About Me

I'm a mom, a teacher, a student, a wife, and a scout leader. I am actually an education major currently working on my practicum in a 2nd grade classroom. I also home school my two children. I'm also a cub scout leader, a girl scout leader, and at church I'm the children's music leader. ;) I tend to stay a little busy. My state requires homeschoolers to keep a portfolio. I am going to use this blog as my portfolio.

What am I?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fun Activities in Virtual School

 First off, to show off something incredibly helpful... I got a new laser printer!!!!! This has helped tremendously with all the printing. YAY!!!!
 My kindergartner has been working on numbers through 30. So, I made her a Math Dot Art wksht. If a number was in a certain range (1-9, 10-19, 20-29, 30+) then she had to color that dot a certain color. She was able to find a hidden picture. She thought it was pretty cool.
My mother in law virtual schools my niece and this is an activity she came up with for the girls to practice their sight words ---- Sight Word Twister. Cool! :)

 This is an activity I made for my 2nd grader to practice fractions. :)
My daughter practiced her addition and number recognition with dominoes.

For reading fluency, I recorded myself reading some of our books. I filmed my finger pointing to the words and was sure to get close ups of the illustrations as well. Then I created this book... front cover, reading level in both AR and Lexile and a brief description of the book. I also included qr codes to take the students directly to the video. I am loving this. It's great for centers or for the reluctant reader to read a book. The student is supposed to read aloud with me in the video and point to the words with finger, or marker if on a touch screen device. It's a big hit! ;) I'm still working on getting more options for them. So far there are only 6 books in it. haha! I'm getting there though. Hopefully during the summer I'll get a lot more. ;)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I hate options

I love being in the classroom and all the amazing ideas I am finding online on blogs and instagram. I think teaching is probably the best job in the world!!! I just wish I was going to do it. Yes, I said it. I virtual school my two children. I have a rising 3rd grader and a rising 1st grader. We public school from home. It's not homeschool so I don't get to plan our own lessons or come up with a curriculum or anything. It's just making sure my students do the lessons provided by the public school curriculum. Most of the teaching is online without me. So, I don't get my teaching bug out. I know, that sounds crazy. But, teaching is so fun!

Lately, I have been thinking about just getting certified as a teacher because the classroom looks so fun. However, I think by the end of the school year I may regret that decision. I also am not sure how that would affect my children, specifically my son. He needs the one on one attention. I worry that in a classroom his IEP would not be followed as closely as I follow it with 20 other children in the classroom. Nothing against the teacher but it's hard to give one on one attention to a student when there are 21 to 1 students in a classroom. However, teaching children is so fun! I do a lot of this stuff with my own children but it would be so fun to have the opportunity to touch the lives of so many children.

This is just me working through this. No real great info here... just thinking about what I can do. A friend told me I should have other virtual schooled children in my home and be their learning coach for a fee to the families. I thought that sounds plausible but not in this house. It's too small. Maybe eventually though. ;) Anyways... random thoughts of me. :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday Reads: Where Butterflies Grow

Where Butterflies Grow by Joanne Ryder

I actually got this book from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. If you have a child under 5 then I absolutely recommend joining that... a free book every month. Woot! I love free books.

The last science unit of second grade is on life cycles. We read this while learning about insect life cycles. While it doesn't give the correct terms the students learn in the unit it brings the whole process to life with very descriptive words and beautiful illustrations. The reader is told to imagine they are an egg under a leaf. Throughout the book the reader is told to imagine what it's like as they go through the life of a caterpillar and then into a butterfly. It's very beautiful and detailed. My children love it. I absolutely recommend this book for all classrooms. Like I said, it doesn't use the vocabulary terms the students use so review those as you read but it's just too beautiful not to use when studying a butterfly life cycle.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Teacher Talk: Making Words

My assignment was to create a Making Words Activity using Gunner's method. YAY! It was actually really fun!

The second grade class I'm working in have been working on vowel teams -- ee, ea, ow, and ao. So, I did the activity around words with these letters. ;)

First, I had to create it, of course. I made my lesson plans, letters that I cut out into little squares so the kids could move them around and create their own words, then I also made a worksheet for independent work.

Top paper is my lesson plan (the plan and the rubric was 3 pages long... ack!)  The left are the letters I cut out for all the students.... 11 pages of those. The right is the worksheet I made for ow words.

This is one set of letters. This is what they had to do... just create the words I told them to out of the paper letter tiles.

After each word, a volunteer wrote it onto the large writing pad at the front of the room.

This is one of the students' completed worksheet. Yay! The stars are not part of the worksheet... just covering the name. ;)

So, if you want to see or want your own copy of this activity then click HERE.

If you would like to see how this lesson goes in a virtual setting then click HERE. (This was really just me playing with a new app but, whatever. :) I'll post about that one later.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I love this. I wanted to be a teacher because of the example of so many other teachers in my life. They were amazing. I am so grateful I get to stay home and teach my own children. I would love to one day teach in a classroom but I'm not in a situation where that's a possibility. However, I hope my influence on my own children will be a positive impact, boost their self esteem, be a mentor, encourage them and that I'll be able to help them through difficult times. If not, I'm glad there are others out there who will be able to help them.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Brian P. Cleary

Must-Read Monday Linky

My sister introduced me to this author. You can see a list of his books on Amazon here. I'll focus on only one book but I think all of his books are probably amazing! :) I haven't read them all... only 2 of them but such a fun concept.

This is a very colorful book. The graphics are bright and fun to pull a student in and entertain them. Even the font is exciting. It begins by defining an adjective but then it goes on giving examples. It goes on with funny pictures and the text describes the pictures with lots of adjectives and rhyming words. Such a fun read and great way to show students what an adjective is.

I recommend these books and can think of so many uses for them. The author not only writes these for grammar but for math, science, and other language arts words like antonyms and such. Really cool. Below is a cute video some students created about the book. hehe! It's their own little adaptation.

I guess, overall, I'm saying I totally recommend these books. I think classrooms should use them, parents should get the ones needed, and home education families should have them. Luckily, our library has a lot of them and so does my sister so I have places to borrow it from. hehe! YAY!!! :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Manic Monday: qr Codes in the classroom

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

I am working on my practicum. I am lucky enough to be in an awesome class of 2nd graders with an incredible teacher. I have been learning so much from her. I needed to create a lesson that includes the instruction, guided practice, and independent practice. It had to be on phonemic or phonetic awareness. My teacher said it should be a lesson that can be taught in the dark. So, I tried to think of a way I could teach an independent lesson that can be done in the dark. Then, it hit me. Audio! QR codes! So.... here is what resulted in it. :)

It uses the book Can I Keep Him? by Steven Kellogg. It also aligns with Common Core RF.2.3.A. There are two sets of task cards... one uses qr codes and a second set that doesn't. ;) They are the same questions though. If you want this freebie then click HERE to download it.

Also, May 6-7 is a SALE on TPT. 20% off everything in my store and many others if you use the Promo Code TPTXO. My store is here.

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