Sunday, September 23, 2012

Heidisongs Giveaway & a FREEBIE!

Raise your hand if you are a fan of Heidi Songs materials. Now imagine me waving my arms obnoxiously.

Sidenote: I have one of those student this year. He is first in line and jumps up almost hitting my chin to make sure I see him standing like he should. {Insert head shaking here. } I have tried to explain that by jumping he is no longer standing at attention but he just smiles, glad I finally made eye contact with him.

This leads in perfectly to my post today which is about Heidi's Classroom Management CD. I have blogged before about loving her Sight Word DVDs so I thought maybe this talented teacher could also help me with behavior expectations.
I have been playing her Music for Classroom Management CD while we do our handwriting practice. The songs are catchy and directly correlate to what my kiddos need to be reminded of:

Music titles include:
1: Backpack Boogie
2: Follow the Rules
3: When the Bell Rings, Freeze!
4: The Tattling Song
5: No Interrupting
6: Outside Voices, Inside Voices
7: Please and Thank You
8: Is it a Question or a Story?
9: Cover Your Mouth
10: Blow Your Nose
11: The Potty Dance
12: Potty, Potty, Flush, Flush
13: Right Hand, Left Hand
14: Red, White, and Blue
15: The Days of the Week
16: Months of the Year
17: Criss Cross, Applesauce
18: The Tracing Song
19: The Cutting Song
20: The Glue Song
21: Snap That Cap
22: Just Try Your Best
23: The Smarty Pants Dance
24: Line Up
25: I Love My Lunchbox
26: Bonus Track: We Don’t Fight!

Is it a Question or a Story has been a lifesaver! Before I got the CD I had one boy who had a real problem with this. I would interrupt his story and he would say, "Yea, but..." and keep going. Seriously, one day I stopped him 3 times before I finally let him just get it out!

Would you like to hear a sample? These clips are from the DVD although I just got the CD.

If you'd like more information about these songs or to check out her other AMAZING PRODUCTS just click HERE. She is a teacher so you know that her products are kid tested and approved! I am amazed by her creativity! She also provides a free download of the lyrics.

But wait, ( do I sound like an infomercial at 3 AM?) followers of my blog can also enter to win your very own copy of her Music for Classroom Management CD! Use the handy Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'd also like to announce that Evelyn ( won my last giveaway for the Lakeshore Roll & Build Geometry Game. Congrats!

And if you stayed with me this long, you deserve a FREEBIE! I made a new Magic e poster for my phonics wall. It matches my Decoding Strategies Quick-Reference Guide if you are using it (pictured below)

 but even if you aren't maybe you teach CVCe words with the same strategy and could use this FREE download. I cut around the frame, mounted on colored scrapbook paper, and laminated for durability.
Hope everyone has a terrific week! My district has mandated 135 minutes weekly in the computer lab on intervention programs so I am having a very difficult time finding enough time to actually TEACH!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lakeshore Giveaway & Teddy Bear Day

I was lucky enough to be asked by the great people at Lakeshore Learning to review Roll & Build At-My-Seat Geometry Game.

I am using this as a math tub since we just finished up our geometry unit. The student rolls the foam die and creates the shape with the balls and sticks. What a terrific hands-on activity! It comes with a sturdy direction card with helpful visuals. Building the 3D shape is a great challenge for my advanced first graders.

Like all Lakeshore products, the quality is great and it comes in a handy plastic hanging bag.

Would you like to win this great activity for your classroom? Just enter below and I will pick a winner next Sunday.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Followers of my blog can also click {HERE}  for a special buy one, get one 50% off promotion.

We celebrated Teddy Bear Day on Friday. I did much the same as last year  but we used Kristin's hat and measurement activities this year.
I also read some new books.
The gummy bear graphing was the big hit as it is every year.  It was a fun day! 
Do you have a Teddy Bear Day?


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Geometry FREEBIE and reviews

So, as I've said, a lot of my focus this year is on switching over to the Common Core State Standards.  This week we worked on:

1.G.1. Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size) ; build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.
 I gave partners a bowl of attribute links and had them work together to sort them into two piles by attribute.

You can download the sorting sheet for free {HERE}. We then shared out different ways they came up with. For example, the above picture could be 4 sides or 4 corners.

I was asked to review two products for Learning Resources. First up, Real World Folding Geometric Shapes. When I introduce geometric solids I try to bring some real life examples like a soccer ball, soup can, etc. I always struggle though to come up with something to hold up for a triangular pyramid, for example. Here is an answer to my problem.

Many different nets are provided that you can easily exchange. Cool, huh? Activity ideas are also included. Being able to physically touch the vertices & sides should make them easier to count. Anyone else's students have trouble with that Envision lesson (8-5) where they have to count vertices & sides they can't see? My game The Great Shape Race goes along great with these.

I also got to try Sentence Buildings that I hope to eventually put out as a center choice.
Each building is a part of speech. The students pick a card from each and arrange them into a sentence. To differentiate, simple sentences can be made by only picking pronoun, verb, noun, and punctuation cards. My plan is to try it with my high group in small group first. Again, a variety of activity ideas are provided. The quality of the cards is impressive so they will last!
Interested in keeping up with Learning Resources? You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Last, I wanted to tell you that I went over my Decoding Strategies sheet with the parents at Back-to-School Night and it went over REALLY well! I have had parents tell me they are using it nightly and others have commented that they wish they had it sooner. Woo Hoo! Click on the pic if you want to check them out. Thanks SO much to everyone who has!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shake your groove thing!

Have you tried any of the videos from Have Fun Teaching yet? OMW, my kids seriously BEG me to play them. I let them get up and dance as long as they are still singing along. We've been playing the alphabet ones and in addition to the saying the letter sound (s) they also practice writing the letter in the air.  Today we tried the counting ones and they went nuts!  I am thrilled at how the songs have a hip beat so the kids think they are cool. These make the perfect break for antsy 6-year-olds and they are still learning!

Click HERE to go check out the counting videos! While you are there you may want to view the alphabet ones too! I just noticed tonight that they have shape songs and we are just starting out geometry unit so I am going to have to go check those out!

What is your favorite video? I am partial to the Counting Down from 20 since it says, "Shake your groove thing." LOL


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bugs and Bullies

Remember that quote from my first day about the lice?.............Yep, just got an email.  And the fun begins. Not the same student but apparently it was some foreshadowing. 

I had a major confrontation with a parent for the first time EVER. I won't go into details but she was shockingly aggressive out of nowhere.  NOTHING had happened but I guess there was history from last year. There was a point that I purposefully put my hands on my hips like, "READ MY BODY LANGUAGE. INTIMIDATION WILL NOT WORK WITH ME!" Kinda like making yourself bigger during a bear attack.  I remained professional and turned things around but the adrenaline was flowing there for awhile. Guess after 14 years of teaching I was due.

On a more pleasant note, let me show you some of the adorable self-portraits my students made.

 Love the last one! This was the most finished product I have gotten out of him so far!

I think I may have posted about this before but first I read ISH by Peter Reynolds.

It is a story about a boy who loses his love for art after his older brother makes fun of his drawing. Since he can't make his pictures look perfect, he crumples them up in frustration. Until, his younger sister shows him that she appreciates that his drawings are vase-ish and he learns to let go of his need for perfection. I found this book back when my son was in first grade and he would be reduced to tears when forced to draw as part of his homework. Now, when I draw in front of my class I will say something like, "Not a perfect cat, but is it cat-ish?" and of course the sweeties agree. Soon, you can hear them saying it to themselves.

SO, the first big test is this self-portrait. I do have the oval for the head pre-drawn just to start the sizing right but after that I walk them through every thing else while I do it on my document camera. They go over the pencil lines with a sharpie and then color in with oil pastels. I make mirrors available since it always cracks me up how many kids don't know what color eyes they have!

Congrats to Liz Sheils Howard for winning a copy of my Dot Cards! My dot talks are going really well and my students are so into them. Click on the picture to go grab a set for yourself.

I am so excited to have a 3 day weekend! We just realized my sons have never seen The Princess Bride so I'm off to have a movie night with my boys. Love that movie!