Monday, October 20, 2014

Task Cards in the Classroom.

Do you use task cards in the classroom??

I LOVE using task cards in my classroom. Over the years, I have collected, created, printed, laminated, and cut A LOT of task cards. My collection has grown quite large over the years. 

Task cards are so great because they offer valuable practice, review, and reinforcement of students for important concepts. Being that we are a testing grade, students need lots of practice to ensure they have mastered the skills before that dreaded test. It kills me to see worksheets xeroxed, used, piled up on my desk to be graded, returned,  stuffed into cubbies or desks, then dumped into the trash can. Task cards allow practice for students without having a gazillion worksheets to go through. The plus side of it though is that students love them too. My students often cheer when they find that it is time to work on task cards. 

The neat thing about task cards is that there are so many different ways to use them. 
Here are some of our favorite ways to use task cards in our classroom:

SCOOT

For a game of SCOOT, students are all seated at their desks. They each get one task card, and you assign the cards around the room in number order. Students record their answer on their recording sheet, then quietly wait until the teacher calls SCOOT. At this moment, students will pick up their pencils, recording sheets and SCOOT to the next seat to answer the next task card. 
Students LOVE SCOOT. They think of it as a game. I love it because it's a great formative assessment to see who knows what as well as to see misunderstandings they may be having. It's also a time for some peace and quiet :) 
SCOOT works best for skills that don't require much time such as rounding, identifying parts of speech, fractions,etc. This would not be an ideal activity for things like word problems, elapsed time problems, etc. 

Task Card Scavenger Hunt
Students also love hunting for their task cards. I will often tape them up around the room, and students will go around with a clipboard and their recording sheets. They find their card, and record their answer on their recording sheets. 

Centers
Task cards also work great as a center activity in both language arts and math. I will often lay task cards out on the carpet area and students work quietly there solving through their task cards. 

Another reason I love task cards so much is that once it's done and prepped for, you don't need to do it again! I use my task cards again and again year after year. 

Here is how I organize all of my task cards.

I used the mini Sterilite plastic drawers and just added labels. All my cards are nicely tucked away and easy to access year after year. 

Here is a sneak peek of some of the task cards I have available in my store:

This is my newest set which practices multiplication word problems. It has a QR code version as well as a non QR code version. 

I have these cards for rounding- they come in a colored version as well as black and white. 

Multiplication and Division Word problem task cards

Multi-step word problems in both color and black and white
Differentiated (3 different levels) elapsed time task cards

Fraction task cards (simple)
Fractions on a number line
Parts of speech task cards (noun, adjective, verb, and adverb)

All of the task card in my store will be on sale for today and tomorrow!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Juggling Housework and Work-work

Being a teacher is rough because our jobs never end. If you're like me, I know you've got a to-do list somewhere that is about a mile long. One thing many people don't know is that when teachers go home, they are still working- grading papers, lesson planning, creating/finding awesome resources for their students to learn with, printing, laminating, cutting, gluing, etc.

Teachers are T.I.R.E.D. 
(like this guy)

I can get so caught up and stressed out about all the things I need to get done at home..that I can sometimes  quite often neglect the housework. I get so caught up in crafting, grading, multi-tasking and using every bit of space I can find in my house….then get soo tired..very very tired....that things stay out on the table, overnight. Overnight turns to several days. Before I know it..my house looks like a disaster zone!


 When this (above photo) happens, I get even more stressed about the mess, then think of all the time it'll take to get it cleaned. 

Please tell me that I am not the only one here, people!

SOOOO Today I wanted to share with you all how I avoid ending up in this situation!

I follow THIS:

This cleaning schedule helps me to stay on task and keep my house orderly. It only takes about 30 minutes each day to tidy up (keeping in mind my 1,100 sq. ft. home is probably much smaller than yours). As soon as I walk into the door, I get cleaning. 

I love it! It's soo much easier to clean a little each day, than to have a whole entire messy home to clean up all at one time. 

I feel relaxed and happy when I walk into my house when it's clean. I can focus and get work done a lot better when I have a clean home. 

This is what I came home to today…
Can you see my little puppy looking at the camera? He blends in with the kitchen rug ;)


I recently got rid of my dish rack. I love how spacious the counter looks now! Rather than using the dish rack, I pull out the drawers of the dish washer and let all my dishes dry in there. I can put them away when I have the chance and it isn't a total eye sore. The dish rack just looked super cluttered to me!

Do you feel a cleaning schedule can help you?  

If you do decide to try this out..I would LOVE to hear how it works for you! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Reading Wonders Organization

This year my school began implementing the new Reading Wonders Curriculum. 


Since it is our first year with the program, we are being told that we must implement with fidelity. I was and still am overwhelmed with this series. There is just SO MUCH to teach in a weeks time and there are also SO MANY resources. Today I wanted to share with you how I organize my Wonders materials.

We were lucky enough to have the school purchase all of the leveled readers for guided reading groups. The only problem that came with this was finding storage. I pretty much had every single shelf space in my classroom already occupied.. I decided to store them in file folders based on week in my filing cabinet! 
I love that the books are put away in the filing cabinet but are still easily accessible. 

I have also been creating some supplemental materials to go along with each week of Wonders. 

In these units I have anchor charts, supplemental worksheets and task cards to go along with the focus skills for the week. 


After the week is done, I take the laminated anchor charts and the master copies of the weekly worksheets and keep them filed away in the folder with the weekly readers. This makes it easy for me to have everything in one place from  year to year. 

I look forward to next year when all of my copies and already laminated anchor charts in one place and ready to go for that week! It has been quite a bit of work becoming familiar with the program, creating weekly units, and printing/laminating all of the anchor charts in time to teach it…but it'll be well worth it in the upcoming years! 

If you're interested in seeing my weekly plans for Wonders and assessment trackers, leave a comment below! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Building Fact Fluency

Hip,Hip, Hooorayy! I am officially on Fall Break. This is definitely a very much needed break. 
The first thing I did on my break was write a blog post. I'm so happy I finally have the time. I have so many things I'd like to share but just haven't had the time. 

I've recently teamed up with some amazing bloggers in a NEW collaborative blog on the block. Check us out at the Elementary Grapevine! 
I just posted over there about building fact fluency! Head on over to read all about it (there may even be a freebie!) 


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Currently!


Seriously?! Can't believe it is already October, folks. The year has FLEW by and I have been desperately trying to stay afloat this school year. I have a bunch of ideas brewing in my head of blog posts I want to share with ya'll. Give me a little more time, and I hope to gain a little sanity back after next week's fall break! Then I'll be back to share what I've been up to in the classroom!! 

Until then…lets go and link up with the fab. Farley for this month's Currently! 


LISTENING: I recently adopted a stray dog that was roaming around my neighborhood. He is the cutest, most loving dog around. It took my Princess awhile to get used to him, but now they absolutely LOVE each other. They are always running around the house playing together and their little collars go jingle jingle :) 

LOVING: That I only have 2 more days until I have a week off from school! This is some time that is desperately needed! I feel like I am struggling to stay afloat this year-maybe even just as much as I struggled my first year of teaching!…I thought things should get easier..not harder?!

THINKING: Of my mile long to-do list. I have so many things that I plan to do over break. I'm hoping I can at least get through half ;)

WANTING: A nice, hot slice of pizza! Hubs and I are eating healthy tonight but a slice of pizza sounds  devine!

NEEDING: If I only get one thing done over break, it must be to get my house CLEANED and ORGANIZED. It is a mess and has been driving me absolutely insane. :(

TREAT: Love this surprise in this month's currently. I am going to be giving you a treat!

My entire TPT store will be marked 15% off for the next 2 days ;) 

I've recently added some Reading Wonders materials:




and this fun Cultural Research Project



Enjoy!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

September Currently!

Aloha, Friends! I'm linking up with Farley again for her September Currently!


LISTENING: To the Kardashians. Love this show :)

LOVING: My students!!! I absolutely adore this group and miss them when I'm absent! 

THINKING: I need to make use of this 3-day weekend. So far, I have done NOTHING school related :/ I did get to spend the day with the hubs and some friends on Saturday though which was really nice!!

WANTING: An acai bowl. Where I live now, there aren't really any good acai bowls around. I've been craving this for awhile!

NEEDING: More TIME! I have so many responsibilities this school year as Grade level chair and mentor teacher (to a college student and 2 beginning teachers). To top it off I am also planning a baby shower and bridal shower. I never have enough time in one day or week to get it all done. 

Love this last one! I have been wanting to travel to Tahiti ever since I was a little girl. I also really want to go to Japan for the yummy yummy food!! I've also always dreamed of going to New York. My dream as a little girl would be that I would be proposed to in NYC during Christmas time :) 

I'm off to make my grocery list so I can meal prep tomorrow. Have a great week!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Buy 2 Get 1 Free Sale Weekend!!

Hi All,

So sorry. School has been in back session and I have been SWAMPED. This is probably my busiest year ever. I will give you all an update on what has been going on very soon. But for now, I need to get ready to host a Football party at our house for the hubby and friends. 

I wanted to let you know to make up for my MIA-ness…I wanted to bring you a little something special. 


Here are some products that have recently been added to my store:

Reading Wonders Supplemental Activities

A Cultural Research Project

Chalkboard and Chevron Lesson Plan Book. 

Happy Shopping!!