Thursday, September 12, 2019

Classroom BINGO

This is something new I am trying this year, Classroom BINGO! This is really fun to incorporate. 

This is the third year that this class has been together, so day one of school they were not the timid kids that I usually experience on the first day. They loved loved loved to talk from the beginning. The past 2 weeks we have had to work on transitions without talking, cleaning up without talking and when Ms G's lips are moving, you. are. not. talking. 

I brainstormed ways to get them to stop talking! Good thing for inspiring teachers on Instagram!! I found this idea, and during the Nebraska vs Colorado game (second half) I made this BINGO card. I printed off 2 copies, one copy for the BINGO board to hang and the other copy I cut up to "draw" when the students earned a square.
This has been a game changer this week. I let the students choose what the prize was, and we all agreed on an extra 15 minute recess. I allow as many squares in a day as I feel so they can always "focus on their direction". It's funny that we have so many close calls and no BINGO yet. I guess we will see if they can earn one by the end of the week! 


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Long Walk to Water

I LOVE my class so much. 
They have such kind hearts.
They listen - maybe not to instructions the first time, but to the important stuff. 
When I teach, I want to teach the whole student, teaching them about subjects, predicates and multiplication is so important, but I want to teach them how to be kind, empathetic and compassionate. When they leave my class, I want them to be courteous, thoughtful and respectful. 
I try to bring in different views from different walks of life and I am so pumped that my teachers assistant Megan feels the same way. This week we started the book A Long Walk to Water. It is 2 stories that take place in South Sudan when there was war in their villages in 2008 and 1985. It follows the story of Nya (2008) and Salva (1985). This has brought up so much conversation in my class about how others live around the world and how blessed we are in Omaha, Nebraska. 

There was a scene where Nya has to walk to get a bucket of water, and the bottom of her feet were covered in thorns. The kids stopped the reading and asked why she wasn't wearing any shoes. This was the perfect opportunity to tell the kids that shoes are something we take for granted; and that protect our feet in ways that we don't have to worry about. They were so curious and asked so many more questions. I told the kids that so many parasites and bacteria live in the soil and water in these 3rd world countries, and a simple cut on the foot would make these people very sick. This then led me to talk about TOMS shoes and their mission statement and impact on the world! The kids were all eyes on me and so engaged. I love their curiousity .

The next day.... I had 2 kids show up in TOMS shoes... 

I wonder if they knew the meaning before?
I wonder if they know the impact they had?
I wonder if they know what they are capable of doing?

I love that I am able to make a change one day at a time.
I love that I have a job where I can teach the whole child,
I love that I have supportive directors that encourage me.
I love that I get to be a teacher.

With love and inspiration,

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Oh the animals...

Teaching in the science house has been fun, but let me tell you....I am ready for my classroom to be built! 
These animals are so neat to look at, but half of them are trying to escape and you can hear them clawing at the side of their cage, Xena the snake is shedding, and Yoshi the Leopard Gheko is nocturnal, so when he comes out there becomes a ruckus in the classroom... the list goes on...

Each morning we say good morning to all the animals!
Good Morning Marge (Bearded Dragon)
Good Morning Althea and Arturo (Turtles)
Good Morning Emery, Zander, and Rocky (Green Anoles) 
Good Morning Xena (Corn Snake)
Good Morning Schmoe (Corn Snake)
Good Night Yoshi (Leopard Gecko)
and we get on with our day... I always hope...

Whenever it is time to rotate math or reading stations, they take a little bit longer when the kids have to walk past all the animals on the way to the locker room (the dining room off of the living room where we are). I always have to redirect, or give in and let the kids have "animal viewing" time. This is a really neat experience for the kids and I do truly enjoy that they love looking at the animals and ask so many questions.... but sometimes I just want to teach and have all their eyes on ME! The animals are pretty cool though...

 Xena is going to get so much brighter once she sheds her skin! 
This is a "before" photo of her!

Geckos clawing their way across the ceiling, never thought they could make so much noise!


Monday, September 9, 2019

Podcasts and Coloring

I loved stories growing up and I have always wanted to incorporate story time in my classroom. I grew up with Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey (any one else out there?) I am really fond of radio stories, and listen to them when I clean and walk the pups! 

Being a math teacher I have never been able to get it in my lessons.

This year, teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade I am able to have them be a part of my reading stations! I want them to have something to do with their hands, so the past 2 weeks I have printed off coloring sheets for the kids. This week I decided that I needed a picture in my clear phone case. I precut the cardstock to the size of my phone case and told the kids some of my likes and dislikes. 
While they were listening to the podcast they colored away, and as you can see, they took this activity very seriously!
It was hard to choose just one! I chose the mermaid, because it reminds me of every day on our honeymoon swimming in the Pacific! The sunflower was a close second!

Excited to do this activity again, everyone notices my super-cool phone case and always asks about it, and it opens the door for me to talk about my students!


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Reading the ads

Here is an example of something I implement into math stations. 

Reading the ads!

This provides SO MUCH real world math for them- and when I email their parents of things we are doing in the classroom I hope that when they see it and go shopping with their kids that they engage in conversation of prices! 

This was the first time exposing them to the ads, so I had them brainstorm planning a picnic and just writing down how much things cost. We had to talk about the difference between $1.25 and 79 cents. We had to have a conversation about where the decimal point goes when it is listed as cents.

I have a list of multiple different math stations, so they will see this one 1 week out of a month. I have so many meals  they will plan and different ways to manipulate the numbers. 

For the first week of planning a meal I will have them plan a picnic, write down all the prices and add them up. 
The next time they see this station I will have them plan lunches for the week with 3 different options. 
They will then practice rounding up to the nearest 10. Since they learn rounding in 3rd grade this may be a concept that we work on for a couple months. 
With my 5th graders I may tell them how much they can spend, and what cash they will get back! 

Some meals they will plan over the course of the year:
Taco Night
Grilled Burgers
Sunday morning Breakfast
3 different lunches for the week     
and these are just a few, I have so many more ideas! 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Shapes Up

I like including board games in my teaching. I have been teaching some games this week so they can be included in independent stations later on in the year. We have also been practicing how to rotate between stations and how to clean up and take care and be respectful of Ms G's things- all the necessary procedures to make stations work and they can learn my expectations.

Here are some of the reasons I use board games:

1. Learning the rules helps them put their thinking caps on to strategize, or figure out ways to score points.
2. Board games are about strategizing and planning ahead. Not only do they have to focus on their moves, but they also have to focus on their opponents and the moves they are making.
3. Some games require them to think and make decisions quickly.
4. Logic, reasoning, and problem solving are major components of the board games I include. This is helpful in academics and when they get older, in the work place.
5. Board games also help them work with others, be on teams, and make collective decisions.

Shapes Up is a great problem solving game, the rules are easy to learn and I was able to teach the kids pretty fast. I bought 2 sets of this game in case we have a game day- which is something they can earn through Class Bingo ( I will have a post on this in the future!) , I can have more groups playing. There can be 2-4 players which is nice for different size of groups during stations.

The game is about $20 on Amazon, and a great resource in the classroom!


Some read aloud books

I think one of my favorite times of the day is reading to my kids! I love that I have all their attention, they sit around me, I love making voices while reading, and I love seeing the emotion on their faces! It has happened twice now, that when I show the book that I am going to read, some of the kids say, "this is one of my favorites" or "we read this one a lot at home". Warms my heart that they are still being read too in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade! Here are 2 of the books that were bought off my #clearthelist . Thank you so much for supporting my classroom! :)

This first book, We don't eat our Classmates was such a fun read! My kids got such a good laugh at it, and I also read it to my husband at home and we both had a good chuckle.

We read this one during library and it is about loving who you are and when you do, its the day you begin. The kids really liked this one!

I have a couple more books I would like to share with my class and with your help, we can make it happen! Check out my list on Amazon!! My students and I would be forever grateful! 


Classroom BINGO

This is something new I am trying this year, Classroom BINGO! This is really fun to incorporate.  This is the third year that this ...