Dollar Days at Scholastic!

A wonderful teacher over at Proteacher shared about the latest Dollar Days...

there are some really nice books on there this time!!

I'm a little embarrassed to share how much I spent, but I got some class sets of books I know my kids will love--YAY!

I wanted to pass the news to you. Click the image above to head on over.

Oh yes, one more can also search by reading level, which is pretty cool :) :) :)

Math Organization

Mrs. Patton over at Patton's Patch is continuing her week-long linky party of organization! Today's topic is math organization...

I've written about my math games and manipulatives before so I don't want to go on too long here...I have a bunch of files to share within those links (for the game baskets and playing cards labels...for EDM).

Gradebook Printables

It's the beginning of a new trimester and I am updating the way I keep my grades.

First of all, a new cover is always in order, isn't it?!

I also want to move on from those teeny-tiny boxes inside the typical gradebooks. When it comes time for report cards, my eyes are way too strained!

Daily Materials Organization

Mrs. Patton over at Patton's Patch is having the coolest, week-long linky party--all about organization!!

Today's topic is organization of daily materials. This is something I have struggled with in the past and I have recently started a new system that works well for me.

I made my button!

I finally got around to making myself a blog button! If you like buttons, I would be honored if you'd display it! Thanks for reading my blog :)

Ladybug's Teacher Files

Extra paper storage...Part II

Last night, I posted about storing extra papers so students could find them if needed (you can see that post here).

This is the second part of the extra paper storage...for all of the old papers.

Extra paper storage...Part I

It's a busy time of fair, field trips, fifth grade activities...lots of stuff going on! This means lots of papers going home and (in the case of my class, at least) lots of extra papers floating around.

I have mailboxes (aka shoe organizers) for work/forms to be sent home. I usually stuff the extra papers in one slot of the mailbox. But that makes it kind of hard to find certain forms (like those elusive Science Fair papers everyone suddenly needs!).

Leveled Bin and Book Labels (letters A to Z)

I've shared a bit about the leveled part of my classroom library in past posts (Leveled Bins and Leveled Labels).

I've had some requests for the other letters (I originally started out with A-P) so I wanted to post an entire set here. These files include the bins labels and sticker labels for the books themselves.

Controlling images in Blogger

You know how when you click on an image in Blogger, it enlarges? Well, I love that feature for photographs, since you can see even more details in the picture.

But for graphics I place in my blog, I'd rather not have them be clickable. I think that cursor image can be distracting and may lead readers to click when they see it.

I like the cursor only to appear on my actual links and downloads I have on my blog.

Organizing your blog pictures

This is for a good bloggy friend ;) As you might have noticed, I LOVE having tons of pictures on my blog. I like to keep my pictures balanced with my the text never seems too lengthy and there are plenty of visuals. Must be the ELL teacher in me!

Aligning the pictures can be a bit of a pain, so here are a few tips if you'd like to use a lot of pics in your blog...

Sometimes older is better. In the case of Blogger pictures, I like the "Old Editor" version. It is easier for me to type my text next to my pictures (more about that further down...).

To get to the old editor, head into your Settings tab (as shown above).

Scientific Method Signs

Our school Science Fair is fast approaching and many of my ELL students are anxious to participate! I love this because, for many of them, this will be their first science fair!

In preparation for the event, we have been reviewing the Scientific Method in class and completing some small experiments.

Word Detectives Part II

Hi everyone!! Here is Part II of my Word Detectives resource. You can read about Part I here.

I finally had the chance to assemble the books and implement this system today.

To display the word categories, I printed off the sign and taped it above a binder (which is velcroed to the board). This is how I display my Word of the Day charts as well.

More noun signs...with animals!

This is for my good bloggy friend and fellow ELL teacher Ms. M...and anyone else who would like to use this category as well.

This is the fourth poster in the noun poster set I posted earlier (see original post here).

Noun posters with animal category

Noun Posters

One of the many challenges with my older ELL newcomers is that they have to learn so many different aspects of language that younger students often have already learned. Many of them already have this knowledge in their primary's just a matter of touching upon it or introducing it in English.

My big struggle is covering these concepts in a way that is engaging for 4th and 5th graders. In the instance of parts of speech (which have come up again in our use of the Vocabulary Graphic Organizer), all it has taken is some sorting and categorizing activities.

Word Detectives Part I

This system was inspired by Mrs. Patton over at Patton's Patch. Check out her post on linking spelling to reading here!

I wanted to use a word collection book as well. My ELL students need practice and familiarity with many different types of word patterns and spelling rules.

I am going to use Word Detectives during morning meeting and Reader's Workshop. At morning meeting, I will introduce the new word category...then we will brainstorm a list of words that fit this category together.

Vocabulary Graphic Organizer

At the copier this morning, I found an old vocabulary graphic organizer. It was that one with "definition, picture example, and non-example". I had forgotten about this type of organizer and tried it out with my class this morning. They loved it!

We used the graphic organizer for one of our spelling words (of the students' choice).

My more independent students were able to look up the definitions on the computer and complete the paper themselves.

Post Your Pet(s) Linky Party!

I thought it might be fun to share pets! To join this linky party, just post a pic or more of your pet(s) and tell a few tidbits about them. Here are my lovelies...

I don't have children, but I do have three beautiful black labs who are the loves of my life! And here they are:

This is Jack. He is 9 years old and still acts like a puppy!! He is ALWAYS happy and continually wagging his tail. I swear he has the biggest heart.

This is Nick. He is Jack's brother. He is enormous and so sweet and gentle. He makes a funny snoring noise with his nose when he wants attention. And he LOVES the snow...especially burrowing in it!

And the newest addition to our family...Phoebe! This is an older picture--she is 11 months old today!! Phoebe is an absolute wild child. She rules the roost among the boy dogs and is really smart! It took the boys awhile to get used to her, but they just love her now.

(though as I post this, she is driving Jack nuts!)

I would love to see your pets too! Link up and share your furry friends! :)


Organizing your blog by topics

This post is for the wonderful Erica Bohrer from Erica Bohrer's First Grade! I just love her blog, she has many amazing resources!

This is one of my most favorite parts about Blogger--labels! I love how you can organize all of your posts...and Blogger makes it really easy to maintain once you've started. There are a bunch of nice options too.

To organize your blog by labels, go to the Gadgets tool in your sidebar. Select "Add A Gadget".

From the gadgets list, choose "Labels".

Now you will see some different choices for displaying your labels...I like to sort mine by frequency so readers can see what is posted the most first. I also like the list format. I try to keep my label list pretty short (but it's really hard to do!) so I can keep it displayed as a list, but not too long of a list!

There are a couple of ways to label your posts. The easiest of choices is to use the box at the bottom of your posting screen and just type in a label name. It will be loaded automatically into your Labels long as you selected "All labels" in the Configuration screen.

Once you have your basic label names, Blogger makes it easy to maintain them. All you have to do is enter the first character or so of your label name and the full name will automatically pop up! Then, you can just click on the name and you're good to go.

The default name for the Labels widget is (surprise!) Labels, but you can change the name if you'd like. I like to use Blog Topics, as you can see!

One other neat thing...if you create page tabs at the top of your blog, you can get the link for all of your labels in one category (like I used "Organization" for my Organization button at the top). This will show all posts in that category when the button is clicked.

What kind of label configuration do you like best, the list or the cloud?

Making tables in Blogger

You might wonder why you want to do this. I like to use tables because they allow me to have lots of websites and information on my classroom blog...without making my students have to scroll down tons of page.

With tables, you can place a number of images or text side by side, creating all kinds of new ways to present information!
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