Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Grab Bag, VOCAB!

Come check out my most recent post on the fabulous iteach4th collaborative blog! I share about 3 ways I teach Vocabulary in my classroom.
 AND there is a Freebie too, so scoot on over!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July Currently

JULY! It is one of my favorite months of the year! It is Summer Break, my wedding anniversary is July 4th, it's my both my daughter and my birthday month AND it's the VEGAS TpT Conference!!! So let's start this month off right with this month's Currently brought to you by one of my bloggy crushes, Farley, who I am crossing my fingers (and toes) to meet in Vegas!

1) Listening: Ok.... If you haven't listened/heard to the Serial Podcast... drop everything and DOWNLOAD it NOW!  It is like Law and Order -plus- This American Life -multiplied by- Audible.com.  It is soooo good. I know I am late on this bandwagon, but I can't wait to listen to alll of it!

2) Loving: Being on break. It hasn't felt like Summer Vacay yet... it feels like Thanksgiving Break.  I have had 9 great days thus far.  It has been awesome relaxing, seeing friends, going to the beach and "sleeping in" (5:30 AM is my internal clock, so 7:00 is like GROSSLY sleeping in!)

3) Thinking:  We are going to be gone the ENTIRE month of July. We even rented our house to a good friend for the month.  So, we need to pack for a month.  Family of 4... 3 Vacations in a month...WHEwwww. #nightmare.

4) Wanting: Someone to pack for me... see #3

5) Needing: To Figure out my Vegas Schedule. I need to get this planned out. It's my first time... I am nervous... I am excited.... there are so many meet ups.... there are so many people!!! AHH!!!! Can't wait!

6) All Star: I am an all star multi tasker. I am great at juggling responsibilities, planning, arranging, problem solving and getting stuff DONE. It is one of my favorite qualities about myself.

Can't wait to see you all in Vegas, to learn so much and to read your Currently's along the way!

Monday, June 29, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge {Week 3}: Make your Masterpiece!

I have a list of product ideas that is PAGES long.  I have about 5 products that I have started but haven't finished but I FINALLY finished one that I started in April! My hope was to finish it for Earth Day, but all of the excitement of life made that impossible. I am excited to showcase my new product, Arguing for the Earth,  for this weeks TpT Seller Challenge.
Persuasive writing is one of my FAVORITE genres to teach.  It can be hard for kids, and I have noticed that it is a real struggle particularly for my second language learners. I made sure to include a lot of structured support in this set using Thinking Maps to help them organize their ideas along the way!

     The prompt asks the students to argue on behalf of the Earth and to try and convince their school to make easy changes. Before the writing process begins, they need to investigate the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. My students understand recycling but they get stuck on the last two.  I added a little research piece to this by including 5 QR codes that explain the 3Rs with examples.  Brainpop has some awesome resources that go along with this here. The students can take notes on the circle maps about HOW and WHY taking care of the environment is important.

    After they gather sufficient information, they can start constructing their arguments.  I have them use a one sided flow map to evaluate Cause and Effect Relationships.  To differentiate I provided some arguments for struggling writers as well as some sentence stems to help.  These are especially helpful for Second Language Learners.
      Once the research and planning are done, drafting beings!  I created a Hook mini poster for their Interactive Notebooks which goes over the different ways they can start their essay.  The Flee map has some helpful hints for them as they get their ideas out and lastly there is a Self Editing Checklist which reminds them to go over their work before they turn it in.

     I can't wait to use Arguing for the Earth this year with my new set of kiddos! It has enough support for the more hesitant writers and it allows them to research, use facts, and make helpful suggestions to their peers.  

Monday, June 22, 2015

{Week 2} TpT Seller Challenge: Dare to Dream

Last week I signed up to be part of the TpT Seller Challenge hosted by Sparkling in Second, The Peppy Zesty Teacherista, Teach Create Motivate and Third in Hollywood created.

Today I am linking up for the second week of the TpT Seller Challenge that the fab 4 have created.  This week's topic is Dare to Dream...

This past Friday was our last day, so I am officially on Summer Vacation!  One of the things I value about the summer time is having the ability to reflect and relax.  This week's challenge is perfect for reflecting on some of the goals I have for TpT.  When I started this little side business of mine, I was incredibly motivated and encouraged by one of my real life best friends Michelle from Apples and ABCs.  Now that I am more involved in the blogging community, I am really  inspired to grow my business more. 

Family: I LOVE teaching and believe it is my calling to work in inner-city schools. In an ideal world, I would love to be able to work 3 days and stay home with my own littles 2 days a week.  I am lucky to have amazing friends and in-laws who help take care of my kids while I am working, but I would love to be more present with them. I am almost greedy over my time with them. 

Home: We bought a house 2 years ago and LOVE it.It is quaint, in a wonderful neighborhood and we have a lot of friends nearby.  Our house is almost 100 years old, so there are A LOT of things we need to do to it maintenance wise. We also want to make it more our own and that costs money.  A BIG dream of mine is to add onto our house and update the kitchen with my TpT income.

Grow:  I have had a lot of amazing opportunities come up and met a lot of great people through blogging and TpT. I want to grow more and make more connections. This is my first time attending the Vegas conference and I cannot wait to learn.  I am so excited but EXTREMELY nervous at the same time.  I tend to be a little shy at first, but I know I need to really put myself out there to make these connections and to grow more.  So, if you see the shy, little redhead in at the TpT conference, come up and say hello! You will make my day! 

I am excited to see what dreams you all have! Until next time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge: Week #1 Makeover Maddness

I am so excited to be apart of the TpT Seller Challenge that Sparkling in Second, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, Teach Create Motivate and Third in Hollywood have started.  Week #1's challenge is to makeover a product. I chose one of my top sellers, and my first product, my An Idiom a Day.  (Find out how you can win this below!)
I don't know why, but I didn't have a cover for this product... How embarrassing ((putting head in sand now)).  I found these pig clipart that went perfectly with my product. 

I also straightened up the lines on the idiom pages and chose bigger and clearer fonts.
I have been meaning to do this with many more of my older products. I am so grateful that this challenge has inspired me edit, enhance and update. Since I am so proud of the updated product I will give one of these away.  Simply leave me a comment with something you need to do this summer as well as your email address!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Prefix Pockets

   As I reflect over my teaching this past school year, there are many things to celebrate, but also ways I want to improve upon.  I noticed that my students struggle with vocabulary, especially in nonfiction text.  I have shared in the past how I focus and incorporate root words into our ELA block using a circle map Frayer model.  I created Prefix Pockets to be yet another tool for my students to have while they attack those nonfiction text they love so much!

    I included 20 common prefixes that we see in the upper grades:

     Each prefix has a colorful pocket,  along with 8 words using that prefix. They can be printed out, laminated and displayed as an interactive bulletin board or used inside their Language Arts Interactive Notebooks.

 There is a blank template that the kids can add new words to as they read all year!
 I plan on introducing one a week in the beginning of the school year. I will have them brainstorm all the words they can think of that have their prefixes on my Teach a Root Word All Year product. Then I will ask them to look at what they notice those words have in common and make a prediction of what they think the prefix means.  After we go over the definition, in partners they will review the 8 words that go inside the pocket and define the words, and write them in a sentence.
 With these tools to help support them, they will be better prepared to attack those confusing nonfiction passages that use top tier vocabulary words.  Setting them up for success, allowing them to see commonalities between the root words and giving them a reference tool will give them more confidence and set the school year off on the right foot!
Grab this set here to help your students become vocabulary victors!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Open House 2014-2015

With all of the end of the year craziness, I realized that I didn't share pictures from this year's Open House, which was the last Thursday in May. So, here goes....

This is one of our outdoor/hallway bulletin boards.  The kids LOVED learning and making series and parallel circuits.  After we did several Close reads about circuits, we made them with my Circuits Print and go Pack.  Then we had a chance to 

As an incentive to come to Open House, they made edible circuits that they got to snack on when they signed in.

      Here is our other outdoor bulletin board.  This was our culminating decimal activity where they planned a trip to Miami.  They had a fun time learning about budgeting. Check out more details about it here.

Here is our Data Wall where we we've tracked how many AR points they have and their ST Math completion.  I had 3 kids with over 200 AR points!

 Here is an art project we did after reading The Big Wave. They loved learning all about natural disasters this year.

We read Wonder all year, and thanks to our DonorsChoose project being funded mid-year, we got a class set of books that had the Julian Chapter in it. This book changed our classroom culture in a big way! I printed out pages from the book and they drew their own Wonder portraits on top of the words and pulled their favorite quotes and wrote them on the sides.

We did Figurative Language craftivities all year, this was our spring ones.
Read more about these here or purchase them for your class here.
 I saw this amazing geometry project via Blair Turner's instagram and instantly had to do it! I mean neon and math combined?!?!? What's not to love?

Here is where the student displayed writing all year.  The last writing they did was their Interactive Flip Books for By the Great Horn Spoon! The kids loved learning about the gold rush and tracking the different story elements in the book!

On their desks were their California Mission projects, Mission research reports, California History tri-folds and their work portfolios. Here are some room shots:

 I played a slideshow of pictures to some Beatles music to show the parents what an awesome year we had together.  It was a great night, even my hubs and kids stopped by to say hi to everyone! My kids were like mini-celebrities!

Thanks for letting me share my room with you!