5k Teacher

Monday, January 23, 2012

Candy Land Math

I absolutely love teaching math. I think it is my FAVORITE subject to teach. What is your favorite blogging buds? My grade level has divided up subjects for easy planning and luckily I get to plan MATH :)

I love to incorporate math games anytime I can into my lessons. This is a wonderful way to keep the kiddos engaged and active in their learning. I typically use data from daily quick checks and SuccessMaker to determine what the skill for each game will be. This weekend I finished up my Candy Land games with the skills being multiplication, subtraction and vocabulary. I have my guided math group going on during game time. My rotations are typically 15 minutes long. I give a quick quiz on Friday to check for mastery (plus to give me the data I need for next weeks groups). Check them out and on my TpT site let me know what you think! I will post pics later in the week of my precious babies playing and learning!

Have a wonderful week!

P.S. Stay tuned later in the week for vocabulary task cards and also a Unit on the Underground Railroad #mygradelevelrocks

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Day in My Shoes

Happy MLK Day! I have enjoyed a relaxing morning so far...filled with lots of coffee, sleep and the Today show. Man, this makes me long for summer. Not so fast, lots of fun teaching still ahead before June. Anyways, today I have linked up with Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher to give you a glimpse of my teaching life. Enjoy!

5:00 a.m.-Alarm goes off, since I have TWO puppies this means I have to get up. Every morning when the alarm goes off they are on top of me waiting for me to stir...then they pounce! From this point, I get up, stumble downstairs (until I have had cup number 1 of coffee...I am well, unpleasant). Take the pups outside, attempt to not fall down or get tangled in their leashes, come inside feed the dogs, insert coffee into the maker and wait for the yummy goodness to fill my cup. After that I typically watch the news, have my morning devotions and enjoy a few minutes on the couch.

6:00 a.m.--shower, find something to wear, change my mind, find another outfit, change my mind again until I settle for my good ole' standby yoga looking black pants (teachers will KNOW what theses are, lol). Dry my hair, decide on up or down for the day, makeup, brush my teeth, purfume. From there its around 6:30, kiss the pups and Mr. Hubs goodbye and I am out the door around 6:40 with my second cup of coffee in hand. Once, in the car I turn up my praise and worship jam. I have a mini concert every morning on my 5 minute drive to school. You should see the looks I get!

6:45 a.m.--pull into the parking lot, get my trusty bag out of the car and head to my room. My room has 2 doors so I head through door number 2 and turn the lights on then put my bag down and head out door number 1 towards the office to sign in. After signing in and checking my box I then go back to my room and get ready for the day. This consists of making my morning message, making copies, etc. By this time my teacher pals have started to arrive so I have lots of people to talk to.

7:30 a.m.--the kiddos start to arrive. Lately, I have been using this morning time to complete Read 3D MOY assessments. In between assessments, I am reminding kids to sign in, read the board and upack...the usual.

8:10 a.m.--Leave for encore...quickly, because we are typically running behind :) After dropping them off, I can breath, have a sip of coffee and catch up with my grade level. I use this time to grade papers, set up for reading, make charts etc.


Yes, I have 2 hours of reading and I love this! We begin our reading lesson with a read aloud and mini lesson. Lately, our lessons have been focusing on literature circles. For examples, how to have a good discussion, various jobs etc. Students are given an opportunity to practice the skills we have been learning in a quick check. Then they break into lit circles for 30-40 minutes. As they are reading, I am observing, conferencing and checking in with groups. Each student has a job for their group and are expected to be working on that job during this time. At the end of our group time we discuss what went well, what we can change and how well each person worked cooperatively.

11:00--Recess, lately inside due to FREEEEEEZING temps :)


We try to begin our day with a word problem. Students are expected to follow all pencil strategies and show their work. From there we begin by setting up our learning objectives for the day. We typically get through the teacher input then have to leave for lunch at 12:15. On a side note--if you do NOT have a class set of whiteboards in your room, get them. My kiddos love them and use them everyday!

We pick back up with math at 1 p.m. typically students practice their daily skill with a partner in a game like activity. I give a daily quick check to check for master of the skill taught. From there I have 4 math groups. (1. Guided Math with Mrs. J, 2. EOG Prep, 3. Math Games, 4. Computer Time).

2:00 p.m.--Science

We have been learning the scientific method and working on projects for our science fair lately. My students are required to complete a science notebook. This is a great way to note only teach them note taking skills but also why it is important to follow steps in an experiment.

2:25 p.m.--Pack up, write down homework, out the door. Off to duty I must go.

Oh my woooooordd! I am exhausted after typing this. On to cup of coffee number two! I am reading The Next Step to Guided Reading over the break...what are you doing?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our Week

We had a fantastic week. My kids were on their A game, all week! Thursday we had the mad scientist from our town come. The entire school loved it! I have included pics :)

How does your class end their week? My class always ends with a family meeting. During our meeting we make a circle am of our week . Then students fill their classmates buckets. It is precious! We had a parent in our room yesterday, they looked shocked at our reflection time. I left yesterday without taking pics of our reflection wall. Oh well, happy 3 day weekend!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Class Dojo

I am in love with my iPad. I honestly take and use it wherever and whenever I can. Since my last iPad post I have found a new use for this wonderful piece of technology in the classroom: class dojo. I came across Class Dojo on Facebook of all places. One of my teacher friends (which one I cannot remember) posted a link encouraging teachers to check it out. Well, one looked and I was hooked!

Class dojo is an online classroom management tool. The first step is to add all of your students names. The site then gives each one a character to which you can reward points and consequentially take then away. This totally goes along with my ticket policy so I started on our first day back. The website has preset positive and negative behaviors however, you can adapt them to fit your needs.

I take my iPad everywhere the kids and I go,that way I can update their points all day long. At the end of the day I pass out tickets based I how many points they earned throughout the day. Class dojo offers a reports feature which will be valuable when conferencing with parents. Oh, I forgot to mention that it is FREE! Try it out and let me know what you think. Have a great Monday!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Literature Circles

Wow! What a FAST weekend this has been. Mr. Husband and I were out of town yesterday for a concert so I have not gotten a whole lot done this weekend. However, we had a blast. While I was out of town I received a message from The Bubblegum Tree letting me know that she nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award, lets just say it made my day that much sweeter. I love her blog you should check it out!

I absolutely LOVE teaching reading this year. It may be my favorite subject I am teaching, and that says a lot because I am a math NUT! This year my grade level has been following Laura Candlers reading workshop model. This week we began diving into literature circles with our kids. We have been using lit. circles all year however, this week we began to go in more depth.

We started our week off by defining a TEAM. Students listed qualities of a TEAM in our circle map. We have been having daily quick checks with our groups and students have been able to show how they are working as a team. Here is my Lit Circle packet that I made. Let me know what you think!

Go to my TpT site to view my FIRST every item posted :)

Our "Toast" to the New Year

I had big plans for how I wanted my students to write their New Years goals.....of course I reinvented the wheel during my planning RIGHT before they were to do this. I decided they were going to "toast" the new year. To do this your need just a FEW supplies. Love it!

1. Yellow cardstock--this was our butter

2. Brown construction paper--cut to resemble bread

3. Glue

My kiddos wrote their goals on their "butter". We used our goals as a springboard for today's literature group team discussion. They were SO precious. Some even gave suggestions on better ways to reach their goal, I was floored.

Finally, we put them all together and it looks something like this....