Going on a Word Hunt...Nostalgia for 8 year olds

Going on a Bear Word Hunt
I'm going to link up with a new blogger friend, Rebecca at Ladybug's Lounge and show off my Word Hunt.  I found her blog and I think we have  A LOT in common, we both teach 3rd Grade in TX and we teach at similar schools.  Let's kick off her Linky, Link Up!!

A lot of my students this year are the same students I taught in PK and K.  Well, back then when they were 4 and 5 they loved to sing "Going on a Bear Hunt".  I was sitting in yet another wonderful meeting and I began doodling...I knew I needed to review vocabulary and I wanted to do it in a fun way.  I put our 6 vocabulary words around the room on bubbles (next time I'll do them all in the same color and maybe make them into the shapes of bears).
Remember, I said I was in a meeting?  Well, I made this worksheet gasp by hand and since I didn't get out of the meeting until 5, still had to make copies and pick up my daughter before 6...it's simply hand-written.
Of course, we had read our story and discussed our words.  I even went over a few of the answers out loud.  Then, we SANG!  I'm going on a Word Hunt...You can't go over it...You can't go under it...You have to walk to it...
The Word Hunt Rules.  You and your partner are hunting for words, so you want to be quiet so that no one else can hear your answers.  You are walking quietly so that you don't scare the words away.  Every score of 100 wins a hunting trophy (teeny tiny frog erasers I found at the Target Dollar Spot)!

It went AMAZINGLY WELL!  I only had 6 partnerships all day long that didn't get an eraser.

If you students need more vocabulary...these are things I do EVERY week to help my students.   You can click on the cover above and it will take you directly to my TpT store where you can grab this pack for $1.25!
This little piggy can't wait for Saturday Morning!


Anchor Chart, Puppet Show

So I made these Anchor Charts last week.  
I think they turned out really, really cute! 

Today my students LOVED making their Portable Puppet Shows!  

This little piggy got flowers today!  I have a great hubby:)


Made it Saturday: Personal Puppet Show

Today I'm going to teach you how to make a Personal Portable Puppet Show!  

You can use them in grades PK - 12!  The best part...once you make a class set, you can use them for years to come!     

Packing Tape/Duct Tape or a Stapler
File Folder

Fold Front in Half
Tape or Staple Sides (as close to the edge as possible)
Look at the top area of the fold.
You need to cut slits about 1/2 an inch from the edge.
Then, cut across.  Keep that scrap.
You're going to have 1 pocket and 1 opening.

You can use a hole punch to make holes or you can use scissors
to make slits.  Measure Ribbon or Yarn to make a "necklace".
This is the Final Product that you can use over & over again!  Now, how do the kiddos use it?  Make a Puppet! You can use the scrap paper (but you need all of it, this is 1/2 and it's too short) or a Popsicle stick.  
Next, Trim Paper and Design a Setting.  Slide the Setting into the Pocket.  
The Puppet goes in open area, so the student can move the puppet around.

Now, your students can use the front flap to demonstrate knowledge of the skill you're working on for the week.  This is an example of a summary, but you could easily do a story map, cause/effect graphic organizer, t-chart of fact/opinion or for lower grades students could draw all characters or write names of characters.  You can also use the puppet to practice point of view.  
Again, trim the paper.  Fold the paper in half and slide it over the open area.  

TA-DA!  A Portable Puppet Show!   I did not make this up, I saw a version of it a training a while back, then I saw it again this summer at a GT training by The Project Gals.  

This Little Piggy is Making 22 Personal Puppet Shows!


I've been a bad, bad blogger

It's been a l-o-n-g week!  I'm the ESL Chairperson on my campus and while I've had a sprinkling of ESL trainings in my teaching career - I have never been a chairperson.  The previous chairperson left in mid-year, so there is no one to ask questions of.  It's a lot of chicken running-around-with-her-head-cut-off type behavior on my part.  There are a lot of deadlines, everyone assumed I knew about and yet I had not one clue about them!  Well, I'm taking care of business on that front.

I've been a bad, bad blogger b/c my camera with new batteries sat in my purse all week!  Yeah, that was a smart move on my part.  We did a great activity in Social Studies this week and I'm kicking myself right now.  We were discussing Renewable and Nonrenewable resources.  My students did not understand the concept of nonrenewable resources, so we played a game that involved....popcorn!

I popped 3 bags of popcorn and put them inside a grocery bag marked TEXAS.  Each table got a lunchsized paper bag, I stapled a notecard on each one that had a name of a city on it and an amount.  For example, San Antonio had 1/2 a bag and Red Oak had 1/2 a cup.  I explained that my bag was full of nonrenewable resources and they would get as many resources as their city needed. Why would one city need more?  They got that if they had more people they would use more resources.  Then, one student asked, what if my city runs out of resources?  I said, that's a good question, what do you think you should do?  Someone says, "well I'd move to another table with more popcorn natural resources."
ah-ha moment!

So, we ate popcorn and when Red Oak ran out, they couldn't wait to move to San Antonio's table and eat all of theirs!  Of course, San Antonio wasn't happy about sharing.  I think everyone grasps the concept now.

By the way, my class did not win the PTA drive, but we did come in 2nd and my class got free snacks from the snack cart so they were not too disappointed.


Summary Freebie

One more freebie for the night...First, Next, Then, Last Summary
I will use this for my RtI students after we do a Somebody, Wanted, But, Then, So Activity with a story this week.  

Tech Freebie and Competitions

Do you see that EMPTY command hook on my classroom computer/s?  Well, I'm a month into school & it shouldn't be empty!  So, I made this freebie.  I'm going to link this freebie to 

Does your school do school-wide competitions? 
 I'm all about WINNING!   I love to be able to rub it in other teacher's faces!   For the past 2 years I've either been 1st or 2nd place for our BOX Tops Competition.  Last year my class, mainly me, my mom, my sister and my step-mom raised over 1,000 box tops! 
For Open House, we had a competition to see which classroom would have the most parents visit.  Perhaps in your school this would be absurd since 90%+ parents come to Open House, but in the past I've had as few as 3 parents show up.  Yes, 3.  
This year, my husband got sick, so I had to pick up my daughter from preschool/daycare, grab her dinner and get back to school by 5:00.  When I got there at 5:03, I had 3 parents waiting at the door!  Whoop!  I won, I won!!  I love to win.  Right, now we're doing a PTA Drive for a Pizza Party and guess whose in 1st place?  Me, yup!  In fact, I had 3 parents walk their $5 into my classroom and hand it to me directly saying that their child has been begging for PTA Dues.  Tee-Hee-Hee!  What can I say?  I love to hear my name on the morning announcements!  
This Little Piggy is Writing Lesson Plans Allll Day Long!


Pink Piggies, Grammar and My Teacherisms

Oh My Goodness, don't you just love this new blog?  The pink piggies are perfect for me!

I'm not a huge grammar freak (which is odd because I'm pretty good with grammar), I'm more into the ideas aspect of writing.  But, I'm trying to do a better job at teaching it this year.  Today we used Runde's Room Lang Arts Cootie Catchers (I got a great deal on these at the B2S sale).  My kids loved, loved, loved them! In fact, I didn't hear one student get an answer wrong!  First, we watched a video on making cootie catchers, then I modeled how to make one, then I made one step-by-step with the class.  

When pretty much everyone got finished making their cootie catcher, I had a student come up and we modeled how to use them and the questions to ask.  Then, students got 5 min or so to go around and ask students questions.

I finally got these cuties laminated!  I love them and completely forgot where I got them from (please let me know if they are yours).  Our school went on a learning walk last year (or the last) and I watched a teacher use them, I thought it was genius!  I downloaded, laminated, added a magnet and Voila - now I have some too!

I wanted to show off my first anchor chart of the year.  I copied it from pintrest, of course.
Oh yeah, I really want to link up with Luckeyfrog's Lilypad.  It's all about our teacherisms - you know those things that you say over & over and eventually you hear a kiddo say it and almost spit your coffee on the floor!  

So my biggest one is, "This isn't Burger King, You don't get it Your Way."  
When we're doing oral questions, I say "That's a 100, Kiss your Brain!"  Today I heard a kiddo say, "I bet that's a 100, but wait to kiss your brain until we know for sure." LOL
I also say, "Let's Read Like One Big Happy Family." I often hear this when my tables are reading together or during buddy reading.  

This Little Piggy is going alll the way to bed!


Extreme Make-Over, Bloggie Style!

Yup, I'm getting an Extreme BLOGGIE Make-Over!!!

I made a well-thought-out decision this morning to change my blog name.  Since I began my blog, I really wanted a professional, reasonably priced blog design that worked for me and my blog name.  I couldn't find anything that "felt right".  If you remember, a while back I entered a contest for a blog make-over, but didn't win.  I kept my eyes open and I fell in LOVE with a blog design from Honey Bunch Blog Design and I am making some changes to fit the design.  It's perfect for me.  I just love it and I think the new name is quite cute.  Keep your eyes open for my make-over!


The new, improved clip chart; creativity

The New & Improved Clip Chart
Well, the clip chart isn't new at my school.  We've used the system school-wide for atleast 3 yrs.  We had 4-5 steps and everyone started on green and would move down.   This summer, while blog stalking I found the new move up and move down clipchart.  I really liked it b/c I thought it was colorful - yes I know not the best reason to choose a classroom mngt tool!  Turns out my team agreed to use it.  Seriously, not one day goes by that we don't have someone ask us about it and/or one of us doesn't comment on how much we love it.  The kids are doing so well!  Honestly, I only had 2 kiddos in my homeroom who moved down all week long!!   DISCLAIMER: The pic isn't a true example of behavior.  I needed to take a pic for this post and everyone was already back on "ready to learn", so I asked one of my little friends to move the clips around, I took the pic and when I got home realized she moved way more down than up.  Sorry!!!   During the day the students constantly are trying to clip-up!  If any student gets to purple in any of our 3 classrooms, they get a prize right away!  My team agreed to this.  We give out crazy straws, hershey kisses, pencils, erasers, granola bars, 10min. computer time passes, library passes, stickers, bubbles, etc...  I've had many teachers who has stopped to ask/comment about the chart.  I always direct them to Teachers Pay Teachers so they can find one to match their classroom theme/design.  I like the idea of positive reinforcement rather than negative. 

This week each group made their own graphic organizer/story map for First Day Jitters.  
 I teach 3 reading classes and you can really tell who can think outside-the-box and has creativity with the very first project!  In my 1st class of the day, 4 out of 5 groups copied my layout directly from the board.  In my 2nd class only 2 groups copied directly from my example and by the end of the day, in my homeroom....1 group!
These 2 groups were so creative!  I wish I would have remembered to take pics of the final product.  One group used each persons hands' and put their information inside the hands!  Wow, it looked awesome.
Another group used FRAMES around their titles and they turned out amazingly cute.  This poster was oh so organized and very neatly written.  In fact, it was neater than my very own example!!  Next time, I promise pics of the final product:)


FREEBIE, Types of Sentence Bookmark

My newest creation

If you click above, it will take you directly to the google docs!

Linking to TBA's Open House

Day 1 - Meet the Teacher!

Me, I'm Deniece.  At home I'm Mommy to my 3 year old little girl.  I'm Wife to my husband of 6 years.  We have grand plans to retire in the Texas Hill Country.  He promises that I can get a baby goat!  We can't wait.  In the meantime, we try to get out to Fredericksburg as often as possible.  I'm addicted to Soap Opera's.  I miss AMC something terrible.  My summer just wasn't the same.

At Work, I teach 3rd Grade Reading.  I've been at my school since it opened (that is saying a lot in a district with major turn-over), this is year 7 for me.  I've been teaching 9 years total.  I've taught all grades PK- 7 except 1st and 4th.  I hated disliked 6th grade.  I really like 3rd grade.  I love being departmentalized.  I'm known for being "crafty".  Lots of people come to me for ideas or as a springboard for their ideas.  I like that;)  My teaching philosophy is to use hands-on lessons and group work to allow students to explore ideas with eachother.  I don't teach in a perfect little red school house with perfect children.  I teach in an old leaky building where kids deal with adult problems and some don't know the difference between good and bad choices.  Some days, I want to pack my bags and run screaming from the craziness, but I am often reminded that God has a plan for me and that I am where I am supposed to be.