Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Even and Odd

The past week and a half my class has been working on even and odd.  Here is everything we have been up to.

To see where my students are at with even and odd, I did a quick write.  Each student was given a piece of paper.  I had them label one side of their paper even and the other side odd.  Students demonstrated their knowledge using words or pictures. 
To begin the unit we watched the Even and Odd video from Brain Pop Jr.  
After the video was over, I had students add any new information they learned to their pre-assessment.  I had students write in a different color so I could distinguish between the pre- assessment data and new information they added to their schema.

These are the read alouds I used for the unit.  Unfortunately I was not able to find the book Even Steven and Odd Todd :( Below are the title and author of each book.
My Odd Day and My Even Day by Doris Fisher
If You Were an Odd Number and If You Were an Even Number by Marcie Aboff

The top set of books were my student's favorites.  
Freebie from Amy Lemons HERE
Even though I try to limit the number of worksheets I use in the classroom, I liked that this activity also reviewed place value.  Students used the letter in the top left corner to know where to record their answer.  In the far left column they wrote the number, number word (working on that spelling!), sketch it (my students drew hundreds/tens/ones), and decide if the number is even or odd.  
Purchase this HERE
Students were given a turkey template, but could only use an odd number of materials.  Hence one odd turkey.  I have fantastic parents who donated the materials for this project.  Before students started, I had them plan out the bottom sheet with the number of materials they would use.  This really made the experience go much smoother.
One game that students played with a partner is Tic Tac Toe.  Instead of using X's or O'S, students used even or odd numbers.  To differentiate, I had students use numbers with different digits.

We also played Even and Odd Ball.  To learn more, go to Ashley Schroeder's blog.  You may find a freebie as well ;)

I made it to the first break of the school year!  Time to relax with family.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

SUPER Thankful

 I am linking up with the girls at Primary Powers for their SUPER Thankful linky.
This list does not include everything I am thankful for.  There is too much!  Here are a few...
My family means the world to me.  We have always been close.
Although teaching can be stressful, working at a school with supportive administration, staff, and parents makes me love my job even more.  I am grateful for all of my teaching experiences so far.  I know they have made me a more well rounded teacher.  
I am thankful for high school friends and college roommates/friends/sorority sisters. We may be in different places, but I love that we can pick up where we left off.
Through Twitter, blogging, and Instagram I have enjoyed meeting new teachers.  I am grateful for all of the resources I have access to because it helps me meet the various needs of my students.  Twitter chats are fun, too.

On another note I am done with parent teacher conferences.  I  enjoyed a relaxing weekend.

What are you thankful for?  Link up with Primary Powers to get the blank image or leave a comment below.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Veterans Day

Hi everyone!  I finished parent teacher conferences.  I have such nice parents and loved hearing how much their child loves school.  Makes me a very happy teacher!
Moving on to Veteran's Day...
I read this book to guide our learning.  I love the simple language and watercolor illustrations in the book. 
Close reading freebie can be found HERE
Included is a close reading passage, comprehension questions, non fiction text features, vocabulary (using context clues), list why we should be thankful for veterans, and illustrate/write about 2 branches of our military.  Most importantly, it touched on many objectives we are currently working with in class.  Perfect!!
 True/false sort freebie can be found HERE
This is a great follow up activity after your students have background knowledge of Veteran's Day.  I did this at the end of the day to review everything we learned. 
{paper was part of the freebie above}
Veterans were invited to attend breakfast and our town meeting.  (Meeting in our gym/cafeteria).  Only 1 student in my class had a family member attend so the class wrote thank you notes to him the day before. 
 I modeled to the class how to write a letter as well as possible phrases to include in their writing.  

**I don't have a picture of this, but as a class we also discussed character traits of a veteran and completed a veteran can/have/are chart.**

I hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Parent Teacher Conferences

I had my first round of parent teacher conferences Thursday and want to share my insight and preparation.
My school uses Sign Up Genius and I highly recommend it.  Parents are responsible for signing up and finding a time that works best for them.  This takes the pressure off teachers trying to coordinate siblings, etc.  
1 week prior to conferences I send home a feedback form for parents to fill out.  I don't have a picture, but here are the questions included on the form:
1.  What does your child enjoy about school?
2. What area would you like for me to gather more information on?
3. What are you most proud of your child achieving this year?
4. Is there anything else you would like me to know?
A parent e-mailed me saying how much she appreciated me sending this form home because she knew I valued her feedback and as a parent it helped her decide what she wanted to discuss.  Yay!
This is what I use to prepare my talking points during the conference.  
TOP LEFT: Academic Strengths
TOP RIGHT: Areas to work on
BOTTOM: Work Habits and Behavior
Thank you Jessica from The Teacher Talk for this freebie
These handouts guide my thinking on the work habits and behavior section of my conference form. 
I also have students reflect on their work habits in the classroom.  I use a 1-4 scale because it aligns with report cards, which makes it easier for parents to make a comparison.  Students were very honest!
*Each conference is 15 minutes.
*On the classroom door I have a sign that says please knock at your conference time.  
*I set a timer so I stay on track.  My reasoning is that if I go over even a few minutes on multiple conferences, that is almost a whole conference slot used.  
This is what my table looked like during conferences.
Each child has a file folder with their name on it.  File folders are organized in the order of student's conference time.  This is where I put all student work samples, which parents take home.
A closer look….
 I gave parents 2 handouts to take home to help their child with reading.  
LEFT: focus on comprehension
RIGHT: questions to ask before/during/after reading

Thank you for reading this long post!!  I hope it helped!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Five for Friday- November 7

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky.  
I saw this as an anchor chart on Pinterest and had to recreate it.  I love that my students want to do their best,  but it is my job to help my students become independent writers.   
My students had difficulty with multi step word problems.  So we did a ton of extra practice this week.
Early in the week students were given an index card.  On the front they wrote their own story problem and solved it on the back.  Once they finished they had to categorize their word problem by addition, subtraction, or both (addition and subtraction).
One strategy I shared with my students is to circle the numbers in the problem and underline the phrase that tells you which operation to use.  For example, if I saw in all I know to add.  
I read this book as part of my economics unit.  Students learned new vocabulary: common good, save, invest, spend, donate, and incentive.  
Since this week was the first week of November, this book was a perfect fit.  After reading the book, students wrote an informational paragraph about the month of November.  We also talked about fact vs opinion.
I love having so many designs to choose from for my manicures.  Casual Friday looks great with our lacquer!   

I had my first night of parent teacher conferences last night.  I am SO tired right now so I will do a blog post on my conference preparation later this weekend.  I am excited to relax and watch Shark Tank tonight.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November Currently

I am linking up with Farley for her currently link up.  I can't believe November is already here!
Listening:  With the weather changes it has been really windy!  
Loving:  The extra hour of sleep was so nice.   
Thinking:  I decided to relax all day yesterday.  That means today I need to get all of my errands done and prepare my lesson plans for this week.  I will probably go in to school at some point.
Wanting:  I really want to buy the iPad Air 2.  I am trying to hold out until Black Friday so I can find a deal.
Needing:  I have parent teacher conferences starting Thursday.  I need to get all of my student's folders ready with work samples.
Reading:  I love reading teacher blogs.  With Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas around the corner I want to find more engaging resources for my class. 

Have a great week!