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Five on the Fifth Instagram Style

Hey hey! It’s the supposed to be the fifth were I share five awesome teaching ideas from the past month.  Except it’s the sixth, and I’ve finally recovered from a CUH-RAZY stomach bug because life is like that.  Just to mix it up, this is the Instagram version.

Are you not on Instagram?

How is this possible??? It’s honestly my favorite social media times a million.

Hopefully this post will convince you to join.  I love seeing ideas throughout the day from my teaching blogger friends.

Author’s purpose + Scholastic orders = Genius.  From Saddle Up for 2nd Grade.


 I can’t.  I just can’t.  Best end of the year party idea in the history of ever from Archer’s All Stars. (And before you think I was hoarding these, someone posted a comment referencing this, and so I had to go digging through her old posts like a crazy stalker.  You’re welcome.)

Are you kidding me? Neon paper newsletters from Queen of the First Grade Jungle and Mail Chimp from Ms. BBZ’s Second Grade for newsletters?  Love these ideas!!!

Take it or leave it?  I bet a lot of your students would take this activity than leave it! Such a fun idea from Conversations in Literacy.

Area and perimeter just got fun.  Boom.  Thanks for sharing this idea Ginger Snap’s Treats for Teachers.


Kikki K Planner Tour and Giveaway

Okay y’all.  I drank the Kool-Aid.

I am now a planner person.

I didn’t see this coming, and if it weren’t for my blog and blog designs, I probably wouldn’t be one.  But holy moly, this thing is amazing.

I was using three different tools to stay organized-my Plum Paper planner (they are awesome, no complaints there), a notepad for extra busy days, and a notebook to keep track of my designs.  It was annoying to go from one thing to the next not to mention the desk space it was hogging.

A friend told me about Kikki K, and I discovered there is a whole planner world out there.  Blogs, Pinterest boards, YouTube videos, Instagram accounts.  It is a whole thing.

If you have very specific planner needs, a binder planner system is the best.  Also, it’s nice if you’re incredibly type A and want to control All. The. Things.  I can make my own inserts, take them out, add them in, add sections, whatever.  It’s super flexible.    Let’s take a look at this beauty.
It’s the Large Personal Planner which is a A5 size • I made all of the inserts myself • Lots of cute goodies from Target Dollar Spot • Tabbed dividers made from Target dollar spot folders using my Silhouette • Of course I needed the Raskog cart from Ikea to organize supplies • Ordered this 6 hole punch from Amazon • Cute cards from Project Life sets • If you have the Rhonna Designs app, you can print out the pretties that you make.

And the best part?  When I ordered my planner, I wasn’t sure which one I wanted, so I ordered two.  I thought the snappy flappy part may bother me, so I ordered a back up.  Turns out the snappy thing is fine, so the back up planner with it’s gold fleck goodness is going to a lucky reader.
Here’s a peek at this planner.  And what’s a planner with out some start up supplies?
Are you sold?  Enter the Rafflecopter to win.  I’ll announce the winner on Saturday.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, are you a planner person?  Thinking about dipping your toes in the water?  Or think all the planner people are just crazy? ;)

Good luck!

New Look, New Sets, and a New Freebie

Well happy May to you!  I gave myself a new look around here.  What do you think?  I also finally got my behind in gear and added some new things to my TPT store.



I added three new mini sets: AdelaideKendra, and Julie.


I also added this crafty looking cardboard jumbo set.  I used some cardboard elements in my Mendy mini set and fell in love.  Now you can add cardboard goodness to anything you’re making.


And another new jumbo set, Molly.


As a big fat thank you taking a look at all my new pretties, here’s a little bonus set to coordinate with the Molly Jumbo set!

5 Minute Stations


I love learning stations.

Love.

I started calling them stations after reading The Daily 5 years ago when I taught second grade.  The authors suggested that kids see "centers" as that playtime they had in Kindergarten.  (Even though you and I know that "play" time is hugely important developmentally, kids do not, so they just see it as a fun playtime.)  This quote caused a complete thought overhaul for me.  I had to take a hard look at what I was planning for my students while I met with guided reading groups.  It was time to ditch centers and start learning stations.


Anyway, this year I am teaching 30 minute small reading groups with 1st-4th graders.  And I miss my stations.  The other day, we had five extra minutes at the end of my 1st grade group, so I pulled out a few things they could work on independently for those last few minutes.  And remembered exactly how much I love this type of learning.

I want it back.  I love the learning that happens with me supporting from the sidelines instead of directing all of the traffic.  Of course, I need to be the leader of these groups, but student lead learning has value, and there needs to be time for it.  Also, there is nothing like working one on one with a kid to get a really good feeling for what's going on.  This gives me a good opportunity to do that.

About 12 seconds into this little time, and I was scheming to figure out a way to make it happen everyday.  An extended time is out, but I can for sure make 5 minutes a group happen with my first grade friends.  The only rule is that is has to be meaningful for them and fast for me.  I have a ton of different groups to prep for, so spending lots of prep time for 5 minutes is not going to happen.

Here's the plan:

iPad

I bring my iPad to school with me everyday already.  I recently got these Touchtronic letters that are PHENOMENAL.  You can read about them here.  I also have some other apps that would work well, too, like

Fluency

I have these fluency stories from the amazing Stephanie at Falling Into First as well as these Fry phrases strips from Shauna’s Shop.  The kids are familiar with these, and they're all ready out and easy to grab.

Short Vowel Review

I love this Short Vowel bundle from Jodi Southard.  It is awesome.  The kids are familiar with it because we often use something from it to review, and they love it.

Familiar Reading

It usually takes me a few weeks to get sets back to the book room. (I know. Don't throw any stones at me.)  I'll leave a few out.

That's it.  If I was in a regular classroom setting, I would include more just from a logistics stand point.  When you have 22 friends, you need to Spread the People Out.  But I have small groups, it's five minutes, and this is perfect.

Am I saying you should cut your stations down to 5 minutes in a regular classroom setting?  No way.  But if you’re having trouble fitting them in, start thinking creatively.  This type of learn is so important for students, and the opportunities it provides you as the teacher to get a peek into how they work independently is vital.

Anybody else already scheming to make next year even better?

March Favorites

Hey! Hey! I've been so happy March finally arrived.  I am not a winter gal.  I can't take the cold.  Did I mention I live in Houston?  I'm that much of a winter wimp.
There are few things I've been loving this past month:

These Shoreline Converse.
I was very skeptical when a friend swore up and down that these were comfortable.  I had visions of bloody heels and me limping through the hallway at school cursing her.  But they were cute, and we were in Nordstrom, and I am weak.  And I loooooove them.  This picture looks like they're super pulled in but they must have had a box on top of this particular shoe for a week.  They have a tiny bit of elastic in the back, so they give instead of cutting into the back of your heels.
This hot wings recipe from Lexi's Clean Kitchen.
I am like a freaking super hero in my house with this recipe.  AND it's clean.  Whole30 compliant here.  No additives, junk, sugar, preservatives, etc, etc in this recipes.  You're welcome.  So when you family gorges and over eats these things, it will still be healthy.
The Hill Country Hyatt.  My husband had to go to a work thingy in San Antonio, and I tagged along.  He worked.  I relaxed and supported the local economy because I am a good person.  This hotel is beautiful and relaxing and just stinking charming.
If you follow me on Instagram, I spammed you with pictures of it.
I got an iPhone 6 Plus.  Yep.  I did it.  I got the mega iPhone.
And I have zero point zero regrets about this.  Why didn't I do this sooner?  Plus I got a super snazzy case for as you can see in my World Market iPhone selfie.
My Kikki K planner.
I'll be writing a whole planner tour post and share how this planner is saving my life right now.  Roll your eyes non planner people.  My planner people plans will be drooling over this beauty.

Hope you had a great March! So glad April and warmer temperatures are finally here!

TouchTronic: Seriously. You Need These

**Warning**This will be a gushing post.  There will be lots of swooning and omg-ing and can you believe it-ing.  It is more of a product freak out then a product review.  Because I'm that in love.

I had the opportunity to visit EDExpo in Atlanta on February 22, and it was amazing.  It's basically where companies come to get in contact with store buyers, but they allowed some bloggers to come crash their party.  Pretty nice, huh?  I got to wander around with Dana from Prepping the Primary Grid Iron, Deirdre from A Burst of First, and Molly from Lucky to be in First.  We met Pete the Cat.  It's a hard life.
There were some cool things, some odd things, but this thing completely stopped up in our tracks.  I recently had a conversation with our tech gal where we talked about using technology in the classroom authentically and not just for the sake of using iPads because they're cool.  This app/product combo is all that and more.

This is not a paid review, but I will say that I was given this set of TouchTronic letters.
I honestly think that we were freaking out so much about how awesome this product is that we made the guy uncomfortable, and he possibly gave us these one the premise that maybe we would go away, and he wouldn’t have to call security.  It was that inappropriate.

So anyway, TouchTronic Letters and Numbers.  They are sets of letters and numbers that you can use with an iPad.  Right now, they're are two apps for each product, but it seems there are plans for more.

The letters set (the one I was given during our group freakout) is $29.99 and has two apps for it right now-an ABC app and 3 letter words app.

The ABC App:

The 3 Letter Words App:
My first grade friends LOVED this app.  I like it because it is something you would have your kids do anyway but with bonuses:

•Immediate feedback.  If it’s not a real word, nothing happens.  If it is a real word, a picture pops up.

•When you tap the letter on the screen, it makes the letter sound.  This is reinforcement my kids need over and over.

The mat in the picture from the show is supposed to become available as a product also in the next few months or so.
I think it would definitely be helpful so that the letters don't become a jumbled mess.  Also, just setting up the letters in a learning station would help kids with alphabetical order.

The math set blew me away.  I really, really want this one.  That’s pretty dumb because I DON'T EVEN TEACH MATH.  I keep trying to come up with reasons I should go ahead and buy it.  So far, I haven't come up with any.
This is using the Place Value App.  All I did was use a number and tap it on the place value section, and it "built" it.  What I love is that you can use the plus or minus sign with this also to see how the number changes depending on the place.  So, if I tapped the 7 with the plus sign, it would change to 800.
There are addition, subtraction, greater than/less than resources on the apps, too.  The apps are free and the numbers set is $19.99.  There is a class set available too.  I'd love to see a set of 6 available because that would be great for learning stations or small groups.

Got to have these?  You can order them here.  Use coupon code TRONIC until April 30th for a 20% off discount on any product.
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