Sunday, September 29, 2013

Perhaps I am behind the times...

UPDATE!!!  I got it fixed!!!  I have my facebook page fixed and it works like I wanted it to!!
Go over and check it out, like it and follow me please!!  I will try to get a fan freebie link on there by the weekend so if you like it, you can get access to freebies I make up, and sometimes, I just make stuff!!!

https://www.facebook.com/shearerlysadlerfourthgrade

I have been trying to set up a facebook page for Shearerly Sadler 4th Grade.  I have done so, but I have to be doing something wrong.  It looks NOTHING LIKE ANYONE ELSES...Well, anyone else that I follow anyway.  I set it up as a personal page, should I have done something different, should I have set it up as a business page?  I don't know.  If  you know something I don't, can you help a girl out?  I want it to look cool, I want for folks to be able to like my page or follow, which ever they want to do.  I want it to look like other really successful edubloggers.  I don't have a personal page and never have, so this facebook, twitter, instagram stuff is kindof daunting!  Trying to grow in the world of social media is tough and I just want to keep up :)

Here is a link to the facebook page.  Any suggestions would be awesome!!!

Thanks friends, you all are an awesome bunch!! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Most Awesome Giveaway!!!

I love clipart, graphics, anything that makes my schtuff look cutesy patootsey!  I hope you will wonder over to Dots of Fun and enter this giveaway if you share the same addiction to graphics :) 
Click on the picture to be taken straight there!!!  I could enter a thousand times I am so excited about this!!!

State test scores released...

This is the time of year when Kentucky releases their state test scores.  My sweet little school, Shearer Elementary, (hence the name of my blog) had a drop in scores this year.  It was hard for all of us who work at Shearer.  Looking at our RAW data, we looked good.  Really good.  Our fourth grade teachers had a group of students last year who gave us fits, but they got it, they got what those state tests mean to our school and that group rocked it out!  I was never more proud to be the teacher of a group of students.  They were a challenge, the kind of challenge that make a teacher pray summer will NEVER END!  We had girl drama to the 100th power, behavior issues, learning issues.  You name it, we had it last year...But despite all those things, the children had a desire to learn and they showed it on our K-PREP assessment.  Unfortunately, their growth was not enough to get our school to where we needed to be this year.

 Is it disheartening?  Yes.  Does it make me upset?  No.  I can only take the test data to look at my new fourth graders, analyze it and make sound instructional decisions to get my students this year moving in an upward direction.  This year, I have new challenges.  I like a challenge, but I don't LOVE THEM!!  We have talent in fourth grade, that's a solid fact!  Our students have some maturing to do. Another very solid fact!   Plus with the amount of reading and writing that is required by K-PREP, we have to increase our stamina.  I have started a reading stamina board in my room.  I took this idea from some Daily 5/CafĂ© classrooms from different blogs I have read.  I am not really familiar with Daily 5, tried a rudimentary version in my room last year.  I like the concept, but I would need to be trained like a dolphin to use it with fidelity :)  Any hoo, I digress...Stamina board...sorry the pic is so little :)
 
We have gotten to as much as 13 minutes without getting restless and off task.  It's a step.  We have got a bunch of steps to go before we get where we need to be..  
 
This drop in scores has been hard for my principal.  Last year was her first year as our principal and let me just say, she was dealing with a whole lot of healing.  Our school had been down, in so many ways.  We had an administrator which no one trusted, we were against one another (turned that way by the same untrusted administrator) we felt like we were fighting a losing battle to be professionals who make decisions to educate children.  All decisions (instructionally, behaviorally etc) were being made for us.  Shearer Elementary was a difficult place to work.  That administrator left and we had an interim, who was one of our own and she triaged us in the field and we did well the first year we took on Common Core.  When Ms. Dawson took over last year, we knew we had hired an excellent educator; skilled in curriculum and instructional practices.  But, she became Abraham Lincoln and our school was the Civil War.  She had to see us, staff and students, through a transitional period.  It was a wartime she never has been able to quite wrap her head around.  The war had ended and we were and in some ways, still are, in the Reconstruction Phase of our school life.  For the for the first time in a very long time we have been allowed to make professional instructional decisions about how to best educate our students AND we have a leader who knows how to guide us.  She is fair, honest, trustworthy and most of all, she loves us all, staff and students.  She has a genuine place in her heart for our school.

 It hurt my heart that our test scores affected her the way they did.  She took the drop in scores personally and wears the ten point drop like a Scarlet Letter on her chest.  She has cried and then cried when she said she wasn't going to.  She is owning this, weathering the storm with us and for us.  She isn't blaming us (our last administrator did this every time), she takes this as her own defeat.

 But there is no defeat in this, only a place built from which to move forward.  I tell my students to try everything I put in front of them and make as many mistakes as you can because from your mistakes you will learn. Shearer Elementary, with Ms. Dawson's guidance, will take all our data and use it to make a difference; to make instructional changes to get to the heart of the what is going on, address it and make it better.  We have great students, great educators and excellent support staff and overwhelmingly wonderful leadership at my school.  While I don't love challenges, I welcome this one and look forward to what the 2013-2014 class of Shearer Elementary Students can accomplish!!

Thank you for allowing me this time and space to share my thoughts, rants and raves.  That is what I love about blogging!!! 
Friday, September 27, 2013

Giveaway Winner!!!

Hey Hey Hey!!!!  There is a winner for my Giveaway!!!!!

Congratulations to Bethany K!  She has won this, two other items of her choice from my TPT store and a $10 TPT gift certificate!!!!  Bethany will be receiving an email with her goodies momentarily!!!!  YEAH!!!!

Thank you to everyone who entered and followed my blog and my store and gave me shout-outs all over the place!  You all are priceless and I appreciate you so so much!!!

Five For Friday

 
 
 
TGIFFF...Thank Goodness is FIVE FOR FRIDAY!!!!!!
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching this week.  Its been a busy one

 
I hooked up with Jameson @ Lesson With Coffee for her October SLANT box.  I am so excited about this.  I love getting mail and I love shopping for other people too.  If you have time, go over there and sign up!  It's going to be a great time!
 
 
 
So this week I CRACKED DOWN on the talking and off task behavior.  My principal and I talked the other day and we came to the conclusion that us fourth grade teachers are just too energetic for this group of kids.  Evidently their third grade teachers must have practiced great restraint when teaching, never cracked a smile, a joke or allowed them much independence.  We are just too much for them I guess so they stayed amped up all the time.  So now I am practicing more restraint than I EVER HAVE!!!!! 
I have been NO NONSENSE all week.  I use a cool chevron behavior clip chart that I got over at A Cupcake for the Teacher.  I have been moving clips down left and right.  My class just talks so much.  I had to ask them what I was doing wrong.  They told me I was giving too many warnings.  I like to keep things very real in my class, which is why I asked their opinions on the situation.  I think that was one of the most important thing I could have done.  I made them part of the solution.  I have sailed through this week and it has been great!  I feel more like a grown up teacher, that part I don't care much for, but I am getting used to it. 
 
I discovered a WONDERFUL online planning tool that will carry over year to year.  www.planbook.com
I love this tool.  It costs $12 a year, but is totally worth it  I have been able to share my plans with my students and once when I was absent, I texted the link with my username and password to my principal, she was able to pull my plans and my class ran seamlessly without me there...  I have to rework my schedule next week due to a change in our lunch schedule.  With this tool, I can go into the class and just click to change the time.  planbook.com will literally reconfigure the schedule and BA-BAM!!!  I am back in business and no throwing out blank plan pages because my brain can't deal with a messy plan page. 

 
We had a lockdown drill today and my class was so well hidden, that when I left my lights on and door unlocked (inadvertently) I heard  our "intruder" (our custodian) say "Mrs. Sadler's class is not even in here!"   Ha Ha!!!  My room configuration worked so well in the drill at least!  My students safety is my top daily priority.  I won't risk anything when it comes to it. 

 
I love melonheadz and if  you don't know what a melonheadz is, I want you to click this link.  If you know what they are but you are not following Nikki's blog, then you should click the link as well.  Her work is IMPECCABLE!  She also has this cutest little freebie for fall on her blog right now, all you have to do is right click and save.  I have a hard time holding back when it comes to buy graphics or buy TPT or TN products which have Melonheadz in them.  I love Nikki's work so much, I am having a personalized melonheadz made for me, my bestie and my principal.  (SHHHH, that parts a secret!!!)
 
So that's my random five...I love this linky!!!!
 

Classroom Tested/Teacher & Student Approved with Deb at Crafting Connections...

I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a collaborator with Deb Hansen over at Crafting Connections for her Classroom Tested-Teacher & Student Approved Series

 
 
 
Deb was so kind to send me the subjects and predicates train craftivity to try out in my classroom. 
 
 As soon as I put the packet up on the screen, the kids were excited.  We had already been exposed to subjects and predicates the week before, so I used this craftivity as  a form of assessment.  I was surprised by how it seemed to firm up the concrete, if you know what I mean.  The kinesthetic aspect of putting the complete subject on the engine car and the complete predicate on the caboose car really was an "a-ha!" moment for some of my students.  I was surprised by that honestly. 
 
I passed out the packet I had put together for my students, this is suggested in the teacher directions section of the craftivity and was a time saver.  In this packet were directions for students to follow, a worksheet for the students to complete and then the craftivity itself. 
 
I went over the directions very carefully.  My students don't always like to wait for directions, they just want to jump right in.  I had to hold them back.  I showed them the sample picture which Deb had posted on the front of the directions, HOWEVER...I suggest making the craftivity yourself first.  I think that would have made my students take more notice of what the craftivity was intended to look like.  I don't think the presentation really matters if you are using it the way I did, but if you are a stickler about presentation, I would certainly make your  own sample first.  I only had one student go against the grain for presentation and she worked hard and diligently, so I didn't want to make her redo it. 
 
Each child first completed the worksheet where they underlined complete subject once and complete predicate twice.  I circulated the room heavily during this time checking for understanding of the subject/predicate concept.  I had only a few that were still having difficulty at this point and was able to redirect and reteach on the spot.  

 
 
We then made the first train car set together with number one on the worksheet.  Each student will have the same first train car set then after that, students choose four more from the worksheet to display on the train car sets.  I like this idea of student choice.  Some of mine went right down the page and others really scrutinized which sentences to display. 
 
 
 
Students will need a black pen or maker, crayons or colored pencils, glue, scissors, and a large sheet of construction paper to showcase their work.  Make sure you are clear about how these should be cut out...do they need to be trimmed precisely or can they just cut around and cut both out at the same time.  I told my students in the interest of time, to cut around and cut out both cars together.  As long as the engine car and caboose car were different colors and contained the correct content, that is what I needed to see.  You might want to be specific about which colors to use.  I intended for my students to use the same two colors for each train car set, but my kiddos just colored them two different colors.  Some followed the picture and some just used two random colors.  Each child did a little something different with the colors. 
 








 
 
I should have set aside larger blocks of time for my students to complete this, because they are a very social group and like to talk while they work.  This craftivity took me three 30 minute class sessions to complete BUT that is because of my group dynamics.  Once I told them it must be done that last day, I had everyone working their little fourth grade fingers to the bone and other children who were finished were helping others. 
 
My students loved doing this craftivity, and this is one I will do again...Definitely! My students seemed to work harder on getting the work right because I told them that nothing that is messy, disorganized and WRONG will be hung in the hallway...PERIOD! 
 

 
 
Here are some of my students comments... Kyle L said "this is an assessment, I have never had an assessment like this before!"  Alea W said "Mrs. Sadler, I like when we get to make stuff to show what we learn.  I like hanging my work in the hallway!"  My principal said, "I like this!" when she came down to just pop in my room for a moment.  Craftivities get noticed much more easily when displayed as opposed to a worksheet.  Craftivities may take a little more time, but because they address multiple intelligences (especially visual and kinesthetic learners), they are worth the little extra time. 
 
SSSSSSoooooooo...Deb is holding a giveaway for this very craftivity at her site right now!  Click here to check it.  I am also offering my new Character Setting and Conflict Interactivity as a bonus gift in the giveaway!!!
 
Thank  you Deb for sending this craftivity my way and I look forward to another collaboration in the near future.
 
 

Monday, September 23, 2013

I JUST SIGNED UP FOR A SLANT BOX!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED CAN YOU TELL!!!!!!!

The SLANT Box Exchange
 
WWWWWWAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
 
You all have got to do this.  I have been waiting with baited breathe for these to open so I could sign up!  I hope you will sign up too!!  I need some teacher love!  My hubs says that he's already been to school...when I try to share with him my products I make for my teacher store he begrudgingly looks at all my cuteness I put into my store and then asks why I don't charge more :)  He's the police, they live in a black and white world! 
 
 OH well, I am super excited to meet my partners and getting to know some new folks out there in the colorful teaching world! 
 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Giveaway Ends Friday!!!

Hello Friends (and Potential Friends!)

My first giveaway ends Friday and I am so excited!  This has generated quite a few followers for me.  I have been able to work with some really cool bloggers through this process!  So, in the last five days of the giveaway, I hope to get my followers up to fifty on blog lovin...So spread the word!  If  I meet my goal of 50 followers, I am going to hold a 50% off flash sale on Friday as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
thanks for hanging out with me and helping me grow my blog! You all are awesome friends!!

Two new products in my store today and they are 50% off until Wednesday...


 

 
 
I am so excited about these two new items because they are content related as opposed to classroom decor or classroom management!  I have used both of these items in my classroom and the students did really well with them.  When I did them however, they were in a very very rudimentary form (folded paper) nor did I have the cute little posters (hadn't made them yet)  I also wanted to create something that a teacher can grab our of files and just teach and assess...that is what these little jewels did for me and I think they will do the same for any teacher that uses them. 
 


Monday, September 16, 2013

Scarefest Con 2013--Teacher Finds the Cutest in the Strangest and Most Bizzare!!!!

Happy Sunday Almost Monday folks!!!  I volunteered at the Scarefest Con in Lexington, KY this weekend. My mom is a huge paranormal geek and my hubs loves the movies of the horror world. I just come to help out and spend time with them. But I have to find the cute and teachy in everything. Cute teaches right?  And I sure did find the cutest in the weirdest and most bizarre place on earth!!!  

Here is their booth set up at the convention



 
 


I got to meet Rebecca Hicks, the creator of this ADORABLE group of 7 in tall characters. She is so lovely and full of energy! My favorite vendor and has been since I started attending/volunteering for this conventions  AT ONCE A MILLION LITERACY IDEAS DANCED IN MY HEAD !!!!  That's going to be a Tried It Tuesday post or a Tuesday Tech Time Post for sure!!! 


I had to purchase this little guy for my desk at school!  He's a "little vampire!!  He will be so cute sitting on my desk and helping usher in one of my favorite times of the year!!!  Isn't he so cute!  My oldest daughter fell in love with him and when I told her he was going to school with me, she tried to put him in her back pack to take him to preschool with her! 

This is my next cute-iful find at this freaky convention...
Hubs is a Walking Dead Fan, so I just had to get this for our youngest... He's just learning to walk so it was fitting :)
 
The handsome onesie model is our little son!   He's 14 months!!!
 
And last in my quest for cute among the creepy, I found this cutey-patootey...
 
Josh Gates of Destination: Truth on the SyFy channel... My mom and I were in charge of taking care of him this weekend while he did fan meet and greet.  I tried VERY VERY VERY hard not to be a dork around him, but I am a terrible conversationalist, not that there was a lot of down time to chat it up, but when there was a break in his line of fans who adore and wanted to meet him, I would trip over my own tongue and said "well", "uh" and "so" ALOT!  He is, however, an excellent conversationalist and a genuinely nice and intelligent guy!  I so totally wanted to set him up with my BFF, but sorry gals...He just got engaged!  Bummer! 

So there is it all...I certainly found the cutest among the strange and bizarre!  I hope your weekend was as wonderful as mine!  Have a great week! 

PS... Don't forget my giveaway...It has 13 days left!!!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Friday, September 13, 2013

New Blogger Linky Party With I {heart} Teaching...

Hello Bloggie World!!!  I started this blog back in April or May I guess and didn't get serious about it till this summer.  I found this linky party for new bloggers through the 24/7 Teacher and A Teaspoon of Teaching...Here Goes!!!

1. Why did you start blogging?
 
I discovered blogging when I started buying from Teachers Pay Teachers and pinning to Pinterest.  I loved seeing all the cool things people were creating to  post on pinterest and then when I would go to TPT to purchase or download, I found the blogs that went with the sellers and WAS HOOKED!!!!!  I started my personal teaching blog back in April I think.  I had no idea what I was doing and I was my only follower then :)  I have since began to post everything on there that I think about teaching.  My goals for blogging are to enhance my own knowledge of the world of teaching (even after being in the biz for 13 years) and as a National Board Certified Teacher of E/LA Early Middle Childhood, I want to establish myself in the educational community as a knowledgeable, experienced  teacher that my colleagues in the 21st Century learning community can turn to for answers to questions etc.  AND, I like reaching out and gaining new ideas and seeing how people elsewhere do things. 
 
2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
I love teaching reading in small groups and I LOVE MATH!!!  When I have to teach reading in whole group, its common core driven and I feel like I am simply teaching for students to perform well on a test.  I know the core standards are in place to help advance the United States in the Global Economy, and that is definitely important.  However, when I am in small group, teaching children to read and think and use common core standards to move their thinking to a higher level or simply to teach a child to actually read words and make meaning from them...There is nothing like small group.  I teach small groups to create readers for life.  Math was always a handicap for me when I was growing up...I couldn't do it.  When I became a teacher, I EMBRACED math and have found that I am pretty darn good at teaching kids the "why" of math as well as the skills and practices which accompany it. 
 
3. Describe your teaching style.
No Nonsense with a twist of your mama's humor.  I got a piece of advice from my first year intern cooperative teacher, the wonderful and great Brenda Sipes.  She said "treat their children the way you would want your own children treated."  I have stuck with that and 13 years and 3 kids of my own later, it still works for me.  I know that each year the kids are different which means I have to alter the way I do things each year.  So I handle each child each year differently and much like handle my own three children at home.  I am loud, I tell them I love them all the time, no matter what.  We laugh and once a problem is dealt with, I leave it behind and not let it affect what happens after. 
 
4. Give three interesting facts about you.
 
Three interesting facts about me:
I am a national board certified teacher of E/LA Early-Middle Childhood, I have three children ages 4, 3 and 1 (the last one is a boy so we finally closed the kitchen ;) and I am addicted to the show Once Upon a Time on AbC...completely and hopeless addicted!!
 
5. Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link :)
I do have a TpT store and I am so proud of it...http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Shearer-ly-Sadler-4th-Grade

I am also hosting a giveaway with rafflecopter to help get the pot stirring...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
That's me and my blog!  I appreciate very much getting to link up here and I will make sure to follow each and every blog here before me to help you grow your blog to whatever goal you wish to achieve!  I hope you will check out my blog and store and download whatever resources you need to reach your teaching goals and all the freebies you want!!!

Five for Friday

 
 
 
I  am so excited for my second five for Friday with doodle bugs teaching!  I have been working with this linky in mind all week!  This is been a crazy busy week but so many things have happened! 

 
I am having a giveaway!!  I have been trying to create readership for my blog and I thought I would throw a giveaway! Its been kind of slow goings.  I am trying not to compare my beginning to someone elses middle, but I love blogging so.... I hope you will follow my blog and my teacher store and have a chance to win a great giveaway!
 
 
  
 
I have been having a hard time with my class understanding the importance of listening during Instruction.  They like to socialize ALOT and I guess it doesn't help that I sit them in table groups of six, but group learning/cooperative learning is my philosophy as is the 21st century learner initiative.  So as rudimentary as this picture is going to look, I had to do something.  Fern Smith had posted on her blog about an incentive to get her groups to behave and do the work of being students.  She offered them a small secret gift. I took this idea and ran with it.  
 
  
The bag is where I keep the gift hidden.  I am going this weekend to find a much cuter gift bag.  This was all I could find in my desperation to find something to squelch these behaviors. 
 I have done this everyday this week and my kids have worked really hard for this gift and have
 tried to keep their talking in check.  The prizes I have given away have  been small...a couple sheets of stickers, an apple pen and today was a crayon eraser.  Friday's mystery prize is always supposed to be a little bigger, so that gift will be a bag of suckers or a coloring book and crayons or something like that.  I have been trying not to do so many food/treat based rewards.  BUT when that is a motivator,  you gotta go with what works!!
Click here to link up to Fern's blog post for me information and to see her cutey cute owl bags!
 
 
 
 
So, one of our former fourth graders had a double lung transplant twelve days ago and SHE IS HOME!!!  She is oxygen free and I have never seen this smile. 
 I have known here since she was a kindergartner and was able to come to school.  Last year was really hard for Nicole and she seemed to have more difficult days then good days.  The Make-a-wish foundation stepped in and sent Nicole and her family to Disney World.  When I heard this year she was having a double lung transplant, I was so hopeful for them.  I never expected her to bounce back like this!  God bless the family who lost their child, but praise God for his blessing for Nicole and her family!!
 
 
 
 So my students are studying the plant kingdom and I shot this video of them performing their "dance"  I cracked up because this is the first time ALL of my students embraced my crazy assessment method.  They totally got it AND were able to write about it the next day!  I was one proud teacher yesterday!!!
video
 
 
 
 
And number five is the fact the weekend is here and I will be spending my weekend with the stars...Josh Gates of Destination Truth is going to be at the Scarefest Convention in Lexington Kentucky and my hubs, mom and I are volunteers for them.  My
  mom and I are taking care of Josh Gates this weekend and hubs is taking care of Chandler from Walking Dead on Saturday!  Should be a really fun time.  Malcolm McDowell with be there!  Chip Coffey from Paranormal State and Psychic Kids will be there and I will get to spend a little time with all of them.  I am not much into the blood and guts horror movies of today but I sure do enjoy a good scare, a mystery and a good ghost story!!!!
Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tried It Tuesday and I'm Having a giveaway!!!

I am new to Tried it Tuesday but I was reading on Fern Smith's blog this morning about a little good behavior incentive  and with as much chatter that goes on in my room, I was willing to "try" anything.  Here is my Tried It Tuesday!  A Fourth Grade Flipper Linky Partay!!!
 

 ery r
I know...It's a school bag.  But this is no ordinary school bag friends...This contains a super secret prize!  Whenever my students stay in the positive behavior zone of my clip chart, they get their name put in the bucket to be drawn out for the prize.  I also drew out for lunch bunch today, but I put the names back in for the prize drawing this afternoon.  When I drew out for the prize, I put the name back in because there is a slightly larger prize on Friday that I want every one to have a chance at.  Plus, Fern said it eliminates discouragement and giving up because they may not always be caught being good. 

Todays prize was a sheet of stickers.  Natalie in my room  won the drawing today and she just smiled and held up her stickers.  I never thought they could make her that happy.   Tomorrows prize is a really cool pen.  But I make a big deal of the prize and check it often through out the day to see if its "still good"  We had a good day today and I attribute it to this little incentive and also because I was having a good day. 
For more details on this tried it Tuesday, head over to Ferns Classroom Ideas and see her cute little bags!

BUT, don't forget I am having a little giveaway and I hope you get in on the love!!!



 
 














a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Made It and NEW BLOGGER I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT IT GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!



Here is my Monday Made It!!  I have been so excited about this...Waiting for this MMI has been like waiting for Christmas morning that I am offering them for 20% in my TPT store.  I have been working on this craftivity for a week or two...





 Not only is this next item going for 20% off in my TPT store...I AM HAVING A GIVEAWAY FOR THIS MY MONDAY MADE IT Plus a whole lot more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Get on the rafflecopter below and enter to win this item, plus two other items of your choice from my TPT store and since my store is so new, I am also going to include in the giveaway a $10 gift certificate to TPT so you can shop in super  stores like 4th Grade Frolics, our sweet MMI sponsor :)
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway