Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fraction Relays

Hey teacher friends! My name is Cassie Thomas and I blog over at Mrs. Thomas's Class/Texas Forever blog! I am a 4th grade writing teacher who has been all over the map since I started my teaching journey!! I taught kindergarten my first year (AND LOVED IT!), moved to 3rd grade ELAR, and then got to loop with my babies to 4th grade writing. Looping has been one of the most rewarding experiences ever, even with being gone on maternity leave. 

I am bringing a post to you today about when I taught my kinder babies fractions. It was the most fun experience, and honestly every student despite what level they were on walked back inside knowing the basic fractions. Texas took this standard out of kindergarten TEKs, but would be fantastic for an end of the year introduction or 1st grade activity! 

 I call it "fraction relays." 
It looks like this: 

Okay, so the above picture is what my fractions were. I bought 10 $1 hula hoops at Dollar Tree and also bought electrical tape to make the fractions. It was surprisingly very easy to do equal pieces. I made 2 1/2's for each group. I did 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, and 1/6.
So I had the kids line up first boys and girls in two separate lines. I had craft sticks and on one side I wrote a fraction, 1/2, 1/3, 2/3, etc. Then on the other side I put random colored stickers (yellow, green, purple, and red) 
The first way we played was where they ran through and had a certain amount of time (1 minute) to look at their fraction and run through the line and put their stick in the correct hula hoop. Then I picked them up and checked who got them all right. Whoever got the most right won. We did this way a few times. Then another class that came and watched, they got the chance to do it too. (On Thursday we are going to compete against each other.) 
The second way we played was with the stickers. I knew what the stickers meant, but they didn't. The stickers told me where they went, yellow was 1/2, red was 1/6, etc. I would say a story for each child. For example: I ate half of that donut this morning. They had to listen to my story and go put the stick in the correct place. This made them think so much harder, and I loved it. They had a blast!!!!! I am so so excited. I can't wait to do it against the other class on Thursday! :) 

Let me know what you think!!! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Flashbacks

My goodness!! We have had SUCH an amazing week, especially considering we had the week before off for spring break. We talked this week about fractions, needs and wants, and started plants. As long as our always consistent writing, reading, making new words, compound words, CVC, CCVC, and I introduced digraphs and blends. I also introduced yoga as a brain break! They loved it!! It's been an amazing week. My babies make me SO proud. Here are a few flashbacks: 
Have an amazing weekend! 
Mrs. Thomas 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring Break Giveaway

I have created three new units so far over Spring Break.. With a lot more in mind! I need more followers and Facebook friends :)

Enter in the giveaway here!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mrs. Thomas

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

3 days in to SB

Good afternoon, all! 

I have been working as often as I can over Spring Break on new units and ideas for the rest of the semester. Then I have days like today where I literally slept off and on on the couch until 1:30pm. Super unproductive, but apparently my body knows me best. Here are previews of the two units I've uploaded this week: 

If you feel like these units could benefit you, please visit my store http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Cassie-Thomas 
They are both on sale until I am off Spring Break. 

I have some serious units I need to dive in to and get finished before this break is up so I can create instead of buy. But sometimes buying is just so much more easier (fault alert!!!) 
Thanks to all of the rest of you for all your hard work. This is not easy and I still feel exhausted after working on things for just 3 days. 

I have also been reading "Teaching With Intention," by Debbie Miller, and I will post my book study on here when I am finished. What an amazing book. Thanks to Deanna Jump for the recommendations. 

Have a blessed day, y'all! 
Cassie Thomas 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spring Break

Good Evening Everyone!!!

Well it is officially my spring break!!! I would say I can't wait to relax, and I know I will get in some of that, but I have all of these ideas to create products for TPT and for the rest of the semester! So be on the lookout :) I just recently posted a quick freebie tonight to get me started and my creative juices flowing! If you check it out, and like, please leave feedback!! 

I will post more as I create! It's getting late and we all lose an hour tonight! Don't forget!!
Good night :) 

Mrs. Thomas 

Friday, March 7, 2014

5 Things to Take In Your First Year

Teachers jobs are NOT easy. By now most of us know this, minus the critics who think they can overpower any thing, but let's be real... Not just ANYONE is cut out for teaching. The saddest part of that statement, is that some teachers aren't cut out for teaching, but they're here. Heck, they're all over. But, what can you do, right? 

I have had friends who went through the entire education program in college, all of the hours, the internships, the seminars, and then stepped foot into their own classroom and RAN. I am writing this as a first year teacher who walked in thinking I had somewhat of an idea of what to expect, HA! Here are my TOP FIVE things that I have learned to ignore, soak in, and appreciate my first year teaching.

1. Veteran teachers, please don't tell first year teachers they will lose their "spunk."
This reallllllly bothers me. I don't know if it's just me, and if it is I'm sorry. BUT -- I pray to GOD, I NEVER lose this passion I have for what I do. It's what I have known I wanted to do since 6th grade. It's what I live to do in all honesty. I love these babies as if they were my own, they will walk out of here in June and 19 little pieces of me will be gone. I spend all my extra money on my classroom to make my days more fun, to make them remember what we have done. I don't EVER, EVER want to get to a year where I am just done, and repeatedly say that over and over. That breaks my heart. These babies, no matter if it's your first year or your sixteenth year, they will ALWAYS need us. 

2. Veteran teachers, don't push your judgement. 
I am not trying to talk down to the experienced, what-so-ever. But I walked in this year being BOMBARDED by several teachers regarding students behaviors and what my expectations should be of these children and left with good luck, they're terrible. Excuse me? Isn't it your job to ensure that they don't get "left behind." How can you tell someone that every single negative thing you can think of about a child and then leave with "good luck." I was very upset and all of the remarks I was being told, and I can honestly say my response to all of it was, I have high expectations for ALL of my kiddos. Not just the "high", or "smart" ones, they all walk into my classroom with the exact same capabilities in my eyes. I will not place one higher than the other based off of past experiences. Oh gosh, this really bothered me so badly. I will send my kiddos to 1st grade with their positives, and if I have any concerns they will be addressed in a positive state, not a label for any of these children. Your labels, and your judgements should be your own opinions which should not be conversed with new teachers or even any teacher receiving that child. Any body could take that and immediately have an annoyance with a child they haven't even met yet. How is that allowing that child to walk into a classroom with a chance? It's not, just don't. Please. 

3. College did NOT prepare you. 
I love my college, I loved (almost) all of my professors. But they did not prepare you for real world teaching. You honestly should double major in special education so you can learn to differentiate for every single one of your students. Not a single student in your classroom of 16-25 will be the same. At all. They all learn at different paces, and they all grow differently. So be prepared to be a frantic mess your first year, your second year, and so on I am sure. Study it up online via blogging, social networking, etc. It has saved my life, hands down. I have met amazing teachers online who can share real life experiences, not just a scenario they gave you in college with zero background knowledge. 

4. If you have great administrators, soak it up.
I'm not trying to be a dang kiss up, or whatever. But I have worked in districts or my Mother has worked with administrators who were awful to their teachers. Who were awful, period. If you work for someone who guarantees to always have your back, who praises you and shares ideas, who will do whatever it takes to ensure you receive respect and allows you to be a lifelong learner (yes NSU that walked away with me) then for heavens sake don't leave!! I can guarantee you, your next school won't be like that. Maybe the next one, but you won't go to two in a row. Administrators play a huge role in the outcome of your career, and if you find a district where your principal, vice/assistant principal, IS, RS, etc. etc. have your back and take care of you. Thank Jesus, because it does make your work a lot more enjoyable. 

5. Avoid the negativity of others.
It's going to happen. There are going to be teachers who have problems, who hate their lives, who don't care to be at work, who push worksheet after worksheet so they don't have to deal with the kids. DON'T LOOK UP TO THIS. Please. Change the mold. Be positive and up lifting. Be crazy and wild, love what you do. When you love what you do, it shows. Happiness is contagious. Granted there will always be those who thrive off the drama and negativity, just avoid it. Shut your door and teach these babies the best way you can. Have fun. You are changing the lives of others, and you are being something to these kiddos they may not EVER get somewhere else. Leave an imprint on them, they will love you for it, and I promise they will thank you when they're older and always remember you.

If you get in to your first year and find that it is just not for you, that's totally okay. At least you have the decency to resort to something that will make you happy. Just don't be the teacher who lucked out and received tenure, and uses the same lesson plans from 1989 and sits at her desk and eats breakfast while the kids stare at you in disgust. Don't be that teacher. If you ever lose your way and need some spunk, watch Ms. Frizzle a couple of times, and act 5 years old again if you teach in the elementary, the kids will love it and will never forget how crazy and fun their teacher was. 

Mrs. Thomas 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ohhhh, Monday :)

Hello friends! :) 

I have been working this evening, who hasn't right? It's Sunday, I wait until the last minute. Oh well.. haha. 
this week we are going over again story elements and also during science discussing living and non-living. So to incorporate the two together I created a quick document 
With this document the kiddos record a lot while we read aloud. Then they make their decision based upon their data. 
So our first book we are reading tomorrow is A Pocket For Corduroy. So in the box that says "Who" they will draw a picture of Corduroy, this allows them to recognize who the character is. Then below they will jot down 2-4 traits they think will help in figuring out if he is living or non-living. (the first time I all do this with them, then the next few books they can figure it out on their own) 
Next, we as a group pick which traits were "real" (living) or "fake" (nonliving). Then on the right side, this helps with their comprehension and lets me know they paid attention, they will just draw a quick picture of their favorite part of the beginning, middle, and end. 

Once we have read, finished the sheet, and discussed. They will then take their answers on their recording sheet and circle living or non-living. This allows me to know which children are understanding of the traits of living vs. non-living. 

Hope this can help you in someway!! :) Have a great night!
Mrs. Thomas 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March Currently

Good Saturday afternoon, everyone!!
I have linked up with Farley for her March currently. 
Ah, this man, he gets me. It's the one thing that can calm me more than any of my meditation CDs. Sounds so crazy. Definitely think I belong in a different era sometimes. 
Well I ordered some things from Riff Raff the other day, they came in. Then I went to Target and went crazy at the dollar spot, and found a dress and necklace to wear tonight. I am a sucker for that place, as is everyone I know. Darn, Target. I say that a lot. 
Spring Break is just one week away. I want to get a lot done for my room, I want to relax, and I want to create for TPT. My store is so bare, and it's so holiday themed. I need more every day products so that I can get out there and reach others. 
I am so hungry!!!!! A grown up grilled cheese is the BEST thing I have ever tasted. It's gouda cheese, spinach, tomato, and turkey. Heaven in my mouth.
If you're around Gruene Texas go to Mozie's!!
Time. I think I ask for this every month, and every day I'm still running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Literally. I'm back to back all the time rushing. I wouldn't trade it for anything though. My job completes me, as do all of my kiddos. I explained to them on Friday we would celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday next week, I then had to explain he had passed. One little boy told me how much he was going to miss him now that he was no longer with us. :) See- melts my heart.

the ???? see if you read through my description to figure out what it is about that place :)

Blog more later. 
Have a blessed day!!!!