Monday, November 2, 2015

Guest Blogging at Ramona Recommends!

Hey, y'all! It's been a while, but I haven't been completely gone! Last week I guest blogged over at Ramona Recommends about my favorite science mentor texts. You can go check it out! :)
I currently do not teach science, but I did not too long ago. I always found it fun (and beneficial) to incorporate reading whenever I could! If I taught science now, I would definitely do it a lot different.

It would mostly be a reading class with science integrated into it. I would incorporate literary, informational, and experiments on a daily basis! I also blog over at iTeach Fifth every month. I try to save my 'good' stuff for my blog, but I can't help but to blurb a little over there, too!

Sadly, my last blog here was directing you to THAT blog! With our first parent conferences behind us and me finding my swing this year, hopefully things will pick up around here.

I'm not really sure what is up with this year... it could possibly be that my time has been basically cut in half. I just don't feel as together as I did last year. I don't really have enough time to teaching in rotations, so I find myself doing everything pretty much whole group... which I hate. I'm trying out something new, so I'm hoping it will be just what my students need!

Check back later this week when I share what I did with theme this year!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Reading Homework... Why You SHOULD Do It!

How do you utilize reading homework in your classroom? This has been a long-lived debate in the literacy community. Many argue about the types of reading homework that is being given to students. I give my take on reading homework and what I use in my own classroom over at the iTeach Fifth blog. Go check out my post and comment with how you utilize reading homework in your classroom!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Common Core Resources by Carson-Dellosa

Have you checked out Carson-Dellosa lately? Let me tell you, they are Common Core ready! They have so many great supplemental resources for your classroom, and I was fortunate enough to get three resources to try out in my very own classroom. Here's what I chose to review!

These Learning Target Pocket Chart cards are every teacher's dream!

I'm thinking about incorporating these into my focus board. Just add small magnets to the back and you have versatile CC standard cards! They would be so easy to change out! OR... place them in a small pocket chart... instant LOVE! No more writing the standard each day/week!

How about this one?

I love the color pages. I'm always searching for good practice for my LA skills. This is the Spectrum 5th grade Language Arts Workbook! It's absolutely A-mazing! At the top of each page, it talks about the skill and basically teaches it to the reader. Everything they need for review is at the top of each page. I have already used this several times since I've received it. The instructions are clear enough that my 5th grade students have no problem at all with understanding it.

Love this one, too!

Lastly is the Language Arts Common Core 4 Today Workbook for 5th grade. This actually wasn't my first time seeing this workbook as I have used it in the past many times. I love the format of this resource because it can be used for homework or seat work. I've used it for both! This particular picture is for writing. It also incorporates 5th grade language arts skills, too!

Check out these awesome videos then go like Carson-Dellosa on Facebook!

I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Organize Your Teaching Resources!

I'm all about making things better for me and more efficient! And let me tell you, I've tried almost everything you can think of when it comes to organizing my curriculum. I just haven't been too good at this...ever!

I've tried file folders... only to have the paper falling out all over the place!

I've tried putting all my resources in binders... only to have so many that I didn't know which one to look through!

I've tried storing everything digitally... but the folders became too overwhelming!

I've tried folders... again! This time in a file cabinet, but I quickly figured out that by standard was not the way to go!
Finally... I came up with a solution that I think is going to work for me! After I created my year-long curriculum/pacing guide, it became clear that I needed something! It's still the binder method, but it's more organized! My first step was to pace out my school year based on my county's curriculum map. When I finished, it looked like this!

I LOVE IT! It's so easy to glance over and see what's coming up. It's also super easy to see exactly what I'm teaching each quarter. If you would like me to upload the template on TpT, please let me know. This idea lead me to my new binder system. So, Quarterly Binders were born!! If you want the cover template, please let me know! You can now download the template in my shop by clicking here.

The first thing I did was go down my pacing guide and create a tab for each skill in reading, LA, and writing. Then, I divided the tabs into 4 different binders.

Then, I went through my go-to resources and pulled out things I *KNOW* I will use and placed them in the correct binder and then tab.

When it's time for planning, I just grab my quarterly binder and find what I want to use. It's sitting right on my table right beside my desk.

It's so easy! Why didn't I think of this like 3 years ago???? What's your favorite way to organize your resources?

Here's an image for pinning!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Planning Tips & Tricks

This week, I will not be sharing my visual plans. Instead, I will be sharing how I organize my planning each week.

I remember back when I first started teaching. I would stay late until 6pm almost every day. Then I would trudge out of the school with a bag too heavy for me to carry. How was I so behind and what happened to all my time at school? When two small children came into the picture, the work at home ceased. However, I was still staying at school later than I wanted to.

Here are a few Tips and Tricks that I have found in the past year that has really helped me out in a big way. It's totally been a life saver for me!

First, this photo happened upon my news feed a year or so ago. It's from Miss DeCarbo who has such great organizational ideas. She wrote and entire post about how she organizes her planning life each week. This is where my inspiration came from!

As soon as the week starts on Monday, I start preparing for the next week. That's the ticket to not staying late day after day or taking things home. 

I use this time to get together things I use each week. I find the copies I will need for the following week and create my reading log and any other word lists (spelling or vocab). I place all the to to-be copied papers in my To Copy drawer.
  • Morning Work
  • Reading Logs
  • Spelling List
  • Vocabulary List
To help my sanity, I have a label I have created to place in my lesson planner each week. The to-do list is for the following week so I can get busy on Monday afternoons!
I use this day to get my resources together based on the skill we will be working on. I may not use ALL of the resources, but I get them together for my planning meeting. I have a planning folder I use put all the resources in.

I use Wednesdays for planning. This is the day I plan with my team. I take my resources out of my folder and write my pre-planning plans in my Day Designer planner {thanks, Ms. Leslie Ann for this idea!}. I then place the copies I'm going to use in my To-Copy drawer.

Thursday is the day where I get it all together. It is also the one day during the week that I plan to work an additional 2 hours past the time I am allowed to leave. I try to only stay late one day a week so I can go home on time every other day! I get all my copies ready for coping (we have someone who does this for us), create all my anchor charts, and plan my focus board wording. 

On Fridays I finalize my plans and write my final plans in my Anchor Teacher Planner that I absolutely LOVE! I also type my newsletter and work on my website for the following week. Once all the copies are done, I place them in my Days of the Week drawers that I pull from during the week.Now I can enjoy my weekend with no planning worries!

Don't forget your favorite pens and markers when planning!

This routine works so well for me and has totally changed the way I plan! Do you have anything that works well for you?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Peek at My Week: Week #5

I can't believe it's week #5 already. We are going slow and steady, but we will get there! Instead of a 2 week character trait unit, I'm looking at more than 3 weeks! We were a little busy last week, so we are just introducing character traits this week.

Here are some things I refuse to give up no matter how much time I lack!

  • Independent Reading Time
  • Read Aloud Time
  • Student Conferences

 I am working on a new resource that I will be using this week. I'll be using it in my classroom first to see how it goes before I post it in my store. It's a stand-alone unit that can be used to teach character traits. I will be using it to help get my students to start comparing characters since that is our 5th grade standard. It's not ready yet, but you can find it in my store in the next few weeks.
I will be posting later this week about how my introductory (or review) lesson goes this week. I'll also include some pics of my students using my new product I'm working on.

Have you ever used Quizlet? I'll be posting about it later this week over on the iTeach Fifth blog. Go check it out! It will be posted on the 11th!

Go and link up with Mrs. Wills for her linky par-tay!

Monday, August 31, 2015

5 Fun Facts!

Let's be quick because it's Sunday night at 9:30, I have to get up at 4:30 and go running, and I still have to message out to my parents for this upcoming week AND kind of work on my classroom website... you see, it's kind of a HOT mess! It's week #4 at school, and I haven't ACTUALLY posted nothing.. nada!.. on there. Shame on me! I'm at least wanting to link up the links to our vocabulary this week. So, here we go... 5 Things!

 I'm an introvert... can you believe it? It's totally true! I love quiet (at home but not in my classroom... go figure) and would rather have time alone. Sometimes I don't even really like to talk to others.. LOL! The bad thing is, my husband is the TOTAL opposite. He's very outgoing and enjoys conversation. Sometimes it's a challenge for him to relate to me!
 I hated school when I was younger. There, I said it! I absolutely hated school and had no desire to be a teacher. Sure, I played school when I was little, but I didn't decide to become a teacher until AFTER I had already started college!
I love to shop... anything! It doesn't even have to be for me! I love to shop for my kids, my husband, my sisters, my students... whoever! AND... it's even better when the money isn't mine.. LOL!
 Four is for 4... I have been blogging for 4 years! Kind of hard to imagine! During those four years I have went from a 4th grade math guru to a 5th grade ELA nut job. Seriously... I love teaching ELA but sometimes I feel like it is the most challenging subject to teach. Dealing with students who are in 5th grade that read at early 1st grade level is a MAJOR issue!

I LIVE IN A HOUSE WITH ALL BOYS... and I grew up with all sisters... and I truly love it! But... I can't wait until we move into a larger home, and I can have my 'woman' cave! I do love my boys.. and they spoil me which is always kind of nice ;)

Link up with Blog Hoppin' and share your 5 Fun Facts! I'll have to link up when I get home from soccer practice!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Peek at My Week: Week #4

Y'all, I can't believe it is week #4 for me! This year had started off in a hurry, and I feel like it's still the first few weeks of school! I can't believe it's been a month since we started this school year! I have such a long ways to go before I start feeling comfortable with my new schedule! I have learned that we are just gonna go at a much slower pace than last year... and that's okay!

I'm trying to make every second count, and you can tell in my plans. Here are my weekly plans for week #4!

I will also be using some of my character passages that are in my seat work bundles. These are also GREAT for homework. You can get them here.
Here are some examples of them in action!
Here's a FREE sample!

What are you doing this week? Don't forget to link up with Dee Dee!