Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lesson Plans

I have been so busy with lesson plans! I feel like I have not even been able to teach, because I have been so preoccupied and stressed out over lesson plans. At our staff development we were handed a template to follow that must consist of the following: Written out Bloom's, Written out Differentiated, Written out OKPASS, Written out CCSS, challenge ticket, vocabulary, objective, and activity. One page per activity per day. Yes, this is a format for upper grades:)  The first week I did it as I was asked and my Calendar activity took up 3 pages for one day! You can imagine how much it time it took, and I couldn't follow it so I made my regular ones for my use.I needed help badly, so I modified it to fit my needs, and so far so good. I thought I would post it here. ** UPDATE I have been very sick, and it has taken several days for my head to clear so that I can upload thee plans. Here is what I have been working on:)

Monday, August 20, 2012

More Whole Brain

I am loving Whole Brain Teaching, and I know that most of it is like duh...but I needed the extra ideas. I found these really cute posters at Learnalotwithmrsscott.   and Classroom-Rules-Poster-Whole-Brain-Teaching       and I created my own, using awesome Tpt.  I hope you like them! My WBT 5
My 5 Rules
My 5 Rules

I feel like my students are learning in a whole new way and that its actually taking me less time to teach! Sounds crazy, but it really is working! I am so excited at the way my students are grasping sentences, just by me adding motions and Teach-OK. I really am fired up about it.
I never had rules posted, because I come from a Great Expectations school, and I realize that the TLE (our teacher eval. tool) requires rules posted so I was happy to find the posters cute and ready!
I am having the most difficulty implementing Teach-OK. Everything else was a piece of cake! Teach-Ok is great and effective, but man oh man, it's a booger to get down. i know that it's going to be well worth it, and I can see benefits. I have only really tried this at Math Meeting. I have 24 students, so I seated them in 4 rows of 6, and assigned their spots to keep their partners. I labeled one peanut butter, the next jelly, the next jelly and the last peanut butter. I have the peanut butters teach the jellies and vise versa.  That's all the easy part. My class had the hardest time understanding after they clap to actually turn and "teach".  I would keep reminding them ok, are you a jelly? "yes" ok teach this pb. "ok" then they just smile at me. What am I doing wrong? So, I model with the 2 students who "got" it. Now, I will say it's getting better, but we still need practice.
The "Class yes" is the easiest and fastest tool, of all. The students love it! I love making weird voices to say class, probably as much as the kids love answering me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Busy!! CCSS and OKPASS

I have been super busy working on making a checklist for CCSS and OKPASS. I am exhausted, but so happy! I have to really change my lesson plan format, and I am sooo accustomed to the little boxes. I don't have the whole idea yet, but I have to add written CCSS/PASS, BLOOM's, Differentiated, and Challenge Ticket. I teach that way, and have them incorporated in, but have to have them in their own place, so the boss can clearly see them. I am not sure how its going to work, for all of us elementary, but I am willing to try! Here's the checklist in Word so you can change it!
Math CCSS and OKPASS  CCSS/OKPASS Reading  I love sharing, and have just begun! You are free to use and change them, but a little credit would be so appreciated!

I have changed the Math hope you like it!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching

A big shout out and thank you to  Fun and Fearless in First for leading me to check into Whole Brain Teaching! Last night, I checked them out and immediately fell in love! I ran right into my class and began teaching the rules! I joined the website today and want more!!! I am going to review rules tomorrow and add Teach-OK tomorrow. I am so excited! I cannot even go to bed tonight!
I am sure I will be adding so much more on this subject. I am not scared of Dibels tonight, the only thing I can focus on is the way my kids responded to this awesome teaching strategy. It's really awesome! (Have I said that yet?) Check it out WholeBrainTeaching  and did I mention all the training online is free! I am pretty sure this is correct. There are soo many resources and when I signed up the welcome email was so informative, I am saving it for future reference. There are "levels" that help with year long classroom management. Now, please understand I have only been onto this for a day..So, I'm not an expert, just a really excited teacher. Today was so good watching my students have fun. I want them to learn and be successful, but I always feel like First grade just isn't fun anymore.
OK, I really need to go to bed. I will update on these methods tomorrow.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Well school is off and running! I have 24 fabulous kiddos! I am not sure how my "no cubby" thing is going, but it's working good enough for now...

So I will now be testing Dibels, and have never trained or used this before. I am very scared about the whole thing. Maybe I shouldn't be. I have decided to make a list of my fears concerning Dibels.
1 Everything is timed!
2 It doesn't seem to break down the testing area small enough (as compared to Literacy First)
   One example is LF does not mix Uppercase and lowercase when testing so you can discriminate    
   where the child is having the most problems
3 I have no idea how to run interventions for such a broad test

OK, well in my prior experience, I used Literacy First. I absolutely love it. It was not just tested and placed on the shelf, but was a whole teaching cycle! The school I worked at previously, was a RTI pilot school and had designed an intervention to go with every Literacy First skill. Student information was recorded and based on an established standard of how well they did on the test to determine Reading Sufficiency. The interventions work. I saw so much growth in my children, and I want to pass that on to these kiddos too.

I hope that as I use Dibels, my fears will turn out to be nothing, and I will see that Dibels is just as good. I will add more as I discover more and hopefully find others out there who love Dibels and can lead me to success!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Day

I am so excited about tomorrow- first day in a new school! I truly have the "jitters"! I am wanting to try something different than having cubbies for take home papers. I always use a bring/take folder, so I was thinking.... Why do I need cubbies? The cubbies I have now are the cardboard type. I have them sitting in the window, on the ledge (should've taken a picture, but will add that tomorrow) and I would like not to have them.
So, I am thinking students can just keep their bring/take folder inside their desks. I love having lots of space, I don't like to be crowded ;) I'm sure I would have to replace the folders every 9 weeks (at least). I don't know...any ideas anyone?

ok, I didn't take a pic, because I removed the cubbies from the window and love the view so much better!

Monday, August 6, 2012


Welcome to my first ever blog! I am very excited to get this going! I can't wait to share my ideas and interact with others who share the same passion.
I am working on using money as a behavior management tool and adapting it to CCSS. This was inspired by Kathy's First Grade a la Carte: She is totally awesome and I thank her so much for all of her great ideas! I implemented her wonderful idea the last nine weeks of school and it worked wonderfully, so here is my attempt to adapt this to use all year. I am not sure how well this will work, but hey I have a blog now to share:) LOL!

So my plan is to start simple and have them counting to 120 using pennies. We will covert to nickels and dimes which will incorporate bundling and so forth. I am still working on this, it is definetely a work in progress. I so wish you all could just see the way it works inside my head! I promise to get better at descriptions and links!!!

****I have added more of these, because my kiddos are getting good at adding! So I needed to add to these.  I used watercolor borders from Dancing Author. And  font by If interested click here.