Friday, February 19, 2016

What a School Year

I can honestly say I knew I had been slacking in every way on the computer this school year. It was not until I logged on the computer to see the last date that I logged in was July! A lot has happened since I last logged in.

For one, I switched schools. I am thrilled to have a job and an excellent classroom of students. This year I have a class filled with kind-hearted children who have a strong desire to learn. They have made this year truly amazing.

I have started my Master's in Educational Leadership as well. Boy, I had no idea how absolutely time consuming and exhausting that would be while teaching. Since starting the program, I do feel that other parts have lacked. Especially the creation process. I have many items that need covers and credit pages, but I cannot seem to find 5 minutes to do it.

I cannot seem to find 5 minutes because I am always tired. I am always tired because I AM PREGNANT. B and I are expecting our first child in July. We are thrilled to death. We found out a few weeks ago that we will be expecting a girl. Like every mom out there I, of course, started to shop as soon as I found out. We cannot wait to meet her.

I have not disappeared from blogging and TPT. I have merely stepped aside to take the time to finish a task. My semester is more time consuming this block, but I am not spending has many hours researching since it is more internship based. I have been forcing myself to step aside at moments like now to get back to what I enjoy doing most.
Monday, July 27, 2015

Writing Numbers to 1,000

I am thrilled to upload my first activity with an interactive page. I worked on it all week, and I am so excited to share it with everyone. 

Last year, while I was teaching students about writing numbers to 1,000, I brainstormed many ways to help students who struggled.  I found most students had a hard time writing the numbers in expanded form. They would get a little confused about what they were supposed to write the equation. 



I look forward to using these activities to reinforce writing numbers to 1,000. 

Two worksheets was included, so each student can write
numbers. Can be used as an assessment
or review. 

Place these cards inside the pocket to help
students spell the words correctly. A quick
reference for kiddos to look back at. 



See.. Inside the pocket. Fits great in the spiral
notebooks.

Expanded form graphic organizer. This is a
great way for students to see how to write
the equations.

1 Memory game included. 



 I hope these activities help your students reinforce learning how to write numbers to 1,000.


Love, 
Miss Stetson
Monday, July 20, 2015

Hatching Chickens in the Classroom

40 fertilized eggs
3 incubators
70 excited children
21 days of anticipation
1 amazing outcome


The students in the 4 third grade classes were thrilled to see the final life form in front of them. This activity was the first thing many students asked about when entering the 3rd grade and it has finally arrived. The 3 weeks of watching eggs carefully to discover what happens inside.

Chicks are very simple to hatch if you have all the proper tools and patience.  It is crucial you have incubators that work properly. I suggest a little more for self-turning incubators to save your sanity. The eggs can be super sensitive while they form and anything that can prevent teacher's brain would be a benefit.

Be sure to watch the incubators during the process that they are working. This may cause a discussion that you wanted to avoid. (2 of our 3 incubators died).  We talk throughout the unit about how this can happen and that all eggs may not hatch. It is very important that even through this exciting time you explain that it is sensitive and that even though there are 40 doesn’t mean all 40 will hatch.

Sargent Multicolored ( my boys named him)
We talked about the saying “ Don’t count your chickens before they hatch” and what the literally meaning is and non-literal meaning.  We had a discussion about why this may be a saying.

Anyways, back to the cute chickens. I traced on my smart board enormous pictures of each stage. The first step is candling the egg. I used a projector to shine the light through. If you see a black dot, you are forming a chicken. If we did not see the dot we labeled it with n and left it in case, it was still forming. Note that the green eggs are hard to see through. Brown and white eggs are easier to see through.
Clipart that was traced on my SmartBoard
and put up throughout the unit. 

We began brainstorming what we thing was happening in the egg. This is a great time to start writing fictional stories or even opinion pieces of what will happen. If you live in a farming community like I do, you may need to set some ground rules. Some kids do in fact already know what is happening, but you do not want to ruin the surprise either for kiddos who do not know.

We had a blast with all the activities that lead up to the chicks hatching.  It was late May when the chicks finally hatched. We had 11. The kids were so happy. We each had the container for a day or 2.

When you see the black dot, you have a chicken growing inside! (ignore the messy desk)


They are beginning to hatch!



When you have 11 chicks in your classroom, it can get very loud. I must say those days were nearly impossible finishing any work. I was, however, thrilled to see the engineering skills in my classroom. One of my kiddos who love to create things while I teach decided to make a chicken go pro. He used my document camera and hooked it into the box for the kids to watch. We watched the chicks most of the day while we completed our daily task. It wasn’t until someone screamed it’s like the puppy bowl, but instead we should call it the chicken bowl. Y'all I tried so hard not to spit out my seltzer laughing. It sounds like we were eating dinner.

Little chicks are enjoying their 100th meal of the day!

Little chick living in Miss Stetson's Classroom

Add a net on the top to keep them
contained!



Even I was a little happy! 



























The excitement and joy brought to my classroom could not be expressed in one posting. They were so happy and it was a pleasure to watch my students learn. This unit was one reason I love my job. Seeing kiddos learn and watching the light shine in their eyes.


video

The kiddos invention!


Love,
Miss Stetson



Crayfish vs Miss Stetson

Crayfish in the classroom

We had crayfish a few months ago in my classroom. I am just now getting to blog about it because I finally sat down to. While we had the crayfish, I was finishing up the final details of out wedding. So let me tell you a tale about 12 little crayfish that lived in Miss Stetson’s Classroom.



The journey of the 12 crayfish all began sometime in March. Now in Rhode Island March had to be the month that I could not see out of my window due to a large amount of snow. These little guys were already late arriving due to the cold weather. I guess you can’t ship them if there is a ton of snow, but regardless it was on our end of trimester unit, so they were coming no matter what.

Looking outside of our classroom window.
We had to grow plants with this unit as well. 


My backyard. Just a visual of the amount of snow!


The kids knew that we were getting crayfish. Many of them had older siblings, so there was not much surprise with the unit, so when the box arrived, I had 2 opposite reactions.  I had kids jumping for joy and kids who could care less that we had an animal. I placed them on top of the fish tank to acclimate to the new water.

I chose to use a fish tank so that the kids could see the crayfish easier (we will get to that in a moment). I figured that it would keep the water filtered. I wouldn’t have to change the water all the time, plus my neighbor did it so why shouldn’t I.  I was so excited to have crayfish in my room since we are not able to have class pets.

As the little guys were sitting waiting to enter their new habitat we came up with rules about handling these living creatures. We created a list of things not to do. I have some silly friends, so the rules were a little silly but necessary. We all know who in our class need the specific do’s and do not’s.   I also had a few pictures of crayfish since I was from the south.



They were all about an inch long and very active. 

They were all getting along now. 


I showed the students a picture of what not to do with the crayfish. Growing up in the south we ate them. So during the entire unit my kids would tell me at the end of the day not to eat the crayfish. I explained we didn’t have enough to fill my belly. I also showed them pictures of how not to handle. Me being the worst example showed them a picture of one hanging from my ear. I told them how much it hurt and not to do it. We discussed that they were living creatures so we had to be gentle with them and had to handle them with care when conducting experiments. Then it was time to release the crayfish into their new habitats.

As teachers, we often turn blue in the face-teaching children to read carefully, yet we are often guilty of not reading everything because we are in a hurry. I thought for one minute that I only ordered the food because I could not see the crawfish. I was wrong these babies were the size of small shrimp! How in the world was I going to have the kids learn about them if they are that small?

None of the four classes had any crayfish that were large enough to conduct any experiment, so I to find many YouTube videos. I was nervous catching them because they were so small, but the kids watched them daily and noticed them shedding their outer shell.

It was a tragic cold Wednesday morning in Miss Stetson's Classroom. It was a cold day, and the night before a certain teacher whose mind was elsewhere forgot to plug the filter back in. Needless to say, it wasn’t until kids arrived at school and where placing their lunch order that they noticed the circle of life occurring in the fish tank. Yes, crayfish will eat one another. We already discussed this in class, but I was mortified I was the reason some had passed away so they could become the buffet to others. At that point, I was already down to 8, and now there were 4.

Very full from eating his friends. Helpful Hint: Do not
unplug the fish tank friends!

WE placed a beautiful cloth around the tank until I could fix the issue. I cleaned the tank, and we went on with our day. Two days later there were 3. I guess crayfish are not like gerbils. You might need to read what they eat. I guess carrots were not a favorite.

I finally got to the point that I needed just to give the remaining three away.  My neighbor had a few until the end of the year. I have the worst luck with excellent intentions keeping animals in my room.

Kiddos are taking notes while observing the tiny crayfish.


The kids loved having the crayfish and would check on the ever so often in the other teacher’s room. Next year if I had them again I would do a few things differently, but I know what not to do when raising crayfish.  

Love,
Miss Stetson
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Week 4 TPT Seller Challenge

I can honestly say this challenge has been amazing. It has forced me out of my bubble to meet some amazing new people. I started this journey in January and connected with teachers in the New England area. It started as a way to meet people who shared common interest with similar struggles. These struggles or excitements are so similar. Weddings, babies, new school year, buying houses, decorating houses, stationary obsession, and I could keep going.

I have connected with so many teachers even since the summer began. Periscope has made this even more exciting. Seeing faces, hearing voices, listening to personalities, and seeing the teachers we follow and admire are just like everyone.



Each one of these ladies are absolutely incredible people. 

Love, 
Miss Stetson

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

End of Year Math Review

End of Year Math Review

As every teacher knows, the end of the school year brings challenges. We are all but standing on our heads to get the last drop of teaching in. We had our end of trimester test and a few things to review. During this trimester we had our PARCC testing. So with kiddos that were tired and just as ready as their teacher to go to the beach we had to get creative.

I sat and created a game that would review all the standards I needed to review with the students before their big test. Of course my color printer and the school color printer were not working and took forever to fix. I laminated, cut, and sorted. It took me a while to prepare this game, but the results were completely worth it.

My kids loved it. I broke them into groups of 4 or 5. I will be ordering game pieces this summer for this reason because they used a piece of paper. ( I had to pack up my room too during this time so of course I got ahead of myself packing).  

Working hard as a group to solve. 




I had them roll a dice. Move their piece. Everyone solved the problem to check the work. No one looses a turn and if someone gets a problem incorrect the person who caught it had to explain the steps to getting it correct.  They had great accountable talk. Total success!!!

I hope it works as well in your room. It does not have to be just for the end of the year. It could be used as just a review anytime. 


Love, 
Miss Stetson
Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Week 3 Seller's Challenge My Masterpiece

This week’s challenge took a little longer than  expected. I took an older product and recreated it into a masterpiece. I have been brainstorming for awhile how to make this work better. I am so pleased with how this project turned out.



Tier 2 words are so important. I always think of Tier 2 as words that we do not use in our everyday language, but we read them in text. This activity is a great way to build vocabulary. It can be used in morning meeting or during vocabulary block. It is an entire year worth of words , so you never run out of ideas.

I included a completed file with answers for you as well.

I hope everyone enjoys.


Love,

Miss Stetson

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