Friday, October 31, 2014

Five for Spooky Friday!

Happy Halloween!

I'm linking up to share about the week - thanks Kacey for hosting!

5. Yesterday was our field trip to this farm. It was about a hour away & incredibly beautiful! We enjoyed a tractor ride, corn maze, and even s'mores over a campfire!

4. We are having our Book Character Parade today! Students and staff dress up as their favorite book character and we march in a small parade throughout the school to show off costumes. 
I'm the same character every year :)

I have a meeting first thing this morning...
Maybe I should wait on the hat?

3. This week, we had a BIG I.E.P. meeting and we brainstormed suggestions to help a student with responding (i.e.: expressive language). He is working on grade level with accommodations, but is only completing approximately 2 out of 10 questions on his math problem sets, exit tickets, etc. I've found some math apps to provide extra practice, but it's been tricky to align even the best programs. 

This week, I tried simply opening iDraw and having my student complete his work. I just opened a blank screen and he was motivated enough to do his math drawings in order to solve the given problems:

The above picture shows him drawing 10 circles and crossing out 6 to represent 10-6 = 4. It wasn't pretty, and I still have mixed feelings about not having him build stamina using a pencil, but he did accurately complete all three pages of his math unit test with no tears or timeouts (mine or his!). 

Our amazing SLP also recommended iAnnotate and another special educator suggested Magnet Alphabet. I'm going to play around with them this weekend!

2. I saw an email this week about one of my favorite teaching books:

Maia Heyck-Merlin has presented her Together Teacher course the past couple years at the KIPP School Summit and it's always booked solid! I picked up the book, talked to attendees, and felt really excited about everything I've heard and tried. I'm definitely taking this course to learn more. Please let me know if you're signing up, too!

1. If you're looking for some quick & easy Halloween ideas to keep the learning going today, please check out these freebies at my store!

Have a wonderful Halloween & weekend!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WIWW & Pumpkins!

Happy Wednesday!

I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy , The Mummy Chronicles
and these fantastic bloggers for WIWW:

Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah | 
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa | Mary | Sheila | Lana | Lauren | Anna | Alison

I'm afraid I'm letting everyone down this week because I only have ONE outfit to share from the Fall Style Me Pretty Challenge!

But I have the best excuse...I was on an extended weekend getaway to Florida. The weather was absolutely PERFECT and I spent 99.9% of my time walking, reading, and napping on the beach!
My typical Florida wardrobe consists of:

Under Armour tank (I pack 4 colors)
Athleta running skirts (4)
Oversized Sunglasses
Flip Flops

That's it! Easiest packing ever!

I don't even pack make-up or hair products -
that's a true vacation :)

Sadly, I have returned to my Baltimore-reality. Here's proof:

I'm thankful Alison included the vest in this week's outfit - it covers a multitude of vacation indulges (totally worth it!)! 
I hope to update this post with today's outfit - please stop back!

This week, we are having a blast studying all about pumpkins! 
I just discovered this ADORABLE book - have you seen this yet?


We read through the book Monday and Tuesday and used the writing prompts from DeeDee Will's Listening Center
Today we will review the book and watch this:

We also explored our pumpkin theme 
with this week's sensory box:

Have you ever heard of Cloud Dough? It's super-easy to make (& I'm the polar opposite of crafty)! Simply mix 1/8 cup baby oil with 2 cups flour. I added red and yellow food coloring to the baby oil before mixing (it doesn't mix perfectly, but still looked orange-y). I wanted a larger quantity, so I just ended up dumping in about 6 cups of flour and more baby oil until all the flour was saturated, It was incredibly messy to mix up, but not too bad when the students explored. I added these sturdy pumpkin cookie cutters ($0.79 from Target's Halloween section). My students ♥ it!

This post is also linked up with Mrs. Jump's Class

and the fabulous Miss DeCarbo:

Please come back and visit soon! I have lots of exciting things to share as soon as I catch my breath! I have a few projects up my sleeve and I'm almost done with my NWEA Quick Question Cards for Math (!!!), plus a (free) update to the Reading Pack

Thank you very much for reading and catching up! 
Please continue the conversation on tsu...have you joined yet?

Here's an invite:

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm Back & How Do You Tsu?

Happy Monday!

I just got back to town last night, so I'm really missing this:

Sunrise on the bay

Sunset on the gulf

We just flew back after a wonderful three-day visit to Redington Beach, Florida. I can't even write about it without tearing was such a fantastic get-away! Besides my phone, I went technology-free, so I'll be playing catch-up this week!

I did see an invitation to this fly by my screen last week. Have you joined? Here's my contact info and invitation to connect:

I'll see you there and will be back here soon for WIWW!

Have a terrific Monday!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WIWW & Bats!

Happy WIWW!

I'm playing catch-up here...I'm sharing what I wore both this week and last week. This post is linked up with The Pleated Poppy and these lovely bloggers:

Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah | 
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa | Mary | Sheila | Lana | Lauren | Anna | Alison

I opted out of the military jacket :(  It looks adorable on so many of the fellow stylers, but not so much for me. I also took liberty when Alison suggested wearing jeans and substituted pants appropriate for my school. Here goes...

The above picture is my version of the dressy sweatshirt from the challenge list. It was on a major sale from Ann Taylor Loft. I also purchased the olive green dressy sweatshirt (the website was sold out of cream), but it fits so boxy. I need to get my courage up to step way out of my box!

This outfit was a little ho-hum for me in the looks department, but I was super comfy all day. 

This outfit was listed as a boyfriend cardigan, black & white striped top, grey jeans, and leopard flats. I wore charcoal skinnies from White House Black Market (♥), but since they are sooo dark charcoal, I think I would have been better off with black. Again, slightly ho-hum, but I loved mixing leopard and stripes. 

I adore plaid, but if you'd look in my closet may think I went a "little" overboard with it. This outfit kept me warm over the chilly weekend!

I pulled from the last challenge for yesterday's outfit. That was exactly why I wanted to do these discover a few new items to add to my wardrobe and learn how to mix & match my favorite pieces. Thanks Alison!

This week is all about BATS and we've been exploring both nonfiction and the most wonderful storybook: Stellaluna. Have you read this? It features the most beautiful text and illustrations. As a treat for your students, you can also listen to it read aloud here

You will love it as much as your students! The clip is about 11 minutes long, so we chunked it into 3 sections: beginning, middle, end. I used my freebie graphic organizer (you can see it & download it here) and included text-dependent questions in this week's sensory bin:

So much fun!

Here's the books we're using this week:


Warning: the National Geographic book has extremely detailed photographs of all types of bats. It's not for the faint of heart! I seriously break out in a cold sweat looking at them!

This post is also linked up with Mrs. Jump's Class:

Have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Funday

Happy Sunday!

I hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend! 
It's a c-h-i-l-l-y 52 degrees here! Brrr! 

On Sunday, I try to wrap up all my chores and teaching work by 4:00 pm. This is when I move all the packed-up teaching materials towards the front door for early Monday morning. Next weekend, I'll be traveling (woohoo!) and NOT taking my laptop (at least that's the plan), so today I'm busy prepping for the following week, too!

So it was NOT the right weekend to give up my beloved coffee. 

But I did. 

Today is Day 2 and I think I might make it! I am allowing one green or one black tea for now. I swear they are decaf though, because I don't feel that lovely "boost" when I drink it :(

This was last cup of coffee - taken on Friday

I even splurged and put creamer in it (NOT Whole 30)

This is me on the couch yesterday. I do NOT take naps and have never felt the need before. This had me really concerned considering all the work I need to accomplish. But my health is worth it & coffee was no longer my friend :(

I did manage to get dressed yesterday and walk two blocks to my favorite neighborhood restaurant. I'm SO glad I did. Not only was my meal delicious, we got to enjoy the live performance:

That is a real bus stop on my street!
I'm not sure why there are dancers, but they were great!

Then we found out that the restaurant was hosting a Neighborhood Block Party featuring the screening of The Birds. I ♥ anything by Alfred Hitchcock! I strolled home, added UGG boots, my Under Armor cold-gear, and grabbed a blanket to watch the movie. 
It was so much fun!

Back to business: this week, I'll be exploring several different books with my 1st grade intervention, 1st grade Power Hour, and 3rd grade intervention groups. I made this Beginning-Middle-End organizer to use with ALL of them. I hope you can use them, too! Please click here to download. 

This post is linked up with:
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

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Friday, October 17, 2014

5 for Friday: Creepy Counting

Happy Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching
to recap my busy teaching week!

I hope you clicked on Kacey's link above...
her post is FULL of terrific ideas :)

Here's my random "Top 5"

5. Splash Math

Have you seen this app
I am trying out new apps with one student who may qualify for Assistive Technology. I just discovered Splash Math and quickly decided to purchase a classroom copy. So far, so good! The addition practice seems to closely follow our first grade math (influenced by Engage NY and NWEA). I'll keep you posted!

4. Red Hands

Have you downloaded Kimberly Geswein's most recent font?
It may be my most favorite font EVER! As soon as I saw it this week, I downloaded it and switched up a reading response page for my Power Hour. I tried it out with my students and they were able to read it easily. Now that it's been student-approved, I'm moving forward and switching my "Penmanship" fonts to this gem.
Thanks Kimberly ♥

3. The Ghost-Eye Tree

Have you read this book? I had never heard of it until this week. The most wonderful general education teacher read it to her class and then showed us how to make spooky "Ghost Eye" Trees!
Here's some action shots :)

 I promise, the "tree" looks better in person :)

Here's the book - a true classic!


2. 3rd Grade Update

Last week, I dropped my big news...I'm pulling a 3rd grade reading intervention group! That's pretty big news because I've been in first grade for years and kindergarten before that.
Sooo, what have I learned about 3rd grade?

This week, I learned...

These 3rd graders are demonstrating a more extensive (non-academic) vocabulary...this is not necessarily a good thing :(

These 3rd graders decoding skills are waaayyyy above their comprehension.

They may act tough, but they still ♥ all my teaching tricks: stinky markers, GRIT Trackers, WBT rules, Halloween read-alouds... :)

We have four sessions under our belt and I've already seen drastic improvements in behavior. I can't wait to see what next week brings!

1. Creepy Counting On Freebie

I'm sharing a counting on visual chart that I use with my "Math Club" intervention group. I display the chart during our Fact Fluency. My students are really relying on the counting on addition strategy ("put the big number in your head and count on"). Previously I was using a "dot chart" we created together. This week, I brought out this creepy counting on chart:

Please click here to download your copy!

I'm so excited to link up with Teaching Blog Addicts

I'm the featured blogger this week - thank you!!!

Freebie Fridays

Have a fantastic Friday!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WIWW & Pumpkin Freebie!

It's finally here!

Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah | 
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa |  | Sheila | Lana | Lauren | Anna | Alison

The Fall Style Me Pretty Challenge kicked off this week and the amazing Deena from Shoes to Shiraz helped us get ourselves together - thank you!

I'm not too proud of my lack of participation this week...I'm posting how I had to interpret the outfits while I patiently wait for my online shopping orders to arrive. 
Next week will be much better!

Here's Day 1...cute idea, a little ho-hum on me:

It's difficult to see, but the boatneck top is actually
black & white striped ♥

Here's what I wore for Day 2 - I went completely off was supposed to be a solid top, military jacket (not sure the jacket is going to happen for me), scarf, black skinnies, and boots. 
I swapped out the jacket for the vest:

It was "okay" - not sure if I'll be reaching for this outfit again.

More outfits to come...stay tuned!

This post is also linked up with 

We are off to the pumpkin patch today for a 1st grade field trip...or are we? It's supposed to be rainy all day :(

Here's a freebie writing prompt that will work with any pumpkin exploration. I'll be using it to capture our favorite moments using our five senses...what did we see, hear, smell, feel/touch, taste...?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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