Sunday, August 31, 2014

Helping Students Track Progress FREEBIE

Happy Sunday, friends! And I do mean *happy* Sunday because we have one more day off, so no Sunday-night blues! I just wanted to drop in with a quick freebie for you fabulous followers. :)

Okay, so last week I had to administer a writing assessment to my class. Our school's focus this year for improvement is writing, so in order to show growth, we needed a baseline assessment from each student. Any guesses at how excited my students were? Yep, you guessed it--not at all. I tried my best to make it sound like a fun time for all, but by the blank stares, I gathered I was the only one with enthusiasm. And even that isn't completely true because after the writing comes the reading of all 17 papers and grading with a rubric, but that's another story. Anyway, then a thought came to me.

Make it relevant to them. Help them understand why I'm asking them to write something called a "baseline assessment." Well there's a novel thought, for once! 

So here's what I did: I drew a picture of a road map (and by map I mean a square with an X in the middle of it--really, that's all), and explained how awful I am with directions. I told my friends we were going to pretend I was lost on my way to the mall and therefore needed directions, and asked them if they could help. Almost every student raised their hand, and luckily for  me, the first genius said, "Mrs. Lopez, how can we give you directions to the mall if we don't know where you are?" 

Amen. My point exactly! We discussed how just like with road directions, in order to grow in subject areas, such as writing, we must know where we are starting. We need a starting point--a baseline--to figure out our individual directions for reaching our goals. So here it is: 

I plan on using these for goal-setting with my students, and conferencing with them about these goals and the steps along the way. My students already track their grades with graphs, so they will just add this to the front of their data notebooks. I like it because I think it's a good visual for them to see. The beauty is that each students' will look different, and perhaps their "where I want to end up" may be different as well. 

Here's a blank copy if you'd like to use this with your students. Click on the picture below and enjoy! 

Enjoy your long weekend, friends. You certainly deserve it. 

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Portable Word Wall FREEBIE

Hi friends! Anyone else as exhausted as I am? This makes week one of school (with the students) and I already can't wait for Friday. At 3 pm, that is. I'm already dreaming of sleeping in Saturday morning then enjoying a nice workout and breakfast in my pjs. The first couple days of routines/procedures/routine/procedures over and over is tiring. But you all know this already! ;)

I wanted to share with you all a little (FREE) something I'm using in my class this year. I actually used it last year too, but just now put it together in one file. It's a simple concept really. I honestly don't have the space for a huge word wall. I do feel my students need to see words over and over, so they each have a portable word wall that can travel from station to station with them.

Today, for example, my students were working on writing the important things about themselves, modeled after The Important Book. As each child finished writing, I edited with them and corrected their spelling. I would write the correct spelling, circle it, and then expect them to write all correct spellings under the correct letter of the alphabet. My students are in 3rd grade, meaning cursive is a standard they are expected to learn. I put cursive letters inside their word walls, but also included print alphabet printables as well, if you need those. I tell my students that we'll add words to these walls as a class, and sometimes they will need to add words individually. These folders become their partners in crime, traveling with them.

Click on either of the pictures if you feel this is something you can use in your class, and you can download the file for free. You can also click {here} to check out other free resources in my shop!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Favorite Things Linky!

Oh friends, I am so super {puffy heart} excited about this linky! If you're like me, once August rolls around a feeling of dread begins to sink in... until you walk in the nearest Target and see the loads of school supplies. It's at that exact moment when the little feeling of excitement starts to overtake me, slowly but surely, with each flair pen and sharpie I see. With that being said, let me show you a few of my FaVoRiTe ThInGs! 

Let's talk highlighters. I'm kind of a Sharpie snob because I trust the quality of these. And they come in purple, my favorite. Granted this pack only includes one purple, so that one is off limits to the kids. #sorrynotsorry

Sadly I don't have a SmartBoard, so my white board gets lots of loving. Expo markers are a must! 

I believe these pens need no explanation, but that lamp on the other hand! I was on a school supply shopping spree Thursday and saw this beauty at Walmart for $13.97. It was a perfect fit for my room!

Hello, organization! I had about 12 random containers around my room filled with school supplies. I'm over clutter and am now using this over the door shoe organizer in my supply closet. Goodbye random containers everywhere, hello organization! I believe this was $11.97 at Walmart!

Lastly, since my desk is only a small table, I NEEDED one of these for further organization. Love it because it matches my Hollywood theme. <--- Click there if you'd like a copy for yourself, free of course. :) 

Now.. would you like to win some amazon money to go buy these awesome supplies for yourself?! Enter below and be sure to hop around and see other blogs. :)

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