My latest "Pinter-ations!"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

MEGA Back to School Sale from Educents!

Back to school is here for some of you and just around the corner for some!  I am so excited to announce that is having a HUGE back-to-school blowout sale and I am going to be featured in one of the curriculum bundles! From July 30 - August 2 (Wednesday - Saturday), they are bringing back all of their favorite and most popular bundles for INSTANT download at up to 77% OFF! There is something for everyone and it is their BIGGEST sale of the year! Take a peak into what is on sale! Tell your friends, because there is something for everyone who teaches children in PreK-8th grade!

Preschool Full-Year Curriculum Bundle - 72% OFF


Kindergarten Full-Year Curriculum Bundle - 75% OFF


K-2 The Write Stuff ELA Bundle - 68% OFF


XXXFirst Grade Literacy Bundle - 74% OFF


School Year Curriculum Bundle (Grades 2-3) - 74% OFF


Poetry Curriculum & Activities Bundle (Grades 2-6) - 75% OFF


Tricky Math Curriculum Bundle (Grades 3-5) - 69% OFF


Complete Full-Year Curriculum Bundle (Grades 6-8) - 77% OFF

Management, Decor & Organization Bundle - 76% OFF


I am excited to be a part of the First Grade Literacy Bundle! Seriously, there are some amazing packs in there!! I'm offering you my Rockin' and Rollin' with First Graders Literacy and Math Pack! You have to know that I am a child of the 80's and I LOVED making this unit and the title brought back so many memories!! Just look at the titles! How fun would they be to do and have in your classroom! Let me play some Journey while you look at some the pictures (not all centers are pictured here)! Ha!!


Don't Miss It!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How Do You Do Data?

Let's talk data. Student Data. This has always been an area that kinda rattles me. I am going to be honest! As a veteran teacher, I truly pride myself on being well versed (is there room for improvement? YES! of course!) in data--gathering data, providing instructional outcomes and assessments in order to get the data I need to drive instruction forward. A mouthful, right?? Then I take that data and put it into MY data binder (have you seen this one from my sweet blogger sis, Leigh, The Applicious Teacher??). I love this teacher data binder!  

However, in recent years there is something that has always haunted me in my Professional Developmental Plan! Student Driven Data! 

*How do your students keep track of their own data? 
*How do your students know how they are doing?
*Do your students create rubrics to help in their learning?

These are not the exact words used but you get the gist. What do you mean-- kids have to track their own data? 

*Some of them can barely tie their own shoes!
*We are still trying to walk quietly in a line, people!!! 
*Some kids are still trying to write on the line! 
*There are kids who do not even know my name! (ok, that's an exaggeration! LOL!)

Isn't that my job-- to keep track of data? Did you see my cute binder with all their data stored? So the answer to this question is a serious YES! I always got dinged for this particular area. So I began to look into student data and how my kids could track their own data. What were some assessments that we could easily track and not get overwhelmed where Mrs. Hamlin didn't have to go running for the nearest retail store (I believe in retail therapy!!). 

I LOVE Ulta!!! I wanna live there and try on lipgloss all day! 

Of course my quest began towards the end of the year when I couldn't really track that much growth but this upcoming school year, I will! 

Click on the picture to grab it!

I'm here to give you a brief low down dirty on these things! And as our year goes I will give you more insight, tips, and tricks as we go! I really think it's a learning process since our classes are all different! I'm not gonna lie-- it's a process! Blood, sweat, tears, some choice sailor words, smiles, triumphs, whoop-whoops, and hollers will occur! Hopefully more of the latter! It's a guiding principle that will stay with you ALL YEAR!! Your GOAL is to stick with it! 

Step 1: Define What is a GOAL? 

To start this process, I started out with my own little cutie! Gabriel is such a willing participant! Sometimes...We have been reading all summer and my one focus for him is fluency and accuracy! He is such a great reader, has super comprehension BUT he lacks focus sometimes. So to start out, I had to set the expectation of what is a GOAL. This is such a crucial step! I always involve literature of sorts into almost ALL of my lessons and one particular book that I've read. 

Cliche? Maybe... but in our reading, I always stressed that in the end, all the little engine wanted to do was to get up that hill! That was his GOAL! Once we established that we talked about our goal for reading fluency and how the need to read fluently and accurately will increase our readability, comprehension, and stamina! We discussed that you aren't always going to hit your goal the first time but it's important that you try to get close to it! 

Step 2: Let the students set their goals! What do they want to accomplish? 

This is important!! Let them take the guiding principal in their learning! Kids know what they know. If they don't  (like, the ones who say they live in mansion with a million bathrooms! Yeah, me, too, sweetie! LOL!), well, this is their time to shine or not. The purpose of goal setting is to get as close to the the goal as you possibly can given the tools and strategies taught to you. 

Step 3: Administer the Assessment

We have loved using Tamara's Fluency Packs! It's a must! This is what I used with Gabriel this summer but the assessment piece is all up to you. What are you looking at with your students? What data trends would be most helpful to them and you? What areas of growth do you see or areas of improvement are needed? I've given you tons of kid-friendly graphs to choose from and editable files to make your own. The possibilities are endless! 

Step 4: Graph and Reflection

Once they get the assessment back, IMMEDIATE feedback is crucial! In our case, I was able to tell Gabriel his score immediately but in a class of 18 or more that may not always be the case but you'll want to set aside time for them to take a look at their data and graph it and really look at where they are. I'll blog a bit later with the reflection piece and how to guide them in their thinking and how they can put into words how they can improve for next time! 

I am really excited about this project and know that it will benefit my students this year! This is a project that is so dear to my heart. I hope to have this posted soon and ready for back to school! 

I would love to hear if you do data notebooks in your class and how your class has responded to them! 

If you'd like to grab this, click here

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Livin' La Vida Las Vegas (well, vicariously! LOL!)

I am wishing I was in Las Vegas for the 1st ever TeachersPayTeachers Conference! I've heard that this place is amaaaaaazing! I had to bow out this year because my hubby got a new job with Jet Blue and he's in training and one of my BFF's is getting married tomorrow (on 7-11! EEK! So excited for her!!) so I am happy to vicariously live through the experiences of my Chalkie sisters and brother on their adventures. You'll have to link up with us on our FB or blog to see some pictures-- I know I will! I've always wanted to go to Vegas! :-) I think Jet Blue flies there.... hmmmm.... 

It's so exciting for them to meet up with teachers and bloggers from around the WORLD. How cool is that?! Not to mention, my girls (and Greg) from The Primary Chalkboard are there! 

If you can't be here with us, what better way to celebrate than with a SALE?! 
We are hosting a *Las Vegas Style* Double or Nothing Sale!

20% off my whole store July 10th and 11th!

It is the perfect time to stock up on things for Back to School! Click on any of the pictures to take you to my store! 

Rockin' and Rollin' with First Graders! A great way to start the year off! Includes literacy and math centers. 

My Wizard of Oz Decorating Set! Fun and colourful! Click here to see how I decorated my classroom and click here to follow my Pinterest board for the Wizard of Oz. 

Wizard of Oz Character Ed Program. A great matching unit to go along with my decor set. 

How Are You Going Home Today? Excellent for the first few weeks of school as students are getting used to dismissal-- includes an activity to help them remember how they are going home. Print, write, and go. 

I Mustache You a Question! A Getting to Know You games and activities. Who doesn't love mustaches? They are Greg's trademark! There is something inherently fun and fancy about them!! This is a fun and unique activity pack geared to help your students learn a little bit more about themselves and each other. 

An Apple A Day Literacy and Math Centers. Great for beginning of the year skills and a cute craftivity to go along with it! 

If you're in Vegas-- I know you are having a fabulous time!!! Cannot wait to hear all about your experiences and the sights! See you soon! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Vegas Week: Giveaways and a Sale

Hope you will join us on our Vegas Style giveaways week! Each day I'll be giving away some packs to help you along during the school year! Please submit your entries on my Facebook page! Super excited to see you WIN!!