I'm joining up with What the Teacher Wants and Apples and ABCs to share my Instagram account!

Follow me at @teachingwithstyle!  I need some followers!

What's your Instagram?  Share it in the comments!

This is my first Five for Friday and I'm so excited to participate!

In library this week, I read my class the book Tutu Hamana: The Shaka Sign Story.  I had heard this story before, but I loved reading it to my kids.  Even though most of my kids were born and raised in Hawaii, many of them didn't know where the Shaka sign came from!

To carry on learning about Hawaiian culture this week, our weekly art project was Hawaiian colors!  When I taught 1st grade in Oregon, my team would do these rainbows and write color words on the strips of paper.  I did the same thing, but wrote the words in Hawaiian!  "Anuenue" is written on the cloud and it means "rainbow".

We finished up with our read aloud of James and the Giant Peach last week, so I owed my class a party!  We had an ice cream bar, watched the movie on Amazon Instant Video, and did Ashley's super awesome Movie Response pack!  It gave the kids something to work on while we watched the movie and was a great discussion starter after the movie was over!

We've been reviewing money: how to count it, how to make change, etc.  We also started a classroom economy and made origami wallets to keep our money in.  Check out my blog post {here}.

I updated a freebie I made last summer when I took an ESOL course on SIOP.  It's a cooperative learning structure for reading and discussing nonfiction text.  I'd love for you to {check it out} and rate it for me if you like it!

What were you up to this week?

My class is currently working on money right now: adding money, making change, and solving word problems involving money!

Our math program does a good job covering whole group lessons, but I needed some things to help beef up my math work stations.  

Counting out some coins with our whole group lesson

Enter The Teacher's Cauldron...

She has two awesome money packs full of games and activities!

Here we are playing some of the games!

Making a spinner with a pencil and a paperclip!

Playing a game on the carpet.

 We also did this game that I found as a freebie on Peterson's Pad.  You just need a dice, game markers (I use teddy bear counters), and some coins to count out.

The other way I'm working on counting money and skip counting is by using a classroom economy.  I picked up this awesome unit from Surfin' Through Second.  My class is nuts about it!  We still use our clip chart, but throwing some money into the mix just helps the kids stay more engaged.  I'm loving it so much!!

Here are my two bankers cashing in student paychecks.  They love using the date stamp!

I also made this Fine Jar.  When they clip down for misbehavior, they have to pay me $5! I made this out of a carmel corn jar and used a kitchen knife and kitchen scissors to cut the slit.  Then I covered it in green contact paper, cut letters from card stock on my Cricut, and adhered them with ModPodge.  When students end the day with their clip above green, they get an extra $10 and a raffle ticket.  At the end of the week, I pick a ticket and one of them will win the whole pot of money!  

Corinna suggested to make origami wallets to keep our money in, so we did!

Check out this video for directions.  I showed it to my class and we would watch, pause, make, then watch again!  It was perfect!

How do you like to teach money?

My school does Marzano's vocabulary program and kids have notebooks with close to a hundred words that they learn each year.  The notebooks move with them from year to year, so they can also serve as a nice way to gauge progress in handwriting through the years.

In these notebooks, the kids have to rate how well they understand the word, on a scale of 1-4.  It was so hard to teach them the differences in the range of numbers!  Kids would rate it a 1 if they didn't really get it or a 4 even if they didn't get it at all!  I needed a clear way for them to show me their understanding!

I made this pack, complete with a parent letter, grading rubric to staple to papers that go home, exit slips for students to complete after any assignment or lesson, a student sheet that can slip inside a data or vocab notebook, 4 little posters to hang around your room, and one large poster to cut and glue together.  Now my kids know exactly what the number represent, I can write the numbers on their papers and parents know what they mean, and I even have kids show me their number after a whole group lesson!  I'm loving it!

After I shared this product with the K, 1st, and 2nd grade teachers in my building, the K teachers mentioned how they like using smiley faces with their kids.  They felt that the younger kids could connect the faces to a feeling when talking about their own learning.  I went ahead and duplicated my pack with smiley faces, too!  Now everyone is happy!

But of course I couldn't find the right smiley faces, so I whipped some up on my iPad and they are available for free in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!  Go grab yours today!

How do you like to informally assess your kids?

I'm linking up over at Classroom Freebies:

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Math testing... dun dun dun!  It sounds scary, but with the right resources and preparation, it's really not!

Back when I taught in Oregon, the state test allowed kids access to various resources to use during the test.  Our computer lab assistant would make copies of clocks, hundreds grids, and multiplication tables.  There would be little pieces of paper everywhere and the kids didn't know how to organize them all in their workplace, let alone actually use them during the test.

As I was teaching 3rd grade for the first time last year and navigating being a test proctor for the first time, I had the great idea of turning these resources into little booklets!  We could practice using the booklets in the classroom during our regular math lessons and unit exams, then I could make different colored ones to pass out during our state testing.  Since the kids would be familiar with using the booklets in the classroom, they would actually use them during the test!
Here are the books in a testing bag with a ruler, a protractor, and a calculator - all allowable testing materials in the State of Oregon.

Here are my books in a different color, ready to be used in the classroom.  I did the classroom books in pink and the testing books in green, so I would remember to shred the green books after the test was over.

This year I am in a new state and a new grade.  2nd graders do not take state tests in Hawaii, but we do take a monthly math and reading test since my school is in re-structuring from not meeting AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress).  I wanted to introduce the booklets this spring to help kids use a variety of strategies for solving problems, not just their fingers.  Unfortunately, they are only allowed scratch paper during testing (our monthly testing sessions are supposed to mirror the testing environment of the Hawaii State Assessment, which only allows paper, pencils, and calculators).  My thought is, if we use the booklets in the classroom that have all of the resources filled out, then graduate to the booklets with blank resources that the students fill out themselves, then they should be able to replicate those resources on their blank paper during the test.  

I started to prep my booklets today.

Here are the pages ready to print.  In order for them to be double sided on the copy machine, I have to lay them alternating like this.

And here I am stapling them with the long armed stapler in my copy room earlier today.  Unfortunately, I am low on color paper, so my class gets white ones.  They will be excited to color the covers, though.  

I updated this file with the filled out and blank resources, along with several pages of mix-and-match, to hopefully help you in your classroom!  If there are additional resources that you need for your state, let me know and I can get them added to the file.

Click the picture or go here to see this product in my TpT store!

I am linking up with Mrs Wheeler's linky party for all you April testers!

Get Ready for Bloggy Olympics!!!

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Join The 3AM Teacher, the Reading Olympians, and over 80 SUPREME education bloggers as we take you through a tour of the Reading Olympians Root Study Program!!

The Reading Olympians is a program to teach root words.  We have adopted the Common Core in Hawaii and roots are now expected to be taught in 2nd grade: 2.L.4c Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root (e.g., addition, additional).  I've taught every grade K-3rd and even Title I reading intervention, and I can honestly say I have never specifically taught a wide range of roots.  I am excited to teach this program, not only because it is directly tied to our new standards, but because the majority of my students are fluent readers, but do not always understand what they read.  By explicitly teaching roots, I hope to see a big increase in my students' comprehension.  

The 2nd grade program is called Junior Olympians.  Krista and Julie (the master minds behind the program) tie everything into the Greeks.  The first set is called the Jr. Nike set.  I started my lesson off with discussing what is a root and making an anchor chart.

Look at that adorable clipart by the 3AM Teacher! :)
I then passed out the Jr. Nike packet and students were able to look it over.
Once their names made it on the packets and the packets were placed safely in their blue reading folders, I passed out the vocab cards.
These cards have the root and definition.  There is also a cute little rap or rhyme for each root that can be glued to the back of the cards.  I had my class president in charge of hole punching the corners of the cards and students placed them on a binder ring.  I also sent home a practice worksheet that was included in the set in their homework packets this week.  Next week, we'll do the inside of the the Jr. Nike packet, really diving into what each of the roots mean.  

After getting a chance to look over the packets and making our word cards, I gathered the students back on the carpet and we did a little shared writing to review the meanings of the Nike words.
I plan to make a chart like this one for each root set that gets introduced. 

My kids are excited about learning roots and were already practicing thinking up the biggest word they could find with the root in it!

Discover the program IN ACTION in more K-6th grade classrooms as you Pass the Torch!! Get ideas, discover the progression of the program, and enter the Raffle for a chance to win ONE of the three prizes listed below!!

First Place Winner : Gold Medal

  • Complete Reading Olympians Program
  • $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
  • 50% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Second Place Winner: Silver Medal

  • $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
  •  40% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Third Place Winner: Bronze Medal


  • 30% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Pass the Torch!!!
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I just finished up teaching about magnets and want to share my new unit with you!

First off, I had to organize the old magnet bucket my teaching partner loaned me.  What a mess!  I spent a good 2 hours sorting and organizing all the magnets and materials before I could even start!


Then, to get started, I wanted to jazz up the unit with some OCDE Project GLAD® strategies (Guided Language Acquisition Design - a great way to teach ELLs and all students!).  One of my favorite pictures books about magnets is Mickey's Magnet by Franklyn M. Branley.  

The only problem with this book is that it's out of print, so any copies you are going to find are going to be old.  I was lucky enough to find two copies of the book on Amazon from used book sellers.  Then, I cut them apart.  I know, I know, it sounds crazy!  Why would I do that?  Keep reading :)

I turned the books into a Narrative Input!  This strategy is a fun way to teach concepts using picture books.  Taking two copies of the book, you cut out the words and glue them onto the back of each of the pictures.  I then laminate each page.

Then, as you read the book and show the picture, you tape the picture up on the wall for the students to see.  This way, they have a visual of the entire book. This approach makes it really easy for kids to practice retelling and sequencing the story.

You can read more about Narrative Input in OCDE Project GLAD® creator Marcia Bretchtel's book Bringing It All Together {affiliate link}.

Now, on to my new unit that I used to teach magnets!

I started off with some vocab cards:

And vocab books to teach the words via the Marzano way.

Booklets to explore the Scientific Method:

Seven experiments for hands-on learning:

Four nonfiction articles to teach about lodestones, compasses, temporary magnets, and electromagnets. You can use these whole group or in small groups.  I even included a packet cover if you decide to make a small packet of the articles and comprehension questions for your students.

Students choose one of the article topics and write a short research report.

And there are some extras, too!  A world map to go with the nonfiction articles, a word search to go with the vocab words, a KWHL (the H is for "How will I find the information"), and a Can, Have, Are sheet.

Make sure to head over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to check it out!  A free copy of a generic vocab page is included with the Preview download!

Here are a couple of my students enjoying the experiments!

Make sure to download the Preview in my Teachers Pay Teachers store to get your copy of the vocab sheet!