Sunday, November 16, 2014

Planning Some Holiday Fun!

The holidays are finally coming up!  I think I get more excited each time I go into a store and see more lights and decorations!

Instead of grading papers, I decided to make up a task to use as soon as we get back from Thanksgiving.  My husband got the biggest kick out of it because I can't bake a dozen cupcakes let alone 525, but that's the fun of creating things for your class.  My kiddos can think I am an amazing baker!



The TPT download includes directions to using tasks in your classroom.  You can click on either picture to download this for FREE!


I hope you can use this freebie!

Happy Teaching!
Tracy

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Teaching Reading Strategies!

We have been working really hard on using solid reading strategies.  I wanted to find something to use with any fiction text we read and also be able to use it with some non-fiction as well.  After searching Pinterest and TPT, I couldn't find something that had all of the strategies that I know my kids need to be able to use when they read.  So over the last few months I have been working here and there on my newest product.  Here it is!

It includes a section to cover the following reading strategies:
1.  Predicting
2.  Asking Questions
3.  Making Connections
4.  Inferring 
5.  Monitor and Clarify
6.  Visualizing
7.  Evaluating Text
8.  Summarizing 

Each section starts off with an anchor chart.  You can print or project it.  What I love about it is that the kids know exactly what they are trying to learn.  


The next part is teacher questions that focus on the reading strategy.  Print these off and put them on a ring to use over and over again.  It is also great to make a set for the kids to use when they are talking with each other about the text.


This is one of my favorite foldables.  It makes a long accordion when you put it together.  This look so cute on desks or on a table.
 

This is one of activities that is easy to differentiate for your class.  It has two levels and even a blank flower so kids can pick their own words.


I love to give the kids bookmarks while we learn.  Each section has bookmark to remind the kids of the reading strategy.  We tape them to our desks and then after we finish learning about the strategy, we put them in our binders so we can refer to them again.


So that is a peek into my latest product.  I hope you love it as much as I do!  Click on any of the pictures to see more of the pages in this product.

Happy Teaching!
Tracy

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Using Noticings and Wonderings in the Classroom!

People always ask me about my Noticings and Wonderings board when they visit my classroom, so I thought that this morning I would share one of the best things I learned from the IFL trainings.

Noticings and Wonderings are just like exit tickets, but with a twist that the kids LOVE!

When we finish some of our lessons, we do Noticings and Wonderings.  The great thing about Noticings and Wonderings is that is gives the kids a choice of what to write.  (This is a must have for any evaluation lesson!)

The kids can write a noticing about the lesson or their own learning.  The can write something they are wondering about or unsure of.  This is a great chance for a child to tell you something they don't understand without having to say it to the while class.  Or my favorite, answer the question on the board or make own up of your own.  This one takes some time to teach because I always have a few folks that want to make up something that deals with another lesson.  I always remind them that what they put on the sticky note has to be able what we just did.

The kids write on sticky notes and then stick them to this board.  Nothing fancy, but they sure do love to this!

Here are a few of the kids notes from Friday's lesson on adding 2 digit numbers.

This student wrote a noticing and answered the question  that I wrote on the board.


This kiddo made up with own problems to solve.


Sometimes I go over some of the sticky notes before we move to the next lesson and sometimes I save them for the next day.  It just depends on what I see in their writing.  I really love using this and more than anything the kids can't wait to do it.

I also wanted to share on of my favorite October stories!  Where's My Mummy?

This is an adorable book about a little mummy that just wants to play instead of going to bed.  I use it to teach adjectives.  I read the book to the kids and we talk about it during our reading block.  Then, later on that day we bring it back out and talk about adjectives.  We make these cute mummies and the kids make lists of all of the adjectives in the story to cover their mummy.  It is so much fun and makes a cute decoration in the hallway for October that isn't Halloween.

Here is the book!  What isn't to love about this little mummy?


Here is the display I put up in the hallway.


OK - so I am not the best drawer.  I wish I was, but I do try.  I made tracers out of manila folders and the kids traced and cut out their mummies.   They wrote their adjectives in their best "spooky" writing!




I hope everyone has a fantastic Halloween week!  I know the kids are so excited!

Happy Teaching!
Tracy

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's been A LONG TIME!

Moving to a new grade has kicked my tail!  Between the new grade and all of my son's baseball practices I have really left my blog hanging.....  tumbleweeds are rolling across it!

BUT NO MORE!

So I have lots and lots to tell you about.

We are really reading a ton of non-fiction texts in my class this year.  Each morning when the kids come into the room, they are greeted by a special book on their desk picked by ME!  I found a bunch of old leveled readers in a storage room and organized them into sets so I have a huge collection of fiction sets, but not many non-fiction.  So to make sure that everyone gets a chance some of the non-fiction that I only have a few copies of, I have been making our early bird into some quick math review and and then read your special book.  The kids love it!  Plus our AR points are going up!

One of the few non-fiction book sets that I have is on bats.  We worked on this story for three days and they really enjoyed it.  We have been focusing on picking important details out of the text and taking notes, so that we can write good informational paragraphs.  So instead of taking notes on paper we took them on BATS!



I just made tracers out of manila paper and BATS we have!  The kids loved making them and even though our spelling isn't the best (we are working on that one) they look cute on the wall!

We took our bats and shared facts so that we could write paragraphs.  Here is a picture of the display we made for open house.


I wanted the book to also be on display to help my parents see the type of books that they need to be reading with their child.  I just used clear tape and a page protector.  I know it isn't pretty but several parents commented on seeing the book, so it worked!


Here is one of the kid's finished writing.  We have been using a combination of Pow Tide and the Stoplight to learn to write good paragraphs.  After some thought, I have decided to stick to the following formula for every paragraph we write:

Topic sentence, 5-6 detail sentences, and a closing sentence.
I know kind of hard for second grade, but they are doing it!  AND SMILING!

We are doing great on the detail sentences, but are struggling with the topic and closing sentence.  Go figure!  I know they will get it, it is just going to take some time.  I can already see a HUGE improvement already.


We also have completed our first BOOK REPORT!  I was really pleased with how GREAT they came out.  We have been talking about making things VISUALLY APPEALING and they nailed it!  I hated to take them down today, but we needed to get a new project up.  Here are some of the kids projects. You can click on the picture to go to the packet on TPT.  Everything is in it for the kids to make a book report poster at home, all you need to do is making copies.  It even has the a parent direction page already made up!  I am all about working smarter this year!





I wanted to make something cute for their desks for open house that was sort of Halloween, so the day before we made these 3D pumpkin life cycles.  This project is part of a larger science unit and you click the picture to go to the unit.  The kids really enjoyed coloring all of the pumpkin pieces and it gave me 30 minutes of quiet to tidy up the classroom library before the parents came to open house!



Well I have lots more, but it will have to wait until the weekend!

I hope everyone is making each day count with your kiddos!

Happy Teaching!
Tracy

Thursday, September 4, 2014

We will get this subject and predicate thing mastered!

We have been working and working on subjects and predicates for two weeks!  I had run out of ideas and worksheets, so I asked the kids what would help.

Of course....  A GAME!  It is mostly my boys that are having troubles.  So I created a game for us to play....  Ninja Subject or Ninja Predicate.  We made up some "Ninja Moves" as we practiced and when we finally got to the SCOOT game, it was a HIT!

If you haven't played SCOOT in your class yet, you are missing lots of fun!


Now that they are Ninja Masters, they earned a new bookmark!  They loved them!



Happy Teaching!
Tracy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Intervention.... gave it shot!

Well tonight I am still thinking about my day with the kiddos....

Intervention......

Teachers have been doing intervention forever, but until recently no one mandated the time and the skills that we taught to those small groups of kids.  I spent the weekend trying to decide what to do until we give the IStation test and then have specific things we have to cover during our intervention.

After a lot of thought....  we just need to read.  So that is what I have been doing for the first two days of intervention.  We are just reading, reading, and reading the same text over and over.  After just two days I can certainly see a difference in their fluency, so mission accomplished. I'm making progress! Yesterday I tried to have the rest of the class work on map activity while I did Intervention, but that turned out to be a disaster!  Today I went back to what I know....  simple math centers.  I gave the kids a partner and they played addition bump and guess what everything went fine!  No one needed me to help them or settle a problem, so I'm leaning towards letting the middle kids work on math centers during Intervention.

I'm very excited to be participating in the TPT BOOST sale tomorrow.  It is only a one day sale and you need to use the code BOOST to get up to 28% off your purchases!  Click on the picture to hop on over to TPT.  I know I have filled my cart with a bunch of center games and ELA stuff for my kids!  Can't wait to buy them on SALE tomorrow!


HAPPY TEACHING!
Tracy

Monday, August 18, 2014

A New Year and a New Room Ready to Go!

Hi Everyone!  Well I am officially back in school.  I can't believe that the summer went so fast!  I have to say the best part of the summer was my vacation to Las Vegas.  We saw lots of shows, ate too much food, and stayed in fantastic hotels.  Of course part of the fun was attending the TPT Conference and then spending eight days with my husband and son.  Here is a picture of my boys....

The beautiful Venetian Hotel....  highly recommend this one!  Well worth the money!  


We finally got to do the one MUST DO on my list....  a gondola ride!  It was so fun.  This is my son Jackson....  only this kid at 12 years old could have a blast in Vegas!


So it might have taken me four days of moving and arranging things over and over, but finally my room came together.  Here are some pictures of my room so far.  It is truly going to be a work in progress this year, but I got enough done that I could welcome my new little ones.

One of my first projects was to make a safari print clock....  couldn't buy one so I turned my old one into one.  I took a regular clock and covered the outside with printed cheetah duct tape and BAM I had a fantastic clock.  One of my grade level partners loved it so much she brought me her clock and owl duct tape....  it looked adorable!  I highly recommend picking up duct tape when it is on sale...  it dresses up everything!


This is a finished project....  FINALLY!  I hate trying to find things fast, so I bought a bunch of tubs and everything from extra pencils, to math centers are organized into bins with labels on them.  I LOVE it and I can't believe how many parents commented how nice it was to see such organization.  If they could only see my closet at home....  HA HA!


This is a picture of my teacher book center.  All of the tradebooks are organized in the green bins by subject and the chapter books are divided by series.  My kids know that these are my special books and they have to ask to read them.


This is one of my book shelves in my student reading area.  It isn't finished yet, but I had to show you the repurposed old shelves.  I couldn't stand all of the old discolored shelves.  I was going to use duct tape, but I knew that would take forever, so I found safari print contact paper.  This was a two person job, but in the end they look fantastic!  I've covered almost all of the shelves.  It really has made the room into the safari theme that I was going for.  The only thing left is to create the giant forest of trees in the reading center.  I'm saving that for the next teacher workday!


This is my conduct chart area.  I was going to make my rules and chart, but I decided to look and see what was already on TPT....  Hotdog!  Not only already made for my theme, but they were FREEBIES!


This is my attempt at solving the NO NAME issue.  I've struggled with this for years.  This year I filled the bucket with highlighters.  After they finish a paper they come to this station and use a highlighter to highlight their name before they turn their work in.  So far so good....  only two no name papers so far!


Well that is the progress I've made so far on my room.

I hope everyone has a wonderful start to the new school year!

Happy Teaching!
Tracy

Monday, July 28, 2014

First Day Back for the 2014-2015

Where did the summer go?  It went by so fast and I can't believe all the things that I didn't have a chance to get done.  Oh well, I guess they can be first on the list for next summer vacation.

One of my goals over the summer was to make more freebies for TPT.  The first freebie is an adorable banner that you can make those first few days of school.  I'm going to put a ribbon clothesline in the hall and attach the banners with clothespins.  I am planning on leaving it up for parent night.  Click on one of the pictures to download it for free.  The packet has a page specifically made for each grade, so make sure that you only print the one for your grade.


The other freebie for back to school is an easy to use conduct report.  I don't know about you, but I really needed a checklist that I could use real fast to get those conduct grades out.  Click on it and go to the file to download it for FREE!  I hope these make life a little easier these first few weeks of school.


I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL and HAPPY first few days of school!

Happy Teaching!
Tracy

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hello from Las Vegas!

I have been here since Tuesday enjoying Vegas with my husband and son.  All I can say is....  WOW!

The hotels are amazing!  Staying at the Venetian is something that is hard to even put into words.  It is beautiful.   I can't wait to take a gondola ride with my favorite boys.  We have eaten at some fantastic and fun restaurants.  I have to say one of the most fun for my son was The Heart Attack Grill.  The waitresses are dressed as nurses and everyone who enters must put on a hospital gown and get an ID band.  None of the food was healthy of course, but oh so yummy!  So far my favorite show has to Mystere.  How in the world do all of those stunts and tricks?  Everywhere you look is fantastic shopping and the casino are so much fun.  As of right now I am up almost $100.....  GO ME!  Pretty good for just the penny slots.

Of course, I am so excited for the TPT conference tomorrow.   I've already meet a few people that will be at the events and can't wait to meet some of the people that I have gotten to know over the last year.  To celebrate this first ever event and to thank all of the people who have purchased my products, everything in my store will be 20% off all day Friday and Saturday (July 11th and 12th).  Click on the store banner and it will take you to my store!  HAPPY SHOPPING!




Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Heading Back to Second - Let's Celebrate with a Back to School Freebie!

Yes, you read it right....  I'm heading back to SECOND GRADE!  I couldn't be more excited to be returning back to second.  I learned a lot this year in third grade and have a serious understanding how "prepared" they really have to be to be successful after they finish second grade.  I have added some must have skills to be list and I'm ready to hit the ground running in August.  It was a great experience this year  and I will surely miss my third grade team!

To celebrate my move to second, I have added a new freebie.  I really love to make banners with the kids.  We did a lot of banners this past year and the kids really enjoyed them.  This is a great activity to use those first days of school to help the kids get to know each other.  They make a great display, so I thought what better way to start off a new year than with a banner project.  This one has a page for each specific grade, so when you download the file make sure that you only print the grade level you need.  It is written for first through fifth, so please pass along to your other teacher friends!

Just click on the pictures and it will take you to TPT so you can download it for FREE!




Please don't forget to leave feedback for this new freebie.  I'm working on several other things, so please check back in the next few weeks.  I've made it a goal to post at least five new freebies over the summer!

I will be in and out the next few weeks.  I am finally heading to visit my parents and in less than a week I will be boarding a plane bound for Las Vegas to attend the first annual Teachers Pay Teachers conference!  I'm so excited to meet all these amazing teachers and learn from them.

So relax and happy planning for a BRIGHT NEW SCHOOL YEAR!
Tracy



Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer time.... lazy time!

Where have the weeks gone?   Sorry it has been a bit since my last post.  I have been teaching for the state of TN this month and it has kept me pretty busy.  I have had the pleasure of teaching some amazing teachers this month from all over the Memphis area.   Teaching teachers is very much like teaching little ones....  they sure love to talk and they all want to know what time LUNCH is!

In the short evenings that I have had at home, I have managed to create a few new things for next year and found some great pins on Pinterest that I just have to try.  Here are some of my newest creations.

Time to learn all about the 50 states!  This packet has everything in it for the students to do an independent research project.  Who doesn't love learning about all of the states?

 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-50-State-Adventure-Learn-about-all-the-states-Gr-2-5-1257932


I had a request to turn my I Can Statements for third grade into a ninja theme.  I was really pleased with how cute it turned out.   Of course the pictures are from one of my favorites....  Scrappin Doddles!  I just LOVE their work!




The Terrific Teacher binder was a HUGE success last summer.  I decided to do an owl theme and also a safari theme.  Here is a snap shot of some the pages in this packet.  Of all the things that I have made over the last few years, this might be a favorite.  Being organized has helped me so much this year.


I hope everyone is finally out of school and enjoying SUMMER VACATION!

Happy Teacher Days!
Tracy

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Celebrating with TPT!

I am celebrating with TPT!  I can't believe how amazing of a journey it has been.  I can say without question that my time on TPT has made me a better teacher.

Tomorrow I will be in the TPT newsletter for reaching a milestone and to celebrate all of my math products will be 20% off.  The sale will run from the 18th to the 21st of May (Sunday - Wednesday) .

Click on the banner to go directly to my math products!



One of my biggest goals this school year was to get organized and stay organized.  I am pleased to report that I did get all of the teacher "stuff" organized into tubs and rolling drawers.  They even all have labels on them!  I can't believe how much easier things are when you know exactly which tub has what.  The biggest challenge has always been my teacher papers.  I could never seem to find what I needed and I never brought the right folder home.  To make my life easier I created The Terrific Teacher - The Ultimate Organization Notebook.  To celebrate my school goal of getting organized this year my two Terrific Teacher products with be 40% off too!  Just $3!  One of them is polka dots with adorable kids and the other is smart owls!  Click on the pictures to see more.

This is my newest product!  I just love these owls!

The binder is divided into seven main sections.  The sections are broken down into several smaller sections and they have loads of printables to get your organized!  These are the main section pages.


The Terrific Teacher - Polka Dot Kids!

Polka Dot sample with some of the organization pages!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful week!

Thanks for helping me celebrate this incredible TPT milestone!

Happy Teaching!
Tracy