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Peek at our...Month

This was a crazy week Month!  There was no school on Monday (Columbus Day).  On Tuesday, the local fire department was there all morning.  They did a 45 minute fire-safety presentation and then K-2nd grade classes went outside to check out the fire trucks.  The kids got to sit in the back of a truck and go in the ladder.  They LOVED it.  

After the fire safety assembly, the students wrote thank you letters that we put together into a book: 

*Morning Work*
I hate doing morning work.  Most of my students eat breakfast at school which takes up a good chunk of time and then nobody finishes their work at the same time.  It's also another piece of paper that I have to differentiate and go over and either grade or send home.  I've decided to do sensory tubs each morning instead.  Later in the year, I'll add math manipulatives.  The kids love rice bins but I have a student with Prader Willi (he is always hungry but has a very slow metabolism so he may eat the rice if he isn't watched carefully).  I looked up a way to color the rice so it looks less like food.  

The end result looks like sprinkles (especially all mixed up) so my goal of making it look not like food didn't work so well BUT we used vinegar to dye the rice and I made everyone smell it so they would think it's not something to eat.  

To make it, you will need rice, noodles, or corn (not pictured), white vinegar, food coloring, and ziplock bags. 

 I let the students measure 1 cup of rice or noodles and pour it into a bag.  I poured 2 tablespoons of vinegar into a small cup and let the students add food coloring.  Pour the colored vinegar into the bag, seal it, and let the kids squish it all together.   
We laid it out on lunch room trays to dry.  I left the rice in opened bags and just flipped them occasionally.  The noodles I took out of the bags because they don't absorb all of the liquid like the rice does.  
I mixed all the rice together and added magnetic letters and numbers to it.  I added Halloween erasers to the noodles.  The kids like finding the different objects in the bins but their favorite sensory activity is playdough. The corn is soaking this weekend, we will see what it looks like on Monday!  Now I'm off to prepare for Sandy!!  

I've been Boo'd!


I've been Boo'd by Kara at Sped-ventures!  I absolutely love her blog.  She recently posted about how she made Henry and Mudge workbooks in her classroom which is something I am definitely going to have to try!   
Thank you to Cynthia at 2nd grade Pad for hosting this linky! 

Here are the rules for this linky:
1. Choose a fellow blogger that has MORE followers.
2. A blogger that has about the SAME number of followers .
3. Someone that has LESS followers.
4. Highlight their blogs with links to encourage others to check them out.
5. Don't forget to let your fellow bloggers know that you shared about them.
6. Lastly, leave them some love by offering them a goody from your store as their "treat."

Here are three blogs that I find myself going to a lot lately: 

More followers than me: 
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Hope from Second Grade Shenanigans always has the cutest activities in her room.  She is unbelievably creative and shares all her her ideas on her blog.  We are doing her pumpkin book reports this week and I can't wait to share them! 

About the same amount of followers: 
Ashley from The Resource Room Teacher made her resource room look so warm and inviting!  My room never looked that cute as a RR teacher!  She also made some great fidgits for her students that I really want to make! 

Less followers than me: 
Kelli from Tales from a Traveling Teacher has great printable math journals that I just started using with my students.  The kids like them better than doing worksheets and since most of the journals cover a variety of grades, I can differentiate for my class easily which is very important to me! 

Daily Work Folders

Here's a little update since I have been MIA for a while.  It has been CRAZY as I'm sure it has been for all of you too.  I started the year with the plan of having my students working in center stations while I work with small groups.  That did not go so well...all the movement and activity in the room was over stimulating for my kids.  I talked to some coworkers and found out the the previous teacher did work folders while she worked with small groups.  I decided to try it and so far it's working!  I'm not a fan of having the kids doing a TON of worksheets all day but they needed it, at least to start the year. Hopefully soon, they will be able to use their reader's response notebooks. 
Here is how I have my work folders set up: 

The reading box has a folder for each student for each day of the week.  I load the folders for the week Friday morning (after they finished their Friday folder).  So far, I have not graded any of the work in the folders.  I staple everything together and put a smiley face on it (or have them correct mistakes first), and send it home!  In the back of the crate, I have extra hanging file folders for each reading group I see.  Lesson materials go in there.

The math folders are set up the same way. Their text books are in the back of the crate.  I taught the students to put their folders away when their work was finished.  I have them put it behind all the other folders so the next days work is always the first folder.  

In the middle, I have my writing crate.  Different types of writing paper are kept in here.  Large primary writing lines go in the red folders, small primary writing lined paper is in the yellow folders, and blue folders hold the single lined paper.  

Part of the new teacher evaluation system in my district includes a rubric which really focuses on differentiation.  These folders aren't the most exciting but it makes it really easy to differentiate for each kid.