Thursday, August 16, 2012

To do lists

I made this really cute To Do List frames I saw on Pinterest for myself and my 4th grade team.  I tried to personalize them a little.  Ms. Pardo's favorite color is pink, Ms. Reynero just adores elephants and I dance flamenco.  They were really easy to make and were very inexpensive.  I hope my team likes them.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Teacher Binder For Organization

So I finally got around to working on my Teacher Binder.  Since my theme is "The Olympics"  I changed all my Binder Cover sheets for my teacher binder.  I know a lot of stuff can be kept on file in my laptop, but many papers are hard copies that I prefer to have in a binder.   I don't have a fancy graphic design computer program so I just used what I had.  Here are some pictures of what my binder cover sheets look like for now.  I know they aren't that fancy, but if you want copies, just let me know and I will send them to you. 

 This is the cover of my 4th grade binder.  Going for the Gold!

 My Olympic Line up otherwise known as Table of Contents

Behind this cover tab is where I will put all grade level information such as grade level meeting minutes, field trips, fundraisers, etc.

This is where I will post all my classroom information such as hard copies of parent letters or any special information pertaining to my classroom only.

This is where I will post all my student information under the Olympians Info "Our Awesome Athletes"

State Standards for 4th grade for all subjects will be behind this tab

"Tracking our Data and Persuing Gold"  is my next tab.  This is where all of my data for my students will be.  I think I am going to need a thicker binder.

Here is where I'm posting some great strategies that I can use in my classroom, I have higher order thinking stems, vocabulary and reading strategies, etc. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dual language links

Some websites that I found to possibly use in my dual language classroom.  I will add more as I find them.

Dual Language Links

Brain Breaks Instructions

Brain Breaks Now that you all have the link to generate the brain breaks randomly here is the explanation of the brain breaks. Let me know if I need to clarify any of them. Thanks and enjoy!

Brain Breaks! Good for the brain GREAT for learning!

After attending two of Eric Jensen's conferences I know more than ever how important it is to incorporate brain breaks throughout the day in your classroom.  Changing states is important to learning.  I used several brain breaks last school year and it was a lifesaver.  Students and parents loved it.  I could see kids giving themselves those quiet brain breaks during the state test last year.  I know some may not believe me, but I had a handful of discipline problems (most happened outside the classroom) and I attribute some of that to these brain breaks.  The kids also knew when it was time for one and they would come up and ask me if we could take a brain break.  They loved them and it took less than three minutes every time.  Think of those three minutes as an investment in having them engaged for more time than you would otherwise. Do not take too much time teaching these brain breaks, just explain real quick and then do it.  I am compiling a list explaining the brain breaks which I will post real soon.

I was on pinterest the other day and I saw an idea of putting brain breaks on popsicle sticks to choose randomly and then I got an idea.  Why not put the names of those brain breaks on a random name generator and use technology?  I went to Super Teacher Tools and started plugging away the names of some of the brain breaks (more will be added later) for the random name generator.  Let me know what you think.  All you have to do is go to the random name generator and plug the names of the brain breaks that you would like and voila, you have a random brain break generator.  In case you haven't used this site, here it is and Enjoy!

By the way, the above link is also great for randomly calling on students and forming groups!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August Currently

I know I am a little late on this, but here you go!  I am linking up with Farley in 
Oh'Boy 4th grade for the August Currently.  Our summer days are numbered now!!  Enjoy! :)

I know I broke a rule and posted 4 I hope I don't get in trouble with the teacher! LOL  I team teach and I teach Reading and Writing so I have 40 students.  I can't have all 40 share the same desk and so I use those magazine files for them to put their reading and writing journals, supplies and books in there.  I need a new desk organizer because my old one broke as I was packing at the end of the year.  Borders:  well you can never have too many borders.  Finally a Cricut Machine!  I always borrow my friend's Cricut Machine and I so want one of my own!  I am finally going to get one in a couple of weeks for my birthday and I can't wait!

Rock Star Theme 2011-2012

Just here reflecting on this last year of teaching.  I came upon these pictures of when I was setting up my classroom for the 2011-2012 school year.  I wish I would have taken more pictures at the end of the year to see the beginning and the end.  I will do that this year for sure.  I had a Rock Star Theme and I loved it.  I'll post more pics if I find any.

I used plastic table clothes as a background for the plain white walls.  This is where I posted my anchor charts for reading.   
The purple bulletin board became my Data Board and my objectives were posted on a Thinking Map.  

On the map titled "World Tour"  I would post with a colored thumb tack places mentioned in books we were reading.
Half of my reading library is shown here.

I posted my Alma Mater right outside my room!!  NMSU Aggies!!!  Focus my students on being college ready!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My classroom theme!

I am really excited now!  I finally decided on a theme for my classroom and I am sticking to it.  I have gone back and forth many times with it, but I'm sticking to an Olympic type theme for the year.  Our school theme has to do with being a champion so it will fit right in.  The reason I was wrestling so much with the idea was because the Olympics end before school even starts and it doesn't last all year.  With all this in mind, I know I can make it work.  Now that I have my theme set in stone I can start working on what I am going to do for classroom decor and such.  I will keep you posted.  I know I started my blog and went MIA, but I will be back real soon with great things I hope!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Eric Jensen

I will be attending "Teaching with the brain in mind"  with Eric Jensen all week long.  Today was Day 1 and it was amazing.  Last year I attended "Teaching with Poverty in Mind" and I used a lot of the strategies that were given to me and I had such a successful year with all the brain breaks, changing mind sets, calling attention to students, rewards, etc.  I can honestly say that this has changed my whole way of teaching and I am excited to see what this week holds for me.   Today was pretty much all about the brain and how it works.  We were able to "magically" learn/memorize all 14 of the key principles for learning just by having some simple triggers.  The 14 principles are uniqueness, labels & properties, emotions, attentional & input limitations, adaptive & flexible, rough drafts, prediction, environments, body-mind integration, malleable memories, perception/not reality, social conditions, developmental stages and meaning making.  It is so interesting to see how the brain functions and I can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store for us.  Here are a few of the posters that were posted.

 This is so true!  Repetition is important and students should be the ones being active in their learning.

Great Posters for the classroom and especially to put up while doing staff development.

Emotional States can change and I will post more about that later.

I'm making one of these for the classroom!

I'm putting this up as well

Friday, July 6, 2012


Here is my first Currently item which I got from Farley who has an awesome blog!  Go to the following link to get yours!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

More tidbits of me

This is my wonderful most awesome Co-Teacher Mr. David Nungaray and myself.  It was such an amazing experience working with him in the 2011-2012 school year.  It was a year to remember and our kids were absolutely the best!  David is a Teach for America Alumni now that he was with us for two years.  David will now be working and mentoring more new Teach for America Corps members this upcoming school year.  We are going to miss him a lot but I know we will keep in touch and I wish him the best.

Towards the end of the year my class and I had the privilege of working with Doc Edwards and The Edwards Aquifer Authority on a video about the Edwards Aquifer titled "History of a Rock Star".  My kids had a blast filming the video, they told me they felt like real "Rock Stars", especially the last day of filming when they brought in a live rock band and the kids got a chance to be groupies and Bum Rush the stage (Bum Rush?  I think that's what you call it).  I can't wait for August when the video is released.  I will try to figure out how to post it here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My first blog attempt

I opened this account in January but was never too sure if I should do this until now.  I'm a rookie at blogging, but I thought I would give it a try.  Now that I have been off for 4 weeks, my days are starting to blend together and believe it or not I am so ready to start school.  There is only so much of daytime television that I can handle.  I'm reading three books at a time and can't commit to just one right now. So this is what my crazy yet boring summer is like.  Don't get me wrong I'm enjoying it, we need this break so that we can be ready to run full speed ahead when school starts.
I've been going crazy on Pinterest just pinning away all the great ideas that I can find for my classroom.  So far I have way too many pins so now I need to slow it down some more and actually put those into action. After this 4th of July week I'll be putting my plans into action and also posting lots of pics.  HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY EVERYONE!!