Sunday, March 16, 2014

Show What You Know!

I found this neat-o idea on another teacher blog. (The link for the free printable is located below.) It's sweet because I number my kiddos. When we finish a lesson, I might have them pull out their post it notes and respond to the lesson in some way. Maybe a 3-2-1, maybe a question, or maybe I have them make a connection to the text...anything! After they respond on the post it, they stick it to their number. I can easily check the responses, and see who did not turn one in. I usually wind up throwing these away after I check them, unless there is a major issue. Anyway, this is a cool formative assessment tool to integrate into any classroom!

Mrs. Heeren's Blog

A little hot glue goes a long way!

I use my handy dandy hot glue gun for everything!!! My classroom has this sad cinderblock walls, which tape hates sticking to. So, I yanked out my hot glue gun and glued my calendar right up there. It worked! Next, I started gluing fabric to cover up the ugly cubbies on our back wall (hence, covering up my secret stash of messiness and stacks of photocopies). Finally, I went to the dollar store, bought some cheap frames, printed cute signs, rules, pictures, etc. and filled those frames. Guess what I did next? Hot glued them right to the wall!

They look awesome and give the place a bit of a homey feeling. Also, hot glue is sweet because it isn't permanent! It will peel right off when you're ready to go back to boring lame-o walls.

Birthday Pencils!

This year, I decided to make my life easier. Instead of giving out candy or writing cards for birthdays, I made my bouquet of birthday balloons! I put a styrofoam ball in a flower pot. Next, I sharpened a ton of pencils. After that, I taped a Happy Birthday balloon to each, and pushed them into the styrofoam. Easy! I saw it on Pinterest with flower cut outs, so it would be a bouquet of flowers, but my classroom decor is black and white polka dots, so this worked with the theme better!

And now, when kiddos come knocking on my door to share their birthday treats, instead of stopping instruction to get them a treat or pencil, I just direct them to select their birthday pencil! Easy Peasey Lemon Squeezey!

T Minus 11 days

My school had a conference day on Friday, and someone came up with the brilliant idea of counting how many days we have until the fourth grade NYS ELA. 11. ELEVEN! I guess it's really sneaking up on us this year, because my jaw dropped!

So, I've been incorporating some test prep into my routine, but I am SO nervous! I also heard that NYS is switching things up, making a 2 a passing score. But I can only assume that the cut scores will also be changed, so it will be that much harder to get a 2. Yikes!