Saturday, June 30, 2012

New Blog Design & New Button

OH.MY.WORD!  After realizing that I didn't need to pay for a blog design, I decided to try it out for myself.  It's amazing what you can find on google searches and blog tutorials!  Several hours later {SERIOUSLY!!} I have the most wonderful blog EVER!  I absolutely love it.  It is bright, bold, and beautiful.  I am still working on it (trying to figure our how to get the small shadow off my images.. if you know how to do that, please let me know)!  The one thing I am most excited about are my tabs.  They are sooo cute!

So... what do you think about it?  Don't forget to grab my new button & update!

BTW- as fun as it was, I am not interested in getting into blog design right now.  Maybe later when I have extra time or put together a file with all the necessary codes.  Now I know why custom blog templates are so expensive... so time consuming!!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Updates, Curriculum Binder, & Vocabulary Walls

To say that I have been 'out of the loop' of blogging is an understatement.  So, what have I been doing??  Well, my wonderful husband gave me a 4-hour gift certificate for here...  {ah-hum.. that's Urban Sanctuary Spa in Athens, GA in the Boulevard Historic District}.
This isn't the best picture... I was too relaxed to really take any!

It was my graduation/mother's day present.  It sure made all those hours I spent on my Ed.S. degree worth it!  I chose to be 'Queen for a Day' and it was W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L.!  I got a full body massage, a body scrub, a facial, a scalp massage, lunch, and a pedicure/foot massage.  Ahhhhh... I didn't want to leave!

I have also been here....

My two year old insists on going swimming every day.... FINE.WITH.ME!

I have also been super busy working on math vocabulary wall sets like a crazy woman.  I've had the sweetest teacher buds asking for their specific grade level, and I'm just too sweet to say no.  With that said, I wanted to share the ones I have available so far.  I DO NOT have K or 2nd grade and I really do not know when I will have these.  I love making these things, but there comes a time when you have to say no.  I want to enjoy my time with my sweet boys because I only have a month left of summer.  WHAT???  That's just crazy to me.  These are all available in my TpT store along with coordinating 'I Can' statements {I do not have 5th grade 'I Cans' right now... I will have them before August.. hopefully}!  You can click each picture to go to my store.  Wait.... THERE IS MORE.... A FREEBIE FOR YOU!


Do you have/use a curriculum binder?  I started using one last year, but it didn't work for me because I didn't take the time to organize it and get it the way I wanted it.  This year, I am determined to make it work because it is such a useful tool.  I already have a school-wide assessment binder that I use for my data team meetings.  My data team binder can get pretty thick towards the end of the school year.  I want a separate binder where I will store my everyday things like lesson plans, standards, etc..  

So... what will I use this binder for?  I plan on using my curriculum binder EVERY DAY! This will be my go-to place for standards, lesson plans, weekly & benchmark assessment results, guided math plans, etc.  Anything I need for planning will be in my binder.  During my Ed.S. program at The University of Georgia, I read A LOT about taking the time to plan your differentiated lessons.  When differentiating the RIGHT way, it SHOULD take anywhere from 45 minutes-1 hour to truly differentiate a weeks worth of plans.  Since I only teach math, I have an advantage.  This is something I REALLY want to work on this year.  I believe that having this binder will aid in my development of this.  I also plan to look at each and every assessment closely and closely monitor EACH child's progress on pre/post tests.  

I am starting to get things together, and I wanted to share a few things about it.  First of all, I bought a heavy duty 2" binder from Office Max.  

I am picky about my binders, the rings had to be flat on one side so it would close without me having to adjust my papers.  I also like the one touch open/close clasp.  

I also like the tiered pockets on the sides... I don't really have a reason for this.. lol!  

I would show the rest of my binder, but I don't have it completely ready yet.  I do want to share the sections I plan on organizing.  I created some cutesy title pages that I will put in page protectors and place behind each divider tab.  I bought the divider tabs you can write/erase.  Even though I use a sharpie to write on them with, I have found that you can use a magic eraser if you ever need to change them. 
It's obvious here that I have A LOT of work to do!  I used post-its to jot down ideas of tabs as I went through my pages.

So... here is what I have so far.  The sections I plan on including (and have included here in this link for you to have... for FREE) are
o lesson plans 
o curriculum map
o pacing guide
o common core standards
o georgia performance standards (I did not include this one since it is state specific...    we still have to teach the GP standards this year ALONG with the CC)
o standard examples
o grade level alignment (vertical alignment)
o teaching vocabulary
o birthdays
o parent contacts
o notes
o classroom records
o book issue list
o weekly assessments: pre/post
o benchmark assessments: pre/post

Previously, I posted a freebie that included a birthday, parent contact, notes, classroom records, and book issue list that you can use in your binder.  Once I get my binder complete, I plan on posting again with a detailed look inside as well as any additions I may have added, and MORE FREE FORMS.

Again, don't forget your TITLE PAGES and your CURRICULUM BINDER FORMS.  

So, now I have a question for you.  What are some other things you include in your binder if you have something similar?

One last thing... I also need to include my guided math plans.  I have created a lesson plan template just for guided math because it deserves so much more than just a small box.  That's another thing... small boxes make you feel that your plans need to fit inside that small box.  Well, I just don't think that is enough room!  You can get the guided math template by clicking the picture below.  You will be directed to my post where I talk about it more.
Whew!  That was a long post!  Don't forget to leave any additions below!  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

I'm Having a Sale!

Let's face it, it has been a while since I've had a sale in my store.  I've also posted a lot of great things lately {Common Core Vocabulary & 'I Can' cards for 1st, 3rd, & 4th grades.}  I will hopefully have my 5th grade finished before my sale ends on June 30th.  That's right!  I am having a sale for an entire WEEK!  I want to give my readers a chance to get my items at a discounted price.  Until June 30th, every item in my store is 20% off.  Enjoy :)  Click to link up to my store.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Luna Document Camera Giveaway... One Day Left!!

Hi there!  I'm so excited to be able to bring my review of the Luna document camera by Learning Resources.  Although my 'try out' didn't go as smoothly as I wanted it to {operator issues!} I am honored to have this tool available for use in my classroom.

First of all, this is a great opportunity since the Luna retails for $199 through Learning Resources.  After using it, I will say that it gives just as good of an image as the Elmo which I have used before.  The Luna also provides video recording and image capturing.  I used the video component {not on purpose! lol} during my 'try out.'  Once I went back and reviewed the video, I was very impressed with the audio of the video.  The sound was very clear and it did an excellent job with eliminating background noises that you didn't need.  For example, my voice was loud and clear, and you could hear the students' responses, but other annoying noises were not as clear.  This was great since I teach 4th grade and they we can become a little irritated at sitting still and listening.

Here's a screen capture of the video.  I would include the video, but it was the end of the school year, I had just come back from maternity leave, and it was... well, just CRAZY!  lol

Overall, I am SUPER excited to have this tool in my classroom, and I'm sure I will use it several times a week to help my students understand EXACTLY what I want them to do.

Here's the great part.... Learning Resources is going to give one of these great tools to one of my followers.  There are a few things you need to do first.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Guided Math Workshop Survey

Hi there!  In July, I will host a 2-day guided math workshop for K-3 teachers at my school {I'm so nervous}!  I am interested in getting information about what teachers {like you} are interested in.  I have created a very short {4 question} survey about what you would like to get out of a guided math workshop.  Best thing.... I am going to post my workshop presentation and everything I presented here on this blog!  My workshop isn't until July 24th & 25th so I still have a ways to go.  However, I need to get started on my presentation ASAP!!  I would love for you to take no more than 5 minutes to help me out.  You can access the survey by clicking the link below.


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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Free Lesson Plan Template & Common Core Classroom Helpers: 1st Grade

Hey, Ya'll!  This summer has been super busy.  It's amazing at the difference of your free time when going from one child to two!  I actually think I had more free time when school was in.  However, I am SO enjoying my stay at home time with my two sweet boys! I have managed to find a few moments of time here and there to think about next year.  I saw a guided reading plan on Pinterest and thought it would be a great idea to incorporate these in my guided math planning.  It is so easy to have all three groups do the same exact activity, but to modify it in ways to help them understand.  Listen to me carefully...THIS.IS.NOT.THE.WAY.IT.SHOULD.BE.  Although this way is fine, I want to truly differentiate for my students.  I'm thinking the only major difference will be between my struggling group and my other two.  One of the two is to remediate at a higher level, and the third group will be to remediate & advance.  So, I figured that if I MADE myself plan that way, then it will get done.  So, here's what I have come up with.  It's free.... you can have it!  Click the format you would like to download below the photo.
PDF                 WORD
I used Pea Celestial Creation font from Kevin & Amanda.  Get it {FREE}!

I have also been hard at work creating Common Core Essentials for classrooms.  Right now, I have fourth and first grade.  I've previously posted about 4th grade.  Last night I completely finished my 1st grade.  Here's some previews.  You can buy the vocabulary cards and 'I Can' statements separate at $6 each, or you can buy them bundled for $10 and save.

Common Core Vocabulary Cards, $6

Common Core 'I Can' Statements, $6

Here's the bundle.  Both coordinating resources for only $10.

My next set is 3rd grade.  Then, I will be working on some 4th grade ELA sets. If you have a grade you would like me to create, please comment below with your request.  Enjoy ;-)   Due to the amount of requests received via email, I am currently not accepting any new requests at this time.  I hope you all understand.  Thanks so much for your support!  It is greatly appreciated.