I meant to write this a few days ago, but life happened.  Anyway, I'm linking up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for

My tried it for this week is a website called KidRex.
This site is a kid-friendly Google search engine.  All of the websites that pop up when you type something into the search bar are appropriate for kids.
Here are some examples:

My kiddos are using this to do research for their all about books in writing.  They are having a blast finding information online and I feel safe that I don't have to worry about something inappropriate popping up.  I call that a technology win-win!

 Even though school is not out, I am already thinking about next year.  I found out that I will be teaching 3rd grade next year and I'm ready for the challenge.  With a new grade comes new standards and strategies, and one of the biggest things I want to overhaul is my math instruction.

Enter this book study hosted by The Primary Gal!  I have been wanting to read this book since January and I am excited to get started.  (Make sure you keep reading to the bottom of this post because there's a giveaway and the links to the other fabulous bloggers that are participating in this book study!!!)

This chapter gives an overview of the need for small group math instruction and the components of the guided math framework.  Author Laney Sammons points out that, while literacy instruction has changed dramatically in the last 20 years to a more student centered, small-group model, math instruction has continued to be done in a teacher-center, whole-class way.

Often times, this whole-class method leads to procedural knowledge as opposed to conceptual knowledge.  As educators, we've all encounter the kids who can solve problems quickly and accurately, but cannot explain why their strategy works beyond "that's what the teacher said to do".  Guided math gives teachers the opportunity to develop students' conceptual knowledge in a meaningful way.

Sammons gives 7 components of her model:
1. A classroom environment of numeracy--create an environment of rich mathematical opportunities, allowing students to engage in real world math problem solving; create a community of learners who are willing to take risks and share their thinking
2. Morning math warm-ups and calendar board activities--set the tone for the mathematical day; oral activities to promote mathematical conversations
3. Whole class instruction--traditional, teacher-directed method of instruction; good for presenting strategies or literature connections
4. Guided math instruction with small groups--assess students then group them according to proficiency levels in a particular skill; allows teachers to work with students to provide support for struggling students and challenges for advanced students
5. Math workshop--students engage in meaningful, independent math activities
6. Individual conferences--one-on-one meetings with students to gain information about their mathematical understanding individually and that of the class as a whole
7. An ongoing system of assessment--use a balanced system of assessments to get a complete picture of students' understanding; includes formative and summative assessments, observations, and student self assessment

This chapter concludes with a menu of instruction and sample weekly schedule.  I love that she recognizes that different instructional approaches can be beneficial for different things.  She points out that guided math is a framework that enables teachers to use their professional judgement to meet the needs of their students.

While reading this chapter, this quote really stuck out with me: "If it (our understanding) didn't (increase), we comforted ourselves with the knowledge that some people just don't have mathematical minds."  I have heard this all through high school and college and even from students who've said that their parents have told them that math just isn't for some people.  This was a foreign idea to me as I minored in math in college; I've always loved math.  It breaks my heart to hear children say this because math is for everyone.  By using the guided math framework, I feel that we'll be able to meet children where they are and guide them to where they need to be.

I feel that I'm currently successful at assessing my students to see what they know before beginning our units of study.  I also think that I started using math work stations last year in a way the allowed me to work the a small group while keeping my kids engaged in authentic math activities.

Areas that I'd like to improve on are creating a better environment for math (having a dedicated math focus wall), calendar activities, and planning for small group instruction.  I'm sure that by the end of this book I will have picked up excellent strategies for all of these areas.

Now for the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I only have 7 days left and am so looking forward to summer.  I am excited going into this summer to take time for me.  As teachers and parents, we give so much to others.  One of my biggest to do's is to do things that make me happy.  I've realized that this is not me being selfish, but me taking care of myself so I can take care of others.  When I saw Marie's linky floating around I knew I had to join.
Here are some of the fun reads I plan to dive into this summer:
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I own many books in this series and love them.  They are urban Christian fiction and are easy reads.  My goal this summer is to catch up on the series and read some of the newer books.

Product DetailsA few of my friends have finished this series and loved it.  I'm motivated to start the series this summer and hopefully see the movie (a little late I know).

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Finally, I'm making plans to see Wicked when it comes to LA this winter and thought it'd be fun to read the series (or at least the first book) before seeing it.

Looking at this list, combined with the professional books I want to read, I will be pretty busy this summer!  I'm off to see what everyone else wants to read to add to my list!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Memorial Day weekend!  I was able to spend it relaxing with my family just hanging out.  I've been seeing lots of bloggers link up with Deanna for this linky and I thought I would join in.  Here's my list of 10 things I hope to do this summer:

1. Workout--I really need to get active and eat right.  I have a lot of weight that I would like to lose, but more than that I need to be healthy.  I am almost done with Leslie Sansone's Walk it off in 30 Days.  I'm really loving her workouts and know I will stick with them.  I also love that my daughter enjoys doing some of the walking moves with me!

2. Fun with the kiddo--This is the last summer before my little girl starts kindergarten.  In some ways I'm ready for her to be challenged but I don't want her to grow up so fast!  She's only going to preschool half-day for 3 days a week so we'll have plenty of time for fun.

3. Day trips--Going along with #2, I plan to go to Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and the beach as fun day trips.  I feel very blessed to be able take my daughter to amusement parks with our passes and not feel like we need to do everything to get our money's worth. 

4. Vacation--In addition to the day trips, we'll be going to Legoland California this summer!  My daughter is so excited and I've heard that Legoland is a good place to visit when they're smaller.  We'll be going for 2 days and I can't wait to get away! 

5. Professional Reading--I feel like my Amazon Wish List keeps growing and growing.  Here are some of the books that I will definitely be reading:
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Other professional books that are on my list include

6. Fun Reading--I also want to read for fun.  A friend recommended the Divergent series.  Some friends and I are planning to see Wicked when it comes to LA this winter, so I was also thinking of reading that series.  Any other good reads?  My last for fun book was the 50 Shades trilogy (no judgement please) so I need something new!

7. Blog--I go through these spells where I don't blog for months or so at a time.  I'm trying to do better at being more consistent and summer's as good a time as any to start!

8. Create--My creative juices have been flowing, but I haven't been creating and posting things.  I have a ton of ideas on paper and some half started projects that I'm ready to buckle down and finish.

9. Sleep--My list so far seems so long, but I know that I need to take some time for me to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate

10. Get ready for next year--This is for my classroom and as a mom.  I don't know what grade I will be teaching, but I will be back at my current school.  As soon as I find out, I know I'll be itching to buy, create, and prep for the year.  I also am excited to get my daughter ready for kindergarten.  She's so excited and I can't wait for her to start this adventure!

Now I'm off to see what everyone else is up to!

I feel like I've missed so many of these link ups with Doodlebugs!  I get so many good ideas from everyone's posts but haven't posted for this in over a month!  I'm excited to share some of the things we've been working on in my little classroom and some happenings at home!
 We spent time time working on making inferences which I blogged about HERE.  Now we've moved on to inferring character traits.  My kiddos had a blast reading and listening to Chester's Way and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.  We spent time looking at Lilly's character traits:
 For this activity they had to cut out the traits that described Lilly and glue them to this sheet.
 The next day we did the same activity but they worked in groups to find the traits for Mr. Slinger:
Then they had to write me a letter saying if they would like to have Mr. Slinger as a teacher and they had to cite text evidence!
My pretty girl got her first pair of glasses! She's so excited to wear them even if it's only to look at the board!
Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week at my daughter's preschool so we'll be making these gifts again.  I blogged about them last year and you can get the printable HERE.
Finally, I'm also linking up with Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for her Positive Thinking Thursday linky.
Here's one of my favorite positive pins:
inspiring via | www.kobyconrad.com
To all of us pressing our way through the end of the year, keep pressing!  I'm inspired on a daily basis from this fabulous community!

I can't believe it's May!  It seems like it's taken forever to get here but I know summer is on the horizon!  I'm linking up with Farley for this month's currently:
Most are pretty self-explanatory.  My daughter is sitting next to me right now playing on her Leapfrog tablet watching Doc McStuffins.  Such a cute show for the little ones!

I'm loving this time of year.  My daughter is graduating from preschool in a few weeks, there's so much daytime we get to go to the park during the week, and the kids are full of excitement looking forward to summer!  I love it all!

Saturday I'm having lunch with some fabulous former colleagues.  It's been forever since I've seen them and I can't wait to dish and catch up!

I'm dying to know what grade I will be teaching next year.  Since I'm low man on the totem pole at my school it's a toss up but I'm just grateful for the chance to keep doing what I love!

I really need to go through my closet and give away things I can't wear.  I definitely need to do this for my daughter because that girl has more clothes than she knows what to do with!

My surprise is Annie from The Moffatt Girls.  I'm loving all of her early reader items.  My daughter loves the cut and color pages and has grown so much as a little reader!

Headed to check out everyone else in this great link up.  Make sure you stop by Farley's blog!

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