Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
I bought black because it was the only one they had left at the time. The first time I came across this, they had black, dark blue, even a deep green. I should have picked them up then, I just wasn't sure what I was going to do with them.
This year I vow to be much more organized with MY things. I work so hard to give student's a place to keep their things nice and neat, but everyday I'm scrambling to find my misplaced keys before recess. Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I sent a sweet little kid to my room at recess to track down my sunglasses. Oh, and that recess whistle lasted a whole day. It must have fallen in the black hole of K3.
Okay, so to do this I used the organizer, a glue stick, double sided tape, some extra dicut thingies I had laying around, scissors, and two Command hooks.
The hooks are not required. The organizer comes with a string tied to help it hang. I didn't want my organizer to swing around. So, I untied the knot and pulled the string out. (As you can see in the second picture.) Command has some really nice colorful hooks that were very tempting. You'll notice the grommet holes are not that big, that's why I went with these command hooks with thinner hooks.
If you are using Command (or other hooks), go ahead and put them on the wall before you make your organizer all sweet looking. It says it needs an hour to bond to the wall, that was very hard for me to do. I'm a tad impatient and want to see results!
Okay, to start I figured out which dicuts I was going to use. I went ahead and laminated them. Then, I printed labels on regular paper. It would have been smart to print the labels on sticky label paper- thought of that later of course. So my labels are: sunglasses, keys and whistle, nurse pass, bandaids, and I left the green star blank. I'm sure I'll think of something to put in there.
Let me know what you think! But before I go, here are a couple of other great items I found on my trip to the dollar store.
My favorite of all: BLING! I bought this package because it has several colors. I also bought a package of clear stones. I've used this to bling up some of my letters on the word wall (those vowels of course) and for my Wall of Fame. Fun!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Alright, so if you already have your spinners or you are going out to get one I have some advice. Before you walk to the check out counter give your spinner a little wiggle. You want to make sure your spinner will actually spin. I bought 4 spinners, 1 of them had a sticky spinner and will have to be exchanged. Hopefully I saved you some time and trouble.
Okay, now this made me a little nervous at first, but trust me. You want to pop off the black plastic spinner. I was so gentle at first, I didn't want to break it. By my third spinner I was not holding back. The plastic is pretty sturdy, as long as you pull from the middle circle part NOT the skinny arrow. I held the bottom piece with one hand, and snapped the top off with the other.
Now that you have it off, put the spinner on the back on the cardboard. This time with the spinner on the white side. (This is crazy, I know, but I just thought 8 was too many options for my sweet first graders. I wanted a pretty white background for my new and improved spinners.)
Testing to make sure it spins. The first time I pushed the arrow piece in too hard and it was locked in place. I just popped it out a bit and it was ready to spin.
At this point, I was ready to add my new template. The picture you see above was printed on regular copy paper so I could make this post. In all honesty, it should be printed on cardstock and/or laminated.
This is one of my templates with a green background. If you print the background it actually sits a little flatter. In the document above you will get every spinner with a color and a white background. You can decide, but I know some of us are printing at home and want to be mindful of our ink usage. If you decide to print the white background (like my samples above), you can always use removable double sided tape to hold it down if it bothers you. I could just see the edges curling up over time with use.
Here are some more ideas I had for the spinner:
1. Daily 5- One of my favorite things about Daily 5 is the student gets to choose their literacy activity. What do you do when a kid is indecisive? Really, I think one student used this strategy as work avoidance or maybe just to see if it got under my skin. Well, this year, I'm going to put the activities on the spinner. I'll give the student an opportunity and time to decide, but when I'm ready to start my guided reading group we are gonna spin that sucker and the student will snap to work. (Hopefully.)
*Notice I did not put Listen to Reading on the spinner. You can definitely add that if you want. We use iTouches for LTR and if this student is the last to decide, chance are the iTouches are already in use. Talking with teachers about Daily 5, I kinda get the idea that you are all in the same boat when it comes to equipment and managment at LTR.
2. Work on Words/Spelling Station- Throughout the blogging world I've seen several fun, creative ideas for writing high frequency and/or sight words. Super cut tic tac toe boards, menus, etc. I borrowed some of these ideas and put them on my spinner. This way the child will spin to determine how they are going to practice their words.
3. Writing Prompts- Let me start by saying, I'm looping with my class from kinder to first grade. So, the majority of the students have already had me (and the Lucy Calkins Units of Study) for a year. I realize most of you can't whip this out the first week of school, but for what it's worth...
4. So the possiblities are endless. That being said, I also attached some blank spinners and some that just have numbers. Then you can create your own menu to match different subject areas.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Okay, but I will give you a little tiny hint. If you happen to be at Dollar tree and notice some colorful spinners- pick them up! (When I say them, I mean 2-3 honestly.) OR if you happen to see a little plastic 5-pocket organizer that looks like a mini shoe organizer- pick that up too! And pick up one for each of your team mates. I mean really, it's a dollar! I promise you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what I made.
FYI- If you live in the North Dallas area: I cleaned the Richardson Dollar Tree (off Coit and Beltline-ish by Whole Foods) out of 5 pocket organizers. Manager said he gets another shipment in Friday, should have lots at that time. Lewisville Dollar Tree has lots of spinners, no organizers but they supposedly got a shipment today. Crossing my fingers because I need more. Dollar Tree in The Colony has lots of everything when I checked last weekend. Good luck!
Monday, August 8, 2011
I'm falling in love with this part of my room. My room mom putting together the rest of my book boxes. That's why it only goes across half the way. Trying to decide for sure what I'm going to put on the bottom shelf. With that crazy bulletin board fabric (from Ikea by the way, $1.99/yard plus it's over 60 inches wide) I need to keep it clean on these shelves. If you can see that black chair on the left side, my 2006-2007 class made that for me. It has all their sweet names on the back. Even though it has my maiden name and old school on it, I will use it every year until it literally crumbles under my bum.
This is what it looks like when you walk in my room. The blue bulletin board is blank, but I'm going to use this to post "How to Choose the Right Fit Book" with the kids. It will probably be blank until the second week of school. Is it just me or does that clock look realllly small up there in the corner. I will need to invest in a new one soon, this one is not so great at keeping the time anyway.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
It's hard to imagine snow here in Texas where it is currently 106 degrees, but here goes nothing...
For this project we let the students choose which animal they wanted to research. Again, Nancy Deveneau and I went to several libraries to find books. In the end we narrowed it down to about eight different animals. (Sadly, there was not enough literature out there on the arctic fox- bummer!) Since the kids picked their animals the groups were multi-talented and had varied levels of readers. This worked out perfectly!
One important thing we did in the library before we officially started research is make a list of the books we were using. The kids had a typed piece of paper titled "Resources." Then it was numbered 1-6, although some groups had more than six and had to add on. The students wrote down the titles and authors of all the books (in groups of course, we don't want a student to get writer's cramp). In some groupse we had Zoobooks and other magazines so we showed them how to record this as well. Then, we let the kids look through the books and explore.
Before we started the project I asked the students to fill this out to the best of their ability. At the end of the research I allowed them to go back and add on. This was great for pre and post asessment.
After recording their resources and the pre-assessment (so about the third day), I gave each student a research packet. This included the research project page on top and all the corresponding pages behind it. I stapled it booklet style (three staples on the left side) to keep it together. I knew the kids would be flipping back and forth A LOT. Okay, confession, this was way more copy paper than I was comfortable using. I'm all about going green, but honestly it was worth it in the end.
Size it Up
X Marks the Spot
Predator and Prey
Five Fabulous Facts
1. I went old school style and handwrote the page numbers. Yes, I'm sure there is a way to combine all documents and have a pretty little typed number on the bottom. If you figure that
out, please email me the upgraded copy! I didn't bother with this because I wanted to print my pages front to back and save trees. Once I had a finished copy front to back I added the page numbers to the bottom corner AND on the tic tac toe board. I wanted the kids to be able to find the activity fast.
2. On the X Marks the Spot page, again I went old school. I printed a world map from our online social studies resources, cut it out, and glued it on the page. Sorry I left a big blank space there, forgive me!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Download the Skunk Page
Download the Raccoon Page
Also, tomorrow I will be posting our polar unit. We did this in January when the kids were really soaring with their reading and had experience with research. I LOVE the arctic/polar project we came up with and can't wait to share it with you. You will definitely see how we layed the foundation with night animals and then built up. Enjoy!