Tuesday, March 27, 2012

May The Force Be WIth You :0)

Ok, all my Star Wars lovers out there listen up. I made this terrific new game that my kids are chomping at the bit to get into our Word Study center. This is a word wall game that allows for repeated exposure to those most important sight words.
Check it out! And....the best part - It's FREE!! Get it HERE.
I've been teaching the game in small groups this week and the kids are IN LOVE!


The kids choose a Star Wars character and try to collect "gold stars" (they are really gold spray-painted lima beans (the same ones I used for my Leprechaun Gold game). I love it when I can cut out extra work for myself :0)

When they draw a card with a star and read the word correctly, they get a "gold star" to put on their characters. However, beware of the "Black Hole" card - if you get this -- you lose ALL your "gold stars"............ Because there's a little luck involved - it keeps even the struggling readers engaged and optimistic they can WIN!!!

**This FREE game contains 39 kindergarten level word wall words. I have a 2nd grade version that is $3.95 because there are over 100 words included)**


Monday, March 26, 2012

Management Monday

Ok, so I'm running a little behind today with my "Management Monday" post, but I have a really good excuse -- really I do. My kids are slated to take the new Texas state assessment tomorrow - STAAR (yeah we're reaching for the stars here in Texas)........Hopefully you didn't detect the sarcasm there :0) Anyways, we had to get things done extra early and ready to go - so STAAR day goes off without a hitch!

I really could post for DAYS about my distaste of high-stakes testing......but this one is really ridiculous. Students, teachers, and administrators don't know what to expect.... like a stab in the dark. Yes we know the content to be taught....but we all know the format and technicalities can really affect the outcome....

Anyways - that is not what my post is about.....see - I nearly went off about it.....but I'm determined to be good :0)

The important part :0)........

I do want to share with you something wonderful that I adore! I remember the old days back in college when you had that super important assignment due....but you were out of ink at home so you had to print it at school.... Remember?? You had 2 choices ~~ either email it to yourself or pull out the old flashdrive (if you could find it..... don't look at me like that.....I'm not the only one who lost as many flashdrives as I bought).......

I don't have to worry about either one anymore. I use DROPBOX.....I don't remember who let me in one this gem.....but it sure is a lifesaver! And, it's FREE! I don't lose anything anymore and ALWAYS have my files with me :0)

Whatever you need to save....documents, photos, graphics, videos, etc. - you save directly to DROPBOX - and next time you need to access that file --BINGO-- it's there - whatever computer, whatever time, whatever place!! 

Go check it out and see if it fits your needs..... Again - it's FREE!

I am in LOVE!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Leprechaun Visit



Alright, so I am breaking a blogging rule.... I know.. I know... but I can't help it! I've been dying to share our leprechaun visit with you! It was amazing!
Now we are out on Spring Break this week - so our leprechaun came to visit last week :0)

We began by reading this book Monday morning. It's a wonderful book about 3 leprechauns trying to do their leprechaun duty (put the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow) - but they keep getting distracted because they love causing mischief!




 As kids returned from P.E. we discovered this note amongst a mess in our room. 








Then, later in the day as we got ready to do Writer's Workshop, we discovered that Jack the Leprechaun had dumped all our crayons out of our bags.... Well they know how Mrs. Partin feels about having our supplies in the correct place -- so they were as upset as I was :0)



On Tuesday when we arrived at school imagine our surpris when we saw that Jack had been walking all over our tables and everywhere!! (he left a little green sand in the restroom - this kind of freaked them out so I wouldn't advise doing that again :0)










On Wednesday, our crazy leprechaun flipped our behavior clip chart completely upside down!! He was on top and all the kids were on bottom - What??? We can't have that!


Then later in the week we got a note from Jack again that said that he lost some gold while he was playing in our room and asked if we'd help him find it. During centers, a few kids noticed that they found something gold and shiny under the tables - so the search was on!


Yay! We found the gold! That crazy leprechaun "hid" it under our very own seats!  

Friday was the big day - Jack's last HURRAH! We arrive to find green everywhere! It looked like there had been a party in that classroom overnight! 











He even left some yummy-yums for for us!










And, on a sadder note (well sad for me - great for her).....my dear friend Sherry, who is the most amazing teacher ever and has volunteered in my room all year long, has found a job. Last Friday was her last day helping in my class. Those are memories I will hold for a lifetime. I appreciate her dedication and know she will do great in her new position. But, of course, I will greatly miss having her there!

And, my student teacher - Rebecca successfully completed her time with me and is now off to 4th grade. Bye Rebecca - I know you will do amazing things in your teaching career! So, after Spring Break - it's back to just me and the kiddos!!


Hope you enjoyed!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching

Ok so i dedicated Wednesdays to finding fantastic websites that only teachers can appreciate... Many will be interactive websites for kids to use. However, I found a teacher site that I simply MUST share with you!

The site I will share is Teaching and Learning Together. You may have seen this teacher, Miss Freundlich on Pinterest as it is where I first saw one of her videos. However, as I began doing more searching and video-watching - I fell in LOVE with her teaching style. She uses the WBT philosophy of teaching. WBT stands for Whole Brain Teaching - it also used to be called Power Teaching. I use some aspects of WBT in my own classroom, but seen many more from her that I am interested in trying.

Check her out! Her website if now one of my favorites!




I love the hand gestures and the kids being so much more interactive in the "Teach/Okay". I've never seen the "blow it in your hand and release" - LOVE THAT!

The kids learn those expectations so well they can do it independently--so important! It gives them such ownership of the rules.
My favorite is rule #5 ;0) Keep Your Dear Teacher Happy - doesn't that really incorporate all of them :0)

I love seeing the kids using the mirror technique - how focused they are!



I hope you enjoyed these videos as much as I did! If you liked these videos make sure you check out her website!