Saturday, September 29, 2012

Phonics Help for ELL parents


I have been very busy.  That made my blog go on the backburner for a while.  My kitchen is now completely cleared out and they will demolish it on Monday.  What have I gotten myself into?  If you're interested in my remodel, I'm blogging about it here:  Joell's msc. musings

I am teaching an iPad class to the faculty at my school.  This is forcing me to learn things at least a step ahead of them.  Today I spent a lot of time working with doceri.  I used it to create some short videos to help my English Language Learners and their parents with the English phonics and spelling systems, with a little handwriting thrown in for good measure.  (I have several Arabic speaking students who need to learn our alphabet along with the phonics.)

These are in no way masterpieces, but I think they'll get the job done.  And there's that side benefit of me learning how to do it on doceri.  I still have other things to learn about doceri.  So far for educational film making I prefer educreations.  We'll see if I still feel that way once I totally figure out doceri.

The first video is above.  You can access the rest at my youtube page.

Perhaps this week will be the week I remember to take pictures at school!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Family Night Plans

Hello all,

Next week we have a family night at my school.  It focuses around math and math games.  I have tons of math games, but wanted something new, so I did a web search and found out about Matador.  It fits well with the first grade common core since students need to combine dominoes that create sums of ten.

I created these hand outs for it. Which you can get for free on my TPT store.

You can get paper printables of double nine dominoes here.

I have been a stressball this year.  My right arm has been so sore that I finally decided to see a massage therapist.  She told me I have huge tight knots all up and down my arm and shoulders.  Joy.  I'll try and remember to get some pictures of student work or something soon.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Something Good


I'm joining a linky party today!  Jennifer over at Rowdy in First Grade started this linky in which you tell something good about your week.  Thinking over last week, here's what I've got:

Something Good at School
My students are starting to understand the routines in the classroom.  My non-English speaking student is showing improvement.  I'm starting to sort of understand the new math program.  The required assessments we must give over the computer are only 15 minutes each so will take much less time than I thought.  My kids LOVE heidisongs and I'm having great fun teaching them sight words.  I got a very nice e-mail from one of my student's mother praising me for my website which I spent many hours creating (not this blog, my class website.)

Something Good at Home
They'll be starting my kitchen remodel in a week or so.  My cat that was on death's doorstep this last spring is fully recovered.  I had a wonderful dinner on Friday night with friends.  The mountains are looking gorgeous as the fall colors are coming out.

I think it's good to try and find the positives when I'm in what I feel is a negative situation.  I was happy to get this opportunity since lately it's felt like all I do is work and gripe about work.

I hope you've had a nice weekend!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Great Giveaway

Hi all,

I've been AWOL for a while.  To be honest, my school days have been so busy and stressful that I just haven't thought to take pictures or anything.

Earlier this week I found this great laminator give away over at Sensational Seconds.  Check it out, and maybe you can win a laminator!

I'll try to be better about posting next week.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Word Wall Books

Hi all,

I have to say, I'm going to toot my own horn here.  I'm very excited about the word wall books I made over the summer.  I had my kids start using them on Friday.  We're currently working on nouns and family words.
This is the cover, the kids are having fun coloring it.
Each section has a color.  This one is white.
There are no pictures for starter words or sight words, so they just get lined pages to write the words.
Adjectives go on orange.
The noun section is pink because the red is too dark to read the kids writing with pencil. It's supposed to be red.
Here's one of my student's work in the noun section.  The pictures match the ones on the word wall. The book is great because when the word wall gets full and the words come down, the kids will still have the word available to help with spelling, etc. all year.
Verbs are in the green section.
Tag alongs are blue.

Sight words are on pale pink.
I am so hopeful that this will work, and so excited with how the first few pictures and words they wrote looked.  They were very excited to get their books and write in them.  I hope that continues.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Emergency Sub Plans

The words that strike fear into my heart!  Usually I write up sub plans when I know I will be gone.  These are plans for when I don't know in advance or can't go in and set things up before school.  Yes, I have been known to go in at 7:00 a.m. sick as a dog to get things ready for a sub.

We are required to have emergency sub plans ready to go.  I finally got around to creating mine.  You will find them here: Emergency Sub Plans

If you see anything obvious that I missed, please comment below.  I'm tired and I've spent hours working on this, which means there are probably errors involved.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

And We're Back to School Again

I hope you all had a nice Labor Day Weekend.  I had a friend here from out of town and we had a great time.  But today was back to school all over again.

My students do really well in the morning, but really struggle in the afternoon.  It's just so hard for them to be on their best behavior for that long.

My math was a disaster today.  The new program we're using utilizes a lot of technology.  My iPad was controlling my computer and it all went haywire.  The kids were tired and having behavioral issues.  Most weren't even trying to stay with me (so far this program is not very engaging to the students).  I was getting very frustrated.  Then in walked our wonderful aides, whom I really do love, except they chose that moment to start taking kids out for testing.  That was the point when I decided to skip math for the day (sh, don't tell anyone!) and put on a video for a while.  My sanity was saved, but now I'm even more behind in math.  So frustrating.

I stumbled upon a movie theme for my room this year, so I put up a decoration on my door that goes with excellent work samples.  Right now they're just ordinary worksheets, it changes all through the year.  Here's a picture.

And that's it for today.  Hopefully I'll eventually catch up with myself and have time to read other blogs and stuff.  Right now I'm just trying to stay above water with the workload and newness of everything.