Saturday, April 26, 2014

Student Teacher Success

Yesterday was my student teacher's last day.  She has been with us all year, first doing her pre-student teaching, then back again this semester to do her student teaching.  My kiddos and I are a little attached!  We made sure she was on her way to being set for her own classroom.

My teammates pitched in to help fill this bag with a few of her favorite things (with an owl theme- her favorite).

Our team ate lunch together on her last day and enjoyed some Dairy Queen cake.

I've been stocking up on children's books when I see them (Scholastic, Ollie's, etc).  I had each child pick out a book to give Miss Weber.  They wrote a label with "to" and "from" to put in the book like a book plate.  We put these in a bag and give them to her on her last day.  She made the kiddos cupcakes.

We are excited to report that she was hired to be an aide for our class for the reminder of the year due to a few needs in our room.  We're (I'm) thrilled to have her with us the rest of the year and wishing her the best of luck in finding a job!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five For Friday: Earth Day Edition {April 25}

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky.  I've been out of the teaching groove with having a student teacher the last 4 months, but got my act together to get some pictures this week.

1.  We are making words with magnetic letters on these trees.  I took tree clip art from Print Candee and put vowel combinations on the trunk of the tree.  Students put an initial consonant and a final consonant.  They then read the word and determine whether it is real or nonsense and record it on the yellow paper.

2. Students were invited to bring containers in that can be recycled. They first sort the containers into the blue and green buckets that have labels on them (paper, plastic, metal).  After sorting, they are allowed to build with the materials

3.  Using pop cans and egg cartons as bases, students created litter bugs.

4.  We're reusing toilet paper tubes to make bird feeders at the science center.  Its funny how much they love spreading the peanut butter (using a popsicle stick) on the tube.  They then roll it in a plate of bird seed.  We run a piece of yarn through the tube and tie a knot to hang it on a bush or tree.  It goes home in a ziploc bag.

5.  We've also explored place value with this little activity from Kelley at Teacher Idea Factory.  It was a great freebie that I just added the number cards to complete.  My kind of planning!  

Next week we continue our study of Earth Day and our planet.  Stop back tomorrow to hear more about our day today as we celebrated my student teacher's last day!  What did you learn this week?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Earth Day

I'm linking up for Wordless Wednesday over at Sugar and Spice.

Our current unit is Earth Day Is Everyday.  What do you do to incorporate Earth Day in your classroom?  Please comment below!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Making Math Work

We currently use Everyday Math in our district.  We are looking at piloting a new math curriculum next year.  What curriculum do you use?  Positives/Negatives?  Does it meet CCSS?  We need your help!  Your comments below would be much appreciated!

Here is a great little math activity my student teacher came up with.  This is used during center time.  Students read the story problems on the fish (mixed addition and subtraction with answers to 10).  They then sort the fish into the bowls by answer.  The kids love it and don't even realize they are practicing reading and math.  I love how their reading has really blossomed, and they are generally able to read the story problems independently!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {April 9}

I'm linking up with Christina at Sugar and Spice for her new linky Wordless Wednesday.

How do you keep the learning going throughout the day, even at dismissal time?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fact Fluency

We've been cruising along in math all year, and our last big hurdle is fact fluency.  After our first TBT (Teacher Based Teams) meeting, it seemed that I missed the boat with getting my kiddos to fluency.  We needed something to track and motivate.  Enter the paper gum ball machine and stickers.  My kiddos are taking a "timed test" daily.  I don't call it a timed test, I just tell them to do their best as quick as they can with NO FINGERS.  Many of them find it fun to try to beat their time from the day before.  When we deconstructed the standards last year, we decided that 3 seconds to complete a problem would be fluent.

We are starting with addition.  Students are given 10 problems to complete in 30 seconds or less.  We started with +0.  After passing the +0 two times with no mistakes in 30 seconds or under, students earn a "gum ball" to add to our machine.  I found the gum ball machine template on google images.  They then move on to the +1, +2 and mixed practice.  I chose not to do +3, +4 or +5 because there are very few problems.  These facts are included in "mixed practice" which is 10 problems that include a variety of addition problems.  After they pass the mixed addition, they go on to subtraction.

We started a week and a half ago.  7 students are completely done with addition and 4 more are very close to being finished.  I'm excited about their progress and love that a sticker on the gum ball machine makes their day :).

I also give my kiddos a certificate when they pass all the addition "tests" and again when they pass all the subtraction "tests".  You can download the certificates here.  I just run them on colored paper.  Please consider leaving a comment and/or following if you download the certificates.   I hope these are useful for you!

What do you do to work on fact fluency with your kiddos?