Saturday, October 13, 2012

Time to shake up those spelling lessons!

With my new crop of younger kiddos, I do a lot more spelling instruction!  To mix our lessons up, I have made two online purchases (supporting fellow teachers) that I wanted to share.

#1 - Spelling Task Cards  (courtesy of Ms. Klohn over at Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher)
My students thoroughly enjoy these activities.  In this set, you get 20 different tasks.  Currently, my class is favoring Rainbow Writing and Pyramid Spelling!  Since we're still learning all the different tasks, I usually will put a the one up on the Smartboard for the kids to refer to.  My long-term plan is to keep these in a folder or basket and then the students can self-select their own activity.

#2 - Battleship Spelling  (courtesy of Samantha over at The Elementary Contessa)

 I love this game!  My students really enjoy it because it is something other than BINGO or concentration.  My favorite thing about this game is that I can very easily mix students together who are not in the same spelling group.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

And Bingo was his name-o!

As the days are closing in, I've been searching for some fun get-to-know-you type games that I can play with my class.

I found a really cute get-to-know you bingo here:

This downloads as a word document so it is so easy to make edits and add personalize your BINGO squares.  I made myself a set printed on cardstock then used with my handy dandy laminator.

More ideas to come!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New school year, new job!

After many SchoolSpring applications and a handful of interviews, I am happy to announce that I will be teaching in a new school this September!  Like my current job, I will be teaching students with behavioral and emotional disabilities, except the big change is that I will have much younger kiddos.  I don't know the specifics yet, but I will either have the K-2 or 3-4 classroom.  It's going to be so weird getting used to working with the little ones!

My new school is so nice inside and there are so many resources for the kids!  I can't wait!!  The building itself is relatively new. There is a beautiful sensory room with an undersea mural painted all along the walls.  All types of fiber-optic gadgets and another sensory toys.  I wouldn't mind spending some time in there myself!

Next week I will be able to find out my grade assignment, meet my co-teacher whom I will be sharing a classroom with, and also get some decorating done.  The most interesting thing for me is that I found out that I will also have a SmartBoard!!  I haven't laid my hands on one of those since college.

If anyone can recommend some SmartBoard resources or programs, I would really appreciate it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Still Kickin'!

I realize that it has been an incredibly long time since my post.  No, my students did not tie me up and lock me in a closet! LOL!!  Instead, life just became incredibly busy.  I {finally} moved out of my parents' house.  My fiance and I got our own apartment.  End of school year madness ensued with testing, IEPs, and end-of-year activities.  My best friend got married and I was the maid of honor.  And ten days after school let out, I went to Hawaii and became a Mrs!

Phew!  It's been so crazy busy.  But on the bright side, my mind is back into "teacher mode" and I am ready to start planning for the new school year.

More posts to come!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Celebrating Dr. Seuss's Birthday: Middle School Style

With the birthday of Dr. Seuss coming this Friday, I've been searching for some activities that aren't so "kiddish" that my middle schoolers turn their noses up at them.  During my prep time today, I began perusing Google and Teachers Notebook and I found some goodies.

I can't wait to try out this one.  And the timing it actually perfect, because I have just recently been going over figurative language with my class.  I just need to cover onomatopoeia tomorrow!
(BTW, it's FREE)

Dr. Seuss Logic Puzzle (also free!)

I'm also planning on reading Oh the Place You'll Go and using the follow-up activity that I found here.  Then finishing up the day with a movie, In Search of Dr. Seuss.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Full Moon, Catching up, and Running Records...

What a crazy couple of weeks!  I swear the full moon must have some type of effect on the students.  Because for a few days, I felt like I needed to go home, suck my thumb, and rock in the corner for a little while.

Updates:  I'm working on a new teacher binder for myself in hopes of finally mastering some type of organizational method during 3rd quarter.  I'm trying to avoid the whole scrambling around the week that grades are due!  Ladybug's Teacher Files and KindergartenWorks have some great posts about binder organizations and templates.

Something new that I started doing with my students are running records.  Last year, I had really strong readers so there was really no need to keep tabs on their fluency.  At my school, all entering students are tested by our reading specialist using the GRADE and some other assessments.  This year I have quite a few students who are struggling with fluency, or have fluency goals in their IEP's.

At the recommendation of another teacher, I purchased both grade spans of 3-Minute Assessments: Word Recognition, Fluency, and Comprehension


For two little books, I think they do a really good job at quickly assessing various aspects of reading.  I even use the title as a selling point with my testing "victims."  I show them the cover and say, "See, this will only take three minutes.  It says right so on the cover."  That usually does the trick :)

Is anyone else super excited about February vacation?!?!?!  I only have one more week to go.  I'm particularly anxious for this vacation, because I'll be moving into my very first apartment.  Does anyone have any vacation plans?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekly Lesson Plan Template - Updated!

While I was holed up in my house today due to a snow storm, I got to thinking about my current lesson planning template.  I've tried store-bought lesson planning books, but only end up using them for a few days.  Over the summer, I made myself a (very plain and boring) weekly planner using Microsoft Word.

However, today I was fueled by procrastination and not wanting to work on my grades.  So I did some blog stalking for inspiration and voila!

On this page, I found a basic template that I liked.  I really prefer a weekly view as opposed to a daily one.  The two fonts are from Kevin and Amanda (Smiley Monster and Pea Heather Michelle), but the combination of the two is a nod to Lady Bug Teacher files.

I'm new to sharing files, so bear with me.  Here's a link to the template in Google Docs.
Lesson Plan Template - PDF

If anyone were interested, I can email the original "editable" file :)

Here is a Google Docs link to the template in a .doc format so it can be edited to suit anyone's schedule.  You just need to download the fonts mentioned above.

Lesson Plan Template - .doc