Friday, August 24, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"OWL" have a blast using these!

Great find Mom! She found this cute little, wooden owl puppet and so I went and got two more and painted them. I may have to go get a few more later this week. I think I might end up using them for groups. When they have an answer ready to share, they have one person hold up their group owl. I was also thinking they would be good on field trips. Give one to each chaperone and they will be a lot easier to find. They just have to hold up their owl and the kids find the right color group. There are an endless amount of opportunities!

Getting Down to the Wire

We're almost down to a week of summer break left and I love setting up my classroom.  Here's a few pictures of my favorite things for you to see!

This is my new management system!  One of my teammates from last year also decided to use owls this year and found this beauty.  She copied it for both of us and I can't wait to use it!




 A new reading comprehension poster I found on Pinterest.  I finally got around to making it and can't wait to use this as well.  It breaks down the story line into the most important aspects that the kids can remember to summarize quickly.
 New birthday calendar: (red and blue class names are written in their respective colors)
 Cute listening poster I found on Pinterest...again!
 And finally...my bulletin board!!!!  :)  I LOVE how it turned out.  Each little owl has the students' names and the color of the class they are in.  As I went to put it up I found out that I'm missing the 'r' in "hooray" and I lost the exclamation points.  I'll recut those this weekend and put them up next week.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Few Hours Later

Yesterday I spent about 5 hours in my new room and got quite a bit done. Here are some pictures and a 360 degree video. Enjoy!

The board with the leaves will be for the student of the week.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Blank Slate

Here are some pictures of my NEW classroom before any decorations are up (I tried to do a 360 arial):

 When you first walk in there is this little counter with cupboards.

 The back right corner

I can't wait to get started!!!

'Owl' have a blast making these this summer!

So I saw this great idea on pinterest the other day. A teacher had made owls with each student's name on it for the beginning of the year and put them on her door. I decided to do that as well and just got these little guys done. Aren't they so adorable????

They are taking me quite a while but I hope to get them finished tonight do I can laminate them tomorrow at the district ISC.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Summertime and my LONG Book List!

It has been so nice this last week to get away and visit with family.  I've truly enjoyed my little vacation.  I stopped by the Clutter-Free Classroom blog the other day and read about their Summer Reading Contest.  I've already started on a lot of my fun reads for the summer.  I've got such a long list of books that my little 4th graders wanted me to read so I had to get started right away.  Just yesterday I finished the Percy Jackson Series and I LOVED it (yes - I have only been out of school for a week and have finished all 5 books)!  So much adventure with a little mystery thrown in.  My guilty reading pleasure is definitely children's fiction!  I can't get enough of it (definitely still a little kid at heart).  Here's a few more books that are on my to-do list this summer:

1.  "Hunger Games" series by Suzanne Collins (my roommate and two students have been after me about reading these)
2. "Lockdown" by Traci Hunter Abramson
3. "Inkheart" Series by Cornelia Funke
4. "Fablehaven" series by Brandon Mull
5. "The Beyonders" by Brandon Mull
6. "Uglies" by Scott Westerfield
7. "Miles To Go" by Richard Paul Evans
8. "39 Clues" Series
9. "Seven Daughters and Seven Sons" by Barbara Cohen
10. "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" by Elizabeth George Spear



These are just the beginning....And as far as professional development goes, I'd also like to look into "Teaching Writing: Balancing Process and Product" by Gail Tompkins.  Hopefully this will help me get some ideas to strengthen my writing for next year!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

We have to wear shades

I decided that our class should update the bulletin board at least 1 more time before the end of the year.  I wanted something easy and decided on the theme "Our Future's So Bright, We Have to Wear Shades".  I got the class some cheap sunglasses from online and we took pictures to go out on the board.  They also were in charge of writing just a little sentence about what they want to be when they grow up.  It was so much fun to see them pose with the glasses.  Here's a few of their pictures:






Aren't they just silly?!  We also made a few fun things in art the last two weeks.  Both ideas are from Pinterest so I can't claim credit for them.  The first is called "Cool Hands Warm Hearts".  I got the idea from this great blogger.  She used oil pastels to color them in but we didn't have much time so we just stuck with crayons.  Nothing too exciting, but it made for a great Mother's Day gift!  Here's how mine turned out.

And for the week before, we did another fun art project.  My roommate found this idea on Pinterest and showed me so we both ended up doing it with our classes.  They turned out great and were tons of fun. I keep finding these all over my room cause they can't stop making them :)  The original idea came from here but here's what mine look like.


One more thing before I go.  I previously posted about my student who wore a flamingo hat on our Career Day.  And how he told me he wanted to be a flamingo.  Well, we had a Beach Day about a month ago and he wore the silly hat again.  This time, I was smart enough to snap a picture of it so I could share it with all of you.  Her name is apparently "Doris" and he purposely stood sideways so that I could see her head in the picture.

What a silly class I have.  I'm going to be so sad to see them move on in just 3 WEEKS!  How did the end get here so fast?!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Coming to a Close

This morning I realized that we only have 4 weeks left of school.  I can't' believe that in a month, I may never see some of these kids again.  They are definitely feeling the end of the year because they've started to go NUTS!  It takes everything in me to not go ballistic everyday.  Although it seems like I do a lot more yelling these days.  The end of this week was a little more controlled because they finally realized that I was serious in my rantings.  I took away probably close to 25 Bee Bucks in the last two days alone and right before our class auction.

I don't think I ever shared on here that I had my interview with Michele!  We met on a Friday after school about 2 weeks ago and she asked me a few questions.  Then she called references and within about 2 hours, she came back to my room to officially offer me the position!  I will now be teaching 3rd grade at Southland in the Chinese Immersion program.  My roommate and fellow intern, Jessica, speaks Chinese and has been hired as the 3rd grade Chinese teacher.  So we will be working together again next year.  Jessica is only allowed to talk with the students in Chinese, so a lot of the responsibility of management and discipline will fall back on me.  She is also teaching math, science, and social studies completely in Chinese.  I will be teaching some of the vocab to go along with that but mostly, I will focus on the language arts (i.e. reading, writing, spelling).  There are two classes and so we will switch groups halfway through the day which means that while I have 1/2 the planning, I will have twice as many students.  Because of the intensity of the program, there can be no new students added to our classes which means we already know who will be in our class and can start planning for numbers.  Its looking like about 40-41 students that we will share next year.

On Thursday this week, I met with Joy, Jennifer, and Michele to have my final Exit interview for my internship.  They averaged my scores from the whole year and out of 5 my score was a 4.5 from Joy and a 4.6 from Jennifer.  Not bad!  They also both wrote letters of recommendation that I can use when looking for future employment.  After that meeting, I went to another meeting but this one was with the 2nd grade Chinese Immersion english teacher.  She gave me some insight into how things work, how to do the switching of classes, tips on how to handle certain things and was able to answer a lot of my questions.  I was feeling pretty overwhelmed because I had absolutely no idea where to start planning for next year but I'm way excited now.  This is a completely different kind of planning than I had to do for this last year because now I have some very specific requirements and have to do everything in tandem with another teacher.  It will be an interesting experience, but I'm glad that I'm doing this with Jessica.  We both work well together and we are new enough teachers that one can't boss the other around and dominant the partnership.

I'm looking forward to the many new adventures ahead of me!  Wish me luck!


P.S.  Here's a look into a few things I'm hoping to do next year in my classroom.  I'm thinking I might do an OWL theme.  Still not 100% sure but I'm really liking it at this point.

O - Outstanding
W - Wise
L - Learner



Check out my Pinterest page to see some of the great things I've found!  http://pinterest.com/beckaw/classroom-ideas/

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fun, "New" Thing

Tomorrow I have my FINAL observation from Jennifer (yes, I know...BYU is done but she's not.  Bummer).  But it should go fairly well.  We are doing a shared reading lesson about heros.  Today for their journal prompt, I asked "What do you think makes someone a hero? Who is your hero?"  And then later in the day I brought out this bad boy...


THEY LOVED IT!!!!  :)  They thought it was so hilarious when I told them I grew up with these.  I had to explain how to work it but I let them go out in the hall and record what they thought about heros in preparation for tomorrow's lesson.  (Mom & Dad - thanks for getting it for me for Christmas!)  Their answers are so cute!  One kid said his heros were Jesus and Samuel the Lamanite, another said Thomas S. Monson....ADORABLE!!!!!!  I love these kids.

I'm sitting here listening to their answers and thought I should share this fun experience with you.  :)  Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Field Trip! and Teacher Appreciation Week

Pretty sure that the Field Trip this week was a big-time success.  I didn't lose any children, no one broke any dinosaur fossils, there was no bus-sickness, and they all had the time of their life.  I had several students tell me that it was the best field trip EVER!!  :)  I'm so glad they think so.

I hope this works...I tried making a slideshow out of all the pictures I took at the museum.  Not all the kids are mine.  The last two pictures are actually another 4th grade class.  I took the pics for their teacher because her camera died while we were at the museum.  And we were the only two teachers out of 5 to bring a camera.  So the others asked me to take a few pictures of their kids as well.  You'll see from a few pictures that they had LOTS of hands-on activities which kept the kids' attention for nearly 2.5 hours!  That's a lot of walking and exploring.

video

When we got back to school, the class was so worn out.  I'm glad I planned on a read-a-thon when we got back.  We spent 45 minutes just laying around the classroom in dim lighting, shoes off, voice quiet, and just reading.  It was a relaxing end to a fun day.  I don't know that I could handled anything else.  On the bus ride back from the Museum, the two classes on our bus ended up having a scream-singing competition with the Utah songs we've been learning.  I have to say that I'm glad they know the words, but the screaming got old REALLY fast.  I had a huge headache by the time we got back to the school and relished the quiet time to sit and read.

Last week was also Teacher Appreciation Week for us.  Our room moms decorated our doors and the school sent home a note for the students to bring little treats for their teachers throughout the week.  It listed our favorite candy, soda, school supplies, restaurants, color, etc...It was fun to see what came back and I'm so amazed by their generosity!  Here's a few of the things I got:









The last few pictures are from a sweet little scrapbook they made for me.  I may have used the word "skeewhompus" a few times and apparently they noticed!  :)  They LOVE that word now and even tried looking up the spelling in the dictionary.  I had to tell them that it's not a real word but it's used somewhat frequently.  Their answers and drawings of me were so fun to read through.  I love teacher appreciation week!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

3 More Months!

Wait, what??  Only 3 more months.  Yes, that's right.  I can't believe how quickly this year has gone past.

Well, today was our grading day for the end of term 2.  I almost have them completed, I just have to put in comments for 12 more students and then they'll be finished.  It went a lot faster this time around since I knew what I was doing.  I still went into school today though so I could get more things finished.  In addition to nearly finishing grades, I also redecorated my bulletin board (so it's different for when parents come for conferences next week) and I rearranged/organized my classroom library.  This last project took a few hours, but I now have nearly all books labeled individually by reading level and genre and they are sorted into buckets by genre as well.  I hope that this will help some of my students find books a little easier.  They can just look up whatever genre interests them and then find one that's close to their level.

I'm super excited about my bulletin board too!  Today is Dr. Seuss's birthday so this week we did a Cat-in-the-Hat themed writing activity as well as started to draw some mini Cats.  We aren't finished with the Cats yet but I'm hoping to have those finished in time to put up for conferences on Wednesday.  We'll see how that goes.  And even if not, we'll at least have their writing up.  Here's the pictures of the bulletin board and the "new" library as well as a few other changes around the room.




This poster will hopefully make the class more aware of what their attitude is on a daily basis.  It's right on my door as they come in so it's always a reminder.

 Here's a fun little art project they did in their science class as they learned about soil.  It's their profile in soil!  :)


 I'm so tired of only having one whiteboard so I bought another little one that sits off to the side and has their reading group assignments on it.  Now I don't have to race to put them on the board each day and erase it an hour later.  This has been a real life saver!
 And finally, for a laugh, here are their new group names!  Try saying these 10 times fast!