Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Blog Design

With a new blog name, I thought it was time to invest in a better blog design. Instead of getting a custom design blog (since my track record for regularly blogging is not great), I went with an instant update by purchasing a blog design on Etsy. It was cheaper, quicker (took five minutes to install), and I am pretty happy.

For other new bloggers, I would definitely recommend this option if you want something better than the templates that come with Blogger. It isn't custom, but I think it looks pretty nice!

Now to convince my sister-in-law (she is a photographer, but she specializes in infants/toddlers) we need to have a photo shoot with my puppy and I for the photo... I don't think Stella will cooperate, but it could be entertaining!

Happy New Year everyone and happy new blog space to me! :)


P.S. The designer has her logo at the bottom of my blog if you like how my page looks or want to see her other designs.

Friday, December 2, 2016

December Math Stations

Over Thanksgiving break I decided it was time to make some new, fun stations for my kiddos. I wanted to review the skills I've taught as well as make them engaging so they stayed on task while I did my interventions.

So with the stations complete and some down time before I board a plane to Chicago today, I thought I would share some pictures of the stations in action. 

First, I made some fun Christmas themed word problem task cards. The kids loved these because I used their names in the problems! They begged to do them, it was the best. 

Next, they practiced their subtraction within 10 skills and odd/even with this great solve and sort activity. They had fun using whiteboards and working with partners. 

The last stations they used this week was addition within 20 bingo. This was another hit. They asked me to play it again so I know it's a keeper.

Also included in the pack is a number word/expanded form memory game and uno expansion. There is a two digit addition without regrouping memory game and another odd/even holiday activity. I'll post more pictures next week! 

If you'd like the task cards grab them here

If you'd like the 5 Christmas themed math stations grab them here

Can you believe it's December !!? I can't. One of my favorite kindergarten teachers is getting married this weekend and as much as I dislike snow, I'll be dreaming of some white stuff for her sake (and the wedding pictures). Happy teaching friends, we can do it- it's almost Christmas !! Hehe


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Grammer Task Cards

This summer, one of my main projects was working on grammar instruction. I wanted to create some resources that helped reinforce grammar skills during my No New Instruction block. Also, I wanted hands-on tools to use to help students apply their knowledge. One of my favorite things to use are task cards. For the first three weeks of school, I created 3 sets of task cards for my second graders (but they would be great for kinder or firsties, too). 

I use task cards in a variety of ways. One way I use them is in a whole class game called Scoot. Everyone gets one card to answer in 30 seconds, then they scoot the card to their neighbor. This is a great way to hold EVERYONE accountable. Another way I use task cards is during literacy stations. I like to create two sets of the same task cards. This way two partnerships can be working on the same skill. Sometimes the partnerships are with two students on the same ability level. Sometimes I assign a "teacher" and a "student" in the partnership to allow peer tutoring. 

When I create task cards, I like to use my students' names or things about my life. They always LOVE finding them in the new sets of cards. 

I created a noun, verb, and adjective set. They are designed to be basic review for my incoming second graders who should have the foundation skills already. They would make an excellent resource for introduction of the skills as well! I tried to keep the design simple for students and familiar. This way after you teach them how to use the first set, they will already know how to use the other two sets if placed at their literacy station.

Included in each set:
-24 Print-and-Use task cards
-A variety of question types (multiple choice, select the answer, fill-in-the-blank) 
-Recording Sheets
-Answer Keys
-Student Directions
-Teacher Directions


If you are interested in grabbing a set of these task cards, check them out at my TpT store. Just click the link below:

Noun Task Cards
Verb Task Cards
Adjective Task Cards

If you have creative ways of reinforcing grammar skills, link your blog post so I can check it out!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Back to School Checklist

It is August! Where did summer go? It is definitely time to start thinking at back to school and heading back into my classroom. 

Every year, I go into my classroom and think, "Okay. What first?" So this year, I am writing a check list for myself ahead of time. Feel free to copy/paste, print/use, etc. 

Back to School Checklist 

1. Arrange teacher desk, student desks, and reading table.

2. Put up word wall, math meeting, and content area displays.

3. Label student desks, coat hooks, hallway project display and clothes pins (behavior chart & lunch count) with student names.

*I like to use my students' names rather than numbers because it helps build classroom community. I want my classroom to reflect each group of students and their individuality, not see a set of numbers everywhere. 

4. Write, copy, and stuff Back to School welcome letters. 

5. Create labels for: take home folder, reading notebook, word work notebook, and rocket math folder. 

6. Write lesson plans for first two weeks. Make all copies. Place in Monday-Friday baskets.

7. Prepare first day craft and place on desks. 

8. Give each student a zip lock bag for school supplies on their desk with their name. Place on desk.

9. Fill in names/information in data notebook and contact binder. 

10. Fill welcome packets with: back to school survey, Miss Waddell's Class Procedures, and teacher contact magnet. 

11. Update open house power point. 

12. Read/check permanent files for students and contact any support teachers who work with new students. 

There is ALWAYS more to do, but I think this covers the essential things that MUST get done before the kiddos arrive on day one. If you have a back to school checklist, link your blog post in the comments below and I'll check it out! 

A Teacher and her Dog

I've been teaching for five years. I LOVE my job. I'm so fortunate to have found my passion in life. I started teaching in the Mississippi Delta as a 2011 Teach for America Corps Member and had an amazing experience. I could share stories for HOURS. After completing my two years, I moved closer to home and continue to teach as a second grade teacher.

Blogging has been a love/hate relationship. I wanted a platform to network with other educators as well as share my ideas, resources, and stories. I started my first blog two years ago: I was TERRIBLE about posting. Once every few months I would write a post with promises of more in the future, but never followed through. So, I decided I needed to try again, but this time I wanted to share more about my life beyond the classroom walls.

In April 2016, I decided I wanted a puppy! Exciting, right!? I've been patiently waiting for a darling boston terrier puppy. As an early birthday present, my breeder contacted me saying she has a puppy for me. Stella joins my family in September 2016! 

So begins the blog: A Teacher and her Dog.