Saturday, June 10, 2017

Book a Day Challenge DAY ONE!


Last summer I read a book that changed my whole thinking about how I teach reading. I loved Donalyn Miller's Book Whisperer,  and it has motivated me in many ways. One way it motivated me was with her summer Book a Day Challenge. I decided that this year I was going to do my own Book a Day Challenge. Mine unfortunately, will only last a month, because I am moving out of town and won't have the time later in the summer. From today June 10th, 2017 till July 10th, 2017 I am going to read a book a day.


To start my challenge I picked up a book by my favorite motivational writer, Ron Clark. I love his books they always make me want to get up and change the world. The book I read today, Move Your Bus, is directed towards business leaders but works well in the classroom. It has given me many different ideas I want to implement in the classroom to motivate my students more. I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to make a difference in their world.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Phantom Tollbooth

This semester me and my students have been reading Phantom Tollbooth and we loved it. Milo's adventure was so exciting that I lost my voice every time we read it. I found a great resource for activities and comprehension quizzes that really helped us delve deep into the story. Unfortunately I can't find it again to share the link. A lot of activities were about drawing parts of the story. I made it into a little contest. The kids competed for the best artwork and that gave some amazing images. Below are some of their drawings:




Once we finished the book we had a movie viewing party. I made some cinnamon rolls that were supposed to be synonym buns but my glaze was to thick and it didn't cover the bun enough for me to write on them.

 But my half baked idea was good.

My kids loved the movie and really paid attention.
I've never seen them so riveted before. 



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sidewalk Chalk



This week I want to sing praises for sidewalk chalk. I use Crayola's big 48 piece chalk set. I purchase a box every year and I can't imagine teaching without it handy. While I don't use it everyday having it around is so very useful.
The first time I used chalk was to teach a lesson outside. It gave the kids some fun in the sun and let them go a little wild in a big open space, especially because I have a pretty small classroom.



Another good use for sidewalk chalk is having it available when you need a quick art project, during those rare down times. 



Or a quick lesson on cave drawings.


And sometimes just to let the kids have fun during recess. Sidewalk chalk in my humble opinion is a must have staple in the Elementary classroom.

FYI: I am not getting paid to advertise this is just my opinion.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

CamScanner


     There is this app on my phone that I have been using for almost three years now. Until recently I have been taking my knowledge of this app for granted. The app called CamScanner let's you use your phone camera to scan pages and email them to yourself or other people. I have been using it to scan our math worksheets so I could project them onto the whiteboard (so much easier than writing them on a chart). I love my little app and I use it all the time.
     Yet, recently in a discussion with my school's office manager 'B' I realized I should have been sharing my knowledge of CamScanner from the beginning. What happened was our major copier was down for a few days and one of my colleges needed to print out her math test from her assessment booklet. So 'B' had to pull out this old clunky copier, from storage, to do it. I told her about the app and that instead of pulling out the old copier why didn't she just scan it email it to 'B' or herself and print it on the office printer. They both looked at me with astonished faces. 'B' in particular loved the idea because she needed to scan so many papers for the school and using her phone was so much easier than using the big copier to scan. They suggested I share my knowledge about this app so here I am telling all of you.

FYI: I am not getting paid for this. I truly love this app.
Scanned with CamScanner

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Google Educator


So I was going through Pinterest and I saw a pin about becoming a certified Google educator. I thought "cool," so I have been going through the process of becoming a Google educator. It is giving me some amazing ideas. Unfortunately my school does not use Google Classroom but I believe that many of the lessons can still inspire teachers to take their students to a new level. For instance I have created a Youtube playlist for our unit on Earth Systems. I then posted it to our class website and encouraged my students to view the videos and to write an extra credit paragraph about what they learned. I also posted videos that answer many of the questions they put on our Inquiry Chart. It helps the students gain a deeper knowledge of the topic without wasting valuable class time. I encourage everyone to give it a try. Here is a link to the training website: Google for Education

If your interested here is also  link to my earth systems playlist: Earth Systems Playlist


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Back to School

    It's that time of year again. The time when all those little darlings come back from summer vacation. And all the work we teachers have done over the summer is finally going to be implemented. I did a lot of reading over the summer some PD and I feel like I am ready for a great new year. Tomorrow is going to be the start of a great year I can feel it.
     Last week, I worked hard on getting the class ready for my kids. I am usually not one for decorating my classroom. I feel that because the walls are going to be filled with charts soon I do not really need to make it pretty. On the other hand this year I did some decorating.

I put some nice wrapping paper on my desk so it is not too boring.


I got my door ready for this year. I found it on pinterest and I wanted to do it too. it is bare but I hope to start filling it out soon.

I also got my job board ready. and put up a cute calendar.



I am looking forward to a good year and I hope the kids are ready for an awesome year.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Wild Reading

    


     I just finished reading Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits by Donalyn Miller, and loved it. I picked it up at the library hoping it will help me improve my students reading habits. I was so inspired by a lot of what she wrote that I have big plans for next year. Not only did it make me want to be a better reading teacher but also a better reader myself.

    I plan on implementing her ideas as much as I can next year. I love her forms at the end of the book and will probably use a lot of them. Her ideas about creating a Graffiti wall for favorite lines from a book was inspiring, I intend on creating one in my classroom next year. I loved her idea of book commercials too. I think I will have the students do those as well, and the best commercial gets an honorable mention on the classroom website. I hope next year to encourage my students to be wild readers too.