Five For Friday




Our school has a Santa Anonymous program run by a retired teacher. She provides a list of gifts for children in need and teachers pick a gift to buy. I choose a Elsa doll house not thinking of how I would find this gift - I googled it and several sites were selling it - Target, Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us. Except they were all sold out! 
Duh! What was I thinking choosing a Frozen gift three weeks before Christmas? They were probably bought out before they hit the shelves!
Thankfully I found it at Amazon (for a bit of a mark-up, but with my credit card cash back bonus and free shipping, it was a comparable price).




 In a very rambly Currently post I mentioned how I was struggling having students transition from wondering (writing questions) to researching - I had students starting to research who hadn't finished wondering. I had the idea (as I was literally typing) to create tickets that the students had to have before they began researching. This worked WONDERS! It made it very clear that I expected them to be done wondering before they began researching.





Welp, then the students were all in the computer lab and are researching. Monday rolls around and I am showing the students how they are going to choose their two favorite facts, type them up on MaxWrite then add a picture. Yes, you guessed it. I had students who hadn't finished researching starting to use MaxWrite! Gah WHY can't my silly brain realize these things BEFORE the lesson. That afternoon I whipped up a set of Orange Tickets to MaxWrite cards - and batta bang batta boom - I only had ONE student go on MaxWrite before he was done researching and it was obvious to pick out because he didn't have a glaringly orange card in front of him nor had he checked in with me!

I used Dots of Fun ticket template to create these tickets. Best (free!) investment ever! ;)




 A teacher in my school introduced me to my new FAVORITE website: Thrift Books. You can buy awesome books for a huge discount and there is free shipping to boot. Whatttt? Can you say classroom library and/or winter vacation reading list? Yes, I can happily say that! 


 I finished my first TEAM module (TEAM is a two year process for new teachers in Connecticut)! I chose Module 1 about Classroom Management  as my first module and  I definitely wanted it done before the break! I wrote my reflection  paper this past weekend and my mentor reviewed it with me this past week. Frustratingly the website for TEAM where we are supposed to be uploading all our documents and paperwork is still not working! Gahhh. 


The specials team at my school meets about once a month (sometimes more often) to talk about various projects and/or problems that we are working on. I love having such a supportive and active specials team to work with!
Our December meeting was about creating buddy classrooms so that those students who need some time to think and need a break can come to one of our classrooms where we have a reflection sheet for them. Once they have finish reflecting, they head back to class.
Here are the two TPT products that we are using. The first one is for the kindergarten and first grade students and the second one is for the second graders. 
We have yet to use it but I'm very excited to see how it works and whether it will have a positive impact on the students. 

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