Sunday, April 20, 2014

Peek at my Week: Lesson Plans 04/21/14

Hi everyone,
It is that time again...
Another short week for me... :(
This week on Thursday The Kindergarteners are going to Aksarban Aquarium. It will be an all day trip so my First graders will also miss ELL classes, as I will be on the trip, and not in school to have class. Boo. Friday is an elementary plan day for my district.

Not gonna lie, this week is going to be a struggle for me. It will be the 3rd week in a row that the Kindergartners have a 3 day week. Don't misunderstand, we haven't been having a tons of days off, we have been taking tons of field trips. While these maybe enjoyable, and while the kids are learning some, I struggle missing 6 days of instruction.
This week my Kinder kids will be week 3 of long vowels and we will cover long Oo. My students and I are liking the resources that I have been using so I will continue.

Because I have been having such short weeks I have been struggling to get through our farm unit. Part of me wants to scrap it and move on to Earth Day. Then the other side of me really wants my kids to have time learning this unit. It is one they always enjoy. My plan is to continue and FINISH the farm unit this week, however I reserve the right to come back on here mid week and tell you that I've switched gears. :/
Books to (finally) read...

Learning Crafts...

First Grade

This week my first graders will learn about taking are of our Earth.
We will read...

Charts and Crafts...

That is all I am will to plan for. I imagine that much of it will change. :/ So my question for you is...
I am curious to know if it is just me. Please leave me a comment below. 
And now our weekend funny.
Before you go, don't forget to check out the other great plans linked up on Mrs. Will's blog.
Finally, if you are looking for a lesson plan template you can grab an fill out in a flash, come check out my pre-made lesson plan from A Teacher's Plan
Just click on the button below.
Happy Planning!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Shout Out!

Hi everyone, happy Saturday! Hope you are getting some rest and are not too frazzled over the upcoming hippity hoppity Easter day coming up. While you await the upcoming festivities, sit back and enjoy this little goodie I have in store for you.

Next year my school, no my district is adopting PBIS. Don't know what that is? Neither did I a few months ago. Yet is all any administrator in my district is talking about. It stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Long story short is is all about giving more positive reinforcements than you do negative ones. A 10 to 1 ration is what my admins keep talking about. I know I tend to do this with my kids verbally, but there is a real push to do it in a more tangible and measurable way. 
So all year long I've been working on finding a way to give my kids visual positive reinforcements in a way I can keep track of. My school has these fab POP (Positive Office Passes) that the staff uses when they catch the students doing something great. We check off one of the 3 objectives and the kid goes down to the office for a pencil or eraser. Something small. The secretaries make a big deal about it and the students even get to write their names on a poster in the office. the kids LOVE it.
However, at the start of the year I started using these when my students returned their homework. It REALLY motivates them. But also, because I am an ELL teacher and have a lot of students that don't understand English, nor any of our American customs sometimes the concept of Homework doesn't come across. The POP passes help me express that doing home work is good and important. Because of this I wanted to find another system, separate from the POP passes for my positive reinforcements.

Before I go on, I'd like to give a big shout out to a very sweet lady!
Katie Knight from Teacher to the Core
If you don't know this lady she is as sweet as can be, has a very funny husband, The Writing Pad Dad, and a very cute kiddo.
She also creates some pretty adorable and functional activities. One of which fits in perfectly with PBIS. 
When I first read Katie's post I fell in love with this idea. Yet I struggled to implement it in my room. I struggled keeping track of the sheets I handed out, and felt guilty rewarding one student for something and not another doing the exact same behavior.

Then I found Terri's awards that coordinate with her Clip It Chart.
Again these were great for general purposes and I did use some with my kids. Even made some tiny ones and kept them on my desk for easy access.
However, if you remember I don't see my kids for the whole day. What if my kids didn't have a great day? Or made bad choices in their time away from ELL and I still wanted to highlight something about their time with ME. Also, I don't use a "Clip Chart". These were wonderful, adorable rewards, and I highly recommend them, but for my room, I needed something more specific.
That is when I found Katie's Shout Out pack.
In this pack Katie has created TONS of Shout Outs for students to earn. Take a peek at the table of contents in this sweet pack.
Each award comes in whole sheets and quarter sheets. Being the queen of half sheets I chose the Quarter size to save paper, but also cause my kids love smaller sheets of paper.
I found that I could make copies of several of these that I wanted to highlight in my room and keep them in a place that would be easily accessible to me but also highly visible to the kids. So I decided to put them up on my board.
See them there at the top? All I did was copy them on to bright paper, and clip them together with a binder clip. I flipped on side up and hooked it on to a thumb tack on the cork above the board!
(This is an older picture with other awards but you can get an idea of how I store them.)
Here is a close up one I have been giving to the students who consistently turn in their homework. 
There is more, remember I said that part of PBIS is measurable/ trackable data on who is receiving these positive reinforcements? Well Katie thought of that too. Included in the pack is a monthly tracking sheet. Saving my time and energy!
Yes, I could make one of my own, but why do so when it is already done for me? I keep this at my table and just jot dow the name and award I handed out. Easy! Are you enticed yet?
Here is your surprise.
Katie has graciously given one of these packs to a reader of my lil old blog here.
My question to you is...
What shout out are you most likely to use with your students?
Here is what you have to do...
Make sure you show Katie & her hubby some love. 
Oh and yeah, have a great Saturday!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five for Friday 04/18/14

Hi Everyone,
It is another installment of...
1. Spring Art
On Wednesday I shared my Kinder Spring Art project.
However, I wasn't done there. My Firsties had to create something too.

This project was inspired by ARTventutous.
First, we did a direct drawing of a bunny. Then outlined and colored our bunny in crayon. The waxy crayon will keep the paint from getting on to the bunny.

Finally, we painted the background.
I love how they turned out.
2. Farming
Our farm unit is still going strong. There is so much to cover, so much to read, and we'v had a lot of interruptions so it is taking super long to get it all in, BUT I think we are almost done. One more week and I should be ready for another Theme Thursdays post.
3. Earth Day
How on Earth did I end up with so many Earth day books? 
That doesn't even include The Lorax, which is one I always use to teach with on Earth day. I have no idea how I will fit it all in.
4. Nonfic Research Reports
Our non-fiction animal research reports are done. I always LOVE how these turn out. I think I am finally ready to update my original Animal research report post. Look for it this week on my next installment of...
Writing on Wednesday. 
5. Surprises
Finally, I previously mentioned having a surprise for you all. This was a difficult week for me and I never got to posting about it, but I am working on getting this little goodie ready for you all. So come back often and keep your eyes open for a sweet surprise.
Here is a little clue for you all.
 It involves a sweet friend and a giveaway.
That's all folks.
Have a HAPPY Easter!
Don't forget to check out all the other bloggers on Doodlebugs Five for Friday Linky.