Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wacky Wednesday Quiz

Link to download file:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/103529758/Wacky-Wednesday-1.

Students read letters that are written CORRECTLY on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays each week. On those days, we talk about correct capitalization, punctuation, format, etc. They only correct on Wednesdays.

Standard Form -- Numbers Just Standing Around

Leslie Sallee, Math specialist at High Pointe Elementary in Nixa, MO, teaches standard form by saying numbers are just STANDING around. Check out these standard form examples. :)

Standard form example:

Standard form example:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Place Value Lesson

Link to download SMART Board Lesson:  https://www.box.com/s/c032aad0feb1120c28fa

*After teaching this lesson today, I will definitely revise for next year to remove word form as this lessons lends itself to standard form and expanded form during the introductory lesson.

Place Value Chart to 100,000sPlace Value Squares

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Nixa's Test Scores Made the Paper

It's amazing what students can do with support from community, school board, administrators, teachers,  and parents. I'm so proud of the students in our community for giving their best on the test.

The M.A.P. is one measure of achievement, but it's THE measure that makes the paper. In fact, some areas publish individual teacher scores -- which is only fair if they document growth -- proficiency at the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year. 

Last year, I was proud of my students' scores. What made the difference? Was it small-group teaching, whole-group teaching, this program, or that program? 

The difference was made because students had the FOUNDATION necessary to build upon from their parents and former teachers  -- whether they scored proficient or advanced the year before or not. Using research-based best practices such as giving descriptive feedback helped too along with teaching and assessing the written curriculum. 

Robert Marzano's research indicates schools can make gains even without parental support, but we all know it's much easier with it. 

The Director of Elementary Education stopped by to observe a lesson in my classroom this week and said something like this upon leaving, "You may not know you do this, but you set the expectation that ALL students will be able to do the task by the end of the year."

Eric Jensen, brain-based author and expert, says giving kids HOPE is important for achievement -- that they NEED someone to believe in them.  I thought back to Dr. Kopp's words. 

I had told the students that it's not important that they can do this task now. It's important they improve each time they take this assessment and that by the end of the year, they will all be able to complete the task proficiently.

What will my scores be next year? I don't know, and I'm not going to worry about it. 

I will continue to teach and assess the written curriculum with current best practices focusing on power standards -- ones the state department deems most important like R2C, R3C, R1H, and Goal Process Standard 2.2 in Communication Arts. I'll look at my data to see if there are areas students scored low in and reflect upon my teaching and assessment practices in those areas. I'll also look at data they scored high in and do the same. I'll continue to communicate with parents and give students hope that they will learn. 

I won't talk about the assessment much until the few weeks before the test, and I won't teach to the test. If I'm teaching the written curriculum, students should score well on the test. If they don't, I will be able to look in the mirror and know that I did my best. 

I truly hope that Missouri doesn't go to merit pay. I would be ok on pay this year, but who knows about next year. It's simply not fair to teachers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Revising Common Core Checklists to Add Coding

I'm in the process of revising all common core checklists to add coding. If you purchased the files from TPT, you should be able to re-download them for free. I'm sending messages to buyers as I revise. It'll probably take a couple of weeks to finish because I'm proofing as I go. :)

8/18/12 -- I've revised K-6 ELA and K-6 Math so far. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Differentiate Partners with Appointments

Download this file, and all you have to do is add appointments (partners). 

You'll see a key in the bottom left-hand corner of the first page. Students don't need to know how they're paired. They simply need to know who their partners are. 
  • Yellow dot:  Pair the advanced readiness (high) students together and pair readiness (on-grade level) with early readiness (struggling)
  • Purple dot:  Homogeneous math partners (advanced readiness with advanced readiness, readiness with readiness, and early readiness with early readiness)
  • Blue dot:  Peer tutors for math (advanced readiness with readiness and readiness with early readiness)
  • Green dot:  Homogeneous reading partners   (advanced readiness with advanced readiness, readiness with readiness, and early readiness with early readiness)
  • Red dot:  Peer tutors for reading (advanced readiness with readiness and readiness with early readiness)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Classroom Handbook


Mini-Lesson Ideas for Writing

I LOVE to teach writing and thought I'd share the mini-lesson order I'm hoping to follow. This may change based on the needs of my class, but I've had good luck with this order before.

I model writing for about 10 minutes each day, and sometimes students copy a sentence or two from my mini-lesson into their writing notebooks. Their writing notebooks look just like mine. :)

Generally, they take notes a couple of times of week -- not every day.

I plan to upload examples of mini-lessons as the year progresses.

Writing Mini-Lesson Ideas

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Parts of Speech Bulletin Board

Link to the post that explains the question/answer flow on how I teach this:

Thanks, Jill, for saving me from an embarrassing spelling mistake! I appreciate it more than you know. :)

Setting Up the Classroom



The word wall goes above the cursive strip, and I still have a few book baskets to label. :)

Do you see the TV in the corner? It needs to GO, but I remember when it was new, and I was thrilled to have it.

The material on the filing cabinet is crooked. I'll fix that Monday morning. I also need to add a little brown behind the flower on the green curtain and dress up my desk a little more. In reality, those'll probably stay on my to-do list until next year. :-/

I've added a few more plants since I took this picture. Research suggests plants increase productivity --- one plant for every 100 square feet of space is a good rule of thumb to consider. They also help add negative ionization to the air which may improve behavior. Spider plants are hard to kill; palms are too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Beginning of Makeover

I'm excited to be back to school and hope to have my classroom ready for students by Monday -- that'll give me about a week to plan lessons before they show up. I'll post pics of the classroom after I finish the 'makeover.' I'm sticking with the same color scheme -- just buying brighter material. After all, I spend more time in my classroom than I do at home. :)

Since I'm not 'officially' back to work, I was able to have lunch with a friend -- complete with delicious cupcakes at Lola's in Nixa.  I have to ease back into working ...