Sunday, August 9, 2015

Student Data Binder

Today I wanted to share with you a look at my student data binder! It is currently available in my store sold by itself. If you are interested in buying the binder it is $3 and available HERE. It will also be available in a back to school bundle very soon!!
I really liked the way the video option worked for my teacher planner so I went ahead and made another for this Student Data Binder. So here we go; check it out below.

For those of you who would like another closer look or prefer a picture walkthrough rather than a video here's another look.

I keep multiple copies of the methane ELA checklists in the back of my binder in protective sleeves. When I assess a student I keep the most recent checklist in the pocket of their divider. When I re assess I then hole punch the older checklists and keep them behind the divider. 

The following two photos are part of the Family Communication binder pack that is only available in the Back to School bundle on my TPT store (available soon). In the pack there is also a binder cover but I chose to include it in my data binder since I am working with Kinders the first part of this year and I won't have to anythings to keep track of in terms of assessments. I plan to hole punch these sheets and put them directly behind each students' pocket divider.

I love these! In fact my whole school loves them! I introduced them in my first grade classroom last year and now K-2 uses them exclusively for behavioral issues. I did not make these but you can get them HERE for free! (Scroll to bottom of the post) When I have a student fill one of them out I make a copy and send the original home. This year I plan to put my copy behind the student's divider tab. Read her blog post here to find out more information about this wonderful tool!

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Teacher Planner FAQ

Hi everyone. I am so glad that you were interested in my teacher planner for this year. I have created this post to create an area that will allow you to see all questions and answers about the planner in one easy to find spot. 

I plan to update this post as I receive and answer questions about the planner. Below are all the questions and answers about the 2015-2016 Teacher Planner. If you are interested in purchasing the planner please go to my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE. The planner is $8. Check out this coordinating blog post for a walkthrough.  

You can purchase the planner HERE
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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Teacher Planner Walk Through 2015-2016

My teacher planner is HERE!!!! Finally :) You can pick up your very own copy here. I am so excited to be able to share it with you. I have even made a video to debut it. Here is a photo walkthrough and a video flip through of it put together for myself. It's a rainbow theme this year!

Here are the photos!

And that's the walkthrough folks! Not a lot of words, but the pictures really show you what the planner is all about. I hope you enjoyed it. If you are interested in purchasing the planner head on over to my TPT store
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Friday, July 24, 2015

Liebster Award!

I am happy to announce that I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by Jackie at Neat, Sweet, and Hard to Beat! Thank you so much for your nomination! I was jumping up and down when I saw it :) - glad to know someone's reading!

If you haven't heard about the Liebster Award, it is awarded to blogs with growing audiences. It is also to acknowledge up and coming blogs and share them with the rest of our blogging community! 

So what exactly is a Liebster? Liebster is a German word and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, pleasant, valued, and endearing.  

To accept this award I need to answer 11 questions. So here it goes!

1.  Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
I started blogging about 5 months ago. I decided to start a blog after I was done student teaching because I wanted to document my learning and growth as I began my journey as a new teacher. I also noticed how often I spent time finding ideas on other teachers' teaching blogs and I wanted to share my own ideas as well.

2.  What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Love. I love my job, I love my students and all the families that I work with. I make sure to let my students know that every day and I think it is important that it come through on my blog as well. 

3.  Is there something you learned late in your blogging journey you wished you knew before?
I wish that I knew more about HTML coding when I first stared. Also the amount of time that it takes to post frequently was surprising to me. I like to make sure that all of my posts are meaningful and well put together and that takes TIME... more than I had originally thought!

4.  What is your favorite pastime other than blogging?
I love crafting. I have recently (over the past year) become very interested in Project Life. I just love it... but it is dangerous because it can get expensive!

5.  How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog/TPT?
I try to dedicate at least 2 hours to my blog and/or TPT. More recently I have been spending more time on my TPT, but over the summer I am excited to be able to spend more time on both!

6.  What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
I love to see classroom tours with lots of pictures. It always gives me ideas for what might work in my own classroom. 

7.  Where does your blog inspiration come from?
My blog inspiration comes from Regan Tunstall's blog, Tunstall Teaching Tidbits. This was the first teaching blog that I started reading frequently and she was so inspiring to me!

8.  Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
I am proud of my Pinterest Overhaul post. It took me forever to re-do all of my boards but now it is so easy to go back in and add new covers when I create new boards. I am glad that I have a color coded, visually appealing system finally! The post goes over step by step directions on how to do it yourself. I hope that it can make the process go more quickly for others :) Check out that post here.

9.  Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have been postponing it for a while now?
I have been wanting to post a classroom tour! Maybe closer to the start of the school year it will be up :)

10.  What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
I love being able to share my ideas with others and being able to meet teachers from across the country and world. 

11.  Which idea from a blog would you like to try yourself?
I am currently using posts from multiple blogs to create labels and decor on my days of the week drawers. This might be my newest post.. look out for it within the next few weeks!

Now it's time to get to know some more bloggers!

I now nominate these fantastic teachers for the Liebster Award:

1. Kelly McFarland at Lattes And Lunchrooms

2. Janie at The Chalk
3. Lisa at iTeach Second
4. Jamie at Teaching Tidbits and More With Jamie
5. Courtney at Teaching in Paradise

The rules for receiving this award are to:

1. Link back to the blog that nominated you.

2. Answer the 11 questions posted by the nominator. 
3. Nominated 5-11 people (blogs with less that 200 followers) and link them in your post.
4. Contact the nominees and let them know that they have been nominated on your blog.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Walmart Classroom Haul! - Back to School Haul Series

Long time no blog! I have taken a hiatus from blogging for a month to give myself an actual vacation and time off from school! I am now coming back in full force to give you some back to school posts. During my time off I have also been working furiously on some TPT projects for the new school year so look out for those too! 
I have decided to create a series leading back to school with various hauls from different stores as I prepare for the new school year. Hopefully they will be helpful for you as well in finding great deals.

Yesterday I took a trip over to Walmart thinking I was only going to return something but I couldn't help but look in the clearance section and at the fabrics. I found a few great things that I wanted to share with you!
In the clearance section they had several Scholastic games. There were only 4 types and I picked up all but one. 
The first game is called Counting Learning Game. It consists of 12 plastic cookies, a spinner, and four plates with matching numbers. The students will have to match the numbers. There is even a self check on the back of the cookies which I LOVE! The best part is that it was only $3 - totally worth it in my opinion. 

The next two games were bingo games. One is a rhyming game and the other is sight words. I picked these up because they were only $0.25! I was really impressed with the quality. Each comes with four boards that are double sided, a caller card - which I am going to laminate (it is made out of very flimsy paper), and bingo chips. My only negative for these two are that there are not nearly enough bingo chips (I plan on using counters instead).

On my way out I decided to stop in the fabrics section to see if they had any clearance fabric to use for my bulletin board backgrounds. I found these two at only a $1/yard! I thought the red with white polka-dots would be great for back to school!

Head on over to your Walmart and see what you can find. Leave a comment below if you have found any other deals at your local Walmart.
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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Easy and Fun Review!

Happy Sunday everyone! It has been so long since I have posted! I am happy to get back into the swing of things on here. I have spent the day working on my TPT store and planning for next week and am in the mood to post a great idea for end of the year review. 
In New York state we have about 3 weeks left of school. That means it's crunch time for us! My first graders have 2 more math units to get through and we are taking our test on the first one this Friday. Today I am going to share how we prepare for these tests.
2 days before the test I whip out my secret weapon! WRITING ON THE DESKS! I know I'm breaking the rules - but... the kids LOVE it! They are only allowed to use the dry erase markers on their desk when we review as a whole group, and we typically only use this method for math review. Doing it this way keeps it fresh and interesting. To this day I have yet to have one of my kiddos draw with dry erase markers on their desks outside of this designated time. 

I'd like to say that I came up with this idea on my own.. but I did not. I saw a post by The Tattooed Teacher explaining how she uses it and I decided to try it out. I was hesitant at first but do not regret doing it! You have to check out her post here. You can check out her blog by clicking on the button below.

Now, the first time we did this I set very strict ground rules. I have made a poster that outlines them that you can download for free! Just click on the picture below :) 

Here's a few pictures of what it looks like during our math review. I will say that blue and red do not erase as well. You might need to wipe down the desks with a wet wipe after. For me that's okay because our desks need a good cleaning and disinfecting each week!

To make it more fun I will go around after each question and give my students a star or a smiley face, they can give themselves points for each question they get right. They love to keep track, it really motivates them!
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

30 Minute ELA Centers!

Hi everyone! I wanted to give a little look into some 30 minute ELA centers that I use from time to time. I tutor a class of 20 first graders after school Monday-Thursday. We only have one hour together so I have to improvise if I want to use centers. I do have the luxury of having 2 wonderful aids in my classroom during that time who are both GREAT with all of the students. That being said, these centers could also be implemented on your own. 
We have been working on acrostic poems for the past 2 days. Here's our anchor chart we made together! Everyone loved writing about cake - YUM!
We started writing them with our first names but I noticed the students were really struggling coming up with describing words and completing them independently. That meant today was center day. This way I could meet in small groups with all my lovelies and really solidify their understanding.
Introducing 30 minute centers! I set up three groups and each center goes for 10 minutes. I usually give myself about 35 minutes to get all the groups done so we have some wiggle room and time for transitions. Here's what the introduction looks like.

I go over each center and explain then I assign students numbers. What ever number they get is the center they start with. They learn quickly that they must listen and remember their number or they will end up lost! Great way to reinforce those listening skills :) If my kids don't know their number I have them ask the two people next to them what their numbers were to find out theirs.

Typically two of the centers are independent centers and one is with me to work on those skills that need refining - today's case was our poems. 

Here's an example of an independent center.

Here's the center my aid did with them but could also be independently. They were brainstorming adjectives to help out with their poem writing. (They were getting stuck here yesterday). Now I have this beautiful anchor chart that everyone added to!!!

And by the end of centers everyone had gotten a really solid start on their poems and left feeling much more confident. Check out this one. I love the line, Oh, Miss M. :)

Hope this helped any of you strapped for time but still want to implement centers! 
Good luck!

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