In between visiting family and shopping online (the only way I can handle shopping when the stores are so crowded)...I added another new item to my Tpt store and my Teachers Notebook shop. You might like this if you'll be working on digraphs (or reviewing digraphs) in the next month or so. The regular price is $1.50, so with all the sales going on you can get it for much less in the next couple days. You can click on the image below to check it out.
I also loaded a set of holiday themed making words activities last week. This set is regularly priced at $2.00. It's also on sale right now (along with all of the products in both of my stores).
19 parent conferences down, 6 more to go! I think I can. I think I can.
Two quick things before I head off for round 2.
I just posted a Holiday Making Words pack on Tpt and at Teachers Notebook. My kids love trying to make as many little words as they can out of a bigger word. So, I created a holiday pack with several different versions. We will be using these in our working with words center (and sometimes for morning work) during the next several weeks. You can click on the preview below to check it out.
Have a I confessed that I don't know how to cook? Now, my secret is out. I have a chef husband who is a fabulous cook. So, the only thing I could think of to do (while everyone else is cooking to prepare for Thanksgiving) is to throw a SALE!
I appreciate all of you so much. Here are the details...
I must admit that in my many years as a teacher, I have wondered (many times) if students are really listening to me. Last week was my birthday, and I was gifted "evidence" that they really do notice something other than my bad hair days or that I forgot to change the visual schedule on a particular morning. I cried happy tears when I opened the fancy pink gift bag one of my precious students handed me on my birthday. Here is the evidence!
Oh, happy day! I cried. I jumped up and down. I hugged little J. She beamed and said, "It was really hard to convince my mom that I should give you a jar, but I just know how much you love jars. You have jars for everything around here and you smile when you say, "Go get one out of the jar"! She's right. I do LOVE jars and I love that she noticed something so simple. She said her mom made her put the apple in it, because they didn't have any bananas (my favorite fruit). I tell ya, I could still shed happy tears just thinkin' about that sweet little gal and her perfect gift.
This week I'm going to pack 25 parent/teacher conferences into 2 half days and one late evening and I'm going to spend some time being thankful for my students and the fact that they really do listen and pay attention. I have evidence.
Have you ever walked out of your classroom discouraged, cried on the way home or thought about looking for a different job?
I just about cried when I read Katie's post at Katie Lately. She needs our support. We've all had days, weeks, years like the one she is having. If you have a few minutes, please consider heading over to leave a comment for Katie.
Katie...you are not alone, but you are making a difference each day.
Today is my birthday. I'm almost over the hill, but I don't really care about that. What I do care about is that I love cupcakes and the only thing I want for my birthday is time to snuggle with my own two kids. I did get a new student today (birthday present from my principal). I also woke up with a migraine. They did not arrive together. I'm assuming the migraine is the result of the two math meetings we had this week. The new student is darling and I'm excited to have her in our class! During reader's workshop time in our room, we are working on summarizing, describing our favorite part of the story in pictures/words and identifying the main idea. Earlier this week, we read The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown. It might be illegal to read a scarecrow book after Halloween, but I don't follow that rule (or the blogging only 1 time a day rule or the white shoes/pants/Labor Day old lady rule thing).
After we read the story, each student wrote about their favorite part on a sticky note. We shared our "sticky thoughts" with a partner and then added them to our "Reading is Thinking" chart for the whole class to read and enjoy.
The next day, we reread the same book to work on the main idea of the story. I have a big fat file of main idea graphic organizers, but the one below is one that I made a while ago to encourage my students to think, write and talk about the things we read. You can click on the image below if you'd like to download a copy.
I'm off to eat something yummy (and horrible for me). Happy Birthday, to me!
We do a weather unit each year. We use a unit from the Battle Creek Math and Science Center. Our unit is a 16 week unit that we originally worked on for 16 weeks straight. Last year, we decided to try breaking up the lessons in the weather unit. That allows us to teach each type of weather in the season that we are most likely to have that kind of weather in Michigan. So far, that seems to work well for our little learners. We started our weather unit 2 weeks ago. So far, we've covered the seasons, tools that measure different types of weather, temperature and wind.
Here are my favorite books for our wind lessons.
We made this anchor chart to help us describe the wind, since we record weather data each day. It's not exactly fancy (and I might have to remake one with the fancy kind of scrapbook paper that I love), but it gives us something to refer to as we record our data. We added the senses part, because we were working on writing a poem about wind. The students wanted to include the senses that we use to sense wind on our chart.
Weather related vocabulary is a big part of our unit. I made a set of weather vocabulary cards to use in a pocket chart throughout the unit. The set includes 40+ words and two different graphic organizers for weather related vocabulary.
Here is a picture of my weather vocabulary chart
with the words we have learned about so far.
You can click on the image below if you 'd like to check it out in my Tpt store.
I must say that I'm shocked by the power of the writing goals anchor chart that I just started using in my classroom. It is not my original idea. I pinned a writing goal anchor chart on Pinterest a while back. Unfortunately, I can't find the original source because the image that is floating around is accompanied by "I don't know the original source". So, if this is your original idea...thank you and and I would be happy to give you credit. So... here is the chart that I made for my first graders. You know how I love scrapbook paper...some scrapbook paper and a few sticky note strips and bam! We have posted writing goals!
These are not the real goals for my students. I took the picture before I had a writing conference with each student to set their first real goal. Each time one of my students finishes a piece of writing, we have a writing conference. The student reads their writing to me and we set a new goal (or keep the same goal if needed).
Occasionally, teachers (and parents) ask me about the fact that my students reading levels and now writing goals are posted in my room. I try really hard (like most of us do) to create an atmosphere that promotes individualized learning. Everyone is working on improving different things throughout the day (even me - especially me) and I expect the students to respect each other. My students don't ever ask about it, they just know that it's my job to help them maximize their learning and that it's their job to work hard and support their friends who may have different goals.
Off to go shopping with the girls! These southern folks are lucky! I love snow, but I could get used to this sunny and 70's business.
Let me start by saying GOODBYE Halloween! Halloween was just how I thought it would be at school and it was great at home. That sums it up, right? I'm exhausted and if I eat one more "bite size" bar, I'm going to burst right out of my britches. We are packin' away the pumpkins and preparing for the big election. My school does a book election. The students vote for their favorite book (out of 3 choices). They register. They stand in line. They vote. They get a sticker. To prepare for the book election and the "big" election next week, we read the two books below in my room and did a bit of writing about why it is important to vote.
Like I said, we did a bit of writing about why it is important to vote.
We used this little paper to do our writing.
Click on the image below if you'd like to download
my little election day writing pack for free.
Now, I'm off to do something I've never done before. I'm heading to Georgia (all by myself like a big girl) to have a girls weekend with my college roomies! I feel a teeny bit guilty about going away without the Mr. and the kids...but I'm also super excited to see the girls!