Friday, December 4, 2015

Five for Friday

Oh my goodness, I had to dust the cobwebs off my poor blog! I haven't blogged since the beginning of November! It's been a while, but I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share my Five for Friday.

Who doesn't love Friday??? My glorious Friday night plans include the sofa, a Christmas movie, and pizza! I like to live on the edge.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our classroom. Our class elf Clara Cupcake returned and this year she brought a friend! Is anyone else using Elf Pets in the classroom? I came across this in Target a few weeks ago. Such a cute little story and a cool addition to any elf at home or school. Our class named our reindeer Swifty.

 Speaking of Christmas, of course we have a decked out tree with cupcake ornaments! A teacher friend picked up the tree for me my first year of teaching. Over the years students have given me the cupcake ornaments to add.

I LOVE Christmas trees! At home I decided to do a peacock theme tree this year. There's something special about the glow of lights. 
The marque Santa sign I found at Target a couple of weeks ago. Heaven forbid Santa gets lost and doesn't know where to put the presents, ha!

This weekend I'll begin printing and laminating December Edition Fluency With a Twist to use in literacy stations next week. My students love this activity! They'll practicing reading for fluency and expression with a fun holiday theme.

You can check out this product in my TpT store. Have a great weekend friends! Don't forget to link up and share your own Five for Friday post. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Currently November

Happy Sunday teacher friends! What happened to October?! I swear it went by in such a rush. It's the first of the month which means it's time for another round of Currently with Farley

Listening- I'm watching last week's episode of The Walking Dead again to find any hidden clues. I'm convinced Glenn is gone 100% but some friends of mine who watch the show aren't so sure. In my opinion there ain't no way he could have survived.
Loving- I went shopping in Canton,Texas today with my BFF. There was a chill in the air with some rain, but we bought some good things so I didn't mind. If you love to shop then you'd love Canton Trade Days. You can buy everything from antiques, clothes, home decor, and food. One vendor sells all sorts of delicious soup and dessert mixed. I can't wait for my baked potato soup to be done.
I also found this cute charger plate at a craft fair last week and knew I had to have it.
As much as I love Christmas I wish it were easier to find Thanksgiving decorations.
Thinking- To nap or not to nap? I love a nice lil' cat nap on a rainy day.
Wanting- I left the air on by mistake when we left for Canton this morning so now my apartment is freezing! I've got the heat on so hopefully I won't feel like a popsicle much longer.
Needing- As of right now laundry can wait
Yummy- Don't get me wrong I love pumpkin pie, but there's just something AMAZING about a slice of sweet potato pie. Southern people love sweet potato pie.
Don't forget to link up and share your currently!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Happy Anniversary!!

Hi teacher friends! I'm excited to FINALLY share this blog post with you! It's my one year Teachers Pay Teachers Anniversary!! Teachers Pay Teachers has been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I've done. It's been a wonderful year of connecting and growth. To celebrate, I've teamed up with some amazing bloggers for a little giveaway!

Michelle from Teaching Ideas For Those Who Love Teaching and I have teamed up to give away a couple of gift cards. How does a $25 TpT and $50 Target gift card sound? Pretty good right?
Does anyone else have this problem at Target?
In addition to the gift cards, one well deserving teacher is going win some serious teacher swag from the following sellers:

One product of your choice from Lovin' Little Learners
$10 credit to Shifting Teacher K-2
One product of your choice from Lattes and Lunchrooms
Respect Packet from Penelope's Portfolio
Product of your choice from Sweet Sweet Primary
Product of your choice from Chrissy Beltran
Product of your choice from Activated Education
Product of your choice from Firstie Friends
Credit from MM Bilingual
One product from Teach 2 Love

Don't forget to show these bloggers some love by following their TpT stores and blogs. Enter the giveaway below, and good luck!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 17, 2015

You Oughta Know for October

Hi everyone! I'm linking up with a fabulous group of bloggers again for the You Oughta Know blog hop. Thanks Mrs. McClain for hosting!

This month I'm going to share a few quick tips about ThingLink. ThingLink is my new favorite app, and the possibilities for classroom use are endless! There is an option to create web based accounts for you and your students but for now my class is just using the app to share our creations with each other.
For an example my class decided to create a "thing" about pumpkins. You can choose to use an image already saved or a new one.

There are four choices for adding media to your image.
Your image can be as interactive as you'd like. I've always called the circles pulse points or dots, not sure what the official name is! 

We discussed some pumpkin facts as a class and added them to our image. You'll notice the dots will look different based on what content you add. The writing part was fun, but what my kids loved the most was adding videos.

Before my students add a YouTube video they know I must approve it. I'm hoping the creators of ThingLink can somehow add safety features so students don't accidentally stumble upon something they shouldn't.
We were able to find a student friendly video that showed how to carve faces on a pumpkin.
How cool would this app be for a research project? You can also save a public ThingLink created by someone else if you'd like. I've discovered some amazing ones created by other teachers. I'm presenting a PD session for my district next month, and this app is at the top of the list to share.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fluency Fun!

Happy Sunday! I'm FINALLY getting around to my fluency post after weeks of delaying it. Today, I'm going to share some of my favorite ways to practice fluency in the classroom. It's one of my favorite things to teach. Why? Because it's so easy to make engaging, exciting, and differentiated for all your students! One of my main goals for fluency is to lay a foundation while also providing engagement and fun activities. Prepare for tons of pictures!

First up is an app that's quickly become a staple in my classroom. One Minute Reader is a free iPad app similar to the program Read Naturally. Teachers set reading levels for their students based on how they perform on a quick placement test.
Here's a screenshot of two different reading levels. Who doesn't love an app that can work for multiple students? Each student's progress can be saved so you don't have to start over.

Students work through different activities with each story such as a cold read and read along, just like with the program Read Naturally.
Each level has one free story, with additional stories available to purchase. It takes a lot for me to spend money on apps. I can say with confidence additional purchases for One Minute reader are well worth the price.
Next, is one of our FAVORITE activities to do in the classroom, Fluency With a Twist. It's guaranteed that I'll hear tons of giggles when my students do this activity.

Students scan a QR code to read the stories in a special voice or while doing a certain task. No story is read the same way twice in a row.

Even the most shy, reluctant reader can find their inner actor/actress!  A little tech combined with movement is a winner combination! There's also an  October Edition now available in my store.

Cara Carroll, one of my favorite bloggers has a wonderful set of products called Rock Your Fluency. I have both the first grade and second grade editions. I love how the fluency phrases are divided into sets. The dice games are a favorite in our weekly fluency station. There's just something magical about students getting to use a highlighter while working!
Miss DeCarbo has two wonderful products to practice sight word fluency.I laminated my copies to save paper. Students draw their illustrations with a dry erase marker. Repeated reading certainly does help with fluency. I also love that students get a chance to practice expression in their voices with the different end punctuation in the passages.
Sorry for the lamination glare! I use the fluency passages for my intervention groups. My struggling readers gain confidence each time they read. 
What are you favorite resources for fluency? Have a fabulous week!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Currently October

Oh. my. goodness. I don't know about y'all, but September kicked my butt! It's time for another linky with Farley for Currently October.
Listening- House Hunters is on as background noise. I love trying to guess what house gets picked.
Loving- I'm so glad October is finally here. October to me is the start of the holiday season, not to mention one of the best movies ever comes on.
You're never too old for a little Hocus Pocus!
Thinking- Tomorrow I'm running a 5k. My pink tutu is ready! I'm not the world's fastest runner by any means, but I do enjoy participating in a 5k race when I can.
Wanting- Having pizza for dinner is all kinds of wrong if I'm running tomorrow morning, Lord help me fight temptation. Has anyone tried ordering Domino's with the pizza emjoi? I've always wondered how that works.
Needing- Last weekend I moved, and there are still boxes to go through. I DESPISE unpacking anything. I also need to finish a blog post about fluency I've been planning on sharing for a few weeks now. Maybe Sunday I can finally sit down and finish.
Boo-tiful- Seeing others show kindness and caring has always been beautiful to me.
Don't forget to link up and share your post!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What's In My Teaching Bag

I'm linking up with The Owl Teacher for a super fun linky party! Let's take a peek at what's inside my teacher bag.
I let some random papers and other random things build up in my bag. Before I took this picture I was horrified at how junky the inside was so I did some quick cleaning. Now my teacher bag is somewhat clutter free. 
In my teaching bag are the following items:
1. My adorable Betsey Johnson lunch bag I found this summer
2. District iPad
3. ID badge and keys
4. My teacher binder that contains my life! This thing never leaves my side!
5. I always have a cup in one of the side pockets. That Starbucks cup is my favorite.
6. My teacher bag also doubles as a carry on when I travel. I took it with me to Vegas, and my lanyard from the TpT conference has stayed in the bag since July. 
 Check out what other teachers have in their bags below!

<!-- end InLinkz script →

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Classroom Tour 2015-2016

Hi everyone! Late to the party, but I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for a little classroom tour. I feel that my room isn't 100% how I want it, but I'd say it's 95% done! Cupcakes still rule in my room, but the color scheme is different.
I'll give you a quick over view of the room, then break it down with some specifics. The view from the front door is a little funky for pictures, so I took one door and one mailbox view.

Each of the four groups has a storage area. The black crates are where students keep things such as privacy folders, whiteboards, and work books. The black bling ribbon I found at JoAnn Fabric. The labels here and in other parts of the room are part of my cupcake decor pack. Soon we'll be adding the math tub tools from Reagan Tunstall.

Our class jobs are rotated each week.

This area of the classroom could best be described as command central. I purchased frames from Dollar Tree to make the objectives frames. I love that my book baskets match this year! The math strategies posters were provided from my district. That poor basket in the lower left corner will be labeled first thing tomorrow morning.

Black spray paint became my personal assistant while getting the room ready. I actually went to Michael's a few times because I could never guess correctly how much I needed. After the third trip I decided not to return because I was convinced they cashiers thought I was sniffing spray paint!

While going crazy browsing in Michael's I found this calendar set at 20% off. It matches perfectly!

Math manipulatives and games are stored in bins below the calendar. The hand signals are from Miss Nelson.

When you love cupcakes of course you need cupcake themed writing process posters! Each student will have a clothespin with their class number. They will move that clothespin as they cover each step of the writing process. I've had the black bookshelf since my first year. A couple of years ago I had the not so bright idea of covering the shelves with wrapping paper. The first two shelves were a breeze, the third shelf no so much and it's annoying me. 

The Tech Talk bulletin board is my favorite this year. I made computer backgrounds to match my computer and the color scheme of the room.

Thinking maps posters will be switched out as needed.

 Since counter space is limited, hanging file folders are used as student mailboxes.

Last year I fell in love with working spaces. I allow my students to choose their working space with some clear expectations. Working spaces are for working and collaboration, not playing around. The only time students aren't allowed to choose working spaces is during tests.
The cupcake pillows were made for me a few years ago. The rest of the pillows were found at Five Below.
The cupcake pillow area will be turned into our listening lounge. The listening lounge is part of the weekly centers rotation. 

I decided to get rid of my teacher desk a few years ago. The turquoise alphabet frame was a random find at Mardel. Of course I had to have it because it was 20% off. (Anything 20% off is magic to my ears...and my credit card) I made an inspirational print from Psalm 32:8.

This chalkboard frame was originally going to be used at home. It now hangs above the door. Occasionally I'll write a quick message to my class so they'll see whenever they leave.

I hope you enjoyed my classroom tour! Enjoy the rest of your week, and just think an extended Labor Day weekend is coming soon!