Friday, November 1, 2013

Five for Friday - November 1

Happy November! I can't believe how fast this year is going by! I feel like I did everything and nothing all at the same time this week. I was very busy with my students, helping my principal, and trying to get everything done before I left for the week. I had today off so I feel like I didn't get everything done this week. Once again, I'm joining up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky. I hope I have enough pictures of everything because I completely forgot to use my camera this week lol

This past Saturday our school hosted it's first Fall Festival in 6 years! The kids absolutely loved it! We had a bouncy house, face painting, nail painting, musical chairs, food, and so much more! It was really fun getting to see the kids and watching how much fun they had. 

I just had to get a picture of these fun little cotton candy bags! 

One of my newest duties was to create KIM boards all around my school. I utilized the hallways whiteboard that were not being used and each grade level was able to have their own KIM board. If you don't know what the KIM strategy is I'll give you a quick rundown. It's a vocabulary strategy where the students write the key word, information, draw a memory clue, and write a sentence to help them remember the term. To learn more, check out my previous post  Vocabulary Idea- K.I.M.S Strategy that I posted last May. 

Here's an example of the 5th grade board and the 3rd grade board. 
The picture was taken from a 5th grade student work sample! 

Can you guess what 3rd grade was studying in science? 

The students really like these boards! I can't tell you how many students have come up to me, since they've been complete, to let me know how much they enjoy reading the board and to ask what their next word will be! The student's aren't only reading their grade level board but all of the boards in the school! What a great way to keep their vocabulary high and honor them by using some of their own creates (pictures, sentences, etc) for the entire school to see as we are on transitions. 

Does your school use TKES evaluations? This is our second year using this system and I really like it! It's so detailed and allows the administration to really evaluate every aspect of your teaching. I had my 2nd walk-through this week and was so excited when I received an "Exemplary" for instruction planning! =D I think one of my favorite things about TKES is the use of feedback. Your administrator can leave comments to support their ratings and it's a great tool for you to use to grow as a teacher! 
This is the comment my principal left as evidence of my "Exemplary" score for planning. 

Here are 2 comments that were left on one of the standards (1 is the first walk-through and 2 is the second walk-through). On this standard I received two scores of "Proficient". 
 Are you being asked to grade your students on a scale of 1-4? I like that we are being graded the same way as we grade our students. It really makes me stop and think about how I would assign grades to specific parts of a project/assignment. I've also noticed that I have gotten better at leaving feedback about each area of an assignment so that the students can understand why they received the grade they did.

I will be having my first formative assessment of the year next week! It should be taking place during my first grade group but it could happen at any time. I guess I'll have to make sure that I'm super prepared for the week!

Yesterday, Halloween, we had Book Character Day. The students and teachers could wear costumes for their favorite book character. Of course we had the majority of our students just wear their Halloween costumes but that didn't matter. I decided to go as Katniss, from The Hunger Games. I was so saddened to find out that no one knew who I was, even after telling them =(. I've made it my personal goal, for this year, to get as many of my co-workers and students to read the Hunger Games as I can! I already have a few students who want to borrow my books and get started =D 

I forgot to put my jacket back on before taking the picture.
Do you like my handmade bow? I made it using construction 
paper and string! I had spending my money on things that will 
never get used again when I could use it for my classroom and 
students instead! 

Today is a great day for me! I have the day off =D I haven't taken a personal or sick day all year (yea, yea, I know it's only been about 3 months but it feels like way longer). I'm off to celebrate my wonderful husbands 26th birthday! He happened to have a 3 days weekend this weekend too and I wanted us to be able to spend some quality time together. He doesn't know it but I have big plans for the weekend! Saturday night I'm having a small surprise party for him and some of his best friends. I can't wait to see his reaction. 

Well, that's all for this week. How was your week? What are 5 things you did? Link up and let us know. 


  1. How sad that no one knew who Katniss was! I mean, I hope the younger kids aren't reading the books, but the teachers? I like that KIMS strategy! We have similar graphic organizers, but I hadn't seen that one. Enjoy your day off!

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  2. I really like your vocabulary boards and I love that it is creating authentic reading and discussion with the students! We have not begun using a new system of teacher evaluations yet, but will be soon. Thank you for explaining yours!
    Conversations in Literacy

  3. We have been using KIMS for years, but they aren't called that. I believe we first started using them about 10 years ago. I love them. We used to have perfectly drawn ones that we ran off and students filled in. Now we have moved to having the students draw the entire box, label, and fill in. I know my students really get a lot out of these.. Wishing you success with yours.



  4. I just stumbled across your blog and really appreciate your willingness and effort to share what is going on in your classroom. I really like the KIMS idea. I have seen similar formats for vocabulary acquisition, but I prefer the one you presented. I have an empty bulletin board right outside of my Title I room that would be perfect for this. I might have my fifth- and sixth-grade Title I students submit a word to me on a notecard like this every week, and choose the best to display on the board. Unfortunately, the rest of my room's wall spaces are taken.

    Also, Kudos to all those who like Hunger Games! I wish we could dress up in our school! ;0)