Wednesday, January 25, 2012

FCAT Camp & Test Prep

It's time for FCAT Camp!!!!
The title is so ironic! It is def. not a camp!

We send out an invitation to certain kids {depending on their score}
 to join us for an hour after school once a week.
We meet for 6 weeks starting Feb. 6th till FCAT.

Here is what I incude in each student's file:

I use flexible groups and group the by their areas of weakness {using previous data}.
I give them the sample FCAT test our DOE releases every year for practice as a pre-test on our 1st session, and as a post-test in our last session.
We use Crunch Time packets with stem questions for each benchmark, and Scholastic Action & Scope Magazines as text to work with. 
Lastly, we have a Test Maker program at school that generates practice stories & questions by benchmarks. I use it to tailor activities for each student based on their areas of growth.

What do you do & what do you use for test prep?

Link up & join the Test Prep Linky Party
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Treasured Tip - Backpack Buddy!

This post is for my Elementary friends & readers!

I was cleaning my house today {rare occasion} and found one of my favorite Elementary activities & wanted to share it with all of you.

This is an activity I did when I taught 3rd grade & wanted to promote narrative writing.
I found a cute stuffed lion {our school mascot is a lion}
 but you can really use any stuffed animal you want.
I put him in a bag, added a composition notebook as a journal, a book about lions, and a fun pencil.

My kiddos named him Nacho but then we officially changed his name to Leo {The Ben Gamla Lion}
Leo & his traveling journal go home every Friday with a different student.
Leo is to do EVERYTHING the child does!
On Sunday evening the child writes down their adventures together either in 3rd person or 1st person from Leo's point of view.
They also attach fun pictures they took together.

The kids CAN'T wait to take him home with them & bring him back Monday to share the journal & pictures out loud in class.

Leo in his backpack :)

Here is the front page of the Journal - A letter from Leo to the classmate who's taking him home for the weekend

Here the last page of the journal - A Letter I wrote to the parents about this project!

Here are some pictures of Leo's adventures!

Leo's been to Disney, Florida Keys, Metro Zoo, the Fair, and many more exciting places that year.

Those little third graders I had that year are now my 6th graders! 
I can't wait to take Leo in on Monday and share their journal entries with them from that year!

Do you do anything like this? This was truly one of their favorite writing activities!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Treasured Tip - Cooperative Group Learning - Hunger Games Activity!

The Hunger Games Cooperative Learning Activity

Last week I used Mandy's {Cooperative Learning 365} activity for MLK.
My kids absolutely LOVED it!!! 
When you find something middle schoolers love you just need to ride that horse!

We just finished reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins so I went ahead and created a similar activity to the MLK one with The Hunger Games!

I like turning this into a competition for the kids to spice things up!
I always reward the first 3 whole complete the assignment the quickest.

The activity is available for purchase in my store for $2.50
{click on the image above to buy it}

Here are some pictures I took of the kids completing the activity. My kids love & appreciate any excuse to get out of their seats & work together!!! It was amazing how much they learned & how well they completed the activity!

Now how do you say no to that?!?!?!?

Happy Cooperative Learning!


Blog Award Nomination!!!!

My Blog was nominated for an award!!!!!!!
Woohoo!!! I am sooooooooo excited!

Not sure who nominated me but I am very grateful!!!
Blogging has truly changed the way I teach!

I am soooooo inspired by all of the teaching blogs I read!
Self reflection has turned me into a better teacher!

Online PhD Programs

Voting begins January 21st at 12:01 AM (EST). The blog with the most votes by January 26th at 11:59 PM (EST) will win the grand prize, a $200 restaurant gift card. 

PLEASE show your support & VOTE

Online PhD Programs



Friday, January 20, 2012

Valentines FREEBIE

This has been quite the week!!! I absolutely loved that it was a short one!
We were off Monday for MLK, Thursday was a half day {and I left because I didn't feel well}, and today was teacher planning day {but I took off to take care of grad school stuff}.
All in all, short & sweet!

I did the craziest thing today.... I signed up for 2 {out of my last 4} graduate courses!!!
I took a 2 year hiatus from classes and now I'm back baby!!!!
I start classes next Mon. & Thurs. - clearly I'm suicidal!!!

No clue how I'll ft it in my schedule but I just HAVE to do it!

Research in Reading and Practicum in Reading {high school kids}

How do I juggle it all?!? 

Not to mention my stress of the upcoming FCAT state exam my kids have to take in April!!
I have so much planning to do for that!!!

It's a good thing I have a supporting hubby!

Anyway.... let's talk about VALENTINES DAY!!!!

It's that time of year again when teacher make all these cutesy valentine gifts for the students and I wish i did too!!!!! But 150 students I can't even bring myself to think of something I can give & make for all of them. So.... I resort to my {and def. my kid's} favorite gift of all....


They sure do love them!
I attach a little pink Hershey Kiss to it :)

Click the image below to grab your freebie!

Can't wait to see all the cutesy stuff ya'll come up with!

Leave me some love if you grab it :)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Marazano Webminar - FREE

I don't know about all of you, but my district is all about Marzano's Evaluations this year.

My admin. team went for the training, but because we are a charter school the staff wasn't "forced" to take the training the public school employees had to.

My P will be using his evaluation system to evaluate us this Spring and I'm super nervous not to know anything about it.

This past week she sent out an email with a flyer for a free webminar.
She did not say we had to do it but said it'll be a good idea.

haha... I think I'm the only one at school who actually signed up!

I just hate NOT KNOWING & it make me nervous to be evaluate on a system I don't understand! 

I thought I'd share it with ya'll :)

Wed, January 18, at 3-4 PM EST

I figured it couldn't be that bad... since it's online and only an hour. It did get me out carpool duty :)

I just think it is crazy that every few year some "genius" comes around and thinks he/she is going to reinvent the wheel in education &  makes money out of nothing!!!

Anyway.... I'm editing this post as I'm attending the webminar and all I have to say is OMG!!!!
seriously?!? They talked about NOTHING for the first 45 min.
They finally got down to the evaluation system and it is just INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I swear... someone out there is out to get us!!!!!

Has this been coming down the pipe for you all?
What do you know about it?
How do you prep for it?

I'll take all the advice I can get!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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