Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Most Popular 14 Posts in 2014!

       I am linking up with Jen from Teacher by the Beach to look back, reflect, and celebrate the 14 most popular posts I had in 2014.  She was right!  Looking back was a great way to see all that I had accomplished in the past year.  Too often I feel as though I don't post enough and this was a great way to realize how many posts I did write and how many people enjoyed reading these posts!  So, here they are!  Go through and take a look!  So many of them are Monday Made It posts.  Maybe they will inspire you to get a little creative before winter break is over!

                                     11. Wordless Wednesday- Back to School
                         12. Let's Talk About Books- Falling in Love with Close Reading!  

                                               14.  Book Talk Tuesday

Thanks for stopping by today and throughout the year! I can't wait for what the new year will bring! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Currently with a Freebie!

        December 1st is here!  You know what that means!?  I am linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the December Currently.

Listening:We DVR everything because I am in bed each night by 9 or 9:30 (at the latest).  So we usually catch up on shows later on. We had three weeks of Criminal Minds and we will finally be caught up after this episode.

Loving: Yesterday we cut down a Christmas tree and put up all of the decorations!  I love turning the lights off and enjoying all of the decorations and tree lights!

Thinking: We had a Professional Development day today.  After the short week last week, it was a nice way to ease into the next work week!  I could REALLY use a PD day every Monday!

Wanting: I am taking a Close Reading 101 class that is being provided by my school district.  The culminating project is due this Wednesday.  While it isn't a huge project, I sort of wish I had done it earlier or at least over the break!

Needing: I use scrap booking materials and create my own Christmas cards each year.  I am thinking that if I am going to send them out this year, I need to start making a new batch!

Giving: I thought I would give you a little freebie!  My school is really looking at the book Notice and Note, as a tool for teaching close reading.  I have created signpost posters that go along with the book.  They are ALMOST ready for my TpT site. Click HERE and you can grab a copy of the signposts.  Remember...they aren't completely finished!  I am still working on them.  There may be changes to the version that gets posted on TpT.  The graphics are from  
If you download the freebie, please come back to the blog and leave me your feedback! I would love to hear your thoughts!
Sing Post FREEBIE!

Don't forget to head back to the Oh' Boy 4th Grade and see what everyone is up to currently!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cyber Monday and Tuesday Linky! What's on YOUR Wish List?

      It is that time of year! My Thanksgiving was wonderful.  I needed the break from school and enjoyed spending time with family.  It has come and gone, so quickly.  So has Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, so let the Cyber Monday shopping begin!  This Monday and Tuesday my entire TpT store will be on sale for 20%.  With the promo code TPTCYBER, you can save an extra 10% off!  

     I am linking up with Pinkadots Elementary to join in a TpT Wish List Linky!  I know that I have been adding to my wish list and waiting for the bit sale.  I am sure that you have been doing the same!  

 An item that has been wish listed a lot of my TpT site is my Reader's Notebook Starter Kit!  This product is perfect for starting up a Reader's Notebook or providing you with journal prompts at any point in the school year! This particular Reader's Notebook is geared towards first grade, however, I have a Second, Third, and 1st-3rd version available on my site as well!  I have used this version, when teaching first, and now I am using the third grade version!  It has helped my students independently respond to texts.


      Another top wish listed item from my site is my Three Little Pigs Companion Book Studies.  This packet is perfect for differentiation and comparing and contrasting different versions of a similar story.  

    So what's on MY WISH list?!?!  Well, I have really been working hard with my struggling readers this year.  We are focusing on Close Reading.  I have some great resources for fictional texts, but have had a harder time finding appropriate informational texts to use with them.  So, I would really like to purchase these products that are both on my wish list right now. They are by Teaching and Tapas. 

What is on your wish list? Link up and share and don't forget to have fun shopping on Monday and Tuesday!

Monday, November 17, 2014

I HEART Number Talks!

     If there was only one new thing that I could implement this year in my classroom, it would be the use of Number Talks. Luckily, I was introduced to Number Talks by our intervention teacher last year.  We team taught math and she introduced me to Number Talks.  I have continued using them in my math instruction.  This fall, I also signed up for a professional development class based on Number Talks.  
      The book Number Talks: Helping Children Build Mental Math and Computation Strategies, by Sherry Parrish, is a phenomenal resource to the elementary school classroom. The concept is to promote mathematical conversations in the classroom while building mental math concepts.   
      Last year, as I mentioned, I began implementing these Number Talks on a weekly basis. I instantly saw improvement in my students' abilities to discuss their strategies, as well as seeing confidence with sharing their answers.  Number Talks are supposed to provide students with a safe atmosphere for sharing their thoughts.  I found that when provided with this environment they quickly began to engage in the lesson.  Thus, creating an exciting discussion about mathematical concepts.  The students show that they know the answer by a thumbs up by their chest.  Then putting fingers out to show that they can explain the strategy that they used.  This allows the teacher to see who is ready to share, but allowing the students to not have to respond if they don't feel ready to do so.   
      This year, I began implementing Number Talks three times a week, as our daily math warm-up.  I am LOVING using these three times a week.  I am noticing a HUGE improvement in my students' abilities to think about multiplication and division.  The way that the book is set up, is that it provides you with a series of related problems.  You simply write one on a board/chart paper/Smartboard, at a time.  Each problem builds upon the prior. Students have the opportunity to solve and share their thinking for each problem.  Students can comment on each others answers and agree or disagree.  They are able to learn from their peers errors and understandings.  
      If you are looking for a way to promote discussion and mental math, within your classroom, look into Number Talks!  I would highly recommend it!

 I plan on posting some videos in the next few months.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Currently November

        It's November!?!  What?  This school year seems to be flying by so fast! Just last week, report card went out to parents and we are about to start the 3rd week of the 2nd quarter.  I am linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade to join in on the November Currently fun! 

Listening: We are flipping back and forth between the Bengals (WhoDEY!) and Browns games.  
Loving: The fall colors!  Last weekend we were out in the woods on Sunday and it was beautiful!

Thinking: Conferences start this Thursday and we have them again one night the following week.  I try to prepare a sheet for parents to take home, that gives them information about their child.  This takes a LONG time to prep.  I am about half-way done.
Wanting: Last weekend it was BEAUTIFUL!  It was in the 70's and sunny. Today I woke up to it being only about 28 degrees and frost outside!  BRRR....I am not ready for the cold weather!
Needing: If I had a three day weekend, every weekend, think of all the things that could be accomplished!!!
Reading: I am taking a Close Reading course.  I am currently reading articles about Close Reading.  I need to work on one of my online modules for the class today, as well. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday- Promoting Positive Classroom Behavior

      It's time for Book Talk Tuesday!  This week is an extra special book that I am talking about for Mrs. Jump's Book Talk Tuesday.  This book is extra special because I had the privilege of working with the author at my old school just outside Charlotte, NC!  
    I have seen her posts about her new book for a while and ordered it over the summer, thinking I would love to read it.  So, when it came I was even more excited to see that she signed the inside cover!  My kiddos were super excited to know that a real author wrote them a note! :) (Thanks Stephie!)

     The book, The Garden in My Mind, does an excellent job creating a mental picture for students of what happens when you make good choices, instead of poor choices, at school.  When reading this book, I imagined many of my previous students who would have benefited from this book and being able to SEE what impact of their choices.  I used this book in the first few days of school and I am planning to use this next week as we start looking at setting personal and academic goals for the next quarter. Many of my students need a quick reminder about making good choices!
      As a third grade teacher, I realize that so many of the back to school books and those about choices and behaviors, have been read multiple times by now.  This was a brand new book to my kiddos and I know it impacted them.  I think reading it again, now that we know each other better, will give me a chance to give students specific examples from our classroom. If you are looking for a good book to use on the first few days back to school, or throughout the year, this would be a great choice.  Click HERE to go check the author's website out and grab a copy for your classroom!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five for Friday- October 17th!

       October is FLYING by!  It is going so fast, I can't believe it.  It has been a while since I have blogged again, but I am back for another Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching.

1. This past week, we went to the Columbus Blue Jackets home opener!  It was SO much fun!  We had a blast at the game!  I am looking forward to hopefully another winning season!

2. I finally sent out my SLANT BOX last week!  I made a clipboard and sent lots of back to school teacher must haves.  (sticky notes, dry erase markers, thank you notes, note pads, candy, and more candy)  I am looking forward to receiving mine in the mail any day!  :)

3. We won a popcorn party from our school's most recent fundraiser.  My students brought in the most money in the third grade.  They thought it was a HUGE deal. So, I let my students partner read their animal books, that we are using for our research projects.

4. Here are my kiddos working on their life cycle projects that they did last week. They did an AMAZING job using the rubric to guide their work.  

5. Last, but definitely not least, today was probably the highlight of my students' year so far!  One of my teammates has a friend who works for Petland.  He brought in a bunch of critters to show the kids.  He talked about their adaptations and traits.  He came last year, too and the kids just LOVED it both times!

BEST OF ALL...Today we have the day off! Woo Hoo!  Yesterday was the end of the quarter and today we are off school!  I am ready for a long weekend!
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