Sunday, January 18, 2015

Short Week, but lots of fun!

This week we had a short week.  It was the end of our quarter so the upper grades had exams.  Since they had exams we had three half days.  So Monday was a full day and Tuesday through Thursday were half days.  Friday then we had an inservice day.  I choose not to do the basal and just review and catch up on things.  I didn't feel my kiddos could handle the whole basal and tests in this short week.  The week really worked out because I was able to complete some things I needed to and review with my students.

The week started with an exciting day on Monday!  We had a dress up day for the BIG game Monday Night.  Here I am with my son!  We were all decked out and hoping for a win!

photo of wolfelicious

Since it was a dress up day I encouraged my students to wear Scarlet and Gray!  Here is a picture of some that did!!
photo of wolfelicious
Aren't they are adorable making the O-H-I-O at recess!!  I really think it helped the team win that night! (LOL)  Nothing like celebrating my home team in Florida!

Photo of GoNoodle Wolfelicious

My class loves GoNoodle!!  Have you heard of it?  You need to.  It is full of awesome brain breaks that your students will LOVE!!

photo of GoNoodle Wolfleicious

This semester I have an intern!  Here she is teaching the calendar to  our students.  She has done a fabulous job so far.  

Photo of Intern at Wolfelicious

I wanted to do something for my students to help their self-esteem and make them all feel special.  I decided on Thursday to write them a little note on their desk.

 Photo of Love Notes

I wanted something easy I could do but also something that would touch them.  I do have high expectations for my students so I want them to know that I also love each one of them. 

They loved walking into the classroom on Thursday and seeing their note.  I am definitely going to keep doing this.  Everyone loves feeling special. 

Photo of Greg Tang Math

Friday the students had no school, but the teachers did.  We had a math in-service with Greg Tang.  This one was an interesting math inservice.  I can use some of the things he taught us in class.  

Have a Wolfelicious day!

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Incorporating iPads and Beginning Math Centers, Plus Apps

photo of iPads wolfelicious

Monday was our first day back after Christmas Break.  I was excited to start incorporating everything I decided to try after break; however I was sad not to be able to spend the whole day with my boys.

photo of iPads wolfelicious

Since I was so lucky to get a class set of mini iPads I knew I wanted to start incorporating them into our day.  After researching and trying to figure out what would be best for my class, we started Monday using them.

photo of iPads wolfelicious

I thought one of the easiest ways to incorporate them was using them for making words.  We always used our dry-erase boards to write out words with our spelling pattern, but using the Magnetic Letters App made it different and more exciting!  The kiddos loved changing the background and the letter colors.
The kiddos were 100% engaged with making words!  We also used the app Show Me to write some words using a stylist.  Unfortunately, the stylists were not working very well with our covers.  Instead some used the stylists and some used their finger.  Both ways the kiddos loved word work!!

This week I started my mission of incorporating guided math into my day.  I thought it was a perfect time to switch since we are just coming back from break and the following week is crazy because of the short week and half days due to the end of the quarter. 

On the first couple of days of the week, I was still printing and laminating some of the items I needed for my new math centers.  I wanted to start the process of teaching my kids what to do even though I wasn't completely prepared.  I decided to put the kiddos into different groups so they would get some practice at math centers.  Since I didn't have everything prepared yet, I just used what I could to do this.  

Here is a break down:
1} Teacher Center - worksheet from basal
2} Computers- Math Facts in a Flash (our school purchases this every year)
Photo of Math Centers Wolfelicious
3} iPad- Teach Me First Grade
 I love this app.  It works on sight words, handwriting, addition, and subtraction.  It keeps track of the student's progress and the students earn stickers.
4} iPad- Smart Cookie Math
This app is wonderful!  It works on addition and subtraction fluency.  A Common Core standard!  I use this to help with our Smart Cookie Math program.
5} iPad- My Piggy Bank
This app is such a fun way to practice money.  My students kept asking to play this.  I ended up purchasing the full version because of how excited my kids were to play this. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday I continued these math centers.  I showed them how I wanted them to clean up and then stand once they were ready to switch.

Thursday I had the Math Chart prepared to share with the kiddos.  I showed them how to use the chart to know where to go.  We practice using the chart on Thursday with the previous centers.

Then on Friday I had everything ready and prepared for the math centers I really want to use. (Thanks to my intern for helping me get all prepared for this adventure).

Here is a list of what my kiddos are really going to do for Guided Math:
1} Teacher Center - worksheet from basal
                                     Photo of Math Centers Wolfelicious
2} Computers- Math Facts in a Flash (our school purchases this every year), some weeks students will work on Xtramath.
3} iPads- Various Apps 
4} Math Notebook
Photo of Math Centers Wolfelicious
5} Math Tubs- On Friday, I went over two of the Math tubs the students will have a choice that they could do during their tub center.  I plan on introducing the other ones on Monday.
Photo of Math Centers Wolfelicious

It was so exciting seeing my vision of these math centers play     out.  I saw that the students were excited about math and completely engaged in what they were doing.  I know over time this extra effort into math will have a big pay out.  My students will definitely master what they need to for first grade!

Have a Wolfelicious day!

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Getting back to my roots!!

Teaching has always been my passion.  Growing up, it was always my dream to become a teacher.  I remember lining up my stuffed animals and trying to teach them when I was around 5 years old. 

 I have tried to think of what else I would want to do for better money, but my mind is empty.  

Teaching is for me!  
I believe it is what I am meant to do.

Over the years I have felt the big pressure to make sure my kiddos are where they need to be at the end of the year.  Taking away some of our 'fun' activities in order to apply the skills they need to make the proper growth for the year.   I have noticed less and less of the kiddos being able to be kids. :(

This breaks my heart.  Aren't children supposed to be children?

This year it has really been a weight on me with having my own child attend kindergarten.  

I feel I have always tried my hardest to make school 'fun' for my students.  Singing and dancing!  Playing games!  But, for some reason this year with moving up to first grade I feel all I do and drill, drill, drill. 

Now, I realize that is not all I do.  Like I said before I do try to have as much fun as possible with my kiddos.  I am trying to make them the smartest they have ever been and keep them liking school.  I set high expectations and my students usually master those! (Woohoo!) But, I was battling in my head over break what I could do to make my classroom even better.

This is the head is constantly thinking about school.  I imagine like most other teachers.  I searched the blogs and Pinterest.  I finally found what I am going to do.  

I am so excited to start back to start incorporating the things I found.  I need to get printing them out and laminating them.  I know my kiddos are going to love these activities.

My Daily 5 Centers are now going to be even better.  I am going to have the kiddos do more activities on the spelling pattern we are concentrating on for the week.  


Oh Math!!!  

How math and I have a love/hate relationship!

Right now, my math is kinda boring.  Did I just admit that?  We watch the video and complete the worksheet that goes with it.  Now yes the kiddos are learning the material, but oh how boring is that!


I am going to start incorporating math centers.

Are you ready for this???


Yep, that is what I said.


My kiddos love math and I know they will love this!

I am also going to switch up my morning routine a little bit.

A new year and new changes happening at Wolfelicious for the better.  I can't wait to get them all set up so I can share them with the kiddos.

I am hoping to have them up and running by the new quarter which is in two weeks.  (Fingers crossed) They know how to do the Daily Five, so I am thinking they will catch on to this easily.  Plus, I know they will love the centers.  Students always love centers.

I have a student teacher beginning in the 5th with me.  I can't wait to share with her all this new stuff we are going to do.

We are going to be off to a great rest of the year!!


I can't wait to see how the centers improve their learning and make it FUN!

I hope you stop by and see how my class is doing with these 'new' things.

I would love to hear what you are doing new for the new year!!!

Have a Wolfelicious day!

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