Monday, August 26, 2013

Zero the Heroine

It has been an awesome, yet very exhausting, beginning of the year. After leaving my 5th graders, I had to do some quick adjustments to the immediate needs of my firsties. They are so cute. They are eager, enthusiastic, and love dancing and singing. I can feel that it is going to be a great year!

Today is our 10th day of school, and it is time to bring out Zero the Heroine. Every year I have done Zero the Hero, but it finally dawned on me that Zero could be a girl. I really want my girls (and boys too) to feel powerful, secure, and strong in math. I contacted Laura from MadeByDI, and asked if she could make me a girl version. She was awesome and worked with me to make it just the way I wanted.

The bag is my attempt at being "crafty". I need to redo it. That is where every 10 days we find a letter from Zero the Heroine and special treats to share. I have done cheerios, M&Ms, Life Savers, etc. On the 1st 10, we discuss the fact that there aren't enough treats for every one and what should we do. They always say we should save them for the next 10. On the 20th day of school, we will have a total of 30 treats. I begin to introduce to them making equal groups of one and even begin to discuss remainders. By the end of the year, many of my kiddos are very good at hands division and remainders. 

After we read the letter, we always do the chant. I have no idea the original source, so please let me know to give proper credit.

If you would like your own copy of the chant and letter, click HERE.  

One other thing I always do with my kiddos is sing the "Count by 10's", Musical Math, by Heidi Butkus. They L.O.V.E. it! It is amazing what a song can do.

I hope your year has started out with a bang. IF your still on vacation mode-Enjoy!

Monday, August 12, 2013

It is coming along...and a FREEBIE

After the last pictures of my room
I was starting to believe that my room would never come together. A solid week later, I feel much better.
 This bulletin board is located in the front of the room. I placed my voice level chart and my learning objectives here because I wanted them front and center. My school has been highly encouraging learning objectives and the voice chart was wonderful last year. I just had it go with this year's theme. You can get your copy of the voice level here.
The very cute and colorful learning objectives are from Teaching with Peace

These are my WBT (Whole Brain Teaching) rules and clip chart bulletin. If you like the owl behavior clip chart, you can click here for your copy.  The rules are a free item over at Teaching With Style. Believe me they are sooo cute!

 This is my Daily 5 bulletin. I have the bigger pictures for quick reference, and the smaller pictures I am using them in a pocket chart where students and I can move the clips. I may end up with the big clip chart and pin the pins there. I am not sure. If you want your copy of this adorable Daily 5 clip chart click here for your free copy from Second Grade Discoveries.  Miss Bily has lots of cute ideas and resources, so head on over and take a look.

 This is the beginning of my Writer's Workshop bulletin. I am not done, but my process chart is and I love it! I got it from First Grade Glitter and Giggle. Click here for your copy.

 This is my calendar bulletin board. I do it religiously every day. The blue chart is where I will be doing a pattern when counting by multiples of 2, 5, and 10. We will then add 3s, 4s, and 11s. Place value I work on as much as possible. It is a very important foundation for math as they progress through the grades. I found that Calendar math is a very powerful tool that provides the much needed repetition, review, exposure, practice, and challenge. The group that just left me after 5 years had 17 out of 20 scoring advanced in our state testing, and believe me when I tell you I know Calendar math had A. LOT. to do with it. I will post about my firsties math journal as they begin to work on them.

And last, but definitely not least is my CAFE bulletin. And yes, they had to be owl themed. I am weird that way. I will be posting pictures of my kiddos reading right under the title and the descriptors for each letter will be placed as they are taught. The letter headers are a free item from Alissa Manning-Telisak. The posters are a free item from First Grade OWLS. Her room is adorable. I really like her decorations and she has tons of owl ideas and resources. Aahh! she inspires me. 

I looked everywhere for owl labels for my in and out pencil cups and couldn't find any so I made my own. Click on the picture for your FREE copy.
As you can see, I have been very busy acquiring all things owl-both free and purchased items- from fabulous teachers. Every year I try so hard not to go overboard with time and money--well I failed at both, but I L.O.V.E. my room. Are you ready for your kiddos?

Friday, August 2, 2013

New School Year, New Theme

After surfing the net, being addicted to Pinterest, and reading all about what my fav bloggers are doing, I had to decide on my new theme for my classroom. I was very much influenced by two of my best friends, Rosie and Sonia, to do the owl theme. They did it last year and are keeping it for another year. It didn't help that Pinterest has been swarming with cute ideas and resources, so I made up my mind and finally took the plunge and went shopping at Lakeshore Teacher Store.

That is such a dangerous store for me.
I got borders, stickers, a calendar set, nameplates, helper set, and other owl decor. 

I have also bought other resources from TpT. Once they are in place, I'll take pictures and update my post.

Now on to two really cute items I created. The first is Super Owl Incentive Bracelets. I have seen a couple versions of these on Pinterest, but I "needed" to have an owl theme one--therefore I created it. I plan to run the sheets off on color, heavy stock paper for my kiddos and hand them out when they show growth or score 100% on assessments. I included the owl incentive ones and I also included some with reminders that I know will come in very handy with students that struggle to bring back items or inform their families of important information. Click on the pictures below to see more.

Item #2 is a Birthday no homework pass. Of course it is also had to be owl theme with both color and B&W options for printing. I am a fanatic of pencils. I do one for my kiddos for every holiday or big unit learning. It is therefore natural for me to attach it to a special birthday pencil. My kiddos love to receive pencils, and they especially like the day off from homework. I will place pictures of my pencils once I complete them. To get your copy of these passes, head on over to my TpT store or click on the picture below.

If you are in search of a plethora of Owl ideas, resources, and templates, follow my Owl Ideas board on Pinterest. I am constantly adding to it.

What theme or color scheme are you doing this year?

Back from a well deserved hiatus

This summer I decided to take a hiatus from blogging (NOT from Pinterest or bloggers I follow of course) to spend some quality time with my 2 year old. Having two teenage boys, 17 and 13, I K.N.O.W. how fast the early years fly by. All I can say is that it has been wonderful. My little one is stuck to me like glue, her oral language has skyrocketed (she's a little parrot), and I feel really close to her. It has unofficially all come to an :(

One other thing I was able to do this summer was READ! I bought so many professional books to get my creative juices rolling, for new inspirations, and new learning. I am ready a couple at the same time and I will post more on them as I finish them.



The CAFE Book and the Daily 5 book I am still in the process of reading. These I barely purchased recently. I have implemented the Daily 5/CAFE strategies in my classroom for a couple of years now, have read about on different websites, also subscribe to The 2 Sisters site, but I had never read the books.--It is getting much clearer.
I'm engrossed with Starting with Science. It is geared for Pk-2nd. It is very informative, easy read, and has many suggestions, ideas, and lessons that you can implement immediately.My focus this year is to do as much inquiry science as possible. You get the rationale of why you should do it, but also how to do it.--love. love. love it!
Is That a Fact? I had already read a while back, but I decided to reread it once again, since it has been a couple years I was in primary grades (looping and all). It is one of the best books for K-2 informational writing ideas, lessons, and examples. It is also a very easy read. Love this one too!
The other books I will be getting to as soon as I'm done with the others. I will definitely be done before winter. I will be posting lessons and student examples as the year rolls by with reference to which book they come from. Keep posted to see what we do.

 I am now on full planning, organizing, and decorating mode.

 Not too scary...

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I had to sit down and take in a deep breathe.

I am in a new room that is much smaller than my previous one and with a lot less space to put my junk resources. My husband and father-in-law helped me carry even more stuff from my garage. It is unbelievable all the materials we accumulate and need. My room looks like a whirlwind hit it...

I know it will eventually come together. I will post pictures of my room once it is "ready".

What good books did you read this summer?

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