Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Vocabulary Family Reunion



This week my students were engaged in a vocabulary game modified from the book Word Nerds. In chapter 6 of Word Nerds they discuss a game to play called Block Party" where the students mingle with their related words. Well my class and I decided to rename it "A Vocabulary Family Reunion" because what do you do at a family reunion, but meet or reunite with current or new family members.

Each day my class helper passes out the lanyards and students write a sentence with their word. Today they wrote a sentence with their word, but were also asked to use a conjunction in their sentence since we are learning about conjunctions this week. Then each family of related words were asked to meet in a particular area of the room. After much modeling each day of expected behavior and what they were expected to do once with their families, they did great. Each person greeted a family member by shaking a family member's hand and saying, " Hi, Nice to meet you ____________. I am ________ and I am a (synonym/antonym) of your word," we did this on Monday. On Tuesday, they greeted each other the same, but shared their sentence with their family members. Today, they did both showed how they were related and shared a sentence.

At the beginning of the week, they started off not wanting to shake each other's hands, but by today they were making up their own handshakes and asking me when they were going to meet with their family.

I'm looking forward to teaching another set of vocabulary words next week!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

First Day of School Lesson Plan for 5th Grade

Tomorrow is the big day! The first day of school for me with students and students with their new teacher and grade. My first day of school lesson plans from my post on Tuesday, July 28, have changed some. I have come across so many great ideas from Twitter, Facebook and the many blogs I  follow that I have been so indecisive of what would be the best activities for my 5th graders. Also, with having a grade change this year, moving from 4th to 5th, I needed to make a few tweaks to my plan. This year I will have three classes and will have an hour and 45 minutes with each. So, as you will see a few tweaks to my lesson plan from the one I originally posted a few weeks ago, that you can check out here.

So, here's the plan:

1. 5th Grade questionnaire-

A questionnaire  and a pencil will be on student's desks as they enter for them to complete as I greet parents and welcome other students into the classroom for the first day. Students will also have a goodie bag from me on their desk which will contain a simple snack, bottle of water, pencil, and a pencil pouch. Pictures to come soon of their goodie bags. (The questionnaire was borrowed from Teaching in Room 6.)

2. WBT (Whole Brain Teaching) -

After taking attendance, which needs to be done before the start of the day, I will then introduce myself to the class, teach them my "call back" or the "Class-Yes", and review the 5 WBT rules. You can find out more on exactly how to implement this in your room here.

3. Supplies-

Next we will begin picking up supplies. Students are asked to bring in a 3-subject notebook which they will use for Reading, English and Writing and 1 composition book which they will use for Morning work. We will color code our notebook purple. That's my favorite color!

4. Brain Break Time with Go Noodle-

I'm really looking forward to using Go Noodle in my classroom this year! I've already set my class up and can't wait to get students up and moving to wake up those minds and add a little dancing, singing and laughter to my oh so serious 5th grade class.

5. Introduce Class Economy-

I started using a class economy this past year in January and wish I would've started sooner, like 13 years sooner.  It is awesome and the students buy in quickly. I found a lot of my ideas here again at Teaching in Room 6's blog. She gives step by step directions on how to get started. And I am so excited that this year we will be using play money with our class economy, thanks to a coworker who donated play money to me. This coworker also just started her own blog! You can check it out here at Primarily Pelafigue.

6. The Important Book-

Next I will read the Important book, a great book recommendation by Teaching in Room 6. Students will then create a circle map of their best qualities they possess.  This will be a great opening review of character traits which will precede a lesson to come in the following weeks on analyzing a character's thoughts and actions. My students will most likely need guidance on choosing traits for themselves, so here's a character trait chart you can grab here. I will have students use this and then glue into their reading notebooks.

7. Kahoot-

Finally to end their hour and 45minutes with me, they will play a short Back to School Quiz on Kahoot.

Maybe, it's not so different from my other plan just a tad shorter.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Keeping Our Students Safe! - Teaching Digital Citizenship

Today I was in shock when I discovered a plethora of networking sites that children take part in. Have you heard of any of these? They were all new to me!

My students and many other students are using these platforms everyday to meet and chat with others, mostly their friends, but sometimes there are opportunities for sexual predators to connect with children. So, I must ask myself do my students know what to do if a stranger tried to connect with them? And are they using the platform appropriately?








There are many more of these networking sites, but these are just a few. What really surprised me was how easy it is to sign up? There are not many questions asked and if kids aren't old enough they can just change the year they were born to get in. And if you google " how kids use ______ (insert the platform)" you get tons of articles talking about the dangers some of these sites have brought to children.

So, how can we allow our children to use these platforms and keep them safe? We must teach them Digital Citizenship, internet safety and what to do if they come across a cyberbully.

Here's a great site with a list of resources on cyberbullying here. Here's another link here on online safety for kids here.

Lastly, a great video from the Teaching Channel showcasing a lesson on Digital Citizenship to 3-5th graders.








Saturday, August 1, 2015

Classroom Tour

Today I made my way into my new classroom, which is about 4 doors down from my old classroom. Here's a before picture. 


Another before picture


This is how it looked after my husband and I worked in the room for 6 hours. I still have lots to do! 


This is my homework board. I adapted the idea from the Super Improver Wall from WBT. Students will all start off with a white star and once they get 10 hole punches in their index card for completing homework they move up to the next star. Students receive an incentive at each level. 



This board will be where I write homework, the objective or learning goal, and the essential question for the Reading lesson. My husband had to put his touch on the room by writing my name on the board. :)


This board contains my Class rules, class jobs and information about our Class economy. The bare board to the left will be for writing anchor charts. Not sure what I will put in the space to the right. I'll take suggestions! 


Here's part of my library. 

Here you can see my test strategy board and the cart which will hold my laptop connected to the Promethean board. 


Here's the front left of the room. Still have lots to do here. This will be my goal on Monday. 


Oh my goodness! That pink box on the wall is driving me crazy! This room really needs to be painted, but I don't have time. Not sure what I will do with this area. Yuck!


This is the back of the classroom. Work to be done here also! I really need a classroom designer. 

I'd love your comments! 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Five for Friday - Linky Party



My first linky party this summer! And summer is almost over!!

 My baby, or my youngest of my 4 boys, turned 16 months yesterday! Time is flying by. 





 I found out on Tuesday of this week that I will be teaching 5th grade this year. Time to start planning. I report back to work on Wednesday, August 5th.  




 I worked in my new classroom today.





  Looking forward to using play money with my classroom economy this year! 




I'm looking forward to the Teacher Appreciation Day at Office Depot tomorrow. They always have great prizes! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

5th Grade Here I Come!

     After 10 years of teaching 4th grade, I found out on Monday that I will begin this school year as the 5th grade ELA teacher. I have lots of mixed emotions about the change. I am going to surely miss working closely with my 4th grade team, although we will still have the same lunch and planning. I am nervous about changing curriculums. I spent a lot of time the last two years studying the new 4th grade CCSS and now I will have to learn a new one. Ahhh! I am excited about looping and having most of the same kids I taught last year. I feel like I will be able to jump right in and get things going where we left off. Plus most of them know my expectations and routine and will be able to assist the new students.

I will now teach 5th grade Reading & Writing to 3 different classes, which means my first day of school plans have changed slightly from my last post that you can read here. My plans will obviously be much shorter.

I am looking forward to the change and especially the looks on my former students' faces when they see I will be their reading teacher again!




Pictures to come soon of my new classroom! 


 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

First Day of School Lesson Plan

Finally, after days of scouring blogs, articles, twitter chats and teacher Facebook pages I have my first day of school lesson plan completed. That was a lot of work for the first day considering I still have the rest of the week to plan for, lol! I learned a lot though, and found many great resources to use this coming year.

 I don't have my schedule yet, which I won't get until next Wednesday so here's a bulleted list of activities I have planned for the first day which is a Monday for students, August 10th.


  • 4th Grade Questionnaire - A questionnaire  and a pencil will be on student's desks as they enter for them to complete as I greet parents and welcome other students into the classroom for the first day. Students will also have a goodie bag from me on their desk which will contain a simple snack, bottle of water, pencil, and a pencil pouch. Pictures to come soon of their goodie bags. (The questionnaire was borrowed from Teaching in Room 6.) 

  • WBT (Whole Brain Teaching) - After taking attendance, which needs to be done before the start of the day, I will then introduce myself to the class, teach them my "call back" or the "Class-Yes", introduce the Scoreboard, review the 5 WBT rules and finally learn students names playing the name game. You can find out more on exactly how to implement this in your room here. Did you know Chris Bifle the founder of WBT is on Periscope? You can watch him live giving great tips on how to get WBT started in your classroom. Mrs. Shipley is also great on Periscope for teaching WBT. 



  • Brain Break Time with Go Noodle- I'm really looking forward to using Go Noodle in my classroom this year! I've already set my class up and can't wait to get students up and moving to wake up those minds and add a little dancing, singing and laughter to my oh so serious 4th grade class. 





  • Supplies- Next we will begin picking up supplies and color coding our notebooks. Students are asked to bring in 5 black and white composition notebooks. Each notebook is color coded on the edge for students to easily access when digging in their desk or school bag for the required notebook. Some students will be done color coding and picking up supplies faster than others, so early finishers will have a Class Name Word-search on their desk to complete. 

  • Introduce Class Economy- I started using a class economy this past year in January and wish I would've started sooner, like 13 years sooner.  It is awesome and the students buy in quickly. I found a lot of my ideas here again at Teaching in Room 6's blog. She gives step by step directions on how to get started. My one thing to work on this year is to assign bankers at each table at the end of the week to total students budgets. I'll post pictures soon of my rewards and my Class Economy bulletin board later this week when I get into my classroom. 



  • The Important Book- Next I will read the Important book, a great book recommendation by Teaching in Room 6. Students will then create a circle map of their best qualities they possess.  This will be a great opening review of character traits which will precede a lesson to come in the following weeks on analyzing a character's thoughts and actions. My students will most likely need guidance on choosing traits for themselves, so here's a character trait chart you can grab here. I will have students use this and then glue into their reading notebooks.









  • Writing Activity- We will then choose three traits from our circle maps and write a letter about our self. This will be a guided writing lesson in which students will follow along copying and filling in their blanks with their qualities and reasons as I write my own letter about myself. This will also be there first introduction to Kidblog.  I will type my letter via Kidblog as they follow along.  If time allows, students will begin typing their letters via Kidblog. 


  • Finally, and another wonderful idea borrowed from Teaching in Room 6, I will end the day with a Read Aloud from Louis Sachar There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom. I will read as much as I can until busses begin being called. 









I really want to also do the All Hands in Project with students from Teaching in Room 6, but I am not sure where to fit it in. Maybe, I will hold off on the writing activity for Tuesday and replace it with that. 

I definitely think I have over planned for the first day.