Friday, December 13, 2013

Five for {the last} Friday {of December!}

Praise Jesus it is Friday... because I am beat! Today I woke up with a HUGE smile and TONS of energy that lasted until approximately 4:04 pm. Which is the time I pulled into a packed Wal-Mart parking lot. It's as if my energy suddenly disappeared at the thought of even getting out the car and fighting the crowds. I had a mini battle in my mind going back and forth between feeding my family today or not.. I of course ended up fighting the good fight and settled with a rotisserie chicken, fruit and guacamole. Point is--I'm one TIRED teacher. But who isn't the Friday BEFORE CHRISTMAS BREAK?!?!? Here's 5 reasons for my fatigue..

1. Christmas decorating.

I had a very sweet (and super organized) mom come in today for an hour and lead my class in making crafts to decorate our class Christmas tree and room. She's the same mom that brought in the Christmas tree... which truly makes my heart smile! The kids adored this, of course, and so did I. Super mom had the genius idea of bringing along 6 5th grade student leaders to help my 3rd graders. Pure. Genius. This meant us teachers got to do some tidying up and whatnot. Love.

2. Major Organization

I have the bad habit of buying or creating a resource, printing the original copies in color, copying them for my class, and then placing this original *somewhere*. This ultimately means I end up throwing it away or never finding it again, and then have to re-print this paper (using more colored ink), usually at an inconvenient time.. such as during math stations when I run out of recording sheets. Not any longer! Today I created a huge Original Forms binder that holds all these miscellaneous papers. I sorted all the papers into common piles, such as all math station originals or ELA station originals. I used a tabbed divided and put all the related documents behind it in page protectors. In the picture above you see an UNRAAVEL tab, and behind it you would see the strategies posters I copy each year onto cardstock. Easy peasy!

3. More Main Idea Ideas

On Wednesday I blogged about how I was teaching main idea in my class. You can read about that here. I then found this awesome game that my students responded well to. We played Main Idea Bowling in small group and it was a huge hit.  

Now, I didn't exactly follow the directions that were included with the packet I purchased because I have 6 students in my small groups, so I had to make it work for us. Here were my directions and how we played:

1. Each student received 1 purple playing card, 1 scorecard and 1 main idea bowling ball.
2. Students first share their main idea with the others in the group.
3. Students take turns drawing a supporting detail pin and decide whose main idea it supports. If they are correct they put their pin on the card matching the bowling ball--so not necessarily their own card!
4. For points, they multiplied the number on the bowling ball times the number on the pin. That's the number they put on their scorecard. Gotta get that multiplication practice in somehow!
5. If a student doesn't get the answer correct, another student (going around the circle, picking up where we left off the last time) gets the chance to answer for half the point value.
5. There are gutter ball cards, where students get to take a pin off someone's board and add it back in the stack. This person also earns half the point value of the multiplication equation. This sometimes means dividing 3 in half, which is a teachable moment!
6. The winner is the person with the most points after all the bowling pins are used.

4. Organizing Classroom Coupons

This year I implemented a Hollywood themed classroom economy for student behavior incentives. You can read about that here. My students seriously adore this system. Each and every morning they eagerly raise their hands showing me their planner is signed so they can earn their Hollywood bucks. In the past, when it's time to spend their money on coupons, I just throw all the coupons on my table, in no particular order. Today, since I was already in the organizational zone, I handled that fiasco as well!

I keep all my coupons in this index card box. The same coupons are on a binder ring so students can easily decide what they'd like to buy. Today I went and actually wrote the price on each and every card, along with the letter it lives behind in the box. Simple enough, right? Yeah.. took me long enough, too! :)

5. Christmas decorating... at home!

Just a few pictures of what I've got so far!

This fireplace needs some love, I know!

I think it's time to snuggle up on my couch with my munchkin now. Share your week with us!

post signature

1 comment:

  1. Your decorations are wonderful! Both home and school! I wish we could put up a whole Christmas Tree in our classroom!

    Sally from Elementary Matters