Monday, July 30, 2012

My Inspired Crafts

Long time, no blog, fellow bloggers.

Sorry, I have been out of commission for a while, I have been attending several New Teacher meetings. Fortunately for me, these meetings gave me multiple ideas for new posters for my classroom.  On Thursday (July 26th), I had the privilege to hear a speaker by the name of Chelonnda Seroyer (Harry Wong's protege!). In this workshop, we talked a lot about classroom management and procedures.  This is what led to my making these 3 posters to put up in my room.  Without the guidance of this workshop, I would still probably be searching for ideas.

Any-who, here are the photos along with an explanation of how they work:

To begin, I decided to make a poster that showed the expectations I have of the students while others are speaking.  This is a system wide expectation and if explained during Reading Workshop throughout Hamilton Count.  Acronyms are easy for students to remember, which makes this one a no-brainer.  Not only will I explain this poster on our first day or two of Reading Workshop, I will also be referencing this throughout the year.

Before the workshop, I hadn't even thought of having my students use hand signals.  While I had heard of them before, I never really considered using them in my room. After speaking with my fellow new teachers as well as hearing from Chelonnda how great they work, I decided to give them a shot.  When using these, the students do not have to talk out while I am teaching.  they simply, give the signal and I say "yes," "no," or "wait til later."

This poster was definitely going to be a must in my room.  Students often time find themselves searching aimlessly for "What's Next" when they finish an assignment.  After going over these options with the students (along with having them posted), every child should understand what are feasible options for transition activities.

I had NEVER even thought about needing hall passes. However, the more we talked about it, the more I realized I needed them.  That way, I can track if someone is missing by the missing pass.  Also, I have a small whiteboard where the students will sign in and out on when leaving the room (sorry, no picture for this one!)

Now, I hope you have enjoyed seeing the crafts that I have done thus far.  I am not the craftiest of the bunch, so these are superb for my capabilities.  

See ya next time, bloggers!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Holy Stars, Batman!


What a day...

Needless to say, I had a busy/ productive half day in the classroom today.  Since I had everything laminated and ready to go, I was able to get right to work as soon as I got to the room. Thankfully, I had the help of my cousin, Morgan, which helped condense the work load a tad.

Today was about decorating, putting up the border to my bulletin boards, and organizing my books.  Morgans mission: to put up all of the bulletin boarder around the bulletins boards and the white board. My mission: organize the TONS of books that were in the room when I first began this journey.  Withing the three hours we were there, all of these things were accomplished, minus a few things I will have to wait and do closer to school time.

Here are some photos and explanations of what we accomplished:

Morgan's mission: bulletin boarder 

In this photo, Morgan posted the red boarder on the outside bulletin board. This will be my "Welcome" board.  I went ahead and put up the signs, but will have to add more when I get my class list of students.

Here, as you can see, is the calender/schedule/weather/miscellaneous board at the front of the room.  Morgan did the red boarder, and I went ahead and put up a few of the things I wanted on the board.  I am missing a few thing, but those things will be posted closer to school.

In this photo, you can see that Morgan had her work cut out for her.  She was SO helpful, though.  She managed to put up all of my "gel stars" boarder on these very long, skinny bulletin boards. These are bare right now, but will be covered with posters/ behavior charts by the beginning of the school year.

This is a picture of the "gel stars" boarder around the white board.  The board was so white, and I wanted to give it a little color to work with. Thankfully, again, I had Morgan. I don't know what I would've done without her...

My mission: organize books and reading center

With all of the books that were provided from the school, I knew I would need to organize them by genre, topic, level, etc.  This took almost the entire three hours.  However, in the long run, it will all be worth it.

These are the books... organized :)
I do not have them labeled yet (due to not having proper labels), but they are in the order that I am happy with.  You may see I have some empty space, this is great! I have books at home that I want to share with the kids, so this is my next mission for the reading center.

This image shows the new pillows I got for my reading center.  Studies have shown that students comprehend better when reading comfortably.  I wanted my kids to have something to lean on (HeeHee).  However, I am missing rugs, so that is my next mission (the ones standing up are not mine).

This is just a closer look at the pillow area/book area. I thought it was cute and wanted a picture :)

After we both finished, I needed to tidy up and take a picture of the whole room after some stars (by some, I mean a lot) had been put in place. Here is the final product of Day 3.

Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing the progress Morgan and I were able to make today.  As I mentioned, I don't know what I'd do without her help. I would probably still be there...

See ya next time :)


Monday, July 16, 2012

A "Rockstar" Classroom in the Making

Hello All!

Well, today was my second day in the classroom.  The "Rockstar" classroom is coming along slowly, but surely.

(Preface: I do not have pictures and commentary about Day 1 because it was such a blur. A busy, busy blur.)

Any who, today was a day full of organizing and cleaning.  The room needed to be cleaned, so that was my first duty of the day.  Once this was done, I was able to move things around to get them in better order of how I wanted them to be (desks, tables, etc.). Here are some pictures of how I started my day:

After I cleaned everything, I decided all of my junk needed to get off the tables, and into the cabinets, organized.  Not only did I organize my things I brought from home, I also began organizing my leveled readers, and books provided by the school.  This was a little too much for me today, so I chose to leave the rest of the books to work on tomorrow... Maybe... 

Here are the pictures of the aftermath of today. Not too entirely different, but much more clean and organized:

Well, today wasn't entirely too interesting, but I am slowly getting the hang of where I want things, and how things will be set in the classroom.  All I need now is my "Rockstar" attire and Roach's Rockstar's will be close to finished.

Thanks for tuning in! See ya next time!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Normal Park Museum Magnet Schools "Great Start" Program

Hello All!

Yesterday, I attended my first Professional Development Meeting with Hamilton County.  Our mission: to observe the works of the different teachers at Normal Park Museum Magnet Schools "Great Start" program. This program was designed to help students who needed a little extra push, as well as transitioning new students into the school.  Since I will be teaching 3rd grade, I was assigned to observe the third grade class with Ms. Hassler.

To begin the day, the students jumped directly into working on the Daily Five.  Now, I have had heard of the Daily Five before, but had never seen it in action.  This was outstanding!  The students had a choice of several things to do while in the rotation (read to self, read to someone, writing, word work) before working with Ms. Hassler in a Guided Reading setting.  The teacher had posters posted throughout the room to guide the students during the Daily Five rotation.

After this rotation, the students went to snack.  Well, I didn't bring a snack, so I decided to snoop around the school and observe all of the amazing projects that were on exhibit.  The first thing my colleague and myself stumbled upon were Mathematical Folktales presented in the Auditorium.  Although I could not get a sufficient image of one of the folktales (they were huge!), I was able to get an overview picture to share:

Below is an example of one of the explanations of a folktale that a student created:

After being a little snoop for a few minutes, we went back to class where the students began working on Math. During the Math lesson, Ms. Hassler worked with the students on Subtraction/ Subtraction with regrouping.  In this lesson, the students did journal writing in their journal with a word problem created by the teacher.  Then, the class met on the carpet and worked on using base ten blocks and a mat to work on subtraction problems.  This only lasted several minutes and the students went back to their seats to work on a worksheet of addition and subtraction for several minutes.

Then it was time for Module.  During Module, the students work on what they are going to be doing for Exhibit.  Since Normal Park is a Museum Magnet school, they often do exhibits to showcase what the students have been learning and working on (During the school year, this happens every 9 weeks).  The students in the Great Start program were working on finalizing their projects because exhibit was the next day.  In the 3rd grade class I was observing, the students had been learning about the swamp lands. Each students had an exhibit project along with an explanation of their project.  Here are some examples of what the students had finished at this time:

This exhibit was on the alligators that live in the swamp lands.

The cypress tree is a natural element of the swamp lands:

This exhibit was about Lily Pads in the swamp lands:

The Red Tail Hawk is one of the organisms that lives in the swamp lands:

This is part 1 and 2 of a swamp diagram made by two students in the class:
While the students finished Module, I decided to walk around again.there were so many projects throughout the school, I could only get pictures of some of the collections.  The two collections that struck my eye the most were the Metamorphosis exhibit and the Civil War exhibit:

Metamorphosis Exhibit:

Civil War Exhibit:

Overall: It was an awesome day! I learned so many new things and saw many different projects that could be adapted to a 3rd grade level.  Our schools may be different, but I believe all children have the ability to create while learning.  The "Great Start" program seemed to be a success, and I was able to gain so much from this experience.

Talk to ya next time!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Introduction to Roach's Rockstars


This is the official blog spot site for Roach's Rockstars Third grade classroom.  In this site, the class will be posting fun and interesting things they learn throughout the year. The students as well as myself will be adding things as we see fit to share with everyone. Hope you enjoy the exciting things we use to improve our learning!