A Peek into My Shopping Cart

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Hi everyone! I know you have heard that the big TpT sale is just around the corner. This sale is celebrating teachers as being heroes.

Today I am teaming up with a bunch of awesome bloggers to give you a glimpse of what we have in our shopping carts.

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The first product in my shopping cart is this unit on American Symbols by Sailing into Second. I love teaching about American Symbols and I think this bundle will make my life so much easier!

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Next in my shopping cart is the March 2015 Language Club by The TLC Shop. I just love growing bundles.

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I also have 2nd Grade Mentor Sentences by ideas by jivey. I have the two different bundles from her in my cart.

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I love this March Bundle: ELA, Math, and Writing Bundle from Easy Teaching Tools. I can’t wait to use the scoot game and the narrative and opinion writing.

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I also have Math Tab-Its from Simply Skilled in Second. I love all of Simply Skilled in Second’s flip flap books. I could spend all of my money in her store! 🙂

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For my students who are still struggling with skip counting and patterns (You know we all have them.) I have Popsicle Patterns from Kerri Brown. I can’t wait to use this my my students who are really struggling during math groups.

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Next, oh boy my cart seems to never end… I couldn’t leave the sale withoug Counting Coins Task Cards from Melissa Dailey. I love how their are two different sets of task cards so I can easily differentiate for my kids.

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Also from Melissa Dailey is her Personal Narrative Writing. I’m so glad I found this! My kids need so much help with writing. I love the maps included.

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Last in my cart is a Year of Monthly Open Ended Problems by Emmy Mac Shop. I love growing bundles. I can’t wait to use these open ended problems in my room.

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Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. Don’t forget to take a peek into some other shopping baskets below.

Rachel


Force and Motion Interactive Notebook Deal

Hi everyone! Today I am posting on Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals. For only $1, you can grab my Force and Motion Interactive Notebook for only 3 days (until 12/18/14.)

The Force and Motion Interactive Notebook has 9 activities on motion, speed, force, gravity, and friction that can be used in small groups, whole class, or for homework. My kids absolutely love interactive notebooks!

You can see my kids in action using some of the pages from The Force and Motion Interactive Notebook.

Things can move fast or slow.
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Things can move in different ways.
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Have your kids design an eight hole miniature golf course and show how the ball travels.
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Here are two books that I use in my class.
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Here is a great video that I use with my class. My kids love Bill Nye The Science Guy. This video is 23 minutes long. Sometimes we watch the whole video and sometimes we only watch pieces of the video.
 
is a great website that has different games for the kids to play force and motion games and to learn more about force and motion.

My kids enjoy playing with Cootie Catchers, or as I like to call them, Fortune Tellers.
Click below to download the Force and Motion Cootie Catcher.
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Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. You can check out my deal my clicking a picture above or by going to Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals.

Rachel

Cyber Monday Sale Link Up

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Hi everyone. I am super excited for the TpT Cyber Monday Sale! Aren’t you??
Today I am linking up with Primary Possibilities to share with you…

My Two Newest Products. I love the two books “Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday” and “A Chair For My Mother.” My kids love the interactive notebooks that go along with these two books.

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You can check out my “Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday” Interactive Notebook here and here to check out “A Chair For My Mother” Interactive Notebook.

Next, just look at what I have waiting for me in my shopping cart. This is just one of many products that I just can’t wait to get my hands on. Don’t tell my husband! He is always asking, “What are you buying now?”

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Last, but not least is my super Cyber Monday Sale! On sale for 50% off are my Word Family Wheels. My kids love using the Word Family Wheels to create words. This is already differentiated for different levels of learning!
Each bundle includes a wheel for the word family with letters for the students to build the words, a wheel with letters missing so students can make up their own words, and blank wheels to create your own activity.

Included:
Blank word family wheels (one and two per page.)
One word family wheel per page.
Two word family wheels per page.

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Don’t forget to head back to Primary Possibility’s page to take a look at some other awesome products that you can grab during the Cyber Monday Sale.
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A Birthday Bash Celebration

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Hey everyone! Today I am helping the Primary Gal celebrate her birthday. To help her celebrate, a bunch of us got together to offer some of our best selling products for only $1. That’s right…there are over 100 products on sale for $1 on October 27th and 28th!

I am contributing my Build the Biggest Ice Cream Cone: Subtraction
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Word Family Wheels
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Haunted Multiples
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Missing Addends
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Take a look below at everything you can get for only $1 for the next two days.

Thanks for stopping by,
Rachel

Classroom Reveal

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Hi everyone! I haven’t started school yet so my classroom is not totally finished. We don’t start until Tuesday and the kids come in on Thursday, so I still have a few more days to work on my room.

Here is what my room looked like when I went into school on Tuesday.

The back of my room.
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Of course all of the desks are pushed together into two rows!
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The front of my room with my Smartboard. Unfortunately, it is the only technology I have in my room.
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So, I worked on my room from Tuesday until Thursday and I am STILL NOT FINISHED!! I feel as if my room has thrown up. There are things everywhere!

Here is a picture of my Math Focus Wall. I have the calendar and charts for the students to write number of the day in different ways. My kids write the number of the day using base ten blocks, they create fact families, they write number in words, standard form, and expanded form. The charts also include determining if the number is odd or even and other math routines. I haven’t finished the math wall yet. I’m thinking of including the math vocabulary words here, but I’m not sure yet.
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Here is a picture of the back of my room. The back is divided into science and social studies. I plan to hang up the anchor charts, vocabulary, and student work to go along with each unit.
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This is one of my favorite parts of my room! I am not crafty, so I consider this to be a big accomplishment! I have The Homework Club and my job chart. You can read about how I made the homework club and job chart {Here} on Made It Monday. I also used the oil drip pan to make my schedule, or flow of the day. I still have to stick magnets on the back of the sentence strips, but I had left them at home.
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This is my other favorite part of the room. My kids always gave so much to say to me or their classmates, especially on a Monday. So I decided to create a message wall. I have a metal door and I attached dry erase magnets on the door for kids to write messages on. Then I used velcro to attach four dry erase markers to the door. I plan on gluing pom poms to the top of each marker to use as erasers. For some reason, the picture will not rotate. Sorry!!
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I don’t have a picture of my seating arrangement yet because I am not happy with it! Right now I have 4 groups of 6 desks and 1 group of 8 desks. I have to leave room for the meeting area and the room looks really cluttered. I’m thinking of making 4 groups with 8 desks in each. What do you think? Do you think that 8 second graders sitting together would be too many?

Hopefully, I will have better pictures to share with you during the week. I’m sorry if the pictures are blurry. We were being kicked out of the school at 2:30 on Thursday and of course I was trying to get so pictures! 🙂

Check out some other classroom reveals by clicking the picture below.
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Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!
Rachel

Teaching with Intention: Chapter 2

Hi everyone! Welcome back to our book study on Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller.

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Chapter 2 is about beliefs and practices in the classroom. So I stopped and thought about what my beliefs are.

1. I believe that every student should feel safe and be able to take risks. I want every one of my kids to feel like they are in an environment where it is safe to be wrong. I don’t want my kids to feel like they can not ask questions or afraid to give a wrong answer. That’s how I felt when I went to school. As a result, I never participated in class and become very anxious when I was called on.

2. I believe that the students should be working collaboratively and talking with each other. Again, when I went to school we sat in rows and really were not allowed to talk. (Did I mention I went to Catholic school?)

3. I believe that all students’ opinions are important and are valued.

4. I believe that all lessons should be purposeful and engaging.

As I continued to read chapter 2, Debbie mentioned how the next step is to align our beliefs with our classroom practices.

So I stopped again and wondered whether my beliefs and practices match.
Do my kids feel safe and are they able to take risks?
Yes, I think so. I am constantly reminding my students that the most important thing to in class is to try their best. It is always ok to be wrong.

Do my kids work collaboratively and talk with each other?
Yes, my students are always working in groups or turning and talking with partners. It takes a long time to get this started in my class, especially when other grades do not necessarily work in small groups or in partners. Reflecting back, I know that I need to be more patient with my kids.

Do I value all opinions?
In reality…sometimes. There are times when I have an answer that I want but a student is not giving it to me. I have to remember that there are different answers and opinions and not just one wright answer.

Are my lessons engaging and purposeful?
I definitely know that not all of my lessons are always engaging. I try but sometimes as I am looking over the a lesson, I think “This is boring!” Sometimes I change it, but sometimes I am so tired that I don’t. It’s not that I want to bore the kids, but sometimes I just don’t know how to make something more engaging (especially some science and social studies concepts.)

Know I have to sit back and make sure that my beliefs match my practices. I start school next week, so I am planning to make a little checklist or cheat sheet with all of my beliefs. As I go through the day, I plan on making sure that my practices.

Debbie Miller suggests these questions to think about when thinking about what you believe about teaching and learning.
1. How do you go about teaching kids something new?
2. What principles guide you?
3. How do you know if kids are getting it?
4. What do you do when they don’t?

The author also suggests to reflect at the end of the day and write down what you’ve learned. After reflecting for about a month, then it is time to sit down and write your belief statements.

I know as the year goes on and I reflect, I will change and revise my belief statements and I can’t wait!

What are your beliefs and do your beliefs match with your practices? I’d love to know!

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. I hope to see you next week for chapter 3 of Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller.

Rachel

Monday Made It

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I have been looking at the linky Mondy Made It forever. But let’s face it, I am NOT crafty. So finally, I can say that I made a few things and am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made it!!

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After reading about the Homework Club from Lessons with Laughter and 4th Grade Frolics, I decided to give it a try. You can read about Lessons with Laughter’s Homework Club {Here}. I found 4th grade Frolic’s Homework Club product on Teachers pay Teachers. You can find it {Here}.

So I printed and laminated all day long! First I printed and laminated the Homework Club numbers.
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Next I decided that I needed to update my classroom job chart. So I got some yellow ribbon with white polka dots. Then I found the Polka Dot Design Classroom Job Cards by A Spoonful of Creativity. SO CUTE!
I printed and laminated the job cards and then, hold on to your socks…I used a hot glue gun! I hot glued the job cards onto the ribbon.

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I had my mom bring my the huge oil drip pan from Walmart. My mom lives in Pennsylvania but she is always bringing me things from Walmart or the Dollar Tree since I don’t have any close to me.
I decided to use the oil drip pan to make my Homework Club Chart and the Job Chart. I used Duck Tape to section of the the two charts.

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So I guess if I put all three of my little projects together, I get one big project. I’m still trying to decide if I should cover the oil pan or just leave it silver. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. Go back to 4th Grade Frolics by clicking the picture below to read other Monday Made Its.

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Teaching with Intention: Chapter 1

Hi everyone. I am linking up with The Primary Gal for our new book study on “Teaching with Intention”, by Debbie Miller.

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All I can say is WOW! Debbie Miller begins Chapter 1 by asking a good question. She asks, “If I were to ask you to close your eyes and envision the perfect classroom scene, what would you see? What would you hear and smell and feel?” Debbie Miller had me thinking about my classroom with her very first line in Chapter 1. I stopped and thought, what do I think the perfect classroom would be like.

The perfect classroom to me is one where the children feel safe, where they are not afraid to take risks. It has a cozy feeling where the kids know they are welcome and look forward to coming into the classroom everyday. It is a noisy place where you can hear conversations going on about what is being learned and where students are engaged. It smells like markers and glue. 🙂

As I continued reading, I compared my class to the third grade class in Ohio. I could see the kids spread out in different areas of the room, some at meeting areas or desks and having conversations about what they were reading. I see a relaxed environment where the kids really take charge of their own learning. My class used to be similar. Before I moved schools and grades two years ago, my school was using Lucy Calkin’s Teacher’s College Reading and Writing program. We had different consultants come in and out of the school. One of my favorites was Colleen Cruz. 🙂 We were trained to have our kids read and discuss. At any point you could walk into my room and hear conversations going on around reading, writing, and math.

Every September, we started with Launching the Reading and Writing Units and the kids were pretty much trained by the time they got to me in third or fourth grade. Oh how I miss this!!

Fast forward to the present. I am now working in a school that kind of works the opposite. Last year was extremely challenging with a new reading program. We started to use ReadyGen with no training. It has a lot of whole class instruction and some small group instruction. It was taking me three days to do a lesson. SO FRUSTRATING!!

So I decided to TC the lessons and they went much better. I made sure to institute Turn and Talk, or partner talk and start small groups. My class was starting to look similar to how it used to be, but still wasn’t the same. The class was still too quiet and had trouble talking for a long period of time.

I start school in two weeks and I am so glad that I have read “Teaching with Intention” because it has reenergized me to get my second graders to how I want them to be. I want them to talk, to take charge of their learning, to be engaged throughout the day, to have productive conversations where they can share their thoughts and opinions and agree or disagree with their peers.

I know that I have to spend a lot more time on routines and getting reading for having conversations in September and October, especially because they have not been introduced to partner talk or group work in previous years. I already have the posters in my head that I am going to create. I plan on creating an anchor chart with conversation prompts such as; I think…because, I agree with…because, I disagree with…because, This makes me think that…, and a few other prompts. I can not wait to begin!

What conversation prompts would you add to my anchor chart? Leave your prompts in the comments. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. I hope to see you next week when we discuss chapter 2 of “Teaching with Intention” by Debbie Miller.

Rachel

What’s In Your Cart? Back to School Linky

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Hi everyone. Can you believe that school is almost here? I have been doing some shopping, shopping, and more shopping. I keep telling my husband, I only need to get a few more things. 🙂 I don’t think he believes me anymore. After 12 years of marriage, I think he has finally wised up (Today is my anniversary!!)

I am linking up with Briana from Sun, Sand & Second Grade to show you what I have in my cart for tomorrows TpT Back to School Sale. Shhhh, don’t tell my husband that I will be shopping AGAIN. I love shopping on TpT, don’t you?

Right now, I have so many things in my cart that my wallet is crying so I definitely need to narrow it down a little.

A definite buy for me is this Maps, Continents, and Communities Packet from Sailing Into Second Grade.

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I also have these 2nd grade word problems in my cart.

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For Close Reading I have this bundle from Sassy, Savvy Simple Teaching.

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I also have tons of clip art in my cart! I think maybe Krista Wallden’s dinosaurs…

My store is also on sale tomorrow and Tuesday for 20% plus TpT’s 10% off with the code BTS14.

Here are some of my favorite products from my store.

I love using reward cards in my classroom. Click here to see the reward cards.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi,
Rachel

Go back to Sun,Sand & Second Grade to see what others have in their cart.

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Back 2 School: Assessment

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Welcome back to the Back 2 School linky hosted by Mrs. D’s Corner and Miss V’s Busy Bees. Last week, we talked about classroom management and I read some great ideas from other bloggers. I can’t wait to read what others have to say about assessment.

Assessment is crucial in the classroom. We are constantly assessing our students, even when they don’t realize it.

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Tip #1:TAKE A DEEP BREATH and RELAX!!
Sometimes assessing can be very overwhelming. Sometimes you want to pull your hair out.

Does this look familiar?? I know it does! This is me at times at school.
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I know it gets crazy. You have State assessments, City assessments, and District assessments. Let’s not forget about whatever assessments your principal decides you “need” to complete and your own, meaningful assessments. You know what I mean. As a teacher, you have your own assessments that mean more and give you more data than any of the other assessments. Remember that you know your students best!

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Tip #2: Make sure that your assessments are meaningful to both your students and yourself.
Your activities, quizzes, tests, writing assignments…whatever you are using to assess your students, should be based on what you have taught. Your students should know what to expect and know what they have to do. We are not “out to get” our students. We don’t want to catch them not knowing things.

Give meaning assessments that are useful to drive your instruction.
You need to use your assessments to inform your instruction. How you ask? Use a checklist or a spreadsheet to record your data. I have checklists and spreadsheets for everything.

We use GoMath in my school. In the beginning of every unit, I create a checklist that includes the lessons and the Quick check for each lesson. This checklist tells me which of my students grasped the concept and who did not. It also helps me to group my students.

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I also use spreadsheets to record data from tests. (I know technically an end of the unit test is called an evaluation…but whateva!!)
Here is a picture of one of my spreadsheets for my end of unit tests in math. I love to color code my data too. Sorry I’m such a nerd. 🙂
I have all of the questions on the test, the skill, and the common core standard. It takes a little while to do, but it is so worth it.

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Tip number 3: Not all of your assessments need to be formal assessments.
Observations are key in your classroom. You spend more time with your students than anyone else does, including some of their parents. You observe your students all day long. You see Suzy’s strengths or what Johnny struggles with. Just remember to jot down your observations. You can use checklists or boxes to record your observations. Check off on a checklist if the child has mastered a skill or a standard.

As I listen to my students read, I check off their oral reading behaviors. This helps me know how to better help my students. I also make small groups off of this data.

Click the picture below to grab the Oral Reading Behaviors Checklist. Again, it is color coded but I also include a black and white version for you non nerdy people. 🙂
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Tip #4: Reflecting on your teaching.
After analyzing your data, you need to reflect on your teaching. Did most of the class grasp the concept or did only a few? By analyzing your data, you can see what you need to reteach or if you need to move on to the next topic.

Use this data to drive your instruction. If you need to reteach a skill or concept because many of the students misunderstood something, then DO NOT MOVE ON. Go back and reteach the topic, using a different approach. The same thing goes if most of your students understand a concept. If 80% of your students know how to add two digit numbers, then why are you going to spend more time on adding two digit numbers. Not only is it boring for you, it is also boring for your kids and I’m sorry to say it, but a waste of time.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. Tell me how you use assessment in your class?
Remember to go back to Mrs. D’s Corner to read what others have to say about assessment.
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