Tuesday, May 24, 2016

No longer the "New Kid"

Well it's official! Today was my last day of post-planning for the 2015-2016 school year!! I can't believe how fast my first year of teaching has gone by! It seems like just yesterday I was given the keys to my room and now I'm turning them back in! There will never be a class like my first class and I will miss them all terribly, but I can't wait to see what next year has in store!

My summer will be full of tanning and wedding planning so my blog posts won't come as often, but I'll try to keep everyone up to date on my summer activities!! But before I go, I did want to bounce a few ideas off of my fellow bloggers for next year! As the year went by I made a list of what I would like to add or improve for next year! One of my improvements will be my take-home folders.

Originally, I had pocket folders for every student with a LEFT at home side and RIGHT back to school side, but as the year went on I knew I wanted to do something a little different  starting with the type of folder I used! I used the regular paper two pocket folders that I found at Staples Back-To-School sale, but this type of folder ripped very easily! I hope to use two pocket poly folders for next year so they will be a little more durable. I also ordered these pocket mailboxes to make passing out graded papers much easier. 

I will assign a student a week to file papers into the mailboxes and at the end of the week students will grab their papers and put them in their take-home folders. Any forms or flyers would go directly into their take-home folders! I was thinking about adding a few more things like a parent sign in sheet or a behavior log(my class uses a colored clip chart).I would love to hear how you do take-home folders or if you have another system for taking home papers!

On another note, has anyone heard of  Bullet Journals?!

I first learned of a this journal from my friend Marianna over at It Happened in Third. For those of you like me who have never heard of a bullet journal go check it out on Pinterest! The Lazy Genius also does a great job of getting you started! It's a great way to keep all your lists in calendars in one spot! I'm waiting until I have a good start to post any pictures of my bullet journal! Like I said everything is a work in a progress this summer! Stay tuned!!

Please feel free to leave your comments or suggestions! I'd love to read them!! 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Five for Friday - May 20

This will be my last time linking up with Doodle Bug's Teaching Five for Friday before school is out for the summer!  Today is the last day of school for our students!!!!! This last week has been jam packed with activities!! 

We started off on Monday with our Field Day Award ceremony!! We took home first place in the soccer dribble, 2nd place in bowling, 3rd in hula hoop, and 3rd in football! We may not have come out as the overall winner, but I'm so proud of my kids for their hard work and good sportsmanship!

Next we had Wet-N-Wild! This was for all the good behavior students throughout the year! As you can see we had a blast! I even tried out the slide a few times!

I finally did what I've been wanting to do all year....organize my classroom library!! I numbered each book and put 20 books per box with labels so students know exactly where they go! I spent a lot of money on these books and I am a huge book worm so seeing my books thrown all over the shelf was heartbreaking! I hope when my classroom library expands to organize it by genre or subject, but for now this is a huge step up!
I also made a list of every book in my classroom library and I included the A.R. level, if the book was damaged, and any topic or unit that that book would go with! BTW The Day the Crayons Came Home is one of my all time favorites!

I know y'all are probably tired of hearing about my End of Year gifts, but I just love them so much!! They were a huge success and my students loved them! I decided to make my own tags and here's what I came up with!! We've been a little rained out this week so we didn't have our bubble party, but they kids still loved their gifts!

I'm so excited, because I finally made it through my first year of teaching!! I will no longer be the new teacher!!

Be sure to check out the other Five for Friday blogs at Doodle Bug's Teaching!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesday - May 17

 This is my first time linking up with Forever in 5th Grade for Show and Tell Tuesday! Thanks Stephanie for the invite!! Show and Tell was always one of my favorite parts of school, so I don't know why I haven't linked up sooner!!

I've lived in Georgia my entire life and I've never been to the Georgia Aquarium until this weekend!! I can't believe what I was missing out on!

 These are only a few of the pictures that I took, but there was so much to see I couldn't fit it all in!! Our next adventure will be to sleep with the fishes! Did you know you can have an actual sleepover in the aquarium??!!

In honor of Finding Dory coming out next month and my wonderful door decor.......
 I found Dory!!!

I also got to get back doing one of my favorite things in the world!! I've missed these horses and their owners very much!

Last but certainly not least, my End of the Year gift to my students! 
Bubble Wands! I'm also adding super cute tags that I got from School is a Happy Place!

Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks again to Forever in 5th Grade for the Show and Tell Linky!! I can't wait to see what all everyone has to show and tell!!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Five for Friday - May 13

It's time for another Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching! I might have been a bit lazy and skipped last week, but there has been A LOT going on!

We had a visit from a few of Dr. Suess' friends! CIS (Communities In Schools) came for the annual book giveaway. They come every year to give every child a book so they will at least have one book to read over the Summer!
Image result for dr. seuss

How awesome are these recycled robots?!! My students went above and beyond on this project! 

There may be 5 more days of school, but I also have another countdown going on! 63 Days Until My Wedding! My fellow teachers and staff celebrated my engagement with a wedding shower and I was overwhelmed my all the gifts we received! I love my school family!

Head on over to It Happened In Third to check out my first ever guest blog! Thanks again Marianna for letting me borrow your blog! In this post, I talked about how I make math stations work in my classroom! Also check out Marianna's post on using multiple intelligence in a novel study!
It Happened in Third

Teacher Appreciation week was last week and boy were we spoiled! Not only did we get a meal from PTO, cakes from our principals, but we also got gifts from our secret Pals. One more week until my Secret Pal reveals herself (or maybe himself)!

Well I gotta run, because today is Field Day!! My students are so excited to participate in the events they chose! We can't wait to dominate in Tug-of-War!!

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave your comments! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Blog Switch - Teaching a Novel the MI Way!

Hi there! My name is Marianna and I blog about my 3rd graders and their shenanigans over at It Happened in 3rd. I'm so excited to do this little blog swap with Erin...I know she's been rocking it over here with her math and science posts so I thought I'd give you the inside scoop on some things I do to keep my literacy instruction fresh!

Click here to follow me on Bloglovin'!

Just a little background about where I work...we are a small charter school focused on using Multiple Intelligence Theory to best meet the needs of all our students (#sidenote: unfamiliar with MI? I suggest you head to Howard Gardner's site and learn directly from the man himself). Our students do a profile at the beginning of the year to determine their strongest "smarts."  We then use the results of their profile to provide individualized instruction through the use of learning contracts, portfolios, and choice boards. The kids love showing off their "smarts" on a variety of different projects throughout the year!

What does this mean for me as a departmentalized Literacy/Social Studies teacher? Obviously, I have Word Smart wrapped up...and with all the reflections we do on our work we have Self Smart covered as well! However, I want to design my lessons with ALL the "smarts" in mind. I believe students learn a concept best when they learn about it in ways that incorporate many different skill sets. Something I stress to the students is that their job is to build up all of their smarts. For example, If Suzy is Picture Smart, this doesn't mean she should always make a poster to demonstrate her learning...she can make her brain work harder by doing different activities that use a variety of multiple intelligences!

One of the easiest ways I've found to quickly incorporate MI into any lesson is to use a choice board! Choice boards are one of my favorite teaching tools because they are so can use them for anything! Here are some choice boards I have used this year:

I especially like to use choice boards when teaching novels. Rather than the standard read the chapter-answer the questions-write a summary routine (YAWN!), you can assess your students' understanding with a variety of engaging activities! Here are some ideas for creating your own MI choice board for any novel: 

You might choose to have students complete a choice board after a few chapters or at the end of the novel...whatever works for you! You can also decide the number of activities they are going to complete and the amount of time they get to work on it. The tasks can be as simple or complex as you want...the possibilities are endless!

Here are some activity suggestions for each "smart." They could be individual, partner, or group activities:

Visual-Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)-
Your "visual learners" will gravitate towards these activities! Students can:

  • Create a collage using items mentioned in a particular chapter. 
  • Make a diorama of an important moment
  • Turn a chapter or a set of pages into a comic strip
  • Create a new front cover for the book
  • Make a brochure showcasing all the settings in a novel.

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)-
Got a student that can't stop tapping on his desk? Channel his energy in more positive ways by introducing these rhythmic activities!:

  • Write a song about a character in the novel
  • Make a song for each chapter, Explain why each song represents the chapter
  • Make up a poem/rap to summarize a chapter, or do a "Weird Al" version of a popular song
  • Pretend your book is going to become a movie. Develop a movie trailer by choosing the perfect song and finding 3 important scenes in the book that you would include.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)-
These activities are great for our friends who just. can't. sit. still:

  • Act out a scene from the book
  • Play charades using vocabulary words from a particular chapter
  • Construct a 3D version of a character from the novel
  • Make a human timeline of important events in the book

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)-
Your future novelists will dive into these activities:

  • After finishing the novel, write an additional chapter that describes what happened to the characters
  • Rewrite a chapter changing the setting
  • Create a crossword puzzle using character names or vocabulary words
  • Make a newsletter using events that happened in the book
  • Summarize a chapter in the form of a poem

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Logic Smart)- 
Want to get your number-loving students engaged in your novel study? Here's how:

  • Create a timeline of events that happen in the novel
  • Poll the other students in the class about something related to the novel. Graph and share the findings
  • Develop a secret code two characters could use to talk to each other. Record a conversation between them using the code

Naturalistic Intelligence (Nature Smart)-
Don't worry! You don't need to cover your class in potting soil to get your nature lovers involved:

  • Create a map of a location mentioned in the novel
  • Make a "nature guide" for plants/animals mentioned in the book
  • Place 10 items relating to a chapter in a bag/box. Have other students guess the importance of each item in relation to the chapter.

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)-
These activities are great for your deep thinkers:

  • Pretend one of the characters in the novel is transferring to your school. Create a handbook to help them fit in on their first day.
  • Keep a diary as one of the characters in the book. Describe their thoughts/feelings about events that happen in a particular chapter.
  • Pretend you have been assigned to help a buddy study vocabulary words from a chapter. Make a study guide to help your friend.

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)-
You know they're going to talk, so they might as well talk about their work!:

  • Perform a puppet show based on one chapter of the book
  • Develop a whole class Jeopardy-style game to review the novel
  • In character with a buddy, interview each other about events from the book
  • Have a debate with another student about the most important event in the novel

I hope you've found some ideas to introduce MI and choice boards into your literacy instruction! If you like what you've read here, please download my Charlotte's Web Choice Board freebie! It won't be free for long, so grab it now! (Note: make sure to use after the students finish reading, as there is a teeny tiny spoiler in one of the activities)!

You can see all of my choice boards HERE.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Erin for letting me take over her blog for the day! Don't forget to check out my blog, It Happened in 3rd, and follow me on Facebook and Pinterest!