Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Darling, Sandra Dee..

Welp, I'm coming to you live from where Hurricane Sandy is expected to make a direct hit in the next few days. I got the call a few hours ago that I do not have school tomorrow or Tuesday. My first grad class of the block is cancelled tomorrow night. According to the news, it is pretty much inevitable that the power is going to go out, and I am petrified! I'm on the second story of an apartment, so I'm not worried about the rain. I'm a little scared of the wind, but it's not even that! Just worried about having to sit in the dark. I was thinking about traveling home to PA to stay at my dad's until Tuesday, but decided against it. Kind of regretting that now due to the newscasters scaring me!

I know. I am pathetic!

Anyway, I wanted to quickly post [again] about a new product that I posted in my TPT store last week. 

[Is it obvious that I'm trying to keep my mind off of the impending doom?]

In my classroom, we do reading centers. It is kind of like the daily 5, but not really. Each day, the students visit two centers that we have scheduled for them. One of the centers is "Read to Someone." This just involves the group of 3-4 students going to the carpet and reading an assigned story from the reading anthology. [This is really the only way we are integrating the weekly stories this year, and it is for pure convenience purposes.] By the end of the week, each student is assigned to each center once, with the exception of "meet with teacher" centers for the below level groups.

After the students are finished reading, they are expected to discuss what they have read. Last year, I wrote these questions on index cards and put them together with a binder ring. This year, I had to make them a little cuter!

This product includes a set of fiction cards and a set of nonfiction cards. It also includes a few blanks, in case there are more specific questions that you would like your students to discuss. I've also included an optional response sheet, where the students are to choose three of the cards and write their responses. I do not use this in my classroom, but I thought it might be helpful. I plan on splitting the fiction and nonfiction sets in my TPT store in case you'd only like one or the other. 

Maybe tomorrow if I don't end up powerless?

Click HERE to see the product in my TPT store! 
[Clip art is by MareeTrueLove. Loooove her stuff!]

Would you like a free set? Leave me a comment with your email address [I'd really appreciate it if you were a follower!], and let me know how you'd use these cards in your classroom. I'll choose a winner or two sometime tomorrow, pending the power situation! =)

Are any of you being affected by Sandy?
If so, stay safe!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

Okay, I need to deviate from the regularly scheduled teaching programming to bring you two of my guilty pleasure blogs that I follow.

Okay, everything that gets posted on here, I hardcore belly laugh. Warning, they are not always appropriate. But for the most part, they are just hilarious. The posts have a title, and within the post is a video gif clip that goes along with it. Okay. I don't think I'm explaining it right. Please just go. You won't be disappointed! Here is a screenshot, but click it for the moving gif. It is so much funnier!

Ya'll know I'm a dog lover. This blog showcases dogs, along with bad deeds and guilty faces. Oh my. Again, I belly laugh. Perfect for a rough day. Again, I stink at explaining things. Go look!

Quick note, I posted a new product to my TPT store yesterday. I use these cards at my partner reading station to enhance discussion and guide focus when they are finished reading. Last year, before my TPT days, I just wrote this questions on index cards. This year, I made them adorbz, laminated, and placed for sale! This is a bundled set, and I will be separating the fiction and nonfiction into separate sets soon. Here is a preview. Click HERE to visit my store and find out more info!

If you purchase, please leave feedback. And if you leave less than a 4.0, please tell me why! Just like students, we can't get better without specific feedback to make our products better.

I'm off to continue watching DWTS and listen to the rain fall here in DE.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Calendar Math

Oh hey! How's it going!

[I'm blogging during the week? Say what?!]

I've read so much about calendar math in the intermediate grades, and I was inspired! [I remember when third grade was still considered more on the elementary side and not intermediate, but I digress.] I wanted to do it. For real! But I came across several road blocks in my quest to calendar math.

Road Block #1: When am I supposed to fit this in?
Road Block #2: Where am I supposed to put all the prompts?

Well, I've navigated through/overcome these road blocks, and I'm doing calendar math! A lot of other blogs that I read have calendar that is way more involved, at least it seems that way. But at this point, I think this is a good jumping off point. I haven't shared this idea with my team yet, because I needed to run it by you guys and test it on my kids first! Anyway, here we go.

First of all, we only do calendar math on Fridays. I wish I could do it everyday, but I'm not sure that's realistic. We go to recess [usually, as it is not scheduled] from 1-1:30. When the students come in from recess, this PDF is projected onto my Smartboard. They are instructed to complete it as drinks/winding down are going on. On the PDF, I write in today's number, part of the fact family triangle, part of a pattern, a time, and a temperature. Students have a blank copy on their desks.

For the past couple of weeks, I've released responsibility to the students. This week will be the first time they do it completely independently. From what I've seen, I think they are going to do a great job! As they are completing it, of course, I circulate to make sure we are on the right track. After they complete it, we quickly go over it using the interactive smart board.

This is only the first calendar math template that I intend to do. As we move through the year, I will replace these elements with new elements. They won't disappear for the rest of the year. But, for example, students will do time/temperature once every few weeks. The empty spot could be taken up by multiplication skills or geometry concepts.

Interested in my first PDF as a freebie? Download here through google docs!
[As always, let me know if it doesn't work!]

UPDATE: Google Docs hates me! I posted the freebie on TPT. Click here to download if you are unable to download from above! =)

So, a few questions for my readers! Please, please, please comment to respond to these questions! I want to make this element of my math instruction as beneficial to my kids as possible!

How do you do calendar math in your classroom?
How would you improve my method of calendar math?
Would a pack of calendar PDFs be useful in your classroom?

I hope everyone is having a good week!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Currently.. in a blogging rut!

How lucky am I?! I was reading through my google reader [finally got it down into the double digits!], and up popped Farley's currently. I might actually make it in under 100. I guess it depends how long it takes me to type this post!

[[Ugh, darn you little white box and red underlines that ended up in my currently image!]]

Is anyone else watching the debate? I won't get into politics here, but I already know who I'm voting for. Debates make my head hurt, and I'm not sure why I watch them. I'd much rather be in bed.

I'm loving team teaching! We have our hands full this year. My oh my. But I LOVE our kids. And I love how she & I work together. We have each others' backs, and the kids don't have time to misbehave. It's wonderful! I can only pray that our assignment is the same next year.

I'm so jealous of everyone who is making cute fonts! I want an iPad just to be able to try it out. Sad, but true!

I really shouldn't complain about the weather! Cali has it much worse than we do out here in Delaware. My issue is that my room is hot in the morning, an icebox in the afternoon, then hot in the afternoon. It is hot outside. How in the world do I dress?! I'm all about layering, but geez. I'm patiently waiting for fall so I can open the windows comfortably!

I'm going to PA this weekend! Yay for friend time! It is for one of their baby's first birthday. This is the first baby in our group, so it is exciting for us. I did a Pinterest craft that I'll take a picture of and post sometime this week!

I'm a sucker for books with Spanish excerpts. Most notably Skippy Jon Jones. But this one makes the list, too! =)

I think I needed this currently to get back on the blogging train! I plan on posting about my Pinterest craft, calendar math, and our writing pieces! Stay tuned! =)

Now, go link up and try to get in under the 100 mark!