Sunday, August 6, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

Are you gearing up for the Solar Eclipse 2017?  We are one city that has over 2 minutes and 30 seconds of totality and our city is going all out!  We have a weekend full of fun, but first we have to get through the first three days of school and I know if all are like me then you are searching for the best Solar Eclipse resources you can find!!  Here I have compiled what I plan to use, some I made, some I bought, and some are FREE!!

Of course we needed an observation sheet to document the fabulous things we will be seeing at this once in a lifetime event!  I was having trouble finding something for middle to upper elementary so I created my own!  The good thing is since we are all obsessed such fans of our projectors and interactive whiteboards then the reflection questions can be done whole group for younger elementary students.  Click the pictures below to grab this in my store for just $1!!
After getting the observation in order I was then on the hunt for some specific 2017 Eclipse information.  One thing I have heard over the past year is "What is the big deal?"  This resource, AGAIN a steal for just $1.50, will give your students a chance to get up and move around and still learn about this amazing event!  There is a version for younger students that simply states the fact and a more challenging option that gives some additional information.  The beauty is this could be used in the same classroom for differentiation because the recording sheet is the same!
This is another paid product, but not one of mine.  I love the webquests in this pack, as well as the variety of reading skills that are being addressed!  Of course at under $2, the price isn't bad either!
I am pretty sure the entire world has an Amazon Prime membership or at least knows someone to grab this great movie for FREE!  The run time is only 44 minutes so enough to get in a class period for the teacher who are departmentalized. I also found a corresponding follow along sheet on TPT for free as well!  
I am not sure about school's around the nation, but for us we were pretty nervous about just letting our kids wonder around outside for the entire duration of the eclipse (over 2 hours) and just HOPING they keep their eclipse glasses on the entire time.  Therefore, we are designated approved observation times, which of course covers the totality as well.  Because of this, we are responsible for coming up with educational activities to complete indoors until the next observation period.  Below are three links to some free activities that may be useful if you are doing something similar!

Hopefully some of these resources ease the search for the first day or the first few days back to school before the eclipse! 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Vocabulary Done Right!

I can't even believe it has been so long since my last post, it really is too long to even mention.  We are just a few hours away from this little cuties first birthday and I have been super busy getting things together to teach sixth, SIXTH, YES, SIXTH grade!!  Cra-zay!  We had a few abrupt changes at our school and therefore I have found myself in 6th grade until a position in a primary grade opens up (hopefully next year)!
Anyways, throughout conversations of this huge and overwhelming transition I have found that 1) I have had lots of moments of self-reflection, 2) I am my own worst critic.  BUT, I am confident about my vocabulary instruction.  It is not only a highly education time of our day, but I hear my students COMPLAIN when we don't get around to it some days...WIN, WIN.

This set up can be used with any set of words, but we use the words from our Wonders Reading Series.  I have added a link to a huge file that will be half off for the entire day tomorrow in honor of our sweet girl's birthday!

The set up begins with the vocabulary chart.  This is where we store and organize all our information for the entire week.  It also makes a great study guide for assessments and we also use this opportunity to practice cursive since it is usually only words or short sentences!
Day 1: Introduce words in a cloze format.  The vocabulary word is used in a sentence, however the word is committed and left with a blank.  I can not stress enough how important and rewarding this is for the students to think about what words would make sense in the blanks.  I usually let 3-4 students guess and then write the correct word in on the chart, which is usually projected up on our whiteboard.
Day 2: Students get an opportunity to come up with definitions for each word.  Again, such deep conversations are taking place!  We also utilize dictionaries on Day 2 if and only IF we feel our definitions are not satisfactory. 

Day 3 & 4: We use the next two days to do the antonyms and synonyms.  Again, we really stress that they should be one word and a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WORD...things like not happy, longer, etc will not due!  Sometimes we do all the synonyms one day and then the antonyms the next.  Other times we do four synonyms and four antonyms one day and the other set the next day.

Day 5: The last day of course was an assessment day.  We utilized the crossword puzzle as well as what was provided in the Wonders Reading series.  
Below I have included a link to the 90 page packet (plus answer keys) of all the vocabulary resources that correlate to the third grade Wonders Reading Series!  This product will be 50% off for the entire day tomorrow!
  

Sunday, January 29, 2017

I grew a human!

I know it has been almost 10 months since my last post!  Crazy how fast life can start moving and before you know a month, a year, or even more has passed.  I remember so clearly the days I prayed and hoped for a positive test, prayed and hoped for a heartbeat, prayed and hoped for a healthy anatomy scan, prayed and hoped for a successful delivery, and even prayed and hoped she made it through each night.  Day after day and here we are....a happy, healthy six month old who has made sure her presence hasn't gone unnoticed.  Her smile and laugh are impossible not to love and the relationship she is building with her big sister is so genuinely beautiful.

Of course, babies are a lot, A LOT a MASSIVE amount of work.  So we have our days when I don't think I sit down until 8 p.m. between both kids and being a full-time working, nursing mom.  But, like they say, someday I will miss this noise, constant to do, and utter chaos.

In all, it is ok to let some things go on the back burner, while others take precedent.  I have neglected my blog, but have made being with my little ones a priority.