Sunday, October 25, 2015

Global Glitter Tribe October Linky

Trying to find time to blog during soccer season is like trying to nail Jello to a tree! Needless to say, it's almost the end of October and I'm finally getting around to linking up with the Glitterati on the Global Glitter Tribe's blog. Get on over there and link up too! Keep reading for lots of goodies and even a FREEBIE!

It's easy to link up, just grab the template, add in your answers and then plop it into your blog. Don't forget to link back to the Global Glitter Tribe Blog.

Here's mine:

Totally Inspirational:
I've started learning more about Growth Mindset and I'm totally intrigued by what it can do for students. The other day during our Number of the Day discussion, a student made a mistake in the equation she was presenting. She felt a little embarrassed but I made sure to heap on the praise because she was able to recognize her mistake and correct it. I told the class how I just saw her brain grow double and she just beamed! Immediately I saw more students take risks in their mathematical thinking with just that one comment I made. I found this awesome bulletin board (sorry about pic quality) on Pinterest that makes so much sense! I'm thinking about how to adapt it for my 2nd graders.

Normally I've always led the Number of the Day discussions in my class. This year I decided to shake things up a bit after the first two months. I let students come up and write their work on the board and lead a discussion about their thinking. I have discussion question prompts on the wall they can use if needed, but I really love when they challenge each other. My favorite is when they say, "Prove it!" and the leader can actually explain their thinking to the class. They also started asking the other students who agrees with the leader. The kids started having the most amazing discussions! It was painful and awkward at first, but their discussions have really started blossoming. Here are the questions I have posted on my wall. I got them from Guided Math in Action and made them into posters. Read more about the questions from this post and click the pic to download them for free.
Igniting Passionate Readers:
Even though I just teach math, I still have a substantial classroom library. Fast finishers can always grab a book to read for a few minutes. Plus, my homeroom students get to go book "shopping" each week for books to keep in their book bags to take to literacy class.
This is the fiction side, which makes up half the library.
What really gets kids excited about reading is when I unveil my new monthly theme bookshelf. Each month is a different theme such as holidays, science topics they're studying with their science teacher or special authors. These books are always the most popular because they're only around for a limited time. It creates a hype about reading that is contagious! Here's my October selection:

Bridging the Gap:
Since I teach math all day, I get to really hone in on the math skills my students are struggling with or doing well with. One way to bridge the gap is to meet with my students in a small group each day. Meanwhile, the other students are engaged in math stations. I like to differentiate my stations by having different levels for students. An easy way to do that is to assign certain tasks to certain students. They are just as fun as the other stations, and often look almost the same, but may have smaller numbers to work with or more basic skills (or review). One example is my Batty for Telling Time leveled task cards, which include three levels. You can also mix these cards up for a fun Scoot Activity or Quiz Quiz Trade. It's a bargain at only $3!
Enjoying My Time:
Who doesn't love binge-watching your favorite shows on Netflix? I've recently finished watching Orange is the New Black and Sons of Anarchy and stumbled across Bones, an old show I never got into until now. What I love about Netflix is that I don't have to watch commercials or even fast forward them. I watch while I iron and fold laundry on Sundays and it makes the task much more enjoyable!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dried Up Glue Stick Solution: So Simple!

I love using interactive notebooks BUT I hate the whole glue situation! Bottle glue is just not something the kids can use neatly. I don't even want it in my classroom! I usually confiscate it and use it for glue sponges later in the year (when we run out of glue sticks).

That means we're using glue sticks at the moment. Last year I got so aggravated when I'd find a perfectly good (or used to be) glue stick without a cap! Somehow that cap could not be found no matter how big of a hissy fit I'd have. 

Eventually I smartened up and started this little beauty with two items I already had in my room: zip top baggie and a magnet.

The first several times I threw away a glue stick that was used up, I simply kept the cap in the bag. Now I have a stash for those moments when those little darlings "lose" their caps. It sure has kept me from losing my mind! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

October Currently

I am so beyond glad it's Friday people! This week was crazy! The kids were great but my mountain of tasks avalanched right around Tuesday and I've been digging out ever since. Anyway, this morning I realized I forgot all about my favorite linky!!! I jumped out of bed (not really) and tied up my hair in a messy bun, threw on jeans and a school t-shirt and ran (again, not really) to my laptop to get on board with Farley and her fab Currently linky.

Listening: I just love listening to the Bobby Bones show every morning. It is just so full of happy/goodness/positivity and life affirming awesomeness. Plus I love country music.

Loving: Like I said above...

Thinking: This week was the kind of week that I just couldn't catch up. I decided to put each task on a mini sticky note with the due date and arrange them on my usual hand written weekly to do list. It worked great because I got to triumphantly throw away the stickies of items I finished and move stickies around as other, more pressing, tasks came up.

Wanting: My baby is a college girl now and I got to talk with her on the phone last night while her team was traveling to Denver on the bus. She sounds so great but it made me want to drive to Denver just to get a big ol' hug from her. I miss her like crazy...

Needing: Fall break is next Thursday and Friday and I seriously CAN NOT WAIT!! Thursday I have a lasik consultation and Friday I get to do whatever I want!! I've got some great ideas for new products swirling around in my head. The inspiration is there, just not the time.

Boo-tiful: Of course the most boo-tiful things in my world are my girls. Can you tell I'm a proud mama?