Saturday, January 21, 2012

Linky Party and a Question (HELP!)

Head on over to to find some freebies for Groundhog's Day.  You may find something perfect for your little ones.

I am used to blogging on LJ.  To read my "friends" over there, I simply pressed a button and they all came up.  Easy peasy, right? I could simply go down the list and read it all in one spot.  For me to read my "followers" list, I seem to need to jump through hoops.   Do I always have to go to my profile to be able to do it?  I am sure there is an easier way here at Blogger. 

So can any of you wise ones tell me the way you do it?  I'm sure it's a no-brainer but my brain is a bit fried these days with portfolios and report cards due soon.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Need A First Grade Job in Utah...

after I win this from HGTV.  Fingers crossed!

Watching the special on HGTV now.
You know what they say: You have to be in it to win it!

My Most Effective "Signal" to Kids...

Happy Sunday!

We all have signals, claps, or little songs to get the attention of our students, don't we?  This year, I have a new one that is so effective, I had to share. It just came out of my mouth one day as I often sing little phrases to the song, "Are You Sleeping?"  (Like, "I am waiting, I am waiting, waiting for you, waiting for you...)

I use it only when I need to check in on an activity/assignment.  Example:  My kids will be working in groups playing a math game.  After 6-8 minutes, I might want to highlight a group's work or share something I saw that impressed me OR simply to stop them instantly and ask them questions or give further instructions.  (Now that we've practiced finding all the odd numbers up to 50, let's take it step further and find them up to 100 or If your partner helped you make your story better, tell us how, etc.  Lame examples, but I haven't had my tea yet!)

Here it is...simple, but oh, so effective!  (Tune: Are You Sleeping)

Me:  Let's chit chat, Let's chit chat...
Them: (making ok sign with hand and moving hand to beat)  A-Okay.  (Then immediately putting hands on heads, no movement with hands since they are firmly planted on head)  A-Okay.

By the second A-Okay sign, the room is silent, no one is writing or talking, etc. and they are all looking at me.

When I use it, they know a short discussion is coming ABOUT the activity/assignment at hand, etc.  It's not used for transitions or anything else. 

It's been a winner for me!  Seriously!  This is fail proof!  My best and most effective yet.

Is there one you can't live without?  Care to share?  I'm all ears...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year and Goals

May 2012 be your best yet!  Do you have any resolutions?  I admit, I am terrible at keeping them!  This year, I'm going with monthly resolutions.  Much easier to manage and if I fail, there's always next month.

I'll leave my personal resolutions private but list my professional ones here.


1. Get to school at crack of dawn so I can work without others in building (so I actually work and not gab!) and I'll also leave when school day ends.  My kids need me here! :)

2. Work on upcoming assessments a little each day.  No cramming!  This week, I plan on getting all WAWAs finished as well as sight words.  Then, I'll do running records and scoring.

3. Read a highly recommended professional math book.  As soon as I can remember the name, I'll edit this to include the title.

4. Take down my current outside BB and put my January up by this Friday.  Isn't that always stressful? 

5. Send weekly newsletters home via email in January.

6. Sort and organize math materials.  I stepped into a well-stocked classroom this year and that's about the only area I haven't "made mine" yet.  Labels, reorganize, etc.  Takes oh-so-much time, doesn't it?

7. Make my February packet of poems for TPT.  I've had a few emails already asking if I was making one.  Yep- coming soon!  Also making a mini-unit for my favorite Valentine's Day book ever:  Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch.  Have you read it? 

That's is for January.  How about you?  Care to share?