Main Idea, Differentiation, Freebie - pic heavy

I thought I'd show you some pics of my Organization Mission.
A while back I showed you a horrible pic of my listening station.  This is my updated "organized" pic.  I bought a mini-laundry basket and put all of my headphones in it and I zip-tied the cords together.  I HATE cords!!!
Next up was my Station Cart.  This is my "organized" station cart.  

I added a new station called the "Hot Spot" where students work on standards that are i.d.'s in our school as "Hot Spots".  This is basically where students 3rd - 5th seem to continuously struggle on standardized tests.
Doesn't this activity look fun?  Shhhhh....It's just a worksheet I cut up! 

This is one of my products in my TpT store.  My kiddos LOVE it.  It includes a recording sheet.  It's going to be on sale Sunday & Monday for under $1.50.  If you're interested click on either pic above.  

This week we worked on Main Idea and Supporting Details.  Here are some pics.  
It was a spiral activity that my students didn't get the 1st time, so I started from the ground up.  
I found this on pintrest from a K/1 Blog, but cannot find it.  If it's yours let me know.  It made so much sense to me and I'm trying to focus more on letting my students organize their thoughts with graphic organizers and thinking maps.  
We began by talking about Main Idea and I made this anchor chart.  Okay, I'm not the best artist.  
We read Penguin Chick this week and my students LOVED it.  We did a schema/prior knowledge chart using a penguin my husband free-hand drew for me.  Now, he's a great artist:)
Each Group worked on my "Which Detail Doesn't Support the Main Idea?" Center.  I gave each group a baggie with their MI and Details.  Students had to discuss, decide and justify which statement didn't support the main idea. It's going to be on sale at TPT Sunday and Monday for under $1.50 (don't worry, I included a quick reference answer sheet). Click either pic above and it will take you there.

Throughout the week, we worked on a hand-made main idea/detail packet.  My principal came in and co-taught with me (per my request b/c I cannot get my last class of the day to get anything FINISHED).  
She did this awesome differentiation activity.  I think I'm sticking with it for a while.  Let me show you!
My Above Level students had a STAR on their paper corner.  Their activity this week was guided, but their group worked alone at their own pace.   I had an extension activity with their packet.  

 If you want it, it's yours FREE!  Click Here for my Penguin Poem
I had a mix of on level and high-approaching students and their paper had a triangle on it.  They had the option to do an acrostic poem if they got finished with their packet.  But it was not required.
Since I have 3 classes with a mix of levels, I put the shapes onto sticky notes and moved them to different groups for different classes depending on how many chairs I needed.  
At the beginning of the week, they worked only with other people with the same shape on their paper but on Thursday we do STAAR Practice and have STAAR Buddies.  The STAAR Buddies are mixed ability levels. Star-Triangle, Triangle-Circle.  I have a few Circle-Circle and those work with me.  Students are assigned shapes based on my most recent data, so it's flexible grouping.

This Little Piggy is planning on loading up on clipart! 


Loving a Linky Party

Have you heard...there's a Linky Party at Tessa's Tales Outside the Classroom (love her blog design).  I'm joining up today.  Click the pic if you want to too!

People I'm Loving...
My Girl
Logan and Hubby
My Best Friend, Me and My Sister (5 or so yrs ago)

Things I love...
This is sooo exciting...My Principal walked into my classroom and handed me a huge box.  I opened it and this is what was inside!  A document camera!  How amazing was that?  5 minutes later...my projector bulb went out!  Seriously?  Maybe this week the bulb will come in.

I love Google Docs/Drive.  I make everything in it and I don't need a flashdrive:)

Blogs I love...
I have a confession...I could list about 100 of them (I follow over 300 blogs).  Now, I do not "know" these people I just stalk them I just love their blogs.  First are the girls you probably know about already.  


These girls you might not know about yet...but you've got to check them out!

 Gina seems like a teacher after my own heart...she stays focused on testing but tries to work in some fun stuff along the way!
 Laurie and I got "new" blog designs at the same time, I know she probably doesn't know it, but I think of her my blog buddy.
 Nikki is a new friend and probably someone I'd hang out with in real life.  Her personal journey is amazing!
   Jessica is new to blogging, but my gosh I think I've bought 1 of everything in her store!
Faith is also new to blogging, but seriously folks she knows more than me!  I love her blog design it's really my style.  I know we teach different grades, but I love her writing!
I made 2 new products I'm loving but haven't blogged about yet...
This is a game about non-fiction text features that you can use with any book/s.  

This is a Literacy Center for Main Idea.
This Little Piggy Loves Freebies!


Remodeled Classroom Library

I'm kind of going through a re-organization stage at work.  Things I "loved" at the beginning of the year are now drab and blah!  To begin, I did re-organize my listening center (no pic, sorry).  I put my earphones into a small round laundry basket and took away my CD basket.  I F-I-N-A-L-L-Y got another bookshelf and remodeled my library.  I labeled cute poka-dot notecards with genres and put them onto each basket.  What do you think???  Next up, my Station Cart. I spent much more time on my station rotation board and didn't even think about the cart/home for my stations.

Have you visited this site yet?  All Things Upper Elementary is AWESOME!  I love it.  Upper Elementary is very different from Primary Grades (PK-2) mainly because we begin testing with our students.  This is a new linky party for our 3-6 FREEBIES!  Do you realize how CHEAP I am?  This is my heaven.  I decided to link up my Upper Elementary Cootie Catchers.  I've gotten a lot of compliments on them.  My co-teacher who teaches Math LOVES the Math Version
This is the Freebie Opinion Version, perfect for a Reading/ELA teacher. 

This is the Math Version (plus the freebie), it's on sale in my TpT store for $1 until Jan. 31st. 

This Little Piggy is getting ready for an Eval.


100 Days for Big Kids

At our school we normally celebrate the 100 Days of School by having a PK/Kinder/1st Grade Parade.  The littles bring in posters with 10 groups of 10 or they make 100 day glasses or hats and one year (when I taught Kinder) our theme was $100 dollars...so we put our faces onto big 100 dollar bills and decided how we would spend $100 and who we would give $100 to.

But our big kids don't do much.  So in the middle of the night...I woke up and thought Cootie Catchers!!! I'm working on some vocab cootie catchers and I thought...why not make a 100 day activity with them????  Great idea!

I am putting my combo pack into my TpT Store.  It has the freebie opinions/self-reflection Q's and it also has a math version that includes estimation, multiplication and division.  I also included a time saving answer sheet.

This Little Piggy loves 100 Days of School!


I made Math Clipart and a Piggy Freebie!

PLEASE ignore my 2nd post.  

Do you have a person at school who's that "go to person".  Well, I've kind of become that person.  Not for EVERYTHING, but sometimes I am shocked what people think I know or can do!  Word has spread that I have a lil' teaching blog and a TpT store.  Okay, okay, it's my fault!  When I sold $20 on TpT, I was so psyched and told everyone at our staff meeting (don't act like you don't check your TpT sales during staff meetings).

So a veteran teacher who hand-crafts math games and I were talking.  She mentioned wanting to sell her game/s.  I asked her why she didn't create digital versions and sell them on TpT.  Anyway, she asked me to set a blog up and teach her how to create digital products.  Yeah, sure I can do that. But, a lot of my blogging and creating came to me through trial and error and I was already fairly technically savvy.  Plus, I'm still a newbie at creating.  In the process I made some clipart...not top notch or anything, but pretty good for a newbie.

Click Here to Get it for $1.50

I went ahead and made a cute Little Piggy Freebie (did you expect something different?).  The best part is...she's got 2 cute little front teeth.  
Click Here to Get my Piggy for Free!
This Little Piggy is Proud of Herself!

HEEELP me Organize!

Organization is SOOO not my thing.  I try, probably much harder than most people...but it doesn't come naturally to me.  So, I have a listening center and I'm lucky enough to have leveled stories on CD with activity pages (not sure how they ended up in my classroom but thanks to whomever put them there!).  WARNING--this is going to be UGLY!
This is my listening center...

I actually tried to organize it this year. 
I put colored stickers onto each "peg" at the top of the 4 legs and color coordinating stickers onto each headphone, then when students were finished they could put the headphone back to it's match.  Well, the stickers lasted about 2 weeks:(

I also keep all of my "CD's" in a basket, this works well.  
However, students put their books and work into that basket.  YUCK.  I want them to have a different space for their work. 
I tried to "identify the area" by putting a rug underneath it.  Ugh, I hate that rug.  
HELP!!  Any Organization Freaks willing to help me? 
 Come on pintrest'ers find me some solutions.

This semester we've been challenged to give our "above grade level" students independent work or "fast finisher" work so we can work on testing strategies with others.  
This 3 week period, mine worked on a sandwich book report.  I thought they turned out "Oh-So-Fabulous!"  

This week, I'm going to have them create a bulletin board to show case their work!  Maybe a table with a tablecloth and they can put a sign above it that says, "take a bite out of a good book"  Not sure.  They can decide.

Can you help this Little Piggy?


You know your mom's a teacher when...

You know your mom's a teacher when...

EVERY time your child gets into the bathtub they say, "Is the water too cold, Mommy?"  "Is this water too hot, Mommy?"  "No Mommy, this water feels just right!"

Your toddler (and YOU) sing Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom or the Days of the Week Song while grocery shopping.

When dinner is handed out one child says, "I don't like that."  The other says, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit."

While watching a football game, your toddler is calling out numbers on jersey's...we try to get that math practice in anywhere we can get it.

Your child doesn't go to the zoo to see the animals, but the habitats!

I noticed all of this over the past week from my 4 year old and realized most of it is because her Mom is teacher.

This Little Piggy is sick of benchmarks!


Friday Flashback and a Mommy Moment

Sorry, I know it's Saturday, but if you read the whole post you'll understand why I couldn't post earlier.
 Tuesday, I began by talking about bullying.  I used my Cell Phone Graphic Organizers for Cause/Effect.  We used the blank ones and did a little "out of our seat" activity where students graphed their own internet usage.
We did a book walk to preview our story and talked about vocabulary words, and I did some major "think alouds" about homographs.  We did a quick 5 Q pre-quiz on prefixes and if students made a 100, they didn't have to take the Friday quiz on prefixes.  But our main focus was Bullying. I was inspired by Tonya's Treat's for Teachers Video to make one for our classroom too.         

Wednesday, we did a guided-practice utilizing our Test-Taking Strategies on a Cause-Effect Passage from Treasures that gave practice pin-pointing signal words.  Then, we reviewed Messaging Mania and used my cell phone cause-effect graphic organizer when we read our story.  

I would give ANYTHING in the world to re-do Thursday.  Thursday was a BUST,
I woke up looking forward to the day.  One of my new teaching friends asked me to help her prep for her upcoming eval, so I agreed to as long as we could eat Mexican Food (my favorite).  I began by doing a prefix activity I found on Pintrest. 
They had to choose 1 of our spelling words and create their own balloon bouquet.  I modeled it and gave a finished product.  The first one had just the prefix and it's meaning (ie: UN NOT), the next one had their spelling word and it's meaning (ie: unwrap and not wrapped), the final one had a sentence using their spelling word with the word underlined (ie: The girl unwrapped her gift on Christmas morning.).  They bombed the sentence section - HUH?  So, it's a re-teach piece next week.  We did a demonstrate your strategies on a cause-effect passage from Measuring Up.  AGAIN, THEY BOMBED IT!!!  
So, I figured Mexican food would make me forget all about my day.  Yup, it did.  I got home around 8:30, gave my girl a bath, put her into bed and began working on my bullying video.  
My daughter comes out of the bedroom and I say, "You're supposed to be asleep."   I get up to take her back to bed and notice her hair looks weird.  
I ask, "What did you do to your hair?"  She says, "Mommy, I got a haircut." 
Yes, my daughter found scissors I didn't even know I had and chopped her beautiful golden hair off!  
At this point, things go blurry.  
I turned on the light and there are chunks of hair everywhere!  Not little chunks, LONG BLONDE CHUNKS.  My child looks horrific!  I go into a terrifying rage.  The whole household is in complete chaos and everyone is yelling and crying.  Yes, I went C-R-A-Z-Y.  

Friday, my husband made me take Friday off so we could go together and get my girl a haircut (truthfully, I was heartbroken, I couldn't have gone to work).  In my head I knew it was going to be SHORT, really SHORT.  In my heart I couldn't imagine my baby without her pig-tails swinging as she walked. The beautician asked if I wanted to keep her hair or donate it (yes, it was over 10 inches).  I said, donate and as she cut the long blonde pony tail, tears quietly streamed down my face.  
Don't get me wrong, I know I'm lucky to have a healthy, beautiful and smart daughter.  I do, but I was in shock.  Later that afternoon, my sweet girl turns to me with a huge smile and says, "Mommy, do you like my haircut?"  
And I say, "I love it, you look beautiful."  
This Little Piggy made it through.