August 28, 2013

Website Wednesday

I hope all my readers and fellow bloggers out there have had a great start to their school year!!  We have been in session for almost 2 weeks....but according to my body, it feels like much longer.  I always forget how tired I am at the start of the school year.  I just can't seem to get down a good routine.....and I just feel worn out!  I am plum tired by the time the bell rings at 3:55.  I am looking forward to the day when I feel rested....will that ever come?!? Ha!

For this edition of Website Wednesday I am going to provide you with some great keyboarding sites!  

But first---let me give you the background story......if you don't care to read it....scroll to the bottom of this blog post for your keyboarding websites. :) 

Our district has been pretty thorough about mapping CCSS for both ELA and math.  One of the many focuses our district has this year, is on Writing Anchor Standard #6.  This standard basically says students need to use technology and the internet to produce and publish writing--hello keyboarding!!!  

Before jumping headfirst---our district wanted some specific we researched some already developed standards.  We looked at Davis School District in Utah and Arlington Independent School District in Texas. Click the picture below to take you to their websites---they have some fabulous technology standards!!

Thanks to these awesome districts, our district was able to come up with district keyboarding standards. For example in fifth grade, students will need to master home row keys and type 25 words per minute with at least 80% accuracy.  We quickly realized we needed to figure out a way to get these kiddos to type...and they needed to practice often!!!

Unfortunately we don't have a technology teacher at the elementary we have to squeeze keyboarding into our instructional day.   Therefore, our district needed a cheap and easy way to practice keyboarding in lower grades.

Below are some great sites (that we found) to practice keyboarding!  The best part is they are all free!!! So if you are in need of keyboarding are your websites!

1.  DanceMat Typing:

2. Barracuda

August 20, 2013

Vote and earn FREE MONEY for your school!

I have to give a shout out to the blog Fab and Fun in 4th, because as I was reading through her blog I discovered an easy and free way to earn money for your school!!  The program is called Give With Target

Through this program, Target is donating to schools all across the nation.  Click the picture above which takes you directly to Give With Target's website and vote for your local school.

Every vote (via facebook) is worth 1 dollar!!  Voting ends September 21st---but you can vote every six days!!!  There is a 10,000 dollar if your school reaches that (and let's hope they do) they can no longer earn money.

At the end of the voting period, Target sends your school a check in care of your principal.  

How exciting....and thank you Target!!  I now have one million and one reasons why I love Target!!


August 17, 2013

It's Here!

Tomorrow. Is. The. Day!  The Teachers Pay Teachers back to school sale starts!  Wooo hooo!!!  Just like the banner is a two day sale, running from Sunday, August 18th to Monday, August 19th.  So go check out some awesome stores and snatch up some great products at a discounted rate!


August 11, 2013

Giveaway!!! is gone as fast as it started.  Summer. Is. Over.  I am sad that my leisurely days are over...yet excited for what the school year brings.  In celebration of school starting and summer ending....I plan to do a whole lot of nothing today---simply bask in my last day of freedom!!

In case you haven't already entered....Wonderbug's blog is hosting a giveaway.  The contest will last until August 19th--so you have plenty of time to stop by and enter for your chance to win.

I hope everyone enjoys this fabulous Sunday fun day!


August 6, 2013

Dollar Classroom Decorations (!)

With this may think I am throwing a party, right??? Although I do love getting together with friends and family, sadly I am not hosting a soiree.  However--now would be perfect time for one as summer is coming to an end and the new school year is right around the corner!  

So what exactly is the use of these party tablecloths??  Well these colorful (okay two are colorful and two are black) party tablecloths are helping me decorate my classroom.  A while back I saw a pin on pinterest that piqued my attention as the pinner suggested using CHEAP plastic tablecloths as the backgrounds to bulletin boards.  Did you notice my CHEAP in all capital letters?  Teachers need cheap!!  

Anyway.....if you use the plastic tablecloths the color never fades and you don't have to fight with the butcher paper.  I mean--who is even good at tearing butcher paper?  My tears are never frustrating!  

I went to the dollar store and spent a whopping $4.00 for 4 tablecloths.  I picked neutral colors so my bulletin board edges would match.  I went up to my classroom, unfolded the cloths and stapled them up!  I only have two square bulletin boards in my room, so I ended up only needing 1 tablecloth.  Below is my finished product---pretty good for a buck, I think!

Along with spending time on getting my classroom ready, I have been trying to enjoy my last few days of summer.  I have wanted to enjoy them basking in the sun--but unfortunately it has rained for almost 2 weeks straight.  All this rain really puts a damper on things (haha no pun intended!) I also am trying to finish as many TPT products as a I can.

My latest creation was inspired by one of my fellow 6th grade teachers.  She was looking for a way to keep track of when, how and where she taught the common core standards.  She was interested in a checklist...but also a way to reflect and write notes.  When it came down to the nitty gritty, she just wanted to be confident that by the end of the year she had all of the 6th grade ELA CCSS thoroughly covered.  I really made this for her...but then thought why not offer it to others??  Like my CC prefix suffix packets...I plan on doing this for all the other grade levels. 

If you are a 6th grade teacher--this pack has it all! Included in the pack are:

Mastery Checklists
  • Keep track of each students’ mastery  progress for every  Common Core ELA skill.  CC standards are broken into sections (Literature, Informational, Writing, and Speaking & listening.)  for easy organization.
  • This convenient checklist allows you to assess students as often as you like
  • After assessing students informally or formally—you can simply note the date in the checklist, use a color code system or notate with check marks.
  • The checklist is perfect to share with parents during Parent Teacher Conferences or building principals during evaluations.
  • This is a great way to keep track of students  progress throughout the year!

Planning Pages
  • CC standards are broken into sections (Literature, Informational, Writing, and Speaking & listening.)  for easy organization.
  • The planning pages list each standard  with an area to record dates when the standard was taught,  what resources were used and what unit or lesson the standard was taught in.
  • Planning pages are  perfect for reflection at PLC or grade level meetings.
  • Planning pages are ideal for future planning (at the end of the school year--you have an entire year planned of when, where and what resources you used to teach mastery of CCSS)
  • These organization pages are ideal for reflecting, and keeping you on track for teaching all CCSS!!
  • The planning pages are wonderful to share with principals during evaluations.

Mini CCSS Flip books

  • Are looking at the CCSS overwhelming?? The Mini CCSS flipbook  is simply a concise “teacher friendly” version of the CCSS.
  • All ELA CCSS are included--but the standards are condensed down to manageable language that teachers can understand!!
  • Flipbooks are prefect to slip in your backpack, purse or teacher tote to take home or to meetings.
  • You can even laminate flipbooks and share with parents or students!!
  • Perfect for teachers on the go!
What do you guys think?