a wintery mix...;-)

Well - a small post, but a post! Trying to keep that goal of blogging once a week. I know it's nothing thrilling, sorry, but it's a start! Hopefully more next week! 

Thanks for reading!