Thursday, July 23, 2015

Learn Like A Pirate - Chapter 8

Hello everyone! Welcome to our final chapter from our "Learn Like A Pirate" Book Study. I'd like to thank The Primary Gal for being such a wonderful host and organizing this. Today we are talking about Empowerment.

My favorite take away from this chapter is: Empower Creativity with Maker Spaces! I am hoping to establish an Imagination Club with my class once my 2nd graders get used to being active learners and more independent. The purpose of this Imagination Club is to "empower kids to be kids and to make, create, design, and build!"

Students would be completely independent in this endeavor: from the planning, to building, to even cleaning up after themselves. In this scheduled time, students would set goals, work towards them, and even experience setbacks. However, that's what life is about. Imagine the experiences and learning a 2nd grader could have from an Imagination Club! I am definitely excited to try this!

I created a Wordle below which I plan to print out and display on a frame. This would be a reminder of the core beliefs of everything I've learned this summer with this AMAZING book :)  So, what will you do differently this upcoming school year to empower your students in the classroom? I'd love to read your comments :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Word Work in Spanish

Hello friends! I am here to share my newest Word Work BUNDLE and how I use the activities in my classroom. I'd appreciate if you take a look and forward to any bilingual teacher that can benefit from these resources. There is also a FREEBIE for you at the end :)

First of all, this packet is a BUNDLE of my monthly word work packets. That means that by purchasing the bundle you are purchasing a whole year's worth of bilingual word work activities. Here are a few photos of the August/September Word Work SPANISH in use.

Each monthly unit ranges from 25 - 30 pages of activities. I place these in the folders shown below and my students work on them throughout the week. They work at their own pace, while I work with small groups at my guided reading table! These activities are relevant and keep my students engaged, working independently!

Click HERE for a FREE SAMPLE for you to download and try it out. Hope these save you some valuable planning time as we return back to school!

Purchase the BUNDLE HERE!


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Learn Like A Pirate - Chapter 7

Hello everyone! Welcome back to our "Learn Like A Pirate" Book Study hosted by The Primary Gal. Today we are talking about Twenty-First Century Skills in the classroom. Today we are focusing on teaching children how to think not what to think.

I loved reading the about the 11 categories and the 34 skills that can help students face daily challenges in life and school. I will share about two of my favorite.

*Reflection and Awareness
Since my students are young, I really want my 2nd graders to start reflecting and thinking about their thinking (metacognition). This upcoming school year I am thinking about incorporating a journal where they will record their learning. Later on, they can revisit this journal to see how their thought process developed. Another way I plan to incorporate Reflection and Awareness is by having short interviews where students ask each other questions about what they learned.

*Initiative and Self Direction
This past year, my 2nd graders managed their time really well. However, I do want my students to actually set and measure appropriate goals not just know how to be aware of time.

I made a graphic with the categories to have as a handy reference in my lesson plan binder.

Click the picture if you'd like to download your own copy. 

So what Twenty-First Century Skills are you already successfully using in your classroom? Which could you improve on? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Learn Like A Pirate - Chapter 6

Hello everyone! Welcome back to our "Learn Like A Pirate" Book Study hosted by The Primary Gal. Today we are talking about Active Learning in the classroom. I'll begin with a question Solarz asks:

What's easier to remember: something you've read in a book or heard in a lecture or something you've experienced? Experiences, of course! 

Same with our students. As I think about my 2nd graders, they need to be active throughout the day. They need tangible objects, experiences, space to move, lots of visuals, and discussions. So I sit and I want my students to just learn something for a day or for a test...or do I want to make their learning more permanent? Experiences make learning memorable and permanent. 

In this chapter, Solarz gives specific examples of how he achieves this in his classroom. Here is a brief summary/take away of each example Solarz presents in this chapter.

1) Simulations: Students "travel" back in time and participate in research, write scripts, and act out their skits in front of green screens. Students are definitely grasping the content and will remember these experiences for years to come.

2) Debates: Students become experts in a topic and prepare a defense. They also write persuasive/argumentative essays (yayy for integrating writing)!!! Although there is some competition....there is so much more collaboration going on!

3) Fairs: If done at school, science or any type of fair allows the teacher to oversee the process, provide feedback, and truly see what they student is capable of without any adult interference. Students are truly reflecting and learning throughout the process.

4) Project Based Learning: Oooohhh I like this one. In a PBL project, students are learning through projects not learning content and then creating a project.

5) Technology: When students work with technology tools they are collaborating and problem solving; however, technology should not be used just for technology's sake. Use it when it will truly make your lesson memorable!

6) Reader's Theater: When students simply read a script is done at a very superficial level. In an active learning classroom, reader's theater takes reading to a whole new level. Students are becoming the story and get to learn all of its nuances! How fun!

Which of these strategies will you be using in your classroom? Which ones do you already use successfully?

Join us next week as we talk about Twenty-First Century Skills.

Friday, July 3, 2015

4th of July Bilingual Blog Hop

Happy 4th of July everyone!! I am glad you could join us as we celebrate America and our FREEdom. My family and I usually celebrate by getting together and having a cookout! Yummy burgers, bacon, chips, and laughter to enjoy the wonderful time. We'll sit outside, watch fireworks, and enjoy each other's company.

For this 4th of July, a group of Bilingual Bloggers and I would LOVE to celebrate FREEdom with YOU! We are sharing FREE resources to help you plan for the upcoming school year. I want to share a no-prep, quick activity to do those first days back with your kiddos. Without further ado here is your FREEBIE..... Back to School Interactive Flipbook in SPANISH!! Click HERE or the picture to grab your freebie and leave some TpT love (feedback) if you enjoy the activity.

Now, a blog hop wouldn't be complete without a giveaway!! Enter below to win $20 store credit to my TpT store!! Perfect to stock up on back to school items and more!! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to head on over to the wonderful Monica from Bilingual Classroom Resources for your next FREEBIE!!

July Pinterest Pick 3 Linky!!

Welcome to July's edition of Pinterest Pick 3 Linky hosted by Pawsitively Teaching and Inspired Owl's Corner! This is my first time participating and I am hooked!!! This month's Pick 3... is all about home decor, crafts, recipes, etc. 

With 4th of July coming up, this cake pop idea from Party City is perfect!!! They look so festive and delicious! Instead of baking and then cutting a cake, making these individual pops is an awesome just grab and go treat!

I've blogged about my biggest dreams and decorating my home is one of them. My hubby and I have been adding a few things this week (some tables and decor pieces) which you can see on my Instagram feed. However, I hadn't thought of using plants to decorate my kitchen. Don't these look adorable?!

I've been looking for the perfect wreath for our entry door and have not found one. Maybe I should make it! These steps look simple and the wreath looks great. July project here I come!

Check out some more Pick 3 Pinterest finds from these amazing Bloggers!!! 
Enjoy XOXO

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Learn Like a Pirate - Chapter 5

Hello everyone! Welcome back to our "Learn Like A Pirate" Book Study hosted by The Primary Gal. Today we are talking about Responsibility! Whew what a great chapter. I am learning so much with each page I read! I sit and wonder " come I haven't tried that?" OR "I definitely NEED to do that."

Hmmm... as an elementary teacher, I like to be very organized with assigned classroom jobs. At the beginning of the year, I introduce the responsibilities of each job and my students rotate through this list week by week. Here's a view of my helper chart... (kinda far but you get the idea).

However, I just realized I've been doing it all wrong! If the teacher keeps assigning these duties, when will the students really learn responsibility? In my classroom, I want all students to be responsible for as much as they are capable of, not just what is assigned that current week. I also don't want my other second graders to think they don't have to clean up after themselves because there is an assigned person for that. 

"Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves - and be free." - Cesar Chavez

Another great aspect of responsibility is the daily tasks that must get done in the classroom, such as transitioning from one subject to the next. I have always displayed an agenda (schedule) for the day, but I haven't had my students direct these transitions. I usually point them out and move along with our day. I can just imagine how much time could be saved if my students took on this responsibility to be more aware of our time. 

With all these roles/responsibilities established, Solarz explains what a SILENT DAY looks like in his classroom. Once students are confident with the classroom rituals, his students are required to run the entire day without ANY guidance from him. He remains SILENT (except for emergencies, of course). Wow! I would love to see that in my classroom!!! 

Solarz continues to explain the daily rituals in the classroom vs. routines. He talks about Literature Circles, Summarizing, and his dismissal procedure: REARJMCL. I've always established routines, but now I am motivated to begin meaningful routines and create them into rituals not just habit! 2015-2016 will be a year where my students will truly encompass responsibility!! I love all the ideas and suggestions in the chapter and excited to implement them with my second graders!!

Join us next week for Chapter 6, Active Learning.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Favorite Things Linky

Hello everyone! I am happy to link up with The Teaching Trio for my first ever Favorite Things Linky. 

Well, my summer has officially started now that summer school is over and done with! Wooohooo (happy dance)!!!! So I want to share a few of my favorite activities for July.

1. Watch way too much Netflix - I have currently binged watched Scandal season 4 and LOVED it!!!! I just finished OITNB season 3!!! Now my hubby and I began watching House of Cards (it's alright, so far), and I started re-watching old favorites like One Tree Hill. If you have any suggestions for me on shows to watch, leave them in the comments :) I finally have time to watch!!!

2. Spend time reading - During the year, it is so hard to find quality reading time. I am trying to prepare for the new year, by reading some professional development books. At the moment, I am reading "Learn Like a Pirate" by Paul Solarz and blogging every week about my findings!! Come back tomorrow for Chapter 5. I also want to read some books on WBT and finally finish Daily 5.

Last, but certainly not least......
3. Family time - Of course my favorite thing EVER, spending time with my family. I just want to sit in the patio, cook out, and laugh with my loved ones! Maybe Skype with my brother that's in Wisconsin while we all sit around and chit chat! <3 The weather has been rainy but not too too hot in Texas so I am definitely going to take advantage of that and spend some quality time with my family!!!

Alright friends, until next time!! Be sure to stop by The Teaching Trio to check out more favorite things from other fantastic bloggers!!! Enjoy XOXO