Friday Flashback with Amanda At Teaching Maddeness

 Morning All!  Happy Saturday!  I'm so glad the weekend is finally here.  Of course it will be crazy for us with soccer and softball tournaments, but I Love the fall weather and the sun is shining, so who can complain too much!

I linking up today with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness for her Friday Flashback linky Party.

This week my classroom was busy!  My sixth grade friends have FINALLY-- ALMOST settled into a routine, gotten their lockers open consistently and are getting to classes on time.
We focused on our Writer's Notebook this week and implementing our Daily 3 schedule.  I use a version of Nancy Atwell's Writer's Workshop.  We are starting with a quick nit on Personal Narratives and then moving into the bulk of our writing which will focus on informative pieces.  I made a slide show to share some information about myself with my students.  I included pictures from my life, favorite things, memories etc... even a picture of me on MY first day of sixth grade... they got a chuckle from that one.
Next week I will read Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox.  Have you read this book?  It is great for memoirs, and modeling seed writing.  That's where our focus will be next.

We are continuing with our Interactive Math Notebooks, a post I am still trying to get organized and will put out later this week.

Lastly we had a great opportunity to be part of a community event this week.  In our area the Center for Missing and Exploited Children participates in a 100 mile bike ride to raise money for this charity.  Their ride began close to our school on Friday morning, and a staff member was participating.  All of the riders came through our bus loop!  We were able to go outside during our 1st period class and cheer them on! My class was so excited.

We are spending a lot of time this year focusing on character building and community.  We have had 2 guest speakers into our school talking about the internet and safe usage.  We also started a no bullying project called One Clip at a Time.

What have you been up to this past week?  Head over to Teaching Maddeness and link up with Amanda to let us know!


Moving Forward with Reading, Writing and The Stranger

I finally have most of my sixth grade friends using the Daily 3 (Read to Self, Work on Writing and Word Work) consistently for 15 minute cycles.  That is about all I can manage at this point in an 82 minute period.  I wrote out a few anchor charts which I put at the top of my classroom walls to help them remember what to do during that time.  Slowly I began using my Word Work journal and have introduced a few things in my Writer's Notebook which I'll post in a few days.

I put up some things for the kiddo's to remind them of the activities I wanted them to work on as we move forward.  I'm hoping I can add to this as we learn more strategies.

Sorry about the blurry photo for Word Work.  That always seems to happen when I use my iPhone.

Tomorrow I'm focusing on my Reader's Notebook.  I am introducing the jobs I use in my Literature Circles.  I have 5 rotating jobs that my students use when we read novels in my classroom.  The kiddos are in lit circle groups and read one of 5 or 6 choice novels based on a common theme.  They usually meet about twice a week once we get moving.  To introduce the different jobs I use picture books and an Author Unit on Chris VanAllsburg.  I <puffy heart> Chris Van Allsburg.  
I start off reading The Stranger which is filled with inferences.  We discuss so many things about this book-- there are so many reading comprehension strategies to work on!  Then we all practice the first literature job together: Discussion Director.  The next day we fish bowl the activity with good modeling, and I continue on from there.  I am soooo looking forward to sending time with "The Stranger" again.  It is one of my favorite picture books.

How about you?  Do you have that favorite mentor text?  Please share so I can add it to my collection!
Happy Reading!!



Tell Me Something Good

Morning All!  I'm linking up with Rowdy in First Grade to tell you Something Good that has happened this week.  

Something Good at School
This week my sixth grade friends have been working on their stamina.  We are up to 15 minutes on Read to Self which is right where I need them to be.  I have 82 minutes of language arts and being able to break groups into my Daily 3 sections works best for me.  We also began Work on Writing.  We are only at 8 minutes in this area.  I was surprised at how difficult it was for my sixth grade friends to write for that 8 minute period.  Next week we'll do Word Work and then be able to really start our mini lessons for Reader's and Writer's Workshop.   
All of my friends can open their lockers!  This is HUGE.  They can all get to their classes and they are doing a great job with routine.

Something Good at Home
This week  "Little Man" turned 10!  I can't believe that my youngest child is in double digits.  He is a 5th grader now and made safety patrol.  He is so proud!  Woot woot.
My daughter "24" made the field hockey team and is thinking of being the goalie.  That should be fun to watch.  Field hockey is a new sport for us.  I can't wait to watch the first game this week!

Head on over and link up to tell us Something Good that has happened to you this week!



Math Notebooks and Runde's Length of School Year

My students had their Interactive Math Notebook covers due Monday.  I had talked to them last week about their "Math About Me" Assignment, and I was hoping I would see some really extraordinary notebooks.  Overall, I'm really pleased by how most of them turned out.  Sixth grade is such a huge transition for our kiddos.  It takes them so long to learn and remember easy classroom routines and even their homework, because they are so worried about their lockers and how to get to their classes.  So the ones I got overall were awesome.  Now if I could just get them going on our new math program... Life would be great!

I also have been working with them over the last few days on Runde's The Length of the School Year activity.  Have you seen this in her TpT store?  It is Fabulous! I blogged about making it here when I created it for A Monday Made-It with Tara.  The activity gave me so many good math ideas to start my year.
My students worked in groups to solve their problem.  You can see the busy bees here...

They worked together in groups to solve the various problems I set up, and then transferred the ideas to a notebook clipart sheet and we put them on the wall for Open House.  The parents were amazed at the amount 

of sugar the kids could consume with just one soda.  Overall, this is a great activity!  

I added the Phineas and Ferb style kick to it and the kids LOVED it!

I hope everyone is having a great week and things are coming together for you in your classrooms!



Classroom reveal.... We made through the first week!

Morning all!  We made it through those first few days of school! Woot Woot!  My new sixth grade friends always feel soooo  overwhelmed the first few days.  They can't get their lockers opened, or find their classes, and as much as we do to prepare, they are always so anxious and tired by Friday.
I have such a wonderful group of friends this year.  I know that I am going to enjoy all of what they have to bring to our room.  I slowly started my Daily 5.  More on that in a day or two. I want to take some photos, and we have Open House to prepare for.

I never did a classroom reveal, so I'm linking up with Courtney at Swimming into Second Grade to share photos.  

Everyone has posted BEAUTIFUL photos of their classrooms, and I have gotten great ideas.  I hate that my walls feel bare at the beginning of the year, but I LOVE that my students are the ones that end up covering them with our anchor charts and THEIR ideas for math, reading and writing.

I downloaded the Common Core Math Vocabulary from Kate at To The Square Inch but it hasn't gotten laminated to put up yet. I plan to put the words that we are currently working with in the front near my smartboard and then transfer them to the wall above my computers as we move through our units.

I LOVE my chalkboard calendar.  The numbers are from Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher.  I'm going to use them for my math boggle game too.  As we get going next week I will add test and quizzes to the board to help my students keep track of academics and teach them some time management.

I hope everyone enjoyed their short week of school! Come back soon to visit!



Currently with Farley!

Hi friends!  I'm linking up with Farley tonight at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for her Currently Linky Party. 
It is my first day of school.  I am SO... Very... TIRED. I had a great day, and I love my new sixth grade friends.  Enjoy the rest of your week!

I LOVE Dave Matthews Band-- It is always on my playlist, and I even have a few ringtones!
My other love beside my family is my Bernese Mountain Dog, Mater.  He is 85 pounds of Love!



At first I was AFRAID.. no I was PETRIFIED..

I will NOT be afraid of my Interactive Math Notebook... I will NOT be afraid of my Interactive Math Notebook...
I've been working all week on my interactive notebook for math.  I have to learn a new math program AND the notebook is new to me, so the process has been S....LLLL..OOOOOOOOO....WWWW.
At first I was afraid.. no I was petrified...<hee hee> of writing in my IMN.  I was thinking I would mess something up, or after I had put information in I would find or think of something better.  I made list upon list upon list.  But finally it got to be Thursday and I knew I couldn't keep the charade up any longer, so I went for it.

I made this foldable to help us remember all of the phrases that go with operations.  My kids ALWAYS forget these.. especially remembering more than and less than FLIP the numbers. 

I also made just a half sheet of the words that the students will glue into their notebooks in a lesson a little later, not another foldable, just a reminder.  I managed to work through the first three lessons in the program, which when added to other things I want to do will be about a week's worth of lessons.  Slow and steady is going to win me this race.

How are your Interactive Notebooks going?  Are you finding your students are more engaged in your lessons?  Let me know how you are doing so we can share ideas!

Meanwhile on Football Saturday-- Work em silly GATORS! and Go 'Cuse!-- with Orange and Blue you can never go wrong!

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