Saturday, September 13, 2014

We Are Patriots

Hey yall! Happy Saturday!
I'm getting ready to get into football mode {go Dawgs!!!}, but I wanted to get in a quick post about how we remembered 9/11.
On Tuesday, I gave my students a homework assignment to interview an adult about their whereabouts on 9/11. We discussed how everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing the day the world stopped turning.
You can snag this simple assignment by clicking on the picture below.
My students brought these back to school on Thursday. I put them into small groups and let them share their interviews with their groups.
Then we watched the first couple minutes of the September 11th video on Brain Pop.
We very briefly discussed what happened, but didn't talk about why it happened. We only watched the first few minutes of the video, because I felt the last half was too much for my 3rd graders.
We have been studying about the Revolutionary War and Patriots, so this was a great tie in for Patriots Day.
We talked about how we could be Patriots and used this writing pack from Katharine Stewart.
Patriot Day Writing (9-11)
I took pictures of my kiddos holding an American flag, so we added those to the bottom of our writing. Then we created some American flags and added the Twin Towers.

I know 9/11 is a sensitive topic, so we really focused on the patriots and heroes from that day. I think it's important to discuss the day, though, because it's a part of our history that has really defined the true definition of a hero.
Now I'm off to show my patriotism in another way....some good ol' American football!
Go dawgs!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Plickers in the Classroom

Hey yall!
Can I get a quick AMEN that tomorrow is Friday?
These last few weeks have just been SO stinkin' busy!
All has been well-my kiddos are amazing, I'm loving my team, and our days typically go off without a hitch.
But man, I'll be happy when we can slow down just a bit!
I feel that I'm always 3 steps behind.
I know its like this every year, I think I just forget how truly BUSY the first few months of school are.
Anyways....on with the post!
Over the summer, I had attended a workshop with my new county where they told us all about Plickers. I thought they were so cool and couldn't wait to use them!
But then I know, BUSY!
So when one of my teammates mentioned that she started using them in her classroom, I just knew I had to get on board, too.
Have you heard of Plickers???
Here's the gist:
You give each student a numbered card that is assigned to them. Each card has a black something-or-other (I have no idea what you would call it!) on it with four sides: A, B, C, and D.
They look like this...

Image from Amazon

You can either order a set of laminated cards from Amazon (although they're currently out of stock!) or you can print them right out at home.
Then you add a series of multiple choice or true/false questions to the app on your phone or computer. You show these questions for the students to see and they have to hold their card with the correct answer facing up.
Now, here's the cool part!
You just stand in the middle of the room and scan all the cards with your phone!
You don't have to scan each individual card-it gets them all with one quick scan!
I tried to get some pictures of my kiddos doing this, but my phone was giving me some trouble.
Here is an image from their website so you can see what I'm talking about...
Your phone (or computer) will show you all the students answers, so you get instant feedback on how well your students have mastered the content!
And they think its the coolest thing since sliced bread (and so does their teacher!).
My kiddos were seriously SUPER into this when we did it the other day.
We have been working on subjects and predicates (BORING!), so I just gave them 10 quick multiple choice questions. They couldn't have been more excited!
Unfortunately, I realized that some reteaching will be happening this week on subjects and predicates.
But hey, that's what I love about this system! It took about 15 minutes and now I know which students need more practice and which students got it.
No paper or pencils needed.
Go check it out!
What are you waiting for?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Organize Those Supplies

Hey yall! Happy Monday!
I wanted to share some simple ways that I organize supplies and materials in my classroom.
I am ridiculously slightly OCD and need everything to have a set place. I don't like my classroom to be messy {my house, on the other hand, is a whole other story!}. I'm also a fan of clean, neat lines.
Last year, I picked up these slim rolling carts at Big Lots. They were perfect for my classroom! I used them back then to organize my math manipulatives {check out that post here}, but since I'm not teaching math this year, I thought I would use them for something else.
Cue school supplies.
I decided to use these beauties to hold all those pencils, markers, scissors, etc. that we use on a daily basis. Actually, each of my students house their own supplies-these supplies are the overflow!

The green cups on top are from Ikea and those hold more supplies: highlighters, mechanical pencils, more dry erase markers, and whiteboard erasers.

I don't keep any crayons in this area, because I decided to sort them by color this year.
Since every student has their own set, I figured this would be easiest when they just needed to borrow a specific color.

Construction paper is another supply that I sort by color. I love this 10 drawer cart that I also picked up at Big Lots. It's perfect for our construction paper.

This year, our third grade classes are departmentalized. I'm teaching Social Studies to 3 different classes, as well as ELA to my homeroom. I needed a quick and efficient way to organize papers for 65 students, so I came up with this system.
It's pretty basic, but it works for me!
Each class has their own basket for papers. I keep any copies that I will need for the 4 classes in the paper sorter below the baskets.
One of my classroom jobs is the Paper Sorter. At the end of the day, this student sorts through the turned-in papers, paperclips them for me, and adds a sticky note with the class name. That way, I can quickly grab each stack to grade.
Even though Teacher Week was last week, I'm linking this post with Blog Hoppin' :)
Go check out their Why post to see other organization ideas!
Have a blessed week, yall!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's a 3K GWAY {a giveaway}

Hey yall!
A few weeks ago, something exciting happened.
I hit 3,000 FB followers!
So what better way to celebrate than with a giveaway?
And I have a giveaway for you!
Over 45 amazing bloggers offered up some goodies for yall!
And the best news is, they run the gambit from kindergarten all the way to 6th grade! So there's something for everyone :)
There are 5 awesome prize bundles for 5 awesome winners.
But there will also be a grand prize winner!
Here's what up for grabs-be sure to fill out each rafflecopter below the prize bundles!




Good luck, yall!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Teacher Week: Where

Hey yall!
Now that you know who I am, let's talk about where I teach.
Technically, I should have posted this yesterday just wasn't happening friends!
This is going to be a HUGE post, so just get ready.
Lots of pictures heading your way!
Hopefully you're all visual learners like myself :)
I've shared this picture before, but here is the outside of my door.
Except for that desk...that's gone.
Here is the view of the classroom from just inside our door:
Looking to the right
Looking to the left

Let's go right and work our way around the room.
Immediately to the right of the door, you'll find a supply cabinet and our sink area.
This is where I have a ton of things stored.
 {PTL for storage!}
Our classroom jobs {these are from my Peacock Classroom Décor pack} and early finishers board {these are from First Grade Fancy and can be found here}
Bully signs from Lyndsey over at A Year of Many Firsts and can be snagged here
I thought these darn red cabinets would really bother me, but they actually don't that much.
I did buy some navy fabric to cover them with, but that hasn't happened yet.
It's still folded in the backseat of my car...
To the left of our sink area is our writing station. This area is still a work in progress, because I have to make room for Chrissy's amazing Writing Inspiration Station. I cannot wait to get it up!!!
Writing Station Materials: Writing Inspiration Station!
The parts of speech posters are from Middle Grades Maven and can be picked up here.
I'm thinking I am going to condense this word wall a bit, so I can make half of this board the Writing Inspiration Station.

We are a PBIS school, so we have school-wide rules that we all follow.
Because we are the Lewiston Lions, are rules are ROAR.
I put these on the door to our bathroom.
To the left of the bathroom is our technology station.
Yes, we only have 1 computer {sadsville!}, but I'm hoping to get at least 1 more this year.
Also, do you notice that listening station?
We've got to get that updated into the 21st century! I sense a Donor's Choose project in our near future...bring on the iPods!
Above our technology station is our calendar and some punctuation posters.
These are from One Fab Teacher and you can snag them here
The calendar can be found in my Peacock Décor set.

On the other side of the technology station is our library. I tried to make this area cozy, but it needs a little more work.
Subway posters are from Hope King and can be purchased here

Let me tell you about those navy rugs. Our awesome PTA gave each teacher a gift card to Wal-Mart. I just knew I was going to buy a rug for this area. I couldn't really find a large one that I really liked or wasn't super expensive, though. So I found these small navy rugs for like $15 a piece. Grabbed two of them and went to tape them together....but do you SEE the problem???
Yes, even though these rugs are supposedly the same size, they DON'T MATCH UP!!!!
No, its not driving me crazy or anything...
So now I'm on the hunt for a LARGE, beautiful rug that matches my color scheme.
Holler if you know where I can find one!

Love this sign from Rachel Lamb! Get it here
Now that I'm seeing this picture, I'm thinking that pencil poster needs to be moved to our writing station!
The pencil sign is from the teacher wife {originally from First Grade Parade}
 The left corner of the room holds my desk and our guided reading table.
I got rid of that huge teacher desk that was in there and replaced it with that glass little beauty in the corner. It's little, but perfect :)
I still need some chairs for this table-planning on making a trip to Ikea soon to grab those awesome $4.99 stools!

The reading strategies posters are from A Year of Many Firsts. Get 'em here.
This is where we will hang our anchor charts. As you can see, we are slowly implementing the Daily 5. So far, we've learned about Read to Self and Work on Writing.
I gotta tell ya....third grade stamina is rockin'!
Please notice that our icharts are not fancy...but they get the job done!
I will eventually replace these with a more permanent reminder, but for now we're rolling with it!

This board will house our Daily 5 rotation chart. Again, we're not quite there yet...but we will be in another week or so {hopefully}!

Daily 5 posters from Lyndsey {can you tell I LOVE her stuff???} and can be found here

Grrrr....I hate all those stinkin' wires!!!!
 Now we're to the front of the room. This area is a little bland. Definitely will be adding more here as well!

These purple pocket charts are for our weekly spelling words and vocabulary words. I still need to make the vinyl cutouts on my mom's Cricut.

Hand signal posters are from Rachel Lamb. Buy them here. Schedule cards are from my Peacock Schedule Cards set.
On the other side of our Smartboard is our birthday posters.
I LOVE this area! It's so bright and cheery.
Get the birthday posters here

Here are the student cubbies. I have 21 students and 28 cubbies, so the extra cubbies hold our leveled readers.
Genre posters from Rachel Lamb. Buy those here.
 These are our book boxes. I just picked up some white cardboard magazine holders from Ikea and let my kiddos decorate them. We'll see how well they hold up!
And that's it folks! We made it all the way around to the door again. Thanks for checking out our space! Now head over to Blog Hoppin' and catch up on Teacher Week!