Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bright Ideas- Writing on the Walls!

It's time for some more Bright Ideas and I have a super fun one to share with you! 

My idea was inspired by the documentary TEACH, which aired last fall. One of the teachers was teaching Algebra to 9th grade students and piloted a program to help her students to succeed. Part of what occurred was that the room was a 360 degree classroom, where students had wipe boards all around them. Every single wall. She used this to create an AMAZING collaborative environment for her students to be able to work through problems, watch others work problems and have conversations about their strategies.

I feel in love.

Then I can I do that? I couldn't very well buy giant wipe boards! My classroom has two already (one that is somewhat covered with my Promethean board) but the rest of the room is mostly large blue cabinets....and then it hit me!


So I wrote a Donor's Choose grant for several rolls of write and wipe contact paper and expo markers! Here are the results...


This was the easiest project and is going to have so many rewards! The students can get out of their seats, allows for collaboration and creates an environment that fun, save and productive!  This worked beautifully with task cards from all subjects and will make a great resource for writing reading responses, editing and so much more! I hope you enjoyed this idea and are inspired to show "the writing on the wall" in your classroom! 

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Reading { A little personal and a little professional}

Well, year 14 is in the books! What a wonderful whirlwind of a year! I am really enjoying teaching the older kids and can't wait to get started on my second year of fourth grade! But before I do that, I have a whole summer to do some of the things I love most...create, plan and read!

I love to read. It is my favorite past time and it's something that I don't get a chance to do when the school year begins. I try. I really do....but I am always so busy and tired that it might take me weeks to read something that would only take a couple of days during the summer. *Sigh*

During the summer, I really like to mix it up and read as much as possible and I definitely have a list of books to read! I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars and totally fell in love with it! I am SO glad to have read this before seeing the movie (side note: I am a big fan of reading the book first when I can. There is something really amazing in the act of  creating the story in your own mind first and then comparing it to the movie. I will say, that there have been times where I have been inspired to read the book after the movie only because I wasn't even aware that it was a BOOK...but, the book always seems to  If you are looking for a inspirational, sweet and easy read....this is your book!

I am off to the bookstore again today and am thinking about picking up Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Many have suggested it and have said that it is really good....

Here is a list of a few other reads that I have planned...strictly personal....

1. The Silver Lining Playbook by Matthew Quick
2. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
3. Fifty Shades of Grey  by EL James (Not a new read, but a really good one....)
4. Whatever might fall in my lap because I LOVE a good book recommendation!

As for professional books, this next school year is going to be focused building what was great this year! My school is taking a closer look at close reading (lol...) and we are continuing our work with guided math. Here are the books that I will be studying this summer to help build those skills...

1. Note and Notice: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers
2. Falling in Love with Close Reading by Christopher Lehman
3. Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction by Laney Sammons
4. Building Mathematical Comprehension: Using Literacy Strategies to Make Meaning by Laney Sammons

Still looking for some more awesome books? Check out  Marie at The Hands-On Teacher, who has a great summer reading linky going on that will definitely help you find some awesome books for the summer!

So now it's your turn (and I can't wait to hear), what are you reading?