Friday, September 28, 2012

Linky Party with Differentiated Freebie

Two posts in one day! Unheard of! I must be procrastinating from hanging up my laundry :) I was just about to do it (really I was) when I started reading my blog list and came across this linky party about differentiation and I couldn't resist :).

Taking a Walk on the Teaching Side- Differentiation Link-up

I had previously posted about my Differentiated Poetry Response Freebie (click HERE to read the post).  If you're interested in downloading the free response forms, you can click here to get to my TPT store.


Fun Film Friday! Whole Brain Teaching (continued)

I'm officially obsessed with Whole Brain Teaching.  I started using the teach-okay with my class this week and I noticed an instant change in the interest level of my group (for the better lol).  Here's a new video where you can see the mirror in words and gestures technique in a third grade classroom.

I love it!
I know not everyone is into this though so next week I promise I'll post something different!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pets in the Classroom

I just found out about this super easy grant to get reimbursed for classroom pets!  It's called Pets in the Classroom.  I applied on Tuesday for a reimbursable grant (up to $150) and I found out today that I was approved!  Pretty soon I'll have some little tadpoles in my class...I'm so excited!

I've tried all different types of animals in the class...
Hamster (ran away and a little mean...I'm convinced that it's hanging out with the mice somewhere in the building)
Lizards (hated feeding it crickets)
Tarantula (ditto on the crickets)
Hermit Crabs (super easy but I wanted to try something new)
Earthworms (neat for the kids but attracted fruit flies...totally gross! lol)

We'll see how the tadpoles turn out.  Have you tried any pets in the class and if so, what was your experience?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Comprension Strategy: Visualizing

It's our twelfth day of school in NYC and I'm so glad! I'm tired of routines and I'm happy to be teaching. This week the kiddies started learning about visualizing. I love teaching this concept! I start out having them close their eyes as I describe opening a lollipop step-by-step. I describe what what they would hear, smell, taste, feel, and see. You could practically see the kids salivating over the lollipop in their imagination :) After that we discuss why visualizing is necessary to understand our stories, and how to make a mental "movie screen".  I modeled with part of a book called "Raspberries: A Tale of Cooperation."  While I read, I give out jobs for the kids.  One group makes a mental image of what they see in their mind, one group focuses on what they hear, one with smell, and one with feel.  We discussed taste but didn't add it to the chart.  Here's what we created:
They write a V on the post-it to represent visualizing.

While the kids read independently I have them work on this sheet:

For homework the students read a book and sketch a picture of what they visualized.  Then they write what they saw on their mental movie screen.  If you're interested in doing the 5 senses worksheet and the visualizing homework sheet, you can find them here:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fun Film Friday! Whole Brain Teaching

My class is learning about the states of matter in science.  I was looking for a solid, liquid, gas video and couldn't really find any that I was thrilled with.  While I was looking on YouTube, one of the videos that popped up was about Whole Brain Teaching.  The techniques used in the video are pretty interesting...they utilize a lot of turn and talk and teaching to your neighbor.  I've heard about this before but haven't really learned that much about it.  In the video the techniques are being used with college students, but I think that certain aspects could definitely work for elementary kids.
Do you have any experience in Whole Brain Teaching?  Do you incorporate it in your classroom?  I'd love to hear more about it!

On another note, no little critters today!!! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Favorite Read Aloud Linky Party

What a day! My students came back to school after our four day weekend (thank you Rosh Hashanah!) and they were all ready to learn. Then the small little gray critter invasion took over our room. More than one little mouse was caught. I have to say that my students handled it pretty well. I would, however, get the occasional story about when their uncle saw a mouse, or Mickey Mouse, or some other mouse story. I also got the more than occasional glances at the mouse traps. I was totally grossed out so I think they handled it better than I did! :)

While all of this mouse hysteria was going on in my room, I was actually able to do a read aloud. When I got home I was looking up some new read alouds online and came across this linky party and thought I'd link up! Here are some of my tried and true favorites:
 Roller Coaster 
Great for small moments and for teaching craft elements in writing.

My favorite for character studies.

My all time favorite!  You just have to believe me and read it :)

I've mentioned this one in a previous post.  It's great for a beginning of the year read aloud.

Read aloud time is one of my favorite parts of the day.  I hope that you enjoy some of these books as much as my class does!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Math Freebie

Hey all!  Just wanted to share this math freebie called Showing Your Work in Math from my TPT store.  This can be used for any math unit and it is similar to the format on standardized tests.  It really pushes the students to show their work and then write about it.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fun Film Friday!

I know that we are all getting past those beginning days...the newness is wearing off and there a few students testing their limits.  I found this really good video of a way to help with transitions.  I can't embed the video on the blog this week, but click below to go directly to the video.  Enjoy!

NY Times Teaching Technique: Mixing Joy and Structure

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First Week

We're almost at the end of the first full week of school. I think I'm going to sleep for an entire day during our nice four day weekend :) My class this year is a little...difficult lol. I have a couple of talkers and more than a couple who are still on summer vacation but they'll get there eventually!

Here are some things we've done this week:

Our first math lesson included finding math around the room and the world.

The students looooove this read aloud!  It's great for the beginning of school.  It's about a principal who loves his school so much that he keeps extending the school year.  In the end he learns that there needs to be a balance between learning in school and home.  Every year the students beg me to read this over and over!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fun Film Friday....ummm Saturday :)

Soooo last week was the first week of school and I am wiped out! You know you're a teacher when you fall asleep at 8:30 on a Friday night! Hence, no fun film yesterday. But I am making up for it and found a really great video series about guided reading. It's a little longer than usual but it is really helpful for new teachers, and can be a refresher for the veterans.

There are some other great videos having to do with guided reading on the Teaching Channel.
I hope that you enjoy watching!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Folder Fun

In an older post, I had talked about how I use and organize folders in the classroom.  Click HERE to view the post.  Today I finally sat down and got them ready for the first day of school (exciting Labor Day vacation, right? lol).  Here's a pic:
These were all from Staples.  I only buy the paper ones as those are cheaper.  I write the names of the folders rather than use labels b/c I like the writing to be larger than what would fit on a label (I know...I'm obsessive lol).  But it does help with management!  What folder/binder system do you use in your class?