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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Observation Idea

Thank goodness! I finished my observation a couple of weeks ago, and thought to myself ... I am so glad that is over! Then I got to thinking about the process I went through to figure out what I wanted my observation lesson to be about. For about 2 weeks, I reviewed all kinds of topics and ideas and finally I wound up creating my own lesson & sheets to go with it. I taught a lesson on visualization, and the children learned how it can help their comprehension of a story or poem. So, for those of you that haven't done your observation yet, I've decided to post up my lesson plan and  pages needed to make the lesson happen so if you need an idea you can tweak, maybe this will help. By the way, the lesson went really well, and the kids loved the activity. The pictures they created were so good, I promised to make a class book out of them. As a side note, by the time the lesson was over, the children had not only learned about visualizing, but also adjectives, sequencing and summarizing. We had a blast! Below you will find my lesson plan, the poem I used, the children's response sheet and examples of what the children visualized.

Observation Lesson Plan 2011 Blog

This is What I Visualized

The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness

Well, since it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought I would share an interview I did a couple of weeks ago with my doctor about that very subject. Remember to be proactive and take good care of yourself!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Spooky ABC Order

Here is another activity I use around Halloween to give the little ones yet another opportunity to practice their alphabetizing skills. Hopefully the spooky words will motivate them to really pay attention to the spelling of each word. At least it's worth a try right?
Spooky Halloween Words ABC

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Conferences Already?

Don't look now, but conferences are right around the corner for a lot of us. I developed a survey that I send out to my parents so it makes scheduling their child's conference much easier. I have found that it greatly reduces the amount of conferences that need to be rescheduled, therefore decreasing my frustration level. I also find it handy when I am trying to coordinate sibling conferences so one follows another. Give it a try and see what you think. Just in case you don't have a typed up schedule for your conferences, I have also attached one of those to save you some time. Both of the documents below can be updated with your information in a snap! Enjoy!
Conference Scheduling Questionnaire
Conference Scheduling Form 10-2011 Post

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sweet Tea Pearly Whites

I have to stop being a teacher momentarily, if that is possible, and tell you all about a great product I found in the store the other day. I don't know about you, but I have gotten addicted to McDonald's sweet tea. That extra "pick me up" in the morning is a must have before my 23 little seven year olds arrive at my door at 7:05 am. Well, I have noticed over the past 6 months that not only is the tea a light brown color, but my teeth are turning that color too. So the other day I was strolling through the store and noticed a new toothpaste that stated it would whiten my teeth. Well my poor tea-stained pearly whites needed some attention so I bought it. Yes, I know there are a ton of these miracle toothpastes out there, but this one seems to be doing the trick. If you have the same tea addiction I do, you might want to give it a whirl. It is working for me so far, hopefully it will work for you too.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I May Need Professional Help!

Okay, I was finding every excuse I could the other day to avoid writing my plans for the next week, when I decided to check out Vistaprint. Oh sure, I thought, how time consuming it be??? Well, 3:00am rolled around and there I was ordering "holiday homework coupons" for my kids. Yep, I got 100 for free. By the time my order was complete, I had racked up well over $100 in products. The best part is every item was free, and I only had to pay $29.48 in shipping. I bet you are thinking what in the world did she find to buy? Well, I attached a list and some pictures of my goodies. I'll be honest, part of the fun was designing the projects, the other part was the "Free Factor". Feel free to take a peek ... maybe my creations will get your creative juices flowing!

140 Classroom Library book Labels
1 Rubber Stamp
1 Pen
1 Huge Magnet for my Whiteboard
1 Hat
1 Pad of Sticky Notes
1 Banner
100 Post Cards
10 Note Cards & Envelopes
50 Oversize Post Cards

Disclaimer: Beware! Once you order from them, they will send you amazing emails for more free offers. And there in lays the point at which the professional help has to step in. I wonder if I should start a support group for Vistaprint users? Just in case you want to take a walk on the wild side, Vistaprint's web address is below:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fuzzy Wuzzy Table Management

Well, I have a few little ones who seem to have a hard time with controlling their talking. So, I have developed a "Fuzzy Wuzzy Table Management Plan". (Sorry about the rhyming, but my classroom theme is "Whoville" so it seems like the right thing to do.) Anyway, I've hatched a plan that will allow each table to earn "Fuzzy Wuzzies" (otherwise known as colorful 1" pompoms) for different things during the day. They can earn Fuzzy Wuzzies for the quietest table, the table quickest to follow directions, the most helpful table, the neatest table, etc. Each time they receive a Fuzzy Wuzzy, they put it in their table's Fuzzy Wuzzy Home (A.K.A. a little colorful metal pail with a label on it). At the end of the day or week, the table adds up their Fuzzy Wuzzies and the table with the most earns a trip to the "Mystery Prize Box". Each member of the table earns the prize that is picked. What is the mystery prize box you ask? Well it is a purple box that says "mystery prize" on it filled with little plastic containers that you would find inside a gumball machine. Inside each plastic bubble is a colorful strip of folder paper with a fun prize printed on it. Below are pictures of the containers and the Mystery Prize Box (purchased at Really Good Stuff). Also attached is copy of the prize strips I use.
I hope this Fuzzy Wuzzy classroom anagement idea works well for you!

Mystery Prize Slips

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spelling Practice Made Easy

Are you tired of coming up with different ways for your kids to practice their spelling words from week to week? Well, here is the solution to your problem! Below are 9 different spelling contracts with 7 different activities for each week. The activities vary so they hit many different kinds of learners. Take a peek at them and give one a try. If you wind up doing one contract a week, your parents and students will have about 72 different ways to practice their spelling words for the rest of the year. After 9 weeks, I let the children practice any way they would like, and don't require the contract to be turned in unless their spelling grades start to fall. I hope you find the contracts as useful as I have.
Let me know your thoughts ...
Click the link below to access the Spelling Contracts:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Someone is Coming to Visit!

Every child in my classroom has the opportunity to take home "The Cat in the Hat" at least one weekend out of the year. What does this involve? I'm glad you asked! Well, when it becomes a child's turn to take "The Cat" home, they are given a denim bag that has a picture of "The Cat" embroidered on the front. Inside they find a laminated copy of the letter I have attached below, a stuffed "Cat in the Hat", "The Cat's" very own suitcase and a journal. Because they get the bag on Thursday, they have 4 days to play with the tricky cat and document their adventures. The bag is then returned on Monday and the child gets the opportunity to tell the class what mischief "The Cat" got into by reading their journal entries. Many of the children choose to include photos taken with "The Cat" and others choose to illustrate and embellish the journal in other ways. The suitcase, which was a new addition last year, is filled with little trinkets that the children decide "The Cat" can't live without. It has things like a Halloween costume for "The Cat" (made by one of the children), a jingle ball because of course he is a cat and needs a toy, a rubber mouse, etc. Once all of my kids have had the opportunity to take "The Cat in the Hat" home, it then becomes one of the many things the children can purchase with their class cash (which is part of my positive classroom behavior plan). What a Deal! Five dollars buys a certificate to allow you to take the fellow home for an entire weekend. The kids love the additional time with "The Cat" and you as the teacher have extra prizes for your treasure box. Talk about a "Win-Win" situation!

Someone Has Escaped From Whoville

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Classroom Scavenger Hunt

What in the world do you do as the children are coming in at different times to meet you at Sneak-a-Peek? Well, I have my kids get familiar with the classroom by going on a scavenger hunt while their parents fill out important information sheets for me. In order for the questions on the sheet to make total sense I must tell you that the school I teach at is a "7 Habits School" and the theme of my classroom is Dr. Seuss. Another way you can use this sheet is during the first week of school when you are trying to acquaint the children with one another. Pair up the kiddos and them explore!

Classroom Scavenger Hunt

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Favorite Things

This is a handy dandy sheet that you can use with your team members or other staff members. I f you have them fill it out at the beginning of the year, then you can use the information on the sheet to help with birthday presents, holiday presents or just a thoughtful unexpected surprise. Come on . . . who doesn't like a surprise?  
This is the way our team uses it: At the beginning of the year, each person on the second grade team fills out the "My Favorite Things" sheet. Then one person collects all the sheets and put them in a binder so the information can be referenced at any time. Low and behold, just when you think your day can't get any worse, a little surprise shows up in your mailbox and your day is instantly brightened. Actually, our entire staff filled out a similar sheet when the school opened. All of those sheets were then put into a huge binder in the mail room for any occasion.

My Favorite Things -

Welcome to my Blog!

I created this blog for all those teachers that wear so many different hats each day. My hope is to post different documents I have created over the years to make your life easier and reduce a little stress in your life. After experiencing breast cancer this year, I decided I wanted to "pay forward" all of the support, help and prayers I have received in the past several months and turn them into a resource for many to use. Maybe I can rescue you on a day that you need a pick-me-up like so many rescued me. So, I hope you enjoy the blog, and that you find something along the way that will help you in your classroom.