Sunday, August 30, 2015

READ Stations for the week!

I just finished planning out my Reading stations for the week, and wanted to share! This week we will be practicing each station one day at a time. As a class, we will be working through R on Monday, EA on Tuesday, another EA on Wednesday and D on Thursday. Normally, I will be doing stations 3x/week, with the students doing each station daily for 15 minutes. The other two days will include extended independent reading, as well as other projects and activities.

Here is the overview for the week:

On Monday, we will be going over the procedures for R: Respond, Reflect, Revisit.

This station will involve students completing their weekly journal entries to me (a letter in which they tell me about what they are reading, and then a paragraph on their thoughts -- we will be practicing this together on Friday). This week, they will be answering a question about our current read aloud - Home of the Brave. They will answer the question independently, and then share with their groups. We will be practicing this together, and talking about constructive feedback, and how we can respond to each other.

Our EA station is Exploring Amazing Words.  

As a district, we use the Words Their Way system for spelling, and students are put into groups based upon their spelling level. This week, we will be doing an easier list together, again, working on procedures. We will glue our sorts into our notebooks on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, they will complete two activities from a Tic Tac Toe board (freebie on TPT!)

D is Duo Work.  

 This station will usually involve students reading a passage. It may be from our read aloud, or something we read together during Social Studies. They will work with the same passage for the week -- allowing them to become very familiar with it, and look into it more closely. However, this week, we will only be doing this station once. Students will be asked to read the passage with a partner, and answer questions -- highlighting the text to help them create in depth responses. Again, this week we will be doing some of this together to work on procedures and expectations.  

And there you have it!! Our plans for the week for Reading stations. We will be incorporating these into our workshop time. Mini lesson, independent reading, then stations. I'll be stealing some time from writing on the three days that we do stations, but I feel it will greatly benefit my students.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Math Stations - Week ONE!

I blogged earlier about how I am setting up my math class this year with stations. I have decided that we will jump right in on Week 2 of school and get these lovelies going! This week we are working on multi-digit multiplication. I quickly found out on Friday that my students didn't get as far as I had hoped last year, so we are spending more time on this concept than anticipated - but hey! That's the teacher life! Adapting to everything!

Okay - back to the stations. I have four stations going in my room. Each group will visit 1 station each day M-Th. On Friday we will have quizzes, tests, and other goodies (including working on the computers for Accelerated Math). My stations are as follows:

M: Math games
A: At your seat
T: Timed practice
H: Hands-on

Here is my overview for the week that will be posted on the group board.

Let's start with M: Math Games. This week: DICE DIGITS!
I am going to be using a FREEBIE for the worksheet portion of this station. You can find the freebie HERE on tpt.  

Up next is A: At Your Seat. This week is task cards around double digit multiplication. The cards I am using have QR codes on them, but I don't believe I will have them check their work this week. 
The task cards I am using can be found HERE (also a FREEBIE!) And they are so super cute!! I mean seriously - look at these cutie pie owls.

The next station is T: Timed Practice. This week they are going to be practicing multiplication facts for two minutes. They will then check their work and create flash cards for 10 problems that they got wrong.

Lastly, we have H: Hands On. This station is going to be the one that changes the most. Some weeks they will just have manipulatives to use. Other weeks, perhaps they will be on the computer. Some weeks will be a STEM type of activity. I am just going to roll with what I can find and create this year. This week, students will be making Cootie Catchers to work on their 8 facts. I found that this was where so many of them made mistakes this past week - so I want to make sure to focus on them this week. 

I got the cootie catchers as another FREEBIE (hey - don't judge, I don't get paid til next week), and you can find it HERE. It is super cute, and easy for the kiddos to do. 

Whoo! That is it for now. It is definitely going to take some planning, and some practice, but I am SUPER hopeful that my students will benefit immensely from this new format. Questions or comments? Leave em below!

Til next time -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bathroom QR Codes!

Hi Friends!

So I watched a periscope today by Miss Meg from Meg's New Box of Crayons all about how she uses a QR code to keep track of her second graders leaving the room...and last year she did it with firsties. Mind. BLOWN.

This is going to help me stay organized this year with my fifth graders. AND - they will want to sign out and in, because they will get to use the iPad to do so. Yep. does it work?

When one of my darlings needs to leave the room (bathroom, drink, nurse, office, etc...), they will grab an iPad (we have two in our classroom from DonorsChoose!) and scan the QR Code.

When they do -- the will see this!

The student will then choose their name from the drop down menu.

And then click on where they are heading.

Finally - they click SUBMIT. And off they go -- leaving the iPad in the classroom. When they click SUBMIT - their info automatically goes into a spreadsheet on my google drive, connected to the form.

AND did I mention it TIME STAMPS them?? When my little lovely returns from wherever their travels have taken them - they check back in - this time using the check-in QR.

Again - their info is added to a spreadsheet.
I am going to be able to easily see my frequent flyers, and those who take a crazy amount of time getting a drink. I will have that data handy for my data-driven-decision-making when I decide to chat with them about their time out of the room.

Plus - I think it is pretty cool.

Check out the youtube tutorial here from Miss Meg ---> CLICK HERE ---> if you want to create your own check in/check out system.

Til next time!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cardstock, Laminating, and Glue Guns OH MY!

I spent some time in my classroom today, and came home with my papers, laminator, glue gun, and got to work (during nap time of course!).

Check out these beauties...

Now what am I using them for? Well, let's start at the top.

M: Math Games
A: At your seat (task cards)
T: Timed practice
H: Hand's on

These are going to be on my bins for my math workshop. I got the idea from Ashlyn over at The Creative Classroom. Check her out here...
The Creative Classroom

For Math this year, I am thinking of the following schedule (we have an hour for math)
Whole-group lesson/discussion/practice: 35-40 minutes
Station Work: 20 minutes

During station work - the students will visit one of the above stations each day (1 day/week will be for extended practice, tests, and/or accelerated math work on computers). During this time, I will pull small groups of students for some additional instruction based on needs. Their station groups will be heterogeneous, where as the skill based groups may contain students from each group.

Breakdown of the stations:
M: Math Games
Students will play a math game related to the skill we are working on that week. These might be folder games, board games, dice games, cards, etc.
A: At your Seat
These will be task cards. I have a bunch in my wish list for tomorrow's TPT sale! Students will complete these and turn in their sheets for me to check.
T: Timed Practice
Our math fluency is timed multi-digit multiplication. Students will time themselves working on these skills, and others.
H: Hands-on
This station will be more performance task activities. I will also be trying to incorporate some STEM activities, and critical thinking skills. 

Now onto READING!
I also adapted this idea from The Creative Classroom and am so excited to use it for my fifth graders. I had tried the Daily Five before, in previous years, but just couldn't find a way to make it fit for my kiddos. I think this may be the solution!
R: Read, Reflect, Respond.
EA: Exploring Amazing words
D: Duo Work.

In reading, I only have a 60 minute block as well. This means that our read aloud will be pushed to a different part of the day. It also means that I will be stealing some time from our writing block 3 times/week. However -- I do not see this being an issue, since we will be incorporating writing and word work into reading.

My idea for a reading block schedule this year is:
Mini-lesson: 10 - 15 minutes
Independent Reading: MWF: 30 minutes TT: 45 minutes (extended IR on these days - no station work)
Station Work: MWF: 15 minutes during this period/30 minutes of writing block.

Students will go to stations on MWF. These three days will have them completing each station, each day. On TT, there will be no stations - but rather extended independent reading.

Breakdown of the stations
R: Read, Reflect, Respond
This is going to be different things on different days. Some days, students will have a reading discussion with their groups. They may re-read a piece we read together in the mini-lesson and analyze it. Perhaps they will fill out a reflection log -- or work on something in their IRNs (Interactive Reading Notebooks).
EA: Exploring Amazing Words
In my district, we use Words Their Way. Students will be working with their word sorts in the EA station - as well as other academic vocabulary. I also love LOVE LOVE Flocabulary, and will be using it again this year. This station could also include re-watching the Flocabulary lesson for the week and completing an activity.
D: Duo work
This station will also vary based on what we are working on. This may be a time for partner reading and working on fluency. Or partner discussions. 

Onto the names!
These clothespins with the names on them will be used on our closet doors in our classroom. I plan to hot glue them on, and put student work up on them :) I may have students choose their awesome work to put on their clip, or I may choose for them. I haven't quite decided yet -- but I am super excited to be able to showcase their work!

So that is it for now!
In the comments - let me know what you think! What are your favorite ways to organize stations? 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Nap Time Create Time!

I try to be as productive as possible while my goobers are sleeping! Today's project was designing and ordering (thank you VistaPrint for your amazing coupons!), my welcome to my classroom postcards for my incoming fifth graders!

The school I teach at is grades 5-8, so our incoming fifth graders are newbies to our school, and are usually a bit worried about what will happen. I am trying to ease their worries and let them (and their parents!) know that I am here for them and we will have a great year.

Check out my postcard!

Do you send a postcard, letter, or any other goodies to your new class? Would love to hear about what you do!


I was super excited when I jumped on IG today and saw that the fabulous, @farleyfarleyfarley had posted a "currently" just for IG use!! Woot woot!! So of course, I jumped on that and posted mine (follow me at @vaclavikk).
Here is my IG Currently:

So then I just had to jump over to her blog: ( ) and find the actual "Currently" post so I could jump on that!

So without further is mine!

These days Landyn is loving singing his ABCs and every other song he knows- he is so ready for pre-school to start and be able to learn and sing everyday! Have you ever frozen grapes? No? Well - you should. They are amazing. I am thinking of bringing the kids swimming today - that should surely get me off the couch :)
I can't believe it is already August and that means less than a month left of summer vacation! Where did the time go? Where did my sleep go? Oh yeah - my toddlers refuse to sleep late in the morning...plotting my revenge when they are teenagers :)
I am hoping to get out and get some school supplies to donate as well -- I know all too well how many kids come to school without the needed tools.

So that is it! Go on over to Oh Boy 4th Grade and grab your own currently! What are you up to today?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It's been a year...but I am BACK and determined!!

I cannot believe it has been a year since I last posted. Again -- life just gets in the way sometimes! But this time, I am bound and determined to keep up with this little blog of mine! I find it cathartic to just sit at my laptop and type, so here I am!

So what I have been up to? 

Well firstly - being a mom on summer vacation with these two goobers!

I also just got back from our international conference in Dallas, TX!! I had such a great time with my {JAMILY} and cannot wait til next year when it is in DISNEY WORLD!!


So, what is up next
I am going to be enjoying my last few weeks with my kids, keeping up with this BLOG, spending time with my hubs, making goodies for my classroom, and being the best Jam leader I can be! And YOU have a front row seat! Hope you enjoy everything that is to come!