Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale!!!

If you haven't already heard we and tons of other stores are having a sale on TeachersPayTeachers (TPT). The sale starts tomorrow so start your shopping early and save to your wishlist. Visit our store to save up to 28%. Happy shopping!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Teacher Tips and Tricks

What a week! Our first week back and I have a cold. A couple of my little guys had the sniffles the first day of school and I was so determined not to get sick, but no such luck.

I really wanted to do such a great job with this tip. It is such a good one- it has completely increased my students motivation during math. So, I promise to clean it up and have some pics of my class and this tip in practice.

Our tip is a "Math Genius" chart. You can make this as simple as writing Math Genius on the board or create some really cute chart. Here is my prototype (last year I just wrote on the board)
This "Math Genius" chart is used to motivate students to try their best when working on independent work during math. Since I try to pull small groups during this time- I had occasionally been disappointed by my students lack of effort. Even if they knew how to solve the problems they weren't always actively engaged in the problem solving. So out came "Math Genius!"

Once I am finished with my math group I will walk the room and check students work. If they have five problems (You can adjust how many problems) correct they can write their name on the math genius chart. I made name plates so they can just adhere it to the chart.

My students are now so eager to problem solve and get help from me or other students in order to have their name on the chart.  There reward is their name on the "Math Genius" chart. It has made a world of difference.
Click below so you can check out all this weeks amazing teacher stuff.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Writer's Workshop

We have to tell you how much we love the writing innovations created by Christi Fultz. We started using the five day innovation series last school year and have continued this school year. I students are so excited when reading time comes around and the innovation activities foster such great creativity. Yesterday, I read Never Take a Shark to the Dentist and the students were so engaged- it was quite a sight.

Here are some of the fun things they wrote.

Too cute right!?

Wendie and I were so impressed by the creative energy in our rooms that we knew we needed to create something to keep our students energy juices going. So, out evolved our Thought Launchers.
Thought Launchers are a quick, fun activities that ignite creativity and encourages creative writing. They can serve as your minilessons for writer's workshop or warm up activities for language arts. There's tons of possibilities.

The activities include story starters, scenarios, dialogue, descriptive and instructional writing, poetry, and informational activities.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Little Fun

Wendie and I officially return to work on Wednesday. Although, we have been setting up our classrooms for the past few days.  Today was a bit tiring trying to get textbooks and supplies out, whew- I'm tuckered out!

Wendie sent me this pic and I thought it was so adorable and hilarious. It reminds us of how exciting recess duty is the first week of school.

Pictured are two of Wendie's goats. Emmie is the daredevil and Janie is patiently waiting her turn. Too Cute!

"Oh, the horror of recess duty!"

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Our Name

Recently we had someone ask how Wendie and I chose our name 2 Smart Wenches. Well, Wendie was researching medieval history for her third book in her trilogy (she writes under the pen name Tess Oliver) and wenches kept popping up, so we thought why not? We decided it was just cheeky enough to catch some attention.

I know getting back into school mode can be exhausting. As much as I enjoy setting up my classroom and getting everything ready, it tuckers me out. So, when I get home I need to wind down and forget about work for a bit. I am currently reading the book that inspired our name.
I would definitely recommend one of my favorites, Camille. I couldn't put the book down. Camille is a young adult, paranormal romance set in Victorian England. Ah... let the reading begin.