Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Learning Resources for the Classroom and Home

Hey friends! I'm excited to share with you a few products from Carson Dellosa!! I'm really so happy to be working with them through their brand ambassador program! 

First, I have the learning targets! These cards can be used in "I Can Statements" or "Essential Questions". We use the Essential Questions format in my classroom. We review the questions every afternoon. It gives us a way to recap our day and allows the students the chance to reflect on each skill we discussed. Eventually, the students will respond to these "essential questions"  in their response journal, but we aren't quite ready for that!

I store my learning targets in a pocket chart in the front of my classroom. 

 I love these questions because they cover a wide range of topics and skills.  I love this little video regarding the learning targets!!! 

I also received Common Core 4 Today workbooks for my son. I really like the workbooks because he was able to do them as a supplement to his curriculum. My little one isn't exactly thrilled about the idea of school, but he enjoyed these workbooks! They are skill based and include assessments. I like how the book contains several different components.  We especially liked the writing component. 

Lastly, I reviewed the Spectrum Writing workbook.  The neat thing about Carson Dellosa is that they are turning to create more digital based products. I like that because I for one am getting rid of my filing cabinet next year! This product was so easy to use. I have two high students who are using it, as well as my little one. It's perfect because the format is very kid friendly. The examples are clear and concise.  As a teacher, writing is one of my least favorite subjects to teach because I feel like I NEVER have enough  to teach it. So this was a great resource to have to use with my higher students. 

Review Disclaimer: I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.

Link to the Carson-Dellosa Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CarsonDellosa

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Reading Assessment Drives Instruction

Hey friends! Reading intervention has ALWAYS been a large part of our day, but I feel like in the last 3-4 years, it's become so much more. General education teachers are now as skilled as reading specialists in some areas! We have so much thrown on us that we pick up and learn different strategies and ways to teach students. Our country has become so "data driven"...but is this a good thing or not??Thoughts? I'd love to hear how you feel about data!  Sound in on my Facebook page. 

I'm working on a series of blog posts regarding Reading Intervention. For today, I want to discuss assessments.

Reading Assessment

The purpose for assessment is to develop a base line for your students. When I first started teaching, I would only test on sight words or rhyming words. I would test in chunks. Now, I do the entire reading assessment at the beginning of the year. This gives me the entire picture of where the student is at and a great place to start with my instruction.
I teamed up with my literacy coach, Karen Mallard, to come up with different ways to help the struggling kiddos. One thing that has helped my students so much was focusing on what words they needed to know in order to advance to a certain levels. We have to assess the students word knowledge before beginning instruction, so these tools are very helpful because everything is right there for you.

After I've analyzed the data, we focus on the words in this list as their "priority" sight words. These are words we feel like the students have to know in order to advance to to next reading level. Students need to learn a TON of sight words, but this is my starting point. The activities in the binder reinforce learning the skills. Shown above and below are the sight word assessments. The binders include assessments for all of the components of reading: Formative Beginning Sound Assessment, Rhyming Assessment, Sight Word Assessments (Reading Levels A-F), Word Awareness, Syllables, Fluency and Comprehension

The binders include a variety of activities to help students recognize these words.
My students LOVE Three in a Row!!

Stay tuned for more posts about reading intervention! In the meantime, check out the feedback from our intervention binders for grades K-4!! You can check them out here!

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Classroom Reveal 2015

Hey friends! I'm a little behind, but I wanted to share my classroom with you! We started school Tuesday, and as you can imagine, I'm so exhausted! So I figured it was a great time to relax as I share my space with you!

This year, I painted my bulletin boards and am so excited how they turned out! I leave my boards blank at the beginning of the year so that we have plenty of space for our learning materials throughout the year. 

View from the door...

This is my math area. I am using Reagan's Free Math Posters. The posters are student friendly and help out with teaching routines at the beginning of the year. 

This is my storage/listening center area. I am using my classroom labels packet. This includes the inspirational quotes.  I found the larger inspirational quotes here

Now on to my classroom library. I have a post coming about how I organize it but here are a few pictures...

I used pulsar pink Astrobrights paper to identify my leveled readers section. I think students should be able to browse books both on their level and by theme that they want to read, so I have both in my library. 

Table view. I am using one bucket as a classroom management tool and providing positive feedback to the tables that are working nicely together. Each time I give them a compliment, or praise, I place a pom pom in the bucket. The other bucket is the table's tidy tub. They shouldn't actually be next to each other..but my new firsties must have moved it (and I was too tired to notice ) HA! 


My writing center area...

My bins for my sub tub and writing folders.

I hope to update our classroom pictures half way through the year so you can see how I use these areas for anchor charts. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

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Saturday, September 5, 2015

GoNoodle Blogger Blitz

Hey friends!I'm so excited to link up with my friends over at GoNoodle! I've used GoNoodle in my classroom for the past two years and absolutely love it! The best past is...my STUDENTS love it! 

Let's GoNoodle! 

I use Go Noodle a little differently than some others. At the beginning of school,  we try out the different ways we can have a "Brain Break" in my classroom. Then, we make a list of our top five favorite GoNoodle brain breaks! I do not have pictures from the last two years, but we start back Tuesday, and I'll post pictures on my blog or Instagram. After we make a list of our #Top5, we use those activities for brain breaks for a few weeks. Then, we start over. Each time we start over, we can only reuse ONE of our previous favorite brain breaks. This way, the kids have to get creative and think outside the box. They can't just keep picking the exact same five brain breaks.  As the year goes on, we will incorporate our list into our writing. It's a great way to give the brain break a little extra meaning. We've also made graphs of our favorite brain breaks. I call each activity on GoNoodle a "Brain Break" in my classroom. 

My personal favorite is the 123 Shake. I ALWAYS start with that one! It's easy for us *older* people to maneuver and not look like a fool!! Haha! 

I have a Plus Account and it is SO amazing! I didn't have it the first year and upgrading was the best decision EVER! 

GoNoodle is letting me give a little discount to their Shop! Use the code BTSwithGoNoodle and get your #GoNoodleSwag! I'm excited about my GoNoodle Champ Tee!!

Do you use GoNoodle in your classroom? Comment below with how you use it or your favorite activity!

For your chance to win your own CHAMP TEE:

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crusade for Safety

This little teaching blog has been such a blessing to me. A few years ago, I decided to share a piece of my heart with you. I wanted to bring awareness to topic that was very important to me. It's time for my fourth annual Crusade for Safety.

They say time heals all wounds. I wish that were true. 16 years ago, my life changed forever. Sometimes, a song on the radio can bring me back to that day. Or even the months and years that followed that we continue to struggle. All of the surgeries and other issues that arise for a traumatic event...I can be brought back to that in an instant. I think that the fact that I couldn't remember for so long, left a huge void in the healing process. It's like knowing something happened, but not being able to remember it was so difficult. Now, I remember most of that horrific time.  And I wish I never remembered any of it. Turns out, not knowing is better than knowing in this case.

 I lost a childhood friend that morning.  He was a good guy and always had something funny to say. The way that boy could make me laugh, I'll never forget it. The hardest part now, is being an adult who has experienced marriage, children, a career and life...realizing that he never got that chance. 

AAA  put out a great article earlier this year. I think the biggest thing I could stress, is that if you have newly licensed teens, think about how many people are in the car with them. Chances of a fatal crash go up significantly with each passenger that is in the car. Cell phones are a HUGE issue that we did not have in 1999. Now, parents have to add more to the list of things to discuss with teens and safe driving. PUT THE PHONE DOWN! Teens are on their phones all the time. Just remember "IT CAN WAIT"!!! I know some adults that could use that reminder (including myself). 

 I'm using our experience to help others. If sharing this story helps ONE family sit down and discuss how their teen is driving, who is in the car, where the cell phone is, etc...than I'm happy. I can't bring my friend back or change the past, but I can bring awareness to this issue. I firmly believe everyone has their day, and I firmly believe we also have experiences that can be avoided. Take the time to talk to your kids, at least they will be LESS likely to experience this type of tragedy first hand if they follow a few simple guidelines. 

For more stats and information on teenage driving, check out DoSomething.Org

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Win A Chance To Capture Summer

Hey friends! A long, LONG time ago, I made the dive and purchased a really nice camera. What a great investment that was! I've been able to capture some of my families more precious moments! A few of my teacher blogger friends got together and decided to give our awesome readers a chance to have the SAME thing! This is reminding me to brush off the dust get out my camera and #capturesummer!

The Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Work It Wednesday

Yay! Summer is here, and you know what that means! Shorts, and bathing suits! Time to slim down! I'm thankful for Katie King for hosting this linky party! 
I'd love to start this post saying that I've always been a gym rat and in the best shape of my life. That's just not true. 

I struggle just like everyone else..ever heard of the term STRESS EATER? That's me. When things get rough, I get my large milkshake from Sonic with some mozzerella sticks. Yeah, I'm THAT girl. About two and half years ago, I thought, I am just not taking care of myself. I watched cancer destroy my father and thought WHAT AM I PUTTING IN MY BODY? Is it HELPING, FUELING or BUILDING anything? The only thing the food I was putting my mouth was building, was fat. That's it! So we jumped on the eating clean bandwagon in our house. For the most part, we've stayed on it. I fell off a few times, with experiencing multiple deaths in the family in a short time, and just stress of life. 

My first change was drinking ONLY water or my little mixture I like. I loved soda, I was a huge Dr. Pepper drinker! That was the FIRST change to go!  This mixture helps me if I get bored with water. It's 75% water, 20% DIET Cranberry Juice, and a splash of lemon juice or a few slices of lemons. I love this drink and it's healthy! Hydration is so important because it helps you cleanse the body. I have also used  another gentle cleanse to help jump start my weightless! This was so easy to do and you could still function while doing it! That's a WIN WIN! 

For step 3, find a protein shake that you love! For me, it's this chocolate one! I LOVE chocolate, so it's perfect. I just it for breakfast or the I need a milkshake time frame that life sometimes throws at me! A few months ago, my sweet friend, Katie King, introduced me to Advocare. It was just what I needed to get back on track. I've lost 12 lbs since she introduced me to it and am happy to keep going.  

Would you like to try these shakes? Click here to check them out! They are SO yummy AND affordable! 

I think another important step is to find a buddy to go with you. It's so much easier when you have someone that motivates you. I have a few different buddies, but in this picture, you will see my silly husband! I also use Instagram to talk to my virtual gym buddies haha!!

I also started a heavy workout routine. I'm doing something different right now. I'm SO a weight girl. I LOVE lifting weights, and HEAVY weights. Right now my workouts consist of different cardio workouts. I'm doing this routing for two-three weeks, then I'll pick my weights back up. I'm just trying something different. I've found, it's good to shake up your work outs different. Plus, I just recently recovered from an illness and doctor said no weights for three weeks! Grr! 

No matter WHAT you do, do SOMETHING. Everyone starts somewhere. I first started by walking around my neighborhood in the evenings. I still love to do this! It's a fun way to get outside and get MOVING! It's a balance, a journey, a fight, and I'm determined to win it! My number one question I ask myself before I put anything in my mouth is "How is this going to HELP my body?".  Do you have any favorite questions or tips to help you stay on track? I'd love to hear them

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