Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday Made It and August Back to School Goals

I can see my summer coming to an end!  I have 19 days remaining before teachers are to return at my school. 

I have accomplished a lot this summer but I still have quite a few things on my to-do-list.  I am staying positive that it will all be completed with time to spare. (If I type it it has to come true right?!)

I am a day late, but I am linking up with Tara at 4thGrade Frolics for her famous Monday Made It Linky. 
Last year I made owl birthday bags similar to these.
An end of the year gift
I included a pencil, a large crayon shaped eraser, a birthday certificate, no homework slip, and a ring pop in each bag.
Two years ago I made birthday balloons with candy straws and my students really liked them and so did I.  They are easier to make and storing them is no problem.
So this year I decided to make them again.

I made my balloons in four colors, three different titles, and used two different types of ribbons.  

Here are up close pictures of the three titles.  The words are the same but the backgrounds are different.  My mother came up with the saying so that it would match my camping theme.

After cutting out the balloons on the Cricut, I used the scrap paper to fill the vase.  I simply put the scraps through my paper shredder.

Jess at I {Heart} Recess is hosting a Monthly Goals Linky and for the month of August we are focusing on Back to School.
I {Heart} Recess
Here are my goals:

Personal - leave work on time I plan to use my planning periods effectively this year.  I am going to close and lock my door during my planning periods and take care of business.  No talking to my coworkers, hanging out in the teacher’s lounge, or spending time in the office.   I can get done most if not all of my work if I follow this plan.  I don’t want to carry home a bag full of need-to-do work.

Organization - grade papers the day I collect them I don’t grade a ton of work, because a lot of it is practice and I review it with my students.  What I do grade will be graded right away.  No more hauling stacks of papers home and grading them on their third car ride to my house.  Grading right away will also help me to know which students are still in need of re-teaching before I move on to the next lesson.  I want to help them while the concepts are still fresh in their heads and mine.

Planning - complete my plans a month ahead of schedule I do make a yearly plan, which I am happy to say is already completed.  I have also complete my plans for August and September.  If I stay ahead of schedule it will give me the comfort I need throughout the year.  There are times when I am busy with life, sick, or just don’t feel like working on lesson plans.  I know I will have to go back and add, delete, and/or modify those plans but it will be less time consuming then starting from the beginning.

Professional conference more with my students during workshop times I found that I spend too much time with students during our conferences and don’t see enough students.  I plan to use a timer this year to keep my on schedule.  I love the way that conferencing helps me really to get to know my students and I want this to better utilize this time.

Students help them set realistic goals and achieve them Last year I worked with my students on setting goals and deciding on steps to achieve them.  I started off strong with this but I must admit I didn’t finish quite as strong.  I think it is important to teach students to set realistic goals and I plan to do a better job at that this year.

Motto - When I am tempted to lose patience with someone remember how patient God has been with me. We have all had those students that push us to our limits.  I seem to have one or two every year.  I must remember to practice a little more patience with him/her and try to find something that will help him/her to be successful in my classroom.

Stop by Tara’s blog to see all of the wonderful projects bloggers have completed this week and Jess’s blog to see what goals others have set from back to school.
What do you do/give to celebrate your students birthdays?

Until next time

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Classroom Purchases, Winners Announced, and OH NO! Not My Laminating Pouches!

I want to thank everyone that stopped by my blog this week to help me celebrate reaching 100+ Followers.  Congratulations to the winners of the giveaway and they are

#56 Kim V. - $25.00 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers

#194 Katie O - $50.00 worth of products from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

#245 Kristi Box of my favorite teacher/school supplies
I have sent each of you an email.

I have purchased a few things for my classroom and I thought I would share some of my purchases with you.

1.  A.C. Moore Craft Store had these wonderful storage boxes on sale and I couldn’t pass by them without picking up four for my classroom.  They are a jean print, which I ABSOLUTELY love!


·      they fold down easily to store them over the summer

·      sturdy enough for my 4th graders to sit on with a cushioned top (I had one of my 14 year old sons test it out for me.)

·      remove the lid for hidden storage

They also come in several animal prints.

2.  I purchased new borders for my classroom from Carson Dellosa.  I ordered the wood planks and grass border.  These will work well with my camping theme.

3.  Fleece is perfect for classroom pillows and to cover the tops of sitting benches.  My mother sews pillow covers for my classroom when I change themes and I just slip off the old cover and put on the new ones.  Since they come off so easily, I wash them about 4 times a year.  The fleece washes well and my students love the feel of it, too.   I will show you my new pillows next month when I post about my finished classroom.  Here are the pictures of the fabrics.

The fleece was purchased at JoAnn’s Fabric and Crafts, Hancock Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby.

It feels good to have some things marked off my to-buy-list.

Now for some heartbreaking news!  Last week, I was informed by a manager at my local Sam’s Club that they will no longer carry the laminating sheets that come in the 200 count pack for $20.00.  They will be replaced sometime in late August but he doesn’t know which brand, the quantity, or the new price. He did say that Sam's Club still had some in the warehouse that can be purchased online.  I ordered 3 packs but should have purchased 6!  I hope the replacements are of the same quality and are still at a great price.
What purchases have you made for your classroom in the past week?

I just posted a new back to school item in my TPT Store. 

This is a great back to school activity for your students to complete in class and share with their classmates. It will also make a great keepsakes to take home.

You will find step by step directions, including pictures of each step, on how I put together this paper bag book. This is only my suggestion but you are free to have your students put it together any way you choose.

This is a list of the pages:

Title Page (I have included two different ones.)
All About Me (2 pages and 1 for the pocket)
My Family (2 pages)
The Strong Me (2 pages and 1 for the pocket)
My Goals for School and Home (2 pages)
My Favorites (2 pages and 1 for the pocket)
My School (2 pages)
My Classmate (2 pages and 1 for the pocket)
I also included to blank pages.
I encourage my students to color the page borders to brighten up their books.
I will send a free copy to the first person that guess how many students I currently have on my class list for the upcoming school year.  You can purchase one here.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Classroom Management, I Was Made An Offer, and Math Drawer Labels

As a reminder today is the last day to enter my 100 Follower Giveaway 3 prizes for 3 winners! 

You can enter for a chance to win a $25.00 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers, $50.00 worth of items from my store, and/or a box filled with my favorite teacher/school supplies.

I will announce the winners tomorrow. 

Now, for today’s post

I find it very hard to sit in my seat all day without talking to my neighbor during long meetings and professional development so I know my 4th graders would struggle with sitting in one place quietly during the day, too.

For this reason, I change up the way they work several times each day.  Each and every day they work independently, with a partner and with a group. They work at their seats, on the carpet, or on a comfy spot.

Sometimes I want them to come to me for assistance and at times I want to go to them (especially when they are working as a group).

There are times when I want them to turn in their completed work into our box.  Other times I want to immediately see the completed work.  With longer assignments, I may want them to keep it in their desk to finish at a later time.

Well with so much going on throughout the day and focusing on the assignment at hand, can I really expect a nine or ten year old to remember all the extras?

Last summer I found a pin on Pinterest that gave students a visual reminder.  (I would love to credit the pin, but I can no longer locate it.)  This was a perfect solution to the never ending questions of May we work together?  May I use a pillow? I am finished, what do I do with my assignment? I need help, may I come see you? And on and on and on!

Well I changed up the chart I saw on Pinterest to make it work for me.  This is a picture of my chart.  It hangs in my classroom near the SMART Board where everyone can clearly see it. 
After we have discussed my expectations for the assignment, I call students up to remind the class of “how they are going to work”.  When a student comes up he/she puts a clothes pin on the card that goes with my directions.

Here is a picture with the clothespins attached.

Ms. Foreman to you I go to the students.  I do this with all group assignments.  It is just too difficult for them to all come to me and bring all their materials, too

see Ms. Foreman I use this mostly when students are working independently.  They are allowed to meet me at the small group table for assistance.

work at your desk Students must work at their assigned desk.

even in a comfy spot I give each of my students a number the first week of school.  The number is used for many things and this is one of them.  If the day of the week is an even number then those students may move to a comfy spot (comfy chairs, stools, benches, pillows, etc.) in the classroom.

odd in a comfy spot Works the same as “even in a comfy spot” just with odd numbers.

work with your group I have my student’s desk in mixed ability groups.  During this time, students are to work with the members of their group.

work with a partner Students may select a partner to work with and sometimes I select their partners.

voices off Students are to work silently.  This is used mostly for assessments or during independent reading times.

see Ms. Foreman when work is completed This is for the times I want to assess their understanding immediately.  I also use this to conference with students.

turn work into the box We have a paper turn in box in my classroom.  Papers are placed in the box for grading.

place work in desk This is for times when we will go over the assignment as a class and I need to wait for others to finish the assignment.  I also use this when it is a longer assignment and students will need more time to complete it.

At the end of the assignment, one of my students places the clothespins at the bottom of the chart until they are needed again.

I was contacted by SmileMakers with an offer to review one of their products.  This product The DeluxeYacker Tracker
TCH1306 - Deluxe Yacker Tracker
I am hoping that this will help control the noise levels in my classroom when students are working with partners and with groups. The product descriptions states that it will help students self-monitor their noise level through the traffic lights and sounds.  I am looking forward to testing it out.
I will let you know if I receive it and let you know how well it works after a week with my new students sometime late August.   

I had a request to share my math drawer labels that were shown in this post.  I now have them available here.  There are 27 math labels with a choice of 3 fonts.  If you don’t see a label that you need email me after you have made the purchase and I will be happy to send you the extra labels within 24 hours.

What have you found on Pinterest that you now can’t imagine not having in your classroom?

Come back tomorrow to see if you are one of the winners of my 100 Follower Giveaway.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Must Read Mentor Text, Liebster Award, and 100 Follower Giveaway!

Happy Sunday!!

Sundays are extra special when you don’t have to spend them working on plans, grading papers, and preparing for the work week!

First up I am linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their awesome Must Read Mentor Texts Linky.

Here is a review by Publisher's Weekly:

In this crafty story of a cross-country race called "The Great Divide," numerical division accounts for the narrowing of the field. Eighty costumed competitors (in 10 groups of eight) begin the event on bicycles, but only half of them ford a rocky red canyon to continue: "On with the race./ Head for a boat!/ Forty racers now have to float!" These 40 (now 10 groups of four) climb aboard two big rowboats, and a whirlpool diminishes their number by half again. Dodds (Sing, Sophie!) continues reducing the group to 10 and to five, at which point "one runner stops with a rock in her shoe," enabling the final four to grab tandem bikes. The author demonstrates rather than describes the math, and her terse rhymes reinforce the racers' sense of urgency. Meanwhile Mitchell's individualized portraits of the athletes raise the book's quotient of pleasure. The illustrator, making a notable picture-book debut, carefully includes the dwindling number of eight clowns, eight cowhands, eight flappers, eight pirates and so on in her well-organized acrylic paintings; aspiring number crunchers can count the participants with ease. Among the top contenders, likable characters emerge: a jailbird wears a determined grin, a grandmotherly lady rides a galloping horse and a firefighter sticks out her tongue in exhaustion. All lessons should be this gratifying.

Last year was the first time I used this book in my classroom, and it was a hit.  Even though it has a simple plot, it does the job at getting the concept across to students.  My students and I loved the surprised ending.  It is definitely a book that I will be using next year

I am pleased to say that I was nominated not once, not twice, not three times, but four times for the Liebster Award!  I would love to think that my blog has become so loved, but I am going to be realistic and say there aren't enough new blogs out for all to nominate 5 new ones.  Nevertheless, I am proud that four of them thought about my little blog!


I am shocked that anyone has found my blog and some are actually reading it!

I didn’t know what to do.  Was I supposed to just answer the first nomination I received, or do I respond to all four.  Well, three came on the same day and the last on the following day.  I just decided to respond to everyone’s questions.  So for those of you who decide to read this post, you will learn more about me in this one post then you probably care to know.

There’s no quiz at the end, but please help me celebrate my 100+ follower giveaway here.  I am giving away three prizes to three winners!

In order to accept the nomination, we must:

Link back the blogs that nominated us

Nominate 3-5 blogs with fewer than 200 followers

Answer the questions posted by the nominators

Share 11 random facts about myself

Create 11 questions for my nominees

Contact my nominees and let them know I have nominated them

Questions from Courtney at Polka Dot Lesson Plans

1.   If you could choose any 2 consecutive months of the year to have your "summer" break which months would you choose?

I would like to have May and June.

2.  If you could take your class on a field trip to anywhere in the world where would you go?

I would take them to

3.   If you weren't a teacher what would you be?

I would want to be a librarian.

4. If you have a day all to yourself what is your favorite way to spend it? I would spend it relaxing at home with a great book.

5. What is your favorite food?

Anything pasta related sounds good to me!

6. If you were stuck on an island and could only have 3 items with you what would they be?

I would need my phone, laptop, and a massaging, heated chair.

7. What is your favorite vacation spot?

I really don’t have one.

8. Do you have any pets?

No pets.

9. Do you prefer the mountains or the beach?

I would prefer the mountains.

10. What is your favorite TV show?

Major Crimes

11. What book have you read recently that you would recommend?

Work Related - Building Mathematical Comprehension: Using Literacy Strategies to Making Meaning by Laney Sammons

Questions from Emily and Kerry at Third & Goal

1.     How long have you been blogging?

I began blogging in April 2013.

2.    How did you come up with the title of your blog?

Well, Foreman is my last name and my profession is teaching.  I thought Foreman Teaches had a cute ring to it.

3.     What is your favorite part of teaching?

My favorite part is when a struggling student meets some success and I had a hand in helping him/her reach that point.

4.     What is your Starbucks order?

I don’t visit Starbucks.

5.     Favorite movie and why?

I don’t really have a favorite movie, but I love older movies.

6.     If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

I would love to visit Australia.

7.     Funniest classroom moment?

It would have to be while student teaching when a student told me one frog plus one frog equaled friends during a math lesson.

8.     What advice would you give a new teacher?

My advice would be to remember to start with where the student is and work from there.  There are no shortcuts to them mastering a skill.

9.     If you weren't blogging right now, what would you be doing?

I would be reading a book.

10. What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Power of Our Words.

11. If you had to be on a reality show, which one would it be?

I don’t watch reality TV.

Questions from Gary at Scrappy Guy

Where would you like to be in five years?

I would love to be out of the general classroom and in a reading specialist position.

What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

I would have to say a milkshake.

How many years have you been blogging?

I have been blogging for almost 4 months.

Which color goes best with brown?

Brown is my favorite color and I would have to say I like shades of red with brown.

Do you play any musical instruments?

I don’t play a musical instrument.

What grade do you like to teach the most?

I prefer the grade I am currently teaching 4th.  Third grade is a close runner up.

If you could win a million dollars what would you buy for your classroom first?

I would buy new furniture.

Which book do you think teaches your students the most?

None, I think my students learn best through oral instruction and LOTS of hands on work.

Which person is your inspiration?

My twins are my inspiration!

Questions from Andrea at Bouncing Through 3rd Grade

1.     What is your favorite subject to teach?

Reading is my favorite subject to teach.

2.    Who is your role model?

My mom and my grandmother are my role models.

3.     What is your favorite TV Show?

My favorite TV Show is Major Crimes.

4.     If you could have dinner with any 3 people of your choice, who would you choose?

My sons, mother, and grandmother.

5.     What's your favorite grade to teach and why?

My favorite grade is 4th.  I like the subject matter and I love their personality at this age.

6.     What advice would you give to a new teacher?

My advice would be to be flexible.  Very seldom the lesson goes just as planned.

7.     Who was your best teacher?  Why?

I don’t have one.

8.     What's your favorite dessert?

Key Lime Pie

9.     What's your favorite song right now?

No favorites, but it would be something gospel related.

10. What are your hobbies?

I love reading, organizing, and going to book and yard sales.

11. What are your hopes and dreams for this upcoming school year?

I hope that I am able to meet the academic needs of my students.  I want to create a classroom environment where they are willing to take chances in order to be successful.

11 Random Facts about Myself

1.   I LOVE wicker and have wicker baskets all over my house.

2.  I don’t like cold drinks, no ice for me.  I even wait awhile for the chill to leave my milkshakes.

3.   I regularly get my nails and toes done, but no color polish.

4.   My living room is decorated in brown and red.

5.   I love purple pens.

6.   I attended nine schools from Kindergarten to 12th grade military brat!

7.   Last year I celebrated my birthday on the first day of school with the students.  This year it will be the second day of school.

8.   My four grandparents are still alive and still together.  God is good!

9.   I love anything and everything denim.

10.  I don’t like chocolate or coffee.

11.  I don’t like to cook or wash dishes.

I would like to nominate:

My 11 Questions

1.  What is your favorite school supply?

2.  What color dominates in your house?

3.  If you had one day to do anything, money is no limit, how would you spend it?

4.  What are three things you can’t live without?

5. When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?

6.  Would you prefer to teach year round with shorter days or summers off with longer days?

7.  Do you have a classroom pet?

8.  What is the largest class size you have taught? The smallest?

9.  If you could no longer teach, what would you like to do?

10.  What is your favorite space in your home?

11.  What is your favorite children’s picture book?

If you read you made it through this entire post... THANK YOU and you deserve an award!  

Don't forget to stop by Collaboration Cuties to read about other great mentor texts.