Sunday, November 2, 2014

Currently November

November is here!! November is here!! November is here!!  It's my favorite month for lots of reasons…. mainly because it's my birthday, and this is a big one, the DIRTY 30!!  I am so excitedI I can hardly wait!!  I am celebrating by going to Nashville with my bestie next weekend :)

I am a HUGE country music fan!!  In fact, I am celebrating my 30th with my besets friends and family line dancing :)

Look how cutesy and fun these restaurants look in Nashville!  Have you been to Nashville?? I would love to hear some places I should check out!  We don't really have a plan or itinerary, but we are for sure going to the Grand Ole Opry!!  YEEEEE HAAWWWWWWW

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October Currently

Wow!  It's October!! Time certainly does fly :)

Trick AND a treat!!!
My TRICK.....
When having students work in cooperative groups, assign each student a ROLE.  This keeps students engaged, keeps them more on-task, and gives them a sense of belonging :)
I have four classroom jobs: facilitator, resource manager, recorder, and reporter.  Here are table tents for each role (includes 4 pages).  I print each role on a different colored sheet of paper and each student receives a role.  I color code them so that when I am standing in the front of the classroom, I know who is responsible for keeping the group on task, who should be making sure everyone is writing, etc..

I also give each student a team roles mat with all of the team roles.  I do change roles about every 2-3 weeks, so they are familiar with the job!

Lastly, at the end of the week, I have student evaluate their group members AND themselves!  This keeps them even more accountable.  If there are ever any issues, I may speak with problematic students individually or keep a close eye on them during cooperative learning.
 I hope you {LOVE} the team roles freebies and find them to be useful in your classroom :)  I teach 6th and 7th grade math and these work wonders in my middle school classroom!
Happy October :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Flying Paper Airplanes {STEM Activity}

At the end of last year, my principal asked me if I wanted to be part of a STEM grant, written specifically for Title I schools in my area.  Of course, I said yes!  I went to several days of training over the summer.  I have already implemented STEM activities into my instruction three times!  The kids and I are LOVING it!  It is a really nice break and allows the students to work together and discover on their own...without me telling them!!

 Today, we made these paper airplanes.  I watched several YouTube videos and this was the best and the easiest!  I wasn't sure if the kids knew how to make a paper airplane, so we all made the same one.  One student made and flew his own style airplane!  It was so fast!!

The goal of the lesson was to first, fly the airplane eight times, measure, then record the data.  The hardest part for the students was the measuring part, but since I was doing this with my 6th graders during math class, I made a big deal about being accurate (attend to precision, right!?).  

The second goal of the lesson was to make some sort of modification.  I showed students samples of weight (paper clips or tape) added to the nose or the wings.  I also said they could cut off part of the nose to modify the length.  The point was to make a modification, then predict whether their experiment would make their airplane fly a longer or shorter distance.  After their prediction, they flew the airplanes eight more times, measured, and recorded the results.

Let me tell you, ALL of my students were engaged and so into it!  Even my kids that never participate were helping out!  It was really nice to see and so much fun for all of us!

Here is the write up we used… you can download it for FREE below!

If you tried this in your classroom, I would LOVE to hear how it went :)

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!