Monday, January 28, 2013

Growing writers one day at a time...

Every morning my sweet little kiddos come in and get busy with their writing journals.  We have been working all year to build their writing stamina.  When we first started, they were barely able to make it 3 minutes without someone saying, “I’m all done” or “I don’t know what to write”! 

Journaling from November!

I am happy to report that they are now able to write for a solid 15 minutes!  It sure makes me proud of them when I look around and see their ideas pouring out of their heads and onto the paper! 

Journaling from last Friday; and this was just in 5 minutes!

I started the year with a blank journal for them with prompts written on the board.  In November I started using a pre-printed monthly writing journal that have the prompts and sentence starters already there for them. It has made a huge difference in their writing!!  Visit my TPT store to see them in more detail.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you all have a great week!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Classroom Library Organization

Thanks to a small snow event, I have an extra 2 hours this morning!  Hooray for snow delays!  I thought I would add a quick blog post about classroom libraries! 

I don't know if you're like me or not but I just LOVE books and therefore I am constantly adding new books to my class library. 

An awesomely organized teacher friend of mine turned me on to a cool app for my phone that will scan the books and create a database on my phone which includes title, author, a picture of the cover and so much more!  It's called booksapp2 and it is FREE!  It certainly comes in handy when I am planning with my team and we are trying to pick books to use for a lesson or when someone says, "Does anyone have a copy of ...?" 

The app has a built in book  scanner that allows your phone to be the scanner.  You just aim your phone at the ISBN bar code on the back and it will find the book for you!  Scanning the book automatically creates all the data for that book like subjects, author, number of pages, release date...! 

I had some awesome student helpers come in and scan books for me last winter, they came in during indoor recess which was a great help!  Now I know exactly what books I have in my library; all I have to do is find them when I need them!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Please let me know what other cool things you do to help keep your classroom libraries organized!!

July 7, 2014 ~ Check out my newest updated library and iPhone app post here!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Class memory quilt

This week in class my cuties created this awesome quilt of their timeline memories! 

They created their own timelines at home with their parent's help and then shared them with the class.  It was so great getting to see all my cuties' baby pictures and hearing about all their major accomplishments in life! lol
After we all shared (yup, that's my timeline on the top) our timelines we each chose our favorite memory to create a quilt square.

After we edited our work we were ready to assemble and decorate our quilt!  
My cuties were so clever about how they wanted to design the edges of our quilt.  I really thought they would each want to draw random pictures all around the edges but as we talked about it they decided that the designs should be in some sort of pattern.  After some debate they decided polka dots on the two sides, stars on the top,  hearts on the bottom, and squiggles on the diagonal pieces.  :)

Here they are working hard on their edge designs!  Amazing and so much fun!  I just love it when a writing assignment has them so invested and engaged!!

What a nice way to end the 2nd quarter!  I am ready for a nice LONG weekend!!

Oh dear, I almost FORGOT - here is a FREEBIE for you in case you want to try this fun writing activity sometime!  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's the little things that mean the most...

Randi over at Teach it With Class is hosting a linky party about all those precious little things that students give us to show their love!

What a fun idea and SO true! 

My first class made me this box and filled it with special notes and cards to me!  Those notes were so sweet, of course they made me cry!  Although the gems are falling off the box now, I use it to keep all my special notes and cards!
Another year, my students each wrote a note to me and a wonderful parent put them all together on a jump ring for me to have all in one place!  I love these.  I keep these on my bulletin board near my desk and will periodically flip them to display a different note!  In this note, you will see that I am "the best" and "cool" ! 

In this sweet note, Vania wished that I could be her teacher forever!  Awww!  I just love these cuties!!

Check out this awesome gift!  These flowers and vase is so impressive and creative!  The vase is made out of newspaper weaved like a basket!  Very cool, I just love handmade gifts! 

This cute little cat was made by Sofia.  She was so proud of her work and the thing that seemed to make her the happiest was that I kept it on my desk right next to my computer!  Which reminded me that not only do these cuties love us, they really want us to love them right back! 

Thanks, Randi for reminding me that it's the little things that mean the most!!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Snow Friends Freebie

This Friday we read the book Snow Friends by M. Chritina Butler!  What a great story!  My cuties did a great job identifying Little Bear's feelings and wrote about how they changed throughout the story!  As you can see they created their own bears when they were done with their writing.   Hop over to my TPT store to grab this Snow Bear freebie!
Thanks for visiting, enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thanks for stopping my new blog!  I am excited to be here sharing my little corner of the world with you!  Welcome to our classroom! 

These are our class pets;  Pancakes and Sprinkles!  They are gerbils and we just love them.  If you are thinking about getting a class pet I highly recommend gerbils.  They are very low maintenance and very high entertainment!  I got a grant for them so they are super affordable too!
Students take them home on the weekends but they live with me over vacations and the summer!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year's Resolution

So one of my new year's resolutions was to start blogging!  After days of learning, planning and trying to design, I am finally ready to post my first post!

Hello world!