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. 

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