April 29, 2013

Picture Perfect

Have you seen this all over the bloggy world the last few days?? 

Well, it peaked my interest and I started to wonder what I was missing (I was the kid who couldn't go to bed because I was afraid I would miss something!) So, the last few days I have played around and I am in love! I would love if you would follow me and I can't even wait to see how the first #teachertalktuesday goes tomorrow!!

Here are a few of my favorite pictures...I will have more to share each day! I triple {heart} pictures so this is right up my alley!!! Follow me @kickinitwithclass

Multiplication Masters Board

My kids swimming this past summer

Problem Solving Notebooks - Fractions

Head on over to What the Teacher Wants or Apples and ABC's to link up!

April 21, 2013

Five for Frunday?? Yeah, I'm a little late!

Linking up again with Doodle Bugs for  Five for Frunday? Yes, I am a little late but I had a great week so I wanted to share!

1. Toro, the Houston Texan's mascot came to visit our 3rd and 4th graders to share some testing tips before our big state tests this week. He was full of energy and the kids ate it up. Lots of excited kids and now I am ready for football season!!

2. Simile breakthrough! We have been talking about similes on and off all year. I am hitting poetry hard right now before our big test so we were doing a fun figurative language foldable (more on that later) as I put up the definition on the board I asked the kids to create their own simile rather than just using my example. At first many of them were stuck but after a bit, I couldn't get them to stop! They were awesome and so excited to share! After the test we are going to revisit these. I think I'll let me kids illustrate and hang them in the hallway. The best part? They started "seeing" them everywhere.
 A girl was wearing this shirt and proudly stood up to model the simile she had found. Then someone pointed out, "This Girl is on Fire" is another example of figurative language and we had a debate about it being a metaphor or an idiom... Love it!

3. STAAR Wars: On Friday we (all 6 third grade teachers) spilt our kids up and let them rotate around the room to play games and practice for the STAAR test. We had a fabulous day and the kids had no idea they were learning. This is a tough group but with a little preplanning we were amazed at how smoothly the day went. No. Drama. = Amazing! I plan to write more about what we did tomorrow - stay tuned!

Not my best picture. I am the one in the back - behind the green and aqua shirts!
4. Team Party: We have a fabulous bilingual teacher on our third grade team and we found out a few weeks ago that she was one of our campuses A+ teachers. She is new to our team this year and we adore her. In fact, we all voted for her without even talking about it ahead of time - she rocks! Anyway, this Friday we all got together after school with husbands and kids and celebrated her. Lots of fun, lots of laughs.

Um, He didn't really want to stop eating for a picture. HA!
5. Crawfish Boil: Every year we get invited to my good teacher friend's crawfish boil. It is another great party with really great food. I don't eat the crawfish but my husband eats enough for the both of us (and then some!) I did eat the sausage, corn, potatoes, and mushrooms though. Yumm-O

I love reading about everyone's week each Friday. If you haven't linked up yet, what are you waiting for??

For all my Texas Teacher friends, good luck this week, we made it!

April 15, 2013

Inspiration Monday: Poetry Edition

I am linking up with Fun in 1st Grade to share my inspiration for today!

Since we are hitting poetry hard core this month, I thought I would share two of my favorite poetry pins.

The first one comes from Mary over at Pitner's Potpourri. I love the way she "coded" the poem to point out dfferent features. Click on the picture to go to her blog post about it.
Please don't pin this from my blog,
Head on over to here's and pin from the original source. Thanks!

The second pin comes from Using My Teacher Voice. She has lots of ideas for using this website and it looks fabulous. In fact, I am on my way over there right now.

Click the photo above to head to Sarah's blog post!

If you you are interested, I would love to have you follow my poetry board (or all my boards) over on Pinterest.

P.S. if you are looking for a super fun poetry book, check out Mirror, Mirror by Singer. She writes the same poem but in reverse order to show character point-of-view. Amazingly cool.

So, what's inspiring you today? I'd love to read all about it!

April 9, 2013

Tried it Tuesday: Sticky-note management


I am linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper for this weeks Tried it Tuesday. 
I have mentioned several times that I have a very challenging group this year. They are sweet (for the most part- wink, wink) but impulsive and chatty does not even begin to describe them. 
I have tried lots of management techniques this year. I use a combination of Whole Brain Teaching and a clip chart system but after awhile it stopped being effective for this group. Getting everyone to move their clips up or down was starting to cause more problems. Kids would push, talk, move someone else's clip (seriously?) 
Then I tried Class Dojo. Loved it but I wasn't consistent enough with it. I don't get cell service in my classroom so I couldn't use the app and it was unrealistic to have it up on the board all the time. Often, I would be teaching and need to give or take away a point so I would have to stop teaching, pull up the screen, etc. As you can imagine, that was tedious and lead to more off -task behavior. If I can ever find a way to use the app in my room, I will go back to it. Love the idea and the kids did too.
That brings us to where I am now. Each day each student gets a sticky note to add to the top corner of their desk. They draw a line down the center and add a happy face to the left and a frown-y face on the right. Then, just the same as using the clip chart but without having to leave their seats, students can earn tally marks on either side. I like it because I can quickly look around the room and see who needs more positives and I can even save or transfer the data from the sticky for RTI data. 
At the end of the day, students either earn a ticket for our class drawing or have to pay me Cougar Bucks (school money). The kids love it and I find I give more positives than when using the clip chart because I don't have to worry about a "pile up" or worry about getting in and out of their seats over and over. At the beginning I had the kids bring it home each night for their parents to sign. Now, I only do that for a few friends!
*side note* If we are at the carpet or away from their desks I just tell them to add a smiley and they add it when they get back to their seats... they don't forget, trust me!

April 7, 2013

So many things to share.. Let's start with Personification!

I have about a million (hyperbole) things I want to post about. I have been taking pictures and meaning to write posts but then, they never get written... Today, I write about figurative language. Specifically, personification! We have been learning about and practicing similies and metephores. The kids have been doing a great job. I used the most adorable simile freebie from The Peanut Gallery (if you teach grades 3 - 6 and have not been to her blog, run there now! Mrs. S. rocks!) and the kids had a blast.

Here is my favorite example. It was created by a little artist in my class!

When we moved into personification I introduced the idea by showing this page in my notebook file.
Click the picture above to get the Notebook File from Google Drive

Then, I put up the lyrics to Zac Brown Band's Martin on the screen. If you have never heard this beautiful song before, please listen to it below.

After listening to and reading the lyrics, I had my students make predictions about who or what "Martin" was. Then, I advanced to the next slide and showed them a picture as the big reveal :) On the next screen we went back to the lyrics and underlined the text evidence and explained what the author (Zac Brown) meant.

A little preteaching note. The lyrics have the word naked in them. OMG the laughter and giggling that ensued was hillarious. My awesome teammate Tracy, who came up with this super cool lesson, told the kids about that word before hand. She had her class brainstorm what kind of things could be described as naked other than people. Her class came up with chicken wings/tenders so she used that as a spring board to prepare them for the word. Kids. Sigh.

I am linking up with Mrs. O for some fabulous poetry tips/ideas. Head on over there to get some more ideas~

If you grab this file please leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you!!