Friday, August 23, 2013

Five for Friday

1. My Personal Mission Statement.  At our Leader in Me training this summer we were presented with the challenge of crafting our own personal mission statement.  I tried to think about how I want to live my life and the message I want to send to others through my actions.  I finally wrote my personal mission statement and I'm pretty excited about it!

2. Class Mission Statement.  This week my class brainstormed ideas for out class mission statement and we decided on this one.  Pretty great, huh?

3. Family Fun Friday!  My family has adopted a new tradition--pizza and a movie every Friday night.  I know it's a simple idea, but my little ones are so excited about it and it really gives us something to look forward to.  I have to admit, this week I was equally excited about Teen Beach Movie and Crazy Bread!!!

4. Ingredients for a Great Year.  I bought this beginning of the year activity on TpT.  It's by Fourth and Ten.  My kids have loved it and we've had some great discussions about the traits we want to embody in our classroom community.  My favorite is "Sharing" because I explained to my class it's also about sharing ideas and participating in lessons and discussions.  Monday we get to wrap it all up with our trail mix!!!

5.  No alarm clock tomorrow makes me happy, happy, happy!!!  Yes, my little ones will still get me up bright and early, but at least I get to lounge in my PJ's and drink a cup of coffee instead of rush, rush, rushing around trying to get everyone out the door!  :-)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Monday, August 19, 2013

I'm Back and a Freebie!

Bloggin' Buddies, ya'll are Rock Stars!  We started with students about a week and a half ago and I have been too worn out to even THINK about blogging!  Honestly, I collapse into bed every night just behind my two little ones.

I have a 3/4 split class again this year, which I love.  The biggest challenge this year is Trying to fit in two separate math classes.  Last year my 4th graders split up among the three 4th grade classes for Math.  (I have the only split; it was created due to numbers in third and fourth.)  This year, though, the fourth grade classes are at cap and it would make them way too big if my kiddos join.  Same goes for the third grade classes.  I know many of you run multiple math groups daily, so I appreciate any and all tips.  I have one hour in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon for math. I wish the blocks were together so I could do 45 and 45.  I plan to have one grade work in stations while I have whole group instruction/practice with the other grade level.  It's just a matter of time management, I guess.

I have started Reading to Self and informally introduced Working on Writing today.  I really want to try a modified version of Daily 5 this year!  I think it will work great with the group I have.  We may try two days a week to start and then add another day later.

One of my favorite things to do with my classes is a weekly Family Meeting.  Every Friday during Social Studies time we gather for Family Meeting.  There is an agenda sheet each week and students can sign up if there is something they would like to address with the class.  Only 5 students can sign up to speak, and they are in charge of that agenda item.  I love it because it gives them a voice and shows that it is OUR classroom, not just mine.  After we discuss any items on the agenda (sometimes there aren't any, other times it's full) we have celebrations!  We share bucket slips for the week, draw book slips for prizes (from AR tests), and have a drawing for behavior prizes.  The kids love it and it's a great way to end our week.  This year I'm adding in time for accountability partners (AccountabiliBuddies) to meet and check in on their goals.

Students are in the process of applying for their Leadership Positions (class jobs).  I spent last week talking up the jobs and then handed out the application.  The top of the page is a list of the jobs and a brief description and the bottom is the application itself. My three most popular jobs this time were critter keeper (of course!), meteorologist, and blue slip spy (school PBIS incentives).  I filled as many jobs as possible, had the big unveiling ceremony this morning, and then handed out new applications for those that didn't get the jobs they applied for.  Last year I only switched jobs quarterly, but this year I'm going to aim for 4-6 weeks.

Now for the Freebie!  I will email my Leadership Application to you if you'll leave your email in the comments!  (I couldn't figure out how to link it and it's almost bedtime!)

My year is off to a great start!  Hopefully I won't fall back off the blogging wagon!!  I'll try to take some more classroom pics to share soon.  And, I have tons of TpT purchases to print, laminate, cut out, and put to good use in my class!  I spend a load and a half, but it will be so worth it!

Later Taters,


Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Made It

Tomorrow night is my Open House, and I'm so excited to meet my new students!  I've been working non-stop in my classroom trying to get it all together.  It's finished except for a few little things I can add later.  I have several Monday Made Its to share with you tonight!

This first one is one of my favorites.  I found the print at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $10 and I immediately thought it would be perfect for showcasing selected work (I'm thinking student writing pieces).  I hot glued sparkly clothes pins on the bottom of the sucker sticks.  All I need is a title.  What do you think of "Sweet Work"?

Here is a close up of the clothes pins.

Next up: Washi tape clothes pins!  These are for my hallway bulletin board.  I made little chalkboard name plates for them and then hot glued push pins on the back.  I didn't get a final picture, so maybe next week I can share the finished product!

I finally got around to making my copy/file/grade labels for my bins.  I love how this turned out!  Thanks to Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B for the freebie!  The colors match my room theme.  :-)

These are another of my favorite summer projects!  I bought plain wooden frames from Michaels and painted them (I shared the empty frames in an earlier post).  Then I purchased these motivational chalkboard sayings from Miss Nelson and thought they were just perfect for the frames!  Everyone that comes in my room comments on these right away!  (Sorry about the picture quality.  I really need to take my camera to school to get some decent shots.  My phone camera just doesn't cut it.)

I found some colorful tie-dye packaging tape and thought that the colors would be cute in my room.  I decided to purchase a pack of 4 small cork boards and cover the edges.  I have a bulletin board over my desk for our big calendar.  I used to put notes for myself under the calendar, but last year I decided to use part of that board for my prefix/suffix of the week so I didn't really have room for my "stuff" anymore.  I think these will work nicely and I found a space just to the left of my desk for them.

I also made Tara's Showing My Understanding chart.  It's a freebie on her FB page, so be sure to follow 4th Grade Frolics on Face Book!  Love how it looks on my painted wall!!!

Please excuse the mess still on my back table and student desks, but this is the view of my painted wall.  My mother-in-law made new curtains for me (LOVE!).   Notice how the Sweet Work sucker print pops on that wall?  You can also see my tissue paper pom-poms.  I made those last year, and though they are starting to droop just a bit, I'm going to try to get one more year out of them since I didn't change my color scheme.

It's all starting to come together!  School starts this Thursday for students.  When do you go back?  Are you ready???

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Currently August

I am so in "school mode" right now!  I spent the bigger part of last weekend trying to unpack boxes and organize my classroom.  Did I finish?  Not even close!  So I went back Wednesday afternoon and stayed until Midnight, determined to finish.  Did I?  Nope.  But I'm closer than I was.  I have my mess contained to a single table now, which is definite progress.  I just REALLY don't want to get to the point where I put what's left in a box to sort through later, because later never seems to come.  And then it stays in that box for the entire year and I fuss at myself in May when I start packing my room up again.  Anyone else guilty of that?  Please say yes.

I am loving my new wall color at school and my most recent made-its.  You'll have to check with me on Monday for the big reveal!

Today we had PD, a Leader in Me student empowerment training.  It was a great day!  My head is swimming with ideas for next year and how to better my kids' Leadership Notebooks, creating my personal mission statement, and how I can take the Leader in Me to the next level in my classroom.

For now though, I will share with you my August Currently...

If you haven't already, be sure to link up with Farley and share your Currently August.

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