Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It, New {School} Year Resolutions, and Vista Print Fever

I know there is a lot going on in this post, but I didn't want to break the unofficial "no more than one post a day" rule.

I was doing so good at staying current with my blogging up until 2 weeks ago. That is when I started working in my classroom. I have accomplished a lot, but I still have a few loose ends to tie up. Guess that's not too bad considering my official start day is August 6. I can't wait to have it complete so I can share with y'all.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some simple posters/labels that I made. So, I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It.. Don't forget to check out the other bloggers who have linked up. I am so jealous at their creativity. These people are AMAZING!!

Christina at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge gave me this idea. I'm still trying to come up with components for the math wall. 

Last year I bought a couple of 6-drawer storage carts to hold the math center activities. In order to keep myself organized this year I created labels for each of the Math CCSS strands and put one on each drawer. This way I can separate the activities into strands. 
Trust doesn't look as "busy" once it is cut out :)

I'm also linking up with Christina at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge. She is hosting a linky party to share our Vista Print creations. YAY! 

Groupon was horrible placing another Vista Print deal...LOL
This is what I ordered:

Rack card that I will use for bookmarks.


Poster. It is a variation of a pin I found.

Another poster I made from a pin I saw on Pinterest.

Now on to my New {School} Year Resolutions with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness.

Resolution #1 - Place lesson plans, tests, any lesson-related materials in binder on Friday. Last year I kept up with this for the first week. After that, they started to pile up and I kept saying, "Oh, I'll get to it next week." I think I did it twice: in December and at the end of the year. That was time-consuming! And difficult because sometimes the material was not in chronological order and I had to search for similar dates.

Resolution #2 - Implement Daily 5 fully by November. This will be my first year teaching E/LA so I feel as if I need to familiarize myself with the content and teaching it before taking that step. Definitely want to do Daily 5 because I have heard many wonderful things about it!

Resolution #3 - Utilize my blog more often during the school year. I keep my phone within reach during the day so there is no excuse for not taking pictures and blogging about what my kiddos are doing. 

Resolution #4 - Make time for myself and my family. I always seem to neglect my family during school. I'm either blog reading, Twitter reading, planning and making activities, the list is endless. My daughter begins high school this year and I have been trying to teach her about time management. Maybe her mother needs to take her own advice ;)

What are your resolutions for this new school year? 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Newbie Blog Hop

Janis at Third Grade is the Place For Me is hosting a blog hop for new bloggers. This is a great way for beginning bloggers to network and connect. 

Before linking up, she has asked us to share a few things. 

1.  What state are you in? Louisiana

2.  Your current teaching position. 3rd grade

3.  Your teaching experience. 5 years teaching 4th grade Math, Science, and Social Studies

4.  When you started blogging. I began my blog last summer. This summer is when I have really focused time and energy into it.

5.  Share a blogging tip/ blogging resource. 
Would you like to add a hot link to comments? 
Simply type  <a href="">One Class, One Sound</a> 
**Don't forget to replace my URL {in blue} with your URL and my blog name {in green} with your blog name. I have this saved in a doc so I can easily copy and paste. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

"To Do" List

As I'm scrolling through FB, I come across a post from Teresa at Confessions of a Teaching Junkie. She has joined a Linky Party to share what needs to be done before school begins. I'm hoping that if I have a list I may be able to focus and motivate myself to get started. :)

Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies

Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies is hosting this wonderful Linky. Here is my list:

1.  Decorate bulletin boards 
*Click here if you would like to give suggestions*
2.  Plan lesson for first day
3.  Research and set-up Interactive Student Notebooks to use in Social Studies
4.  Research text-mapping to use in Science
5.  Make material bins to go by each group of desks
6.  Print, laminate, and cut out classroom jobs
7.  Make welcome bags/ letter
8.  Create and print daily Mt Math and Mt Language questions
9.  Research and collect resources for ELA centers
10.  Review notes from Guided Math book study

This should be a good start. Has anyone used #3 or #4 in the classroom? I would love to hear your thoughts/stories about them!

Thank you, Lorraine, for hosting this party!

New Room

Have you ever stood in the middle of your classroom and said, "I have no idea what to do first?"

That was me this past Tuesday. I'm in a new room teaching a new subject and not sure what to put where. I took a few pictures and would like to share them with my blogging buddies. 

I guess we can call this the front of the room since the Promethean board is located on this wall. I'm thinking of putting Mountain Math on one board and Mountain Language on the other. {Ignore the decorations, I have already taken them down and will be replacing them with a different theme}
The board located furthest to the right was made on the wall. There is no actual board there. At this time, I am taking it down until I can decide what, if anything, should go there.

The bulletin board paper is misleading to the size of a board. It overlaps onto the chalk board. In reality, there is a chalkboard in the middle and a board on either side {same size}. So, the board to the left I'm thinking of placing a calendar and behavior cards. Not sure what to make the board on the right. As I was going through resources I found magnetic word strips. I'm thinking of using them on the chalkboard. Here is how: I'm leaning towards not having a traditional word wall. Instead, I would like to make the word wall geared towards more interesting words to use "instead of" boring words when writing. I found some ideas on Pinterest. See the picture below for an example.

                                                                       Source: via Patti on Pinterest

These bulletin board papers have been taken down as well. They were stapled into the wall.  I could use this wall to hang anchor charts with more interesting words to use in writing instead of the chalkboard. Or, I may use this space for something else. Oh, I do know that my classroom jobs will go on this wall by the door :) 

And here is the last picture. 

Alright, everybody. Am I missing something crucial? Have you seen a post, website, or pin that would help with this dilemma?

Suggestions are welcome and encouraged! :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Calling Plays in 2nd Grade: 100 Follower Giveaway, Win a Target Gift Card

Ms. Lee at Calling Plays in 2nd Grade is celebrating her blogging buddies. She has reached 100 followers and hosting a giveaway. Visit her blog and enter to win a $50 Target gift card.

Calling Plays in 2nd Grade: 100 Follower Giveaway, Win a Target Gift Card: I'm so excited and I just can't hide it! That's all I actually know of that entire song by the Pointer Sisters. I've reached 100 fol...

Monday Made It and An Award

 Before I share my Monday Made It I want to thank Sara at Math is Elementary for a special award. The Liebster Blog Award is designed for blogs with less than 200 followers to give them recognition. Make sure you check out Sara's blog and become a follower.

The rules are:
1.  Copy and paste the award to your blog
2.  Thank the giver and link back to them
3.  Nominate 5 other bloggers and let them know by commenting on their blog

My nominees are:

Cupcakes and Caterpillars

Calling Plays in 2nd Grade

Love Bug Learning

Don't forget to stop by their blogs and become followers!

On to Monday Made it with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics!

I have been playing around with layouts, graphics, borders, etc. trying to familiarize myself with this process. I took the plunge and made iPods with classroom jobs. You can grab your copy of it at my TpT store for free. I only ask that you leave feedback :)

Then I thought to myself, I should spice up some of my board games that the kiddos use on the Promethean board. I decided to start with one theme and create as many as I can. My first theme is robots. 

This first board game is a template. All the features have been activated {action objects such as page reset, jumping back to another page}. The only thing you have to do is type the questions and answers. All the directions are on in the note section of the flipchart. Click on either picture to download from my TpT store. 

For those that don't want to create questions, I have also started creating skill-specific game boards. This one is to review customary measurement. Every week I create a new game focused on the skill being taught. One of my centers is called Math with IWB in which the students, in their group, compete to get the correct answers and reach the finish line first. Get here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chapter 7 - Conferring With Students

As I began reading this chapter I kept thinking of the past 2 weeks at LaSIP. LaSIP, Louisiana Systemic Initiatives Program, is a year-long, grant-funded workshop at the University of New Orleans. I attend 2 weeks during the summer, a few days during the fall and spring, and participate in observations. These past two weeks I have been intensely involved in learning about mathematics through Launch, Explore, and Summarize (LES). I find that the LES model is very similar to the 5 E's in Science. The students are presented with a problem in which they are instructed to prove or disprove. For example, 1/4 + 1/2 = 2/6. Isn't that what the students initially believe is the answer? Then using what they already know about fractions, the students explore with manipulates to prove or disprove the problem. 

So, why was I thinking of this as I began to read? Before the author discussed conferring with students she addressed the importance of ensuring that the students are self-sufficient. If they are not then the value in conferencing diminishes. Teachers, and I know I am guilty of it, see a student struggling and immediately want to help. As a result, students exhibit a "learned helplessness" and become easily frustrated if we don't allow them to struggle during problem solving. It is OK to let them struggle; this creates problem solvers. The LES model creates problem solvers.

Usually my centers are 5 days a week. This year I will devote one day to this model. I am hoping this will ease students' fears of math and make them aware that it is alright to make mistakes. 

Keep checking back for posts about the LES model once the school year starts. I need to turn my focus back to the book :)

Math conferences include:
  • Research student understanding - Find out what the student is doing with the assigned task and what is his or her understanding. This phase is when the teacher is really listening to the student and possibly restating the students' ideas using math vocabulary.
  • Decide what is needed - This phase is almost happening at the same time as the research phase. First, praise what the student is doing well. Don't we always start off on a positive note during parent conferences? It should be the same with student conferences. Then, we must decide what needs to be taught to move them forward.
  • Teach to student needs - Once we have decided what to teach and how, we must choose a method for delivery. Methods often chosen by teachers are guided practice, demonstration, and explaining and showing an example. Which one to choose?
    • Guided practice - Students are working on task while the teacher is coaching.
    • Demonstration - The teacher models strategies or practices as they think aloud. This modeling is broken down into steps and the reasoning behind each step is explained. My eyes have recently been open to the importance of explaining the why. I know it is sad to say, but I think most of us get in the rut of saying this is how you solve the problem so just do it. With so many skills that need to be crammed in before testing time is an issue. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel with my state's implementation of the CCSS. I'm thrilled that our standards will be almost cut in half; therefore, allowing me more time to make learning meaningful.
    • Explaining and showing an example - I like this one because it discusses the use of anchor charts. Last year, my co-teacher and I created anchor charts for almost every skill. Having them posted around the classroom allowed the students to easily refer back to the strategy.
  • Link to the future - Restate what you hope that they have learned and remind them to use these strategies with future mathematical tasks. Sammons also suggest letting the student restate what was learned and how it might be used in their future work.
What we learn during these conferences is just as valuable what the students learn. It is important to keep records of these conferences. Finding what works for you is the key. You can carry a clipboard with observation forms, sticky notes, or a notebook. 

Thank you for reading. 
Make sure to visit and link up with our hosts for this chapter.

Beth @                                                                 Mrs. Patton @

Thinking of Teaching

Friday, July 13, 2012

My First Attempt

Alright, everybody. I took the leap and made my first printable. My theme for this year is music, so I created classroom job posters. It is a simple design, but I'm trying to take this slow.

I plan on laminating them and attaching to the wall. All my kid's names will be written on clothes pins and clipped to their corresponding job.

I would appreciate feedback - good and bad. This is how we learn...right?? 

Click here to visit my TpT store. If you like what you see, snag a free copy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Heather at Beg, Borrow, and Teach and Ms. Kidd @ Hangin' Out in Third Grade have awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you so much! 

I made a promise at the beginning of the summer that I wouldn't let my blog "collect dust" and I think I've kept far. Sticking to my promise has helped me connect with wonderful bloggers who share valuable information.

Now you know whenever you win an award there is a speech given. So, I'm taking the rules for receiving this award and making a speech out of it.

1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you. 
I would like to thank the little people - sorry, I couldn't resist :)  
Seriously, I would like to thank Heather, the author of Beg, Borrow, and Teach AND Ms. Kidd, the author of Hangin' Out in Third Grade for honoring me with this award.

2.  Include a link to their site. 
I've linked their site in two places. So make sure to hop over there.

3.  Include the award image in your post. 
If I had the ink, I would print out the award and take a picture of me proudly holding it.

4.  Give 7 random facts about yourself.
  • During high school, I said I did not want to be a teacher. I wanted to be a pharmacist.
  • My night time snack is Special K Cinnamon Pecan cereal
  • I can drive a motorcycle
  • Every morning I hit the snooze button at least 3 times - drives my husband insane 
  • My husband and I lived in Anchorage for 4 years and our daughter was born there
  • I have a fear of public speaking...just in front of adults
  • I LOVE to travel and one day, when I win the lottery, I will travel all over the world!
5.  Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award. 
At the moment, finding the time to complete this task is impossible. This is my second week of workshops and they have been mentally draining. But, I do promise to complete this task once they are finished. 

6.  When nominating, include a link to their site. 
Will do when I compile the list.

7.  Let other bloggers know when they have been nominated.
Refer to previous statement.

Looking back at what I have written it's not quite a speech, is it? Think I may have just wanted to say "I would like to thank the little people." Yes, I said it again. You have to remember that I'm writing this after a long day at a workshop and my mental state is diminished. 

OK, enough rambling. Go and check out those generous bloggers' websites!!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Monday Made It {Formally Groupon Deal Redemption}

Since I am in the beginning stages of creating my own printables and I have wanted to join Monday Made It, I'm updating this post to fit :)

I'm joining Tara at 4th Grade Frolics to share my "creations" on Vista Print.

Groupon had an amazing deal...$70 for $17!
I placed my order at Vista Print today and this is what I bought...

Business Cards
Didn't pay for these because they are free!

Parents will always have my contact info.




Sticky Notes

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Guided Math Chapter 6

"Supporting Guided Math With Math Workshop"

Advantages of Math Workshop
  • Instruction is differentiated
  • Students develop stamina 
  • Students learn how to work collaboratively through communication, assuming joint responsibility, and sharing materials
  • Permits teacher to work with small groups or confer with students
Challenges of Math Workshop
  • Students following procedures and expectations
  • Include only those activities that are meaningful and work well for the students
  • Lengthy planning time -- OH! How true this is! Researching, printing, and prepping activities takes me at least 6 hours!
  • Difficult to closely monitor student work
Tasks That Can Be Completed During Workshop
  • Review Previously Mastered Concepts - Although I agree for mastery to occur skills must be revisited, I think I will still include only concepts that we are working on that week. 
  • Practice for Math Fact Automaticity - Last year, my district purchased a software called FASTT Math. The program determines which operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) the student will start through a diagnostic test. Then daily, the students complete a lesson and activity. 
  • Use Mathematical Games to Reinforce Concepts - I use corporation-made board games and printed games from Teachers Pay Teachers. What are your favorite math games???
  • Practice Problem Solving - We are moving to the Common Core Standards and the push for problem solving is upon us. This section mentions Marilyn Burns' criteria for meaningful problems. I wish examples were included so I can see what a meaningful problem looks like. Blogger buddies -- examples?? 
  • Write in Math Journals - I like the questions that Whitin and Whitin suggest:
    • What did you notice?
    • What patterns do you see?
    • What does this remind you of?      
    • What did you find interesting?
    • What do your findings make you wonder?                                                                                These questions really take thinking to a higher level than using "What did you learn today?"
  • Complete Computer-Related Work - In my computer center the students create a word problem with a chosen operation. Then, they post on their blog and fellow classmates solve. Afterwards, they can play predetermined online math games.
Managing Math Workshop
The best way to manage is plan...plan...plan. Plan for everything from how the students will behave to what unexpected events might occur. The biggest piece of advice I can give is DON'T GIVE UP!! Prior to this last school year, I tried centers for 2 years! They never worked because after a week I was so discouraged. This past school year I did not give up and stuck it out through the good and the bad. It took a month for things to start running smoothly, but once it did that month of waiting and practicing paid off. Be consistent, patient and remember it can happen!!
I came across a cute freebie from Valerie at All Students Can Shine. The students take a number and wait until you are ready to meet with them. Click the picture to grab yours.

Planning With Co-Teachers
I could not have asked for a better co-teacher last year!!! We worked so well because we collaborated on every aspect of the lesson and shared responsibilities. Unfortunately, changes have been made in my school and we won't be teaching together. As Forrest Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about that."

Hope you enjoying reading! 
Don't forget to link up with our hosts:

Amanda @

Mechele @

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