Monday, March 30, 2015

Celebrating the Spring in Our Step Linky & Giveaway

I am linking up with some fellow bloggers to celebrate the season! First off I love spring and even more summer. This time of year when the dark and dismal naked trees come back to life as well as all of the other plants makes me happy. Also I love how our weather changes over night. Two nights ago we had below normal temperatures for Georgia. The low was 26 yipes! According to the weather man that should have been the last freeze for the next two seasons. Happy happy joy joy!! I love hot weather and especially summer time.

I recently started a different fitness routine. A friend of mine has the DVD set of Insanity. Now let me tell you I had been working out around four times a week prior to starting this set, but nothing can prepare you for Shaun T. Today is day 18 and surprisingly it does get easier. Not easy as in I look forward to jumping around for forty five minutes and sweating like a pig, but the results are great! I have gotten better results in the past eighteen days than I did in the seven months of resistance training (even Wes admitted it worked). Wes is a huge skeptic of videos and basically think they are a joke. He has noticed the results and admitted he was wrong?!?!?! Deep down you know that makes a woman smile when a man admits they were wrong about their opinion. Take a look below at the changes.

This spring I am celebrating my future marriage by having bridal showers, teas and get togethers. Last Sunday, I had my first bridal shower which was a Pampered Chef shower. I couldn't be more excited to get all of my goodies in this week. I was blown away by the amount of items I was able to get for free, 60%, and 50% off as well as all the gifts from my friends. This wedding this is really fun!

As I reflect on the spring, I can't help, but reflect on my students. I work at a very high poverty school and my students are living lives completely separate than what "we" did in the "good ole days". For example the last few weeks of school have been me being a criminal investigator of nine year olds. We found blades in the hallway at school that more than likely fell out of a students book bag, I found out one of my student's cuts herself and I got a new student this week that doesn't have a car and lives in a hotel. I truly enjoy teaching, but sometimes when you have to deal with the struggles of real world issues in the school building it is difficult at times.

I am going to put a new product up as a freebie for my teacher bloggers to enjoy.

Common Core: Language Arts: Idioms Posters

My students really enjoyed learning about figurative language. I created this product for them in mind to help with learning various idioms. This product gives an idiom for each letter of the alphabet. These are posters, so that you may hang up in your classroom. Please leave feedback after downloading the freebie!! Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Teacher's Pet

I am linking up with Pawsitively Teaching for a shout out to teachers and their furry friends. Below you will see my beloved four legged friends and why they are important to me.

Meet "Bentley" Cooper Griffin, he is a precious almost 13 years old fur baby. I got him for my 17th birthday and he is quite the charmer. He is extremely smart and knows lots of tricks. He can sit, beg, give "high-five", roll over, and even play dead. He can tell you what he wants when he wants it. He is a full blooded Yorkshire Terrier and has an all around great personality.

Meet Lawrence "Duncan" Griffin, he is almost 8 years old. I got him for my 22nd birthday and he is the most easy going and compliant dog. He is loyal and independent and did I mention low maintenance. He is not a toy breed, so he requires a lot less attention than the other two. He can also do tricks, but is reluctant unless there are treats in front of his snout. He is a full blooded West Highland Terrier and he can be a nervous fret at times.

Meet Kingston "Maxwell" Griffin, he just turned 7 years old. I actually acquired this dog after a friend received him as a graduation gift from college and she wasn't able to successfully potty train him and her toddler at the time, so she gave an $800 dog to me. At first he was the most stubborn dog I had ever met. He was a terrible puppy who threw fits and cried every time I left him. I crate trained the other two with much success and I tried it on him and boy was it a year long disaster. He would poop, pee, and puke in his cage on purpose and then would smear it on the wall. You can imagine how I wanted the dog to disappear, but I looked at it as a challenge. I thought if I can handle this, I'll be prepared for parenthood one day. One day he woke up out of his stubborn attitude and has been the most pleasurable little pup since. He is the ultimate love sponge and I CANNOT imagine my life without the little devil dog. Let me clarify, I couldn't live without any three of them, it's just that Max was the strong willed child. He taught me the true meaning of perseverance.

I currently don't have a class pet, but I am definitely open to suggestions of a low maintenance animal.

Spark Student Motivation:Buddy Study

I am linking up with Head Over Heels for Teaching for her linky Spark Student Motivation. At my school we have a literacy program that is very structured for students to be group homogeneously and therefore, teachers are able to instruct students at their level for reading and spelling. For today, I am sharing our Buddy Study program. We have principles that apply to the grade level of spelling words that we teach for a two week period. For example, I teach all fourth grade students who are on a second grade spelling level. We have students who are on first grade through fifth grade level, so they have words that they are working through on their level instead of the whole homeroom class being assigned the same set of words. We test the students at the beginning of the year and base their levels and place them accordingly. Below are our two weeks activities broken down day by day. I have roughly ten or so principles for the second grade students I teach. After we complete all of the principles I retest and either move on to third grade or go back and reteach certain principles. 

Sorting Words by Meaning- Day 1
How do the words relate to each other?
Are words alike?
Are words Different?
Discuss the meaning of each word before you sort into groups.

Sorting Words by How they Look- Day 2
Pass out words and have groups sort by how they look
Some examples – how long, tall letters, short letters, hang down letters
Questions to start sort-
·     What do the words look like?
·     How are the word parts the same?
·     How are the word parts different?

Sorting Words by How they sound- Day 3
How do these words sound when you say them?
Do you hear words that sound similar?
Do you hear words that sound different?
Let’s sort these words by listening to their word parts.

Creating a Buddy Study Principle- Day 4
·     How did we sort the words?
·     What did we notice about the words?
·     How can we put it into a principle so we understand what we are learning?
·     Write words on index card and planner.

Exploring the Principle – Day 5
·     Go on a word hunt! Look for words around the room that follow the principle you are learning. Take your index card with you.
·     Find at least 5 and add to your word list.

Word Study- Studying Patterns of Words Using Magnetic Letters- Day 1
Words that rhyme
Words in special categories
Words with one, two, three, four syllables
Words that start with a consonant or vowel
Words that end the same
Words that have same vowel sound
Compound Words
Same root words

Word Study-Visualizing the Word- Day 2
Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check
Word Searches
Crossword Puzzle
Word Making
Word Sorts

Word Study- Buddy Test- Day 3
Spend 5 minutes reviewing words
Gather clipboard, index card, paper and pencil.
Get with partner and give each other the test.
Remember to read the word, say the word in a sentence and read the word again.
Grade each other’s test using a highlighter to highlight word parts missed.

Word Study- Making Connections- Day 4
Discover where the words come from and why they are spelled the way they are!
Choose six words from your principle to make connections
o Find out what the word means
o Find out where it is from (country or origin)
o Talk about the root meaning and how it changes when affixes are added
o Write sentences with the word
o Make a list of other words like it
o Word Sorting
o Words around the room

Word Study- Buddy Test-Day 5
o Gather a clipboard, piece of paper, pencil and index card
o Take turns giving test by calling out each word by saying the word, using the word in a sentence and saying the word again.
o Staple index card to piece of paper and turn in on red table.
Any words missed will be on next weeks test!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Can't Live Without Linky

I'm linking up with Elizabeth from Fun in Room 4B and Beyond for her Can't Live Without It. 

My IDEAS are:

I can't live without.....

1. Teaching supplies: A good pencil sharpener, every teacher needs a good one. I am in dire need for a new one does anyone know of a better one than the one pictured below?

2. Teaching wise resources: the following websites I use on a daily basis: Study Island, Spelling City, and BrainPop.

Image result for study island

 Image result for spelling city

Image result for brainpop

3. Every teacher needs a good book. Now let me be the first to say I am not an avid reader. I do enjoy books relating to certain topics and I especially like religious ones that make you think and challenge your thoughts. I came across this book a few years ago and I really like it. It is a book that I used to teach small group lessons by at my church. It isn't set up as a devotional, but could be used that way. If you haven't heard of it I dare you to crack open the pages. It's a wonderful read. 

Image result for in a snowy pit with a lion

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March Favorite Things

I am linking up with Teacher Trio for my favorite things for the month of March.

I love shopping at Costco. I have grocery shopping down to an art. I go every two weeks and buy groceries and they usually last until the next visit. The first "favorite things" are Kirkland's dark chocolate covered dried fruit. If you have every had the Brookside chocolate covered pomegranates that you can purchase at Target these are very similar and boy are they tasty. They are my pick-me-up while I am teaching. My second "favorite things" are Scholastic News magazines. I use these A LOT with my students. We do many different activities with these and they also have worksheets you can print to review a variety of standards. My third "favorite things" are Piko shirts. If you aren't familiar with them you need to get familiar with them. They are so soft and comfy and perfect for teachers. They are made from Bamboo and are wonderful go to shirts for teaching daily.