30 January 2015

Five for Friday!

Five for Friday is a weekly teacher linky party where you post five random things from today or this past week and on your blog. Check out the linky party at Doodle Bugs Teaching.

Australia Day

It was my first Australia Day on Monday!  Some of my friends were having a BBQ, heading out to the beach, and such, but unfortunately I was too far away to join in.  However, I enjoyed seeing their fun on Facebook and Instagram!  Just wished I was closer to join them!

Triple J's Hottest 100

One of the big events Aussies do here on Australia Day is tune in to Triple J's Hottest 100!  The listeners got to join in by voting for their favorite tracks from the previous year, then you spend Australia Day listening to the countdown.  I, at least, got to join in on that fun by listening all day.

Titanic Reading Unit

Most of my time over the weekend and this past week was working on a Titanic unit for TPT.  I had done this unit with my previous classes after our statewide testing as a fun unit.  We got to go on a fun field trip to the Titanic Exhibition nearby that the students really enjoyed!  Stayed tuned for a blog post all about the product coming soon!

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie

Last Five for Friday I mentioned this book series.  (I finished book 4 and I was going to take a break from the series to read Gone Girl, but I'm tempted to continue on to Book 5.)  I decided to rewatch the movie to the first book in the series.  I will say the book is better, but I thought the casting was done quite well.  (Even though some people in the fandom disagree, but there were some big names as good choices!)  I just wish it had done better so that they would continue on because I would have really enjoyed seeing the rest of the books as movies.  

Offered a Part-Time Teaching Job

Finally, my most exciting news!  I have been spending the last few months working as a relief teacher (substitute) here in Australia.  We all know getting your first position isn't the easiest and that it's more helpful know someone in the profession to get your name out there.  I had to relive that all over again, but without any references within the WA Education Department.  Luckily, relief teaching got my name out there and the nearby school offered me a position to work Fridays in Pre-Primary (Kindergarten) with a possibility of future position(s).  Fingers crossed all goes well because I've been anxious to get back into the classroom more regularly! 

26 January 2015

Place Valut SCOOT! (Product Review)

Place Value SCOOT! by live.love.teach.

The past few years in 3rd grade we would always start with place value.  Seems like a simple skill but the majority of students struggle with it initially.  They understand place value and estimating up to 3 place values, but go any further than that they often found it confusing.

I reassured the students that this is normal and it will get easier wit regular practice.  We spend a chapter introducing new skills and reviewing previously taught skills in this unit.  I also make sure to do a daily number activity where we dissect a 6-digit number.  Plus, we utilized this TPT product by live.love.teach.

What is SCOOT?

This was my first SCOOT game and took me a trial run to implement this into our class.  The students get an answer recording sheet and are presented with their first card.  The students are to answer the question using the number on the card and the numbered box on their recording sheet. After the allowed time you give the students a command (SCOOT!) to pass the card to the next person and answer their new card.  You continue this until all cards are answered.

How I Used Scoot:

I play this exact game about 2-3 times with the class with several days in between each day.  The first run of the game I gave 2-3 minutes for each card.  I had just under 20 students, but it took about 45 minutes to play the round.  I only used as many cards as students that were present that day.

It did take a bit of time, but I had students panicking with the limited time.  I would continue our lessons and several days later I would play the game again, but this time only allowing 1-2 minutes.  If I had time to play a third round I gave either 30 seconds to 1 minute.  A bit more challenge with less time to answer each time.  (We make sure to understand it's okay to skip and move on if time is up.)

How it worked for my class:

Although a bit frustrating at first, once the students understood the goal of the game they really enjoyed playing it!  We ended up playing SCOOT! with other skills throughout the year and the students were really excited to play!

I rate this product 4 out of 4 starfish!
Mainly because the students could improve their skills in a way they enjoyed!

23 January 2015

Five for Friday!

Five for Friday is a weekly teacher linky party where you post five random things from today or this past week and on your blog. Check out the linky party at Doodle Bugs Teaching.

Esperance, WA

We went down south for the weekend to some of the prettiest beaches I've ever seen!  I wrote all about our trip and more pictures at my lifestyle blog: StephanieLists.com, be sure to check it out!

The Mortal Instruments Series, Book 4

I've given myself a push to read more since I have some free time while doing casual work on my visa.  I have read books 1-3 in this series and think Book 4 is picking up with more intrigue.  It's like a whole completely different story, but with same characters.  I'm a sucker for fantasy books.

The Outback Heat

THAT'S how hot it gets here, and quite frequently too!  It's a dry heat too, which took some getting used to for me.  I'm used to the Florida heat with humidity.  Didn't get THAT hot in FL though.  Plus, in FL it would cool off at the end of the day.  NOT HERE! At 8-9 PM it can still be nearly that hot!

Marzano Scales

Be sure to check out my post on Marzano Scales.

Winter Outfits

It's dead summer here in Australia, but I'm off to Japan for some Winter fun next month!  Great escape from the heat!  I'm look and checking out a bunch of winter outfits that are good for layering.  I'm trying to pack as light as possible since my boy will need to use some room in our suitcase. (He'll be using his snowboard bag but it only provides so much room.) 
Check out my Pinterest Fashion board!

Follow Stephanie's board Fashion - My Style on Pinterest.

18 January 2015

Superheroes Can Multiply (Product Review)

One of the biggest skills we introduce and focus on in 3rd grade was Multiplication Skills.  This is essential to practice and master these skills, especially from 0-10 facts, to utilize for expanded multiplication & division.  I used the curriculum to introduce and model skills, but I know every day practice is the best way to build skills.

I had used Multiplication Top It, Flashcards, rolling dice, Beat the Calculator, white board practice,and other games that students came up with.  One I put together that the students LOVE was this product from Kathy Law called "Superheroes Can Multiply!"

I printed them out, glued to construction paper (front & back), bound it into a book, and placed it in a large Ziploc bag with a 10-sided dice and counters.

How I Used it in Class

I introduced this product to the students and demonstrated how you played with 1-3 players, rolling the dice to multiply each fact, and placing a counter on top of each correct answer.  Once this was introduced, the students were allowed to play once they finish their math work or during math centers.  The students were able to play this game on their own without needing me for anything, and easily monitored themselves.

Students Loved It!

The students are instantly intrigued with the superhero theme, even the girls!  They enjoyed the challenge that is able to be achieved with the right amount of challenges.  My struggling learners loved being able to complete the tasks on each page and gained confidence in front of their peers.

I give this a 4 out of 4 starfish!
Especially for the student guided success.

You can check out First Grade a la Carte Blog for more information on this product!  You can download the product at Kathy Law's TPT Store.

15 January 2015

Winter TPT Showcase

Welcome to Fishing for More TPT Products! is a series on this blog to showcase some inspiring Teachers Pay Teachers products. I will talk about some items that have caught my attention. If you'd like for me to feature your product, please comment below or contact me with the links and a preview!

Winter Fun!

Sharon Dudley at Teaching with Sight inspired me to share some winter fun TPT products I've been liking lately.  It's summer break here in Australia, but I miss the January winter fun!

Be sure to check out some of Sharon's products: Writing Picture Prompts - Winter, Winter Sight Word Board Games,  & 1 to 20 Winter Bingo.

By:The Moffat Girls

Product Description:  This Winter Math and Literacy Packet has it all and requires NO PREP! The resources in this packet are designed to meet Common Core Standards for Kindergarten while making learning fun, hands-on and interactive! ($7)

My Thoughts:  Great for our younger learners to use in Literacy & Math Centers!

By: Miss DeCarbo

Product Description:  Get your students to USE the text! Included are 44 text based evidence passages for your students. 22 high interest topics are covered. Each topic includes a nonfiction passage and a related fiction passage so you can pair the passages and help your students make connections across both genres. With the introduction of the Common Core standards, comes a big shift in students being able to not only comprehend text but use and state evidence directly from the text to support their understanding. These passages allow your students to build and practice this skill in a fun, engaging manner! ($7)

My Thoughts:  Reading passages for our primary/elementary readers with a great winter theme!  I like that it is text based evidence.  She also has more packets for all seasons!

By: Deedee Wills

Product Description:  Daily shared reading for January-common core aligned. Arctic Animals, Mittens, Penguin, and Snowman themed poems are featured. Common core standards aligned chart. ($10)

My Thoughts:  First off, 93 pages! I find it hard to locate poetry that we can analyze in class.  This winter poetry packet looks great for small groups or centers!

By: Amy Lemons

Product Description:  This winter writing activity can be used with students of many different ages! There is a title poster to display, 5 pages of winter cards to generate ideas, prewriting, template, and an example. ($2)  

My Thoughts:  Writing is always so great to utilize with a theme! I love Amy Lemons and her blog, she always does great job with her products. I love her penguin unit too!

By: Caitlin Cabby Kindergarten Smiles

Product Description:  An entire all around unit about penguins from Kindergarten, 1st, and Homeschool students. ($10)

My Thoughts:  I love the mini books, graphic organizers, and great detail that was put into this product!  Looks very well thought out and allows our younger learners utilize lots of skills.

What have you been enjoying for any Winter Themes?

13 January 2015

Reading Anchor Chart

I recently created anchor charts for various reading skills.  I have used these to introduce skills, display in the classroom for student reference, and to review skills.  These full page charts provide a bright title, definition/explanation, and a mixture of related images, examples, and further details.  I covered 29 different skills, and I hope I got them all.  (If you can think of another one, please let me know!)

There are two versions of this product.  One with a bright rainbow (chevron) background and another with an Ocean Waves background theme.  The rainbow theme is great for nearly any colorful classroom.  I created the ocean waves theme to match my ocean themed room.

I will be working on a packet for Figurative Language, Base Words, Text Features, and Parts of Speech.  

Click below to the packet you'd like to check out:

09 January 2015

Five for Friday

Five for Friday is a weekly teacher linky party where you post five random things from today or this past week and on your blog. Check out the linky party at Doodle Bugs Teaching.

Mmm... Cranberry Chicken Salad Wrap recipe!  I've been trying to prepare my lunch meals in advance in order to choose healthier options.  I love using Pinterest to find recipes and this one is quite delicious!  I love the sweetness with the dried cranberries.  However, I substitute mayo with 1-part light mayo and 1-part Greek Yoghurt.  

I've been pushing myself to workout more regularly.  I mainly go for a run between 2-5K, for at least 30 minutes.  (20 minutes on the day I'm slacking.)  You've got to mix it up and although I have the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (and know the awesome results), I'm more of a fan with follow along videos. YouTube is awesome for that and my absolute favorites are the ones at Tone It Up.  (Look up the Love Your Body Series!)

In February we're off to Japan for a few weeks.  We're spending a little over the week in Tokyo, then spending most of our time in the mountains snowboarding.  I'm trying to read up all I can on Tokyo traveling.  I really enjoy reading entries from a traveler's perspective in this case.  (This way I can check out things I enjoy as well.)  The Beautiful Day Blog's entry is my favorite! I can't wait to go now.  (I'm looking forward to Disneyland and snowboarding!)

Since we'll be traveling I'm looking for some backpacks to travel with.  I'm hoping to replace the need of a purse with a stylish backpack.  I wasn't going to bring my DSLR camera because it's so heavy, but in a backpack it'll do great.  Two straps on my back is much better than one strap across my body.  Loving this one from ASOS, and at $39 it sounds like a good deal!

I've been spending some time working on this packet for my TeachersPayTeachers store!  I used anchor chart last year to introduce the skill and display in class for the students to use as a reference when they get confused/lost. Look out for it in my store!  I'll be posting it soon, as well as the same packet with an ocean themed background.  I enjoyed this so much that I'm also working on a packet for parts of speech, figurative language, base words, and more!