Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anticipation Guides

Have you ever used anticipation guides in your classroom?  While I was reading Guided Math by Laney Sammons this summer, she discussed a variety of activating/teaching strategies to use with your students.  This was an area that I really wanted to work on this school year.  Looking back over the past few weeks, I believe I have really stepped up my game with activating/teaching/summarizing strategies.  This is partly due to the format I am using for my lesson plans this year.  Each day, I have an area designated for activating/summarizing strategies.

Today, I used an anticipation guide as my activating and summarizing strategy.  If you teach CC, this is something you can use with the 4th grade standard of comparing multi-digit whole numbers.  This is what the guide looked like.

There is an area on the left that we answered with T/F {true/false}.  Basically, I took the majority vote, having the students give thumbs up for true or thumbs down for false.  Then, we came back to this at the end of the lesson.  I actually answered the last two {which I love.. makes you go hmmmm...} during small group today.

This is what the guided looked like at the end of the lesson.  We went back and evaluated our choices from the beginning of the class based on our discussions during small group.  This is also a great way to determine if students got it or didn't during the lesson.
Anticipation guides are also a great way to introduce/use vocabulary.  For example, here I used the word least in the third statement because this is another word to use when discussing smallest numbers.

I also wanted to share these cute dry erase pockets that I just couldn't wait to get my hands on.
Here we were comparing small four-digit numbers using base-ten blocks {our version}.  The top row is for our first number and the second row is for our second number that we are comparing.  Here's how the numbers looked once we illustrated them with base-ten.
We talked about why our thousands cubes were illustrated with a square and a 10.  I was surprised that students realized that thousands and hundreds had the same object, but the thousands had a 10 because it takes 10 hundreds to create a thousand. These two numbers we were comparing also opened a great opportunity to discuss the importance of looking at the greatest place first.  We discussed how the bottom number seemed to be larger than the top because it had 'a lot going on.'  Students were able to explain that the top number was in fact the larger of the two because it has more thousands than the bottom.  I was impressed!

The bottom two numbers here were a great example of why statement #3 is not always true.  Statement #3 of the guided stated that the least/smallest number will be the number with the least amount of digits.  Although this is possible, it is also possible to have the same amount of digits and have one be smaller.  It isn't always the number with the least amount of digits.

Our lesson today was really great, and I loved using the anticipation guided to activate my students, get them thinking and talking, guide my small group, and summarize/reflect on our lesson.  I don't know of many things that can do all that!

Have you ever had success with an anticipation guide?
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Must Have Monday

Of course teacher week is one of my busiest weeks thus far... of course!  My sister is building a house, and I am working late at work, then working late at her house to paint, and then managing to come home and bathe my babies and get them in bed 2 hours too late.  I just sat down about 10 minutes ago, so this is going to be short & sweet.. just like me ;-)



I must have coffee... Caribou medium roast in my A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Keurig coffee brewer.
2 cups.. every morning!  YUMMMM


I must have my Mac Book Pro where ever I go!  hehe

My Silhouette Cameo.  This thing can make just about anything, and I love using it to label things in my classroom that I don't want to write over and over.

My Mr. Sketch markers.  Can you believe Wal-Mart had these this year?  I snatched up a few packs.  I just love these markers!  Only down-side... they fade {especially the pink} over time :-(.

Flair pens... I use these things for EVERY THING!

Super Sticky post-its.  They stick to anything!

And, who can live without file folders??  I use these things all the time.  I've already went through a box of 100... and it's only the second week of school!

My Wheasel... love that thing!  Especially during small group.

I LOVE MY CHART PAPER!!

Well, I'm going to stop there because I evidently think I must have everything!
Don't forget to stop by Blog Hoppin' to check out other teachers' must haves!



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Monday, August 13, 2012

Common Core ELA Vocabulary Cards & 'I Can' Statements

I tell ya right now!  These will be the death of me.  When I created these for 4th grade math, I didn't know I would have people from all grade levels wanting them.  Which was fine... it was not bad at all.  Then, I had people also wanting the ELA as well for all grade levels.  Again, I don't mind at all because these.have.paid.off.BIG.TIME!  I can't even begin to explain just how much of a blessing TpT has been to my family.  The math cards are my #1 seller right now on TpT.  I FINALLY got around to printing my own set after having them for about 6 months.  I do have to say that THEY-ARE-ADORABLE!  I don't have the 'I Can' yet because folks at my school have went a little crazy with the color toner and lamination.  ANYWAYS- I am writing all this to say this...

I AM SO SORRY THE ELA ARE NOT COMPLETE YET!  Ya'll... life with two babies under the age of 3 is CRAZY.  I promised the cards with hopes that I would have ALL this free time in the summer.  Well, it didn't happen.  It just didn't.  I tried and tried, but every second of my time is consumed with my small ones.  And, I'm okay with that.. I just hope you all can be okay with that.  I am going to do the ELA, and I hope to have them ALL out by the end of December.  So, for my planning purpose and to answer all your questions about when your grade level is going to be available, I have created a schedule that I will keep... I promise!  So, check out your grade level and when the cards {vocab & 'I can'} will be available in my TpT shop.  After these, I will not be taking any custom orders at this time.  Ya'll, I miss creating things just for fun...

4th Grade: September 1
1st Grade: October 1
3rd Grade: November 1
2nd Grade: December 31

I'm assuming that these all will be out earlier than listed here.  These dates are the latest they will be available.  Once I complete the first set and see how long it will take, I will adjust the schedule accordingly.

Thank ya'll for understanding.  It really means a lot.  Also, I've had a lot of people commenting that the definition font on the cards is difficult to read from afar.  After printing these off, I agree.  After the ELA cards are complete, I am going to update all the math files with two versions, the original and the new version with easy to read font.  Don't worry, the ELA will come with both as well for those of you who are already using the current math version in your classroom.

We started school on Friday and this week is my first full week.  I am looking forward to this school year, and I can't wait to implement and use all the adorable things I purchased off TpT today.  I hope ya'll have a great week!

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

TpT Back to School Sale!!!

Hi Friends!

I normally do not post more than once a day {if even that}, but I wanted to share the news that I will be participating in the annual back to school sale with my TpT shop.  If you have been waiting to get my vocabulary and 'I can' wall sets, now is the time.  Best of all, I will be making coordinating ELA sets this fall.  The sale begins tomorrow and continues through Monday.  Please click the picture for a direct link to my shop.  Don't forget to use the code BTS12 for an additional 10% off.
BTW- I'm not sure who created this adorable flier.... THANK YOU, and I hope you don't mind me using it!
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2012-2013 Classroom

Hi there!  It has been a while since I've had a chance to post.  I've been crazy busy with school.  I went back this past Monday and my students returned yesterday.  I did manage to snag a few photos of my classroom that I wanted to share.

This is my small group area.  My students sit with me at my table and I use my wheasel for teaching.  I also L.O.V.E. my counter where I can store extra things.  This area looks A LOT different from last year.  Previously, I only had my table and portable white boards for the students.  I'm looking forward to using/creating anchor charts during small group and really using this time to instruct a small group of students.

Same area from the opposite side.  I love how I have created a little 'nook' here by placing the bookshelf where it is.  I also can't wait to use that adorable chart tablet on the table.
This is the front view of my small group area.  Last year, I used stools at the table because of the large size of my classes.  I may switch back if I don't like the big bulky chairs.

This is a view of my area.  I have a huge classroom so I have the opportunity to have a large area for myself... I love it!  It looks a little messy, but I know exactly where everything is!  The 'bulletin board' in the back is actually just fabric over my whiteboard.  I thought this would look better than a large blank whiteboard.  I will use this area to hang important notes and drawings my kids make for me.  If you read this post, you read about my new lamp that I had sitting on my desk.  Guess what happened?  While I was tackling that crazy 'board' area, I was standing on my desk {I know... I shouldn't be} and hit the lamp with my foot.  It tumbled off my desk and broke into a million pieces.  Needless to say, I wanted to cry.  However, I found this cute lamp at Target for only $17.00, and it's not GLASS!!!

Here's a closer look of my desk/computer area.  Nothing special, but I love it!  I have everything I need to plan at my fingertips!


This is a view of my room from my back door that leads outside.  My small group area is just outside of the picture on the left.  {I LOVE my leaf from Ikea}

I had these waiting on the students at open house.  I had made cute stars to glue on, but I didn't remember them until I had all of them already ready.   Needless to say, I didn't fix them.  The kids did love them!  BTW- it says "we are going to have a bright year."

This is my door to my classroom.  I have a cute ruler wreath that I made hanging on my door.  The bright baskets on the shelf are where my students turn in their papers when they are finished.  The small black board on my cabinet is a magnetic dry-erase board that says 'reminders.'  This is where I will have the students put bus/car notes, etc.  The blue pocket chart on the right is where I will put my vocabulary cards we are working on.  After we have discussed them, I will then move them to my vocabulary wall.   

This is my teaching/whole group area.  Again... I love my leaf!


This is the view of my classroom when you walk in my door.  My area is in the back to the right and my small group area is to the left.

Another view of my whole group/teaching area.

whole group/teaching area

Another view of my classroom as you enter my door.

This is where I store my math stations.  On the back whiteboard, the divided sections are for my math calendar.

While I was writing this post, I noticed that I don't have any close-ups of anything.  I am going to work on that next week because I have a lot of neat things I would like to share like my bulletin set I created, my vocabulary wall, things I used my Cameo for, and some other small things.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Product Swap

Well, I am a day late posting this since I was in Destin, FL for vacation.  I literally returned a few hours ago.  I had a wonderful time!

I participated in a product swap.  Basically, a bunch of bloggers signed up and were paired with someone who taught similar subjects and grade levels.  Then, they swapped products and wrote a review about them.

I was blessed to be paired with Elizabeth from Fun in Room 4B.

After browsing her products, I selected the Test-Taking Strategies Foldables/Lapbook.  I chose this one because this is an area that ALL students could use some help with.

Elizabeth provided lots of pictures and instructions on how to put your lapbook together.  I especially thought this picture was very telling of how fun you can make testing strategies for your students.


I can't wait to use it in my classroom.  Go check it out in her TpT store.  You can get it for only $3!!


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