Saturday, March 22, 2014

Teachers Pay Teachers GIVEAWAY!

Happy Saturday Everybody!


I am participating in an awesome GIVEAWAY on More than Math By Mo's blog. She is celebrating the update of her awesome new blog by hosting a FANTASTIC giveaway. You have the chance to win over 35 products from some amazing teacher authors. There are three separate giveaways you can enter. Winners will be chosen this Wednesday and announced that same day.



I have donated my amazing Common Core Math Centers. It's in Giveaway #2 for grades K-2.

Check out Monique's awesome new blog design and enter to win!!

Have a beautiful weekend everyone!

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Five for Friday {Linky Party}

I am so excited to start today by being a part of Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday!

I wish I would have known about this earlier!! What a fun way to blog and see other bloggers' awesome posts.


So here we go...my 5 random things for this week!



I am still waiting for my baby boy to be born! His due date is March 31st, but man oh man, do I want him here already! I keep going into his room, looking at his cute little clothes and awesome crib. I can't wait for him to be here so I can hold him, dress him, and LOVE him! However, I should probably rejoice that I still have some time to rest, sleep, and nest. I will definitely post when he's born!




I have done a lot of updating on my TpT store. I updated a few of my first items that I had ever posted. I changed them around and added some cuter fonts and borders. I have definitely been taking advantage of the extra time being at home and resting. Check out some of my revisions here:
Figurative Language Fun Pack
Charlotte's Web Vocabulary Books
Mother's Day Writing Activity
Making Connections: Reading Strategies
Ticket Out: Formative Assessment
Common Core Writing Posters
Literature Circle Roles
Memory Books (End of the Year Activity)



My husband and I were excited to see that they are filming a new TV show down the street from our house. We can see the excitement from our window. They made the home look like "model homes" and added signs that made it look like a new community. Signs like, "No HOA," "Community Pool," etc. It's a new show they are doing for the network, FX. It's called "The Bridge." Seems like it is an interesting show. I am curious to see how their "model homes" look on TV!




So I have this HUGE craving for McDonald's. I really want a hamburger, fries, chicken nuggets, and some sweet 'n sour sauce. It's frustrating because I can't drive to Mickey D's to get it since I am not allowed to drive until after the baby is born. Everyone I know is working, so no one can bring me my craving!!!! However, my sister is on her way home from college today for her spring break. I may try to coax her into stopping by with some of this guilty pleasure. I know it's not the healthiest...but I can't get those salty fries off of my mind!



I really miss my students. I had to go out earlier on my maternity leave since I went into preterm labor. I didn't even get a chance to say bye. :(
I hope they're doing well! I have been keeping in contact with my long term and some of my friends at school to see how things are going. I miss planning and teaching. I hope my students know that I am thinking about them and I hope they are well!
I also miss my classroom and all of my fun teaching goodies. Can't wait to get back in my room and organize!
Until then, I will reminisce...



Thank you Doodle Bugs Teaching for having this awesome Five for Friday opportunity for bloggers!

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have a great weekend!
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Follow me on Bloglovin'

I just started Bloglovin' so I could more easily access all of the awesome blogs I follow. It's a really cool and easy way to get a glimpse of what everyone is updating on their blogs!

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/5801515/?claim=9kmbc85p63s">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Let me know what you think!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

FREEBIES!

So I have been editing, posting, adding, and creating some new FREEBIES to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. My goal is align these FREEBIES to the Common Core, and to give my followers a little glimpse of my teaching style. I added a page on my blog containing a link to all of my FREE products on my TpT store. I just updated my FREEBIES today...here's a list of my latest FREE items. I'd love to hear your feedback and input, either here through a comment or as a comment on my TpT store. Your feedback is super helpful and motivating! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Here are some of the FREE updated items:


Here is a sequel to my first font bundle. I have been having fun on 2ttf app for the iPad creating some fonts. I put 6 of my latest fonts onto a zip file that you download by clicking the link above. I am hoping to get better at this whole font creation thing...It's very addicting! I can't wait to perfect it and learn more about the font making process.

To give my followers and potential followers a glimpse of my Common Core Math Centers download, I have made one of the games a sample/FREE download. This will give you an insight as to what the other games are like. If you want to purchase FIVE other math centers for only $5.00 ($1 per center) just click here!

I have created 18 variations of a "ticket out" for students so teachers can assess their students' knowledge and feelings about the day's lessons. Just print, cut, and use!

This download helps your students with thinking in depth!
This download encompasses Webb's guiding questions for DOK in an easy to use format. Each level is accompanied by several questions. All you have to do is print the document on card stock, laminate for durability, cut, and group together. After you have assembled your cards, you'll have easy access to Webb's DOK and guiding questions to use during your lessons. You can group your cards with a ring, ribbon, or brad. Place in a good spot so you can grab the cards while you're teaching. Ask your students the guiding questions and help them think critically. You can even print more copies and distribute to your students when they're working collaboratively or even independently. The possibilities are endless!

I also updated my Literature Circle Roles download!
I updated the download with different fonts and borders. I also added a page for the "Stellar Summarizer" job so students have more room to write their summaries. Check out this download and see why it has over 9,500 downloads!

Have a beautiful day!

Happy teaching and happy FREEBIES!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Depth of Knowledge

Dr. Norman Webb developed a process and criteria for analyzing the alignment between standards and standardized assessments. Through this process, a body of work titled Depth of Knowledge (DOK) was offered. This model analyzes the cognitive expectation demanded by standards, activities, and assessment tasks. Webb grouped tasks to reflect a different level of cognitive expectation or DOK. 

He introduced four levels of DOK:
1. Recall
2. Skills and Concepts
3. Strategic Thinking
4. Extended Thinking

Webb also came up with different activities, questions, and resources to help teachers and students reach different depths of knowledge.


Here are possible products you and/or your students can produce for each DOK level for students to complete:
Level 1 Recall:

  • Quiz
  • Definition
  • Fact
  • Test
  • Label
  • Collection
  • Bulleting
  • Googling
  • Reproduction
Level 2 Skills and Concepts:

  • Illustration
  • Simulation
  • Presentation
  • Diary
  • Mind Maps
  • Blog Commenting
  • Interview
  • Cracking Codes
  • Sculpture 
Level 3 Strategic Thinking:
  • Graph
  • Checklist
  • Outline
  • Survey
  • Database
  • Report
  • Debate
  • Film
  • Animation
Level 4 Extended Thinking
  • Film
  • Story
  • Project
  • Plan
  • Game
  • Song
  • Newspaper
  • Media Product

Webb also lists potential activities for each level of his DOK. Here are a few of the activities your students can complete for each level:

Level 1 Recall:

  • Make a timeline
  • Recite a fact related to...
  • Report or present to the class
  • Retell in your own words
Level 2 Skills and Concepts:
  • Classify a series of steps
  • Write a diary/blog entry
  • Construct a model
  • Make up a puzzle or game about the topic
Level 3 Strategic Thinking:
  • Use a Venn Diagram that compares and contrasts two topics
  • Design a questionnaire to gather information
  • Prepare and conduct a debate
  • Write a persuasive speech arguing for/against
Level 4 Extended Thinking
  • Devise a way to...
  • Write a jingle to advertise a new product
  • Develop a menu for a new restaurant using a variety of healthy foods
  • Tasks that require students to make multiple strategic and procedural decisions as they are presented with new information throughout the course of an event 
For more information on Dr. Webb and his Depth of Knowledge (DOK) guide, you can visit:



I have a free download encompassing Webb's guiding questions for DOK in an easy to use format. Each level is accompanied by several questions. All you have to do is print the document on card stock, laminate for durability, cut, and group together. After you have assembled your cards, you'll have easy access to Webb's DOK and guiding questions to use during your lessons. You can group your cards with a ring, ribbon, or brad. Place in a good spot so you can grab the cards while you're teaching. Ask your students the guiding questions and help them think critically. You can even print more copies and distribute to your students when they're working collaboratively or even independently. The possibilities are endless!


Let me know what you think!

Happy teaching! :)





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Saturday, March 15, 2014

How to Deconstruct Common Core Standards

Using Common Core standards is something that is very exciting for me! I am very excited about all of the possibilities and ideas that come from using Common Core in the classroom. I feel the Common Core Standards help teachers become more creative and excited about implementing lessons in their classrooms. Deconstructing the Common Core and using the Common Core to create new units is hard work, but it definitely is worth it when students are using their critical thinking skills and are engaged in learning.

I wanted to blog about this to show you how I deconstruct the standards while I plan for my lessons. Deconstructing standards is a big project for all teachers, as we want to include more units/lessons that cross disciplines and encourage depth of knowledge.

Deconstructing the Common Core is something that is essential. One standard could contain 5 separate lessons. It is important to see the whole picture from one standard…you don’t just want to “cover” the standard…you want to “dive” into it!

After attending a few professional development seminars, talking with other teachers, and researching online I brought together the great ideas I found and complied them into a list of simple steps to help me deconstruct the standards.

Here is an example using an English Language Arts Anchor Standard:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.



·      Name the Standard
o   Write/type the standard out:
*Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
·      Key Terms
o   Write/type all of the key terms that students will need to know prior to your lesson with this standard. These should be terms that students need to know the meaning of and understand. If they don’t know these terms, they won’t be able to complete the lessons in the standard. You will need to make sure students have background knowledge on these key terms.        
*Text
*Explicitly
*Logical
*Inferences
*Evidence
*Support
*Conclusions
·      Actions
o   Now comes the fun part! Look at the standard and pull out all of the actions students will have to complete.
*Read closely
*Determine what the text says
*Make logical inferences
*Cite evidence when speaking
*Cite evidence when writing
*Support conclusions
·      Objectives
o   All of these actions will now become your objectives for your lessons. I like to use this acronym (I saw this at wonderful schools in the community where I teach, where hard working teachers are deconstructing standards daily) when creating objectives: SWBAT,  “Students Will Be Able To.” This helps me identify what students will be able to do during the lesson, after the lesson, and independently.
*SWBAT read text closely.
*SWBAT determine what the text says explicitly.
*SWBAT make logical inferences from the text.
*SWBAT cite textual evidence when speaking.
*SWBAT cite textual evidence when writing.
*SWBAT support conclusions drawn from the text with textual evidence.
·      Decide on Your Unit
o   From this one standard there are SIX objectives! You have SIX separate lessons that will help your students gain depth when learning how to reach this standard. Now you’ll have to figure out how you will incorporate these SIX objectives in your unit. This standard lends itself well to being taken across the disciplines. This standard can be used in various content areas, while still being a part of English Language Arts. As you know, make sure you’re using your grade level standards to go across disciplines. For example, I teach 2nd grade this year, so I would use my 2nd grade social studies standards (which are also deconstructed J) and implement this ELA standard into my science unit.  When you are using this standard, it is important to make sure you have resources available for students to use. You will obviously need text that supports the other standards that you using. If I were doing a 2nd grade social studies standard like understanding the importance of heroes from long ago, I would be sure to have materials about America’s heroes for students to research and use in order to meet the objectives I listed above for CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1.
·      Time Frame
o   You’ll also have to decide how long each objective is going to take. Is one objective a one-day lesson, two days, or three? Can you fit two objectives into one lesson if your students already have background knowledge? These are all things you can think about as you’re planning your unit. Think about your school’s calendar like minimum days, holidays, etc. Plan your unit to be consistent and something that won’t be interrupted, while also being sure to create a unit that goes in depth and doesn’t just cover the topic. Also, keep the key terms you listed before in mind as you plan your unit.  If your students don’t know those key terms, you may need a lesson or two on them before you dive into your unit! Here’s an example of my daily planner for this unit:
*Day 1:SWBAT read text closely.
·      Use different text on American heroes and demonstrate how to use reading strategies to read closely, sorting out information that is important about each text piece.
*Day 2: SWBAT determine what the text says explicitly.
·      Use the same text from the lesson before and demonstrate how to determine what the text says explicitly. Use a graphic organizer to help model to students how to sort out the explicit details from the text.
*Day 3: SWBAT make logical inferences from the text.
·      By using the same text and graphic organizers, demonstrate to students how to make inferences from the text.
*Day 4: SWBAT cite textual evidence when speaking.
·      Model to students how to cite textual evidence while speaking
*Day 5: SWBAT cite textual evidence when speaking (day 2).
·      Guide students into using what they learned from the previous lesson to create short speaking roles where students can site textual evidence while speaking.
*Day 6: SWBAT cite textual evidence when writing.
·      Model to students how to cite textual evidence while writing
*Day 7: SWBAT cite textual evidence when writing (day 2).
·      Guide students into using what they learned from the previous lesson to create short writing pieces where students can site textual evidence while writing.
*Day 8: SWABT support conclusions using textual evidence
·      Model how students can make conclusions about the topic while supporting their conclusions using text as evidence.
*Day 9: Independent or Collaborative Practice
·      Give students an independent or collaborative assignment incorporating most or all of the objectives from the past two weeks’ lessons. This will help you determine if students met the objectives from the two weeks of lessons.
*Day 10: Extension
·      On this day, give your students an extension project or assignment based on the past two weeks’ lessons. Encourage students to think critically and in depth. This can also be something that integrates another content area (if it makes sense) or some type of craftivity or art project to display students’ work.
*Day 11: Assessment
·      Decide what type of assessment you would like to use to assess if your students met the objectives. You can always have small assessments at the end of each lesson throughout your unit too.

So…deconstructing the standards takes a lot of work! But, in the end, it’s so worth your time and energy…especially if students are challenged, engaged, and having fun.

Here are the steps in simplified from you can follow as you map out your curriculum for the year:
·      *Name the Standard (s)
·      *Key Terms
·      *Actions
·      *Objectives
·      *Decide on Your Unit
·      *Time Frame

Now, some standards may only have one objective. Or there may be a standard your students have already mastered. If this is the case, you can group the standards to create a unit too! If you have three ELA standards that you have deconstructed, and they each have two objectives, they may make a great unit if you put them together. Obviously, you’ll want to make sure they make sense being in the same unit! And, you also want to make sure you don’t have too many objectives for one unit. The standard I deconstructed above would be good for one unit combined with one or two deconstructed standards from another content area. It’s all about your classroom schedule and how you want to structure your units and lessons.

Thank you for reading! I hope this post can help you! Leave a comment if you have a question. I’d love to share ideas and collaborate.

Happy teaching and deconstructing!



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Monday, March 10, 2014

Common Core and St. Patrick's Sale!

SALE TIME!

Check out my TpT store and save 5% on select Common Core and St. Patrick's Day items from March 11th through March 13th!

*Common Core Math Standards Deconstructed
*Common Core Math Centers
*Common Core Library Activities
*Leprechauns Pot of Gold Craftivity
*Story Mapping Booklet
*Ready, Set, PRINT! March

*Luck "OWL" the Irish!
*Happy Shopping and Happy Teaching!!

Have a great week! :)

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