Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teacher Week: My Classroom Digs

I must admit, I am not done setting up my classroom. We don't start until September 3rd and I have been in a week long training. I will get it done soon enough. 

I teach in a small neighborhood school in Seattle. We have about 350 students K-5. This year we are transitioning and co-housing with another elementary school for 2 years while our BRAND NEW building is under construction. Our school is also transitioning into an E-STEM school (environment, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), which I am excited about.

Anyways, here is a short video clip of my classroom. Please remember I am not quite done yet! I will post more pictures when it is complete.


Link up by clicking on the picture.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Teacher Week: Who

Back to school means TEACHER WEEK!  I am joining the fun with other fellow bloggers!

Here is a little about me. I grew up in California and moved to Washington State when I was 19 years old. Went to college in a small town and I did not have a great experience. I am a city girl afterall! After college, I moved to the big city: SEATTLE! My first 4 years of teaching was in kindergarten and last year I moved to 1st grade. This school year I will be teaching 1st grade again. 

To get a bit personal, I am going to share some pictures.

My niece and I

my furry babies

my best friends and i

My brothers, niece, and future sister in law

My boyfriend and I
To link up and join the fun, please click on the picture below.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tour of my Classroom

 Let me start off by saying I am not done with my classroom setup yet. I am just giving you a sneak peek. Things are getting done slowly but surely. I still have lots to do. This is just a quick glimpse of the work in progress. I have only worked on my room for 4 days, that means taking EVERYTHING out of boxes. Here is a brief history: our "old" school is getting built so we had to move to a temporary site. It was such a pain to pack up everything at the end of school year and then unpacking those boxes. So it took me a few days to just take all my stuff out of boxes. Oh well, I'm not complaining :) We are co-housing with another elementary school for 2 years while our new school is being built.  Enough talking...here is a sneak peek. No judging :)

Before pictures:



I will be posting more pictures when I get my classroom complete. We don't start until September 3rd so I have a few more days to complete my room.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Peek at My Week: Week 1

Here is a draft of my first week of school.  We do not start until September 3rd so I may or may not make changes to my plan. 

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Daily Five Freebies

Hi y'all. Currently I am in the process of reading the 2nd edition of Daily Five. I have found that implementing Daily Five framework to be very successful in both my kindergarten and first grade classrooms. Let me admit this, I don't do everything that the two sisters recommend. I make changes and adapt in order to make it fit for my classroom. For the past 3 years, I never gave students the opportunity to make their own choices about where to go for literacy. I, the teacher, would make the choice for students.  However, at the end of last school year, I gave students the opportunity to make choices.  The students were much more engaged during literacy because they got to choose where to go. I did however told my students that they needed to do iRead, a scholastic computer based program, everyday. I did have some sense of control :) When I allowed my students to make structure choices, I seen a lot of positive changes in my literacy block. I think for next school year (in a month or so), I will begin by telling students where to go for the first month and then move to student choices. I am crossing my fingers that it goes well.  To make the transition from teacher to student choice, I have made several things to help hold students accountable.  I made a literacy rotation check off sheet for every student. To download a free copy of this checklist, click here.

I am going to laminate these so students can reuse them every week. Here are some questions people have asked me about my literacy block:

What is your literacy block schedule?
8:45-9:00   Reader's Workshop Mini-Lesson
9:00-9:20   Rotation # 1
9:20-9:40   Rotation # 2
9:40-10:00  Rotation # 3
10:00-10:05 Closure/Share

How do you hold students accountable?
At the end of each rotation, students will mark their checklist.  Also, all of students "work" will be placed behind the checklist on their clipboard.

How often do you pull small groups?
I pull small groups during every rotation. I see my lowest readers every day and highest readers 1-2 times a week. Because I was blessed with a student teacher last school year, we were able to see all the groups everyday.

How do you launch your literacy block?
Hmm....I try to take away the memories of the first month of school. Kidding! We start off with read to self (suggested by the two sisters).  Then as soon as students build their stamina, I launch the next choice.  Remember, it is important to MODEL MODEL MODEL and step aside. I do not pull small groups until I know my students can be INDEPENDENTLY  during literacy.

To help build stamina, I have a poster size read to self stamina chart that I use to keep track. It is 18x24 so it is HUGE! I am all about making things electronically.  All I do is going to staples.com, print services, and upload this bad boy. You can print this at staples for only $1.79 by clicking on engineering prints! It is VERY affordable. Here is the link: http://www.staples.com/sbd/content/copyandprint/engineering-prints.html

If you would like a copy of this to print, click here. In order to use this, you will need to print on 18x24 size paper though.

Where do you get your mini-lesson from?
To be honest with you, EVERYWHERE. We did not have a require literacy program so I used a combination of CAFE, Teacher's College Reader's Workshop Curricular Calendar, and Common Core State Standards. We started off the year teaching students about CAFE strategies. I really like starting off with this because students had the opportunity to learn about reading various reading strategies.  Then after all the strategies were taught, students will set reading goals and pick 1-2 strategies to work on.  I created these reading strategies cards for my classroom.
To purchase the kindergarten CAFE strategies cards, click here.

To purchase the first grade CAFE strategies cards, click here.

Please let me know if you have any further questions! Happy Sunday!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Curriculum Map, Lesson Plan for First Week, Math, & Freebie

My teammates and I have met several times to curriculum map for the entire year! We completed the map for literacy, social studies, writing, and science. Because we are adopting a new math curriculum, we are waiting until we attend the training before we include it in our curriculum map. I am looking forward to next year! I am excited about my new team and feel like we are going to work really well together! Yay! In addition to curriculum mapping, we also lesson plan for the first week of school. I feel like I am ready to start next week even though we have about a month before school starts. I just get really excited! Here is a peek of our first week and curriculum map.

Amy Lemons from Step into 2nd grade with Mrs. Lemons has inspire me to switch up my math block for next year. This past school year we did a walk to math model so it was hard to fit everything in within an hour. We did it but I would like to extend my math block for a bit longer. So my plan for math block includes: 10-15 mini lesson and 3 math rotations. My rotation includes: work with teacher, math workbook pages (part of Math in Focus curriculum so we are require to do this daily), technology, and 5 various math activities/centers. Students will get to choose the math activities/centers but will need to go to technology (ST Math) and complete the workbook pages from our lesson daily. So they get one extra center to choose from (one of the five activities/centers).

In addition to our math block, I also incorporate number talks and math journal daily outside of my math block.  I created some number talks activities to use with my class.  If you would like to purchase, click here.

I finally got around to updating my book hospital label so I hope you enjoy this freebie. Click here to download. Thank you for reading!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Make It Monday

My first time joining the fun with 4th Grade Frolics for Make it Monday!

I have not done a whole lot of school stuff since we have only been out for 2 weeks. Within that two weeks, I have had trainings for 4 days total.  But here are my two latest creations inspired by Pinterest!

I have finally came around to creating myself a desktop organizer. My desktop was getting out of control! Here it is! I am seriously IN LOVE!

Okay...onto the next.

My next creation was inspired by Erica Bohrer. I don't know if you have seen her hand sanitizer on Pinterest but I decided to create my own labels to match my classroom theme next year, chalkboard!

This is her creation:

And here are the labels I created for my hand sanitizer.

Last made it Monday item is my newly designed lesson plan template. So last year I bought Erin Condren lesson plan book and found myself rarely using it. I hated myself for it since it was so pretty and expensive. I'm going to share with you a little secret, I rather type things up then hand write things. Hence, the reason why I did not use my lesson plan book. This year my goal is to make a pretty teacher binder and cute lesson plan template that I cannot resist! Plus we are now required to submit our learning targets weekly so an electronic lesson plan will be best for me.

Well I hope you are now inspire to create some stuff!!! I am heading out to enjoy the beautiful Seattle weather.