Saturday, April 25, 2015

Five for... Saturday!

Just a little late, like usual :) I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Saturday Friday!

We have really rocked out addition and subtraction this week! This is my first class ever that naturally took to subtraction better than addition. We went over different ways to solve problems (they came up with it all- fingers, rekenreks, counters, draw a picture, count on), and they were able to use their method of choice during independent practice. They really did well! One of their favorite (and helpful) stations this week was subtraction bowling. I've seen all kinds of cute ideas on pinterest, but I needed something practical. Using a freebie from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten, we set up our "bowling pins" aka eraser caps and knocked them down. My little heroes LOVED this one, and it really cemented the concept of subtraction. They even started playing it during choice time.

We had so much fun reading different versions of Goldilocks for the last few weeks! They really loved being able to retell the stories in different ways, and we were able to compare the experiences Goldilocks had in each of the different versions. We added some Goldilocks themed sentences into our language center to extend the fun! 

On Thursday, we had our second sight word and vocabulary challenge! Our kids LOVE THIS!

Each class chooses 3-4 competitors, who go up and we go around the world style reading the word until someone misses, and they sit down (but they get a goodie bag  so it's all good). K-2 goes through the Dolch lists (we made it past the nouns and were into content words when our winner was chosen). The third graders didn't compete because they know their sight words, but they did a vocabulary challenge with content vocabulary words. The winner from each grade got a trophy. Did I mention ALL of the winners were current and past students :) I am so proud of them. 

 We are working on sending our 8th graders to Washington D.C., so we've been having a ton of fundraisers. My favorite this week was the 3rd-5th grade dance that I chaperone. Usually, only 6-8th grades have the fun, so we decided the younger grades need some fun too! We called it a "party" instead of a dance, but it was a lot of fun! The kids were so excited, and were dressed to the nines! it is strange seeing my babies growing up (tear), but I'm glad they had the opportunity to let loose after all the ridiculous testing they've endured (and still have to) this year.

If you're able to help our eighth graders meet their goal, please visit their GoFundMe page!

Myself and some very cool bloggers have something wonderful up our sleeves....stay tuned next week!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Five for (late) Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my first Five for Friday (okay, maybe it's Saturday... don't judge)

This was our first week back from Spring Break. Oh, how I miss it! But I will say it was a really good week. I think my kids and I really needed the break from school and from each other. We all came back refreshed and set the reset button to make sure we rock the rest of the year. We made some tweaks to things that weren't working (centers, hello!) and really had a great week!

The first day back was one of my babies birthdays, and when her grandma brought cupcakes they all smeared frosting all over themselves. They were a HOT MESS, but they had fun!

Continuing with the NWEA test prep (bleh), we worked on geometry this week. Which, of course, was awesome! Geometry centers can be so much fun! We used pattern blocks to create pictures (physically and drawn with stencils), and told how many of each shape we used to make it. We also used pattern blocks to join shapes in order to create larger shapes. We've done these activities before, but they really rocked them out this time! We also reviewed which plane shapes can be used to construct solid shapes using our trusty Magna Tiles!

Many people on Instagram asked where the jumbo pattern block are from, you can find them here.

No pictures for this one, but we had parent-teacher conferences this week. I must say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE ESGI! My partner and I just started using it last month, and it was such a useful tool to have at conferences! I love how it tells you EXACTLY what you assessed and how parents can help them be successful at home. I love that I don't have to lug home my assessment binder, and that I am able to see what I need to focus on as a teacher (like my kids didn't do as well at reading CVC words that I thought they would. I was able to pull out my CVC centers so we can fix this :)

Our math curriculum has an "open response" lesson each unit. This chapter, we were supposed to collect data and create a way to represent it. These lessons are tough for me because we are just supposed to let them go and just do it. We look at the products and that helps us focus the follow up discussion. Boy was I skeptical. Boy did it turn out awesome!

They really loved having a chance to pose a question, ask their friends, and make their own representation. It was really eye-opening to see what they knew about graphs/ data, what their misconceptions were, and how much fun they had doing this. I sense a new center happening :)

After spring break, I usually start our fractured fairy tale unit. This week was all about Goldilocks. We have 9 different versions, and have read 4 so far. We did our first class Venn diagram and then I bravely paired up my kids and had them make their own. They did so well, both coming up with ideas and working well together. I'm finally starting to see some leaders emerge in my class! So exciting!