Saturday, October 15, 2016

From First to Fourth

Hi Friends! 

So, we've been SO busy the last 10 weeks that I haven't had a chance to mention all of the changes that have happened. We ended school in VA on June 20th. We packed all of our belongings up on the 21st and moved south on the 25th! We spent most of July by traveling and visiting family before we finally settled in. I started my new job on July 25th! So we had a very brief, but fun summer! I was pretty nervous about making the jump from my comfort zone (primary grades) to the big, scary world of fourth grade! We are only three eight weeks in, and can I tell you how much I LOVE THE BIG KIDS??!?!? They get my personality, they roll with the punches, and most of all, they still LOVE SCHOOL!! For some reason, I had it in my head that they do not like school past third grade! I was WRONG! They are witty, quick and just plain fun. They get my weird personality. Fourth grade is a whole new world, but man, I'm loving it so far!

Here's a peak inside my new classroom!

These activities were so great for small groups! My students practiced building numbers

I found these jumbo post it pads at Target and we put them to use right away! We started our vocabulary maps before reading. We defined the word and discussed it's meaning. I encouraged them to point out when they come across the word in the text. During reading, if the students find the word, they would write the "example from the text". Next, the students would finish reading. After reading, they would identify a synonym and antonym of the word.

We've had a blast so far and I'm excited to share this journey with you. Since I've not had as much time (like that exists), I've been sharing a lot on my Instagram  and Facebook pages on what we've been doing.

Since my Facebook page has grown so much, I've teamed up with my amazing friends Michelle and Fern to bring you some awesome prizes!

I will have TWO winners!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Please Note***
The rafflecopter is not accepting entries for everyone, so you may comment on this post that you follow me on FB and TpT to enter!

Go visit my friends, Michelle and Fern, for a chance to win more prizes. Make sure you follow all of our Facebook pages because we will each announce the winners on our Facebook page.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Crusade for Safety 2016

I can't believe only a few years ago, I shared one of the most personal and traumatic events to ever happen in my life with you. I woke up one day and heard God tell me "It's time, Ashley". He meant, it's time to do something you've always wanted to do. Use that horrific event to help someone else. I wish that this wasn't my story to tell. I wish that it never happened to me. But it did. Someone once told me that I shouldn't keep bringing this up. I find that kinda of comical, because other than on this specific type of post (Crusade for Safety), I typically do NOT bring it up. However, everytime I have a facial or switch hair dressers, I am asked "What happened to your face?". Most people tell me they have never noticed, and that might be true. I notice, every single day. I know the scars and the pain that is behind the story.

17 years ago today, my life changed. 

The purpose of my "Crusade for Safety", isn't for my therapy, it's for you. You see, I have a constant reminder about why safe driving is important. I don't want YOU to have that same reminder. Although I will probably NEVER remember the exact details, I remember enough. I know that a car full of teenagers  can not be a safe idea. I know that newly licensed drivers are 4 times more likely to be in a fatal car accident (U.S. DOT) 

If you have a moment, please take the time to talk to your kids about safe driving. A few guidelines/questions I always like to mention:
*What kind of car will your teen have? Sports car? Research the stats on teen BOYS with SPORTS CARS...the stats are not pretty. 
*How many kids will my driver have in the car?
*How far will my teenager be driving?
*Do they have a cell phone? Do they understand the importance of not texting and driving? 
*What should my teenager do if they are in an accident? 
*Does my teenager feel comfortable calling me in the case of a bad decision that leaves them impaired?
*Does my teen know what to do if a friend is impaired and tries to drive?
*Do we have a set curfew that our child cannot drive after?
*Does my teenager understand why it's important to wear a seat belt EVERY SINGLE TIME? My friend, Jimmy, insisted that we wear our seat belts. It saved our lives. Plain and simple. 

I love that you all let me share my heart and soul of my classroom with you. I also love that you allow me to share this with you and  you take the time to read and think about my story. I can't bring Jimmy back, it's not in the plan. I can, however, tell as many people as I can about him. 
All of these years later and I want his memory to live on. He saved my life. He changed who I am is a person. He believed in me. He would have wanted me to be "ME"....and sharing my heart is who I am. Just ask anyone who knows me IRL. I never stop talking and smiling. Even as I write this out, I'm smiling. Of course, I miss him. Of course, I wish that he didn't have to die. But he did. He did. 

Thank you friends. I love you for letting me share this part of my life with you! <3 nbsp="" p="">

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Hands On Math

Hey Friends! I'm so excited to be linking up with the amazing Mrs. Wills Kindergarten for some ideas regarding hands on math! 

One of my favorite ways to teach place value is with this old and trusted flip chart. My students EVERY YEAR love this thing. Every year, I say "I could really update that and give it a new digital spin"....and yet I never do. Because it works and I love it. Plus, it's been with me through all the moves and schools, since my very first year of teaching....>>>>I might be a *bit* of a hoarder>>> haha! This is just an easy way to give students a visual of how to build a number. We've found that the ability to break apart and build numbers is the real foundation to number sense, not simply being able to recognize the numbers. 

Addition is another skill that we use a lot of manipulatives and hands on instruction. We are always counting objects. I have a few pictures on my SD card (that is with my husband for the moment) on how we use classroom objects for counting and applying numbers. I'll update later in the week with those pictures!

This next activity is a great way to get kiddos moving and using their hands to manipulate through the skills. Students should practice applying the skills they've learned in a variety of ways in order to retain the information they've learned. Sliders are a great way to practice addition skills while practicing math fluency at the same time. 

We finished learning about estimation a few months ago. We did a carnival theme and incorporated our math and english strands into our celebration. The kids had to practice estimating tickets, bouncy balls, animal crackers, and rubber ducks. Our parents sent some items in and the rest was purchased from the dollar store! I. LOVE. THE. DOLLAR. STORE! 
 You can get all of these games for free
 We are planning another one soon and I can't wait to share it with you! 

This activity was so easy to prep and use! Just a simple fact toss ( remember what I said about the push for math fluency.... ) It's amazing how much fun the kids have when you move a table and put paper on top!

Remember how I told you I was a hoarder? A few years ago, I saved a bunch of bottle caps. I had no idea what I was going to use them for. We've had a big push in our district for math fact fluency lately, so I used this little mats. The students have different prompts to create number sentences.  You can read more about that here. 

Another thing I like to do is periodically go through my game closet or stop at garage sales to find new ones. You can take just about ANY board game and make it into math game! I keep a pretty good stock of neon dot stickers. They peel off pretty easy and you can use them for so many different mathematical problems!

My kiddos favorite right now is addition Jenga.

It's amazing what happens when you "throw" something at children! This beach ball was another dollar store find! We always see the beach ball reading games on them, so I thought why not make this apply for math? On this particular ball, I have numbers written in a ton of different ways. Expanded form, standard form, word from, groups of tens and ones and more! When the student catches the ball, they have to identify the numbers BOTH thumbs are on. I teach them to identify it in another way than the way they are seeing it on the ball! Talk about hands on math! This is a class favorite! 

Stay tuned, more to come once I get my  card back! Thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Teaching Quotes

Hey Friends! We recently took a road trip so I made a bunch of quotes and memes!! You could say I'm alittle addicted!! Feel free to use these images, you can credit @teachtreasure on Instagram or @The Teacher's Treasure Chest!!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Library Organization and a Giveaway

Hey friends! 

I wanted to share a few tips about organizing your classroom library. The classroom library is simply one of the most important components to your classroom. In the primary grades, this is where students can fall in love with reading. I want to have a neat and inviting area so that my students WANT to go to the library. Part of the task of building your students excitement up about reading is providing them with a plethora of books to pick from. 

I have a serious problem. Like, seriously, I'm addicted to books and bookshelves. I've had my husband build four new shelves this year and he will likely add four more over the next year! I am constantly searching and sorting  through garage sales and the Goodwill for new books for the library. Don't even get me started on Scholastic Book Clubs...I seriously need an intervention :) 

(Please note, these pictures were taken in the middle of my labeling process)

I'm very blessed, because my teaching mentor shipped this system to me pretty much 100% complete. I just had to add a few additional labels and I was good to go. She also sent me so many of her own books and I'm forever grateful for her kindness!! I wish she had a blog so I could credit this idea to her, but she doesn't. Sad face! She sent me a binder and the stickers to label my books!

Here is a view from inside the binder...

Each series has a corresponding sticker. One sticker goes on the book, and another sticker goes on the  book basket label. This way, the students can match the stickers together to verify that they are putting the books back in the right place. I know this seems like a lot of work, and it is! However, after using this system, I have had about a 85% decrease in lost, misplaced and damaged books. The students see the system and understand that I take a lot of pride in my literature selection.

Labels inside the binder. Like I said, this wasn't my system, so I don't have ALL of the labels yet. You can click here  to grab some of the labels  I do have. I am updating these so the file will continue to grow and updated!!

Each book gets a label inside the cover. This identifies the book as my personal property. Each book series has it's own label. You can edit these to add your name. The labels print on AVERY 5160 templates!

My next step is to label the back of each book with the sticker that corresponds to the series. All students have to do, is check the back of the book to be sure it matches with the sticker found on the book basket label.

I sort my library by book series and theme. I also have a small area in my library that I'm adding leveled books to. I do this because I want my students to have a genuine love for reading and the option to "browse" a book even if they cannot read it. Students should love to read, and having high interest books available will help that.

We also have our separate leveled books so that each student has a collection of books in their independent reading level.

This picture was taken before I added the stickers to the book baskets. I keep the leveled readers close to my guided reading area so the students can browse the boxes after our reading groups. The leveled labels are labeled by Founts and Pinnell Guided Reading levels and are printed on Astrobrights Fireball Fuchsia paper!

I have a special surprise for you! My friends, Fern @ Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas and Michelle @ Teach123 are joining me in a Shower of Spring Goodies giveaway.
Visit each of our blogs to get a FREE Spring themed lesson packet.
The winners will get a bundle of Spring themed lessons from all 3 of us. Three winners in all! The more rafflecopters you enter, the greater your chances are of entering. One lucky person will win a $50 Toys R Us gift card plus the Spring Themed Lesson.

I'm giving away my April Literacy and Math Center BUNDLE! Everyone will get a FREE SAMPLE of this bundle by clicking HERE!

Enter between March 28 - 31
We will announce the winner on our Facebooks on April 1st and also email the winners.
The winner of the gift card has until 10 p.m. EST on April 3rd to respond to the email. If no response, we will choose another winner.

Follow our Facebook pages so you won't miss out on other amazing freebies and giveaways! Be sure to like or comment so our posts will show up in your newsfeed.
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