About Me

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Hi everyone! My name is Noelle and I am a Special Education teacher (self-contained, grades 3, 4, and 5!) After graduating, I started teaching Kindergarten!!! I had only applied to sub when I was called in for an interview! The following school year I moved schools and changed grade levels. I absolutely love where I am now and what I am doing!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Week Before Vacation - Five for Friday!

It's Friday, you know what that means!!! Five for Friday Linky with Doodle Bugs Teaching! This week, there were only four days of school.  It was also the week before vacation, can you say crazy?  For it being the week before vacation, I do have to say that my class was (for the most part) pretty well behaved.

After two weeks of poetry terms, we began writing poems!  We started off with writing spring poems.  The first poem the kids wrote was using parts of speech.  I found a cute freebie on TPT from A First Grade Teacher.  You can find the template here.  First we made a list of nouns, adjectives, and verbs that had to do with spring.  Then the children wrote their poems!

We also wrote poems using our senses.  I found another adorable freebie for this activity on TPT.

We also wrote a spring acrostic.  Once again, TPT to the rescue! First we came up with spring wordsfor each letter.  I then showed them my poem and they created theirs.  They cut them out and we quickly hung them up!

The final poem we write this week was a bio poem.  This template was found on TPT as well.

What are your favorite poems to write with your classes?  I have been enjoying all of the poems so far!

To boost fluency, I began sending fluency passages home weekly for homework.  The kids have to read the passage to someone three times.  They have to record how many words were read correctly and how many errors were made.  An adult needs to initial their work when they have finished.  They're reading fluency has improved throughout the school year.

In math, the children have been learning multiplication tables.  Earlier in the week I taught them the nine's table.  I found a cute craft on Pinterest that taught addition.  I switched it up a bit because it was for addition.  It turned out so cute and the kids had fun!

We finally finished our human body science unit!! As a closure, the children traced their bodies!  They each had a different body system that they then had to draw.  When they finished they even helped those that were still working.  It was so great to see them working together!  I can't wait to hang these up after vacation!!!!

Number five is my favorite this week.  My dad came to school!!!!  He is in charge of DPW Operations.  My dad is also president of a sports turf committee.  Basically, the work he does fits perfectly into Earth Day.  We began our Earth Day lessons with making a KWL chart.  I also showed them a magazine article about my dad before I told them who he was.  It was adorable when they guessed it was my dad who was coming in!  The following day, my dad cam in and read The Giving Tree.  When he was done reading he asked them questions and opened up a discussion.  We then gave them bulbs to plant over vacation!  They loved it and so did I!

I hope everyone had a fantastic week!  I'm very excited to finally be on April Vacation this week!  Enjoy your Easter weekend!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Follow Up - Wordless Wednesday: Weekly Organization

Earlier this week I posted a planning sheet I use to help me stay organized throughout the week.  An Instagram follower mentioned writing a post about it.  I thought why not use Wordless Wednesday to talk about part of how I stay organized?!  So here it is...

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My desk.

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Bookcase/drawers next to my desk.

I've always been an extremely organized person.  I like things to go in a particular place.  I generally know exactly where my things are when I need them.  Each year of teaching, I have continued to stay organized.  Each year my organizational skills grow and improve.

I created my own personal to-do list.  When I created the list, I thought about all of my lessons, what I taught and thought about what I do for preparation.  Also, because I am a special educator, my lessons are always differentiated.  This is the creation I came up with and it suits me perfectly!  There's a section for everything that I know I'm going to need.

The planning sheet has several categories: reading, math, science, social studies, spelling words, writing, grammar, and homework.  Some have sub-categories, such as: copy, print, or laminate.  I don't check the main box off until the sub-categories have been satisfied.  

On the right hand side there are three different boxes that help me with the left side.  The top box is for me to write down the copies that I need to make.  I like to copy in bulk so I tend to do two or three weeks at a time.  The middle box is for anything I need to create or make for any lessons.  For example, if I need to make an exemplar or an anchor chart, it's written down here.  In the bottom box I list the days of the week and what's happening on them (both in school and after).  

Once the copies are complete I keep them in the drawers.  When school ends I take the following day's material out and keep it in a file folder on my desk.

I love being able to stay organized! I think that being organized makes me a better teacher.  I'm not running around looking for things.  It's all right there in front of me.  Organization is key!

- Noelle

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Weekly Organization

Linking up with Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice for today's linky!

Happy Wednesday, here is this week's picture and question.
Comment with your answers!!

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How do you keep your week organized?
Check back later for a new post with my answer!!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five for Friday (and it's actually getting done on Friday)!

Linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for this weeks Five for Friday!  This week has been extremely fun, but busy!! We had so many fun things going on in Room S06.  Take a peek!

If you read my blog on Wednesday, you would have seen a picture for Wordless Wednesday with Ms. DeCarbo.  I had said that I would answer the question in a few days, well here it is.

This was my picture:

My question was: How do you store games, such as this, in your classroom?
Well, here is my answer and how I store my math games and manipulatives.  I am an extrememly organized person so storage is important to me.  I keep my games stored by difficulty.  I have a bin for Number Sense, one for Adding and Subtracting, and a third for Time, Money, and Multiplication (within this are also Fractions and Division, but my labels haven't been updated. Whoops!).  Each bin stores the baggies for the different topics.  When it is time for my students to use them they can go through and choose the game they want.  They choose a topic that they may be struggling with or review a topic that they know.  Here's what my math storage area looks like!:

The reason that the games are not in a closed container like the manipulatives is because they vary in size.  Currently this is a small work in progress.

For number two, I am choosing to talk about our two (that's right TWO) field trips this week!

On Wednesday, we went on field trip number one!  This is a favorite of many children.  In the city I teach in, there is a minor league baseball team.  The team donates tickets to a special day game to all of the elementary schools in the district (there are TEN elementary schools).  Because many of my students struggle with behavior I generally use field trips as an incentive, this was no exception.  The children's behavior had to go above and beyond the two weeks leading up to the field trips.  All of my children (some better than others) made it to the field trips!  For this field trip we take lunches with us and watch the game!

Field trip two: The Philharmonic.  Last year due to behavior issues, I did not attend this field trip.  However, this year I did and boy has the philharmonic changed since I had gone when I was in school!  Throughout the year the children learn many things in Music.  The Philharmonic produces a music book to be used in Music classes.  When you are at the show, you are a part of the show.  Children are instructed to bring their recorders with them.  They are able to play along with the orchestra because they learned the musical pieces at school.  They are also able to sing certain songs and dance if they want!  It is such an interactive show and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  My students did too!  It was great seeing them participate and watch the show!

For the past two weeks, we have been studying poetry terms.  We finished up learning our terms this week and will begin writing poems next week.  This week we focused on Similes and Metaphors

First we learned about similes.  The children learned that they had to use the words like or as in a simile.  We used these rainbow similes from The Learning Tree to create our own.

We then learned about Metaphors and how they do not use like or as.  We used a fill in from TPT, check out what this student put for Kindness! Too cute!

The children then completed a color sheet similar to the simile rainbow to compare the differences between similes and metaphors.  The "My Many Colored Days" is on TPT from Ideas by Jivey!  It was interesting to see how they chose similes and metaphors for the two sheets.  Poetry has been pretty perfect so far this year!

This week was reading week for our district.  This year reading week had a theme: Science.  Each day there was a different activity for the children to do at school and at home.  One activity that they worked on through the week was learning about a scientist.  They needed to be able to explain to other children and staff members what they had learned about their scientist.  I was able to use these biography sheets from Mrs. Schroeder at Schroeder Shenanigans.  The children learned a lot about their scientists and shared the information with the help of the biography sheets!!

The final activity for Reading Week was the Vocabulary Parade.  Each student chooses a vocabulary word and creates a sign or dresses up.  We then parade around the block as a school.  Once everyone has walked the parade route, all of the classes form a circle outside in the school yard so that everyone can see each other.  It's always a good time and looked forward to by many.  Parents are invited to come stand along the parade route and join in with their child once they have arrived back at the school.  The police and fire departments graciously help out so that nothing happens to our wonderful student body.  Because we have been studying about the human body, my students chose words from the subject.  I somehow had anchors on today (surprised? ha!) so I ended up going as Oceanography!  Overall it was a great ending to a very hectic, fun-filled week!

These are the signs that the children wore for the parade.

My sign.

Most of my class with their signs!

My assistant and I ready to go!

I hope you all enjoyed my Five this week, I know I did!  I am now ready for a little weekend fun!  It's almost vacation time, four more school days (Friday = No School next week).