Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

Sunday, December 16, 2012 / Leave a Comment

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Place Value PROS

Monday, December 10, 2012 / Leave a Comment
Today I introduced my Place Value PROs Math Stations to my 3rd grade students and they LOVED it. I split the kids up into partners to complete the different tasks, but this could very well work with larger groups because each activity has at least 20 task cards to complete. We will rotate groups tomorrow, and continue to do so all week.
So easy to prepare - I just threw the clipped materials in different spots around the room!

They loved completing the task cards - I have never seen them so on task and independent!! I didn't know what to do with myself because they didn't neeeed me like they usually do..

So I took pictures!
Recording each digit in the different place values, their values, and the number modeled on the task card.
Organized Chaos
Spin it to win it game
Finding the place value and value of the underlined digit
Recording what number is modeled by the base ten pieces.
Reading and problem solving with place value word problems - These dry/erase place value charts are my favs! So helpful for them!
They really need the extra help with place value before we move onto other concepts. It's unbelieveable how misconceptions about place value can have such a negative effect on other math processes.

Such a good day, I love when stuff works! If you like these activities.. check em out here!

Hope everyone had a great Monday!

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Saturday, December 8, 2012 / 2 comments

Due to the fact that we didn’t move to our new town until the week before school started and I didn’t actually start at my school until the third day of school, there was no time for decorating my classroom. The beginning of my year consisted of getting paperwork organized, holding IEPs, and aligning all my student’s IEP minutes into a schedule. Therefore, I taught in what looked like a prison cell for the first few months of school {I took before pictures, but got a new phone & completely forgot to save them!}.

When I finally felt caught up, I dedicated several after school evenings to organizing all the stuff that had been put into the room from previous years, rearranged “furniture” a ton of times, and put up some make-shift bulletin boards to add some color to those walls! Thankfully, there is a ton of inspiration on here so I was not short of ideas.

Here she is for now… I still have some things to add, but it’s a big improvement from those plain white walls!

Keep in mind that I teach in a resource classroom, so I usually only have at most 10 students {thats like maaaax}. I co-teach for half of the day and pull small groups for the other half.

This is my favorite part of the room - I LOVE LOVE LOVE CHEVRON & I went crazy when I found this rug at Big Lots for only $19 bucks! Such a steal! My students love to sit on the bean bag and listen to their weekly stories or just read a random book - I try to change out the books every month or so to keep them coming back.

Right above our little reading corner I have the Reading C.A.F.E. signs that I actually typed out on chevron backgrounds to match the room - I got all the information from The Daily Cafe website and by no means made it all up myself. On the door I have Cara Carroll's {the first grade parade} *FREE* decoding strategies that she already had on multi-colored chevron backgrounds -- she's amazing! & the lime green one is our math word wall where I put up all our math vocab with examples for easy reference for my kiddos! I teach 2 math groups - one 4th grade {with the title I teacher} and one 3rd grade - these groups include my students with IEPs and other students that need some extra help as well. I refer to all 3 of these often during instruction & the students love them!

Since I have students from both grade levels, I use these "week at a glance" boards on each side of my dry/erase board to keep me focused on what they are doing in their classrooms for that week and what I need to work on with them in the resource room. I printed off two sheets with chevron backgrounds and just typed Reading, Skill, Grammar, Math on them and slipped them in clear sheet protectors so I could easily change the info on it every week. In the pocket charts below each grade I put the kids vocabulary words for the week so I can reference them any time there are free time. To the left of the fourth grade chart are my authors purpose anchor charts you can download here for free!

"Math Center" AKA where I keep all our Vmath Kits. On top are our word problem clue word posters I talk about here. The hundred's chart is necessary for a lot of my students and the cute border is the Math Alphabet I download for free FREE from Lovely Little Readers on TPT.

On my door is the home for all my "Dixon Dollar" recipients and the rewards they can purchase -- I like to keep it simple with the rewards so there are only about 6 options up there.

Here is another angle showing part of my desk, a little table I like to keep materials, large dry/erase easel, and in the blue cabinet I keep all our math manipulatives. On the front is where I keep any paper products {worksheets} I will be using that week using magnets. I have found that by having them hang like that versus laying flat saves me time {less searching}.

These little beauties will be going up right next to our math word wall because  I am super sick of spelling my students need some help with spelling out the word form of numbers :)

I typed these up myself and I'll put them on here asap incase anyone else could use them!

Also..... I wanted to share the cutest pup ever with you.... he visited me at work on Wednesday :)

No.. he's not mine. But I did get to play with him!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

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Place Value Stamp-It Activities

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 / Leave a Comment
Right now, a lot of my students are working on place value and the different number forms. To make this process a little more fun, I tried to use a more hands-on approach versus forcing them to write endless expanded and word form problem after problem.

We practice a lot with base ten blocks, but I was lucky enough to come across these old wooden base ten block stamps that I knew my kids would love {they love using letter stamps for word work practice}. Also pictured are number stamps that came in a stamp pack I purchased from one of "The Shops" brands at Target. They are my favs...

For my math reteach group today, I decided to give them some practice will all the different forms of numbers by making foldable books.

For this activity, I used the following materials:
base ten blocks
base ten block stamps
number stamps

I also provided the students with this quick and easy direction sheet:

And I had them reference these dry/erase charts if they needed some help with place value:

I also had my students complete my Different Number Forms activity sort and match up from my TPT Store.

I've seen some super cute activities for place value that I still want to do. For some reason, my little darlings have had a little trouble with grasping it - especially when asked about the value of a certain number versus what place value a number is in. I think these activities helped some and tomorrow we will keep at it!

Any other ideas are absolutely welcome! Enjoy your Wednesday!
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Show Kids You Care - Lunch Bunch

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 / 2 comments
At a training a while back, I received a long foldable titled "150 ways to show kids you care." A lot of the things listed on this sheet are things most teachers already do, but after starring at it behind my desk on a daily basis, it finally got me thinking today how much pressure we put on students daily to work - work - work.

Do you truly enjoy their company or are you too stressed out about test scores, curriculum maps, grades, etc? Guarantee, your students can tell the difference....

One of my favorite things to do is compliment students. I have morning car rider duty, and I am always throwing out compliments to my kids and I love the smile that flashed across their faces when I do so. I mean, think about how good you feel when someone notices your new shoes? Another favorite of mine is having class outside when it's randomly gorgeous out. The kids LOVE IT!

Starting today, I will be discussing all those little things I do for my students -- Kind of like a RAK {Random Act of Kindness} but a little more often than random. I'm hoping it will force help me to find other fun things I can do for my kiddos instead of just the same old stuff.

This week, I want to discuss my FRIDAY LUNCH BUNCH I started about a month and a half ago.

I'm sure a lot of you already do something like this, but kids go ape over eating lunch with the teacher, and it's amazing how much information you can gain from that 20 minutes. I always choose to have my lunch bunch in my room on Fridays. The students don't have to use their "reward" tickets or anything, they just simply ask if they can hang out with me for lunch on Friday. Obviously, I have to limit the number of students, but if I do reach my max, those students have me for the next week. I just write their names on my board to remember and to make sure I won't have 30 kids in my resource classroom.

We giggle together. I listen to their stories. Laugh at their jokes. It's truly a delightful time and it sometimes helps remind me exactly why I became a teacher... kids are so much fun!

What kind of sweet things do you do for your biggest fans?

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December Currently!

Sunday, December 2, 2012 / 5 comments
Can't believe it's December already, but I am super excited about all things included around Christmas time. I linked up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade to do this months currently. Check it out! :)

I don't have much time to go into detail about this tonight, but I must say I am loving the Random Act of Kindness portion she added!

Also, I FINALLY had some free time over Thanksgiving break and last week to do some "re-decorating" in my classroom. We moved pretty suddenly in August, and I started school a few days after the kids actually started, so I never had a chance to prepare my room and make it my own. I love crafting and decorating, so it's been killing me to have plain old boring white walls. My students keep complimenting my work. It makes me so happy!

I'll be posting pictures of my room all prettied up this week! Hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend!

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