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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

We know our MATH FACTS Jack!

I don't know about you but every year one of my big goals in math is for them to master their basic addition and subtraction math facts.
When I was student teaching, the teacher and grade level that I student taught with did minute math fact fluency tests.  These tests are not all +1, +2, +3, and so on.  My thought with doing fact fluency tests like that are that the kids are learning the pattern - not actually learning the facts so that they can whip out the answer when you give them the problem in day-to-day math problems.
I have used these fact fluency tests each year that I have taught (so 4 years), and a little over a year ago, I gave them a major facelift from the ones that I made in year 1!  And of course, here in NC, Duck Dynasty is a favorite show amongst many of my kiddos (and me!), so they have a Robertson Family twist.
The way our schedule works, or the way it did this past year,  was that our PE/Health schedule we would alternate PE one week and Health the next week.  On our Health week, we stop by the playground for recess time on our way back to the room for lunch.  Since our gym is in our elementary building, after PE, we head back to the room for lunch.  So, why did I tell you all that?  On our PE weeks, we do our fact fluency tests after lunch.  We just don't have time on our Health/Recess weeks.  So, on our PE weeks, we try to do it all 5 days that week.
Every kiddo starts on Level A of addition.  To move on to the next level, they have to master all problems on the 1/2 sheet in the minute that they are given.  If they don't finish, I let them keep it to study for the next day - because they will get that test again until they master it.  There are 14 problems on each test.
Once they get to the end of the addition set, there is a full sheet that has a combination of all the math facts from all the previous levels.  Now - don't fret!  They don't have 1 minute for this test.  Since it is like 4 of the previous level tests, I give them 4 minutes.  So, I set my timer for 4 minutes and then stop all the 1-minuters after 1-minute and let the "big sheet" kids keep going, until the timer is done. 
 Once they have mastered all addition, they move on to subtraction.  I have also included multiplication in the set on TPT, but I don't do the multiplication tests with my kiddos.  If I have a really bright group, I might pull them out to give them a challenge once they finish subtraction.
How do I organize it all?
Well, I wish I had pictures, but I use one of these boxes
and have hanging file folders inside.  Each folder holds 2 levels of fact fluency tests, one on each side of the folder.  I use little tabs at the top of the folders so I know which tests are in which folder.  I have color coded my files and the way I track student progress with Yellow being Addition and Green being Subtraction.

So, how do I keep track (for me and my kiddos) of who is on what level?
I have been blessed with a lot of cabinets at the back of my classroom.  I have all of the Robertson clan printed and housed at the bottom of the top level of cabinets.  Then, I have yellow and green circles to track where the kiddos are.  They get to move their circle from level to level.  After I grade the tests, I hand back the ones that did not pass all the problems so they can practice, and then those that passed, I call one-by-one and they go move their circle.   The reason that I use different color circles to track is so that I know who is on addition and who is on subtraction - because, you will end up with kiddos working on subtraction, while others are still on addition.

Have any questions?!?!  Please ask!  I know I forgot to include all the little details, so if you have a questions about something - please ask!

Head on over to my store and check the product out - it just got a facelift with some new things added!

Monday, June 29, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Week 3 Make Your Masterpiece

Two posts in one morning!  Whew!
I'm back again this week for the 3rd week of the #TPT SellerChallenge hosted by some amazing teachers.  This week was all about finishing a product and making it a masterpiece.
Well, last night about 11PM, I wrapped up this little project that I had actually started last week, but I've been thinking about it for weeks.  Yesterday, I enjoyed our gorgeous summer weather with highs in the upper 80's (it's been 95 and above for almost 2 and a half weeks) and powered through to really get a lot of this done.
A little background...over the past couple years, my kiddos and I have done novel studies on the Doll People Series and with some requests to do other novel studies, I decided to take on a new favorite book character - Judy Moody!  I had a bunch of the books already, but over the last few weeks of school between Scholastic Reading Club and the Scholastic Warehouse Sale, I think I have most all of the Judy Moody as well as the Judy Moody and Friends books.
So, the first project I decided to tackle with Judy Moody was the Judy Moody and Friends set.  There are currently 5 books in this series and I'm hoping they will add more.  These books are early chapter books and each book has 3 short chapters and the pages are in full color - so your it captures the interest of your early chapter book readers.

So what's included in this set?
Well, for each book there is a novel study/book companion/book study that includes 6 multiple choice and 2 written comprehension questions per chapter (so 18 MC and 6 WC per book) as well as some type of craftivity.  Each craft has a writing activity or comprehension activity to go with the craft.

Check out my crafting from last night...

What's your next masterpiece?

Monday Made-It: June 29th!

Hey y'all!  It's hard to believe that summer is going by so fast - it's already June 29th!  Next Monday, I'll be off to Vegas, and then the next week I'll be in back-to-school mode.  We have optional workdays Wed-Fri of that week and then on the 20th, we all report back for teacher workdays!
But, I've been busy again this week with all kind of new Monday made-it projects - too many to share!  So, I tried to pick 3 types of things that I could group together to share plenty!

Speaking of Vegas...I got all my handouts for both my conferences next week printed and bound!  Was going to go the binder route, but opted to use my new, awesome binding machine to bind them instead and I LOVE it so much more than using a binder!

#2 Part 1 - Student Work Folders

Since I am OCD and Type A, I want my kiddos to also be organized, so I make them these awesome work folders to keep in their chair pockets.  I purchase 1 pronged folder and one not-pronged folder to make one set for each student.  

Take the not-pronged folder, and hole punch, if necessary, then turn the folder inside out.

Put the folder on the prongs, fold up the prongs, and you now have a 4 pocket folder for each student.  I just need to print my labels that I add on each pocket folder section so the kiddos know where to put their work.  Plus, it helps them (and me!) find work when we go looking for MIA work!

#1 Part 2 - Some bulletin board and work display headers thanks to my Cricut!

Going to mount our anchor chart pad on the bathroom door - so it needed a pretty title.  Going to give anchor charts a try this year!

Our closet door is going to #AwesomeWork!

And then I have my College Bound Kiddos!  You can find an editable set of these in my TPT store!

Editable name tags!  Last year, I made a personalized name tag for each kiddo in my class.  The colors were random, but the kiddos LOVED having their own little Melonheadz (even though they didn't know what they were called).  So, this year, I gave them a facelift and then added them to my TPT store.  There are 76 (yes 76!!), different kiddos to choose from, so you can match up your students with their own Melonheadz.  I give my kiddos numbers, so I have a set that includes a place for their number as well as a set without numbers.

Last night, I also finished up my Judy Moody & Friends book companion set - spent my evening doing a little crafting!  Book companion and crafts for all 5 books in the series!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

They had me a free shirt!

When I was in college, we had a t-shirt for every event - and I mean EVERY!  Meredith girls were well known for having tons of t-shirts.  I think that is where my love and need for a t-shirt began.  Even though I used all of my favorite MC t-shirts to make a t-shirt quilt, I still have a drawer full of t-shirts - NC State shirts, MC shirts, monogrammed shirts, and TEACHER shirts!

So when I saw on Instagram that A+ Images was giving away free t-shirts to teacher bloggers, I hopped on their website and uploaded my new blog button in hopes that I would get my shirt before Vegas in a couple weeks!  It came on Monday and I couldn't be more thrilled with how it came out - so glad I didn't opt to buy one from zazzle, when I had a store credit a couple months ago! 

Make sure to check out A+ Images - follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram!

If you're going to be at the SDE national conferences and TPT conference in Las Vegas in a couple weeks, make sure to stop by their booth.  If you got a custom blog shirt too - wear it when you visit their booth, you can earn a free chance to spin their prize wheel!

Monday, June 22, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Week 2 Dare to Dream

"Everyone deserves the chance to fly!" - Elphaba, Wicked

My favorite musical is Wicked, for many reasons, but this quote is so true - everyone does deserve a chance to fly and soar for their dreams.   Teachers Pay Teachers has been a dream for me and I continue to dream of what I can do because of TPT!

1.  Save for the Future - as a single, twenty-something, I've got a whole lot of things to look forward to in my future - marriage, kids, and a whole lot more.  I want to continue to be able to put some of my earnings from TPT aside to help pay for my wedding (please, Lord, send me a man!), buying a house, kids, and being able to do all sorts of fun things with my family.

2.  Shopping without guilt - before TPT, I was very careful about how I spent my money when I went shopping.  And now, I still am - I went shopping last week and used at least one coupon everywhere I went!  But, I am glad that TPT has allowed me to not feel so guilty about splurging on something that I really want.

3.  National Boards - I am hoping dreaming, that I can begin the National Boards process in the next couple years (maybe even this year!).  I am even taking a couple field tests for my desired certification area so that I can get a feel of what the tests are like.  TPT will allow me to help pay for this process.  Now it takes 3-4 years, so I can stretch these "payments" out, which is a good thing, but feel more comfortable with moving forward and being able to pay for it.

What are you daring to dream about?

Monday Made-It: June 22

Hey y'all!
Another week means a lot of stuff accomplished!  Got lots of projects checked off my TPT list, starting lining up and organizing name tags and stuff for Vegas (14 days, if anyone's counting!), did some crafting, shopping, and a national boards field test.
So, I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It to share some of my projects I accomplished since last Monday!

First up, new posters!  The first two, I got printed from Snapfish and they came a couple weeks ago on my last day of school.  I went to Office Max on Saturday and got them laminated - they have a teacher discount - FYI!  The Lost Tooth Club poster is in my Tooth Fairy Files pack on TPT - as my kiddos lose teeth, I'll add their name to the chart and then add a check mark for each tooth they lose throughout the year.  The phonics program we use in K-2 is Letterland (LOVE!) and a couple months ago, the started sending their characters around the world in their monthly newsletter.  So, this year, we are going to join them - I'll make passport stamps for all those squares on the poster.  Can't wait!

Next - updated my uniform check poster for my door.  Note to self, share with staff!

And, made a poster with our name on your paper song!

Next up - name tags for blogger meet-ups in Vegas!

Last, I gave my classroom mailboxes and the bookshelf that sits under them a MAJOR facelift.  The bookshelf I inherited my first year teaching, so it is over 4 years old.  The mailboxes, I got my first year, so they are 4 years old.  Both were wood-tone laminate and I have managed to get rid of all my wood-tone tables since they didn't match, and it was time for these to go too.  But, I couldn't find a bookshelf the same size and this one, so I had to give it a makeover!

There were plastic strips that went along the horizontal dividers that I had covered with chevron duct tape a couple years ago.  Forgot to include those in the picture.


So, after many hours spent at the kitchen counter with my mom, and lots of contact paper, I now have a pretty bookshelf and mailboxes to match!



And put them together like they'll be in my classroom

Have a great week!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Made-It June 15th

Hello friends!
I'm back from a relaxing vacation in Virginia with my family and have already hit the ground running on some fun stuff for next school year!  I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made-It!

New bathroom passes!  Before I had even gotten out of school for summer, I saw this awesome idea for bathroom passes on Instagram from Fun with Firsties and knew immediately I had to find me some mini cones!  If only I had waited, I would have found the perfect thing at Target.  I bought some on eBay too last week and they are coming from China.  Got home from vacation, went to Target, and found the perfect thing and a variety of colors.  Oh well,  guess I'll just resale the cones when they make it to me!

Anyways, the idea of the cones is that students can use them during small group instruction like Daily 5 - they just take the cone, put it at their seat, and go to the bathroom.  That way, I know who is out of the room in the event we have a fire or lockdown drill.  When they come back, the put the cone back and someone else can come.

I used my trusty Cricut Explore and some adorable Melonheadz clipart to cutsefy (yeah, I just made up a word) the cones.

Next up, line-up numbers!  I love using vinyl in the classroom!  For the past couple years, I have tried different ways of putting numbers on my floors so my kiddos know where their spot is when we are lining up.  First, I used calendar numbers taped to the floor - well, the tape didn't hold up.  Last year, I used cream colored vinyl and wrote the numbers on the vinyl with sharpie, and then again paint pen - well the numbers didn't last on the vinyl.

This year, I think I've got the trick!  Once again, I used my handy dandy Cricut Explore and cut the numbers out of colored vinyl, so the number will be the color of my tile floors (creamish) and the burgundy will match the burgundy tiles that are also on the floor.  The outdoor vinyl (Oracle 651) held up very well in the classroom last year, so I'm hoping it will do the same this year.

Last, new class jobs!

A couple months ago, I got an idea to display my class jobs like they were t-shirts on a clothesline.  So, last week on vacation, I tackled this idea and yesterday afternoon, I put together a sample to share!  Of course, it's summer and I'm not at school with my super cute bulletin board, so I can't wait to get back next month and put it all together!

Excuse the "bareness" of my room - I was packing up and prepping bulletin boards for next year!

I got the jute roper at Michaels (Recollections brand, about $4 -but use a coupon!) and clothespins (the ones I have to use in my closet at school) are from Walmart (50 pack for .97).  I'm going to write my kiddos' names on the clothespins to clip to the jute rope so they know which job is theirs.

Well, that's it for this week!  I've got some more projects on tap for this week, so I'll have more to share next week...hint - chevron contact paper and morning work!