Sunday, October 30, 2011

Positive Attitude

        As we get ready to begin not only a new week but a new month I am reminded of the power of a positive attitude.  I even found this quote that I just had to share. 

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."  ~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995

        May your attitude be one that annoys others  . . . in the nicest possible way of course.   

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bucket Fillers

        This is the second year that my students and I have been bucket fillers.  This is such a great way for the students to recognize the kind things that they say and do for one another.   I always read the forms before delivering them (to make sure that everything is appropriate) and I have been really impressed with the notes that I have read. 
         My favorite bucket filler story this year has to do with the first time we emptied our buckets.  I have a student that had an extremely tough year last year.  He felt alienated and alone even told me that he has never had a best friend before.  So anyways . . . this student was absent the day we emptied our buckets and when he returned on Monday this student saw that he had four bucket forms waiting for him in his cubby.  He asked if they were all from one student in the class and I told him no that they were all from different people.  His whole face lit up!  It was a sweet day.
         If there is anyone out there not yet participating in the bucket filling "movement" let me encourage you to do so.  It does not take much time but it will be well worth the classroom community and closeness that it will foster among your students. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

YEA Bucs!!!!

        I am SOOO excited!  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just beat the New Orleans Saints despite all of the negativity that surrounded the game.  I hope that the Bucs can finally get some respect (without getting a big head).  They are now on top of the NFC South!  GREAT job guys!!! 
        Bring on da Bears.

Rounding & Estimating

        This week we will tackle rounding and estimating in math.  A few weeks ago one of the very talented teachers posted on her blog "A Rounding Fairy Tale."  I apologize I do not remember which blog I found it on because there are so many of you out there sharing so many great things!  But I did want to try and repost her fairy tale (bare with me, I am new at this) just in case someone missed the original posting.  My next door neighbor used the fairy tale with her class and said it worked out perfectly. 

A Rounding Fairy Tale

      I will be sharing this with my students tomorrow and am quite hopeful that this method will help the students remember which place to look in when rounding and estimating.  : )

Monday, October 10, 2011

Comparing & Contrasting

        This week my students and I are tackling compare and contrast in Reader's Workshop.  We will be using Venn diagrams as one way for the students to show how their books, characters, etc . . . are alike and different.  Today I was chatting with a friend of mine and she said that she saw somewhere (she just couldn't remember where) that someone was calling Venn diagrams "Double Bubble Maps."  I thought that that name was much cuter so I am now adopting that name. 
        Today the kids began by comparing and contrasting a partner with the answers to a predetermined set of questions.  Tomorrow we will read Miss Nelson is Missing as we compare and contrast the very sweet Miss Nelson to the not-so-sweet Viola Swamp.  I also want to compare two texts Wemberly Worried and Alvin Ho:  Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Stuff  both have main characters that are worry warts.  I am wondering, which books do you think help to illustrate for your students how to compare and contrast?  I would love to get a master list of great books together!!!  Please share if you can add to the list.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Subtraction Success

        Today I taught my students the subtraction rhyme and it was a HUGE success!  I think that even the kids that didn't "need" the rhyme still enjoyed it and the kids that did need the rhyme have something that they can think about to remind them to regroup.
        Also, I did end up changing the rhyme just a little bit because I did not want to confuse my students - I didn't want them to think that they could only "go next door" to the tens place.  I also incorporated some hand movements.  So here is the new rhyme:

Subtraction Rhyme
Numbers the same?
Zero's the game! (we make a zero with our hands and put it up to our eye)
More on top? (point up)
No need to stop! (shake our pointer finger to say no as we also shake our hips)
More on the floor? (point down)
Go next door. (point to the left)

        I wasn't quite sure what to do for the numbers the same part of the rhyme . . . so if anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them.  Enjoy the rest of your Friday!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Regrouping Rhyme

        We are working on subtraction in math right now.  Some of my students were struggling with regrouping . . . so I searched around and found a rhyme on  I have not had a chance to use it with my kiddos yet (that is the plan for tomorrow) but I thought I would share the rhyme I found tonight.


More on top?
No need to stop!

More on the floor?
Go next door.
Get one ten.
That's ten ones more.

Numbers the same?
Zero's the game!

        I would like to tweak the rhyme just a little bit.  I am just not sure exactly what/how I want to change just yet.  Does anyone else have any tricks up their sleeves for teaching subtraction, especially with regrouping?  I would love to hear about it!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Carnival Date has CHANGED!

       In this week's newsletter I mentioned that our 5th annual fall carnival would be on Friday, October 21st, as it was stated on our school calendar.  This date is incorrect.  The date of the carnival has been moved by our PTA and will be on Friday, November 4th.  I hope that you will plan on attending the carnival as it is sure to be tons of fun!!!
        Please be on the lookout for ways that you can help our class booth (theme still to be determined). 

Saturday, October 1, 2011


        This morning I woke up and as I went outside to walk my dog it hit me.  On this first day of October it is finally fall.  Yes, I know fall official began late last week but for us here in Florida we were still experiencing highs in the low 90s.  Today though it is different.  There is finally a little bit of coolness to the air.  I love fall.  I love to wear scarves, I love anything pumpkin, and you can't beat a day of sitting around (working on your school stuff) with football on in the background and they are all back!
        I hope that everyone is enjoying their Saturday!