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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ari-Ari-Arizona Bloggy Meet Up!

Arizonans!!! Do you know the song!?
In college, I took a science teaching methods course and the instructor made us memorize this song!!! 
I love you, Arizona! Now every time that I say Arizona... I want to bust out with the song!
Click {HERE} to listen to it on YouTube! For some reason, I can't embed the video! :( 
Back to the title! Yay! I am so happy that the AZ Bloggy Meet Up was changed because I will be able to go now!!

This is right by my favorite store!!!
RSVP with Linda over at Around the Kampfire!

The other host is Michelle over at The 3AM Teacher!
If you will be in Arizona on July 10th, please come and join us! :)
I can't wait to meet you all! 
Sad news! I went to see my district's tech person for the PowerPoint file that I couldn't open and there is no saving it! It can't be repaired! Bummer! I'm so sad! I can still open it on Keynote so I can see the information but I'll just have to re-type it all! Blah... the killer part is inserting the accent notes in Spanish but oh well! At least I'll be able to see it so I shouldn't complain! :) Time to start typing!! I really want this organizational binder stuff finished!
Have a lovely Wednesday! Tomorrow is my last day of summer school... YAY!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

PowerPoint Love/Hate Relationship!

Imagine me screaming that and pulling my hair out all day yesterday!
Yeap... not a pretty sight!
"What happened?", you may ask.
Okay, so the day before yesterday, I was finishing up the documents for my student's new organizational binder! By finishing up, I mean I was DONE translating all the documents {Binder explanation, behavior chart explanation, class and school information, binder cover, etc.}.
BTW, I needed to translate them all because I teach in an SEI classroom, which means that all of my students are ELL. Therefore, most of my parents are Spanish speakers!
(Last year, I only had one parent that spoke English fluently!)
Wooooh! Good think that Spanish was my first language, right???
Well, I was about to make a page with the alphabet, numbers, colors, etc. for my kiddos to use as a reference sheet but I was tired so I saved and closed out of PowerPoint. Pretty usual for me since I always have like 4-5 projects that I'm working on.
Then yesterday, I was working on something else in PowerPoint {again, pretty usual}. After a while, I got bored and decided to work on the reference sheet... I go to open my Organizational Binder Stuff and I got this dreaded message!!!
Every time I try to open it... THAT^ is what happens!!! :( 
I have tried EVERYTHING! I spent a good chunk of yesterday on Google, reading through posts and questions regarding this problem. I also tried It seems that the solution {maybe} is to uninstall PowerPoint and then re-install!! 
Problem is that this a district issued computer, so I don't have the Office disk :(
I am going to see our district tech. person on Friday but I don't know if I can wait that long! I was about done! I can preview the file and see everything so I would just have to re-type it ALL!!!!
I've been finishing up a few things that I would like to share so i will post those soon! 
I just needed to vent a little more. My husband and sister were trying to help me out but couldn't find a solution! 
Has anyone dealt with this problem? What did you do? What can I do? 
BTW, this is my last week of summer school {I'm finishing up this post on my lunch)! I am sooo excited because this means more computer time... hopefully no more PowerPoint issues!
Have a fabulous Monday!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Guided MATH Book Study {Chapter 1}

I started seeing this Guided Math book study in blog land and I couldn't wait to find out what it was all about! I ordered my book immediately. I received my book on Monday {YESTERDAY}, went to Office Max to get it bound on Tuesday {TODAY} {KINDA EXPENSIVE...ALMOST 5 BUCKS! I DONT KNOW IF I WOULD DO IT AGAIN BUT IT DID MAKE IT SO MUCH EASIER TO READ!!}, and started reading right away! I don't want to get ahead of myself so I stopped at chapter 1 so I could blog about it!

Chapter 1: Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction
This chapter briefly went over the instructional components of the Guided Math model.

  • A Classroom Environment of Numeracy
  • Morning Math Warm-ups and Calendar Board Activities
  • Whole-Class Instruction
  • Guided Math Instruction with Small Groups of Students
  • Math Workshop
  • Individual Conferences
  • An Ongoing System of Assessment
Conferencing! I had never heard of conferencing for math... reading?? yes but not math... this is very interesting for me because it will bring me closer to finding out WHERE my students truly are!

Assessing! The author {Laney} talks about assessing where your students are and then take your teaching from there. Yes, I have heard of this before. I think I took a bunch of classes on it during college but I honestly didn't do much pre-assessing this year but after reading chapter one she pointed out WHY we need to and HOW it helps our teaching and our kiddos learning {I can't wait to read the chapter that focuses on this!}

Math Workshop! Teaching your kiddos how to do it and training them so they could be successful! I think I could do this since Daily 5 was so successful last year :) I am interested in seeing what Laney says about the activities to use during Math Workshop. Could I use "math centers", fluency games {cards, dice, dominoes}, or something more specific to what I'm teaching??? I can't wait to read about this chapter!

The chapter also explains how often you need to do what!
Conference 3 times a week, Whole class instruction 4 times a week, small goups/workshop 3 times a week... of course this is just an example and she stresses that it is very flexible! You change it according to the needs of your students!
Overall, I am really excited to get into this book study and read, Guided Math! Obviously, I want to read A LOT of chapters! ;)
At the end of this chapter, the author posed some Review and Reflect questions:
Think of the way you currently teach mathematics.
  1. What aspects of it are successful?
The aspects that are successful is how we recognize that math is full of patterns and always go back to that {fact families, skip counting, addition/subtraction}, using manipulatives, being able to draw pictures of our thinking, being able to talk about the steps needed to solve a problem, etc. 

    2.  What aspects of it trouble you? Why?

The aspects that troubled me the most was that I was always teaching whole group. I taught from my projector/camera and when I was done with a problem, I would walk around and assist wherever I could. The problem was that I don't have 24 teachers in my room! It was just me and I had such a hard time getting to every one of my students! I also had a variety of levels in my first grade SEI classroom. From kiddos that could barely recognize and write numbers/numerals to little ones that could add and subtract fluently by using a variety of strategies! Another aspect is that I was very limited on time. Since I am teaching in a SEI classroom with a 4 hour language block in a school where the hours are 8-2 with lunch AND special EVERY day, I was left with a very minimal amount of time for math...usually only 25-30 minutes! BLAH!!

  3. Does your math instruction lead your students to a deep conceptual understanding of the math standards that they are learning? If so, what are you doing that contributes to that? If not, how do you think you would like to change your teaching?

Yes, I believe my math instruction leads my students to a deep conceptual understanding! I really try to have my kiddos draw pictures and talk about what we are doing every day. For example, if we are adding double digit numbers, we would make two groups and draw a picture of how many are in each group. We would then add the ones place, then the tens place to find out the sum. I would remind my students that we could only have one digit in the ones place so if we had 10 or more we had to regroup, we would then draw a circle over the 10 objects we drew and moved them {with an arrow} to the tens place. I'm sure this sounds very confusing but I will add a picture soon! :) I feel that my students really got the concept of regrouping and WHY we had to do that! They were also able to explain their work! I would still like to grow in this area with other math topics!

I am linking up to Primary Inspired!
Go check it out! Tell me what you think about Guided Math! Does this interest you? Do you do something similar? I would love to know any ideas! Be on the look out for my chapter 2 post coming soon! :)
Have a lovely night! I am off to bed!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Classroom Helpers! Flash Sale!

Hello All! I hope you are enjoying your summer! I just finished week 2 of summer school... woop woop... half way done! This week, I have been feverishly working on my new classroom helpers chart/board! Here is what it looked like this past year  I guess I don't have a picture... but believe me when I say it wasn't cute... it was made at the beginning of my blog-stalking days and when I wasn't a PowerPoint expert! Haha! It wasn't pretty but it worked so I used it all year! Now that I have time,  I worked on this super pretty job chart that matches my "bright" theme! Here it is:
 I am so proud of it! I have had this clip art since it was born {thanks KPM Doodles}. Kristen was running a little giveaway by asking about what she could work on and I commented that I would love to see classroom helper clip art and guess what?? She picked my idea!!! I also WON the clip art! I love it so much! I am glad that I am finally putting into good use!
The helpers that are in my pack are:
  • Line Leader: Stands at the front of the line and models how to stand in line!
  • Line Ender: Stands at the end of the line and make sure everyone is straight!
  • Door Holder: Holds the door and makes sure that everyone makes it out of the room!
  • Messenger: Delivers things to other teachers or to the office!
  • Teacher's Assistant: Helps the teacher with anything she might need!
  • Lunch Helpers: Carries the lunches to the cafeteria!
  • Breakfast Helpers: Cleans up the breakfast and puts the food/cooler outside!
  • Recess Helpers: Takes the equipment in and out of the room!
  • Light Monitor: In charge of turning off and on the lights when teacher says!
  • Clean Up Officer: Makes sure that the floor is clean after activities!
  • Insurance Monitor: Helps students with a clean up {drops pencil box or breakfast}!
  • Calendar Helper: Leads class in calendar or helps teacher!
  • Paper Passer: Passes out papers to students!
  • Pencil Sharpener: Sharpens pencils!
  • Library Monitor: Makes sure that the classroom library is organized and books are put away!
  • Library Book Helper: Takes the class books to the library for specials!
  • Board Eraser: Erases the board for the teacher when she needs it!
  • Substitute: Does the job of an absent student!
Wooh! That's a lot of jobs! I do NOT use all of those jobs. I don't use Lunch Helpers {my kiddos don't bring lunch/ 98% are on free/reduced lunch}, Recess Helpers {equipment is taken care of by the duty aides}, and the Pencil Sharpener {maybe I'll use it this year ;)} but that's the great thing about this pack is that you can pick or choose what you would like or what you are comfortable with!
I also included two different sizes of cards: a small size to be used with library pockets and popsicle sticks and a full size to be used on it's own!
I was originally going to use the full size cards and just velcro all the numbers but I LOVE how the pockets turned out!! The husband spray painted the large popsicle stick black so it would match! I love it!
Also included is a checklist of all the jobs so no kid will ever be forgotten again! I was guilty of forgetting who's had what job and it wasn't pretty! I will now KNOW who's been what and share my jobs fairly between the kiddos!
I just love the student numbers! They match my Superstar Behavior Chart! :) 

I am excited to share this with you! Check it out on TpT {HERE} and on TN {HERE}! 
I am putting it on sale on both stores for the rest of the day! I will change it when I wake up tomorrow! 
Original Price: $5.00 Sale Price: $3.75
Get it while it's hot!!!
Please, let me know what you think! Is this practical? Can you see yourself using it? Do I need to add something else? 
Ooh!!! Look what I got to open today!!
That's Aly's leg and foot haha... she was really excited!
Soooo pretty! It is my new Erin Condren Teacher Planner! It looks awesome and I can't wait to put it to good use {I think!!} :)
Have a lovely Saturday, peeps!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Zoo-mething About Zoo Animals {Common Core Aligned Math and Literacy Centers}

Now that's a long title!
Like many of us, summer is the time to work on those projects that you didn't finish throughout the school year! My list is suuuuper long but I'm crossing things out one at a time.
Here is my little baby that really made me dig into those common core standards:
Ahhh! I started this pack when we went on our zoo field trip in APRIL!!! I never finished them and just got some inspiration during summer school. So I worked on there before school, during lunch, and after school for a bit. After a long week... they are finally finished!
Take a look at what you can find inside:
Here are the direction pages for all of the centers!
Wooh! That's a lot of information! No wonder it took me so long! 
I love these direction pages because I use these as the labels to my centers. I just cut off the bottom "teacher" part and tape it to my bag that has the recoding sheets and the cards! Easy easy!
You can find it on TpT {HERE} or on TN {HERE}
It is currently on sale for only $4.50 (regular price: $7.00) for the rest of the day! I will change it back to its regular price tomorrow before my summer school class!
Wooh! I am so happy to be done with that and start on another project! I think I will start on my classroom jobs! :)
Have a super Sunday!
I still have to post about my other Target finds... until next time!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Pencil Pails!!! Label Freebie!

let me show you my little treasure I found!
I went to FOUR {FOUR!!!} different Targets looking for this baby! :)
Now, it will accompany its sister that I bought yesterday:
See the little red bucket on the left???
This is my plan for them:
Thanks to the awesome idea from 2nd Grade Pad... I'm going to use these for my sharp and dull pencils!
This is what I did last year:

Sooo, I love these labels from Peace, Love, and Learning and the adorable pencil buckets that I had gotten from Wal-Mart but my kiddos didn't really see the difference and had to constantly check each pencil... blah! So I decided to make similar labels that go with my theme {brights} a little better and put them on the red and green buckets! Green = good to go pencils and red = not so ready! :)
Here are mine!
Love, love, love!
If you are interested in the labels click {HERE} or on the image below!
Off I go to buy a birthday present! :)
Have a fabulous Saturday!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Target Finds = Pinterest Ideas

Lovelies!! How are we all doing?
I am doing fabulous! The husband had his citizenship ceremony today! So exciting!
To celebrate we went to Target! Ok, we stopped by Target after lunch... I just HAD to stop by!
I usually don't like to go to Target because I will come out with a TON of stuff that I really don't need but that I love! Well, today was NO exception!
Look at my loot!
All from the infamous One Spot!
So here are my thoughts on what I will do with all of these awesome buckets!
First up, these super bright green and pink buckets! They match my walls perfectly!
In case you haven't seen:
EW! Please only look at the walls!! OK, look at that mess... that was from the time I was SUPPOSED to organize {haha} well one wall is a bright green {along with the sink area} and two other walls are pink! <3 
I love them! I plan to paint the other 2 walls next month! {PURPLE and YELLOW}
Back to the buckets! 
I would love to do this...

This is an awesome replacement to those darn popsicle sticks!!! I always drop them and they GO EVERYWHERE!!! Haha and then all of the kids rush to "help" me and chaos breaks loose!!!
This post is from the amazing Laura over at Peace, Love, and First Grade! I saw this a WHILE ago and right away I went and bought more clips, I painted them with a coat of yellow acrylic paint and never finished my project! They are sitting somewhere packed up in my classroom... which I won't be able to get to until 2 weeks before school :(
I might have to take another trip to Wal-Mart and buy more so I can have this ready by then!
Look at my bucket with my new label that I just made for it!!! So pretty!
MMMM... look at my latte... YUM!
Back to the bucket! I love it so much! I just whipped this up for this post and I can't wait to laminate it for durability!
If you love it, I made 2 different color labels, grab it at my TpT store for FREE! Click {HERE} or the image below!
Well, I was planning on telling about the rest of the goodies but I think I will make a Part II for this! 
Writing blog posts take me forever!!!
Heading out to my 3rd Target right now to see if I can find a green pail {like my red one above}!!
I'll let you know if I find it and what I plan to do with it! :)
Before I leave here are some pics of today!
Took my nephew and daughter to watch the new Madagascar 3 in 3D! It was pretty cute... and look at my little hipsters! Haha!
The sweeties and I after the movie!
Yes, that's the same latte... I have yet to finish it!
Just the kids! So cute!
Have a super evening! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Currently {June}

Wooh! Only one day after it started and I am linking up! Thanks Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for setting up this awesome and fun linky party EVERY month! :)
Go check out her adorable MUSTACHE!

I seriously love her!!! She got me addicted to Birchbox and she is just so real and fun! I mean, she is wearing a tutu in her about me picture! How awesome is that???!!!
Well, here is my June Currently!
So obviously I am teaching summer school! This is a big deal in my district and new teachers {I just finished my second year} usually don't get hired for it. It is a NCLB summer school. I got hired as a math teacher last year for summer school and I LOVED it... Math was a "special" so the homeroom teachers get a prep so I had a class for 30 minutes and we just played fun math games! Seriously, I was getting paid to play math games with dice, cards, dominoes, and such!!! :)
Back Story: When I started my college, I wanted to teach middle school math so I took all of my math classes so I could be Highly Qualified... Once I was in the teaching program, I HAD TO intern in a first grade classroom and well, what can I say? It was like love at first sight!!! I loved the curriculum and the kids and the LOVE! Haha! 
Then, I never went back to middle school... ended up student teaching in first grade, got my first job in Kinder and then now in first!
Ok... so back to summer school... It's really fun and I get to practice something that I love: math and I get to work with other grades {K-6}! 
I want to do so many things for my classroom but I just need to find the time and motivation!! :)
I would love to travel but it's just tooooo expensive! I need to stop shopping and start saving! 
I gotta get back to work! Talk to ya'll laters! :)