Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tried It Tuesday: Foldable Assessments

I'm super excited to share what something new I tried in my classroom last week!  In math, we've been working on geometry concepts by watching Learn Zillion and Jennifer Findley's Foldables.  After all my students had finished their geometric terms foldable, the angles sort, the types of triangles, parallel and perpendicular lines foldables, I told my kids we would be having a quiz the next day! 

I knew I didn't want this quiz to be a "normal" quiz.  I wanted them to have to apply what they had learned from the past week.  I used this foldable from Jennifer's fourth grade Geometry foldables set to assess their understanding of parallel and perpendicular lines in 2-D figures.

 They had to cut out 9 different shapes and sort them based on the presence of parallel and perpendicular lines. I told them that they were allowed to use any of their notes but not their table mates.  
Cutting out all the shapes.
Gluing the shapes where they think they belong.
This was a very informative quiz for me a teacher.  Overall, the grades were not that great.  Even some of my higher students got poor grades.  We spent quite a bit of time going over the correct answers the next day.  I did take these grades, but I do plan on giving them some other opportunities to show me that they can identify parallel and perpendicular line in 2-D shapes.  

What are some unusual ways you assess your student?
I'm linking up with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper  today for Tried It Tuesday!  

Make sure you go head over there to see what everyone tried this week!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Peek at My Week: {1-27-14}

This has been such a wonderful weekend!  I actually feel somewhat on top of things for once.  I only brought home one assignment to grade and it's online in Google Docs!  Don't get me wrong, I still came home with a full page to-do list, but it's not that bad!

It's Sunday, so I'm linking up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for her Peek at My Week linky party!

We will be learning how to measure and sketch angles this week.  We are still using Jennifer's foldables in math to add to our interactive notebooks!  I'm also hoping to start this mini golf project from Beyond Traditional Math.

Social Studies:
We started the 3rd quarter last week, which means we are back to social studies.  I started working on this government lapbook from Amber Polk last week and I'm hoping to finish it this week.  
I've made some Google Doc quizzes to go along with their lapbooks to check their understanding as we go along.
We also have a Scholastic News subscription that just started, so we'll be practicing some non-fiction reading skills with these this week!

4th Grade Planning Day:
We get 2 planning days a year with our team and our second day is this Wednesday!  We have a very full agenda, but I'm super hopeful that it will be a very productive day!

Marathon Training:
I totally slacked off last week!  I did run at all except for yesterday.  I did do a super intense work out with the hubby and some teachers from his school on Thursday that has left my abs super sore! I will do my long 5 mile run today.  Then 3, 4, 3 miles during the week and then another long run of 6 miles next Saturday.  I really need to get into a rhythm with running if I'm going to finish this half marathon in April!  

What does your week look like?  Don't forget to head over to Mrs. Laffins Laughings to see what everyone else has planned for the week!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Five for Friday {1-17-14}

Wow!  Working for five days in a row is hard work!!!! I know many of you had snow/cold days this week, but none here!  We had some cold days but no snow!  I am so glad that it is Friday! I'm linking up today with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly link up Five for Friday!

 I am so excited to be hosting a Jamberry Party! Christi Fultz is my consultant and a wonderful one at that! The party is entirely online and I love if you ordered some nail wraps and listed me, Rissa Webber as your host!  If you don't know what these little things are, then you need to go check out the Jamberry website!

Here is a sample on my ring finger.
 After 5 days, here's the difference between the polished nails and my Jam nail.  No contest!

These are the Jams that I ordered and will using this weekend!

 One of the standards we've been tackling this week is Elapsed Time.  I taught elapsed time through a Problem of the Day.  I did a mini lesson with my students on Monday about the different types of elapsed time problems.  We did an example problem each day.  Some kids had a hard time not using "regular" subtraction and addition with time.  Here is the anchor chart we used for the week courtesy of Teaching with a Mountain View!

 This week, we spent the bulk of our time on geometry concepts using Learn Zillion and Jennifer Findley's foldables in our interactive notebooks.

It's been interesting to say the least.  Everyone has been working at their own pace and for the most part, they have been doing a great job!  I have had some issues with filling out the foldables completely, but they are making a lot of progress.

This is my example for the kids to reference.

I met with my principal to complete my Post-Observation from my formal last week.  The lesson didn't go quite as I had planned, but I did get some good feedback from my principal! I love to hear the positive feedback about what's happening in my classroom.

We got a Chuy's here in Arkansas!  My hubby is from TX and we love Chuy's! 

Our Friday night will be spent here!

What happened in your week?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Day in the Life

I just stumbled upon this awesome linky party from Where the Wild Things Learn!  I love finding new fourth grade teachers like Amelia in the blogging world.

Here is what the schedule outside my door says.

Now, I think we all know that these times are not exact by any means! Our bathroom breaks and snack time are not in my schedule, nor are the minutes we take to walk to and from each part of our day.

So school officially starts at 7:40.  Students are let in the building at 7:00 Teachers are supposed to be at school by 7:15. We open our doors at 7:25.  These fifteen minutes before school starts, the kids are trickling in and working on their morning work.  
My day starts with our intervention groups which we call Renaissance Round Up.  We have 11 different groups going during this time.  Some are intervention (tiers 2 and 3) and others are enrichment.  I currently have a group of 3 tier 3 math students that I am working with during this time.
I teach with a partner teacher this year.  She teaches all of literacy including reading and writing workshop, words their way, and grammar. I teach math and science or social studies depending on the quarter.  I teach social studies the 1st and 3rd quarters and science the 2nd and 4th quarters.  We keep our homeroom classes for the morning block and switch for the afternoon block. 
Our mornings are quite a bit longer than our afternoons, which I'm not a huge fan of.  I am constantly trying to find ways to balance instructional time.  My math lessons are my main focus and I spend a smaller amount of time on science/social studies. I really wish we had a way to give more specific time for science and social studies by incorporating literacy.  I'm hoping our schedule next year might change so our blocks are more equitable.  
We also don't have recess until the end of the day.  On the days I don't have duty, I really like it because I can get a few things done before the end of the day and leave a little earlier. When I have duty, it feels like the day never ends!  I wish we had recess right after lunch, but no such luck here!
That's what my day looks like.  What about you?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tried It Tuesday: Google Forms

So last week, I wrote about creating Google docs that are sharable.  This week I am taking what I tried/learned last week and ramping it up a notch!
As part of my formal observation I wanted to have a assessment at the end of the lesson that my kids could access online to tell me what they learned, what concepts they have finished, and what lessons they are still working on.  I saw this lesson from Meg at Fourth Grade Studio a couple of weeks ago where Meg used Google forms as an assessment tool and thought to myself, "That is a brilliant idea, why didn't I think of that?" 
I had to figure out a way to share my Google form with my kiddos though because they don't have gmail accounts.  This is where last week's tutorial comes into play.  I created my form and set it to be shared.  I took the URL code and copied it into a new GoogleDoc.  Then I made the GoogleDoc sharable to anyone with a link.  I shared the link with my students through Todays Meet - which I love and you can read more about {here}.  My students will be using the math Google Form today in class.  I wanted to test out this method on Monday before my big formal observation.
  I created 4 separate forms that went along with our science text book and put all the links on one GoogleDoc that I can update as necessary and shared that Doc with the class through TodaysMeet. 
This is the shared Google Doc with the form links
This is what the students see when they click on the link.
I love that I can assess my students so easily and quickly. Seriously took me less than 5 minutes to grade all of their responses because the answers populate a new spreadsheet.  So amazing and an easy way to keep track of data!

I'm linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper today for Tried It Tuesday.  Make sure you go check out what everyone else has been trying!

I'm also adding my link to Techie Tuesday Link Up over at Technology Tailgate!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Peek at my Week {1-13-14}

Even though I only worked two days this week, I was really looking forward to this weekend!  I just can't get enough time with my sweet little girl!!!!  It's Sunday, and so it's time to link up with Jennifer over at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for Peek at my Week!

As far as teaching goes, I will pretty much be doing everything I had planned for last week.  Again one of my favorite features about Planbook.com is that you can "bump lessons" to the day you need to.  Made for really easy lesson planning!
 Along with these awesome lessons I have planned, I have a formal observation on Tuesday afternoon! Our state has instituted a new teach evaluation system based on Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching called TESS.
I have my pre-observation meeting with my principal on Monday morning.  I will be spending the rest of my day getting all my paperwork ready.  Lucky for me, I have an assistant principal in my house to make sure I don't miss any details!
One thing that is different about this teacher evaluation system is that it focuses a lot more on teacher as facilitator.  In order to get a 4 the students have to being most of the work, asking the questions, and moving the discussion.  I am hoping that my self-guided geometry unit through Learn Zillion will meet all of these standards.  I'll let you know how it goes!
I have started training for my half marathon!  I ran 3 miles at the old high school track yesterday with my wonderful coach AKA: the hubby!  Ainsleigh came along, too in the jogging stroller. This will be my second half marathon.  Last time I used Hal Higdon's Novice 1 Training Schedule. I am using the Novice 2 training schedule for this one! This what the next 12 weeks of my life looks like!
 I am on week 1 so I will run a total of 11 miles this week.  I've got Jillian Michael's workout videos on my Youtube playlist for my cross training Sundays including today.  I love her stuff and there are several free videos on Youtube!

What are you up to this week?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five For Friday: 1-10-14

Well, I made it through the first full week of 2014.  I only had school for 2 days, but we did what we could to make them count!
It's Friday, so I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

Snow and Cold = YUCK!

The view out my front door
We got about 3/4 inches of sleet and then 2-3 inches of snow on top of the ice on Sunday.  We missed school Monday, Tuesday, went to school on Wednesday, had more snow and ice Wednesday night and  we were out Thursday because of icy road conditions.  With windchills, it was down to about -16 here.  I know not nearly as cold as some of you, but man was it COLD!!!!
For the new year, I did some furniture rearranging at school.  I moved my rug from the front to the back of the classroom and put my desks back into groups.  I've never been one to keep one room arrangement for the entire year... it's just not my style!

My kids made math new year's resolutions!  Here are some their resolutions!  I love the way their little minds think!

I can't get this one to rotate!

I got a hair do change!  I am really trying hard to grow out my hair but I decided if I was going to pursue that goal something had to change! 

I've had them on and off for the past few years, so not totally new, but I haven't had them in probably 2 years or so! 

Last but not least a little funny for you!  Click the picture to take you to the video! It's way funny!

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