Elementary Teacher

Having fun in the classroom and "balancing" life!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A word wall Joanna Gaines would be proud of.

Do you know who Joanna Gaines is? She is absolutely my favorite designer. I actually don't think she'd like my house, because it's too dark. But her stuff is SO cool.SO creative and simple and homey. She and her husband work in Texas and they have an HGTV show together. He is hilarious and so cute and she is super-model beautiful. But in a normal way. Anyway, as I sit here stalking watching them, I am working on my word wall. I have a secret agent theme, so I wanted to keep it in the theme. Here's what I came up with.
Consonants are white library envelopes. A little boring, but the magnifying glass adds color. I wanted black envelopes, but alas. There are none to be found.

Vowels are black and white chevron. Matches my black chevron border.
The white envelope is a little boring, but I think it will look clean, and stand out on my walls. I cover them in blue plastic tablecloths. They're pretty hideous underneath.
I'll be writing the words on old school index cards, so I need to add a little Chip and Joanna Gaines. Since there are magnifying glasses on them, I was thinking fingerprints. Any ideas?
Off I go to find word wall games and activities.

Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Secret Agent Classroom Decor- 50% off

Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It's done! My
classroom decorations are finally done!!!! It took tons of time, but I love it!

My classroom this year is 75% boys. And when I say boys, I mean BOYS. So I wanted to design something with them in mind, but also something that would get the girls' attention. So I came up with Agents of S.C.H.O.O.L.
It is full of about everything I could think of that a teacher could possibly need to decorate your classroom.  With lots of spy stuff and lots of color. And totally editable!
I have a plan for decorating, and I think the best thing about it is that it shouldn't be too expensive. And Oriental Trading just happened to have a Secret Agent VBS theme this year! Woohoo! Don't you love it when the stars align??!!
This product is 50% off for the next 24 hours. You can check it out here! I'll be displaying pictures  of my classroom as soon as I can!
Thanks for reading!
Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Monday, July 14, 2014

Teaching addition and the same time?????

Have you ever tried to teach addition and subtraction at the same time? I was looking over 1st grade CC standards and re-doing my curriculum map. Ummm....was that supposed to be done all of last year, month by month?  Oops. Maybe.

Anyway, I noticed how so many of the standards would almost have to be split into addition and subtraction, at least in the math content area. You'd be basically using the same standard on your map twice, which is fine and happens a lot, but as a matter of teaching, I thought maybe it would be better to teach both processes together. So I tried doing some research on teaching addition and subtraction at the same time. There wasn't much out there. Maybe for good reason. Maybe this is a terrible idea. But I'm gonna try it. At least for the first 4 weeks. Here's my plan.

Wouldn't it be easier to compose and decompose numbers together? Couldn't we just do that as a whole group and then break it down into addition and subtraction number sentences, right from the get-go? Wouldn't that give them a greater understanding of numbers? Wouldn't that lead to a better understanding of word problems and fact families?

I still plan to use 6 main strategies:
1.Count on
2. Count back
3. Doubles
4. Doubles plus 1
5. Making 10
6. Adding multiples of 10

We will also learn the 4 basic types of problems:
1. join
2. separate
3. part-part-whole

I plan to use many, many different types of manipulatives to compose and decompose. I also noticed in my plan that I didn't have anything written about introducing writing subtraction sentences. I have to add that. It will take me much longer this year to get through all of those 6 strategies. But I think that's ok. It will ensure that they are solid in their understanding.

I really want to take some time to plan this out well. I'll keep you posted.

Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Decorating next year's classroom

I love decorating my classroom. It's one of my favorite parts of teaching. I spend a lot of time and research thinking about what I want to do, and change my mind many times during the summer. I usually know a year ahead of time what I want for next year, but then change my mind before I get it ready.

For next year I had planned and started creating a Candy Shoppe theme. And then I realized that many of my students will be boys. So I will finish my Candy Shoppe theme, but I am also in the process of creating a Secret Agent theme. I'm thinking Marvel Comics meet Mission Impossible.

So here's a part of what I have for the Candy Shoppe so far.
Name Plates

My secret agent set is still in the works. So far it's main colors are shades of lime, turquoise and black. Boyish, but girlie enough that girls will love it too!

Once I have them completely done, I will be giving sets away. So look for that in June!

Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A free Vets and Pets unit full of fun-

Are you familiar with STEM projects? Two weeks ago we did one on veterinarians. Here we are doing some of our
Engineering and
Engineering the front desk 


A pet owner paying for services

Waiting in the Waiting Room with our pets

STEM projects are really fun! The kids set up the waiting room, front desk and Vets office. They were each given a folder of money and had to pick a card that listed was wrong with their pet. Then they found it on the list of charges and paid the receptionist. That was great for money, adding and subtracting! When they went into the Dr.'s office, the Dr. had to fill out a report. We read "On the Job with Dr. Martha Smith" and watched a bunch of awesome vet videos. We also compared tame animals and wild animals and wrote a 2 point paragraph about whether we'd rather be a wild animal or tame animal vet. Cross-curriculur!
I'll be honest, the projects the students did that were part of the PBL were challenging. But the kids worked in groups and really did a great job. One team made a ppt slide for Career Day, one came up with a daily schedule for a Vet's office, and one made a poster thanking vets and listing what Veterinarians do for the community. In first grade it's the process as much as the product.
So if you need something fun to do at the end of the year, but still use some higher level creativity, as well as reviewing so many skills, check it out.
This unit is on sale in my TPT store for $2! And I'm giving 2 away for free. Just leave me a comment! Thanks for reading!

Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Sunday, February 2, 2014

a science unit freebie

My morning started with a call from the Mom of the friend where my youngest is staying overnight. She's throwing up. Sigh. Those poor people. And they're SO nice. And my poor daughter.

Anyway, my TPT store is on sale 20% today.

And I just made this new product that I use for my science unit on rocks. I posted it last night and I am very curious to see what people think. I'm wondering if I have enough direction with it. So I will email one to the first three people that respond, if you would be kind enough to tell me your honest opinion.

Thank you for your help and time!
Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Using Prepositions- and a $1 flash sale!


I am so excited about this product. I made a book of prepositions that my kids use everyday when we write in our journal. We write using sentence patterns. I transferred that over to journal time in order to enhance their journals and give them more of an authentic writing time. We started with the pattern:
subject noun-verb
subject noun-verb-adverb
and now we are doing sentences like this:
subject pronoun- verb-adverb-preposition-article-object of the preposition
article-adjective-subject noun-verb-adverb-preposition-article-object of the preposition
My students draw a line between the subject and predicate. They underline the subject once and the predicate twice. They label all the parts of speech. It's amazing. But when writing prepositions, their vocabulary can still be somewhat limited. So I made it easy- I made a list, of sorts, and I put it into this book. Now whenever they're writing and get stuck on prepositions, they go to the book and find one. I've noticed this has also helped them remember prepositions for the future, so they start to use the book less until they want a new and exciting one to try.
For the next 24 hours it is only $1 on Teachers Pay Teachers. So get it now because that price will not last!
Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]