Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Awesome February Giveaway with 2nd Grade Stuff

One of my favorite things about blogging is developing friendships with other bloggers! :)  It brings such a joy to my heart and I LOVE collaborating with teachers all over the country.  

In fact one of my bloggy friends, Jamie at 2nd Grade Stuff and I are teaming up for a giveaway! :) 
2nd Grade Stuff

Jamie is such a sweet person and also is a true curriculum guru. PLUS, she's pretty much queen the queen of the Common Core. :) If you don't follow her already, you totally should! She makes these wonderful monthly writing packets that are perfectly aligned to the Common Core.  I have the February edition and I can attest to the fact that it's amazing! :) 
Click {here} to check it out TpT!
It's your lucky day because she's giving away a copy to one of you! :)  

I'm also joining in the fun and giving away a copy of my Feburary Graphic Organizers! 
 Click {here} to check them out on TpT. 

Just enter via the Rafflecopter below! We will announce a winner on Saturday morning! Good luck!

To enter, just use the Rafflecopter below! Good luck! 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fluency Intervention Tubs

I've mentioned a few times on the ole blog that my kiddos really needed some fluency help this year.  We've come a long way but we still have a long way to go.  

Every day, we have a ten to fifteen minute intervention block.  Some students leave to go to other rooms for intensive interventions but most of my pumpkins stay with me.  

We've tried centers, which they LOVED, however they didn't quite fit in the time frame that we had to follow, since some of my kids leave for Title and enrichment immediately after intervention and then other kids from another room come to my classroom for self selected reading. 

We have been doing fluency tubs for a few weeks and we LOVE it. :)

What's inside these tubs? Let's check them out! 

Tub One has Roll, Read, Repeat from Christina Bainbridge's Fourth Hundred Fry Phrase Fluency Intervention Pack.   My kids love this game!

Tub Two has a Partner Fluency Poem and Point of View Cards.   I got the partner poems from {this} Scholastic book.

I have the students read through it twice normally with their partner, then if they wish, they can pull a Point of View Card to use when reading the poem.  They LOVE changing their voices. :) Many thanks to my sweet friend Amanda for her creativity!

Tub Three is one of my monthly fry phrase games.  They LOVE playing these games and remind me oh so gently that we need a new one when a new month rolls around. :)

I got the container for this month's at Target. In the Dollar Spot! :)  It is the perfect size and price.
 Check out "Bee" Mine on TpT {here}.

On a side note, I bought a new printer this weekend.  If you print a lot of stuff at home, I can't recommend this printer enough.  The ink lasts a long time, it prints super fast, and the pages come out DRY! :) 

Tub Four has some fry phrases, using the fourth one hundred words but I plan on using the fifth one hundred soon, fun pointers, and point of view cards.  

Finally, one group always meets with me.  In addition to improving our fluency scores, we also need to work on our DAZE scores as well.  The group that works with me using does some type of context clue work.  We've mainly done activities from this book.  

Quick Cloze Passages for Boosting Comprehension 4-6: 40 Leveled Cloze Passages That Give Students Practice in Using Context Clues to Build Vocabulary and Comprehension

Sometimes, we'll use resources off the Dibels website as well to become more familiar with the format of the actual test they take

What I love about these rotations is how easy they are to manage, I'm only changing out games and activities every few weeks. Plus they are engaging and give my kiddos some much need practice in fluency and instruction with fluency and vocabulary! Win, win! 

I hope you've enjoyed seeing how fluency intervention works in my room! :) This ten minute time is so powerful and has become one of our favorite times of the day! :) 

Off to grade some formative assessments to plan my math groups tomorrow, have a great evening! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

February Graphic Organizers, Roll and Covers, and Fry Phrases plus a freebie!

I hope everyone has been loving their weekend! I know I so appreciate the time at home.  Since my husband and I bought our house this August, I've become such a homebody.  I just love being home. :)  

I've been busy the past few days creating the roll cover, sight word, and graphic organizer resources that I'll be using in my classroom in February.  

Which I have to admit was a challenge.  I'm typically not a big in Valentine's Day kind of gal.  Thank goodness for cute clip art to inspire me! :) 

I know my kiddos will go CRAZY over this insect inspired  fry fluency game. A few of you have emailed me about just how I use these in my classroom. So look for a post this week on how I incoporate these into my ELA intervention block. 

We don't always get to spend a lot of time doing seasonal things in fourth grade, so my kiddos LOVE our seasonal organizers.  I typically use these instead of the organizers that come with our reading series.  It's amazing what cute clip art can do to movitate some bigger kids. :) I included graphic organizers for President's Day, Groundhog's Day, and Valentine's Day. 

 I also have Roll and Covers for this month.  My kiddos have loved the challenge of the 12 sided dice.  I got mine from Amazon {here}.  They shipped super fast!

I love using Roll and Covers for fact fluency practice and while most of my kiddos are ready for the 12 sided dice version, some of them need more practice with factors 1-6Like always, I've uploaded this version as a freebie to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. :) Just click on the picture below to download it from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Just click on any of the pictures to check out each item in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  

Enjoy what's left of your weekend!  :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Managing Transitions and Drawing Conclusions Fun

This week, I finally sat down and made what has become a LIFESAVER in my classroom.  

Inspired by my blogging BFF, Sandy and Mary Lirette, I made a Powerpoint with all the songs I use for my transitions anyways and it has been a lifesaver.  I'm no longer fumbling with my iPod or my iTunes account.  It's been a great addition to our class.  I use TV theme songs as transitions, they really are the perfect length and it's so cute to see my big kids get excited about their favorite show's song playing.  Their favorites are our line up for specials song "Spongebob, Squarepants" and our paper pass out song "Saved by the Bell."  I LOVE having the slide up all day and having a song for practically every transition we have in our class has saved us SO much time!  They are now challenging each other to finish transitioning BEFORE the song ends.  Love it! :)

In reading, our skill for the next two weeks is drawing conclusions.  I LOVE when our skills back up to one another because we can really dig deep with our skill.  

Our Treasures story of the week was The Blind Hunter.  Before actually reading the story, we used the little vocabulary story in Treasures to create an anchor chart for drawing conclusions. 
On the day we focused on our main story, we completed a page in our reading notebooks.  I've been TRYING to include an entry for each skill we do.  Just another way to try to make our learning visible and permanent

Today, we become Conclusion Detectives! :)

I used pieces of Rachel Lynette's Drawing Conclusions Task Cards with an organizer that I whipped up before school today.  I can't say enough how much I LOVE her task cards.  She has them for ppractically every reading skill.  They are perfect for introducing skills, formative assessments, reteaching, centers, etc! Rachel's pack does come with one but I also wanted to see their thinking while they were working through the cards. I also used parts of Tiffany Gannon's Drawing Conclusions Packet as well to pull it all together, namely her Conclusion Dectectives name tags and anchor charts My kiddos loved this! It was the perfect thing to release the excess energy they had because it was snowing when they got to school today.  I gave each table an envelope of cards and they did so well.  Since we've been encoporating more Kagan structures in our classroom, group work has become so much more successful in our room. :) 

I will look over their recording sheets this weekend to help me plan my guided groups next week.  Our story next week will be Dear Mrs. LaRue.  I know my kiddos will LOVE it.  

As if being Conclusion Detectives wasn't exciting enough,  we got to use our school's brand new set of iPads today. :)  It was a great but exhausting day, so I'm going to curl up on my couch with Glee on Netflix. :)  

Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What's the Doggie's Purpose: Author's Purpose Freebie

Hey friends! I'm a little busy this Tuesday grading benchmark assessments in reading, so I'm sharing a guest post that I wrote on my friend Denise's blog a few months ago.  Yes, the Denise of Sunny Days! :)  

Keep on reading this post for a fun freebie inspired by my sweet pups, Moss and Maddie! :)

My school has a big push on student engagement this year, which I am thrilled about because it gives us a little bit more freedom than normal to stray from our adopted curriculums.    A few weeks ago, instead of using a lesson from our Treasures reading series to review author's purpose, I decided to review author's purpose with two sweet and furry things that are close my heart.  

Aren't they precious? My students LOVE when I talk about my two dogs, Moss and Maddie.    So I had Moss and Maddie, plus my parent's dog, Daisy, dictate letters to me addressed to my class to use to use in a lesson.  
I shared these letters with my students on my Smartboard and we went through each one and discussed what the author's purpose could be and then looked for keys words and evidence as to why the purpose could be to persuade, inform, or entertain.  Then they recording their thinking on the accompanying graphic organizer.

Oh my gosh, my bigger kids LOVED this! They were so engaged and into the lesson that I was kinda hoping one of my adminstrators  would walk into the room for a pop in observation! :)  Since the lesson was so memorable, they used the doggie's letters throughout the week when determining the purpose of other texts that we read!  I overheard things like "Well, Maddie's letter was to inform and she taught us all about making her favorite treat, so this book must be to inform too because we learned something," and "Moss' letter shared a story that made us laugh, this book is also funny, so the author must have wrote it to entertain."  

If you would like to do this activity with your class, I have shared it with you as a freebie at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

Just click on the picture above to check it out! :)  If you use it with your class, I'd love to know what you think!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

On track and Not on Track...keeping it all in perspective...

Our quarter ended last Friday and report cards go home tomorrow.  We recently began sending home additional data sheets with our report cards that detail each child's progress on a variety of assessments we give to our kiddos three times a year, think Dibels and a wide variety of math computation tests.  Which is great because it keeps our parents informed.  However, all the reports show is their child's score and then in big capital letters the words ON TRACK or NOT ON TRACK.  No mention of growth from the assessment period before or any mention of the benchmark that determines whether their child is considered on track or not.

My kids reading scores in the fall were pretty low.  That's what sparked the creation of my fry phrase games and weekly fluency homework sheets.  We've been working so hard and many of us made so MUCH growth, but many of my sweet babies missed the winter benchmark score by literally a few words! The words NOT ON TRACK literally made my heart sink

The same was true with our computational fluency.  For my sweet babies who answered 20-30% of the multiplication and division timed assessment correctly in the fall and then who grew to 85% accuracy this winter, it felt so wrong to see NOT ON TRACK next to their name. They ARE on track to meet the benchmark sometime this year, just not right now. 

Once I started comparing their fall and winter data I felt so much better.  The amount of growth was amazing and SHOULD be celebrated.  Knowing that most of my kiddo's parents didn't hang onto the fall data sheet, I filled out this little form and attached it to the one going home tomorrow. 

I hope all my kiddos' parents are as excited to see their child's growth as I was!  As a class, we have a lot to celebrate and we are ON TRACK.  On the track to accomplish great things!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Math Intervention Update and a Freebie

For thirty minutes a day, we have a math intervention block at my school.  Some of my students receive significant number sense interventions in another room but most of my kiddos stay with me.  It's a great time for me to fill holes, remediate and work one on one with some of my kiddos that require just that little bit extra to make a topic click. 

So what are the other kids doing? Centers mainly.   I've blogged before about using centers but I've tweaked it a bit since then.  Instead of doing partners, I've changed the centers to groups of four.  This is just what works for my class.  For some reason groups of four work better than partners, who knew?

This week, we are working through my Math is Snow Much Fun Pack of Math Centers.  Click {here} or on the picture to check them out on TpT.

This set of centers is set up much like my previous center packs.  

One of my centers always has to do with computation.  This time it was three digit by one digit multiplication. 

One center always reinforces a current unit of study, in this case, it was attributes of solids for my class.  

Another revisits a topic we have studied before.  The awesome thing about centers is continued exposure to previously taught concepts.   
I also try to incorporate one center of fact practice.  This time I made a generic game board and I switch out the self checking flashcards for groups as needed.  Most of my groups are working on division facts, as our multiplication facts are coming along quite nicely. :)

While most of class has been doing centers, I've been working with a group of darlings that need some extra love with geometry.  Think types of angles and triangles, slides, flips, turns, etc. :) Even though they are making so much progress, I know they feel a little jealous about missing out of the center action.  So I've been making Fridays a game day for everyone!  Mainly just resources I already had but this Friday we will play Roll and Cover with 12 sided dice.

Click the picture of {here} to find them on TpT. 
I've had lots of emails and comments about making my montly roll and cover freebies with 12 sided dice, so I made ten game boards of roll and cover fun this past weekend. :)  I know my kiddos will love these and they will provide the challenge many of them are really ready for!  I hope yours do too!

I did take a game board or two out for y'all so you could get a feel for these roll and cover games for bigger kids.  My kiddos LOVE these games. 

Click on the picture or {here} to download!

I'm off to finish some data for report cards! Have a great night, friends!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Product Swap: Kickin' it With Class

Long time Product Swap reader, first time participator here! I've always loved Jessica's product swap, as it always helps me discover so many goodies to add to my wishlist! :) So I am PUMPED to finally be able to participate. 

 I was paired with Heather who blogs at Kickin' it With Class.  

I've gotten to know Heather a little bit over the past few months and she is so sweet! Heather is a third grade teacher in Texas who is originally from the great state of Ohio, just like me! :)  As a former third grade teacher, I LOVE reading third grade blogs because they help me relive my third grade days, so I highly encourage you to kick out Heather's awesome blog, she has lots of great ideas! 

I asked Heather to send me her winter multiplication practice packet and I'm so glad that I did! Click {here} or on the picture to check it out on TpT!

I have a couple kiddos in my fourth grade class that really struggle with mastering their facts so this pack is perfect extra practice for them.  As a former third grade teacher, I can tell you her pack is perfect for thirdsters and is Common Core aligned! 

Heather's pack includes two bump games, which my kiddos LOVE.  One you can even customize with your own numbers!

Here is my copy all laminated and ready to go for Monday! The grandma of one of my students volunteers in my room EVERY Monday and I know she'll be happy to have a new fun game to play with some of my struggling kiddos.  I'm never quite sure who enjoys the games more, grandma or the kiddos in my class! :) 

Her pack also includes a set of activity cards perfect for scoot or a math station and she has included directions and recording sheets for both.  I put my copy on a ring to use during my math intervention time with some of my kiddos who still aren't quite proficient in their fact recall.  

 Like I mentioned before, this pack is PERFECT for thirdsters.  I can wait to send the link of this product to my BTF (best teacher friend) from third grade.  These activity cards will have your students practicing multiplication as repeated addition, arrays, pictures, skip counting and tables.  For me, it's perfect for solidifying conceptual understanding for my kiddos that are struggling to memorize their facts.

Heather also has lots of other awesome multiplication products in her store! You can check out all her free and paid multiplication resources {here}.

Lucky for you, Heather has put this awesome pack on sale! Click on the Teachers Pay Teachers logo below to check it out! :)

Heather tried out my Snowday, Sunshine Fry Phrase Game! Check out her post {here}.

Thanks, Heather, for sharing your Winter Multiplication Practice with me and trying out Snowday, Sunshine with your kiddos at home! I know my students will love using your Winter Multiplication Practice Pack!

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