This past Friday, a couple colleagues from school and I went to a workshop put on by Fun to Teach ELD.  As the name suggests, it was fun!  We discussed teaching ELD as a pull-out program and also teaching in the classroom by integrating into our regular content.  The strategies presented were all tied to Systematic ELD (which I was trained in last year) and we were taught how to use the ADEPT test to guide our teaching.  I teach a group of level 3 and 4 ELLs for 30 minutes each day and have been teaching using the state approved curriculum, Carousel of Ideas.  Going through my students' ADEPT tests and realizing which specific holes in language they have made so much sense to me.  Now I know what to target and what to focus on.  It makes sense - I do that in reading and math, why wouldn't I do that in ELD instruction, too?  I'm really glad I went to the workshop, if only for that bit of advice!  They also had posters all over the room with ideas for teaching.
All units include word cards that you can make into mini word walls like these.
There is a free unit on possessive pronouns on TpT!

We did an activity where we had to sort parts of speech into which language level it is taught at.  It was harder than you think!  This poster was a good visual to see when children learn these skills.

A poster for teaching about feelings and emotions.

If you go to Fun to Teach's blog, you can find all kinds of freebies and resources.  They also have freebies on their Facebook page.  Check it out if you can!  The lessons they make are fun, engaging, and tied directly to the English Language content standards.

I'll leave you with a video of our class learning one of the chants from a unit.  The song is called "Would you, would you, would you be able?" and it helps teach the conditional tense.

What do you do to teach your ESL students?  I'd love to hear your ideas, too!
Most of you know I am following the Clutter-Free Classroom's project for cleaning and organizing my classroom.

Last week's assignment was to sort through stuff and purge!  I did work on it, but I'm not done yet.  That closet.  Ugh.  I think I need to get some unique organizing ideas before tackling that project. :/

But, let's move on to the areas I did work on!

Before pictures:
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style  3rd grade organization binder storage
Teacher resource shelving area.  Overflowing, to say the least!

photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style  3rd grade organization wire rack
More teacher resources.  Many of which I never use anymore in 3rd grade.
 Drum roll, please..... The after pictures!!

photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style  3rd grade organization binder storage
Newly organized teacher resource shelf

photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style  3rd grade organization wire rack
Bakers rack - now has student supplies

photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style  3rd grade organization rainbow cart
EMPTY rainbow cart!! Not sure what I want to do with it now...
I'm really happy that this turned out so well!  I went through all my teacher resources and did five things with them: 
1) put some in a box to put in the school's attic for if I ever teach 1st grade again
2) gave my son's teacher, my friend Teacher Laura, some kindergarten resources 
3) gave curriculum TE's that I won't use to the librarian to be bar coded so other teachers could use it
4) put some resources in the staff room with "FREE" written on an index card
5) recycled some weird, outdated stuff no one would want! 

I cleaned out so much that my pretty paper can now be stored at the top of my shelf.  All my teacher resources fit inside the shelving unit, too.  I had enough big magazine files for each table group to have one for math resources (Workplaces book, Number Corner book, and a math folder).  I shrank down the adorable table signs from Lesson Plan SOS and taped them to the front of each magazine file.  Before, the Workplace books and math folders were on the left side of the rainbow cart and the Number Corner books were on the right.  Now, I can begin to think about parting with the rainbow cart! It was expensive, but I hate how the drawers always fall off the tracks and you can't store heavy things in it.  I'm sure I can pawn it off on a teacher at my school who would have a much better use for it than me.  

So now I need your advice - should I get rid of the rainbow cart or keep it?  Do you have one?  What do you put in it?  
Thanks to Pottery Barn, I now know about National Organization Day!

I've been following The Clutter-Free Classroom's Project for a clean and organized classroom.  Here's this week's challenge:

My list of things to do in my classroom:
  • Finish sorting an labeling all my books - having software issues at the moment
  • Go through all the binders in my teacher bookshelf and get rid of ones I don't need/want Done!
  • Go through all the teacher resource books on my baker's rack and get rid of ones I don't need/want Done!
  • Finish my new Math Wall (I LOVE Lindsay's from The Teacher Wife)
  • Hang up Daily 5 posters under my CAFE board - need to find my staple gun!
  • Declutter my whiteboard area - working on it
  • Find better organizing solutions for my closet - Ugh.  I hate the closet
  • Find a better way to store materials I don't need that often - more specifically, find a way so they don't look hideous on the shelves by my front door
  • Get a new set of cubbies so each student has his/her own space - Mr. Principal, pleeeeeeaaaaase!
  • Clean out my desk - it's full of junk!
  • Decide what to do with that broken rainbow cart - what do you all store in those things? P.S. I can't believe they are so expensive!!
So, I have to confess that I haven't gathered any of the supplies for organizing, I've just been making little piles and being really good about putting them away.  When I went through my teacher resource books, I had four piles: 1) Keep, 2) Give away to other teachers, 3) Store in the attic, 4) Recycle.  This was pretty much my system for cleaning out my teacher binders and old curriculum, too, except I added one more pile: 5) Give to the school librarian to be bar-coded for other teachers to check out.  That pile included some old science and social studies Teacher Editions, and some books about teaching art that the previous teacher left behind.  I knew I was not in a place to use those materials right now, and instead of putting them in the school's attic where they will be forgotten about, I figured by putting them in the library, other teachers in the building could use them if they wanted to.

So there's my list and some of my rules.  How has organization been going for you this year?  Making good progress?
Success!  Remember how I was afraid?  Well, the MLK projects turned out awesome!!

I used this lesson plan from Dick Blick to figure out how to do positive/negative art.  Remember my original inspiration from this pin?  Over at Educated...Not So Domestic, Miss Macri said that she Google-searched a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. and outlined his face.  My colleague, Carrie, made the outline on a piece of white cardstock.  We copied only half of that face onto more pieces of white cardstock and cut the paper in half lengthwise.  The kids cut out the side of his face, nose, mustache, two lips, and collar.  Then, we had them pinch the middle of the eye, make a cut, stick the scissors inside the eye, and cut around the line.  They also did that for the eyebrow.  Since the eye and eyebrow now had holes in them, the insides needed to be recycled.  Using the other side of the white paper (remember, we had cut it in half?), students placed their white face on top of the scrap paper and traced a new eye and eyebrow.  They cut these out.  Now everything is ready to be glued onto a piece of black cardstock.  My BFF Janae gave me TONS of black cardstock that was left over from making her wedding invitations.  It comes in handy with art projects all the time!  First, they glued down the white paper that is the outside of the face.  This one is best to glue down first, since it has three straight sides, it will help make sure everything lines up correctly.  Once the outside face is glued, they line up the white face part on the other side of the black paper to create a line of symmetry (math link!!).  Last, they glue on the white eye, eyebrow, nose, mustache, lips, and collar onto the black paper.  Everything is done!!

The colorful circles on my bulletin board was another project we did.  Each circle has a date on it and the students write what major event happened that year in Martin Luther King, Jr's life.  This was a great addition to our art project.  Instead of using construction paper, my students colored each circle.  My school is having a construction paper shortage, so this solution worked well.  Click this pin to see a lesson plan and check out this pin to snag a copy of the activity for yourself!

Have you done an art project recently that you were afraid would be a flop?  What did your class do for Martin Luther King, Jr day?

Edit: after a couple people asked for the outline of Dr. King's face that Carrie and I used, I outlined it with a Sharpie, scanned, and shared it here on Google Docs.  I hope this project works out well for you, too! :)
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style  3rd grade Martin Luther King, Jr. art bulletin board Freebie outline

I'm linking up with Denise over at Sunny Days in Second Grade!
With next Monday being Martin Luther King, Jr. day, my class has been learning about MLK and civil rights this week.

On Monday, we read Martin's Big Words and also an easy reader biography about Rosa Parks.  We talked about some vocabulary words such as racism, prejudiced, and boycott.

On Wednesday we met with our kindergarten buddies, watched the video for Martin's Big Words (only 8 mins, so great for a group of 65 five and eight year olds!!).  I highly recommend this video.  It's read by a man with a melodic, deep voice and features gospel music in the background.  It sends chills down my spine - I'm kinda sensy though! :)  After the video, we did this art project, inspired by Pinterest:
Idea from here
The 3rd graders read the poem to the kindergarteners, then glued the poem to construction paper, painted one kindergarten hand to stamp on the page and one 3rd grade hand.  If they got done early, they could decorate around the poem.  They turned out really cute and were perfect reminders how everyone should be kind to each other, no matter their differences.  In addition to the kids making connections to their difference in age, our school is really diverse, so they noticed that students of all colors and languages could get along and be friends.  It was sweet to see them all working together! 

And tomorrow, if all goes well, my class will be making this awesome art! 

It looks simple enough, but I'm not sure if it will work out ok.  I'll post next week either way.  It's fun to see something turn out awesome, but then good to learn from a fail as well.  I'll keep you updated!! :)

And one more thing - I'm linking up with Meghan over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade

What are you currently thinking?  What have you been up to this week?  Anything to do with Martin Luther King. Jr?
Welcome to my classroom!

Here are some pictures to guide you around my new room in 3rd grade!  I took advantage of the room move and grade level move to make many changes this year.  First up, you'll see my writing board.  I have some charts up about small moments, some examples of types of writing, and that cute giant pencil from The Teacher Wife.  I love her products!
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade Work on Writing

A farther back picture of that wall.  Notice my learning target sign and the learning target posters from Lesson Plan SOS - they were even sweet enough to make me a custom ELD sign!   The giant plus sign is from The Teacher Wife.  Taped below the chalk tray are observation charts for my OCDE Project GLAD® unit on weather.  Read more about OCDE Project GLAD® here.

photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade

Another shot of that same northeast corner.  Here you see the shelves with my math manipulatives.  The shelf on top of the counter has plastic drawers (From the Target dollar section) that hold my work places - math centers from our math adoption Bridges in Mathematics.  Next to that shelf is a wooden listening center organizer.  It holds my tape and CD players, headphones, and chargers for the iPods and DVD players (those get housed in my locked closet when not in use).  I have two iPod touches that I got from a grant from my district's education foundation.  I also have an old nano that I never use, so I loaded it with the audiobooks from our Houghton Mifflin anthology.  I also have two DVD players that I got as a grant from Donorschoose.  I have phonics and sight word DVDs that my low kids can watch, and I also have videos of children's literature that kids can watch with subtitles as an alternate Listen to Reading.
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade math manipulatives

Here is my classroom library.  It faces the northside of the school.  I believe that children need access to many books to choose from; books at their level and books that interest them.  My classroom reading levels range from kindergarten to middle school, so I need to have LOTS of books for my kiddos to access.  I use Scholastic bonus points and ask for donations from friends and family getting rid of books.  My first year of teaching my grandma gave me a ton of novels she had read and didn't want any more.  I took them to a local used bookstore, explained to the salesman that I was a first year teacher, and he let me trade them straight across for children's books.  I went back to that store several times that year, trading in my own books that I knew I would never read again.  This really helped to beef up my library and now my kids can all benefit from that man's kindness!

On the shelf, in the left of the picture, you'll see a big basket with teddy bears in it - this is for Read to Someone.  My kids can choose to read to a teddy bear instead of to another student.  It is so cute to watch them cuddled up with a bear and reading to it, like they are the teacher and the bear is their student!  I also have some round rugs (from Ikea) and pillows (mostly made by my mom) for kids to cuddle up with during Read to Self.
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade classroom library

Here is where the library and the math manipulative corner meets.  Nothing too exciting.  Books on tape/CD are hanging, the wire drawers have supplies for Work on Writing (story starters, blank booklets to write stories on, sheets to write lists), and a small basket with DIY whisper phones.  I bought pieces of PVC pipe and corners.  My hubby cut the pipe and I glued an elbow piece to each end, then spray painted them lime green for a pop of color.  Some of my third graders still read out loud when reading to themselves, so this helps cut down on the noise.  I'll have to do a quick tutorial someday - they are seriously so easy to make.
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade listening center

A close up of the "teddy bear" corner of my library, facing the northwest side.  In the shelf on the counter, I always keep content area books.  Right now, I have books about weather in there, since that's what we are studying in science.
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade classroom library

I love my book organizing system.  I always know where every book is when I want to find it.  I'll have to post about that another day.
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade classroom library

Here is a pictorial input chart about states of matter.  It goes with my current OCDE Project GLAD® unit.  Read more about OCDE Project GLAD® here.
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade GLAD language acquisition ELL ESL

A water cycle input chart and chant.  I love OCDE Project GLAD®!
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade GLAD language acquisition ELL ESL

Here is the top of the northwest corner.  My classroom promises are from Debbie Miller's Teaching with Meaning.  I put it up on these super tall bulletin boards, since they aren't very accessible.  I figured it would be good to be able to see our promises all year long.  The faces art projects were a math glyph from our math adoption, Bridges in Mathematics.  I made the fabric bunting after seeing one in Abby's classroom over at The Inspired Apple.
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade Our Promises

Here is a shot of the southeast corner.  Behind that door is the girls bathroom.  The classroom next door and I share that bathroom.  You can see my schedule and classroom jobs cards on the white board.  My desk is turned diagonal.  Behind my desk is my problematic shelves and closet.  I've been working on them this week and they already look WAY better!  You'll also see a glimpse of my mailbox slots in the right of the picture.  I got those from Donorschoose last year and they are so awesome.  I couldn't imagine sorting all that paper myself anymore.  I only have kids turn things in that I want to grade.  Sometimes I will give kids a stamp on their paper before they can put it in their mailbox - that way I can walk around and check if they had done the work correctly.  
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade

Here's a wider view of my whiteboard and writing bulletin board.  One table a week who wins the table point competition get to sit on yoga balls for the week.  They LOVE it!  It's a great reward to good behavior!  I got the balls from Donorschoose.  
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade yoga balls

Here's a view of the front door, the south side of the school.  You'll see the blue set of cubbies - there are 25 slots, but wait, I have 32 students!!!  Ya, it doesn't work out too well.  My teacher table is to the right.  That's where I meet with small groups.  The shelf behind it houses all the word work materials. There is the boys bathroom that connects my room to my bestie, Carla's room.  Next to the bathroom is a tall bookshelf where the kids put their book boxes.  Our principal bought bookboxes from Really Good Stuff this year for the whole school.  They are so much nicer than the cardboard Ikea ones we used to use!
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade yoga balls

Here's a wider shot of the northwest corner.  I still have a string of Christmas lights up.  Need to take those down!!
Above each table is a colored tissue pom-pom, made from this Martha Stewart tutorial, but inspired by this beautiful classroom from Pinterest.  I hang vocabulary words from the bottom of each pom pom to be the table name.  Right now, the table names are vocab words from our weather unit.  Next, they will be geometry vocab words.  I just love this idea!  It's cute, and educational!
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade

 Here is the west wall.  You can see my calendar, CAFE board, and a pocket chart for math vocab words.  I painted my bulletin boards turquoise at the beginning of the school year.  I just love them!
photo of classroom photo Teaching With Style organization 3rd grade

So there you have it.  A super long tour of my classroom.  I still have a ton more I want to show you, so make sure to follow along! :)

Do you use whisper phones like me?  Or what about yoga balls?  Maybe you use something else as a reward for the winning table group?  I'd love to hear about it!
This past summer I had the pleasure of attending a training for OCDE Project GLAD®
 in the McMinnville School District in Oregon.

OCDE Project GLAD® (Guided Language Acquisition Design) is a model for teaching to all students, specifically students who speak another language other than English in their home.  My favorite motto from OCDE Project GLAD® is "Teach to the ceiling, review to the floor".  In the OCDE Project GLAD® model, the first couple of weeks are teacher driven, using many graphic organizers, whole group input charts, and high academic vocabulary.  After reviewing this language-rich information over and over again, the students eventually take ownership over it and become so independent.
I've taught using OCDE Project GLAD® strategies in my classroom for the past five years, but have not been formally trained until now.  The funny part is that the trainer was my 5th grade teacher, who now is a half time teacher and half time instructional coach in McMinnville.  It was so fun to be her student again!

The training lasted for five days and consisted of classroom observation in the mornings and work time in the afternoon.  We observed a summer school class that was comprised of 16 incoming 3rd grade ELL students and also children of migrant working families.  The entire class was Hispanic and spoke Spanish at home.  The school, Newby Elementary, is a bilingual English/Spanish school.  For each day of instruction the trainer, Erick Herrmann, an independent consultant, taught all of the strategies a regular teacher would use in a week.  The mornings went by very fast and had lots of content shoved in, but the kids did remarkably well.  They were well behaved, worked well together, and really did try their best to learn.  They were excited by the unit, Navigation. 
During the afternoons, I worked on a unit for my class on Scientific Inventions. I made Observation Charts, a Big Book, a Timeline, Picture File Cards, a Narrative Input Chart, and updated the Cognitive Content Dictionary.  Creator Marcia Bechtel's book Bringing It All Together {affiliate link} was really helpful when I wanted to refresh my memory of the strategies.

Another way I stay brushed up on my OCDE Project GLAD® strategies is by joining the Yahoo Group - Project GLAD for Teachers.  If you ever have a question, all you have to do is post it to the group and all the wonderful other teachers who belong to the group will answer.  Even just by reading the questions other people post, I get reminded of little tips and tricks of teaching the strategies.  It's not a group that posts a ton, so it won't clog up your email inbox or anything like that.

I hope this was helpful for you and your students!  How do you teach your English language learners in your classroom?  I'd love to hear about it!
Pinterest gives me so many ideas for craft projects (see them on my other blog Nicole's Crafting Adventure!) and also for classroom lessons and projects.  At the beginning of this school year, I made many things for my new classroom.  I moved rooms and moved up two grades, so I wanted my new space to be different and exciting.  This project was to not only look good, but create storage and a seating place for students to Read to Self during Daily 5 time - Crate seats! 

I had a ton of crates that held student files, extra headphones for my listening center, books that tied into my reading themes, games and puzzles, and other random stuff. When I moved into my new 3rd grade room, the previous teachers (they job-shared) left me a collection of tennis ball containers full of Mad Minute math sheets for addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. They were housed in plastic drawers that were meant to look like this, but the tennis ball containers were too tall for the frame. The teachers had simply removed the drawers and placed them on a shelf near the door. Well, once the janitor decided to re-arrange my shelves and took out a row (don't ask - I'm still really mad about it!) the drawers didn't really work in that area anymore. I needed a new place to house these containers. Enter Pinterest.  I found inspiration here and here.

Along with all these creative ideas, I set off in search of my supplies. First stop, Ikea. I wanted some heavier weight fabric. We used Ikea fabric to cover our coffee table ottoman, so I knew it would work well. Once I got to the store, I saw that they had a vinyl covered-type fabric - Lialotta in navy. I knew this would be perfect for spills and other types of general cleanup. I bought 1 yard to cover my 4 crates.

I then headed over to Home Depot with my crate in tow. I went straight for the scrap section and got a helpful guy to measure my crate and cut a piece of particle board (OSB to be exact) just a smidge (yes, the technical kind of "smidge") smaller than the crate to include the fabric when I placed the seat in the lip of the crate. The Home Depot dude was awesome. He cut the wood about 4 times and checked with me each time to make sure it was what I wanted. He then cut the remaining 3 pieces the same size. Total spent on wood, get this - $2.01. I may have brought up the fact that this project was for kids, you know, to help sway his generosity in how much that scrap wood cost! :)

Next step was to raid my mother-in-law's sewing room for some foam. She first found a piece that needed to be cut in half width-wise. I broke out her electric turkey knife and got to work. Let me tell you, when I was finally done, it looked terrible! Because the knife was shorter than the length of the foam, I had to measure and cut down one side, then measure and cut down the other side. There was still a piece in the middle that hadn't been cut, so I tried to cut it even. Long story short, I ended up with a VERY lumpy side to the foam that I was afraid wouldn't adhere to the wood correctly and since I wasn't using batting between the foam and the fabric, I wouldn't have anything to hide the lumpiness. (*In retrospect, if I would have cut the foam the size of the wood pieces first, I probably would have been able to cut it in half just fine with the turkey knife. You live and you learn! :) I nicely told her I was off to JoAnn's to buy thinner foam when lo and behold, she found a perfect piece in the closet! Yay to free foam that isn't lumpy!

I used the turkey knife to cut the foam the same size as the boards. I traced each wooden board on the foam with a sharpie and then labeled the foam side and wood side. This way when I glued it down, it would match up perfectly.

I used spray adhesive that was leftover from making our coffee table ottoman. I first sprayed the glue on the wood, then placed the foam on the wood, lining up the edges. I then pressed on the foam to help adhere it to the wood. Once I had all 4 pieces of wood completely glued and dried, I got to work stapling the fabric.

I used my husband's staple gun and just wrapped the fabric around the wood like a present. It was hard to make the staples go all the way into the wood since the foam made the wood move every time I stapled. If I held the staple gun at an angle, it seemed to help.

Cost Breakdown:
Crates - already had
Wood - $2.01
Fabric - $7.99
Spray adhesive - already had
foam - got from my mother-in-law
staples and a staple gun - already had

Total: $10 even!

Whenever I want to do Mad Minute, it is so easy to grab the tennis ball container from the crates. I might make laminated signs so I know which crate is addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.   But for now, I am loving this new addition to my classroom, pun intended!

What are some creative organization you have used in your classroom?  What would you put in your crate seats if you made them?