Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Differentiation Across the Subject Areas

We had another class Monday night with our new dual/ELL staff members, and this time we focused on differentiation and what that may look like across the subject areas.

As we have done in the past, we had the teachers participate in a gallery walk and thus rotate around with their groups to add to a series of posters focused on this topic of differentiation. Yet again, our wonderful staff did not disappoint and came up with a wide assortment of ideas as to how instruction can be differentiated for our students!

I typed up their ideas on a nice one page spread for them, and thought you all may find it useful as well!
Click on it to grab a copy for yourself or a friend.

Graphics/Fonts: Scrappin' Doodles, Rowdy Fonts, My Cute Graphics

Also, (as if you haven't already heard ;)), I wanted to let you all in on the big secret. 
TpT will be hosting a "3 Million Teachers Strong" sale February 27-28th.
In using promo code TPT3, you can get up to 28% off at my store along with so many more!
How exciting is it to see this community of teachers growing and working together :)!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spanish Subtraction Poem

I have always seen that lovely little poem to assist students in remembering what steps to take when encountering a 2-digit subtraction problem that goes along the lines of "More on top, no need to stop. More on the floor, go next know the rest I am sure of it!

However, for a teacher who has always taught math in Spanish, as much as I adore the chant, I haven't ever been able to use it. 

Thus, last year, I worked hard to create something similar in the other language, so that my students could have a piece of the "fab poem pie". It was a hit with them and after adding a few actions to go along side it, I think it definitely helped them to nail down the steps to these types of problems. 

This past week, I had the opportunity to share and model this same chant in one of our 2nd grade dual language classrooms. We had so much fun, and I even recruited some model students to share the actions with all of you!

And now for the fun. Here are the actions (or TPR as we prefer to call it) to go along with it!

Once we rehearsed and learned the poem and actions quite well. We put our learning into practice and the students completed a sort in which they needed to determine whether various 2-digit subtraction problems needed to be regrouped or not. After cutting and sorting, the students solved then glued their work.

You can grab the sort page and the problems by clicking on each of their individual images below. (Note: Each student will only need a half sheet of problems.)


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Speaking of Birthdays...

Speaking of birthdays, Ms. Britney Bennett over at Tailor Made Teacher just celebrated one as well, and she is hosting a "Birthday Giveaway" to celebrate. I am honored that she has asked me to be a part of the fun along with so many other great bloggers. 
Happy birthday Britney (I hope you had a wonderful day)!
Feel free to see all the "presents" she is dishin' out and enter the giveaway below.

Check Inspired Owl's Corner TPT store here

Check The Kinder Sister's TPT store out here

Check The Unique Classroom TPT store here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Birthday to Remember

Have I mentioned that I have the most thoughtful colleagues a girl could ask for?

Yesterday was my birthday and not only did they remember, but they went above and beyond to make sure I had a special day. 

Here was what I arrived to when I walked upstairs on Friday morning. (I knew then I was in for it ;))

They took the time to sign my door and leave sweet little messages. 
(Note the super theme- they know me too well!)

Then I opened my office door...
And what to my wandering eyes should appear...tons multicolored balloons everywhere.

They even color coordinated them to match my upcoming wedding colors - mint and blush. 
We have some seriously detailed oriented teachers here, and I love it.

Of course I had to take a moment to play.

And that wasn't all. There were streamers, beautiful flowers, cards, and more.

They seriously outdid themselves, and made my day one that I will always remember. 

Thank you all. I feel incredibly blessed to work with some wonderful individuals!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

DONUT you make a difference!

I just finished putting together these fun filled little Valentine's Day gift bags for some of my colleagues.

As you can see there are two different styles. I started printing directly on the bag, which I had heard was fairly easy to do with a printer. However, considering my printer is like cerca 1990, it wasn't too happy with me and started making some strange noises while jamming along the way. 
Enter --> bag number 2. I solved my problem and made some cute little paper tags that I think are just as fun as well! 

If you'd like to create your own, you can grab a copy of the printable here
(Note: the first page is for printing directly on the bag and the second for making the tags.) I would recommend that if you decide to print directly on the bag that you tape down the flap and the top of the bag together so that it feeds through more smoothly!

For those of you who may want to use this idea at a different point in the year (aka not tomorrow ;)), I also created a copy that reads "Donut you know you make a difference",  and in place of Happy Valentine's Day it says "Thank you for all you do!". You can grab this more general printable here.

And yes..the bags are filled with this deliciousness...

Happy Valentine's Day all!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Assessment of Language Learners

On Monday afternoons, I collaborate with our District ELL Director and Bilingual Coordinator to teach a course for our new dual language/ELL staff members to the district. Each week we focus on different topics related to best practice methods and strategies for language learners as well as how to develop bilingual/biliterate students.

This week, we focused on the hot topic of assessment. We hosted a gallery walk for our "students" to find out what they knew. I have shared examples of gallery walks before, but for those who may not remember this strategy involves questions/topics being posed to students, each on a different sheet of paper. Students are put into groups and asked to respond to the paper header. After a pre-determined amount of time, students will move with their group to work on adding information to the next poster. This continues until all posters have been visited. Then students will share out the information on the posters with the group. It is a great way to pre-assess students' prior knowledge and/or gauge their learning.

I must say, our professional students totally rocked out a ton of great ideas today related to assessment of language learners (and for that matter all students) that I thought you all may enjoy and find helpful as well. 

Their points to ponder were...
1) Factors to consider regarding assessment of language learners
2) How the CCSS fit in...
3) Purpose/Examples of Formative Assessments
4) Purpose/Examples of Summative Assessments

Here is a nice, neat typed up copy of all of the ideas shared. You can grab it by clicking on the image!

Have any ideas that you think are key points that were not added to our lists? Feel free to comment and share! I'd love to add more!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Share the Love

In the spirit of the upcoming heart-filled holiday this next week, I have worked to create a writing activity that embraces this spirit of love for others!

Students will start by working to brainstorm a list of people that they love.

When they finish their list, they will select one of the people that they love as the inspiration for their writing piece. They will then use a second organizer to work to share three reasons why they love this individual.

Students will then use these three reasons (or more if they'd like!) to write a piece about their special person and create a corresponding illustration! They could even bring in a photo of them with the loved one to paste on as well!

To add a little decorative flair, have your students glue their writing and illustration to a piece of large construction paper and cut and glue hearts of different colors and sizes to the finished product!

Then, the most important part of all - ask your students to be sure to read their piece to the person that they chose to write about to "share the love"!

Grab your copy by clicking on the image!
Happy Valentine's Day!