Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day

Well, I lived through the first day!  My third grade glared at me with wide eyes as I bounced all over the room with class yes in various ways and different voices.  They were a quiet bunch and I had to give them permission to be loud with mighty oh yeahs! LOL.  I even told them that we had permission from the principle to be loud if I wanted them to be.  So, we got through that and all of the classroom rules.  I didn't teach them teach ok yet, but I still had them go over the rules with their neighbor.

Fourth grade was awesome!  It is really cool seeing how much they mature over the summer.  Of course, today is always the honeymoon period, but I definitely see changes for the positive.  I had a hard time giving them mighty groans because they were so on to things.  One student did such a wonderful job that he already earned a mighty woo with lightening sizzles.

When both classes were together, we went over the universal homework model and I sent home a paper describing it to the parents.  I will begin with homework next week.  Since I have kids at so many various levels, I want to have time to select the appropriate material.  We wrapped up with the Super Improvers Wall.  The students decorated name plates and we will have them hung on the wall tomorrow so we can start looking for our improvers.  The looks on their faces showed me that they are in high anticipation over this.

I am ready for tomorrow to begin with power pics.  I am planning to teach sentences and introduce our genius ladder.  No sense in beating around the bush.  For math, I pulled some second grade power pics to review days of the week, months, and years.  We usually take for granted that these have been mastered, but since we are in learning support, I like to make sure we have the basics.

This is going to be a challenging year with such a large group; however, I do believe it is going to be a good year.  All of the students are very good kids and I am looking forward to working with all of them!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

All I need are the Students!

I was able to get into my classroom a couple of times over the last couple of weeks.  Here are some photos of my classroom set up thus far.  I still have some tweeking to do next week during in-service, but, of course, there is ongoing tweeking all year!  I hope you enjoy what you see.  Feel free to leave me a comment on what you like.  I am also very much open to suggestions!


Sorry about the sideways image.  I have never had this problem before.  The images were edited and saved to my computer in the right format.  I have been trying to fix this problem for days, but decided to post this way for now if I can't solve the problem, I will take more photos.

Anyway, these are my rules posted to my blackboard.  Eventually I will purchase newer ones, however, I used repositional glue that has seemed to give them a "permanent bond".  I decided to leave them up for now.

Here are my scoreboards.  One for third grade and one for fourth.  Since both groups are in and out of my room all day, I needed separate ones.  At the moment, I am going with emoticoms.  I have some other really cute ideas to change them up either for holidays or just when we need a change of pace.  I have also designed a cute car for mystery rode.  Once I have them cut and glued, I will post pictures.

These are my power pic boards for language arts and math.  After teaching the concept using the Smart Board, I will hang the power pic on the boards.  As I begin to fill up the board, I will label them. 

This is my homework corner where we will be keeping track of one, two, and three star homework!

OOPS! Back to sideways again!  Here is my student leaders wall.  The quotes are dry erase so I can easily change the leader's role.  The little stick figure people (which is my theme this year) will have the names of the leaders for each position.

Boy, these sideview pictures do not due my genius ladder justice! Give me an "it's cool"!  Anyway, the rungs are dry erase so it can be simply changed each day.  The little quotes provide the types of sentences from blah, spicy, up to genius.

I just happened to find this growth chart with stick figures and a ladder.  I thought it was cute and would catch my students eyes.  The cool thing is that it came with these little clouds.  I decided that when students provide really good examples, I can place their name on that ladder that measures up to the type of sentence they provided.  What do you think of a six foot tall genius sentence?!!

My paper drawers are not new.  I find it easier to sort my grade level and subject area.  Sometimes students put papers in the wrong box, but most of the time this is pretty efficient.

Well, hopefully, I will get the problem fixed soon so that you all don't go getting stiff necks from viewing.  Stay tuned next week for my Super Student Improver's wall and some other cool ideas.  I start with students  next Wed.  I will report on how that goes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Biffytoon Matching Memory Game

My youngest son has been using Biffytoons this summer in order to better prepare him for the first grade.  Last week, he looked at the small pictures and said it looked like a matching game.  So, I went to work.  I printed out two of each set.  I used both words and gestures, and just words.  I am so happy with the results because there are so many uses for it.

I laminated the tops and magnetized the bottoms using my Xyron.  You don't have to do this.  Laminating will work, but you might want to use cardstock to make them thicker.  The black magnetic material made them so that they are not see through.

It can be a matching game, matching picture to picture, picture to word, or word to word depending on their skill and progression. They must read the rule and do the gesture as they turn it over.

This can be used with one child, partners, or small group.  If you choose to make them magnetic, you can use them on a chalkboard/whiteboard or a small cookie sheet.  If you are using them at home, you can use them on the fridge.


I even found a travel soap dish that fit the whole entire set.  I will label the outside "Biffytoons List 1".  I plan to make the other two sets as well.  It is a bit time consuming, but it is so worth it!