Lesson Plans


Ughhhhh LESSON PLANS. These may be the worst and most important thing involved with having a classroom.  We know what we want to do, why can't we just DO IT?! Well I guess planning is a great way to keep organized and on track. At the beginning of the year, since I was in a brand new grade, I had to figure out my schedule all over again. Luckily, I had Cass to help me out with this! Once I had my schedule, I had to figure out what kind of template to use for my lesson plans. There are just so many options! Should I use Word, Powerpoint, Excel, a premade template, buy one from another wonderful teacher on TeachersPayTeachers or what? Well after some searching(Thank you Pinterest!), I found an awesome site!
Planbook.com
It was a little confusing at first, but eventually I figured it out! This site gives you a thirty day free trial, you don't even have to give any card information to try it out!  When you sign up, you have to put your classes into the Planbook. 



 From here you can color code the subjects and put in the times you teach them. Everything you do through the day and week goes here. Specials, subjects, lunch, recess, getting ready to go home..all of it! Then you click back into the drop back menu and head over the templates. Templates are the words that will stay in your lesson plans that you won't have to write over and over and over because they will always be the same! Here is where I can list my groups and not have to list them everyday, I can also make a template for my recess duty day so I always have that reminder. This is also a great place to make very detailed plans for a sub! They will always be there and you won't have to stress about sub plans because they will basically be done, all you will have to do is fill in the blanks! I would soooo rather be at school than make sub plans!!!

After your templates are all set up, you are basically done! When you log in to Planbook, you will see your lesson plan page. From here you can click on the class and just fill in the blanks. You can also alter your template for the specific day if something different is happening. Altering the template from here will only change it for that day. All the other days will be the original template.


When you make a lesson, you also have the option of adding homework, the standards, and any notes you might need to recall. One of my favorite parts is that you can also attach files to the plans! If I attach a flip-chart at home, I can access it at school! It is so convenient! I can also extend lessons, bump lessons back or forward days, and adjust times if I need to. Bumping lessons are great for snow days, as we have discovered this winter! Extending lessons are awesome for Daily 5 when students are working through the same activities each day through the week. All I have to do is change the mini lessons for the day! Your plans can be printed from a PDF file so you can create them, then put them in your teacher binder if you want. I like to keep my plans up on my screen all day, it saves paper and space on my (already messy) desk! You can add events to keep track of special activities through out the school year too.

When I log into Planbook, I am able to see my whole week on one page. I love this!! I can plan my lessons for the whole week at one time! These are printable and you can download them as a PDF if you have to digitally turn lesson plans in. 

 If you get addicted to typing your plans like we did, you can get a year long membership for only $12.00. We think it is so worth it!!
To learn more about Planbook.com, check out their site. You won't be wasting your time! It is great!
Click here to find out more!


Celebrating Dr. Seuss

This week, we celebrated Dr. Seuss week.   We started the week off with 2 more snow days.  This makes our grand total of snow days 16.  Hopefully spring is just around the corner.  When we finally made it back to school on Wednesday, we had a very short week to complete Dr. Seuss activities.

On Wednesday, we read Wacky Wednesday.  We searched for all the wacky stuff happening on the pages of the book.  The kids loved looking for the silly things.  We also ready my favorite Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You'll Go!

On Thursday, we read And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street.  During the Daily 5, the students wrote about what they would see on the way home from our school.  The Title of their paper is And to Think I Saw It on Preston Street.

Here are a few samples of student stories:




On Friday, we read Bartholomew and the Oobleck.  Of course, we made Oobleck.  This was also our science lesson this week.  We talked about solids and liquids, predicted and confirmed, and observed our Oobleck.  Of course the students go to take a sample of the Oobleck home.  Oobleck still amazes me every time I make it.



Here is how we made our Oobleck:

1 box of Corn Starch
water (almost 32 ounces)
green food coloring (a few drops)

Dump the corn starch into a bowl.  Add in water a bit at a time and stir.  You will want to use your fingers, a spoon will not work.  You want to add enough water to make the Oobleck appear runny.  However, when you touch it, it is solid.  I added almost 32 ounces of water.  Of course Oobleck should be green!  Adding a few drops of green food coloring will take care of this.

I put a small amount in a dixie cup for each student to play and experiment with.  It filled the dixie cup about half full.  This made enough for 21 students.

Click here to view and print experiment pages.

We finished off the week by voting on a Dr. Seuss movie.  The winner was How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  So we had a movie and popcorn party with The Grinch!



Hats off to Dr. Seuss!
 photo CassSignature_zps303652d3.png

Classroom Management App


I have found the BEST classroom management app! It has worked wonders with my chatty second graders. They love it and so do I! It is called {Too Noisy}.
     There is a lite version, which is free, and a pro version that is $3.99. It is so worth it! The difference, well main difference, is the meter. The free one uses the meter to gauge how loud the classroom is. When the class gets too loud, it gets black. Each version has a setting to change how sensitive the meter is.

     The Pro version does this and so, so much more! In the Pro version, when the students get too loud, it makes a horrible, awful, scary noise! (Which can be changed or you can even record your own.) Not only does the screen get black, the " weather" in the app changes and it looks like it is raining! When the alarm sounds, it also "cracks" the screen. This version also lets you change the background and the look of the meter.
When students have good sound levels.

When sound levels are pushing it.
    The best part about this app is it gives stars for every few minutes ( how every many minutes you want) of the app not going off! I have mine set to eight minutes.The students love earning stars! Each time they get ten stars, there is a star ceremony, which makes a big deal and ceremony noise at the tenth star. When my students get ten stars, they get to put another piece of our potato head on!

     
When the alarm goes off.

This app is so customizable! 
The settings allow you to change not only the sensitivity, but you can reset the counter that counts the times the app goes off. You can also take stars away or add stars manually.  I can't say enough great things about this app! I just love it!



This is so customizable!


I have rewards for the ten starts, but I also have consequences for the amount of times it goes off.
     Last week, our first full day of trying it, the alarm went off ten times! I had the students peel ten crayons with zero talking for this. I just have so many ice cream molds for making fun crayons! I need those crayons peeled somehow:)    
     Today it only went off twice. They owed me one whole minute of hopping in place and one whole minute of total silence.
To find out more, head over to {iTunes} and download the free version for yourself!

Aimee