January 19, 2013

How About Five for Saturday??

I am linking up again with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday (a day late!) I had all intentions of linking up last night but my little guy had other plans... more on that below!

1. We changed the way we are "doing" spelling this week. We (my team) really want to switch to a a system like the one Beth Newingham talks about here but were feeling too overwhelmed to switch up everything we were doing in the middle of the year. Our compromise? Send home 15 words within a pattern and study the patten all week during word work time. Then, on Friday, give an additional 5 words on the test that fit the pattern to assess if kids are really learning the pattern or just memorizing the words. Next fall we will dive in with the new system! I created a Smart Board file for us to use in class this week and the kids LOVED doing all the activities. More on that below.

2.  We had Keith Graves come visit our school this week. He is an author/illustrator and his books are really funny. He read Chicken Big and Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted To Dance to us and the kids loved them. He spoke a lot about using details in the illustrations to tell the story. Great lesson for beginner writers to encourage more details in their pictures. 

My husband with a former player, Jimmy Buttler (now a Chicago Bulls player)
3. My husband became a head basketball coach this year after being the head assistant for the last 8 years. He was having a rough start to the season, but understood he was getting the team to buy into his system and way of doing things. On Tuesday he had a BIG win against a team that was undefeated in the district at their place. Needless to say, the kids were pumped and the school was excited for them. Lots of fans turned out for the home game last night which they also won, beating their rival, a team they hadn't beat in quite some time! Wish I could have been there to see it, read #5!

4. Extra Recess! My class earned enough compliments to earn extra recess on Friday. I had lots of fun watching them play together as a class without the other 100 third graders being out there at the same time! One of my friends made me giggle. He yelled, "Hey, that was pass inter-furnace!" to another friend who had blocked the pass... um, football vocabulary mini lesson anyone?? (Boo, forgot my camera at school so there is no picture of this one!)

not looking too sick here! 
5. When I went to pick up my little man last night from school, they told me he had not been acting himself and had a yucky looking throat. I called the doctor who said we could come in at 8:10 (kids are normally in bed by 8:15) So, exhausted as I was, we went to the doctor and I am glad we did. He has strep, again. This is his 4th time in 2 months. Planning on calling an ENT on Monday :( 

Here is a preview of some of the activities my kids worked on this week during word work time

This is a smart board file and it was a great to use during daily 5 - I plan to make another one for this week's pattern. We did a think, pair, share together to introduce the pattern and then the word sort as a whole class. All the other activities were completed independently during their rotation. The kids really enjoyed using the smart board for word work! My team loved the poems... a great way to "triple dip" fluency, poetry and word work all in one activity! If you would like a copy, please leave a comment with your email below. I will choose 1 comment randomly and send it your way. If you just can't wait, click here to get in my TpT store!

Head on over to Doodle Bugs to see what everyone else has been up to :) Happy Weekend!!

January 12, 2013

Product Swap Time: Fourth and Ten


So excited to be part of the Magical Product Swap hosted by Jessica from Mrs. Stanford's Class! This time, I got the privilege of reviewing an adorable sight word game from Lisa over at Fourth and Ten.

I love her blog and I LOVE the fact that she lives in Ohio (where I am from) I always feel more at "home" when I find Ohio connections. Lisa teaches 4th now but she has taught third in the past. Her blog is full of amazing ideas and some of my favorite activities have come from her store!!

I was able to review her Snow Day Sunshine Fry word pack! So.Stinkin'.Cute.

When most people think about sight words, they think about younger students. However, like all of you, I have lots of friends who are either below level or on-level but not fluent readers. This game is so cute and it allows older students to practice sight word phrases which is so important in becoming more fluent readers. It is not enough to just word call, they need to be able to chunk text! Lisa's game, includes 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade fry word phrases along with some exciting game cards to make it a lot of fun to play! 

I printed out the 3rd grade phrases (100 of them!) and the extra game cards. Then I cut them all out. So quick and easy - it could be printed one morning and be ready to be used with an intervention group later that same morning (not that I ever leave things to the last minute like that, HA)

*Side note- need a new blade in my paper cutter* 

I gathered my "students" to help me play. Students draw a card and read the phrase. If it is read correctly, they keep the card in their pile. 

Sometimes, a player draws a "sunshine" card. Oh, NO! Look at that sad face. She had to put her cards back.

Other times, a player draws a "snow day" card. Yeah... we are so happy we win extra cards!

I know my students are going to love this game and I am going to love hearing their fluency improve. I know activities like this help them become better readers which also helps them become more confident and better all around students. 

What are you waiting for? Head on over to Fourth and Ten and read all about my Multiplication Bump game Lisa is reviewing. After you check that post out, head on over to TpT and get this game for your class - they'll love it and Lisa put it on sale just for you!! Click here to see it in her store. 

If you are interested in reading my last product swap about measurement games, click here!

January 11, 2013

5 for Friday

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for her fun linky, Five for Friday! Here are my 5 random things about this week...

1. I am loving poly envelopes from Target. I am using them for all my math stations and they are awesome. They have tons of room, fit full size sheets of paper, seal tightly with the snap, are super durable, and really easy to orgainize since they are see through. Yes, I am too excited about plastic envelopes :)

2. I really need to remember to bring my camera to school. Enough said.

3. I am loving "math talks." You can learn a lot about your student's thinking by listening to them explain a concept to a partner!

4. How come 4 day work weeks always seem WAY longer than 5 day weeks? Bizarre. 

5. I really, really want to get my multiplication game pack uploaded to TpT tonight. I am excited about it.. check out these adorable graphics!

See? Totally random! I hope you'll stop by again tomorrow for a fun product swap! 

January 1, 2013

Currently 2013

Welcome to 2013! I am linking up yet again with Farley for this month's currently.

I can't believe our break is almost over...  :( I am loving being home and being lazy and just being a mom to my two great kids!

I am headed out to "The Dump" to try to find a new coach in the morning... a little nervous b/c I think they are like shoes, it may seem comfortable in the store but then you sit in it for a while and not so much. But unlike shoes, you are stuck with it for years!

I have about 10 files on my desktop titled "Need to finish for TpT" Sure wish I could actually finish something. Seriously, what is my deal??

The beginning of my school year was rough. Lots of behavior issues and very, very low benchmark scores. I am usually strong in classroom management and my scores are typically good... I am not liking this and I am constantly reflecting and tweaking. Kind of excited for this "new" start and hoping to make the most of it!

OLW: Breathe. I need to slow down, regroup and just breathe. I am way to stressed and it is effecting my family. I need to work on finding a way to not let everything bother me and I need to learn to let go of some things. I become more and more "type A" each year :(

At the beginging of the year we read a book called the Energy Bus and one take away for me was "I'm too blessed to be stressed" That is so true and I know it in my heart but I can't seem to get my brain to understand.