Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Check this out!!!!

So, today I spent 45 minutes creating a schedule on the white board in our new teaching office.

I am so, so, so happy with it!

You know that I do love me some colour coordination!

I am not sure which made me happier. The new white board markers or the fact that I bought colours that coordinate with the different studio floors. Woohoo!!!

Now we can all quickly know who is where when (i.e. gym, music, library etc) plus who is teaching in which studio when.



In fact, I was having so much fun making this, while the class was in the library, that I totally forgot to write the note home about Halloween.


So, if you are checking this today AND you are in our community, please note that students are allowed to wear costumes to school tomorrow (the usual no masks/no weapons schtick). We will be doing a small (community only) parade of our costumes at the start of the day and parents are welcome to hang out for that part. The rest of the day will be spent doing Halloween stations with each of the teachers in our community. We will  not be having a food party at all but will be watching a Magic School Bus video  (Going Batty - which seemed like a good choice given that bats are a Halloween type thing AND all the teachers will probably have gone batty by that point in the day!!!) as a whole community to end our day.

Cross your fingers for a no rain day tomorrow.

Ms. Hughes

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spelling City

Have you ever heard of Spelling City? It is a website where teachers can load weekly spelling words for students to practice. There are two options. One is the free version (which is what I have) and the other is the premium version which costs money (hence the reason I don't have it!!!!)
I have just updated my Spelling City account with the spelling words we have done so far this year. If you would like your child to keep practicing past words (a good idea!) while playing games (a fun idea!) then check out the link to my page:
Check it out!
Ms. Hughes

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Friday Favourites

1) I survived the first week in the new school.

2) I survived the first week in the new school.

3) I survived the first week in the new school.

4) I survived the first week in the new school.

5) I survived the first week in the new school.

What else is there to say?

Ms. Hughes

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Some days isn't that just the truth???..
So, I keep having people ask me how it is going in the new school. Well, does this quote give you an idea? (Just kidding!!!)  Although there were a couple moments on that first day....

What can I say? This week has brought lots of changes, new routines in a new space, trying to apply old routines in a new space, dealing with the (ever constant) talking when they need to be listening (same old, same old!!!!), not being able to find things because they are still packed in a box somewhere and not enough sleep!

As to the actual physical space...I love it! It is open and bright. The spaces just call out to be used (although they also call out to be run in which we are working on!) I feel good when I am in them. It feels all shiny and new like a Christmas present the day you first open it.  I am loving having the use of two spaces each morning. And am so looking forward to teaching the other divisions starting next week.

Of course, I still have a lot of boxes to empty and I haven't quite wrapped my head around the schedule (or where everything is stored) but I know it will come in time. After all, it took many, many weeks to pack up. It will take as long (or longer) to unpack!

I just hope we can keep it looking shiny and new for a long time. I have already had to send out a plea for boxes of baby wipes. It is the one thing I can think of that will be safe for the kids to use to clean off their puzzle piece carpet each day. And I am needing a broom desperately. Suddenly we can see all the dirt and muck that the kids were tromping into the old building. Only there it was hidden by the carpet! YUCK! Now, it is just there to see. I am thinking that indoor shoes (slippers with rubber soles or slip on runners with velcro) are going to be the way to go. Clean shoes, clean floors. At least in theory!!!

Today we did read to self for 16 minutes during Daily 5 time. Students were reading in the yellow studio, the DaVinci studio and the Community Commons. It was really cool to see! And they were on task (for the most part) so I managed to test a student yesterday and today! Woohoo! I should have the RAZ kids set up by Halloween. Tomorrow we are going to start doing another area of Daily 5: Word Work. We are starting with work on our spelling words thus far. (Speaking of spelling words...Our review week pretty much bit the dust. Not enough time or energy. We will go to week 7 next week) I saw this great storage system for Word Work on the blog Seusstastic today. I wonder where I can get one? I need it!!!!!


I won't lie and say that this move has been all wine and roses (though I will admit that there has been wine involved every evening upon returning home!) but, overall, it has gone more smoothly than it could have. So, thank you to all the families who have helped to make the transition smooth for the children (and teachers!) Keep checking in because there is more to come in the next few days. That day of costumes and candy is fast approaching!!!!

Ms. Hughes

Monday, October 22, 2012

Spelling This Week

With the move into the new school, we will not be doing a new spelling list this week

Instead, we will do a review of the 30 words learned thus far.

At the end of the week there will be a review which will include one word from each list learned. Happy Spelling!!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pinterest Wish List

One of my biggest failings (or perhaps it is a blessing in disguise, I really don't know) is that I have a gazillion ideas that will not get done in a day, a week, a month or even a year. Probably not in a lifetime! This is evidenced by my pinterest board which at last count had 50 boards and 6,464 pins!!!!

I have a ton of home ideas and an equal (or higher) number of school pins. I tend to get more of the school ideas accomplished since I spend most of my waking hours there but I haven't given up hope of accomplishing some of the decorating ideas for home!

That said, with the move to the new school and Halloween fast approaching and I have pulled a few pins that I really, really, really want to get done. Some are about organizing the new space and some are lessons I'd like to do in the coming weeks. Fingers crossed that I manage to do them!

fabric covered binder clips
Aren't these great? Simple to do and will let me colour coordinate. Oh, I do love me some colour coordination!!!!

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from deliciously organized

Having my office area looking something like this - although I know that I do not have anywhere near this amount of shelving. I still want to create an organized, calm working space for myself.

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from Rowdy in First Grade

I really like the visual for this lesson on adjectives. I will definitely be making time to do this lesson in the next week. And them maybe a poem can come out of it?

This lesson is just truly awesome. It is a lesson on differentiation. A lesson that is meant to show students that teachers do not give students what they might perceive as "fair" (the same for all) but what they need (meeting the needs of the individual). The teacher has each student imagine a pretend "owee" and then proceeds to put a band aid on the same spot on each student regardless of where they say their pretend owee is. The lesson is about giving everyone the same thing (putting the band aids on the same spots regardless) versus giving each student what they NEED (putting the band aid on the spot that is "hurt"). It is a great visual lesson and I think it will really bring home the reasons why not all students have the same work, same expectations etc. I'll be doing this one!
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from kindergarten lifestyle
I want to do this to my rollie cart. Now that we don't have teacher desks in our rooms, I have created a rolling desk in a cart like this. Doesn't it look cheerful all dolled up? This one is on my do soon list!
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This is the first art lesson I want to do in the DaVinci studio. I am so thrilled to have a real, honest to goodness art room. You may not know this but art is my favourite, favourite, favourite subject. Expect to see a lot of art integrated into my lessons now that I have an art studio at my fingertips!!!!
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another Halloween idea from here
How cute are these!!!! I think that with all the wonderfully unique personalities in our class that these will be a sight to behold! Love them!
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Christmas countdown from here
Love this idea! Used it last year, too. It was a fun lesson to teach and a great way for the kids to countdown to the big day!
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I like the idea of this. Put it in the front of their Daily 5 notebook and add reading strategies as we learn them. 
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I really like this. It promotes independence in the children, puts a stop to the "When's lunch, Ms. Hughes?" and teaches math skills. What's more is there to say?
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This anchor chart from here
I started talking about schema the other day. I love this anchor chart. We will definitely be having something like this hanging up in our new space.
So, that is the current pinterest wish list. Doable, you think?

Friday, October 19, 2012

School on the Brain

I went to bed every night this past week thinking about school and woke up every morning thinking about school. In between I dreamt about school! It was crazy!!!!

Right now I do not ever, ever, ever want to see a packing box again!


Of course, I will be met with the sight of a gazillion boxes when I go in to start unpacking on Sunday. But that will at least have an outcome that I will like. The only outcome from all the packing is fatigue! Big time fatigue! (Note to self: Never work two 14 hour days in a row ever again. You will feel horrible!)

Today we had a professional day which was spent with my new community colleagues planning for the coming weeks. I was so tired that all I wanted to do was sleep in (I was asleep before 8:30 last night!) but we got lots accomplished and I was happy in the end that I got out of bed.

I wanted to share some of the work that the class did last week. We wrote thank you notes to the construction workers and the moving crew. They turned out so well. I think that it is one of the best writing jobs the class has done yet! These ones are the ones to the construction crew. First, check the card fronts out. The pictures are so bright and unique...

Now, check out the writing. How wonderful is this? I did give the class the spelling for "Dear Construction Workers" and "Thank you for" but most of the students did lots of Fearless Spelling. I thought that they did a great job! I have seen great progress in their writing over the last couple of weeks. I love when that happens!

Were you able to read all of those? I hope so because they all made me smile. The ones to the moving crew were also great. One of my favourites is the one that read "Thank you for all the hard work. These boxes are heavy. How do you carry them?" So sweet! And the other student who said "Thank you for moving our Smart board" (I agree! And can only hope that it is up and running on Tuesday!!!!)  Hope you all have a great weekend!

Ms. Hughes