Thursday, September 10, 2015

Books Bloggers Love: October Edition

Happy September, everyone! I don't know about you, but I'm beyond tired! School for us started on Tuesday, so my brain is on overload! Despite how tired I am, I am excited to share with you one of my favorite books that you can use for the month of October. If you are just joining us, 12 of us teacher bloggers are blogging once a month about a favorite children's book that you can use in your own classroom for the following month! If you want to get caught up, check out my book suggestion and ideas for August HERE and September HERE! (Also...great freebies included!)
One of my favorite books to read in the month of October is "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat!" by Lucille Colandro.  You can find the book on Amazon HERE.
Lucille Colandro is the author of the There Was an Old Lady books. She wrote her first Old Lady book, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat, when an editor asked for a Halloween book with a lady who didn't die at the end. Lucille's old lady swallows everything from leaves to pants to snow—always with a funny surprise at the end!

My favorite activity to do with this book is to have students write their OWN version of "There was an old lady who..." It is so fun to see the creativity and imagination of students! I like to discuss "theme" with the students as all of Lucille's books have a theme. Then I have students brainstorm what the lady would eat. Is there a specific order that she would eat them in? What will happen to her as she eats these objects?
After brainstorming, then the students write their own version. You can choose to do the fill in the blank version with your students first and then have them rewrite it on the blank story paper, or you can choose to do one or the other depending on your grade level and time available. 
You can download these FREE worksheets by clicking HERE

As a craft to go along with their writing, students can make their own old lady with their objects of choice. You can download the old lady for free by clicking HERE

I hope you love this book as much as my students and I do! 

Want to win four of the featured books this month?
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Hop around below to see what 11 other teachers are 
recommending for their October book choice!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Classroom Tour 2015-2016

Welcome to my classroom tour of the 2015-2016 school year! I've been hard at work the last couple of weeks, and I'm so excited to share with you some of the newest additions to my class! I have always had a Hollywood themed classroom the past five years (hence the name), but I have decided it was time for a change! So without further ado, let's take a peek into my "home away from home"!
Enjoy the peek around my classroom! 
My students favorite place--- our library!
My favorite way to organize my paperwork is with this simple filing system. I make my copies a week in advance and organize by the day of the week. 
When students come in each day, they turn in their homework in the homework tray, but they must first highlight their name and flip their clothespin with their name on it. (GREAT management tip to ensure students have all turned in their homework!!!) You can find the poster for FREE in my store HERE. If students turn in all their homework all week long, they can play Homeworkopoly on Friday. Also in the homework center is our absent folders. If a student is absent, their neighbor grabs an absent folder to collect the work on their desk. 
All of my students have a classroom job, and we rotate them every week. Students get paid for their jobs every Friday (if, and only if they do their jobs and do it well!) They can choose from my classroom rewards (which I wrote a small price amount on each card.)
One of my FAVORITE areas in my classroom is my teacher desk! 
A great way to add color and motivational inspiration is with cute posters! I love the way my new inspiration subway art brightens my room! (I apologize, I don't know who made the posters on the right... if you know, please tell me!)
My second favorite place of my room is my new student work display area! I've never had this area of my room free because we have had huge computer tables covering this area. This year we get I-pads, so that frees this area up! Yay! I used yard sticks, spray painted them, and hot glued them to the wall (Hot glue was my BFF!) I made the letters (along with all the other words around my room from my NEW Cricut explore air... (OBSESSED!!!)
During Daily 5, my students will rotate through "Word Work" to practice their weekly spelling words. In this station, they will find letter tiles, magnet letters, chalkboards, and letter stamps. This year I made the decision to put my word work worksheets in a binder (ammmmmazing choice!). Instead of running 189347 copies each week, I simply laminated 4 of each that they can use with a Vis-a-vis marker to practice their word work on. 
Another new part to my classroom is my daily calendar board.  You can find my calendar HERE. My student desks are ready for the first day of school! They will come in and "finish the picture". It's a great way to ease students in to the first few moments of school. Worksheet from Who's Who and Who's New. Love the cute little ruler bags from Target's dollar spot!
On my white board, I write the daily objectives next to the subject area cards. You can find these FREE in my store! My cute daily schedule is from Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans.
Another rotation through my Daily 5 is my Writing Center. Here students will find story paper, whole class writing notebooks, 100 writing prompts, and my BEST selling writing center activities. My kiddos absolutely LOVE the options! I put the copies of the activities in a file folder for the students to choose from.
My math manipulatives are organized in these drawers. All my game worksheets/game boards are laminated and organized in this binder by skill/subject of game.
My subject bulletin boards (science and social studies are not pictured...whoops!) are changed based on what we are studying at that time. This is at the beginning of the year, so not much is on here yet. On my math bulletin board, you will see the POW poster (Problem of the Week). I will change out the 2-step story problem each week. My reading bulletin board has my FREE Daily 5 rotation chartreading genre posters (from Cupcakes n' Curriculum), and reading strategy mini posters (from Jessica Travis). My writing bulletin board has a homemade writing process chart and boggle game.
My classroom library is another favorite part of my room! I'm loving my new "READ" letters from Joann's! (They look even better lit up!). I got my colorful frames and added cute reading quotes in them. I organize my chapter books by genre/series/author. You can find my labels here.
The other part to my library is my picture books. I don't organize them all, but I do put some of them in a labeled bin. My listening center ... hallelujah for command hooks! I will put the books and cds in the green baskets each week. 
Two ways my students can challenge themselves is by completing activities from the Oscar's Hall of Fame, which are challenge questions in each subject area. They can also complete the POW (math problem of the week). 
I add each week's spelling words to our word wall as we go (boy, does it get full!). Another new addition is our classroom rules. Simple and straight to the point! I got the idea for these four rules from Smart Classroom Management (amazing website with amazing ideas!)

Well, that's all for now! I hope you enjoyed the tour! Please don't hesitate to ask questions! I'd love for you to leave me a comment and let me know your favorite part of my classroom! Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Back to School Survival Kit

Happy Back to School Season!!

I have been so excited to share with you my Back 2 School Survival Kit! I had signed up for my first exchange a few months ago, and I couldn't even stand my excitement. It is so rare now-a-days to get snail mail that is actually worth opening {and isn't a bill!}. I was paired up with Melissa Daily from "Mrs. Daily's Classroom". I had the privilege to meet Melissa in Vegas this past July. However, at that time, we didn't know we would soon be paired up for this B2S swap!

Meet Melissa!
When I had received Melissa's interest survey, I saw how we both had a fur baby that we are {slightly} obsessed with. No kids yet--- only love for our dogs! I also saw that she had a teal and pink classroom. I couldn't wait to go to my favorite store-- Target, of course! After all, that's where I head for my "survival" items! You'll have to head over to her blog to see what I got her!

When I saw a box sitting on my porch, I couldn't wait to open it! Who doesn't get excited to see a package on their doorstep?  Take a peek at how Melissa SPOILED me with all of my favorite things!

First thing... a sweet, handwritten card!

Sharpies and flair pens!!! AHHHH!

Beautiful box of NEW pencils {HALLELUJAH!}

Watermelon soap, eos hand lotion and my favorite lip balm!! 
{I needed a new stock for my classroom... so perfect!}

Adorable notepad and journal! {Never can have enough!}

Utility cup for my white board!

And--- my favorite part-- Natural dog treats for my pup! :)

She sure did love them :)
She sure did love them!! ;) 

Oh-- and check out those adorable star chalkboard clothespins!!! LOVE!

Thank you, Melissa, for blessing my socks off, and for helping my classroom feel more like home with some of mine and your favorite things!

We both loved all of the goodies! 

Hop around to see some of the other B2S goodies that were swapped!!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Books Bloggers Love: September Edition

Happy August, everyone! I'm sure you're all gearing up to get back in the classroom, if not already! We don't start until September 8th, but I am eager to get back in there and start setting up! If you are just joining us, 12 of us teacher bloggers are blogging once a month about a favorite children's book that you can use in your own classroom for the following month! If you want to get caught up, check out my last month's book choice HERE.

I'm excited to share with you one of my favorite books, and it is perfect for back to school! The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. {See it HERE on Amazon}
This book is about a boy named Duncan who goes to color, but when he opens his box of crayons he only finds handwritten letters from the crayons! All of the letters are saying the same thing: We quit!

Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. Blue needs a break from coloring all that water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other. 

My favorite thing about this book is the MULTIPLE ways you can use it! You can go so many different directions with this book. Here are just some of the ways you could these with this book: Point of View, Empathy, Appreciation, Persuasive Writing, Opinion, Voice, Character Traits, Feelings, Personification, Cause & Effect, Problem/Solution, Multiple Meaning Words, and Group Conflict.

Prior to reading it, I like to build their background knowledge by asking them, "Do you have a favorite color to use? If so, which color is it? Do you have a favorite thing to draw? Which crayon do you think gets used the most? Why?"

Then I begin reading it aloud! I set the purpose for reading by telling my students: “As we read, pay attention to the purpose of each letter. What does each crayon want? What does each crayon think about the rest of the colors?”

You can also have your students watch and listen to the author reading it! 

After reading the book, I tell the students that the crayons had very strong opinions. We talk about what an opinion is and why it is important to have opinions. We then recall each crayon's opinion by writing it on the chart paper while the student write on their worksheet (below).

The kids LOVE writing quotes for some of their favorite colors in the book. Little do they know they are recalling! :)

 Then students write a letter to one of the crayons persuading them not to quit!

We will graph our class' favorite crayon colors!

Want these worksheets for FREE? Click HERE to download them! 

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Hop around to see what 11 other teachers are recommending for their September book choice!