Monday, September 16, 2013

Awesome Reminder website and App

Hello Friends!
Today I want to share with you an awesome reminder app that I'm using this year for my class. It's called Remind 101.  One of my colleagues shared this website/app with me and I love it! Every year I give out my cell phone number to my students and parents at Back to School Night. We communicate through text messaging about their child but I've always wanted to do a mass text message for days like field trip or picture day or if something is new or has changed in our daily schedule. So when I heard about this app, I introduced it to my parents at Back to School Night and even walked them through how to register right there. Once they register, it sends them a text asking parents to write their name. Make sure you ask parents to put their child's name next to theirs (ex: Angela Linzay - Isaac's mom). It makes it so much easier!

 Remind 101 is a one way text messaging system. It gives parents a class phone number to register and you send out reminder texts all throughout the year for all those little AND big things that come up. I still give out my cell phone number for those who have specific questions or concerns, but this mass text messaging helps me when I want to announce something to the parents that the kids may forget.





When you register, it also gives you a print out to give to parents on how to register for this service in case you don't have an opportunity to do it like at Back to School Night. They can receive emails or texts from you. I have the app on my phone and it's quick and easy to use. You can even schedule texts to go out at a certain time. So no more.... "YIKES! I forgot to remind my students to....." When I think about special days for the week, I  just simply add them to Remind 101 and schedule them to go out on certain days and ...VOILA! I look so organized! Haha! They'll NEVER know. :)





Here is the app on my phone and the messages that have already gone out. I wanted to add all the cuteness in my messages but there is a limit to what you can write... which is a good thing, because my teachers didn't call me motor mouth for nothin! So sad... I know. Lol. I'm ok. After years of counseling the twitching finally stopped and now I'm using my motor mouth for good. :)




Hope this was helpful. I'd love to hear what y'all use or if you use this.

Blessings Friends.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five for Friday

Hello Friends!

Today I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday Linky Party.


1. I know that I already  blogged about this but I am so proud of how well my students did at building stamina this week on our Daily 5. We worked on read to someone and writing and I was thoroughly impressed with them.

using check marks for Check for understanding
Love my little writers!



2. I went to our women's ministry event called Taste of Fall this week. It was so fun and filled with JUNK FOOD! :) I mean.... just take a look at this table! I thought about eating well.... well, that is until I walked into this:

Wow. Just. WOW!

3. I'm at a hotel this weekend with a friends for a Women of Faith conference. I'm looking forward to a fun and relaxing weekend away. We already went for sushi and are planning to get massages today. :)   The hotel we are staying at is close to Disneyland AND they serve breakfast! I L.O.V.E free food!!

YUMMY!


4. I logged onto the TPT website and saw this! I know that they do a random rotation but it is so neat to see yourself on here and to know that you exist! Ha!



5.  I just finished my Gone Fishin' unit. It's so fun! Kids "fish" for different letter sounds. The unit is also editable so that you can create your own game. You can do parts of speech, different types of sentences, or any type of sorting activity. I'm looking forward to using this with my students.







Happy Friday Friends and enjoy your weekend!

Blessings,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Daily 5 - Read to Someone and Writing

Hello Friends.

Just wanted to share a little praise that happened in my class today. We have been working on building stamina for Daily 5. So far we have done work on writing, read to self, and read to someone. Today was our first time doing read to someone. We made an anchor chart and we talked about what I expect of them and then wrote down what they should expect of me (working with students, helping them read, listening to others read, etc). I've been a bit nervous about introducing this component of the Daily 5 since my class is pretty chatty this year. This is usually one of my favorite elements of D5... seeing kids all sprawled out all over the room and listening to kids read. It makes my heart happy. But this group.... well, let's just say that I repeated myself over and over and OVER again how important it is to stay on task and focused now that I was pairing them up with a friend.  I usually let them choose, but for the first couple times, I pair them up. I might have bribed them with skittles  (<----- don't judge me)  encouraged them to stay on task and then put my stamina chart up. I started the timer and then they were off!  I sat at the back of the room and all I heard were a bunch of little spies using their "spy talk". AHHHH!!! They were AMAZING!!!! We went a whole 10 mins and 4 secs!!! I was seriously impressed and SO proud of my little friends!! Here are some pics of our Daily 5 practice:


Students were sitting EEKK (elbow to elbow, knee to knee) and using the checkmark to check for understanding. After a student read a page, the other student would put the checkmark to their head and say, "I just heard you read..." They did FANTASTIC!! After a couple of practices, they will be able to sit wherever they want. Call me a control freak or whatever but I just know that they need to sit at their desks the first couple of times of practicing. LOL.





Here we are working on our stamina for the writing component:

Love this little boy who is in our "thinking position". Hands on chin and they say "Hmmmmm...." :)

Love that one is in thinking position, one is whisper reading, and the others are writing away. HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!
Oh, and this is not part of our Daily 5, but I just love this little art project that my team teacher did with my bubble map. :) She is so fun and I  love coming in on Mondays and seeing the neat things that they did for Fun Friday the week before.


Love those lashes!

Thanks for stopping by, friends! Hope your school year is going great!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Five for Friday and My Poor Blog!

Hello Friends.

This seems like the common theme among bloggers these days.... neglecting their poor little blog. School has started in full swing and sports and homework have taken over our house...mainly my living room. Every spare moment that I've had has been dedicated to finishing my 2nd grade Houghton Mifflin: Theme 2 unit on TPT.  I've had such a great response to Theme 1 that I decided to make the next theme. When I first started taking on this HUGE project (Theme 1 took 200+ hours!!!) I told myself that I would decide to create the next themes by judging how well the sales go for the current theme. I mean, I do love creating resources but it has to be worth my time, too.  Well, I've gotten really great responses from it and people even asking for theme 2!!! Wow! I was seriously humbled to think that my resource would be used in so many different classrooms. I mean, YOU think your resources are good, but will others?  Ok, more on this resource later.

Today I am linky up with Doodle Bugs for her Five For Friday Party. Okaaay.... I KNOW that I'm a little A LOT late, but better late than never, right? :) I'm gonna zip right through #1-4 so that I can spend some time on #5. You'll see. :)


1. Kids went swimming A LOT this week! It was nice to stay cool!
2. Went to the beach on Monday for Labor Day. SO fun!!
3. Short work week since Monday was a holiday! I job share so I only worked Tues and Wed. :)
4. My sweet mother in law took my little girl overnight so that I could get some TPTing done and finish my crazy long unit (260+pages!!!). Which brings me to #5..... Why yes. I WILL skip a line to write #5 because it deserves it. I want it to be all alone to highlight my next TPT product. (drum roll pleeeease.....)

5. JUST last night, I finished my TPT unit that I was just talking about in the beginning of this post.  I am SUPER excited because this theme is PACKED with cool projects and activities that make learning FUN! Here are some snapshots of what is inside this unit:


Click on the image to take you to my store

There are word wall resources for every story in this theme:




Vocabulary concentration card game.


Story unscrambling and sequencing activity

Take it to summary writing

A neat class book to store student samples of compound words with templates included. I saw this at a teaching workshop over 10 yrs ago and I cannot remember from who. If  you know, please let me know so that I can give credit where credit is due. 



A SUPER fun fishing game to teach soft/hard g sounds.





A backpack activity where students decide what they would take to go camping.

These are the items they can choose from. Students then write a reasoning for why they chose to take these items. 

SUPER ADORABLE!!!!
This goes with one of our stories that talks about animal tracks.

Gotta throw in some Depth and Complexity here for deeper learning.
*** UPDATE: If you are interested in this Thinking Map (above pic) and MANY more with Depth and Complexity icons, please take a look at my Print and Go Thinking Maps with Depth and Complexity unit. ALL maps come with samples and are EDITABLE so that you can tailor it to the needs of your classroom.  :)

SO.MUCH.FUN! Seriously! I'm VERY excited to get to this theme with my students!!! I will be taking snapshots of the class when we get here in about 2 weeks or so. I am really looking forward to them trying out all the fun things I have planned for their learning.

Hope you have a wonderful start to your week!

Blessings,

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Five for Friday

 Hello Friends!!

I'm a little late for Doodle Bugs Linky party, but if you know me.. I'm always a procrastinator fashionably late. This is one of my favorite linky parties but this week just got ahead of me and I was not able to keep up.. so here we are... 2 days later. :)


1. I got to do a fun activity with my students this week from my Aligning Houghton Mifflin with Common Core pack. This activity is also in my Reading Comprehension and Literacy Centers unit for those who don't use Houghton Mifflin. I was teaching sentences and we did an activity where the students had to feed dragons with sentences and sentence fragments. The kids LOVED it and I was happy to see that they were smiling and laughing WHILE they were having fun.



For more on this activity, you can read about it here in my previous post.

2. My kids started school this week and so I like to torture myself and take on even MORE than I can handle. So during my busy week, I added this cute project/treat to make for both my son's classmates.


I got the idea from Pinterest and pinned it a a couple or years ago. I never got to do it last year for their first day of school, and so I thought that I would add more to my plate by making 50 of them!!!! They did turn out cute, though... right??? Tell me it was worth my time.

No first day is complete without the infamous "First Day" sign!

Yummy after school treats for the first day of school. They had a great day!


Oooppss... ya got something on your chin there buddy! :)
3. On Friday, we had a family celebration of birthdays. We celebrated 3 birthdays, one of which was my Little Miss K's. It was fun!

She got a "Hong Bao" (Chinese red envelope) with some money in it from Grandma. 

Some dress up stuff from the other Grandma. :)

A birthday party is not complete without cake and....

Duck Dynasty viewing. My family and extended family are obsessed with this show!
I'm serious, my hubby's family is related to them. No joke.

4. My church was able to donate some brand new backpacks to our school for kids who don't have one or just to help out the families. I was able to get 100 backpacks for our site! Here are some pics of the kids picking out their new backpacks. They were so excited!!!




5. This month was a great month for my TPT store since everyone was going back to school shopping. I have been wanting to sponsor a child from Africa for years now and with the extra money that I made this month, I knew it was time. I know that I may not be as prosperous every month, but God was so good to our family and so we wanted to use it to give back and be a blessing to another family. I will write more on that in another post, but here is out family picking out our little girl from the website! :)


That's all friends! Hope that you have a fantastic week!

Blessings,