Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Free Technology! (Have You Entered?)

How does a $25,000 school technology grant, an iPad 2, and 30 iPod touches sound?

I know... like the BEST thing ever, right?!

My students would go NUTS! And I would be in heaven with my very own iPad!!
{My hubby has one, but he doesn't share very often...}

Well, the Worth Ave Group is giving out over $150,000 in prizes to some very lucky teachers. 


P.S. While you're at it, like Worth Ave Group on Facebook and tell them the girls from What the Teacher Wants sent you! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

What I'm Lovin' {non-teacher version}

Hi friends!!! I'm just enjoying my last week of off track with some R&R.  I thought I'd use my new iphone and take some pictures of things that I'm lovin'!

So, those of you who know me, know that I had not gone to the 21st century technology when it comes to phones. I just could not do it.  BUT, finally I decided it was time! The iPhone will change your life.  Just so you know, I talk to Siri all the time. Last week I told her that I loved her.  She said, "You say that to all of your Apple products.".  Touche Siri, touche.

I'm loving my new mustard yellow pillows I got from Tarjayyy {Target}.

I'm loving my Valentine's Day decor shelf.  I got the cute printable from eighteen25 {here}. By the way, when you use cute little glass vases to hold candy hearts to decorate for V-day, it's not a great idea because they are so.darn.addicting. Did you notice the missing candy hearts in the vase? Perhaps they fell out. Perhaps?

I'm loving my new Asics "running" shoes I got 2 weeks ago.  Really, I don't run much because let's be honest....if you see me running, call the cops! I'm the person yelling out my car window "eat a Twinkie" to the skinny girl running in 20 below weather.
  I do workout though!  It's crazy that you can burn calories without running. :)
To read more about my shoe problem, see below.

Oh I apparently struggle a little taking picture with my new phone.  But what I'm loving here is the new OPI Shellac!  My sister and I got our nails done on Saturday. Then we ate at Cafe Rio. Ohmygoodness. If you have no idea what Cafe Rio is {I think it's just a Utah/Nevada thing}. YOU ARE MISSING OUT, but your scale is thanking you.

You can't really tell in this picture, but this little board holds tons of pictures and the pictures just slide right in!!! So easy to change pictures in and out for the seasons! My sister-in-law bought it for us for Christmas and she got it {here}.

Ok, yum! I love these panini's from Lean Cuisine.

If ya'll promise to keep a secret, I'll tell you one more thing. Promise?
Just as I'm about to hit "publish post" I get a knock at the door. It's my BFF Mr. UPS man. :)  Look what he brought me. ALL 3 of these boxes are shoes.

Let me start by saying...I NEVER BUY SHOES OR CLOTHES FOR MYSELF. It's been 2 years since I bought a pair of shoes. 2 years?!?!?!  So please, don't judge me. :)

3 NEW PAIR OF SHOES!!! The reason I need this to be kept quiet is that I haven't told the hubby the extent of my "I need new shoes" rampage I was on last week. He just said "that's cool, buy what you want". I know he won't mind, it's just....well...I apparently need a shoe intervention.

1st pair on the left:  If you need comfy and cute, you NEED these.
2nd pair: TOMS. They are my first pair. I know I'm a little late on the bandwagon, but I just had to have them.
3rd pair: My "running" shoes from above wanted to be in the picture too!
4th pair: My Asics for walking outside because I didn't want to use "running" shoes to walk outside or to the mall or to get my nails done.

What are you loving?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

President's Day Giveaway! {now closed}

Giveaway now closed!

 Natalie and I are teaming up with the fabulous ladies at Made for 1st Grade. Ohmyword, do they not have the cutest centers ever? LOVE them!  We're doing a giveaway of our President's Day themed packets!  Made for 1st Grade has some great Stars and Stripes Centers that will go great with our President's Day and U.S. Symbols Unit!

We're giving away both of these on our blog and then both on their blog !!!! 2 sets ya'll!

Feel free to check out our President's Day stuff:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Guided Reading Galore!

I've had many questions about guided reading!  Let me start by saying, I'm NO expert. I am still working on it myself! But, I do have some things I've learned that I'd love to share with you...and I'm not taking credit for these ideas. :)  I just blog about em'!

Once you establish the level of each of your students, you'll want to check out {this} printable. It has helped me SO much!  This printable tells me what I need to work on with each level {I did not create this handout, I just re-typed it!}.

Click {here} for the download

Once you know what your kiddos need, you'll put them in groups. I know you've seen this before on our blog, but this is for our new friends that need ideas. I used velcro so that I can easily move them from level to level and so that I'd have a visual of where my students are.

I use this printable to help me decide when I'm meeting with each group.  If you have a lot of groups, you won't be able to meet with every group, every day. BUT, it's important that you meet with your below level kiddos EVERY day {even Friday...gaspppp....}.  So, this helps me remember what day I meet with what group {here's an example of what it would look like}:

Click {here} for the download

Here is a guideline from my district on where your students should be throughout the year. Keep in mind that we are in a trimester schedule so it might be different for you.
Click {here} to download

Running Records
We are asked to do one running record in each group, each day. It's a little overwhelming and I try my best to get it done, but I'm the.worst.at.it.  I know it's helpful because it let's me know when a students is ready to move a level without doing a formal assessment, but I just like listening to all of my students in the group, not just one.  Uggghhh.... I'm working on it people!

I keep my running records in a guided reading records binder {check that out here}.

Click {here} for the running record form

If you've never done a running record, it's really best to see one in action.  I did find a good site for a general overview of running records {here}.

Anecdotal notes
Sometimes you notice things that your students are doing, but you're not doing a running record on them...but you need to remember to address it. I just keep a sheet of address labels on my desk and jot down the problem. Then, I stick it on their tab in the binder on this little printable:
Click {here} to download

In my guided reading packet on TpT, I explain the planning steps of guided reading, but here's a tip that's not in my packet.  When teaching a guided reading group, I always have a word work activity planned.  To organize all of my games and ideas, I've put them all in a binder.  The games are all copied on cardstock and put in a page protector {then they can be stuck in the binder AND they can be used with a dry-erase marker}.  Then, I separate them with tabs so I can easily access them. The tabs are comprehension, word work, vocabulary, fluency, and I think that's it.

Mini-lesson ideas seen in this picture are from my Guided Reading Packet.

I use my whiteboards or my games from my binder in my lessons just about every day. They are perfect for word work mini-lessons. I just take into account the skill my kiddos need to work and/or what I see in their book for that day.  If the book is called "Star Fish", I might work on the sound of 'ar', or I might work on the digraph 'sh'. OR, I might just see what they need to work on and it might not have anything to do with the book.

I use the Daily 5. I modify it to make it work for me and my students. It's the best system that is a balance between keeping the kiddos engaged AND having them do meaningful things while I'm working with groups.  Check out their site for more info. Another bonus...after you've set up all of the expectations with your kiddos the first month or so of school...there's really nothing else you have to do with it {I do revisit the expectations every month}.

Daily 5 board!  The polka dot border can be found {here} and the Daily 5 posters can be found {here}.

This one I can't really help you on. It's up to you to make time to do guided reading. I know that sometimes it's out of your hands, but it's VERY important you meet with your kiddos everyday {it's required in our district}.  Even when it's during assessment time, I try to at least get in one group that day {my lowest group for sure}.  My district is really big on the "2-a-day" plan. Basically, during assessment time, only test 2 students a day. This is in place of "test all the kids in 3 days and that's it" method I like. I'm not a fan of the "2-a-day", but some of you might be.

I am so fortunate that I teach in a district that is HUGE on guided reading. We have a giant room full of guided reading books for ALL the levels.  It's basically a library just of guided reading books. It's heavenly.
If you are short on books, there are numerous grants out there that can help!

I hope I answered all of your questions. :) For more ideas and to see our previous posts, go {here}.

Any other ideas? Tips?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Talented Teachers and some FREEBIES!

I am fortunate to teach at a school with VERY talented teachers!! I would say that the teachers at my school are some of the cute-siest teachers I've ever seen!

Two of them have recently decided to join the Teachers Pay Teachers world (they are not bloggers yet, but I'm hoping that will be the next step...) and I wanted to show off some of their work with you.

First, meet Christie Lamb. You might remember her from THIS post from over a year ago. Christie and I went to college together and randomly got hired at the same school. We've been super great friends ever since!

I wanted to give you a glance at some of her work. This is her {fabulous} money unit

I also wanted to share a cute Beach Party Themed 100 Days Unit from my friend, Misty Hall

Both of these cute gals have agreed to let me give away a freebie! 

Christie has made a cute Sight Word Bingo game.

Here's a freebie from Misty - it's her Snowman Fact Family! (Just in time - Utah finally got some snow this weekend!!)

I don't know about you all, but I'm gearing up for a VERY busy week of parent teacher conferences. Here's wishing for a good week for all of you out there!! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My New Friend & President's Day & U.S. Symbols

I apologize for my absence. I haven't been able to post my freebies that I've been doing in my classroom because, well, I'M OFF TRACK! :) So, I've been in my jammies a lot lately and just like my friend Kristin would say; my pjs and I are BFFs. :)

I have to introduce you to my new friend! Her name is Nikki and she is an amazing artist! She draws clipart and it's SUPER cute {and commercial use friendly}.  And what do you know? We apparently live thisclose to each other.  What a small world.

I mean look how cute?!?!?!?!

And she's so sweet because she takes requests!  I requested some President's Day clipart and *BOOM*, there it was! :)  She is also getting her Etsy shop up and ready to go, so check it all out!
Back to the President's Day clipart that I requested....I needed it for a unit I was making for my class and I just put it on TpT too!  Check it out {here} in it's full capacity because it's jam packed!

President's Day and U.S. Symbols Unit

There's lots in this unit! So click [here] to view the description!

I'm sorry for such a long post. But I also wanted to leave you with a
President's Day *freebie* from my unit.

{click the pic for the download}

 Be ready for a HUGE post about Guided Reading {full of freebies, running record help, organizations, etc.}- What are you wanting to know about Guided Reading? Anything you hope I include in this post?

P.S.and S.
 If you made it to the end of this L.O.N.G post, THANK YOU! I shall reward the first 3 people to comment on this post with my new unit that I wrote about {see above}. Did you read it about it or did you skip to the last sentence of the post like I do sometimes? :) Please leave your email. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This is kind of a big deal...

Do you have a blog idol?  Natalie and I have always loved the ladies over at eighteen25. They have such amazing ideas, they're so sweet, and can I just say 2 words that sum it up: SUBWAY ART!

Today, we are GUEST POSTING over there. Yes. Go ahead and re-read that. Breathe. We are so excited! And do you know what we've discovered? Those ladies are fabulous and down-to-earth.  DUH!

So, can you do us a favor PUH-LEASE?  Head over to eighteen25 {become a follower if you're not}, check out our post, and show us some love. Tell them that What the Teacher Wants sent you! :)

In honor of our readers here at What the Teacher Wants and our new friends at eighteen25, I've made a little printable for your home. 

My husband and I LOVE Chinese food.  We have our favorite place we go to every.single.time.

At the end of the meal we read our fortune from our fortune cookies and we always save the best ones. I would stuff them in our "junk drawer" {you are nodding your head agreeing that you too, stuff anything and everything in that drawer}.  I wanted a cute way to display them so I came up with this:

Here's my non-teaching idea. It doesn't happen often, so soak it up!

Fortune {from a fortune cookie} Display

Here's what you need:
*Frame {Hobby Lobby}- make sure it has the piece of cardboard on the back
*Crafting wire {Walmart}
*Painters tape {Walmart}
*Printable {click on the color you'd like}:

Just tape the printable to the cardboard that comes on the back of your frame. Cut pieces of crafting wire {I cut separate pieces} and pull tight over the printable that's on the cardboard. Tape each end of the wire to the back of the cardboard. Repeat. :)  Then, put your fortunes in the wire and put the glass on top.  Carefully put the glass inside of the frame. Viola! :)

My favorite fortune {my husband got this one}:
You and your wife will be happy in this life.

Background design from Dreamlike Magic

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Science Fair Time!!

I love the Science Fair and I love seeing my students come up with some amazing work! I have been absolutely blown away with some of the projects that have been turned in in the past.

But, let's be honest - the science fair is a TON of extra work.

Here are some resources that may help you as you get your own kiddos ready for the science fair:

#1 - I love this FREE Science Fair Handbook I found on TpT.

#2 - These beautiful scientific method signs were made by the fabulous Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files. LOVE THEM!

#3 - I great visual to walk students through the steps involved in a science fair project. (I espcecially like how it emphasizes the fact that some times we have to try again.)

#4 - Discovery Education offers Science Fair Central, a fabulous resource for teachers, parents and students!

#5 - Education.com has thousands of Science Fair Project Ideas

#6 - A good article on the Scientific Process from Fact Monster.

#7 - YouTube - Two songs that teach about the scientific method through music. The first one is a rap and the second one is a sing-a-long.

Know of an awesome website or resouce that I'm leaving out? Make sure to leave a link in the comments so we can all add it to our science fair files! Thanks!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Very Sweet Valentine's Day

I was in need of some fun, but *very* educational games for my kiddos to play on Valentine's Day. I decided to make a packet of math and literacy centers for Valentine's Day. It's just necessary to do things a little bit different on Valentine's Day. :)

These math and literacy centers are "very sweet" and can be used the whole month of February {and beyond}! They will be perfect for Valentine's day, but I've also included non-Valentine's Day words for the games {for my friends who do not celebrate Valentine's Day}. This 58 page packet includes 3 math and 3 literacy centers in both color and black and white.

There are 3 math centers:
Heart Patterns
Sweet Treat {cupcake graphing} with recording sheet
Don't Break My Heart {time to the hour} with recording sheet

There are 3 literacy centers:
Love Letters {long/short i sort} with recording sheet
Punctuation Sort with recording sheet
I Scream For Ice Cream {digraph sort} with recording sheet

click {here} to check it out!

P.S. Did ya'll see my funny story on our Facebook Page?  If not, here it is:

I was teaching a guided reading group today and we were reading a non-fiction book about gorillas. I decided it was a perfect time for me to expose them to the table of contents and the index. 

 I asked, "Does anyone know what in index is used for?"

One of my students raised his hand SO high and said, "Yes, it's what my mom uses to clean the windows!"

Nope, we were talking about an INDEX, not WINDEX! :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Our super cute 4th grade friend is throwing a fun linky party/giveaway! I love linky parties, especially if there are prizes involved! :)

Here's my {Natalie's} first ever "Currently". 

Join in on the fun over at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade!

One more thing:
If you like giveaways, you should also check out the gals at Fun in First
They teach at the school where Rachelle and I both did our teaching practicum in college! 
Yay for Fiddlers Elementary! :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Management Monday: Managing your blog

This tip isn't really a classroom management post. It's a little tip to help you {and me}.

How many of you HATE these word verifiers? Yeah, they are checking to make sure robots are not posting on your blog, I get it.....

And by the way, I was not commenting at 3:33pm {during school}. It was 4:33pm. Promise.
I CAN NEVER FIGURE OUT THAT DANG THING!!! On some websites it's ever worse. Have you tried the word verification on Facebook? I have to refresh the word 100 times before I get it! And really, "tream". That's not even a word, I think.

It also takes away precious commenting time on my end.

So, I've devised a little plan to help you change your settings to the most user-friendly commenting settings. You can get more comments and I can give more comments. :)

Here's my tutorial:

Yes, once in a while I'll get a spam comment filter through, but I just delete it. And once in a while I get a mean comment on my blog from an anonymous reader and guess what....I DELETE IT! It's my blog and I'll do what I want to {well it's mine and Natalie's blog}. :)

And there you have it...more user-friendly commenting! Hope you enjoyed! What do you think? Clear as mud?

Um...hello? How did I not know about {this} video tutorial from Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher files BEFORE I made this post. Ahem.

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