Monday, June 25, 2012

My New Blog!

So what do you think!  I am absolutely thrilled with my new blog design!  With a new design, also comes a new name, "KIDS ROCK!"  Christi from Design by Christi, was so quick and helpful to help me get this awesome design.  Her prices ROCK!  If you are looking to get another blog design or start up your own blog, I highly recommend her.

I have an exciting announcement!  A few weeks ago I interviewed for an Educational Specialist position at my school and for another school.  The interviews were held in front of a rather large committee at Central Office.  I was very excited to get a call back offering me the position at my current school!  I was quick to excitedly accept the position!  So after being a classroom teacher for 14 years, I am now going to make the leap and do something a bit different.  I will be working with teachers in my school 70% of the time, and students 30%.  I will focus on leading trainings with our K-5 staff.  It will also include facilitating PLC's and backwards planning with CCSS.  As a part of this position, I will still have a core reading group that I will work each day. 

I have been trying to begin the process of sorting through my classroom things.  I'm pretty good about not being a pack rat, but after being in the same school for the last 8 years, it amazes me to see how much I have accumulated.  I have some things that I know I will no longer need.  Then there are the things that I'm not sure of, as well as the items that I want to hang onto.  Once I get everything sorted out, it looks like I'm going to have a teacher yard sale at my house on July 14th.
So I hope that you will continue to follow my blog.  I have plans to blog about what I am doing in education, as well as projects that the K-5th grade teachers in my school are sharing.   Thanks for stopping by...

Oh and don't forget to grab my new button:  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Common Core State Standards Pacing Guides

I apologize for my lack of blogging lately.  I have been busy with one thing after another.  One of those tasks was partaking in developing pacing guides for K-3 for my school district.  This was a huge project that involved over 30 people.  They are now live on our school district.  Take a look at them and let me know if you can use them too.

Click on the picture to see CCSS for ELA and Math K-3.

Besides working during my summer, I've also been busy with being a mommy!  We've been on the go with swim lessons, VBS, trips to the park, play dates, and pictures.  This little girl really keeps me on my toes!

I've also noticed that I have over 300 followers!  Thanks everyone for all of your support!  The blogging community is FABULOUS!!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Today I went to one of the best workshops that I have ever attended!  It was Higher Order Thinking Skills by Teacher Created Materials Publishing.  Judith Goodman from the Houston area was our presenter.  We were also in for a real treat as she is also a trainer for Dinah Zike.  Everything that we focused on was centered around making a fold-able activity.  The time flew by and before I knew it the day was over!  Here are some of the things we made:
In this one we started off with a file folder.

On the left side we made a book, and a paper plate with more information following.  On the right side we  sealed two legal sized envelopes and cut them in half.  Across the top we cut an indentation.  (Sorry this picture would not upload correctly).

Here is the paper plate.  We wrote each habitat and then listed characteristics of each as well as animals found in each habitat.  Later we cut and then folded the paper plate and glued it to our file folder.

This was the coolest little book!  You can make it multiple pages and then add a binder to the edge to hold it all nicely in place.

When you open the book, you fold the corners back so that you can see the habitat.  Then you have your different flaps.  Inside each flap you write and draw each part about the ocean.

On the example flap, you write other oceans.  Then draw an ocean picture above it.

Again, sorry for the formatting issue.  Here we sorted cards of different animals and put them into the correct habitat.

On the back we made a foldable book.  Below it was suggested to make a rubric and glue that into place so that the final product can be easily assessed.

Here is the writing book.  The kids choose their animal, and then draw a picture at the top.

Here is the next page.

The following pages focus on cause and effect.  We wrote 3 different things that our animal might try. 

I apologize that this one came out a little blurry.  This booklet was our way of taking notes.  Judith called it our HOTS book.  To make this book we got 3 sheets of paper.  We folded them hamburger style.  We separated one of the sheets and made a  one inch mark on either end.  Then on the single page we shaved off just a tiny sliver in the center.  On the other pages we cut from the end to our one inch mark.

We put the book together by sliding the other pages through the slivered section.  

Here's another foldable that we made.  We simple cut the top and divided it into two sections.  You could use this for endless topics with comparing and contrasting.

When you open it up you can write under the flap about the topic.

Here was another one to the left on note taking about Management Strategies.  On the right we used sticky notes to brainstorm how to differentiate.  

Another foldable using 2 sheets of paper.  You write the topic outside and then explain more about it on the inside.

This one was too cool!  Once we cut it to look like above, we were told this would be our assessment.  You could have the kids draw a diorama of the habitat.   

So to do this, you actually have to open up the above picture and draw your scene.  Once it's completed, you can glue the ends so that it stands up.  It was also suggested to make more than one habitat and glue them back to back displaying their scenery.  

Here is a simple hot dog paper folded into 5 sections.  We cut the top flaps and then took notes about the workshop inside.

Last, but certainly not least, we each received this awesome manual that has so many practical activities for K-2 all aligned with Common Core State Standards (they also have a 3-5 book, but this book can be adapted to use with 3-5 too)!

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Been A While...

So yes, I know I have been MIA!  Although we got out of school on May 23rd, I haven't had very many days off.  First I was involved on a district project for mapping CCSS.  Then I spent 4 days in training for Instruction for All Students.  It was an awesome workshop with Brenda Kaylor from Just Ask Publications.  She did an awesome job of tying in Project Based Learning, Assessment, and CCSS.  If you ever get a chance to attend one of their workshops, I highly recommend them.  At the training we mainly focused on this book:

There were many ideas from this book to have your class thinking outside the box and collaborating with each other through active learning strategies such as clock buddies, graffiti, 3, 2, 1, and ticket to leave.  It also had excellent ideas for planning CCSS units as well as formative and summative assessments.

Just Ask Publications also has many other books worth looking at.  Two books that I have worth mentioning are:


I actually won this one at the training and can't wait to read up on it this summer!