Sunday, March 22, 2015

Peek at my Week- Three Little Pigs

This week is the beginning of our Fairy Tales and Fables studies.
It's also a not-so-fun week because we'll be testing.
But we'll make it fun, because that's what we do, right?!
We won't talk about one of my broken-hearted sweeties who missed her end of the year reading goal RIT score by 1, ONE, 1.. POINT and cried.
 No. We will celebrate growth and enter the land of fairy tales and fables.
I'm out two days this week to travel to the Leader in Me Symposium..
 ya'll RON CLARK will be there!
I'm SOOOOOOOOOO excited to meet him.
I also just found out I'll be attending the conference in June!
I'm BEYOND excited for this!
 This week we are diving into fairy tale land to lighten things up a bit!
Three Little Pigs (squeal!)!

 This little lovely received a few updates today!
One of the updates I added today was this little reader's notebook.
I also added a few crafts but I haven't added those yet.
As soon as I do, I'll update this unit on TpT as well as the bundle!
Here's a sneak peek!
I shared many of our leprechaun shenanigans last week, but seriously.
They LOVED them!
I would randomly look over and one of the kids would be rubbing their stache.. too funny!

That's a peek into our week!
Click below to check out other plans!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Measuring Leprechaun Feet!

These past few weeks in our Math small groups we have been working with measurement.
With our little leprechaun friend and all of the shenanigans he has been bringing to our classroom, I was trying to think of a way to incorporate this awesome idea...
leprechaun footprints.
 I used the same concepts as Reagan, only the kids had to create 3 different size leprechaun footprints. 

After creating three different size footprints, the kiddos had to measure how long their footprints were.
Next, they deposited their footprints into the bucket our leprechaun friend left for us.
It was 60+degrees in Ohio on Monday, so we took a road trip to soak up the sun while we could!
Each student was handed 3 random footprints and we sorted all of the footprints into three piles.

Each group was then required to work together to order their footprints from least to greatest and then glue the footprints with the ends touching onto a strip of streamer. 
Finally, we measured the total distance and compared the results!
This was a super easy, fun, engaging activity!
The kids have been begging to take another field trip!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Monday Mania!

Buckle up, friends!
This Monday Mania post is full of random goodness.
First up is our tournament of books.
Haven't heard about bringing March Madness into your classroom?
Check out this freebie from The Brown Bag Teacher here and her post all about set-up here.
(Sorry for the glare in the photo!)
The Tournament of Books header is a freebie from me found here.
 I whipped up a little freebie header for you that you can grab here.

Yesterday I told you we were taking our alternative seating to the next level.
Today was the first day, and it was a SUCCESS!
Although we have always had free range seating during Math Work Stations and Daily 5 choices, we still had assigned seats.
Honestly, I'm not quite sure why!
Now our chair pockets are gone and our supplies are located in a different spot, but we didn't really even notice a difference! I've always allowed students to sit in a chair or at the carpet while instructing, so it just made perfect sense to let go of the assigned seats.
Throughout the day, I only have three 15-20 minute time slots where we're actually working whole group. The rest of our day is spent in small group instruction for Math and ELA.
 We removed 7 desks and chairs- so much less crowded!!
If there is a time when students need to all be on a level surface at a desk (Art is held in our classroom), we have 4 chairs at our Writing Center and Math Station and 6 chairs at our Small Group Table.
Our Math and ELA interactive notebooks have relocated to buckets on the center table, along with pencils and some general supplies.
Our notebooks have relocated to the check-in bookshelf.
20 notebooks fit perfectly, but I have a feeling I'll have to use the middle shelf next year!
 Switching gears, again... I told you it was Monday Mania... All.Over.The.Place.
Our data has shown we need intervention with our Math Facts.
Luckily, we have TpT and the wide variety of amazing resources to peruse and find something that fits for our kids!
I found this unit and just knew my kids would love the space theme, and I loved the magnitude of resources included!
Here's how I set up our facts mission.
The fact rings are from 0-12.
I copied 2 of each fact group and put addition on the top row and subtraction on the bottom row.
The class graphs are record keeping and data tracking to show where each student is during their mission.
 Once a student has mastered their addition or subtraction mission, I will take their picture using one of the adorable photo props included in the unit and hang it above the corresponding graph.
 In efforts to conserve paper, I made 2 copies of addition and 2 copies of the subtraction Rocket Racers. I laminated the actual cards students will "race" with and bound them with a ring. The self-checking cards are placed into sheet protectors in a three prong, 2 pocket folder.
 I placed these in our Math bucket and they are set to race!
 Yesterday we read The Luckiest Leprechaun and completed this craft from my Shamrocks and St. Patrick's Day unit.
For the background, I just used butcher paper and streamers for the rainbow and pot of gold.
(side note, I realized at about 8:00 Sunday night I didn't have enough purple or pink streamers! I improvised and just used butcher and construction paper. It works!)

 Have a terrific St. Patrick's Day!!
I'll be back to share our leprechaun measuring fun! :)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Peek at my Week- St. Patrick's Day

Here's a peek into our week last week...
Between having my 2nd formal OTES observation, our Measure-thon, visits from our leprechaun, and our Writing Event, I can't believe the week is over!
It was SUCH a fun week, but shoo!!
We had our Black and White Tie Affair Writing Event that I posted about here.
It was simply magical.
While working in my room today I was thinking about the event and I still can't get over it!
We also celebrated our Measure-thon with an awards ceremony!
If you're working on a measurement unit or needing a refresher, I highly recommend this unit from Laura Santos.
We also used this adorable unit from Amy Lemons with our mentor text this week.
These little green kangaroos turned out so cute!
The kids also sequenced a chapter in the story using a flim strip craft from Amy's unit here.
We have another jam packed week ahead of us... and I just know that sneaky leprechaun will be up to his tricks and treats for his final week this year!
I was in my classroom today and saw he already left these crazy straws for tomorrow!
For our core ELA this week, we'll be using my Shamrocks and St. Patrick's Day unit.
If you've purchased this in the past, I updated this unit earlier this month with a 30 page update, and I'll be adding an Ireland close read tomorrow before the price increases from $4!
We'll be honing our writing skills with my How to Catch a Leprechaun writing pack.
The traps these kids devise is sometimes a little intimidating... I can't wait to see what they come up with this year!
Thursday and Friday this week we'll be reading all about Hubie and his friends from the Black Lagoon celebrating St. Patrick's Day!
(make sure you follow along, I'll be giving this unit away later this week!)
Of course, we'll be learning about viscosity this week in Science using a few videos and my Liquid Rainbow FREEBIE.
If you've downloaded this in the past, check out a few updates by re-downloading.
This year I needed 80 of these bad boys, so in efforts to save a few trees, I created a version of this journal that includes 4 copies on 1 page.
Here are a few of the videos we'll be using to coincide with our viscosity experiment.
(P.S. the typos in the below video drive my #teacherbrain crazy)

I've heard that our leprechaun may leave us another little surprise for our Fun Friday... ;)

   We're also having our first round in our Tournament of Books for 2015!!
 I'll be back tomorrow with more details and freebie labels for you!

   This week we are taking our alternative seating to the next level....
 ...and we're blasting off with our Math Facts Mission!
Have a marvelous Monday and I'll be back tomorrow to share a few FREEBIES with you!
Click below to head over to the linky at Mrs. Wills' spot and check out other visual plans!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Black and White Tie Affair Writing Event 2015

Y'all, it happened.
It finally happened!!
Snow days and delays didn't hold us back yesterday.
Our much anticipated Black and White Tie Affair Writing Event was a HUGE success!
I could not be more proud of my kiddos.
We had many staff members and families attend, even our superintendent came!
The stage was set for our movie premiere to begin!
We began our event with a slideshow.

After welcoming our families, staff, and administrative guests, I introduced the "Writing Stars" for our movie premiere.
Each student had their own slide and walked down the white carpet to take a front row seat for the premiere. 
Next, we discussed how we began our penguin unit.
A package arrived from Antarctica for our class. We opened the package to discover this tiny penguin with instructions on how to grow our penguin!
(For those of you wishing to purchase this, it came from Scholastic with the water book shown in the bottom right picture.)
Then we began how we do every day, by chorally reciting our standards and purpose for learning.

Our informative anchor charts were our next topic of discussion, along with how we were specific and focused by using the academic language we had learned throughout our research.
We shared the multiple resources we had used to gather our research.
 Pierre was our favorite mentor text that we read, so we just had to share more about Pierre and how we have been watching his colony online from the California Academy of Science's live penguin cams .
Next we shared about the writing process.
We used our research journals to collect and gather information, which in turn helped us create our draft. Revising and editing were next on our agenda, followed by publishing our final copy.
We targeted our techonology standard SL2.5 by digitally recording our writing and compiling them into our movie premiere.
Before we get to the actual video, I wanted to share a little behind-the-scenes prep.
I purchased these penguins and black napkins from Wal-Mart. They were absolutely perfect for our event.

 I just opened the napkin, placed about a handful of penguins inside and used the white curling ribbon to close. I purchased 3 bags of penguins and made about 36 bags.

 For our tables, I used black cloth tablecloths (borrowed from my mom), with a white plastic tablecloth runner down the middle (Wal-Mart, 3 pack for $2 and some change). I used LED candles (small pillars are 2 for $2.50 at Wal-Mart, the larger pillars came in a 4 pack for $13) and silver sequins and black star confetti to decorate the tables.

Our "white carpet" was also a white tablecloth. 
I had black and white balloons and black and white stars decorating the rest of the room and doorway.
 One of my sweet parents brought these in for a little treat for the kids!
So thoughtful!!
We were so very fortunate to have one of our tech experts and our Technology Leadership Team at school help me compile all of the student recordings into one research video.
To create one class video, we took one section from each student's research and complied all of the clips into one video.
(You will see Pierre and his colony in the background of the video.)

After our movie premiere, the kids took their writing and shared with families, staff, and administration.
I know I already said it, but seriously, I was SO proud of my kids!
Just to hear them sharing the steps they took throughout the process and all of the knowledge they have about penguins was amazing.
If you're interested in your own Black and White Tie Affair Writing Event, click below!
I also have an Around the Campfire Writing Event you can see here.