Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Currently.. Sat What?

First of all, you are probably wondering if your eyes are deceiving you... is Terri really blogging?? It's so challenging to find a medium between blogging, teaching, and of course being a wife and a mommy to two boys. It's overwhelming, y'all. Not to mention that I'm EXHAUSTED when I get home. This year has been one of the most challenging years ever!  I have had such unmotivated students. Let's save that for later, because today is Sunday and it's my day :)

Now on to my Currently....

LISTENING: Does anyone else constantly have music playing in there house, or is it just me? I usually have country playing, but last night we played Phase Ten and were listening to a different radio station... I don't really like the "Black Widow" song... :)

LOVING: Is anyone else tired of the cold? I'm usually up for it, but we've had so many teases with snow that I'm ready for summer. I'm also ready for my short and tank top runs. This bundling up to run is for the birds... I hate it!

THINKING: Okay, so I am totally obsessed with Mama Laughlin on Instagram. That woman's body is IN-CRE-DIBLE! Not to mention that she's absolutely gorgeous! Go check her out.

WANTING: This year has been so challenging. I've felt like I have been in a funk all year long. I know it's the group of students I teach because I have never felt like this. I am hoping this warm weather will fix the funk. Being in a classroom all day while it's cold isn't any fun. It doesn't help that we can't seem to get a normal week in since January. I have some big plans in the future that I'm hoping will work out. I can't share right now, because I'm not sure how it IS going to work out.

NEEDING: Do I need to say more??

SPRING BREAK PLANS: Not much to say except... can it get here soon enough???

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Task Card Dividers

A few weeks ago, I was at Target and found these AWESOME wire baskets in the dollar section. They were only $3 and very durable. I actually need to go back and snag a few more! At first, I honestly had no idea what to use them for. Then, I remembered that my task card collection is TOTALLY out of control!  I mean, they were literally scattered all over my classroom. At times, I had no idea that some sets even existed... can I get an amen? I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this issue! 

Yesterday, we had a teacher workday. Going in, I knew my #1 goal was to get my task cards all fixed up! Today I decided to give a sneak peek of my dividers on Instagram. The interest was overwhelming. So, I decided to post them on TpT for *FREE*!  Did you hear me?? 

Here are a few more close ups. 

You can click the image below to download them from TpT. It includes an editable file with the tabs I have already created as well as blank ones to add your own text. If you are interested, go grab yours, add your own text, print them out, and laminate! 

Enjoy :)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Favorite Pins Friday

Hey, y'all! One of my new year resolutions will be to spend a little more time on this here blog. So, I'm starting early. It's soooo crazy around my house during the week, but if I can get in at least a Favorite Pins post each week, I'll be happy with that!

 This is absolutely one of my favorites! It could be that's because it's is mine.  But seriously, this is by far one of the best decisions I have ever made. A simple focus board is just what my classroom needed. With my older one, there was a lot of information which was great, but I ran into the problem of never having time to fill it all out. Many times, some parts were left blank. Not with this one! It's simple, to the point, and I love it!
 How many of you are pledging to exercise more and eat a little less for the upcoming year {can I get an amen!}? This is one of my favorite clean eating pins out there. I have two picky eaters in my house. Those two have no idea just how healthy this dish is! I did change the brown rice to dirty rice which contained brown and long-grain rices.
 I love this handout because parents are always asking how they can help their child at home with reading. My response is always to encourage their children to read. After all, this is the ONLY way to improve reading skills. This, on the other hand, is a great way to make parents feel as though they are doing their part.
 This is by far one of the most organized teachers I have ever read! You have got to go and check out her post on how she plans her lessons. It really made me reevaluate my planning process.
I will begin implementing Google Classroom when I return in January. I can't wait to try it out and share all about it! To say that I {and my students} are excited is an understatement. Stay tuned as this post will be coming in the next few weeks!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Around the Classroom

Last year, I posted a million pictures of my new 5th grade classroom. As I got ready to start back this year, I was fortunately in the same classroom. Everything pretty much went right back to where it was before. My room is kind of small, so there's not really many options. This year, I got *REALLY* tired of never having enough room. My students would have to move up for someone to get by, things would have to be moved to fit at the small group table, and it was just CRAZY! I had been wanting to move my small group table in front of my desk for long time, I just wasn't sure I would like it. To be honest, I really don't like my desk facing the wall, but it is definitely growing on me, and not having a whiteboard behind me really bothers me. Fortunately, I have an easel that I can easily wheel over to use if needed.

I wanted to share photos of my new small group area, so I decided that I would share a few pictures of my other favorite places, too! There's really nothing to take away from this post, but I know that I always enjoy checking out other teachers' classrooms!

My super awesome small group caddy that keeps all my pencils, pens, markers, and highlighters!
My teacher desk :) Up against the wall :(
It's the little things...
Can you tell I love pens??? LOL
My homework board :)
My new focus/objective board. I am *SO* in love with this thing :)
My husband built me these wonderful wooden apple bookends. 8 years going strong!
Document Camera Station
My Library
{with lots of new books}

**MORE NEW BOOKS** I Love Them!!!!
I still love my Thirty-One wall organizer!
Teacher Organization!!!
What keeps me sane :)
My kids love book shares. Every week my students sign up to share their current favorite read! This is their most *FAVORITE* time!
My Word Work Supplies
My Evidence Board
I had to add in my Christmas tree :)
My vintage Charlotte's Web novel :)
More Bookshelves & Storage
My reading chair... I spend a lot of time here :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Teaching Theme

Theme is a {HUGE} 5th grade standard! Not only in fiction texts, but students have to identify theme in poetry and dramas. Theme is always a tricky standard to teach... especially for struggling students.

First, I started off with this anchor chart. Message isn't really a 5th grade standard, but they will be talking about it in 6th grade. I wanted to give them (especially my advanced and gifted students) a preview that although they are similar, theme and message are NOT the same.

To get things moving along a bit, we read Rumpelstiltskin and talked about the theme of the book.

To help them understand, we used this graphic organizer that I made for them. You can download it by clicking on the image. This was SUCH a useful tool for the students and really got them thinking deeply about theme. This graphic organizer matches up nicely with standard RL.5.2!

Then, we watched this Rumpelstiltskin video that you can find on youtube HERE.

After we watched the video, we compared the two. There were actually quite a bit of differences and similarities between the two! I created this graphic organizer just for this activity. You can download it by clicking the image below :)

I knew I would spend quite a bit of time teaching theme this year, so earlier in the year, I decided to create a little something to help me along :)

When it came time for my students to practice theme and constructed responses, I used my Close Reading Literary Passages for Teaching Theme.

You can find them in my TpT store {HERE}.  The passages are specifically written with a theme in mind. I love this packet because you can choose whether or not to include message with your instruction {the passages ARE NOT exclusively for message}.

I had the students read the passage and then fill out the challenge+response=theme graphic organizer. Once students identified theme and supported their theme with evidence from the text, I had them construct a response about the theme of the passage. I use my I.C.E. format. You can learn a little more about it below as well as download a FREEBIE:) There will be more about this when I {NEVER} finish my TBE packet.

Here are some pictures of students working and constructing their responses. Let me tell you that this was after MANY classes of small group instruction :)

What are some of your favorite theme activities?