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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oh the love!! (I've been awarded)

Imagine my surpirse when I got online this morning and found out that I have received... (drum roll please) the Liebster Award!

Thanks to Marsha at


for nominating me!  

I have to admit that I've been secretly longing to be nominated. It's even on my wish list (which is still in the back of my planner and not displayed). Definitely a wonderful surprise and one I can't wait to share with another blogger.  So...

Like many, I tried looking up the origins of the Liebster Blog Award, but couldn't find an exact source. However, it is quite clear that the award originated from Germany or Switzerland (not that I'm biased). Liebster means "dearest" or "favourite" in German, and the award is given as a form of recognition and support for smaller, up and coming blogs.

In order to accept your award you have to follow a few steps.
1. Thank your Liebster Award presenter on your blog (Thanks again Marsha).
2. Link back to the blogger that presented the award to you.
Present the Liebster Award to blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel are deserving of some notice.
3. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are my choices:

A Teacher's Thoughts

I found this blog a while ago and I love reading her posts. Check her out she is great!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our Lorax Project

In the PYP we focus on Inquiry (More on that to come on Thursday's post).
One of our units of inquiry this year was about endangered species and taking a closer look at our responsibility in sharing our planet.

I started the Unit by reading The Lorax.  This Dr. Seuss classic is my all time favorite!!  My students fell in love with the story and made some very important connections to the key concept of responsibility.  As our unit was drawing to an end the students decided they wanted to share their message with the rest of the school.  They worked hard to come up with ideas and decided to perform the Lorax as a play during their assembly.  

I have never seen my kids work so hard.  I had students creating props at home and bringing in costumes they created.  In the end the assembly and performance were a huge hit.  

After the assembly the student body was asked to reflect on what they had learned.  It was so great to see that other students made the connection to our responsibility as well.

As it’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday coming up I thought I would share some pictures from our amazing assembly!
We told our story from the perspective of the old onceler and had the rest of the class act it out. 
I'm so proud of my kids for making such a beautiful backdrop.  They painted it themselves with a little help from me.

We had Barbaloots and Swanny Swans and Humming Fish.

I adapted the story to fit into a 15 minute performance.  If you are interested in a copy just email me or leave a comment.

Miss Pam

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pin Me Please!

When it comes to Pinterest I’m still getting my feet wet. I’ve barely figured out how to pin correctly and love it, of course!  My new favorite pastime, however, has some controversy surrounding it right now.  There are some legalities regarding Intellectual Property that have me wondering if and what I should and shouldn’t pin.

Well, Laura Candler over at Corkboard Connections has created a ”Permission to Pin” badge that allows bloggers to give permission to others to pin anything on their blog. 


I have added the badge to my blog and encourage you all to pin away! You can find my Pinterest boards here

Miss Pam

Friday, February 24, 2012

Freebie Friday!!!

It is my first Freebie Friday and I am so excited!! =

I’ve mentioned my listening center previously and I thought I would put together some of my favorite worksheets that I made for my kids to use in response to listening during center time. I rotate these from week to week so my kids have a different comprehension or story element to focus on rather than always using the same response sheet.

I have primarily fiction books in my L.C. and as such these are primarily for fiction books.

You can download these forms from my TpT store here. Please take a minute to follow me on TPT and to leave me some feedback.  

Have a great Freebie Friday and enjoy!

Miss Pam

Thursday, February 23, 2012

IB Thursday

As I’ve mentioned I teach at an International Baccalaureate (IB) school.  For a majority of teachers that I’ve met, the IB is something they have heard about in passing but have little understanding of what makes it differ from their experience within the public or charter schools system.  

It is my goal to make my Thursday posts – IB related.  I should start by saying that understanding a little of what the IB is about might help most teachers regardless of what type of curriculum they teach.  Today I’m just going to tell you a little about the Primary Years Program (PYP).
The IB concept or goal (very simply put) is to develop young people who care and help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.  The attributes of such a learner are listed in the Learner Profile.  The Learner Profile is at the heart of what it means to be internationally minded. 

IB leaners strive to be:


 Along with concepts and tools the curriculum is planned to develop this type of student.  It is a different approach to how I taught in my previous school.  My students know these words and have known them since they were in pre-k.  They know that they mean and they identify the type of attributes they believe they most represent.  

When I have a visitor to my class I always have my students introduce themselves by sharing their name, age and home country as well as their learner profile.  They usually pick two to three of the attributes to convey who they are.  

The IB also believes it is vital that there is focus on the development of personal attitudes towards people, towards the environment and towards learning. Attitudes, that contribute to the well-being of the individual and of the group. 

In PYP schools, students should demonstrate:


These are words, again, that my students know and understand. I am impressed daily by their examples of these attitudes and I strive to always reflect them in my teaching.

What I think I’ll do starting next week is to break down one attribute or attitude at a time.  That way we can open a dialog about how we help our students to internalize and embody these life long skills and attitudes.

Till next time!

Miss Pam

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Linky Party - Free Font

Katie Lyon over at The Art of Possibility is having a Linky Party for free and fabulous fonts.

I am crazy about my font collection and this is one of my all time favorites.  I think I love it as much for it’s name as anything else.  I use this font for bulletin boards and displays that will be printed rather large.  It can be difficult to read when in small print.

Click on over and download for free if you like!

Miss Pam

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I do, We do, You do

I do
We do
You do

Are you familiar with this teaching technique? Have you used it?  I have and I absolutely love it!

It’s really simple and most of us are probably doing it already.  It is a wonderful scaffolded approach to teaching any subject and I find that just by adding the thought to my lesson plans I make sure I follow through.

It’s very basic.  If I’m teaching my students how to graph a set of data for example, I do it first.  In other words I model the task and explain it as I do.  Next, we do another example together.  I work on the board and they work on their own little dry erase boards.  Then they do!  I know it sounds really simple but it can be easy to skip one of the steps especially when we are in a hurry to fit things into our day. 

I take a quick moment to check my entire lesson plans for the day to make sure I have all three steps planned out.  I will say that there is times when I skip the first step and have them try to solve a problem or brainstorm a solution on their own.  I will, however, come right back to the beginning after we have made the connection that I was looking for. 

This can also be applied more macro than micro (if that makes sense).  Let me explain. You know I use centers for my literacy instruction.  I do mini lessons with my class on different aspects of reading and writing and they practice in their centers.  So I do is the whole group instruction (mini lesson), We do is done during guided reading in small groups and You do is their individual work in their daily centers. 

I would love to know how you use this teaching strategy in your classroom!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Very Own!

This morning I was reading one of my favorite blogs Think Wonder, & Teach and was suddenly as excited as a kid (or me) on Christmas morning. I have wanted a Teacher Bag for some time now.  It was on my list of things to purchase before I left the states but I never found what I was looking for. 

Well todayI did. Thanks to Thirty-One I have a fabulous personalized Teacher Bag on the way.  Of course I had to have it shipped to my parents house but I’m hoping it can then hitch a ride with Mrs. Maya and her hubby when they come to visit in March.
I can’t hardly wait.

Miss Pam

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pammy Loves...: Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Last March I taught at a Title 1 school in Albuquerque, NM. It was a different life and the approach was a world away from what goes on in my classroom today. But the content of the little things we did is still the same. So as we near March (Dr. Seuss Month in my class) I thought I would repost this to my teaching blog. It was on my personal blog last year.

I plan to do the same activity with my kids this year. We will do it with our book buddies and each child will read their favorite Dr. Seuss books. I'm in the process of creating a new Dr. Seuss Literacy kit and hopefully will have it posted by Monday.

Have a great weekend all!

Miss Pam

Pammy Loves...: Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Busy Bee

I’ve been a busy bee and just finished another product.  I’m trying to get my feet wet on the TpT website.  I’m hoping to really make an impact with some of the products that I have created and I LOVE the idea that teachers are buying resources from each other and not large corporations and textbook companies. 

As an asideI miss my kids so much!  I can’t wait to get back to school and give them all a really big squeeze. 

So here is the newest. 

As always you can find it at my TpT store.....HERE!!

Till next time!  

Miss Pam

Monday, February 13, 2012

Read with me! - Continued

There have been many different approaches to teaching children how to read.  I personally believe that a balanced approach is best.  I mentioned in my last post that reading with your kids is essential.  In addition to reading quality books to them and with them it is very beneficial for children to learn and memorize sight words that build fluency.

One way to do this is by playing games.  I created a game for Grade 1 students to practice their sight words and have a little fun at the same time.  

Check it our at my TpT store here!!

Once again...more to come.

Miss Pam

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Read with me!

My students love to read! This thrills me. I often find them before school starts with their noses in books and sharing information they have discovered with each other.  One way that we try to encourage reading for pleasure is to read with our pre-k book buddies.  What I find most refreshing is that even those children who struggle the most with reading are suddenly more confident and try their very best to read to their partner. 

Here are a few pictures of the kids reading with their buddies. 

Another tool that I use to encourage reading is by making it a priority in our Literacy work.  In our class we try to do centers every day for 40 to 60 minutes.  Each child has a center checklist that they complete throughout the week and turn in on Friday.  The best part, in my opinion, is that they are learning to work independently and to be responsible for their work until it is turned in at the end of the week.  Two key attributes of the PYP learner profile...independent and responsible.  =0)
You can find this checklist and download it for free at my teacher store

Reading is the passport to opportunity. It takes your child places they may never get to see or experience otherwise.  Part of developing open-minded and tolerant students is the use of rich and wonderful literature.  So keep reading with your kids!!

Until Next time!

Miss Pam

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Unit of Inquiry

It's been a long time and I'm embarrased to say that I don't have a proper excuse. The holidays came and went and the first 5 weeks back are almost over. In our class we have been working on our third unit of inquiry; The Solar System. We have had such an incredible time working together to make connections and gain knowledge. The kids have been expert inquirers. In fact they are asking more questions than I know what to do with. I refer them back to books and the internet on a daily basis and ask them to come back to class and share what they have found.

Our lines of inquiry are:
1. The characteristics of the Solar System
2. The movement of the Earth, Sun and Moon
3. Earth compared to other space objects
4. Exploration of the Solar System

I was surprised that my kids knew so much about the solar system to start with. We made sure to record exactly what we knew before starting. Next we discussed what we wanted to learn about and let that guide our inquiry lines.

The connections that are happening and the action that is taking place have really been exciting to watch. One student brought her telescope to class while others have brought literature and news clippings from home.

Here are some pictures from our wonderful unit.

We worked with our pre-k buddies and together made Moon Rocks. The kids had so much fun and practiced following written directions at the same time.

They loved getting their hands dirty!

This is what they looked like when we were done.

More to come shortly!! =0)