Sunday, August 7, 2016

Back 2 School Giveaway

Is it that time of year already??
What better way to start the school year than with a TpT shopping spree and a gift card to purchase anything you want! (Like maybe those new shoes you wanted!) Earn entries by following my TpT store, my blog, and by sharing this giveaway with friends, family and followers on your own social media sites.

 This giveaway includes a $25 TpT Gift Certificate AND a $50 Visa Gift Card!!

Thank you for participating and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CONGRATULATIONS CATHY! And thank you everyone who entered my Back-2-School Giveaway!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dr. Seuss Themed Decor

As are some pics of the Dr. Seuss crate seats I created (see the post below this one on how to do-it-yourself).

With the extra material, I created a "READ" sign for my Dr. Seuss themed library:

Wood letters from Michaels (on sale for .99 each)...

I painted each letter in a Dr. Seuss themed color...

I cut out images from the extra material I had from the crate seats (above)...

I laid the images on the letters to see where I liked it...

Once the cloth images were placed where I wanted it, I pulled out the MOD PODGE!!!

I brushed it on the back of the cloth images and then brushed the images on the letters...

My first self-created sign! It's still a little wet, but I got over excited and wanted to take pictures to show my husband who was at work =)

My next Dr. Seuss project is a wooden chair and then a book shelf. If it comes out half-way decent, I'll post the pictures =)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Crate Seats for the Classroom

I decided to create those adorable crate seats that I see all over Pinterest for my classroom this year. I'm going to do a Dr.Seuss Theme and I'm so excited about it! 

I know, I know, It's JULY! School doesn't start until September!! 
But after 2 years of coaching Principals and APs, I can't wait to get back into the classroom with the kids.

As I shopped for the material, my 4 year old kept asking me, "Is that for me mommy? Are you making those for me?" How could I break her little heart and tell her it's for the kids in my class!? I COULDN'T! Soooooo, I asked her to choose the material she liked and had her help me make my first crate seat...for her =)

  • Crate: $3.97 @Walmart
  • 1 Yard of material: $5.47 @Walmart
  • Foam Cushion & Padding: (don't remember price) @Michaels
  • Wood (I purchased 4 pieces) $7 total @Home Depot (I brought the crate with me, they measured & cut it for me)
  • Staple Gun and staples
The crates at Walmart have the "lip" inside it where the wood can sit...not all crates have this so make sure you purchase one that does. Also, make sure when they cut the wood they leave a little wiggle room to fit the padding and material.

I laid the wood on the foam pad to trace...

My little peanut did the tracing...

So easy a 4 year old can do it...

I wrapped the foam and the wood with padding (the foam made the seat comfy, but the wood corners were still a little too pointy. Wrapping everything with padding made the entire piece softer to the touch)...

Next, I wrapped the entire piece in the material my daughter chose, and stapled it into the wood...


 Finished Seat...


Now that she's happy, I'll have her help me make my Dr. Seuss chairs and decorations! I'll post pics when I'm done...can't wait!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

PJ Masks Desk Plate FREEBIE

I'm taking on a new position this September...YAY!!! I'm so excited about getting my classroom in order and creating new things for the kiddos! I'm working on some classroom themed decorations and wanted to share this FREEBIE with all of you =)

I never embedded a pdf into a blog post before so I hope this it goes...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Checking for Student Understanding

The most effective way to assess student understanding is to do it while the lesson is still going on!

Asking students to fill out a questionnaire and then correcting misunderstandings during the next class period won't work because students have already moved on. 

You've got to take advantage of the moment (Teachable Moments)!

This goes far beyond just asking students to, "Put your thumb up if you understand, and down if you don't." Teachers should constantly be taking the pulse of the room in order to gauge whether or not students need additional explanations to grasp the content.

I have observed many classroom teachers across the city and found that most teachers struggle with Domain 3 of the Danielson Framework. Nine out of ten of my debrief conversations sound something like this:

ME: How did you monitor for student understanding?
TEACHER: I had the students complete the Exit Slip I created.
ME: Can I see them?
TEACHER: Sure, but I didn't go through them yet.
ME: That's ok, we'll look at it together.
TEACHER: (Takes out the student Exit Slips)
ME: Ok, let's organize these into piles: Correct, Incorrect, Some Errors (or any other way we agree on categorizing the student work samples)
ME: What patterns and/or trends do you notice?
TEACHER: More than half of the students answered incorrectly. I'm going to have to teach this lesson again tomorrow.

*The scenario above is a true account of a debrief conversation I had with a 6th grade teacher. However, I've had many conversations like the one above with teachers in Prek-8! Sometimes it's a Journal Entry that sums up the lesson, other times it's a Reflection Sheet. The above scenario could have been avoided if the teacher monitored for understanding DURING the lesson instead of waiting until the end to assess.

This is not to say that teachers should not have students complete an Exit Slip, Journal Entry, or Reflect on the lesson, but it's extremely important to understand the difference between a Formative Assessment and a Summative Assessment. 

When the cook tastes the soup - that's FORMATIVE
When the guests taste the soup - that's SUMMATIVE

It's ok to give a summative assessment at the end of the lesson, but what did you do during the lesson to ensure that the soup comes out the way you intended it to - before you serve it to your guests?

Formative assessments could simply be questions asked by the teacher to assess student understanding during the lesson. This also happens to be a very effective method of assessing student understanding during a lesson.
*This is sometimes mistaken by administrators who code it as low-level/recall questions, when in reality the purpose was NOT to challenge students cognitively but rather to assess understanding. But I'll leave that for another post =)

Please take a look at my Assessment in Instruction Packet. It includes Formative and Summative Assessments:

 You can find this in my TpT store: Assessment in Instruction

Sunday, January 24, 2016