Welcome to my blog. I see this as a place to reflect on my teaching practices and to share ideas and strategies with other teachers.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Writing Process Status of the Class Tracking Chart AND Writing Goals Chart

For our writing block each day, we have a quick mini-lesson and then work through the writing process in response to a weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) writing project/prompt.  I keep track of how students are making progress with this Status of the Class tracking chart.

You can find the FREE chart in my TPT store by clicking here.

I decided to make an illustrated version of this chart so that non-readers and struggling readers could better be able to tell independently what the steps in the writing process are.  This version of the chart can be found in my TPT store by clicking here.

In conjunction with this new chart, I wanted a way to make students accountable for the goals we talk about during our writing conferences, so I made a writing conference binder with dividers between each child and anecdotal notes pages.  Then, I made a Writing Goal Chart. The teacher and student work together to choose an appropriate writing goal based on their writing conference.  The student puts a labeled clothespin on the appropriate goal.  Then, the goal can be revisited at each conference and changed when it has been met consistently.  The chart can be adapted for different grade levels by selecting the goals most appropriate for your age group of students and using only those.

You can find this goal chart in my TPT store by clicking here.

Book Character Costume - Big Chicken!

For Halloween this year, our school invited teachers to dress up as storybook characters.  I choose to dress as one of the chickens from the book Big Chickens by Leslie Helakoski.  I dress inspiration from these pictures I found on Pinterest:  

Chicken 1          
Chicken 2            

I made the costume with a white dress/bathing suit cover up from Goodwill (about $3).  I bought about 12 white feather boas from the Dollar Tree (about $12) and hot glued them in zig zags across the front and across the back.  I used two bags of hot glue sticks from the Dollar Tree ($2).  

My chicken feet were made from yellow rubber kitchen gloves stuffed with paper and slid over flat shoes I already had.  The kitchen gloves were from the Dollar Tree, also ($1).

The chicken headband was made from two devil headbands I bought at a Family Dollar store ($2).  I cut the horns off of both headbands, glued a piece of plastic perpendicular to the original headband, and then hot glued the horns back onto the perpendicular please of plastic.  

I bought a chicken beak from a local party supply store ($4).

I wore a pair of gold tights I already had and a wide black belt I already had.  

My kids and coworkers loved it!  

  

It was a lot of fun to dress up as a Big Chicken!  The kids wanted to rub me.  They wanted to touch the feathers and the feet.  I shed feathers all day and the kids were collecting them in their pockets!  I have two students with special needs who were both especially enthralled by the costume.  I gave one boy the feet to take home and the other will get my headband!  

In hindsight, I wish I would have only put feathers up to my waist (or used a skirt instead of a dress).  I also wish I would have made a felt mask with an attached beak (like this one) instead of using a store bought one.  Since the store bought one covered my nose and mouth, it was hard to breathe and I couldn't wear it for longer than a couple of minutes at a time.

I must have shed more than I thought!   At the end of the day, I had a surprise in my mailbox:


What was your Halloween costume this year?



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Classroom Transition Songs and Chants

For the upcoming school year, I have been working to add more songs and chants into our school day to make our transitions more fun!  The following songs and chants were gathered from the Internet.  None of them are my own creation.  I tried to include a link to my source.  There are a couple for which I do not know the original source.  If you happen to know the original source, please post in comments and I will fix it!  I hope these are helpful!

Rug Time Song
Sing to the tune of "Shortnin' Bread"

Everybody have a seat, have a seat, have a seat,
Everybody have a seat on the floor.
Not on the ceiling, not on the door...
Everybody have a seat on the floor.
(Repeat 2 times)

Recess Song
Sing to the tune of Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush”

Here we go out to play with friends,
Play with friends, play with friends,
Here we go out to play with friends,
At recess time today.
                          
We'll play nicely with our friends,
With our friends, with our friends,
We'll play nicely with our friends,
At recess time today.

Reading Workshop Transition Song
Sing to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”

Clap, Clap, Clap and Stop!
It’s time to move once more.
Carefully, carefully, carefully, carefully!
Activities galore!

(Repeat 2 times)


Waiting Song
Sing to the tune of “Frere Jacques”

I am waiting, I am waiting
For my friends, for my friends
To get ready, to get ready
So we can begin, so we can begin

(Repeat until ready)


Hallway Song

Doo Wah Diddy
Here we go just a walking down the hall,
Singing doo wah diddy, diddy, dum diddy doo
Hands at our sides and standing straight and tall
Singing doo wah diddy, diddy, dum diddy doo.
We look good-We look good
We look fine-We look fine
Here we go in our line


Lunch Time Song

I see a bunch
Who is hungry for lunch
From a sandwich to spaghetti
Please get in line
And get ready to dine
Because we’re hungry and we’re ready
For lunch



Library Song

It’s time to go to library
Where they have books galore!
From mystery to history
You’ll find what you’re looking for!

Music Song

Music soothes the soul
Beethoven to Rock and Roll
Please line up with things in order
Music Folder and Recorder

P.E. Song

People who are really smart
Know to take care of their heart
Exercise is the thing to do
Learn to be a good sport, too.
Sound off:  shoes on
Sound off:  line up
Sound off:  P.E.
Let’s go!
Have fun!

Art Song

It’s __(day)__ and it’s time for art.
Please line up and get set to start!
Wear your art shirt if your project’s messy
Can’t wait to see what it will be
Boom! Boom!

Computer Lab Song

T E C H N O L O G Y
It’s time for the computer lab
log on - to see
what lesson will it be
learning’s fun in the computer lab


Science Song
sing to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

S - C - I - E - NCE
Science is so fun for me
Matter and Animals
Weather, too
I hope you like them as much as I do
S - C - I - E - NCE
Science is so fun for me!

Social Studies Song

Let’s learn some his-to-ry
Learn the way things used to be
Regions, capitals, and states
So-cial studies
Don’t be late!


Clean Up Song

Clean Up
Everybody Clean up
Clean Up
Everybody Clean Up
Time to clean up

Pick UP
Everybody Pick up
Pick Up
Everybody pick up
Time to pick up

Pick up the toys
Put them away
Pick up the blocks
Put them away
Pick up the books
Put them away
Put your things away


Barney’s Clean Up Song

Now it’s time to put away
Everything that we took out
When the place is nice and clean
It makes us feel so proud

We always clean up
Clean up
Show we really care
We always clean up
Clean up
Because we like to do our share

After we have had our fun
Playtime’s coming to an end
We sure know it helps a lot
If we can all pitch in

We always clean up
Clean up
Show we really care
We always clean up
Clean up
Because we like to do our share

We always clean up
Clean up
Show we really care
We always clean up
Clean up
Because we like to do our share

Yes, We like to do our share!


Writing Song
Sing to the tune of “Frosty the Snowman”

Let’s write a story,
It is writing time again,
It will be fun writing sentences today,
Oh, I can’t wait to begin...

So, let’s write a story,
It is easy and it’s fun,
There are great ideas in all of us,
And we’ll share them one by one!
Goodbye Song
Sing to the tune of “Day-O”

Day O, Day - Ay - Ay O
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Day! We say Day Ay - Ay O
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Work all day until the afternoon comes
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Read a book and we run in the sun
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Come everybody, tell me about your day
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Tomorrow will be another very special day
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Six steps, seven steps, eight steps out
We had fun but it’s time to go home
We leave our school and then we shout
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Day! We say Day- Ay- Ay O
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Day!  We say day, we say day, we say day-o
A beautiful day, a happy time
We had fun but it’s time to go home
We sang some songs and we some rhymes
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Six steps, seven steps, eight steps out
We had fun but it’s time to go home
We leave our school and then we shout
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Day!  We Say Day-Ay-Ay-O
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Day!  We say day, we say day, we say day-o
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Day O Day O
We had fun but it’s time to go home
Day-O Day-O
We had fun but it’s time to go home
We had fun but it’s time to go home
We had fun but it’s time to go home