Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Calendar Skill Sticks

 Yesterday I talked all about our class meeting routine. One of the things we use in my class are Calendar Skill Sticks. 

After we do most of our meeting, each of the kiddos pulls a stick from our Calendar Skills can. These questions challenge the students and work on those calendar skills that we don't hit on everyday, but are essential questions.

The student reads and then answers the question. If they need help, we work together as a group to answer the question.

Today I am giving way two of my Calendar Skill Sticks! This product has 36 calendar related skills questions. Simply print them out on white or colored paper and then glue them onto large craft sticks.  Pop them into a labeled can and you are good to go. Easy peasy. Add these Skill Sticks to your calendar routine and challenge your students.

Enter to win a set for your classroom below. I'll pick two winners on Thursday morning (9/10/15).


Monday, September 7, 2015

Class Meeting Routines

Do you and your students have a morning meeting? This is such a great time to connect with your students and for them to learn basic calendar, math, and other skills.

In my class, we do our class meeting after lunch. That's when the majority of my students are back with me... so we wait until the end of the day. In the past, I wasn't feeling "calendar time" and often skipped it. Now that I have added in some new skills and tasks, this is a fun and engaging time for all of us. Let me show you what our Class Meeting looks like...

First up, we read our daily message. Everyday the message varies. This is a great way to remind the students about schedule changes or fun things coming up. But we always write the date two ways. Sometimes I add in a skill, like circle all the capitals or vowels. Sometimes it's a task like write your phone number.

Next, we do our basic calendar skills.  I hand out those little wooden stars that read Today is, Tomorrow will be, and Yesterday was. We find the day on the calendar and go through each star. The students place the star stick into the correct envelope and find the day to attach to our signs with velcro. These signs are available in my Simple Black & White Classroom Decor pack. 

For those of you that are curious, I actually made my own pockets on my calendar. I used old school transparencies and actually sewed them onto the calendar for pockets. I can't handle velcro and the numbers being all wonky. =)

Then we count how many days we have come to school. We write the number on a small white board and then change our hundreds straw chart.

We answer our question of the day. These are two pizza pans covered with wrapping paper and ribbon. I used magnetic paper and printed out all of our names onto magnets to make it easy to respond yes or no to the question. (Next year I need to make the magnets way smaller!)

Now we move on to our number of the day. I used the Silhouette to add this circle and title to my white board easel. I am in love with vinyl and could find 101 uses for it, that's for sure!

I pass our our Class Meeting binders and a fine tip expo marker to each student. 

We record the number of the day and we figure out the chart below. One more, one less, ten more, ten less. 

Often times we have to pull out the base ten blocks to figure out 10 more and 10 less. These are tough math skills for most of my kiddos. But it's such good practice! 

 Next, we write our number of the day in word form and expanded form. I found these calendar/math skills here. I copied them and slipped them into page protectors. When we're done, the students use a 1/4 of a wash cloth to clean off their pages. We save LOADS of paper this way.

 Last up in our books, we make the number of the day in coins. I always try and have the students show me two different ways to make that amount. Once again, not an easy skill for some of my students. If we have time we do several other skills in the back of our binder. That includes writing our address and phone number. Graphing the weather, etc.

After our binders, the students get to pull one stick from our Calendar Skill Sticks jar and answer a question. I'll blog about these tomorrow. There will be a giveaway as well! Come back tomorrow!

This is where I store most of our calendar and meeting supplies. Everything tucks in nicely between the white board on our meeting area side and on the backside I have a pocket chart with vocabulary words for our writing area. This is a Lakeshore easel that I took apart and spray painted black. I know lots of teachers out there have them, and it's actually really easy to do. 

Do you have a class meeting? What activities do you love to do during your class meeting?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Classroom Reveal


Welcome everyone to a little peek into my classroom. My home away from home. 

I teach 1st-6th grade Deaf/Hard of Hearing students in a Special Day Class. I have 7 students that come and go throughout the day.  We started school about three weeks ago, so my classroom is well lived in at this point. 

So let's get to it! Here's my classroom for this year!

This is the view as you enter the room. As you can see, black and white polka dots are kinda my thing.

The bulliten board as you walk in the door always has our fun seasonal work. (I'm still missing a few kiddos up here.)

This large table and area I use for math instruction. 

 Math centers for early finishers and extra practice.

I added an Estimation Station this year to our math routine. Such a hard skill! 

I was inspired by Amy Lemons to organize all of my math manipulatives, centers, and activities. It was time consuming, but well worth it!  Everything is right there behind me that I could possibly need.

The entire math area... 

Small group instruction area along with all of my sight word activities in the crates.

Our Fairview Learning area and centers.

The front of the classroom and where we do our whole group learning.

I use the right side of the board for our current literature book we're reading. My students are loving Chrysanthemum right now!

We use a classroom economy system in my classroom. The students earn money for various "jobs". At the end of the week they get to visit the class store. The plastic drawers are filled with goodies from the Dollar Tree and the Dollar Spot. They really look forward to our class store!

I am trying out drawers for each day of the week to store all of my lesson materials. This is stored under my front table. So far it seems to be working well.

This is our calendar/class meeting area.  We are spending a lot more time here this year working on basic skills and language, language, language. 

My favorite addition this year is our Class Meeting binders. We work on our phone numbers, addresses, number of the day, etc during our afternoon Class Meeting.

Part of our Class Meeting also includes basic calendar skills and answering a question of the day. 

The next little area is my Guided Reading area. During Fairview Learning rotations, I teach 1:1 reading with each of our students. 

Our beloved Guided Reading library that we've collected over the years. 

Due to the fact that I have 1st-6th grade, my word wall is color coded for each of the Dolch sight word lists. That way the students can quickly find the words they are looking for. 

Writing center... 

Our classroom library, sink area, and computer stations. 

 I have my classroom library organized according to reading level. 

Our computer area....

Behind my teacher desk we have a little staff area.  This is an informational area for my signing instructional assistant and the educational sign language interpreters that work in my classroom.  The photos on the shelves are places we have gone on our overnight field trips as a program. And that tall bookshelf? Those are educational resources that I never even seem to crack open now that I have Teachers Pay Teachers... but feel guilty about getting rid of!

My D/HH teacher friends will appreciate my Hearing Aid tool box. Rather than holding teacher supplies, it holds all of our hearing aid supplies and student batteries as well.  The white binder is for documenting who is wearing their hearing aids, if they are broken, etc.

I also store our student laptops in this teacher area as well. This little file holder works well for organizing laptops in a small space.

This little file pocket chart hangs right behind my desk. It's perfect for sorting to do's, to file, etc. The binders are my student progress binders that I keep on each student. 

And finally... the view from the other side of the classroom. That teacher desk? It's never really that clean and organized. But I knew you all would be visiting today, so I picked up a little for my guests. ;)

 I hope you enjoyed my classroom tour. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks Angie and Ashley for hosting this classroom reveal linky! I can't wait to peek into everyone's classes!