Friday, April 11, 2014

Five For Friday- April 11th

Happy Friday friends! I am seeing LOTS of teachers that are already on Spring Break posting on Instagram and on their blogs. I might be a tad bit jealous!  We have a four day week coming up.... including Jog-a-thon on Thursday and two IEP's. It's going to be a busy week. But, we've got to push through. Today I'm linking up with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday linky party to show you five things about my week.

We did a little Peep science experiment this week. The kids are very excited to find out what will happen to each Peep in the different types of liquids. We are on day three today and some interesting changes are already happening. We'll see what they look like on Monday when we go back to school.

Speaking of Peeps... we also did a little Peep Poetry. We tasted Peeps, came up with a list of adjectives to describe Peeps, and then wrote a little poem. They turned out pretty cute.

While practicing for our SBAC test, I realized how many fraction questions were on the test. I also realized how unprepared my students were to label fractions on a number line. This is a new Common Core Standard that we haven't really addressed in the classroom. So I found this Fractions on a Number Line Unit and we've been working on it all week. They also created their own giant number lines and labeled the fractions in this activity. I think they are now ready for those types of questions.

This is pretty much what my life is going to look like for the next couple weeks. I sat down this afternoon to map out a schedule for my class. It's pretty much impossible. I have no idea how we're going to get it done. I have to sit one to one with each student. I have one student at each grade level (3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th). Sometimes... no... all the time, I realize how hard it is to teach a multi-grade level Special Day Class. This just makes it even more exciting. I will totally be celebrating when we're done!

You know those silly hoops you have to jump through as a teacher? Well, this would be one of them. This documentation is a new mandate this year. Sure, I've seen lots of teacher's evidence binders for their evaluation process, but we've never had to document specific lessons and what not. This year, all teachers K-12 in Special Education had to provide copies of our Digital Literacy lesson plans by filling out these logs. I got my documentation done this week and turned in. Yahoo! Thank goodness for my Basic Skills Computer Lapbook that we used. It was plenty of proof of all the technology goodness we've been doing in the classroom!

It's been a long week and I'm glad it's Friday! Thank goodness for a little down time this weekend! Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Five for Friday- April 6th Edition

 Hello friends! Sorry I've neglected this poor little blog. I've been a tad busy with a million things recently. But I promise you more than one post this week! =) I'm linking up with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday linky party to show you five things about my week.

I spent Thursday through Sunday of last week at the CAL-ED (California Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) conference learning all about Common Core and Depth of Knowledge. Lots of new acronyms and fancy new terms. The technology workshops were my favorite. It was a good weekend, but by the time I got home on Sunday night at 11:20pm, I was exhausted. It took me all week just to recover.

Last week the tech department came and installed my fancy new flat screen 40 something inch flat screen tv, sound bar and dvd player. I love that it's mounted to the wall and can easily pull out and turn towards which ever area of instruction were in. They tried really hard to get it hooked to my Elmo document camera, but to no avail. I will keep trying. It seriously feels like Christmas around my room.

I've nearly spent my $500 tech grant. It seriously feels like Christmas with so many goodies and new things to use. On Friday we opened up the flash drives and labeled them with the student's names. They are so excited to have one of their own. Now it really will not matter which laptop they end up with during tech time.

My students made silhouette signed art for the CAL-ED conference art gallery. I LOVE how they turned out. They look really nice hung above our calendar area.  Speaking of calendar..... I spy Spring Break on the calendar!! It's going to be here SOON! I cannot wait!

We are in full test prep mode around here. California has ditched the STAR paper/pencil test and we are taking the SBAC CAASPP assessment in a few weeks. I've been spending some time each day with the 3rd-6th graders just getting to know the test format and what to click on through the practice online tests. They are no where near ready for the test content, but at least they will understand how to take the test. The reading portion is going to kill them. You have to answer each question before you can move on. You know, in full sentence explanations..... essay style.  It's going to be a fun couple weeks around my classroom. Thank goodness it's just a field test.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five for Friday- Froggy Edition

 I'm linking up with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday linky party to show you five things about my week. This week has been all about frogs! We started our frog unit and the kids are really having a lot of fun learning and creating. We had minimum days Wednesday through Friday. Since the schedule was different, we were able to get quite a bit done with our frog unit.

Our live tadpoles finally arrived! These guys are big, but not ginormous like the first ones that arrived DOA. The students are really enjoying watching them during their free time. We started our frog observation journals this week.

We started reading Frog and Toad are Friends. It's the perfect little chapter book for my kiddos. I'm using this little Frog and Toad are Friends Integrated Unit for many of our follow up activities.

Making friends and keeping friends is an on-going theme in my room with my students. So this book is helpful in reminding the students what makes a good friend and what that looks like. This cute craftivity literary response worked well after reading "The Story" chapter.

We also did a food chain activity this week. We talked about who eats what and how a food chain works. This little writing activity was the perfect repetition my students needed. This activity came from this curriculum book.

In math, we worked on some froggy word problems.  I love how their water color paintings turned out. The activity included frogs to color, but we had enough time to squeeze in a frog directed draw. Now they are perfect! I love the character in each of their frogs!

Now it's time to enjoy the weekend! It's supposed to be in the upper 80's this weekend. That is just going to make me ache for Spring Break! It's about a month away. Sigh.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Today's featured center is Lace-a-Word. I love these little lacing letter beads from Lakeshore Learning. They are perfect for activities like this and combine fine motor skills all in one. Using any word list, the students locate the letters in their word. Lace the beads to spell the word, then write their word. Simple and no prep.

I finally put together some of the centers activities I use in my classroom and created Word Work Centers for Any Word List. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Five for Friday- Really late

 I'm linking up with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday linky party to show you five things about my week.  Hey, it's Sunday night... but it's the first time I've sat down at my home computer in days! It's been a busy, but good week. Here's what we've been up to.

Last week we finished up our quick Jan Brett author study. I really enjoy her illustrations. The kids modeled their drawings after her illustrations.

It was way over due.  I finally updated my sub binder. I always leave detailed plans when I'm out, but the binder was really out of date. It was like a Throw Back Thursday opening up that sucker. Now I'm ready for my "site evaluation" at some point when my coordinator walks through my room and goes down her little check list.

I ordered some tadpoles this week for our life cycles unit. They arrived on Friday and are ginormous! I was not expecting such giant tadpoles. Nor that they would arrive dead.  I contacted the company and they are sending more tadpoles. Let's hope they make it this time.

Friday we had a site validation team tour our campus. Our school has been nominated for a California Distinguished School.  The team stopped by our room during our Friday afternoon tech time. They were impressed with our use of technology in my classroom and with our Computer Lapbooks we've been working on. We had a staff meeting after school and the team shared their thoughts about our school. It was nice to hear such positive things on a Friday afternoon!

Saturday our Deaf/hard of Hearing program hosted a fundraiser breakfast at Applebee's in order to raise money for our overnight field trip.  Every year we take our students (K-6) on a two night, three day adventure. My co-worker and I have planned and carried out 10 years of field trips and we are ready for our 11th. We actually haven't made a decision where we are going this year. But I do know it will be fun!

And here goes another week! We have three days of minimum days due to parent/teacher conferences. It will be a fast week!