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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

F is for Four Corners

I'm sure you know what teachers do when we find out that another school is doing something that works...we BORROW the idea!

Some of my colleagues at my school heard about a strategy a comparable Title 1 school was doing to raise math scores. In fact, they have the highest math scores in the county. (Go R.B. Cox Elementary!) The idea is simple, but obviously highly effective. Many of you may do it already.

They called it Four Corners. The teachers put up a question to review/preview skills or provide more practice on current skills and students solve the problems in their math journals.

We have discovered that our students don't read through the word problems so they can understand how to solve them. Anybody else having that problem? So to prepare them for their future math experiences, we decided to jump on the Four Corners train.

One of my lovely teammates happens to have a final intern in her classroom, so she stepped up and created a page for each day of our unit. (You rock Harper!) Of course I had to cutsie it up so I made a template for her to work on.

Here is an example of one day:

Here are a couple of examples of my students' work. They sit on opposite sides of the room and had very similar thinking.

I love how the kids are so excited to do these daily. Hopefully, that will last. And let's also hope that our data looks super fantastic so we can prove how clever our little darlings are.

You are welcome to use the image of my template. All I did was insert the image into my PowerPoint presentation and we added text boxes for the word problems.

Can't avoid that data collection! =}


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Monday, October 22, 2012

B is for Boo Banner

Today was the end of Quarter 1. That means a teacher work day and kids get the day off. No fair I say. Soooo, I used some of my gazillions of hours of flex time and took the day off to hang out with my favorite 6 year old pipsqueak.

In between working on report cards and TPT units, we had a little crafty fun. I'm sure you've seen this pin on pinterest:

Pipsqueak and I made our own versions:

I loved the little details she added. We also decided to add a vampire.

We hung it up for her daddy to see that we did hard work even on our day off.

I'm going to go work on report cards again.

 P.S. Thanks to Mrs. Howbert at Little Miss Organized for boo-ing me. I am being a busy little rule-breaker. If you haven't been boo-ed yet...consider yourself BOO-ed (insert witchy cackle) 

Happy Monday!
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

T is for TurboScan

My sister gets the credit for this great find. I needed to scan something for a blogger friend of mine and my printer's scanner was frustrating me. My little sister (in college to be a teacher) whipped out her iPhone and said, "I have this cool app!"

The app is called TurboScan and I'm in love.

On iTunes for $1.99. Worth every penny!
 This app turns your phone into a portable scanner. You simply take a picture of your document while in the app, adjust the frame, and it's turned into a PDF.

Weekly intervention test results (S=Satisfactory)

You know those times you need just ONE copy of something, your school's copy machine is like 10 miles away, and you forget to take the paper with you when you are at that end of the school? Yeah, that's why I'm loving this app.

I can take a picture of any student work, like the test results for my reading intervention group, and I've got a digital copy of the page. This app lets you create a document with multiple pages and you can always go back and add more pages to any document later. Pages can also be reordered before you create the PDF.

I can also take a picture of a student's work and email it straight to his mother so she can see what's up. Might come in handy for those little darlings who like to "get rid of the evidence" before their parents get to see the graded work.

There are multiple options to send it. You can also open the document in iBooks or Dropbox.

You can search also search for a particular document.

The "Morning Message" document above was from a picture taken off my whiteboard. I'm excited that I can take a picture of the things we write on the board and turn them into a document.

Maybe I am behind the times in finding out about this app, but I am so glad my sister old me about it. There are so many ways to use it.

If you already have this app, please leave a comment telling how you use it in your classroom. If you don't have it yet, I highly recommend it.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

P is for Paper Crafts

This week we made our first paper quilt.

One of my wonderful friends (hi Tweedles!) passed this book to me a few years ago and we've been keeping the tradition of doing these fun literature-based projects.

Easy Literature-Based Quilts Around the Year (Grades K-3) [Paperback]

I usually start by reading  The Quilt Story and The Keeping Quilt to my students. They love that I bring in my quilt from home and show them how Penny chewed on the corner when she was a puppy.

This year's turned out a little funky with all of the bright colors, but I love it.

I posted yesterday about October's quilt based on Stellaluna. My darlings wanted to make it ASAP after reading today's story.

I read them There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat. I love how excited they get over the Old Lady books {vintage post}. They think she is weirdly awesome. I tape a plastic sandwich bag to the back and the kids make the cards to go in the bag. It's so cute listening to them retell the story with their props.

Love this darling's artwork!

Also love her  tiny hat on Hat Day.

I use an Old Lady template from a bulletin board book, but I've seen ideas {here} and {here}. Don't forget about the wonder Scrappin' Doodles clipart to match and tons of resources on TpT.

I could spend the whole month doing these kind of fun things.  
Dang rules about using the core reading book!

Happy weekend friends!

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

C is for Currently {October}

Hello October! I love this month. Here in Florida the temps are still in the 90s, the leaves are still hanging on to their green before they turn brown, and you can't wear any sort of Halloween costume that has face paint/a mask/sleeves because you sweat yourself out of it. Nonetheless, I find it to be so much fun. I blame it on the "kid" in me.

A new month also means time for a new Currently:

Yeah, here in Florida we still have summer-like thunderstorms at random times of the day.

Anybody else ready for the election to be over?

Have you guys SEEN this thing?!

TidyMom is giving one away. Don't go enter...I WANT TO WIN! Unless you plan on winning and then giving it to me. =)

October means I get to read Stellaluna. I posted about it {here} last year.  
I totally cracked up rereading that one. 

Yeah sure, I could read it whenever I want because I'm the teacher, but it just goes so well with Halloween.  We also make a paper quilt that goes with it. So much fun! (More on the paper quilts tomorrow.)


Our Stellaluna paper quilt from 2010

Check out more Currentlies (change the y to an i and add 'es?) on Farley's blog.

I hope you've had a great first week of October!

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