Tuesday, September 20, 2011

nomination and a busy busy day!!

Hello all first I would like to thank Tara @ http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/ for nominating me for this award for The Versatile Blogger there were just a couple of conditions.
1. Thank nominator and provide you with a link to there sight. Thank you Tara your blog is amazing, I can tell you are a great teacher
2. Share 7 things about yourself that your readers may not know
     1. I played college softball on a scholarship
     2. I was my high schools homecoming queen
     3. I collect DVDs I have over 300 :)
     4. This is my third year teaching
     5. I used to want to be an animal cruelty officer. Like on animal cops on animal planet (my original degree was going to be in criminal justice.
     6. I met my husband the day I moved into my dorm in college
     7. My mom is Filliapina :)
3. Pass along to 15 other blogs. I don't know if I stalk 15 whole other blogs, but here are the one I normally stalk


Well that is eleven pretty close I am new to blogging so sorry if the links do not work :(

Anyways in other happening I did to fun lessons today to share with you!!

First fact families I gave each child a picture frame and had them draw the fact family inside like a family portrait. They turned out pretty cute. They had to put the facts on the side in the frames. :) Check it out.

Pretty cute huh!!

Okay now this next lesson was on adjectives. Each student received three chips and had to use their senses to find adjectives to describe it. Then they wrote them on paper chips colored and we put them on these charts. Our charts say,  "I bet you all my chips that I can use adjective to describes nouns." Looking back on it it should say we. One of my students pointed that out, well I guess at least I must have done a good job on our pronouns unit. Tee Hee!
 I choose Doritos...

 and sour cream and onion lays
 here are some of the words on the chips!! My sweet kiddos did such a good job!

Well everybody it is bedtime thanks again to Tara for the nomination, and thank you all for following. Hope everyone has a great day with their classes tomorrow shaping the youth of America!! WE CAN DO IT!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

sorry no post yesterday, but here is my tip of the week

Sorry I did not post this Sunday, as I normally do, our principal decide to change our Related Arts and Lunch Schedule for the third time this year. So I spent Sunday completely re-doing my routine. Oh well, as teachers we know we just have to go with the flow, and as Tim Gunn would say, "Make it work!"

So last year I had a really hard time of telling which children had done their homework. We have the students do a working lunch to ensure that they turn in their practice, but I would forget to call out their names before they went to the lunch room, etc. Well thank you to my super smart love her to death colleague Katie Bridges (who sadly got displaced to another school, BOOOOOOO!!!!!).

On each locker you place a magnetic clip. When the students come in the morning the clip their homework to their locker. Now I can quickly glance and see who didn't do their homework. It is also great for turning in work because when I take their work up it is already in alphabetical order for my grade book. Yay!!!
Now next year I am going to splurge on more expensive clips because these dollar store ones sometimes fall of, but those metal ones you buy at wal-mart are amazing. They are more expensive, but you can use them every year so it's an investment. Well I hope this is helpful tip. Stay tune for my post on our chip adjective lesson and fact family projects this week. Wish me luck!!!

May Beasley

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Class scoreboard

So since last year I have been really interested in whole brain teaching (Power teaching) by Chris Biffle. I really love it!! One of my favorite parts is the class score board. Now in a tradition power teaching class the score board is just a smiley face and a sad face on the board or a T for teacher vs. S for student board (for troubled classes), but I have slightly modified it to fit my elementary school needs. So each year I come up with a class villain, last year it was the EVIL Petey Piranha (to suit my "think tank" theme) and this year it is the evil Dr. Wormwood because I used a lot of birds this year. The first day of school, I explain to the kids that the Evil Dr. Wormwood hates learning and wants us to go home having learned nothing all day. So every time we do something that hinders learning or makes it difficult to learn Dr. Wormwood gets a point. (example: lack of participation, groups being off task, etc.) Now on the other side of the score board is the US side, We love learning and want to learn something new everyday. So every time we are doing a great job and working towards learning; we get a point. Every time we get a point we get to do a quick cheer, we always start of the year with me clapping and the students just yelling "oh yeah!"
Here above is a picture of Dr. Wormwood, it is just poster board that has been laminated to make it dry erase.
Now many people wonder what to do when the students beat the villain, the whole brain teaching website suggest extra recess, etc. Unfortunately I do not have time to give my students extra recess everyday, so what I do is everyday we win we get a letter to the word CHEER. Once we spell out the word cheer we earn a new cheer to do when we get a point. All of the cheer are cheers my kids have made up over the last two years or cheers from Dr. Jean's Website. Last Year I did PRIZE and we did a free prize when we spelt it out, like learn a line dance, learn a new word in a foreign language, etc. I'm sure you all probably have tons of ideas in those brains of yours.
Above here is the rest of the board that has the cheers earned and the cheers to earn. On Monday's we pick the cheer of the week out of the cheers earned.

IMPORTANT TIP: never let either side be more than two points ahead, if the villain gets too far ahead the kids will sometimes give up, but if the us side is more than two points ahead the students sometimes think they can use those points like insurance run in baseball. :)

This is a great program if you are excited about it,  the kids get excited about it.

Love to hear your thoughts and comments. Have a great week!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

classroom tour

I have a bunch of post coming because I have a lot to talk about, but I thought I show just a couple of things in my classroom tour!

First up classroom library. My classroom is so small, one of the smallest in our school so I have to make good use of space. So I added some cute lawn chairs and a colorful lamp to make this small, but functional classroom library. The map to the side is the "Learning Takes us Places" map. We add stickers to the map for settings in books, as well as other places we learn about in Social Studies and Science. You can't see it in this picture, but this is also were students find dictionaries to aid them in "Expanding Vocabulary."
This is my word wall to the left and writing center to the right. I thought the best place to place our words is close to wear we right. The green board is Science words, Blue is Reading, and the Orangeish/Red Board is Math words. This coordinates with class folder colors. I do not teach Social Studies that is why there is not a Social Studies Board. This is organized like this because the majority my 4th graders don't need the words organized in ,"ABC," order, it is more important for them to remember their connection to the word. Every week one of my classroom jobs is the word keep. This student has note cards and writes down important words for our word wall and illustrates them. They are revisited and hung up at the end of the week. I feel like it gives them a sense of ownership, and it is one of my most wanted jobs.
The writing center includes note cards, different types of pencils, pens, and paper, as well as dictionaries and thesauruses. To the side of it is the, "Write from the Beginning," steps to help the if they get stuck. This has become a great place for them to, "Work on Writing."
This is my calendar. I have struggled with how to use this. Last year I left the numbers up because I felt like it was important for my kids to figure out what the date was using a calendar how they will see one in everyday life. (Let's face it calenders normally have the numbers already on them) So far I have had a students remove the days that have past and leave the ones that remain, and this month we are adding them to the month instead of removing them. I'll keep you all posted on which I think is the best plan. In the left hand corner of the picture is my class score board. For the past two years I have been adding more and more whole brain teaching into my class. I did the score board last year and my theme was fish so the person we were competing against was called, "Petey the Piranha" this year my theme is Birds so our villain is, "The Evil Dr. Wormwood," if you don't know much about the scoreboard and how it works watch for a later post and I will explain it in detail with more pictures.
Instead of the Daily 5, we do the Daily 4. Partly because of lack of resources since this is only my 3rd year, and more because our reading block is only 90 minutes. Those white things are business card magnets (staples) that I added labels with students names on them. The students grab their book boxes and move their magnet to their choice, so that I don't waste their time writing their choices down before they can move to thier spots. The other board is a Math meeting with the SPI skills spiraling from every strand of math. It is made by using page protector to make it dry erase and so that you can change the skills daily
C.A.F.E board

Class Rules: 1. Follow Directions Quickly 2. Listen when your teacher is talking 3. Respect yourself, Respect others, Respect your School (yes in the picture it says you school, I promise I fixed that) :) 4. Make Smart Choices 5. Be Honest, Be Safe.
These rules have motions that are practice twice a day in the morning and before lunch. It doesn't take, but a minute and save me heart ache as the day goes on.

Well I believe you have probably had enough for now. Hope you come back and keep reading! See you all soon!

Mrs. Beasley