Saturday, September 29, 2012

Why we do what we do!!!

A couple of the ladies I work with in my district sent this YouTube video to me.  It is one of the most adorable things I have ever watched.  It was the perfect video for a Friday when I was worn out after a long, busy week.  I think the best words to describe it would be from who it was published by:

This music video is dedicated to public school employees across America who work hard every day to make a difference in the lives of our children. Please send this to everyone you know in their honor.

Thanks Carrie and Tricia for sharing this with me and The Blue Valley School District for publishing it for all of us to see.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Poof and Bam (Order of Operations)

Do you ever have a teaching idea just come to you as you are teaching the kids?
I did this week!

I was teaching the Order of Operations.
With the Common Core, this standard now includes not only using parentheses, but also brackets!

(Insert Freshman year Algebra flashback.)

I attacked it with a touch of creativity, thank you Pinterest!

My version:

In their notebooks, students put the word Butler [brackets] along the side.
Since, inside the brackets they will use the order of operations too.
Here is a little of what students wrote in their flap book.

The Pinspiration:
This is a middle school example. (source)

In the midst of talking about parentheses, I realized my kids didn't know why I had taken them away after I did the math inside them.  So...I added a little sound effect.  

When we are done with the parentheses, poof! They disappear.

They laughed a bit, and seemed to remember it better after that.

The next day I taught brackets.

(Insert confused student faces.)

So, after explaining their purpose, one of my students asked if brackets had a sound effect when they were finished being used.

Well... yes, I guess.  
BAM!  (I must have been channeling Emeril.)

So when we have solved everything in the brackets, Bam!  They disappear.  

As we worked on problems through the week, you could hear several students saying, Poof or Bam.

What unplanned great teacher moments have you had?  
What have you used to help teach the Order of Operations?


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Growing Firsties Thirty One Giveaway

I love all the 31 bags I am seeing, but unfortunately do not own one.  I am hoping to in the near future though. :)  Lisa from Growing Firsties is having a Thirty-One Giveaway and as you know I love giveaways.  So head on over the Growing Firsties and enter.

Antoinette :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Teaching about Sandwiches

There has been quite a bit of press about sandwiches lately. 
It made me think of a great book, that our counselor reads every year with the 3rd graders.

It is the story of two friends who are very different then each other.  One girl brings a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch everyday, and the other girl brings hummus.  They end up swapping sandwiches, and learn that it's ok for friends to be different.

I love this story, and it seems to be very socially relevant at the moment.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Website & Book Recommendation

You know you're getting sick when, you are administering a student's reading assessment, and you are nearly falling asleep!
Yep that was me yesterday.
I'm sick.  Not the death warmed over sick, but the sinus trouble, coughing, soon loosing my voice sick.
So, I am home, trying to take one day to get back on my feet.

That is good for you though!

I finally have time to blog about a great website and a great book.

The website is 

It will take a YouTube video and remove everything from advertisements to comments.  
It's great!

Then I have a book recommendation for you.  Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea.
It has some very interesting characters.  They each write from their point of view.  Alexia was my favorite to model for the kids.

Hope you have a great Wednesday! I am off to get some meds, so I can return to work tomorrow.  :)


Monday, September 10, 2012

Been a Week, Surviving Kindergarten, and Reading Notebooks... OH MY!!! :)

Is the beginning of the year always this CRAZY and BUSY?!?!

Emily and I were chatting on Friday about how busy we are and how we needed to post something.  School prep is consuming so much of our time that we haven't posted in about a week.  Then we were like, "What do we post about?"  We're doing so much, but nothing came to our minds. lol

Well I am planning to post about my kindergarten experiences as soon as I survive two more demo lessons. lol  I have always respected kindergarten teachers, but after 4 demo lessons on Friday, I have decided those teachers need to be paid MUCH MORE!!!  Every lesson of every day is like a performance.  I LITERALLY ached Friday evening. lol

So I've posted a few things about reading notebooks.  I am still very much interested in peoples' ideas and examples; especially in K-2.  I have created a document as an informational resource for my teachers.  I am going to include it on here so you all can either use it or give me input.  In the document, you will come across (see attached)  I do not have all of those on my computer as most are hard copies.  I do have links to where a great deal of my information came from, though.

Hope my document is full of useful information for you all.  How do you use reading notebooks in your classroom?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Technology Tailgate-Great Resource & Great Giveaway

I am obsessed with pinning things from Technology Tailgate.

Have you been on this blog lately?

You should stop by, not only to pin great technology ideas, but also to enter their give away.
They have some great things up for grabs.

We have some great ideas for posts coming up.  Also, we will soon be doing a 150 followers giveaway/ belated blogiversary celebration.  More info to come!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Currently Sept.

We love linking up with Farley each month!

Emily's currently is in orange.

My beautiful plants have been reduced to an unpotted mess, thanks to a drought and squirrels!
Yeah, there used to be a plant in the middle of that!

Little do the squirrels know but I'm on to them.  I have replaced the missing plants and but Critter Ridder on them.  (Hope it works!)

This year our district has been using a reader's and writer's workshop format officially for the first time. It is stressful trying anything new.  I am constantly thinking of it.  I want to do both well.

I am in love with my teacher toolbox.  It has helped me transition to being desk free.

I am loving my new trash can.  (It's the little things that make me happy!)

Antoinette's currently is in BLUE.  My FAV color!!!

I probably should be thinking more about school, but that was so yesterday! lol
I used up all my school brain cells creating a Retelling Song for my demonstration lesson for kindergarten.  I SO don't do the song thing.  That is SO Emily. lol  I sent it to her yesterday to look at.  Her response was, "I LOVE IT!"  Yeah... :)
Wanna hear it????
It is to the song "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes"
Beginning, Middle, and the End (clap, clap, clap)
Beginning, Middle, and the End (clap, clap, clap)
We retell the Where, the Who, and the What
in the
Beginning, Middle, and the End (clap, clap, clap)
NOW...  add in gestures.  Point to your head, waist, and toes for beginning, middle, and the end.  Then obviously the clap, clap, clap.  In the lesson, every time I say read they have to open their hands like a book, so I'm thinking about having them do that when we say retell.  Still thinking about that one.
Look at me being all creative! lol

School has been SUPER busy and stressful so my amazing friend and co-blogger Emily dropped off a cute surprise for me on Friday!  A blingy purple stapler.  It is SO cute.  I LOVE IT... and Emily!  Isn't it soo cute??

Farley looks amazing doesn't she?  I decided back to school was time to get my rear in gear as far as weight loss.  I put on some poundage last school year as I ate the school lunch almost every day.  So have been doing the healthy thing and preparing my lunches on Sundays (oops Monday this week lol).  I have 13 wonderful pounds to show for it.  YEAH!!!

If you get a minute, link up with Farley!

EmilyK & Antoinette

We love a give away!

I know Antoinette blogs about give aways all the time.  Now it's my turn!

Do you follow Tonya's Treats for Teachers?

Well, we do!

She is having a great give away.

Do you see how many GREAT blogs have contributed to her give away?

Check it out if you get a chance.  (Click the pic above.)

Have a good day off!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blogging, Reading Notebooks and FINALLY RAIN!!!

With how busy back to school has been, I feel like I'm at a loss as to what to post about.  I've had so much going on, that you would think there would be a ton (and there probably are) but my mind seems to come up blank.  I didn't want to get outta the habit of posting though and go MIA like last year so thought I'd give a quick what's up in my life.

My new job as a Teaching and Learning Coach is SUPER busy, but I am enjoying it.  I am a people person and love helping others.  So this job is perfect because I get to do both.  Wanna know another reason my job is pretty cool??  What other job can you get paid to search blogs and Pinterest during the work day.  I had some down time Friday and am in the process of collecting resources for reading notebooks (Wanna share any great ideas??  Especially from K-2??).  Since I know many of you post about Reading Workshop and the tools you use to implement it in the classroom, I spent some time checking out blogs.  I am even referring blogs to fellow teachers.  See... I'm helping you all out also. lol :)  That's the thing I love about blogs... They are such an amazing resource to all the teachers of the world.   I also found some pretty cool resources on Pinterest which in turn led me to even more blogs.
Just thought I'd share that cool tidbit about my job. :)

Also want to include some sites where I found some great information.

There are so many amazing blogs out there with a wealth of information.  Have you posted about reading notebooks or have a great site to check out?  I would love to read about it on your blog and refer you to the teachers at my school.  The following quote states it perfectly.

"Our best thoughts come from others."
                  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

One last final bit- I know many states have been lacking in the rain department, but here in Missouri, it rained both Friday and Saturday.  YEAH!!!  We needed it so badly.  It hasn't rained like this since possibly May.