Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Currently...and Hurricane Sandy!

I have finally found some time to finish my October Currently. I see these on all the blogs that I follow and think it is a really cute idea and a great way for our blogs to get new traffic. So here it is...

Currently is brought to you by Farley at:

With one day in October to spare! I will have to do better for November. Speaking of November...I only have 14 days of school! Only one week of full school days and that is the last week of the month. We have had the past two days off from school due to Hurricane Sandy (thankfully we didn't get hit too bad and we never lost power). Next week is Election Day on Tuesday and I have teacher workdays on both Monday and Wednesday, no school Tuesday because our school is a polling place. The week after we have Monday off for Veteran's Day and we have our field trip on the 14th to Washington, D.C. And finally we have Thanksgiving week! Only two days of school for me, two and a half for the kiddos, but I used one of my earned release days so that my family can drive home for the holidays in NY. Quite the month, but I am looking forward to it so much.

For those that did get hit by Hurricane Sandy, I hope that you get your power back and that your belongings and homes are not ruined. This storm was a big one, that's for sure.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Decorations and Activities

This has been quite the hectic week! But, today is Friday, and school is out and I am looking forward to the weekend (well not my class tomorrow, but the rest). In school today, I finally got some things hung up in the room that I have had laminated and moved around my desk and some tables to make the room more workable. We FINALLY got our students computers today, as well. Our old ones were taken out over the summer and then when the new ones came in, they didn't have Windows 7, so they were shipped back. It has been crazy without them. I like to use them for listening to reading, spellingcity during word work and they are needed for the students to take their Accelerated Reader tests. What else do you use your students computers for? I would love to know!

Now on to why I named this blog post decorations and activities! I have been so down about not being able to do much season/holiday related activities, and I finally realized that I just need to get more creative. There are tons of halloween/fall themed activities out there on Pinterest and TpT, and I found some great ones that I want to share with you.

I also got creative today and decided to decorate my door in a fall theme...check it out!

Then this afternoon, my colleague and I put together our 3rd grade classes and had a blast doing a  food chain activity called Food Chain Hospital, which I got from this life science packet that is WONDERFUL: The kids had a lot of fun and did a great job with the challenge of putting together the puzzle pieces and then putting the food chain in order.

Have a great weekend!! Remember, the people that comment on my blog previous to this one, get a free Daily 5 rotation Powerpoint!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Ha! Moment

Today was the 30th day of school, and it finally happened... my language arts block went almost as planned! It felt pretty amazing. All the students were working, either with me in guided reading or in their Daily 5 round. We were all so busy working that we ran 5 minutes into recess and no one even noticed!

A few things contributed to my successful language arts block and of course I want to share them with you. The first thing is that I am taking a guided reading course this fall that gives teachers amazing resources for implementing guided reading. Unfortunately, my school didn't have the funds to buy both my colleague and I the newest guided reading class set books, but we did get a set of the older ones. Which, it is nice to have 30-40 titles in my room to choose from when creating my lesson plans, and then we have a guided reading rooms with tons of leveled books. Our school was able to purchase the book baskets, reading notebooks, and some other small group necessities like dry erase markers, mini erasers, etc. Anyways, our class meets once a month (and we met for a whole week 3 weeks before school started this summer) and we talk about how to properly implement small group reading and the Daily 5. Our two bibles: Jan Richardson's The Next Steps to Guided Reading and the two sisters Daily 5 book. If you haven't read the Jan Richardson book, check it out: The ideas and procedures in this book helped me as a new teacher really understand what guided reading is all about. 

The other amazing thing, an idea that I heard about at my guided reading class, is a Daily 5 PowerPoint with slides that keep track of where the kids are and the timing of each rotation. It was so helpful that I wanted to share it with the world of teaching. You can find it here: Daily 5 Rotation PowerPoint at TeachersPayTeachers. But, just for my followers and maybe some others that might stop by, comment on this blog post and pin my blog on Pinterest and I will email it to you for FREE! 

My kiddos were so good today during Daily 5 and I was super proud of my guided reading skills, which still need a lot of growth and work! I am a little sad that I will not be in school tomorrow morning to have Daily 5 (I am out for a Science Professional Development class for the morning). Speaking of professional development...this week has been CRAZY! Both last Saturday and this coming Saturday I am taking a Handle with Care class (a restraining course), Monday I had a half day math training for new to our county teachers, yesterday I had a half day training for Special Education in the General Education classroom in the morning and my guided reading class in the evening and tomorrow is the science one. Way, way, WAY too much for one week. And the icing on the cake is our annual goal setting conferences with parents that start tomorrow evening. Needless to say, I am completely looking forward to November (5th-workday, 6th-off for election day, 7th-workday, 12th- Veteran's Day and of course Thanksgiving mini break 21st-25th). 

Don't forget to leave a comment and pin my blog! I will be happy to send you my Daily 5 PPT for free for giving me the exposure.