Friday, September 27, 2013

accountable talk

I went to an in-service today with the focus being on accountable talk. I wasn't familiar with this until today...but am now a fan! I love the idea of kiddos having conversations with each other about a given subject and being able to respectfully agree or disagree with each other, providing evidence to support their stance. I've found some great freebies to help with introducing accountable talk into your classroom. I'm excited about trying this with the small groups I work with. What I like about it is that it forces kids to listen to each other and have a real back and forth conversation instead of kids talking at each other. Are you using accountable talk? How does it look in your classroom?

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

kid president

I watched this video for the first time in the spring and this kid stole my heart! I've lost count of how many times I've watched it since - sometimes to laugh and sometimes when I need to be inspired. This kid is pretty awesome :)

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

what kids say

I'm constantly amazed by what kids will come up with - and now that I'm working with older kids, they're able to come up with even more "wow" moments. Here are three from the other day (yes, all in one day!):

1. Kiddo told me his parents made him watch a "Nazi war" documentary for punishment. 
2. Kiddo asked if I wanted him to get the answers to the math problems they were working on because "ladies don't need to do math."
3. And a girl asked me this one: "Do you have any kids or are we like your kids?" 

These "big kids" - as I referred to them last year when talking to my first grade kiddos - have won me over :) photo blogsignature3.png

Thursday, September 12, 2013

partner up!

I came across this Partner Up for Fun Partnering System from Simply Kinder over the summer and knew it was something I'd want to use! This goes beyond peanut butter and jelly partners (which I think is still cute) and has things like eggs and bacon, scissors and glue, cats and dogs - it's a forty page pdf full of different combinations. I'm excited to be able to use this with two small groups I work with. I'll change out the cards maybe once a week and pick a different kind of partners but I think even fifth graders will think it's fun :) Click here to find it on Teachers Pay Teachers!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I'm being stretched this year. I taught first grade last year but to avoid the long story, I'm a teaching assistant at another school, working with fifth grade. God completely worked the whole thing out and I'm excited about this current season in my teaching career. After talking with a fellow teaching assistant, I'm thinking about beginning the process of earning my Ed.S. degree. The change has been good and even though I was a little hesitant to work with the "big kids," they're really sweet and I'm reminded of part of my student teaching when I worked with fifth grade and loved it! I've had to make the mental leap of interacting with ten-year-olds versus six-year-olds but it's been a fun transition. This is great practice in one of the most important parts of teaching: be flexible!

I'm sharing this because this is where I'm coming from right now; my perspective is that of a secondary person in the classroom instead of the primary one. I'm looking forward to being able to observe and just watch. I've already been amazed at how the grade level teachers I'm working with do what they do. They love their kids and this profession. One told a student, "You're not trying and you know I don't allow that." They push their kids to give high-quality work and challenge their thinking. I'm excited at becoming a better educator through this process. I know I'm supposed to teach - I can't imagine doing anything else. So I'm going to learn all I can right now and enjoy where I'm at.   photo blogsignature3.png

Thursday, September 5, 2013

tree maps freebie

Have you heard of tree maps? I found some really cute "are can have" charts I used with my first grade kiddos last year and there's a really great board on Pinterest full of ideas. I made one last week to use with some fifth graders I'm working with. We read a leveled reader on sea snakes and I made this chart to help them record their information. It's the first self-made freebie I'm putting on here! You can click here to grab it!

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

rory's story cubes

Have you heard of these? They're called Rory's Story Cubes. I read about them on another blog and then went on a hunt to find them...but to no avail. And then, I was in Kroger and whaddya know, there they were! This was $8 and would be great in a center or as a time-filler. I plan on buying a few more sets and also some of the other versions, "Voyages" and "Actions." There's also a MAX edition - a large version of the original. You can find out more from the website. Has anyone used Rory's Story Cubes before? photo blogsignature3.png