Monday, October 10, 2016

A Teacher's Trick for Modeling Think Alouds

Raise your hand if you use thinking aloud as a strategy with your students!

I do!
All. The. Time.  

I think aloud during reading, math, science, social studies... solving behavior problems.  I often worry that my students are missing the point.  I wanted to create a cue that would remind students of when I was sharing what was in my head, and when I was really talking.

I like to use a lot of visual cues with my students so I decided to create a 'thought bubble' to hold above my head when I'm modeling my think aloud.

To create my 'thought bubble', I purchased a gold paint pen, black poster board and some wooden dowels.  I also found a super cool gold marker that had a blade already inserted in the tip that was awesome but proved difficult to use for this project.

To begin, I hand drew a thought bubble and a speech bubble on the black poster board.  I cut it out and used the gold paint pen to outline the bubbles in a thick line to make it stand out. I ended up going over it several times to get the gold nice and thick so it would stand out!

While I try to have neat handwriting, there is no way I could write words on the bubbles neatly.  Using a font from Teach123, I printed out the words "I think..." and "I say...". Using the fancy trick of penciling the back and rubbing it on the black poster board[KK1] , I was able to transfer the words to the poster board. 

First, I turned the paper over so I could see the blank side.  Next, I took a pencil and heavily shaded an outline of the letters.  It helps if you place it against a window so the sunlight shines through and you can see.  For the best results, be plentiful with the pencil to make the transfer easier to see.  Then, I turned the paper over and placed it on top of the poster board, with the pencil side down.  Last, I used a wood stick to rub the text and transfer the pencil to the poster board. 

 Using the gold paint pen, I traced the letters a few times until they were nice and thick.

I hot glued dowel rods to the back so I could hold them in one hand while I'm teaching.

In hindsight, I wish the speech bubble was a little smaller.  I had to do some complicated dowel gluing on the back to make it support itself.  The thought bubble turned out perfectly!

How do you use think aloud as a strategy?  I would love to hear about it!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Five for Friday- October 7

Whoop Whoop!  Another fun filled Friday night!

I work with a whole bunch of YOUNG people, and I love them dearly... really I do.  However, they go OUT on Fridays..  I'm barely awake!  I don't get it!

I am staying up late enough to hook up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday though!

One of my sweet students from last year made me these flowers this week!  She was so precious.  She carried them down the hall like she was in a wedding!

I was very fortunate to teach this child twice.  I taught her in Kindergarten and then she was placed in my second grade class.  We have such a special bond now!

A former colleague surprised us with a visit today! Only one person knew she was coming and everyone else was so surprised!  Y'all- I CRIED!  She always reminded me so much of myself and I've missed her terribly!

I was supposed to take my son camping this weekend with CubScouts... but there's a hurricane a-comin'- so the trip was canceled.  

One of the other scout moms sent me this picture!

I was looking forward to the trip, but I'm glad we postponed it!  I would rather get another Polar Bear Patch for camping in temperatures that drop below 32 degrees than fight AquaMan for a camping spot!

We are starting a new program next week.  Second Steps is a Social and Emotional Learning curriculum that I am really excited about.  It has 22 weeks worth of lessons that teach everything from respect to empathy to problem solving.  I plan on blogging about the journey, so make sure you follow me if you want to read about it.  I'm excited because I have never taught an actual social skills program but I'm beginning to think it should be required everywhere.

I'm WAY happy to announce that I have opened up a store on Boom Learning!  Boom Learning is a new digital learning site that allows you to assign decks of cards to students.  It is a paid site, but you can give your students different sign-ins and assign them desks of cards to work through.  After students work through the cards, you can access a report that will give you information about how they did on each assignment.

You can assign decks of cards to students.  When they finish them, they are awarded with badges, gems and coins.  


This is a screenshot of the report for a profile I set up under my son's name so I could practice using it and check out how my decks of cards turn out!

If you're interest, I would appreciate your help!

First, sign up with my referral code by clicking here!
Second, check out my free deck and give me all the suggestions you can!  You can find it here!

That was my week!  How was yours?  I would love to hear from you!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Five for Friday 9/23/16

Ahhhh Friday!  How I adore you!  Another Friday evening spent in bed, binge-watching TV shows to clear the DVR.  It doesn't really sound exciting- but I have no complaints!

Here's to Friday and another link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Tonight's binge-watching series is Good Eats!  It's a pretty old show by Alton Brown where he explains the science behind recipes.  Each episode has a theme and right now I'm learning all about vinegar!
 Alton is one of my favorite chefs and I really enjoy watching.

I recently signed up for Kindle Unlimited and I LOVE that I can get Kindle books with Auldible Narration.  Obviously, it's not every book, but I have found a wide selection.  I'm listening to The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson right now and it's really intense.  I have the app on my phone and can download, pop in my ear phones and play.  I listen while I exercise.  It's a great motivator- especially now that I'm toward the end of the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm participating in T-A-G Day tomorrow!
I'm putting all of my "All The Leaves are Falling" math centers on sale along with giving away one copy of the word problems activity.
You can find the 3rd-6th grade giveaway here!

Tomorrow is Everybody's Day in my little town.  Everybody's Day is the oldest festival in NC and was created to celebrate- well, everybody!  It began in 1908 and was created as a way to bring the people of Thomasville together.  I look forward to the event every year and I can't wait to go tomorrow.

That is all.

Leave me a note and say hi!  What are you reading? Watching?  Celebrating?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Give Away Time

Oh My Origami!  Check out this give away!

Kinder Teamwork has reached 1,000 followers and is hosting a give away.  She's super sweet, so I've helped her out!

Enter to win one of FIVE prizes!

What?  Five?

Yes!  FIVE!

The grand prize is an Origami Owl lanyard with little school decals inside and a gift card.  You can also will one of the other FOUR gift cards worth $25.00 from TPT or Really Good Stuff. It's perfect for Back to School!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Five For Friday! Last week of Summer :(

I had work days last week, but this weekend is my last official weekend before school starts!  So here is my Last Week of Summer Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

My school is doing a Hollywood theme this year.  I decided to have a photo booth with a gold background, props and a digital camera.  While parents were filling out paperwork, students could take pictures.  The teachers loved it too!

I bought this clip art to make the props.  I printed the ones I liked and attached them to straws.  I also had some hashtags available.

My brag tags, which I'm calling Bullpup Awards to fit our mascot AND Hollywood theme were a big hit.  I have a growing bundle in my store if you are interested!

The tags are available in color and black/white.  I'll be adding to them through out the whole year!

 If you saw my post yesterday about MascotGo you have already met my new assistant!

This is Marty McMeow and he joins Anakin PawWalker as the 2nd furry friend.  I never planned on having 2 cats but while I was on vacation, Anakin got out.  My neighbor told me got hit by a car :( so I adopted a kitten that had taken up residence in the bush by my front door.  About a week after Marty came to live with us, Anakin walked his happy tail into the front door when I went out one morning.  So now, I'm the happy mama of 2 furry babies!

I'm so tired.  So. Tired.

How was your week?  I can't wait to hear how it went!

Thursday, August 25, 2016


If you haven't heard, there's a BIG Pokemon craze happening right now!

 Before I really get started sharing, I want to clear something up.  I am NOT creating, or giving away, Pokemon materials.  Why?  I don't own it OR have the rights to produce materials with Pokemon images.  I have seen a TON of products out there and while some of them may have rights to create and sell Pokemon products, I'm willing to bet the majority do not.  I'm not willing to risk my integrity or my business by creating Pokemon products!

(Please excuse me while I jump off my soap box!)

What I do have, is a way to engage your students by linking in with something they are most likely familiar with and excited about.

I had no plans on playing PokemonGo until I learned about the company Niantic.  Niantic is also the creator of an app called Field Trip.  Field Trip is a locating app in that it gives you locations of places to visit based on where you are physically standing, including historically and culturally relevant landmarks.  I also knew that my students would be into PokemonGo and I wanted to experience it so I could relate to my students.

So guess where the PokeStops and gyms are?

You guessed it!  They are located at cultural and historical locations and landmarks.

I started playing in Alabama while I was attending Space Camp and was blown away by all the things I learned that I would not have been aware of had I not been playing.

That's also when I had the idea to bring the concept off the screen and into real life.

Just as a warning, this was a pretty complicated process that required help from my new assistant!

Not really, he's just precious.  His name is Marty McMeow and he is about 6 weeks old!

I went to the local Mighty Dollar and found a bucket (red=my school color), printed a picture of my school's mascot (bulldog), and dug my black glittery duct tape out of the craft box.

After laminating the picture, I used tape to attach it to the red bucket.  I also used the glittery tape to create some lines on the bucket for decoration.

This will be used to play a game I call BullpupGo!  Students will receive a small slip of paper with a problem or task on it.  After solving the problem and having it checked for accuracy, students will crumple the paper into a ball and try to toss it into the bucket.  If they get the ball in the bucket, the "catch" a prize-  which will be a sticker, brag tag or pawbuck.

That's my idea for incorporating popular culture into the classroom-- what new ideas do you have?  Tell me all about them in the c

Thursday, August 18, 2016

First Day of School Hugs

Two years ago, I switched from Kindergarten to 2nd grade.  Suddenly, the 3rd grade testing got very, very REAL.  On the first day of testing last year, I had a spur of the moment brainstorm!

I created a sign above my door that said "Free EOG Hugs here!"  It was a bit on the cheesy side and I wasn't sure how they would react to it... but they LOVED it!  Kids I didn't really know where coming in for hugs and words of encouragement.

My sign last year was crudely hand drawn... but this year I am going to be prepared!

I am creating, ahead of time, a set of Free Hug signs that I can post above my door, where I stand in the morning.  And I'm sharing them with you!

Click on the image below to download a Back to School Sign for free!

How do you encourage your students on the first day of school?

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