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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My 5th Graders are FUNNY. No seriously! They're hilarious

So I know kids are funny, but I have an unusually hilarious group of kids. They serioulsy make me laugh all the time. It makes it hard to stay mad at them :).

I have been dying to share some of the stuff they say so here are some of the gems I have heard/read.

"You need a better teacher's lounge. It's not very loungy."

"I found a book!.... And apparantly my pants are on backwards..."

"Yes! I'm finished! Darn it... There's always gotta be a back page..."

Here is a great response from one of my students from her science book scavenger hunt. Check out question 2. This kid isn't lying either!



The students had to write a descriptive story about their shoe so that someone else could find their shoe based on the description. One of my students asked, "So would I say my shoe and sock like to make-out all the time?"

One of my students made herself right at home by having her own desk organizer when she came in. She is very concerned about it at all times and this is the note she left for the "bad guys" during our lock down procedure practice:



While my students were making their towers in Tower Topple Team building one of the towers started to lean further and further one team member shouted, "It's gonna be the leaning tower of pizza (pisa), cuz it's leaning all right!"


And last, but certainly not least, I have these magnet clips that never stick so they always make their way to the floor. A couple of my boys found them and thought they were clip-on earrings :).


I will make sure to post more material as my kids come up with it because I feel like I could already write a book on this stuff!

Muah,

Mrs. Cahill

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I am Happy Happy Happy!

Hi teacher and cooking friends!

So I'm not gonna lie. I have been struggling with figuring out an effective way to do my math workshop. I basically had 384 suggestions and ideas for what to do, but everything I tried was driving me crazy. I knew I needed a way to individualize work for students, yet still have them working in groups so they could learn from each other. Easier said than done! 

I finally got an idea from another teacher of how to individualize the instruction, but I had been changing math workshop around so many times that I wasn't sure the kids could handle "Ok, we are going to try something different today" one more time. So this time I wanted wanted to make sure that what I did actually worked, was organized, and that (most importantly) the kids would actually get excited about math workshop.

So what was the answer? Duck Dynasty! Duh! Haha Ok so that wasn't exactly the answer to the math workshop portion of things, but it did work! My kids were soooo excited to learn about the Duck Dynasty Math Workshop board all day, that I barely had to teach them what to do by the time math workshop came around. The just followed the procedures layed out on the board.  Even better? They are actually learning! 

Here is a picture of our math worksop board:


Basically the kids each have a math workshop card with 5 different items on them. 
Then I can rank them in the order they have to complete the tasks. 
I just printed them out and laminated them so I can erase and change the order ranking as I need to.

The five tasks are 

1.) Bookwork/extra practice


2.) Common core math journal (Number and Operations in Base Ten in my tpt store now! Other standards coming soon.Click on the image to check it out!)






3.) A math game aligned to the lesson (center game/activity in my tpt store too! Click on the picture below!)





4.) Extension work 


5.) Khan academy. 

I am still able to split the class into manageable groups and they never say, "I'm done. What do I do now?" They just have to look at their workshop card, which is now called the Duck Dynasty board, N and get to work. They absolutely love math workshop now! Who knew that was all I needed to organize my math workshop?!

I hope to have many of the items above in my store soon so you can check them out if you think this might work in your classroom as well.

Happy teaching!

Muah,

Mrs. Cahill

P.S. Here is a sneak peak of the bookmarks I made. My reader's workshop has been going great, but maybe a little Duck Dynasty will make it even better! 



Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tower Topple Team Building

Tower Topple Team Building!

Now that's a bit of a tongue twister! So what is it?

Ok, so I have neglected my blog for weeks now, but I am cutting myself some slack because I am a first year teacher :). Understandable right?

On that same note, we did this activity during the first week of school (which was....oh, I don't know.... 4 weeks ago ha) but it was such as success that I wanted to share it with you.

My kids were put into groups of two and they were given 2 large pieces of construction paper, 1 medium piece of construction paper, 10 strips of a construction paper, and tape. (Hint: teachers this is a great time to use all those "extra" scraps of paper that pile up in the work room or classroom that you always say you are going to use, but never do :).

Then students had to create the tallest tower that would hold a staple remover at the end of the team building activity. I was so impressed by the results. I thought one or two groups would have some moderately strong towers, but I have some great future engineers in my classroom. Here are some pictures of the towers.























I know that was A LOT of pictures, but I just loved it. The kids loved it too. They did a great job, it was a great team and community builder, and the results were amazing!

I have this activity in my back to school pack in my TeachersPayTeachers store. Click on the picture below to check it out!


Have a good weekend friends!

Muah!

-Martina

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Currently

Hi teacher and cooking friends,

After I figured out how to do the currently with Oh' Boy 4th Grade in August, I have been waiting for September to do this one. I loooooooved seeing what everyone puts on their version of their currently and I can't wait to see everyone's this month!

Here it is:


Happy Monday friends!

Muah 

-Martina

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Co-Teaching Part 4 of 5.... and a little carrot cake

Hey cooking and teaching friends,

I have just survived my first two weeks as a real-life teacher! Agh! But.... and oh yes.... there is a but... I have officially come down with a wonderful cold. I shouldn't be surprised considering I had four students absent this week... The good news is that I have a four-day weekend to try and recover, because this first-year teacher is NO WAY, NO HOW going to attempt to make sub-plans. So here is to the rest of my weekend.... 


Besides that wonderful cold, my first two weeks went pretty good and I am excited to be back for the fourth installment of co-teaching with Kelly Anne. 


This week is about how we made co-teaching count. I really feel like I can't take too much credit for this aspect of our co-teaching relationship, because Kelly did the bulk of this part (I am especially realizing this now that I am teaching without her- well physically at least.... she is still on my speed dial, so don't feel too bad for me). 

Anyways, after I was done student teaching first semester, I was offered a job that would allow me to continue working in the school (and with Kelly-whoop whoop!) At this point, Kelly made sure we were utilizing this set-up to the students' advantage. One of my favorite "interventions" we did was math groups. We (and by we, I mean Kelly explained it to me and I agreed) pulled data from their testing, class work, and anectodals, and grouped the students based on where they were as mathematicians. This didn't mean that we only worked with struggling mathematicians, we also worked with students who needed to be challenged. 

Kelly would teach the whole class math lesson and then students would go to work on extra practice and math games. After students had a chance to work in Math Workshop, I would pull math groups while Kelly was working with the rest of the class. I would take the group of students into the hall and teach them a new super-mini-lesson on a gap they may have in math or teach a new 6th or 7th grade concept to students who needed a challenge. Sometimes this meant practicing basic multiplication facts and sometimes this meant teaching a whole new concept to students. It was a great way for us to utilize the fact that we had two-teachers, my job as an "interventionist," and to fill gaps and/or challenge our 5th grade learners. 

I was able to learn about a whole different aspect of helping our students grow because of this set-up that Kelly created. And students growing?! Isn't that like the best thing ever! 

Now, don't forget to check out Kelly's blog AppleSlices. You will love her (I wouldn't lie to you, plus she is so adorable it's ridiculous!) And make sure to come back next week for our fifth (AND FINAL.... eeek) post on co-teaching.



And here is a little peek at the carrot cake (and the massive amount of ingredients it takes.... who knew?) I made this weekend. Not as easy as my mother makes it look, but the husband ate it anyway :).



Happy teaching and cooking!
Muah

Mrs. Cahill