A place to share thoughts, ideas, gadgets, and giggles from my classroom. 💜

Guided Math Chapter 1

Have you heard of the book Guided Math:  A Framework for Mathematics Instruction by Laney Sammons?  

If you haven't I would recommend this book.  Thanks to The Primary Gal, I am now participating in this book study.  Thus far, I am enjoying learning and reading about Guided Math.

This book is about how to successfully conduct guided math in a classroom. If you are not familiar with guided math, it is similar to guided reading.   Guided reading and guided math allow for teacher lead instruction, small group instruction, individual practice, and assessment.  Guided Lessons follow the I Do (teacher), We Do (teacher and student), and You Do (student) release of responsibility.

Chapter 1 of this text, describes the components that make up a guided math lesson in the classroom.  These components include: numeracy, morning warm-ups and calendar, whole-class instruction, guided math instruction with small groups, math workshops, individual conferences, and assessment.

This year, I started doing some guided math in my classroom.  I decided to create my own Daily Math (Similar to the Daily 5).  I do our math mini-lesson (the math lesson for the day), then we practice together.  Finally, the students go into groups while I pull out students.  I need to work on a few of the areas such as numeracy and calendar activities.  However, my students have loved doing our Daily Math.  I am going to change a few things next year to make it even more successful.  Now on to Chapter 2!

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Wordless Wednesday

Looking through some pictures from last year, I found a picture of free time in the computer lab! I love that this little miss decided to read instead of play games! This was a happy heart teacher moment<3 

What happy heart teacher moments did you have this past school year?

Mystery Person Bingo

So last week was the last week of school. 
ahhh . . . summer break
To make the week less long, we played Mystery Person Bingo. Well it was going to be bingo..but it turned into a race to see how many you get right. 
I created a table on Word and started filling it in with facts I knew about my students! They absolutely LOVED trying to figure out which one was themselves first and then their friends. It turned into a race because I was not going to be able to shuffle the squares to make random cards! It would have taken wayyyy too long. Here is what I wanted to do though!
Print-Bingo.com - The world's best web based bingo card generator!
Click here to make your own (easy mixed up) Bingo card!
When you get to the site, there is a yellowish box in the middle. It says, " I've read enough, let me generate Bingo cards!" Click there!  The third bullet point  "custom bingo cards with your own words or phrases", will get you where you need to be! From there you have to click begin custom cards and then off you go! It looks set up like the same table you would find in Word. It will just randomize it better. 
Create a list of your student names and then you will be ready! When you pull the name out, students will write the name on the box they think goes with that person the best. 
Either way you play, your class will probably enjoy it as much as mine did!


Through one of my classes this summer, I have discovered a really cool site! I haven't had a chance to use it in my room, since I just found it an hour ago, but I had to share!
Check it out here!
This is a fun site where students and teachers can make their own comic strips. It provides sooo many different clip arts and backgrounds. You can also add your own if they happen to not have what you want! The fact that it is easy to use is the best part.
Once you create an account, this is the screen you get. It has so many options of things to click! I am eager to find out what else I can do, but for now I figured out the comics! To get started, you click ToonDoo Maker.
It will open up a new window for you to start. The first step is to choose your layout. There are a lot of options to choose from. Then you can get started! You can add the clip art, backgrounds, and text to your comic. There are characters and props to add. You could also add your own doodles, if you are handy with the mouse! One thing to make sure of is that your browser is not full screen. In full screen, you will have a hard time seeing the buttons at the bottom, and there isn't a scroll bar! The buttons at the bottom are labeled, and the ones at the top tell you what they are when you hover over them with the mouse. 
Here is how my final comic turned out! The best part, I know there are a lot of best parts, is that for each character, you can change their emotion! The girl with the piggy tails on the phone originally had a WOW face, but I changed it to be happy with one click of one of the bottom buttons! I added the lamp, couch, books, computer, and steak from the props. The others are characters. There are so many awesome ways to use comics in the classroom! 
How would you use them?

Field Day Fun!

Why is it that when you plan something outside, the weather isn't cooperative?  Today, the second grade classes was going to have field day outside.  Of course, we have all of these fun activities planned and parents want to come.  But, weather stood in our way.  Yesterday, we checked the weather map and decided it wasn't looking good.  Aimee and I made a decision to stay in doors on this cold and dreary day.  We decided to have a Technology Field Day!

We sent a letter home to parents about our decision.  The students could bring in hand-held devices of their choice.  We would spend the day playing and learning.  In the morning, the kids could have free choice of what they would like to play.  I saw some students playing educational activities!  We even had our classroom Promethean boards on and our ActiveTables on (these are portable promethean boards on wheels).

In the afternoon, the students worked with adjectives and technology.  Each student was given a piece of paper to lay on their desk.  Then, the entire class had to go around (scoot) from one desk to another and write an adjective describing that person on the paper (Of course, they couldn't duplicate any of the adjectives.).

When we were finished scooting, we went to the computer lab to do a word cloud of our adjectives.  We used the program Tagxedo to create our word clouds.  This is a website you can use to create word clouds (and it's free!).    Each child made a word cloud with the adjectives that was written on their piece of paper.  After making our word clouds, we printed them in color.  I will pass out the word clouds with our memory books at the end of the year (in 5 days!!)  for students to take home. Below are some pictures of our word clouds.

PS. Last year, I had my students make word clouds with their spelling words, word wall words, and Mother's Day, vocabulary words, etc.

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Holy Moly! We have over 500 likes on our Facebook page!! Thanks guys! In honor of all our new fans, I have added my Independent Reading Response sampler!
Click here to head to Facebook!
It includes a page about main characters, conclusions, and settings of a story. This can be used with any story! If you really like it, you can get the whole pack in my TeachersPayTeachers Store
The whole pack includes:
Main characters, supporting characters, setting, retelling, main idea and details, author’s purpose, author’s word choice, conclusion, and problem and solution. 
Setting, Retelling, and Character sheets each have a basic drawing response along with higher thinking response sheets.
I love being part of a great blogging community:)

Seating Charts

I love moving my room around! I do it at least once a month, if not more. Students love switching seats and sitting by new friends. This is where we have issues. We all those students who should NOT sit near each other, ever... right?!?  Of course you can take a lot of time planning out who will sit by who, but I found an awesome site that takes the work out of making a new seating chart!
Click here to check out the site!
HappyClassapp.com is a FREE automatic seating chart maker. It is perfect for the elementary teacher who only has one class. The difference between the free member ship and the paid one is that amount of classrooms you are able to have, which in most cases is one for elementary! You enter in the number of desks you want and in the arrangement you want them in.
It is set up on a grid system. For my tables, I try to keep a block in the grid apart so the program knows they are not actually next to each other.
Here is where it becomes easy! You can customize your class based on who they work well with, who they don't, if they need to sit near the front or back, or if they just need to stay where they are while the others move! When a student should not sit by another, use the broken heart. If they are ones who should be near one another, use the regular heart! You can change these through the school year based on who becomes best buds or who becomes a bully. 

This has saved me so much time over the school year in creating my seating chart. I stick it up on the Promethean Board and the kids love seeing who they are going to sit by!

Teachers Pay Teachers May Sale!

It's that time of year again! May 6-7 my store will be 20% off plus another 8% from TpT! The TpT sale is one of my favorite sales to shop! 

May Free-For-All

My freebie is a sample from my Poetry Unit I have been working on! It includes an example, rubric, and writing paper with primary lines for an Acrostic poem and a Haiku! 

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Insect Lore Butterfly Garden -  Insect Lore - Toys"R"Us

One of my students bought the kit above at his church yard sale. He graciously donated it to the class!! He brought the kit in and said the caterpillars will be here in a week or so. This was the first time I had heard anything about having butterflies! I had never even planned to talk about butterfly life cycles! I quickly Googled how to take care of them and what to do with the caterpillars. (Of course he had misplaced the instructions;) 

When the little guys arrived, they were in this gross solid-looking brown goop. I discovered that was their food! These guys came all set up with everything they needed! There was no way I could kill them!
The class began to add observations into their daily morning work routine. I created an observation booklet that the students have kept in their morning work folder.
Click here to Download your observation booklet!

It was not long before the caterpillars began to form their chrysalis. I had never seen a butterfly inside their chrysalis! I was just as excited as the students! I also noticed their brown goopy food had been eaten...a lot!
Reminds me of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

We ended up with two hanging and two on the floor of the cup. The instructions said to leave the caterpillars alone for at least two days so the chrysalis could harden. There was supposed to be a cardboard disc that the caterpillars could hang on and that could be easily removed to place them in their net. This was missing so we had to improvise!

I took the two that were hanging, and very very slowly placed them inside the net. I had the student that donated them move the two that were on the floor of the cup. He said they felt pretty hard.  We placed them on the bottom of the net, on top of a paper towel. I wish I could have figured out how to hang them, so if you have any tips for next year please let me know!! When I left for the weekend, after a week of no action, I placed a Cutie (orange) in the bottom of the net just in case one decided to come out. 
We moved them from the cup to the net on the 17th. Today, the 29th, our first butterfly emerged from his chrysalis!!!! One of the students noticed before I did. I was just telling my husband that I thought they were dead. I was happily proven wrong! 
They kept saying the red stuff was blood..
He was folded up and griping his chrysalis. I placed two water bottle caps full of sugar water along with the oranges so they would have plenty to eat. We talked more about the butterfly life cycle and I found an awesome Webquest on Teachers Pay Teachers that was free.
Click here to find it!

It was created in PowerPoint and has two links to YouTube, one a caterpillar song, the other a cartoon about the life cycle. It has a link to a vocabulary game. The game was perfect for second grade or third grade. The videos were better suited for first, but that did not stop my students from singing along afterwards! There was a game where the students had to place the life cycle pictures in the right order and a link to Eric Carle reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

 The kids just love checking out the butterflies each day!

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