Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Sunday Scoop {April 5, 2015}

Today I am linking up with Teaching Trio for The Sunday Scoop!


Have To...

1. My chevron teacher planner is almost completely updated. I decided to add some new forms to the pack and make the calendars go completely through 2016, instead of just through June 2016.
2. End of level tests are coming. Just 3 weeks away. Not much more to say to that one.
3. The charter school I work at is in it's 3rd year since opening. We decided this year that we'd like to implement a school-wide behavior plan. I'm the chair for the committee, and right now I'm working on the teacher handbook. Hopefully I'll be done with that soon...I'm over it.

Hope To...

1. I'm trying so hard to save money and eat healthy...which means meal planning is a must. I'd like to ideally plan out two weeks. We'll see if I have time.
2. I think I set a new record for myself...5 days of working out now. Ha! Since I'm working hard on TPT products and school-related stuff, sitting at my computer most nights and weekends, I need to make sure I'm staying healthy. Hence the workout routine. I think I can handle 30 minutes a day. Right now I'm doing the 21 Day Fix workouts. I like that they're different every day for 7 days. Wish me luck!

Happy To...

I've been on Spring Break since Thursday. I'm happy to continue to enjoy my break until I go back on Tuesday. :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

My 4th Grade Daily Schedule #2getherwearebetter

What a fun link up this is! Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Lucky Little Learners started a monthly link up for teachers to share about the topic of the month. This month is schedules.

We have a master schedule at my charter school this year. I wish that I could teach math in the morning and that we didn't have so many recesses. Maybe next year. :)

Morning Routines

First thing in the morning we take care of jobs, attendance, pledge, and announcements. Homework Handlers check-in homework from the hot spot and the Planner Pro checks planners to make sure they're filled out and signed from the previous night.


My school has the Houghton Mifflin Journeys reading basal. Three years ago when we started using the program, I loved it. Now, not so much. Now that I'm no longer in survival mode of being a new teacher, I'm using my planning time more wisely. I've studied the CCSS and looked over the scope and sequence for the program, and while they say the whole program is common core aligned, I've found that it's not. There's an awful lot of wasted time in the program, spent on material that's not even in the CCSS for 4th grade. I use some parts of the program still, but not like I used to.
I use Utah Compose every Thursday during our first block of ELA.  I each 4-Square Writing on the other days. I don't give spelling homework this year, but give weekly writing homework instead. Our writing has improved tremendously this year! I'm so pleased.
I'm subscribed to Scholastic News and Time for Kids, which we use with Comprehension Toolkit. We also use 6 Minute Solution to work on fluency every day.
Our 4th grade class read alouds are The Lightning Thief {we just finished this one and are working on board games based on the book}, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Little House on the Prairie, and The Lemonade War {aligns with our school's entrepreneurial focus and Lemonade Day program in May}.


Since science is state tested beginning in 4th grade in Utah, science needs to be taught daily. I love teaching science! The topics we cover in our curriculum are so fun and interesting - weather, water cycle, soil, fossils, rocks & minerals, and Utah's environments, animals, & plants. We've finished up all 5 standards this year and right now we're working on researching a plant and animal from an assigned ecosystem {in Utah}. Students create a book and a diorama, then we have a big celebration and invite the other grades and parents to come see!
Unfortunately, we do not have a textbook or anything for our science curriculum. It's all Utah based in 4th grade, so we can't just choose any science textbook for my school to purchase. Luckily, UEN has amazing resources and lesson plans to use, so I don't have to completely pull it all out of the sky.


Flex time is exactly that - flexible. Twice a month we have specials, and this is when those get fit in. Students get music, art, P.E., and keyboarding for 20 minutes each twice a month. I know, kind of crazy, but that's what we get at a charter school. Our Jr. High teachers teach the music, art, and P.E., and our teaching aide teaches keyboarding. The lack of specials is why we have so much recess in our schedule.
Also included in this time block is social studies on Mondays, business/finance/leadership on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and health on Wednesdays. Once a month I'll fit in an art lesson, too.


My school has the McGraw-Hill MyMath series. I like it. I feel like it's easy to follow and does a good job laying out the lessons for the kids. The only thing I wish it had was some sort of review/spiraling concept within it.
Students also do Monster Math multiplication and division timings daily. My kids seriously love it.
We also take the time during our math block to practice previous and current topics through project based learning activities, centers, task cards, and games.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring Cleaning Sale - April 2 & 3

I'm on Spring Break starting today and am off until next Tuesday! I'm spring cleaning my laptop files and my apartment while I'm off, as well as my Teachers Pay Teachers wish list. I'm pretty sure I still have some things from when I taught 2nd grade on my wish list...and there are some newer things that I'm ready to add to my cart and purchase now that I'll be teaching those topics.

I'm having a Spring Cleaning Sale in my TPT store. Everything is 20% off on April 2 & 3. I'm working on my teacher planners over break, starting the updates for the 2015-2016 school year. Chevron is first!