Sunday, August 10, 2014

Building Academic Vocabulary

Yikes! Vocabulary!  What a scary word!  Students hate it and teachers don't love to teach it, but the truth is…it's one of the most important parts of learning!  With the Common Core in FULL force, it is crucial that we teach our students how to decode text and words so they can put them into meaning!

My school site does A LOT of vocabulary training…we are a Title I school, which means lots of English Learners.  As if learning English weren't difficult enough, now we have to throw multiple meaning words at them!!  Ahhh!!

We also talk a lot about our friend, Marzano, guru of all things vocab!!  I am sharing with you today Marzano's six-step process for teaching and building academic vocabulary FOR ALL GRADE LEVELS AND ABILITIES!!









Here are some posters I made for the Critical Words for the CCSS (according to Marilee Sprenger).  I made these posters to hang throughout my classroom, so I have easy access to reference when I need it.    It is very crucial to teach these critical nouns and verbs to our students…these are the most common words they will get hung up on when they go to take a standardized test!  The posters include 49 printer-friendly, easy-to-read vocabulary terms in KID-FRIENDLY LANGUAGE!  I used the awesome Learner's Dictionary for most definitions.

As a BONUS, I have included 51 of the most common Tier II vocabulary terms.  These are mainly for grades 6-8, but below I have included a K- 8 monthly vocab lists for free!  Tier II words are words that are not domain (or subject) specific.  For example, take the word origin.  In all subject areas, the word means the point or place where something begins or is created.  In math, when graphing, this is the point we always begin, called the origin.  In social science, it may refer to where a particular group of people came from.  Either way, the definition does not change.  Because of this, it is super easy to use these Tier II words across the curriculum.  More exposure + multiple contexts = learned vocabulary!





Here is an up-close view of what the posters look like.  To spruce it up, simply print on bright colored paper.  You can even color code :)






Yay!!  Free stuff!!  Here are some materials I found to be particularly useful :)










Monday, June 30, 2014

July Currently!!

I am so excited July is here!!  July is by FAR my favorite month of the year!!  No work, students, lesson plans, no even THINKING about work yet, fourth of July (my favorite holiday!!), and just plain awesomeness!!

Join Oh, Boy! 4th Grade's Linky HERE!  It's so fun!!



LISTENING: While it may not seem strange to other folks in the US, the sound of crickets at night is NOT a normal phenomenon in California!  So, this is why I am enjoying it!  I feel like I'm on a camping trip, only I am comfortably in my bed and not on dirt!

LOVING: EVERY minute of summer vacay!  No explanation needed!!!!!!!!!  :) :) :)

THINKING: One of my summer goals was to go to the beach more often and work on my tan..does a spray tan count??!!

WANTING: A personal chef…..I mean, who doesn't!!  I really hate grocery shopping because I don't feel creative in the kitchen…but if I had a personal chef, he/she would do the shopping for me and make me amazing, healthy meals! Double SCORE!!

NEEDING: to finish watching Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.  I don't know what's with me and movies, but I ALWAYS try to do a million things while watching a movie…it's like I can NOT for the life of me just sit and watch a movie!  Is anyone else like that, too!!?

4th Plans: OMG!!!! The excitement!!!!!  I mean, seriously, a day spent with family in the sun, then line dancing with seester at night. AND how lucky am I that I can see the Disneyland fireworks from where I'm at without even having to fight the Disneyland crowds!  LOVE it!!!

Let freedom ring!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Top 10 Things I Want to do This Summer!



Summer for me doesn't begin until June 25!  Super late!!  I know!  BUUUUT…..I am already planning  what I want to do (or I guess I should say NOT do!).  Like Deanna, I always say, "I'm not going to do a thing this summer.  Just relax!"  Well, that's never happened!!  My first two years teaching, I needed extra cash,so I waited tables.  ALL. SUMMER. LONG.  I really didn't get a break those two years and it' so not worth it!  Anyway, here is my list of what I'm doing this summer….

1.  Catching up on The Big Bang Theory :)  I bought an Apple TV specifically for watching the show! My grandma got me hooked on it and I have had barely any time to really sit and watch it.  I am a HUGE Sheldon Cooper fan!  Watching Big Bang Theory is my happy place :) :)


This one makes me laugh!!  Because, yes, Sheldon is dating and I'm not! Haha!


2.  Take my niece to Disneyland before our annual passes expire in July.  My 4 year old niece and I go to Disneyland often…it's our "thing."  I am going to be so sad when they expire.  I guess we'll have to find a new "thing!"






3.  Practice PiYo and apply to 24 Hour Fitness!  I earned my PiYo certification to teach PiYo in January and am SOOOO in love with it!  I have had almost no time to practice it so that I can teach it at they gym.  My goal is to apply and audition in July.  Wish me luck!!

What is PiYo you ask??!!  PiYo combines pilates and yoga-inspired moves and poses with upbeat, fun music.  Lots of strength, cardio, flexibility, and strength.  PiYo is a high-intensity, low impact workout for a new kind of STRONG!

ANNDDDD.. the best new of all….PiYo is coming to home DVD next month!!  So excited!!  I will send you some links if you are interested in ordering :)


4.  Spend time at the beach.  Every summer, I say I'm going to work on my tan, but somehow I always make excuses not to lay out and do nothing.  This year, I really do want to spend some time lounging by the ocean :)

Laguna Beach:

San Clemente:

5.  Ok, now this one I have been saying for YEARS and have never done it!  Stand-up paddle boarding.  It looks so fun!!  Everyone that has tried it has loved it!  I have yet to meet someone who didn't love paddle boarding :)  My younger sister wants to try it too….we will have to plan a date!



Woah!  Maybe I'll be adventurous like this lady and practice PiYo on a paddle board!!


6.  Take LOTS of naps!  I am such a huge fan of afternoon naps!  And I'm not talking the 20 minute kind…I'm talking the 2 hour kind!  Everyone that knows me well, knows I love and need my nap time :)  In fact, my mom bought me these two cutesy little plaques and I keep them on my nightstand :) Haha!


7.  Spend good quality time with friends and family.  My family lives about 45 minutes away…sometimes it's hard to make the drive even on the weekends.  My bestie lives in another county and we need to catch up over many lunch/yogurtland dates! 

Yes, this would be a picture of my family (including my mom and grandma) doing a duck-face-peace-sign photo!!  We're crazy!!

The bestie!!!  Last year, the bestie and I went to Glen Ivy Hot Springs for the day.  So much fun!!  Mud bath is my favorite!!

8.  Nothing!  This really should be number one at the top of the list, but these are not in any sort of order.  I think having a few lounge, sit around the house and do nothing days should be appropriate for summertime :)  This Spanish Proverb is just perfect!


9.  Ok, now I know it's summer, BUT work still has to get done!  I am the kind of person that likes likes lessons to be planned out a month in advance.  It helps me mentally and I feel less stressed.  I have been wanting to re-vamp my classroom, so I think this is the summer to do it!  I'm thinking a lime green/pink/black scheme!  Sounds fun!!

Here are some super cute borders I plan on purchasing for my new bulletin boards :)



10.  I am part of a STEM, or now it is being called STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) collaborative group at my school site.  I am partnering with the 7th grade science teacher to develop lessons that are science AND math friendly…cross curricular instruction, baby!  I am so excited to be a part of this awesome grant!  I will have to attend a two week intensive training for each year for three years, but I think the end result will be totally worth it!


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Teacher Planners and Calendars…Get Excited!!

I am so excited to announce teacher planners and monthly calendars have been updated for the new school year!  


There are three adorable covers to choose from.  Choose the one you like best, then email me and I will do all of the customizing for you! :)

Here are close-ups of each cover page.




 There are two "title" pages included in each file.  Here are the two you will receive.  



Here is the first planner.  This is the one I use.  It works well for me, but I teach middle school, so I only have two subjects to plan for.  If you tech elementary or like to plan your day in hourly increments, the second planner would work best for you :)  I originally created a similar planner last year.  After I created my own, I will never go back to store-bought planners again.  

What I LOVE the most about printing my own planner is that whatever can be printed can be included in the planner!  This year, I included my monthly calendars (see below) and the Common Core State Standards for each grade level I teach.  Whenever I needed to reference these pages, they were there for me!  If you are using the elementary version, you can print class rosters, contact information, behavior sheets, etc.

Last year, I took my planner to Staples to have it bound for me.  It cost me less than $6 and it included the coil, clear cover, and black back cover.  It is super sturdy!  I LOVE my planner!!!

This version is the day-to-day version.  It includes lots of space for detailed planning!


This is what the 2-page spread looks like when the planner is opened up:



An up-close view of an individual page:




The second available planner is the period-by-period or hour-by-hour planner.  This planner would work best for elementary teachers or teachers that like to plan by hour increments.  The version you will receive with the download is the "middle/high school" version.  This means the box titles will say "Period 1, Period 2, Period 3…..Period 6."  I will customize these six titles for you at no extra cost.  For example, you may want "Math 8:00 - 8:30" instead of period 1 if you teach elementary.  

I have included detailed instructions on how to customize, put together, and print your planner.




At the end of my planner, I include monthly calendars for reference.  I made these last year and I am so in love with them!!






Here are product links:

1.  Teacher Planner: Day-to-Day (first planner shown in this post)
2.  Teacher Planner: Period-by-Period or Hour-by-Hour (second planner shown in this post)