Monday, July 28, 2014

Vegas.....baby!

Vegas....baby! 
I swear I never thought I was going to catch up!
 I think I slept for 3 straight days. It's all a blur. A very fun and sleepless blur. I'm so glad I went, it was absolutely amazeballs A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! 
My BFF's over at Freebielicious and I had a booth at the exhibit hall during the SDE conference. It was a complete blast! I finally got to meet the friends I chat with daily IRL! 
We gave away an Ipad, tons of sweet treats & a zip drive full of our best sellers! We loved chatting with everyone that came to chat. Even though I hate pictures of myself, it was so fun getting to know all the new Freebielicious fans.  
I absolutely loved getting to know Scott from Lakeshore Learning! He was a complete blast! He took us to a fancy smancy dinner at Bouchon in the Venetian. Conversation was awesome! Let's talk about collaboration with bloggers...yes, please!
I'm sure you recognize these beautiful faces! Deanna Jump was the first blogger I ran into...almost literally. My friend Stacey from Teaching Ever After, hit me & said "Isn't that Deanna Jump?" If it wasn't for her, I would have missed her! Deanna was nice enough to walk us to our Freebielicious booth since it was my first time in the hall. 
From left to right starting on the top row......
Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies
Stacey from Teaching Ever After
Fran Kramer from Kindergarten Crayons
Angela from The Daily Alphabet
Latoya from Flying Into First
Jodi from Fun in First
Kristin from Teeny Tiny Teacher
Jennifer Kadar from Simply Kinder
Obviously....Deanna Jump from Mrs. Jump's Class
So I was leaving the exhibit hall after begging vendors for door prizes & I ran into Fran Kramer and her sleepy husband. We took a picture and then I see Annie Moffatt walk by & make her show me how to get back to the room...I have no sense of direction people and this hotel was like a mini country. Next time, I am going to strap some kind of navigation device to myself. 
Anyway, I was walking with Annie & it happened. We were walking & talking & then I see him. I see all the TPT miracle workers all in one spot. Should we go back? OMG will they know who we are? What should we do???????? 
We turned around REALLY quick before we lost them! 
That amazing guy up there ^^^^^^....he KNEW ME! 
He said "Hey...it's Mel D!" Are you kidding me? He employs how many teachers & he knew me & of course he knew Annie...who doesn't???? He must have flash cards or something. Love him & he was extremely nice, down to earth & he loves wearing black...me too. I am tho thad that I did not get a picture with the rest of the fabulous TPT crew :o( 
So here is me taking selfies while my roommate slept. This is the night before my presentation and I was still tweaking the presentation people. I was a total hot mess. The picture in the middle is me in front of the room where the presentation was going to happen. I should NOT have went to look. 
I freaked. Things got REAL after I saw that big screen and all those chairs. My friend Kacie from Mrs. Hoffer's Spot made me the awesome cup above. Peace, Love, Pinterest...yo! You really need to visit her Etsy shop and follow her.
I LOVE IT! 
Crystal from Kreative in Kinder made me 3 different shirts to give away. The one above says "They call me Pindiana Jones". True story. I need another shirt...girl...I gave it away. It could fit my big toe...yo. 
Check out her millions of styles here.
So here is me during my Advanced Pinterest presentation. I have heard from a lot of people that attended and I really appreciate the positive feedback. I really can't wait until I see a video so I can see what I said. I was running on pure adrenaline at this point and it came out naturally. 
I am so honored that TPT entrusted me to be a part of the very first conference. 
I am still in shock! 


We were able to take a photo of most of the swag winners.... but some snuck away. Camera shy people apparently.
 It's ok...I get it. Anywho, I would like to give a shout out to all the peeps that donated fabulous prizes for my session. 

Pinterest sent bags, stickers, and pins for every attendee in my session! Thank you Pinterest! If you are not following the Teachers on Pinterest boards, shame on you. 
You can follow us HERE

Lakeshore Learning Software 
2 blog planners from Modern Teacher
Blog design from Jumping Jax Designs
3 Pinterest t-shirts from Kreative in Kinder
3 Pinterest tumblers from Kacie's Etsy Shop
1 Vegas bag & 2 mouse pads from teachershirts.com
$50 gift card from Schoolgirl Style
Melonheadz gift certificate
$200 worth of products from the girls of Freebielicious
Seuss style teacher shirt from Claire Lynn
Here are all the awesome TPT presenters! I really wish I had the chance to talk to each one of them! Such a wonderful group of inspiring teachers who truly love their jobs!
I have to end with my favorite friends from Fluttering through First. I watched these ladies present and they were incredible!
 I miss them already! 
I am linking up with A Burst of First's linky party....apparently I am late....as usual. 
http://aburstoffirst.blogspot.com/2014/07/its-vegas-baby.html





Thursday, July 17, 2014

Daily 5-2nd Edition Chapter 8 + FREEBIES!

Before you even bust my chops I know I am a week behind! Jeez...people! I was kind of busy in Vegas...baby! When I get a moment to breathe & get on a normal schedule I will be blogging about my trip. 

In the meantime, let's catch up on.............
The way I run my math in my classroom will remain the same. I really feel like this entire chapter should be an entire book. I just felt like I didn't have enough information....to be brutally honest.

I run my math stations typically like I do Daily 5 except they work in partners, with me, or by themselves and I don't have a chart. Basically, I don't call it Math Daily 3 or Math Daily 5. I just call it math stations.

I have my math block after lunch & our daily jobs. I started out this year using EnVision...well that lasted all of 2 weeks. Blah! My students are babies & they are tired after lunch. They need to be up and moving and have some major hands on learning during math. Remember they have an attention span of about half an ant at this point in the day. 

Daily 5 Math Schedule
 This is what my math block looks like currently. Again, I do not use the provided curriculum. I basically follow the scope and sequence but I do my own thing utilizing my own materials and everything else is CCSS aligned. 

If you want to get technical, this resembles the math daily 3 structure but I am not breaking out into choice rounds yet. This is what they have to do. Depending on what we are working on, I might have them do three rounds versus two longer rounds. If we are reviewing a concept than I would do 3 rounds. 

Here are the digital math anchor charts that you will use while introducing each part of the Math Daily 3. 
Daily 5 Math

Since our math block is required to be an hour this is the only schedule that would allow me to implement a whole group lesson, guided and independent math groups & a quick mini lesson to wrap things up. The times above are very flexible depending on the time of year and their attention span with what we are learning. 


The sister's provide a fabulous sample lesson based on the "I Do", "You Do", and "We Do" method. 

Instruction of course is focused on teaching whole group while students are observing and following along. You are modeling and thinking "out loud". Students may have their hands folded and listening or they may have paper/pencil or dry erase materials during this lesson. After the lesson is finished, you release the students into their choice stations and announce what group you will be meeting. I typically do not meet with groups until their stamina is built up otherwise it could be a big hot mess. 


Daily 5 Math Stamina
Here is the stamina punch cards I will use as well as my positive student recognition necklaces I made. I will use these the exact way I use the Daily 5 stamina punch cards as I explained here. 

I can't stress enough how important it is to build up their math stamina. If you don't, you will get frustrated and give up. My math block is the most difficult to manage as far as behavior. I was frustrated teaching the provided curriculum with them at their seats for 60 minutes as much as they were. If you are not teaching with a passion, they will see right through it and will not learn a thing during your math block. Just like my Daily 5 literacy block, it has to be just as fun and engaging. You have to work at it and do what works for you and your students. 

I will start my students out with the choice chart below until they get used to keeping track of their rotations.  This is very user friendly for the littles.
Daily 5 Math Check In Form
As my students are keeping track of their rotations effectively, I will have them fill out the chart below daily.

Daily 5 Math Check In Form
The chart below is the one I will be using to keep track of their rotations. I will be making sure that my chart matches up with their chart. I most likely will not have a chance to do this daily so I will probably utilize my teacher's assistant or center/station cop which is one of our many classroom jobs.
Daily 5 Math Check In Form

After the whole group lesson and after you have built up stamina for "Math by Myself", "Math Writing" & "Math with Someone" you will release them to their choices. 

Here are some examples of "Math by Myself"..............
Math Daily 3-Math by Myself
The possibilities are endless!!!!!! I use a ton of freebies from TPT as well as paid products from my Freebie-licious friends. That is a whole other post friends & I just don't have the energy to post everything I use. I have a TON of materials from over the years. Above you will see a really old game from Lakeshore called 2x2 boo I believe. The child above is working on multiplication story problems. I also see a roll and cover game from Kathy Law and a time game from Lory Evans

Here are some examples of "Math with Someone"................
Math Daily 3-Math with Someone

 Again...the possibilities are endless here. Any of these stations are housed in my math station tubs. I change them out about once a month if not sooner. I have 12 which I will show you below. 








Do you have to do Dibels? Eek! I didn't mean to send shivers down your spine! But I did create these Candy Land games to help your kiddos to be prepared for those dreaded tests! 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Addition-Facts-Game-167756
Grab this game HERE!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Missing-Number-Game-1-50-237638
Grab this game HERE!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Missing-Number-50-120-Game-Common-Core-237641
Grab this game HERE!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Quantity-Discrimination-BOY-Game-239392
Grab this game HERE!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Quantity-Discrimination-MOY-Game-239393
Grab this game HERE!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Quantity-Discrimination-EOY-Game-239398
Grab this game HERE!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Numbers-1-50-Game-198060
Grab this game HERE!








http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Numbers-50-100-Game-198068
Grab this game HERE!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Next-Number-1-50-Game-237245
Grab this game HERE!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Next-Number-50-120-Game-Common-Core-237264
Grab this game HERE!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Dibels-Math-Bundle-1339016
Grab this bundle HERE!
My Candy Land games are priced at $3.00 each. I am offering this bundle of 10 games to prepare your students for Dibel's Math testing for 50% off! Grab it while it's on sale! 

You can also check out these new math games I just posted! 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Missing-Addend-Game-Addition-to-20-1339060
Grab this game HERE!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Double-Digit-Addition-No-Regrouping-1083098
Grab this game HERE!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Double-Digit-Subtraction-No-Regrouping-1338810
Grab this game HERE!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Double-Digit-Addition-w-Regrouping-1338717
Grab this game HERE!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Candy-Land-Double-Digit-Subtraction-w-Regrouping-1338927
Grab this game HERE!
I will be frantically working on a place value Candy Land series so stay tuned!
 Any requests??? Leave them in the comments!



Math Daily 3-Math Writing



Math Station Organization

 I am absolutely O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D with these tubs. I love the latches! These are super durable and look so pretty...don't they??? I got these for a steal through Target online. It's so much cheaper for whatever reason through target.com compared to in store. These are so easy for my students to grab and go and stay organized.
Math Daily 3 Organization
 This is how I organize my math station tubs. The black containers keep all the pieces in one spot and my students know to keep the materials in their place. These are perfect for game pieces, dry erase markers & erasers, bingo chips, dice, etc. I usually store any sheets that they're using for "Math Writing" in sheet protectors so I do not have to waste paper. 

I hope you gained some insight into my math station rotation in my classroom. Join Freebielicious in our Daily 5 2nd Edition linky party! 



Monday, July 14, 2014

Back to School with Freebielicious

https://www.educents.com/#a_aid=meld&a_bid=2bcb7100

To celebrate the quickly approaching Back to School season, me and my girls at Freebielicious have teamed up with Educents to share some instant downloads for you! Loaded with great products for back to school including book studies, craftivities, classroom prep, and content materials for back to school!  With 23 instant downloads... you have to check it out!  


https://www.educents.com/#a_aid=meld&a_bid=2bcb7100

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mel-D-seusstastic/Search:Candy%20Land

I included one of my popular Candy Land games. You NEED to give them a try this year if you haven't yet. I promise you will be hooked! This is my students ALL.TIME.FAVORITE thing to do during word work and math stations! THEY BEG TO PLAY! They don't even realize they are learning! Bonus! 

If you are getting into the back to school mode, like me, check out this post from last year! 
http://seusstastic.blogspot.com/2013/08/first-day-of-school-tips-more.html

You also want to make sure & follow my back to school board on Pinterest below! 

Follow Melissa's board Back To School on Pinterest.



For a limited time you can grab this exclusive BTS bundle for $34.99 from Educents. That is 68% savings!  Twenty-three products for your kinder and first grade classrooms and over 1200 pages of materials from some of your favorite teachers!  It's a bundle you are sure to LOVE!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Daily 5-2nd Edition Chapter 7 + FREEBIES!





The Sisters recommend launching the next component of Daily 5 after students have built stamina for a certain number of minutes. 

Intermediate students is 12-14 minutes
 Primary is 10-12 minutes
 Kindergarten is 7-8 minutes 

 Just remember EVERY CLASS IS DIFFERENT. This couldn't be a truer statement.  Each class is unique. You will definitely KNOW when your students are ready to move on. Please do not rush them.

I used to introduce Work on Writing last because my students always struggled in this station. We do start out slow and I do not introduce everything up my sleeve at once. Remember, we are just starting to build our stamina. With students getting daily writing time they will become proficient writers before you know it! They will love the choices they have during writing and the choice of which station they CHOOSE to go into first, second, or third. 
Since we are at the beginning of the year I always have them do some back to school writing. Usually a writing sample that I need up for open house.
 I always try to keep one piece of their writing at least once a month. 



1. Email 
2. All About Me
3. Interview
4.School Tribune
5. Blogging
6. Shared Writing
7. Monthly Writing (Writing Wall of Fame)
8. Buddy Writing
9. Journal Writing

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

I always by a TON of spiral notebooks and composition books during all the back to school sales. This will be the cover for their first work on writing journal. 
We usually go through a journal per quarter. 
I will go over the work on writing I-chart first, review the read to self chart & we will jump right into building our work on writing stamina. Of course, you want to discuss the desired behaviors, purpose for writing, and establish a sense of urgency. If you have materials that they will need you will also take the time to show them how to INDEPENDENTLY gather their writing materials quickly and quietly. I personally have a clipboard for each student and they automatically grab their clipboard out of their seat sack as well as a pencil. 
Just remember to stay out of the way. When a student does break their writing stamina, then stop them all & gather in the meeting area. There will be grunts and groans as long as you put something they are excited about in the writing station.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Ultimate-Writing-Station-1136324

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Ultimate-Writing-Station-1136324

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Ultimate-Writing-Station-1136324

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Ultimate-Writing-Station-1136324

I will have my writing unit displayed to build that sense of urgency. This does take some work to set up so if you are interested in this station, check out the reviews first & buy it while it's on sale. I am about 1/2 way done with the Ultimate Writing Station Set 2. OH-MY-WRITING! I am so in love I can't even stand it. If you own this one the next one is just as good & I am so super excited I will be able to share my ideas with you. Your students will LOVE it! 

If you have younger students that are just beginning the writing process, I highly recommend my friend Crystal's new writing unit! It is the BOMB.COM for kinders! I always struggled to teach writing when I taught kindergarten...this is your answer! You're welcome! 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kindergartners-Can-Be-Authors-Too-How-to-Teach-Writers-Workshop-1323805

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kindergartners-Can-Be-Authors-Too-How-to-Teach-Writers-Workshop-1323805

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kindergartners-Can-Be-Authors-Too-How-to-Teach-Writers-Workshop-1323805

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kindergartners-Can-Be-Authors-Too-How-to-Teach-Writers-Workshop-1323805

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kindergartners-Can-Be-Authors-Too-How-to-Teach-Writers-Workshop-1323805

My gal Crystal takes you STEP-BY-STEP in the writing process for the littles. She included plans, pictures, examples & more. Where was she when I taught kinders???? Seriously....check it out! She blogged all about it HERE!
The power of choice provided with the Daily 5 is insanely genius. I am about the worst at doing something I am told to do. The hubs can definitely attest to that. For example, if he wants me to do the laundry. Do you think I jump up, do a cheer, & run to the washer? Um, no. I.hate.laundry. I will do it when I am good and ready. It is my CHOICE when I will do it and nobody is going to tell me when and how. 
Am I right? Is this how you feel too? I have always been this way. 
Don't you think our students feel the same way??? Of course they do!
You will see your students thrive during Daily 5 and it WILL be their favorite time of the day & yours! 

I do start my students out with the form before. It's just easier for my students to check in. We keep this in their binders in a sheet protector. 

They will move to this new form after we have built our stamina and all stations are running. They will be used to the station names & by this time I will be able to meet with groups of students or individuals. 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548
I get a TON of emails about how I use my Daily 5 choice chart.
 It's really simple.....really.
I put student numbers on clothespins & put them on a small container. 
My teacher's assistant (student job) gets the pleasure of calling students up. The only reason they would call a certain table is if a student gave me the "Pick first for centers/station" coupon. Otherwise, they look for quiet tables and call them up. 


The little nugget in the pink pants is my teacher's assistant. She was the perfect one to have this job to show the rest how it's done! If you look behind her and down by the ugly floor...you will see a piece of tape. I teach the students to stand behind the tape until the student before them chooses.

As they are choosing they are also counting how many clips are on each station. I will only allow 6 in each station at a time. 


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

I made this form that I will use this year. I was a hot mess this year with keeping track. I also made a form without numbers as well. This form will help me keep track of what students I have worked with each day and who still needs to come to me. Before my teacher's assistant starts calling tables, I will let the students know who will be with me and what they need. Most of the time when do do come to my table, they do not need anything. 

If you missed this.....CLICK HERE
Guided Reading Organizational Tote Ideas
I list everything I keep in this bad boy which sits at my small group table.



Here are my students during Read to Someone throughout the year. You will always have students that flock to this station. This will be their first choice. As long as they are reading the whole time and staying in one spot.....GREAT! 
This has helped some of my struggling reader's with their vocab and word attack skills and even my really fluent readers improved with their fluency and expression. You will have certain times where you will need accountability sheets whether it's for a grade or you just have one of those classes. 

Read to Someone always gets better every year. It motivates me seeing them choosing different stations and gravitating towards different things. This year my students loved reading chapter books together. One book shared. 
Other students loved reader's theater (we love Teeny's & First Grade Blue Skies), close reads (we love Lyndsey's & Tara's), non fiction science passages (we love Kristin's) and poems (We love Fun in First's poems)...I keep all of those choices in different binders. They just grab and go. 

Since my students became such proficient writers this year and published books and wrote plays, this was also made an option in Read to Someone. 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

I just compiled these freebies all into one pic...otherwise this post would be a mile long! I will be using interactive journals one day a week during our writer's workshop. I included all of the above as well. You're welcome. 

For whatever reason this is the station that bombed this year. Last year, they fought over those headphones. This year, not so much. The only time they really wanted to be in there was when I had Dr. Seuss books there. 
I wrote a grant several years ago for this wireless headset. They drive the kids crazy! I am thinking I might need to liven this station up but it's going to be so much work.....wah! I have gobs of CD books that I have collected throughout the years & I am not ready to give those up or even put them on an mp3 player.  I do think these kids did not flock towards it because they were pretty fluent readers coming in to my class & didn't rely on the model of fluency and expression that the CD books offer. I do think if I had ebooks or let them go onto the computer, they might of liked that better. In the meantime, while I figure this out, here are some accountability sheets for your listening center. 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mel-D-seusstastic/Search:Candy%20Land
Like I said every year is completely different. This year, I ended up moving all my center type games into my early finisher station. They did not want to do those during Daily 5. I have no idea why, they just didn't like centers...at all. 
I would still use them if I saw they needed some help on certain things & then I would just do a literacy center set up and pair them up in partners, like I do for math. 
Their go to for word work was Candy Land. Every year since I have been making these, they have loved it. I usually would only allow this game to go into word work a few times a week. Well, that changed this year. As I started making more difficult games that they can handle independently, they went into our word word station. They were O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D. Over the years I have made over 100+ games with many more to come. Check them out HERE.

These games are fabulous because they can be done independently or in small groups with me or pull out reading groups. Our reading recovery teacher uses these daily with K-4 during her intervention groups depending on their needs.

Even though this is hands on & super engaging I would like them to manipulate more things than Candy Land cards and game pieces. So I made the following that will be given one day a week throughout the year. 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548
I will blow the above sheet up and print on bright paper & laminate. This will stay posted near our word work station along with one big die. You will want to have "station captains" so that they monitor which number they roll because I can already predict they will have their favorites & will say they rolled a certain number and actually didn't. I know I should trust them but.....I don't with this...ha! With having only one big die, this will help the station captain keep an an on each person's roll and keep mental notes. I will keep these sheets in my word work cart (labeled) so they can just grab and go.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548
You can grab any sheet above HERE. If you have less or more words, for now the sheets are staying the way they are.....they are FREE. I wish I could accommodate everyone's needs but I can't. These are how many words my students have for Journey's weekly. I might be in the middle of a Journey's word work project so stay tuned. In the meantime, grab these FREEBIES. 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-5-2nd-Edition-FREEBIES-1277548
Last week, I gave away a copy of my Classroom Management Ebook. This week I would love to give away my Ultimate Writing Station. Please leave me a comment about your favorite thing from this post & I will pick a winner tomorrow at noon (CST)....if I'm up.

If you are a blogger, it's not too late to link up to our book study. Please order your book & join us!