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Monday, July 30, 2012


We were allowed to get into our classrooms today.

I opened my door and saw this lovely sight.

Wow! That is one shiny floor! I don't think I've ever seen my 24 x 24 feet look so....shiny.

However, this is 'THE OTHER SIDE".

That's what happens when you don't leave your wonderful custodians a floor plan.

You kind of earn a few pieces of furniture on your toes.

I may or may not have climbed on/under/through some of that pile, but let's just keep that between us.

Thankfully, my wonderful custodians came and helped me move some of the bigger stuff into place.

I did find a few unwelcome 'Florida Natives' in various spots, but they were not alive. Amazingly, there were no CRICKET carcasses... (You are so lucky Who-Know-Who.)

I always feel a little overwhelmed getting all of my can't-live-without junk stuff in my tiny portable, but I always do. It's like a puzzle and it's part of the fun. I make it work for me.

I'm going to go take a Tylenol PM now. No reason...It just sounds like a good idea...(Oh my aching toes!)

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T is for Treats {Freebie}

A few of my teammates and I do a "Welcome To 2nd Grade" treat bag. I don't remember where this particular note/idea came from exactly. Let me know if you do.

I updated my version of the notes that go with this. Grab a copy below.

Welcome Bag
Border From the Pond

I put the bottom portion inside the bag and staple the top portion to the outside.

Have a great week everyone! I've only got a few days of summer left.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

P is for Putter

Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea makes me teary every time! I've posted center resources that go along with this story in my TPT shop.

Here is a freebie that can be used with any fiction story.

Story House

Happy Monday!

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Friday, July 20, 2012

S is for Stoplights

There are some FABULOUS stoplight behavior plans out there.

Proof is in any random google search.

There is also a WONDERFUL stoplight writing format that I used last year from Mrs. Prince.

Stop light paragraphs

Thanks to Marzano and our district's teacher evaluation model, I came up with a stoplight inspired system to check for student understanding. As teachers, we know what each of our students need to work on. However, we need to make sure the students are responsible for their understanding, too.

My principal was observed (to be certified) on her understanding of the evaluation model while she was in my class (by a "person" from the "official" company). After my lesson, we had to do a mock follow up conference to discuss my mock evaluation. An area I needed to work on was "how I know that the students know that they know." Yeah, it took me a while to wrap my brain around that comment from the "person".

I whipped out my trusty stoplight chart I formally used to monitor classroom noise level.

Add caption
I created some cards for each student to use during/after lessons.

Graphic representation =)
I wrote a parent letter.

And I made it into a packet you can use.

Click picture to go to TPT
Students use a crayon to put a smallish dot by their name on papers. They do this before they turn in any work or tests. When I grade the work/tests, I compare the grade to the dot.

100% and a red dot? That student needs some reassurance!

0% and a green dot? Yeah, that student needs a chat...

We also do it on our reading centers to-do lists so I can have a quick look at the students week on Friday.

                   See that "Dot" column? ^
I have found that it truly makes the students stop and think. I was worried they would always use green, but they actually wanted to be honest. They weren't embarrassed by putting red dots because we had a discussion on how we are all good at different things. We talked about how it helps us to be better learners. These dots have lead to some empowering conversations for my little darlings and some meaningful teaching for me.

So, thank you Mr. Marzano. (I guess...)  =)

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

D is for David's New Friends

Wow! I've gotten quite a few new followers thanks to Mrs. Simpson's Fabulous 15 Giveaway. Welcome to all of you!

For those of you who don't know, we use Florida Treasures at my school and I have made centers for Unit 3, Week 5 to Unit 6, Week 5. Click {HERE} to read the post on how I run my centers during our mandatory 90 minute Reading Block.

During the summer, I'm going to start at the beginning and make centers for each story. I just finished Unit 1, Week 1 David's New Friends. (I'm currently loving Miss Law's cute fonts.)

I've also been asked to explain how I'd use the centers each week. I think that some/most of the activities can be used in classes that don't use Treasures. If you can hang on to the end of these centers posts, I will include a freebie from the unit.

Click picture to go to Teachers Pay Teachers.

Each unit also comes with a student To-do list, teacher planner list, and center menu to display on your board.

Here are some activities:
Poetry - using Just 4 Teachers Poetry Pack

Social Studies

Science - use nonfiction texts about baby animals

Grammar Sort
Word Work (2 sort versions)

Writing (planning page)

Reading - use with any fiction books in your library

 Here's a freebie of the Reading center:

 Book Look

I hope you find some of these things useful. =)

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

L is for Laminator

Okay, I broke down and bought this today:

Laminating at school stresses me. Yes, I should be able to let it go, but I don't. No, I shouldn't spend my own money on it, but I did.

Anyways...for those of you with this one give me some pointers!

Did I get for a good deal at $25? Anyone who knows me knows that I love my coupons.

Can I laminate a whole page of something and then cut it into smaller game pieces? Will it unpeel?

Where's the best place to buy laminating pouches?

Will I be stressed by laminating at home too?

(Talk about first world problems...)

Oh and this made me giddy with excitement when I saw it on Tuesday:

If I didn't live 25 minutes away from the nearest Target {gasp!}, I'd be up there everyday. Being 25 minutes away from the nearest Target is probably a good thing.

Happy Sunday!

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Friday, July 6, 2012

F is for Florida's Fabulous Fifteen

Happy Friday! I am so excited to be a part of Stacy's giveaway!

She's calling it:

Fifteen bloggers from Florida will be giving away some terrific prizes to fifteen lucky winners.

Click on over to her blog and check it out. You've got until July 15. =)

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

V is for Vistaprint

Hi. My name is Emily and I am STILL a Vistaprint addict. And I don't care! The Independence Day Sale was too good to pass up.
Click for the deals!
So here is what I got:

Oh and...

All for $26.69! Wooohooooo! It probably would have cost me that much in ink to print these things myself.

This is how I am going to use them:

I give these out at Open House for students to put on their refrigerators at home.

These will go on the first few spelling quizzes of the year. They will be a big hit.
This is for Whole Brain Teaching's Scoreboard. It will stick to my whiteboard. Click for details.
Love this resource from Zeke's Zoo. Click to get yours!
I used these Pig Math cards last year and they were a hit. Don't worry...this year I didn't mess up and double the sprinkles...I changed it even though the kids didn't care a bit. =)

And this binder cover is for a new endeavor. Do you use data binders in your classroom? I'd love to hear how they are set up/used. If you'd like this, leave a comment with your email address and I'll be glad to share with you.

So now I just have to order Star Cards, Bucket Filler slips, more pens, tote bags...

I wish Vistaprint paid me to advertise!

 4th of July Have a safe happy Independence Day animation

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Monday, July 2, 2012

C is for Currently {July}

It's that time again! How did July get here so fast?

I'm linking up with Farley for this month's Currently.

Since I am always a rule follower {snicker...ah hem} here are my two books:

One of my favorite read alouds is "The Perfect Nest" (I even did a post about it awhile ago). If you need a funny read aloud to lighten the mood or fill up time, this is the book for you! Funny voices are a must...

 My go to professional-ish book is "Reading Strategies {That Work!}." This book includes many strategies that I incorporate into my guided reading groups. There are activities that meet the many different levels found in a typical classroom. I love that there is a reproducible bookmark that had an icon for each of the strategies used. I will work on a post about this book when I can did it out of storage. You can get it used on Amazon for one shiny penny! Well worth it. =)

Happy July and Happy birthday to America!

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