Friday, July 31, 2015

What Pet Should I get?

Who else is as uncontrollably excited as I am that Dr. Seuss' new book was finally published and came out in book stores this week!!?!?

As an avid Dr. Seuss fan, who owns every single one of his books, I had to have a copy for my classroom. "What Pet should I Get?" is an adorable book about two little kids who go to the pet store to purchase a new pet. They are immediately confronted by tons of amazing pets and they struggle to decide on one to buy. Upon reading it, I fell absolutely in Love! It's a perfect classroom read aloud, with easy words, wonderful rhyme and fabulous pictures.

And who don't love talking about pets!?

I'm already planning on using it this year as my initial introduction to my students' writing. Each year, I love starting off with a writing prompt that my students are excited about; one that I can use as an assessment as to their true writing potential and present ability. When kids are excited about what they are writing, they tend to write more and therefore challenge themselves to do their best. This book is going to be great for getting their minds flowing and encouraging them to write! 

I put together a small companion pack of pages to go along with the book. You can download it here for free! I hope that you will enjoy the book as much as me! 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Moving my Writing Wall

Hey everyone! I hope you're summer is going great! I am excited to say that summer school ended this past Friday and I am thoroughly enjoying my time off! My brother is in town for the week and we're having tons of fun as a family! Tomorrow we're going to the beach!

However, this week I also began tackling my classroom. Although I have a few weeks left of summer, the urge to get started and the feeling that I won't be ready in time is already beginning! :)

So what did I do? Got started of course!

Some of my bulletin boards on the top of my giant wall were beginning to fade, so out came the 20 foot ladder! I also decided at the end of the school year that I was going to move my writing wall to the other side, so that I could hang their work without climbing on our counters. I thought moving it would be a piece of cake, but boy was I wrong! 8 exhausting hours later... lol Here's what I have so far...

I still need to finish the birthday board in purple and do the entire other side of the room! But we're making progress! And I'm totally in love with the lime green paper. It makes the whole wall pop! Can't wait to see what it looks like with student work! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Place Value Battleship

Today in Summer school, we played a little place value battleship! Students used Lakeshore Privacy Partitions to secretly hide their game boards. We used two 120 charts, some Target Dollar Spot erasers and some fun colorful beads to create a Place Value Review game.  Students started by setting up their game boards. They used the white chart to hide their "ships." They covered 5 numbers on their board with their erasers.

Rather than asking A16, or B7 to describe where you are hoping to sink a partner's ship, students asked by using place value clues. They would say 7 tens and 5 ones to describe 75. They would then record where they had asked on their gold chart by using a colorful bead. If they guessed a space with an eraser, they collected the eraser. The first person to collect all their partner's erasers won! 
For added Differentiation my higher students were paired together and encouraged to ask their partner by saying, "10 more than 7 tens and 5 ones" or "5 less than 7 tens and 7 ones." My higher students loved the challenge it added. 

Overall, the game was a big hit! We're definitely going to have to play it in the school year too!