Saturday, March 28, 2015

Getting ready for testing!

April is right around the corner....  let the testing count down begin!

No matter how much we try, it always worries us!  Will those kiddos do good?

I really want to make this year as fun as I can while we spend time reviewing.  We are going to have table contests daily.  I'm using little cheap buckets from the Dollar Tree and every time someone from the table gets a correct answer their team gets a coin.  I'm going to use the plastic coins we have in our math kits. At the end of the day we count up our money to see who has the most.  The winners get a treat on the way out the door!  So simple and they love it!

We also made an anchor chart for answering multiple choice questions.  We went over this everyday this week and it made a big difference for my low kiddos when we took Friday tests.

I have been working on some big projects and tonight with the help of my teaching buddy who did the editing for me, they are finally ready to go!

I wanted a set of games that my on-level kids could play during RTI time.  I only have one student in RTI, but I pull a few friends to his small group time who need the extra practice.  So that leaves about 15 friends that need something to do.  It is always a challenge to keep everyone on task and a little quiet.

The packet has 4 pre-made games and one blank game.  I am planning to use the blank one for my advanced kids.  A few weeks ago I had them make a math game and they loved it.  So, when I was creating this packet I made a set that they could use to create games.  We are learning all about pronouns next week, so their first challenge will be a pronoun game!  I can't wait to see what they come up with!

The pre-made games cover phonics, story elements, language, and reference book skills.  All of the stuff on SAT10 that we need to keep fresh in our minds!

The game boards come in color and black and white!

These are the game cards.  One from each of the different games!

Story Elements!



Reference Books!


Differentiation is a big deal for my class!  I want everyone to be engaged.  I knew that my advanced kids would enjoy the pre-made games, but I knew they would finish quickly and might need a challenge.  These are two of the projectable pages to use to make your own game.  It also has blank game boards and cards.  I will review the directions with them and the leave the example page up for them to refer back to while they work.

We also had a great time this week playing SCOOT!  My kids love it!  They are always so quiet and on task when we play.  We practiced contractions and telling time.  I print off the cards and laminate them. I let my weekly helper tape them all over the walls of the classroom in the morning before we get started.  We grab clipboards and away we go!  They jump right to work and move so quietly! SCOOT might be the best game I ever learned!  Here is a picture I snapped real quick when 2 kiddos were at the same card and using their pencils to count by 5's.  LOVE IT!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Happy Teaching!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Testing Time!

Like it or not....  it is testing time!  With the stakes so high everyone is feeling the pressure.  From the teachers, to the kids, parents, and everyone who works in every building within a school system.  How do we make it as easy as we can for the kids?  That is the million dollar question.

I try really hard to make these next few weeks as fun as I can.  We go outside and use sidewalk chalk to practice our computation skills, ABC order, and even some questions that just require them to listen and write a,b,c, or d.  (I think those might be the toughest of all!)

I'm going to phase in the "review" slowly over the next few weeks.  Tomorrow we return from spring break and we will start the ball rolling by reviewing this anchor chart.

We give the SAT10 and honestly I have never been happy with the test prep materials that we had.  So I created my own materials that I use.  We use color cards (inside that packet) to signal our answers.
The kids seem to love this.  I think it is because they don't have to write anything and we make a big deal about waiting to the exact moment to show your answer.  Sometimes I have them press their card on their tummies and come and show me.  That really helps everyone feel comfortable and know it is OK to make mistakes when we review.  That's why we do it!

I was so pleased with the math.  It has a little bit of everything!  I tried to ask the questions different ways and put lots of answers in that would be correct if they did the computation wrong.  This is something we all need to work on.  We really push NOT looking at the answers and then doing the problems a second time to make sure that you are right.  Click on the picture to see more about this resource.

This is the ELA review.  It was a labor of love.  It took a great deal of research to pin point all of the different skills that the test might cover.  Each skill is identified at the top of the page and then you have several different samples of that type of problem.  We work on this packet a little differently than the math.  We work all the problems on the page and get our answers.  Then, we check in with our partner and compare our answers.  Finally, we work through them as a class.  We do a lot of talking and reasoning out the right answers.  Helping the kids understand that a problem might have an answer that is right, but this other answer is even a better choice is so hard for them.  Click on the picture to see more.

If you like these packets, they are also available in a bundle to save you some money!  Here is the link:

If you teach 1st or 3rd....  NO WORRIES!  I have also written packets for those grades as well.

First Grade Bundle:

Third Grade:  (Math Only)

Well this teacher needs to spend some family time with the boys before it is back to work tomorrow!

Happy Teaching!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Snow and a MOVE!

Well the last two weeks have been some of the busiest ever!  Here in TN we finally got hit with ice and SNOW!  As exciting as it was it couldn't have hit at a worst time....  my family was in the process of moving to a new home!   Who knew that movers would move your house even with ice coming down from the sky.  So after two weeks of packing and then unpacking my family is finally settled in the home I hope and pray we will stay in for the next 20 years.  As long as the hubbies company doesn't pull something crazy, we should be able to stay put for a long time.  I sure hope so because I truly LOVE this house!

I haven't had a lot of time to work on TPT, but I did just finish something that I have been working on for my kiddos.  We loved our animal projects so much that I decided to do one for countries.  It is the same format, just tailored to hit those Social Studies standards.  Here is a sample of some of the pages.
It has a parent letter to explain the project.  It has two sets of poster cut outs.  One set has lines and the other doesn't.

Click on the pictures to see the packet in more detail.

After we finish ours, I will be sure to post pictures of them.  I know the kids will do great with this!

Happy Teaching!