Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Winner and A Discount!!!

Hello, Everyone!!!

Well, it is time to announce the winner of the Kid Stixx Paint Stix!!!!!!   Drum Roll..............

And the winner is..........

But don't worry! Thanks to the awesome people at The Pencil grip, all of you are winners!!! 

Have an awesome day!!!

Class Dojo does it again!!!!! Student Stories

Class Dojo is at it again!!!! I can not  express how much I love this company! They actually listen to the teachers and create programs that we feel will benefit our kids!!!  Today is the day that i am super excited to share with you Student Stories!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone’s buzzing about student portfolios, and I’m really excited about how they’ll increase student ownership in my classroom this year!

Today ClassDojo released Student Stories, an easy way for students to add photos and videos of their classroom work to a digital portfolio. Parents will now be able to follow along with their child's learning — a photo of a poem they wrote, a video of their volcano erupting, a message on how exciting it was to finally solve a tough math problem. Just one photo can now spark hours of conversation at home. Parents, students, and teachers become part of a shared classroom experience.

Made with young learners in mind, Student Stories is incredibly easy to use. After a quick scan of a classroom QR code, students use a shared classroom iPad (Chromebooks and Androids coming soon!) to take photos or videos of their work and add a reflection or comment. 

A simple tagging feature allows any student to add the work to their digital portfolio – along with others in the classroom for those projects done in groups. Nothing is saved or sent home without teacher approval, after which the images are instantly shared with parents wherever they are.

For more information on Student Stories, check out I think you, your students, and their parents are going to love it! And if you have any questions, I’m always happy to help :)  

Class Dojo has done it again! from Social Skills to Growth Mindset to Student Stories, the possibilities are endless! 
Can't wait for this year to begin! It is going to be Dojoriffic!!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Kid Stix Paint Sticks and a giveaway

I first learned about this amazing product at the French Lick Teacher Blogger Meet Up (click on link to see my post about this awesome event)! I was like paint stix what are these!! So of course, I had to try them and do a review on them (click on the link to read my review)! This was on the primary color stix. Click on their logo to check them out!!!!

 Then I was given the opportunity to try and blog about the NEON paint stix! OMG!!!! These are amazing!!! They are so bright and colorful! My kiddos loved them.

Now for those of you who are not familiar with paint stix. These are tempera paint stix. They look like glue sticks but they are tempera paint! The kids just take the cap off and paint! There is no water needed! No mess! Doesn't spill or get all over everything! And it dries in 90 seconds!!!! YES! 90 SECONDS!!!!!! My kiddos loved these!!!!

Look how bright these are!!!!

My kids used these when we did directed drawing lessons in ELA!!!! This is the lesson we did on Snappsy the Alligator for point of view!!!! Click on link to buy the book!!!!!

Look how bright green the alligators are!! No smudges or paint all over their hands!!!!!! 

Then they used them during quiet time!!!!

They used them during social studies when they had to draw maps and pictures of their families!!

These paint stix are amazing if you have the HUe Animation Camera!!! They are so bright and they look amazing in the videos that your kids create!! We used them for our rainforest videos. Here is one of their pictures!!!

There are so many ways to use these in your classroom!!

Now how about a giveaway??? 

The Pencil Grip have given me a six pack of primary and a 6 pack of neon paint stix to give away to one of my lucky readers!!! Enter using the rafflecopter below!!!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Guided Math In Action Chapters 3 and 4

Hello, it is time to take a look at chapters 3 and 4 in the Guided Math In Action book! 
If you have not read this or do not have it and would like to add this to your resource library please click on the book below:

Chapter 3 

As in any grade, routines are very important in first grade. In order for my kiddos to be successful, I take the first 3 weeks and really focus on routines, expectations and small group rotations. We practice rotating without materials and activities to begin with. We do this for a week. I use visitimer, which is a visual and audio timer. They learn during this week what the timer should look like when it is time to clean up and get ready to rotate. This also allows them to watch the timer so the uniqueness runs out. They normally spend a good deal of time watching the timer to see what picture it is going to make. By practicing this gets out of their systems by the time we add manipulatives to the rotations. After the first week, I extend the time at each area and I put manipulatives on the tables. this will allow them to experience both the manipulatives and the timer.  They now have something to clean up. The third week is the same but the time at the areas are now the time they can expect to have when they have the actual activities.

My groups at the areas were heterogenous. I feel that it is important that the groups at the technology, activity and writing areas were a mixture of abilities. This will allow all students to become successful. The groups at my area were homogenous and that is when I am able to differentiate the material to increase their success levels. My kids rotate when the timer goes off. Once they are at their area, the timer is restarted. There are chalkboard easels that direct them to the correct area.

Here is the timer I use if you are interested! It is free!

My activities are in monster buckets that I got from Krispy Kreme! They are labeled with the group number. I have a new activity for each group every day for Monday throughThursday. That is a total of 16 activities per week. On Fridays, I conference with my kids while they work on activities or technology at their seats.

But now that I have read this chapter, I am rethinking the rotation part. I liked how she had the students stay at the table and there was a leader who would go and get the next activity. This seems to be a great way to cut down on wasted instructional time that happens when they rotate. I am still thinking about this!

My teacher toolkit is my saving grace! I use a pink sears tool bag for my materials! 

In this bag I have:

1. dry erase boards
2. dry erase markers
3. pencils
4. number lines
5. dice
6. spinners
7. magnetic numbers
8. ten frames and dots
9. timers
10. plastic money
11. flash cards
12. deck of playing cards
13. dominos
14. stamps and stamp pads 
15. I need a break cards
16. pointers
17. ice cube trays with pom poms
18. clocks
19. rulers
20. I will add other materials as needed

Chapter 4

I am still one of those old fashioned gals who have to write down her lesson plans. I will do typed ones on the computer as well but I love my lesson plan books! I think it is just a routine or habit that I just have a hard time breaking! LOL! Now in our district, we have to write LFS lesson Plans so I write my written plans in my format and I then type up and have the official LFS plans in my book as well! 

I use a variety of methods to determine the levels of my kiddos. I use common assessments, formative assessments, every day observations, daily work in activities, anecdotal records and benchmarks. ESGI has been a life saver! I am able to create tests or use tests that are already in the test bank and the students take them on the computer. The tests are graded and data is formed for you. There are informational sheets available for each child and provides data for you to share with parents and to use to form your small groups! This is an amazing system! Click on the picture below to learn more about ESGI!

My groups are fluid. The students at my area are always changing amongst the groups. Since my area is differentiated, when a child has gained success and is able to move on to another group then they are placed in the correct group. This is  also the same for children who begin to struggle!

Please follow the schedule below so you can join us on our journey throughout this awesome book!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ocean Life

What do all kids love? Animals, especially Ocean Animals!

I was lucky to be able to preview and use these amazing nonfiction ocean animal books from Hameray Publishing.

In first grade, we are focusing a lot on nonfiction readers. It is hard sometimes to find a nonfiction reader that is right for all of your students. These nonfiction readers are great for all of your learners.

To begin our lessons, we always start with our Wonder wall.  The kids get a sticky note and they write the one thing they wonder about or want to know about the ocean life creature we will be learning about. For those of you who do not know what a wonder wall is, a wonder wall is a place in the room where the kids can hang their wonders up and we refer to it throughout the lesson.

After the wonder wall, I show them the cover of the book. The kids look at the cover and then turn and talk with a partner to see what they know or think they know about the ocean creature. 

After we discussed the cover, We began to read the book. I love the pages because the pictures are bright and colorful and the text is easy for all learners to be successful. The pages are not cluttered so the reader can focus on what the text is saying. As I read the text to them, I stop and ask them questions. I also allow them to ask questions and to talk with a partner throughout the book. 

I love these pages!!!!!!!!! Look below!

After we discussed the books we then completed some activities! The pages that we completed are below! 

click on photo for link to worksheets

I loved these books! I used just the Sea Turtle book as an example in my post. Here are the other books we used!

click on picture for link to order these titles

We then ended our unit using my Ocean Life Research project! They all chose an ocean life creature, researched it, wrote their paper, created note cards and a poster to present to class and then presented their project to the class and to families who came! You can purchase my Ocean Life Project in my TPT store. Just click on the photo below!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

July Pinterest Pick 3

I can not believe that it is already July!!!! My how June has flown by! 

It is that time of the month again where I am linking up with the Inspired Owl's corner for the July Pinterest Pick 3 Linky!!!

 I love this Linky because we get so many ideas from so many educators! This is an excellent resource if you are looking for things to do throughout the month!!!

Here are my 3 picks for July:

I love this snack! It is both fun and healthy and you can use this for other days in your classroom!

How cool are these!!!!! A great science project!!!

So many awesome ideas are found here!!!! I love handprint crafts!!

For more awesome ideas click below and see what some other awesome educators found!!!

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!!!

Thank you to everyone who visited my blog and entered the light box giveaway!

I am happy to announce the winner!!! Drum roll please......................

Thanks again to everybody who visited!!!