Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Can Do This...

Well, it's official all....I'm now a kindergarten teacher for the 2013-14 school year.  Oh my goodness...what did I just get myself into!  Everybody keeps saying how much I'll love it because my personality fits in with that of a lower grade teacher but really.....Can I do this?  I've spent 18 years now teaching 2nd-4th graders and now I'm throwing a wrench into things.  The building I get to go to is way worth it though. The principal and staff are amazing (my daughter goes to school there)!  So my new mantra is...I can do this...I can do this!  I'm working on changing my blog name but I'll most likely just keep the blog address so don't be surprised if it says kindergarten soon...I'm just not there yet.  I still hope all you upper grade teachers still want to come around here...I'm still planning on making upper grade materials (already have some in the works).  I'll need my "third grade fix" for sure.  It has seriously been my favorite of all so far and why waste 18 years of experience right!  So keep a look out because some freebies are on the way...just to say thank you for following.  I love all the friends I've made up until now and look forward for more to come.

Sorry to talk your ear off.  I may be back later if I finish one of my freebies I have for you.  But I have to tell you about this new clipart I have found. 

Tammy at...

is amazing!  Her clipart is adorable!  Here are just a few of the items I have bought from her recently...

She has lots of freebies too.  Go visit her here on her blog or here at her TpT shop.  She's very sweet and really excited about this new opportunity for her. probably already all know about this site but it's new to me as of today.  I just learned of the Common Core Georgia Perfomance Standards Website.  If you haven't...check it out.  A lot of practice items for the upcoming Common Core Assessments.  Good stuff!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quiz-Quiz-Trade with Task Cards

As you've probably noticed, I've been making a lot of task cards lately.  I would love hear some inventive way you use task cards.  My latest craze has been Kagan's Quiz-Quiz-Trade.  Each child gets a task card and finds a partner.  The partners take turn answering each other's task cards, complimenting them, then giving a gentle high five or congratulations.  When they are ready for a new partner they raise their hand and look around...when they see someone they have yet to partner with they point at each other (this prevents them shouting out each other's names which happens a lot anyways... despite my protests).  Here's two quick videos of my students playing Quiz-Quiz-Trade.

So tell me?  What inventive things do you do with task cards?  Leave a comment telling me an inventive thing you've done with task cards and tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.  I'll pick a random winner to choose ANY 5 ITEMS FROM MY TpT STORE.  Make sure to leave me your email address in your message.  Bring on the ideas...I can't wait to learn from you!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Idioms Galore

I'm so sorry that I've been MIA lately.  Feeling a little down :(  We're getting ready for state testing and I'm scared to pieces!  The class I was given this year is extremely low.  I just administered the MAPS test and some have made 2 or more years growth.  I know that's something to celebrate but just because they've made growth from where they came from...they are no where even near to being ready for the state test.  This is in example of the class I have.  One of the other third graders classes have 8 enrichment kids whereas I have 2 (and they are borderline as is).  I don't mind at all getting the lower kids if that's taken into account when state testing comes around...but we all know it's not.  I love these little guys more than anything and wouldn't trade them for the world...I'm so proud of all their growth!  I just wish that aspect was taken into account. more sadness!  I did my observation this month on idioms.  It seemed to go really well.  I read them the book More Parts by Ted Arnold.
I read half the book, pointing out idioms as I went.  During the second half of the book, they had to keep track of the idioms they heard using sticky notes.  They then went back to their seats and did this worksheet. where they picked two idioms from the second half of the book.  Then they wrote the read meaning and put it in a sentence.  For the life of me, I can't find this worksheet or I would give it to you.  I'll keep looking and hopefully post it for you later.  I'm sorry!  The next thing they did was an idiom sort.  They matched the idiom with the correct definition.  They l-o-v-e-d this.  Here are some pictures.  The Idiom Sort is HERE TpT shop and contains an anchor chart, four idiom posters, and 36 cards for sorting (18 idioms and 18 definitions).
Some of the Defitition Cards
Some of the Sorting Cards

Sorting Mat

Anchor Chart (free in Preview on TpT)

One of the four posters
Here's some pictures of a few kids doing the activity.

The next thing we did was to play Quiz-Quiz-Trade with my new Idioms Task Cards.  It worked like 
charm (which helps when the principal is observing :)
The task cards give a sentence using an idiom then gives you three multiple choice options to what the idiom really means.  They want to play this all the time now!

And last but not least....some giveaways!!!

 I promise to not be MIA this week so please come back and visit!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Exciting Grade Level Switch

As of yesterday, it's looking official.  I get to switch from third grade to kindergarten next year!  Soooo exciting yet so nerve racking.  I've only taught grades 2-4, but I'm SO ready for a change.  I've wanted out of my school for a couple years now and now I'm finally getting that opportunity.  I feel so happy right now.  So...I'm going to change my blog name but I'll keep my blog address.  I'm still planning on making upper level units as well as lower level now that I'll have both experiences under my belt.  So I hope you stay following as I'll miss the upper grades and will definitely need my "fix" of task cards and fun units for the upper graders.  To celebrate...I'm having a blog exclusive giveaway from an item in my TpT store.  I just made a Parts of Speech Flower Power Sort and if you click on one of the's yours.  Hope you can use it!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Linkies Galore

It's so nice to be on spring break and be able to blog hop.  I miss doing that...  Today I went into the classroom and just cleaned for 3 hours!  I still had papers and packets left out places from Thanksgiving...I know...gross.  I just got so bogged down and behind that I needed a day like today to clean.  I filled up two HUGE garbage bags full of stuff. I feel so much lighter :)  Tomorrow I have a minor surgery so I won't be up to do anything but sitting here blog hopping for the rest of the week.  I'm nervous though about being put under.  I hate that one minute your awake and the next you're waking up....but in pain...ugh!  
Today I loaded up on some linkies.

The first one is "Anticipating the Month Ahead" sponsored by Literacy Spark.

The next linky is sponsored by Flying into First.  It is my favorite linky every week, "Let's Get Aquainted".  I love reading all your every week.  You can always tell who you would really get along with if you lived close to each other.

Last but definitely not least....the linky above all linkies.....Currently April sponsored by Oh Boy, Fourth Grade!

Late last night I also finished my latest task card installation.....Homophones Task Cards & Scoot Game.  My kids severely struggle with homophones so these task cards were necessary.  There are 28 task cards with 56 total homophones (2 per card), a response sheet, an answer key, a title card, and directions how to play Scoot with task cards.  I think with this set of task cards I'm going to play Quiz-Quiz-Trade.  I have this aversion to worksheets.  I hope the kids do well on the state test despite this.  It's just so boring for me and I know if it's boring for is for the students ten fold.

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Spring Break Freebie

Yay!!!  It's spring break.  I've literally been sleeping in until about 10 every morning so far. However, I've been staying up past midnight working on products.  I'm working on a HUGE emergency sub tub.  All you will need to do is make the copies you need, stick it on a shelf, and your ENTIRE WEEK will be planned out.  I'll put the first day on TpT first so that you can see how it's laid out.  Then I'll finish the rest of the week.  I got put in the hospital suddenly for a week once and these plans would have been nice!  I'm working on making it editable that's been taking a lot of time and should be ready in a couple of weeks.  I have, however, taken some breaks to work on some smaller projects I needed done for my classroom.  Here's a peak to what I've finished so far.

The first thing I needed was a parts of speech review.  So I made this cute little springy center to my kiddos ready for the state test.  My students respond so much better to centers and things of that sort than a worksheet to practice (most do I think).  It's pretty simple.  There are flower pots labeled noun, verb, adjective, and adverb.  Students put the correct word in the appropriate flower pot.  The tricky thing is that there are common, proper, and plural nouns.  The verbs used are regular verbs, linking, and helping.  Adjectives include regular adjectives as well as comparative, and superlative.  Adverbs are just the basic how, when, and where adverbs.

Next, I made some task cards for balancing equations.  This is SO difficult for my thirdsters this year.  So I created Balancing Equations Task Cards & Scoot Game for Younger Students.  They respond well to task cards especially if I incorporate it into a game like Scoot, Quiz-Quiz-Trade, Back to Back, Numbered Heads Together, etc...  Those are the most common games I play with task cards.  Anyone have other games that word well with task cards?

I also finished up my Questioning Mini Unit that I'd been working on for a couple of weeks.  It comes complete with CCSS I Can statements for kids, anchor charts, lesson plans, and a huge book list of books that are good to use with questioning.

I'm getting to your freebie...I promise!  The last thing I finally got finished was my compare and contrast shapes task cards.  These hit your ELA and Math Standards...both at once.  They are comparing and contrasting (ELA) 2D & 3D shapes (Math).  Our district is very particular and how students respond to compare and contrast questions.  So the task card response sheet is written in that language to get the kids used to writing it that way.  It's great practice for both standards.  I'm going to use these for my observation when I get back from break.

Now...for the freebie :)  I wanted some logical reasoning task cards but couldn't find any that weren't either to difficult or too easy for this group of students.  My students this year DO NOT have great logical reasoning or problem solving skills.  This is true in real life situations as's been a l-o-n-g year!  So here are some Logical Reasoning Task Cards for you to use with your students.  Just click HERE or one of the pictures below to download this product.

Have a good day!

Teaching Units Including Many Free Items