Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bright Ideas Roundup!

Welcome to the November edition of the Bright Ideas Link-
 Up! This one is a little different! Over the past 10 months, we 
 have shared thousands of great ideas through our monthly 
Bright Ideas event. This month, we’re re-capping all of those great ideas, just in case you missed any! Below you will find some of my bright ideas from the 
past several months (just click on the pictures and they will take you to the original posts): 

I love to promote positive behavior in my classroom with my "Boasting Box".  I try to recognize students throughout the week in my weekly newsletter!  They love to see their names in print! 

I am always looking for ways to get my kiddos excited about reading!  They love my "New Book Box".

I am also always looking for ways to make my life easier!  This is a website that makes scheduling parent volunteers and/or conferences a breeze!

Volunteer Spot Logo

This post is about making easy tabs for Interactive notebooks or binder dividers:

But my favorite is this one:

You can easily find all of my Bright Ideas by searching them on my blog. 

I hope that you’ve enjoyed these bright ideas, and that you have found an idea 
that you can use in your own classroom. Be sure to check out the link up below 
for tons more bright ideas from my friends! 
Have a great day! 

If you enjoyed this post please consider following me on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Classroom Snapshots: Reading Workshop organization

Wow!  I have been AFB (away from blog)!  Sorry about that.  We had parent conferences this past week.  I really enjoy meeting with my cherub's parents, but it takes a lot of prep!
Enough about that!  I am writing about Reading Workshop today.
I can't even begin to tell you how much I love doing Reading Workshop everyday!
I do a modified version of Daily 5.
I do 2.5 rounds everyday. 
How can I do .5?  I will explain below.

Everyday everyone does Read to Self.  Then, I have a computer rotation.  I only have 3 computers in my classroom, so only 3 cherubs can go on the computers per "round".  So, if you are not on the computer for any given day, then your second round is Read with Someone.  So, maybe it is more like 2 and 1/4 rounds.

Up until this year, when my mini-lesson were finished, I would go through the routine of asking each kiddo what they were going to do for that round.  Did it take up a whole lot of time?  No, but it did take time.
Here is what I came up with this year:

As part of our "Morning Business" the kiddos choose their partners for the day.  Every kiddo has a "chip" with his her # on it.  They pick their partner by asking a friend, then they put their chips together.  You aren't allowed to move anyone's chip but your own, so you have to go and ask your friend and you move your chip and they move theirs.   
The list that you see below the 4 arrow has everyone's name and number, but the kiddos learn each other's numbers pretty quick.

1. This is my computer rotation.  All of my kiddos numbers are listed and I move the clothespins to choose who is on the computers for the day. I do 2 rounds, so 6 kiddos total will be on the computers during Reading Workshop.

2. These are my guided reading groups.  They change often, so I write them on sticky notes.

3.  These are the "round" numbers.  We do 2 everyday.

4.  These are the kiddos who are on the computer.  I choose these partners to make sure that the kiddos who are on the computers are partners with other kiddos on the computer.  

5.  These are the kiddos who will be reading with a partner during each round (the kiddos know that no more than 4 sets of partners can read together during each round).

6.  This is where the chips go at the end of the day.  A kiddo moves them everyday during our cleanup time!

Clear as mud right!  
So, during round 1 on this day:
#'s 3,6,7 are on the computers.
#'s 20 and 18, 9 and 19, 16 and 17 are reading with their partners
and everyone else is reading to themselves.
I will meet with group 2 then do individual conferences.

During round 2:
#'s 5,2,4 are on the computers.
#'s 1 and 11, 14, 21, and 19, 13 and 10, 8 and 12  are reading with their partners
and everyone else is reading to themselves.
I will meet with group 3 then do individual conferences.

So after my mini-lesson is over, all I have to do is say "Happy Reading!" and everyone knows where to go.

If you are in my reading group, then you go and do your choice round when we are finished.  I try to encourage the kiddos not to chose to read with a partner when they know that they are in my group, but it doesn't always work out that way, so their partner just reads to themselves until they are done with Reading Group.  This is working beautifully in my room!  If I want to meet with more than one group during a round, I just put up the sticky notes of the groups that I want to meet with and call the groups one at a time.

Do you give your kiddos the choice during Reading Workshop?  How do you organize your time?

Thanks so much for stopping by!  :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Over the Moon!

Oh my goodness!  
Do you follow the TpT blog? 
 I am over the moon excited! 
Rachel Lynette from Minds in Bloom (the task card queen!) 
just hit her Million Dollar Milestone!  
Congrats Rachel!  Woo-hoo!
So, as part of her milestone she did a post on the TpT blog: 

Rachel Lynette’s 12 New Teacher-Authors to Watch

I am over the moon to say that I am #9!
I am so excited in fact, I am putting my whole store on sale for 20% off!

Thank you to Teachng in the Tongass, KPM Doodles, Scrappin Doodles and
The Library Fox for my button elements.

Thank you so much Rachel!  I am just Over the Moon!  Stop on by for some great deals! :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

tsu blog hop and giveaway!

Displaying Blog Hop Button.png
Have you heard of tsu yet?  It is a new form of social media that pays you for socializing!  I'm not kidding!  It looks and feels a lot like Facebook, but at tus you are considered the author of your content and are paid for it!  What a novel idea!
I am linking up with some other amazing teacher bloggers who are already on tsu sharing away!  Come and join us!  Not to mention that you could win some fabulous prizes!

Check out these bloggers who have already joined tsu:

Then, enter to win some wonderful prizes and expand your tsu network!
Displaying TSU Prize Pack.png

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Monster Menu! Halloween writing project with a freebie!

Things didn't quite work out the way I planned on Friday, so we decided to make Monster Menus!
Each year about this time we read a poem called If a Giant Monster.  I am not sure who wrote the poem, but it is about inviting monsters in to have something to eat.  Of course, this lead to a discussion about what Monsters eat.  It got a little grisly, but we had some good giggles.

We also talked about what monsters might pay with if they had "monster money".  Here is a picture of our brainstorming session:

I was love doing this activity because the kiddos get a big kick out of it!  I even had a few of my boys ask if they could stay in from recess to finish theirs!

They loved sharing and trying to outdo each other!

The girls enjoyed this activity as well:

So, are you looking for a fun writing activity to do right before Halloween?  Get your poem and Monster Menu here for free (just click on the picture below):

Halloween Poem/Writing Activity/Monster Menu

Friday, October 24, 2014

Do you tsu? New concept in Social Media!

New Social Media that pays its users a percentage of ad revenue. Awesome! Click the link to sign up!

Yup, you read that right.  It pays you for your content.  Here is a break down of how it works:

"Tsū’s algorithm automatically tracks, measures, and distributes revenue to the appropriate user and their family tree. At a high level, 90% of revenues are distributed to users. To maintain the platform, tsū receives 10%. To see how this breaks down, let’s take a look at 4 users, all with varying start dates on tsū.
User A invites user B, who invites user C, who invites user D
Part 1
– $100 of earned revenue is generated based on the content user D shared (photos, videos, status updates, etc.)
Part 2
– 90% of earned revenue go to the users. In this case, $90 of the $100 is shared with all the users.
– tsū takes 10% of the $100 for platform fees. In this case $10.
Part 3
– User D, the original content creator takes 50% of the $90. In this case, $45.
– User C gets 33.3% (1/3) of the original $90 generated. In this case, $29.70
– User B gets 11.1% (1/3 of 1/3 = 1/9) of the original $90 generated. In this case $9.99
– User A gets 3.70% (1/3 of 1/3 of 1/3 = 1/27) of the original $90 generated. In this case $3.33
– This is what we call the rule of infinite thirds"

It is sort of like pinterest, in you have to be invited to join, so naturally friends I am inviting you! Here is my shortcode if you would like to come and join me in this new Social Media adventure!

It has a very Facebookish feel to it.  It is really easy to navigate, and they don't limit who sees your posts.  If someone is following you, they see your posts.  If you are friends with someone, they can see your posts and you can see theirs.  You can read more about it HERE!

It is free to sign up and is all the rage!  Come join know  you want to!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Writing Workshop Wednesday: Mini-lesson 1: Where do you get ideas?

Thank you to Educasong, Kimberley Geswein, and Creative Clips!
I used their wonderful products to make my button!

Okay!  Onto Writer's Workshop stuff!
I LOVE teaching writing.  Am I really that good at it?
I don't think that I really am, but I enjoy it, so it makes it seem like I am good at writing.  :)

I have been working really hard this year to try to do my mini-lessons in a sequence that makes sense.  It makes sense to me at least!

Of course I started with building stamina for Writer's Workshop.  If you are interested is seeing our daily routine check out the post HERE.

Now that we are into the routine, we get down to the nitty gritty!

The first lessons that I do are to introduce our classroom writing goals for the year.  You can read more about my classroom goals and our Writing Notebooks HERE.

I start every W.W. with a mini-lesson.  Sometimes I model writing.  Sometimes it is a grammar lesson, sometimes I share what a classmate has written.  It just depends on what we are working on. 
Our lessons always fits into our two goals:
My audience CAN read what I write.
My audience WANTS to read what I write.

 I try to vary my lessons so that I cover what I need to cover and we don't get hung up on one topic.

Monday: What do Writer's Write?
Tuesday: Grammar (sometimes Mentor Sentences)
Wednesday: How to make our writing so that other want to read it.
Thursday: How to write so others can read what we write (conventions).

We don't always have W.W. on Friday's because we switch for "Non-fiction" Fridays (science, social studies, and health).  So if we do have W.W. that day it is usually something fun.  Do I stick to this schedule all of the time?  No.  I am a pretty go with the flow kind of teacher.

I was at a workshop one time where the presenter mentioned that if you don't want the kiddos to copy off of what you write about, write about things that they can't or don't do.  Funny, I am infamous among my students for writing about doing laundry.  They find it interesting that I can find so many ways to write about doing laundry, and I have so many laundry adventures!  
We decided as a class that having a good Idea is important to help us meet our goal of "My audience wants to read what I write".

 we start working on Ideas.  Where do ideas come from?  What kinds of things do writer's write about?  
Then, we work on making some lists.
Here are the pages that we used to do our brainstorming.

First, we talk about things that we like.  This list usually is where you get "Video Games", "Ice Cream", "My Family".  We talk about what kinds of things make good topics for stories.  
We write one idea in each heart. 

But, we also talk about how sometimes good stories come from those things that we don't like.  So we also make a list ideas of things to write about that we don't like.  This is usually a lot of fun.  It is generally good for some grossness and some giggles. We right one thing we don't like in each "Stop Sign".

Click on the picture above to get your own "Things I don't like" freebie!

Of course, then we share with our partners what we are thinking about writing about during writing time and go off to write.  We usually have a lot of good ideas after this lesson.

What would be on your "Things I don't like list?"  Bugs are always on mine!

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