Sunday, July 20, 2014

Seven Benefits of Departmentalizing

Departmentalizing, changing classes, specializing...whatever your terminology, departmentalizing can seem like a daunting task to an elementary teacher who has never tried it.  For my fourth grade team, changing classes has become part of our fourth grade daily routine, and to be honest, we can't imagine it any other way. Although for many schools, departmentalizing does not begin until middle school, most of my 24 years of teaching upper elementary have been spent in some type departmentalized setting. Since my move to fourth grade about ten years ago, my fourth grade colleagues and I have enjoyed this, and  I have specialized in language arts.

For my co-teachers and I, departmentalizing has several benefits not only for our students, but for ourselves as well.

1.  The first benefit is rather an obvious one. Students are better prepared for exchanging classes in middle school.  By exchanging classes in elementary, students have experience before entering middle school.
2.  Teachers are able to teach to their strengths and become "experts" in their field.  Students benefit from teachers' knowledge and expertise.  I know that I certainly feel that I have become a much better language arts teacher because all of my time and energy is focused on this one area. 
3.  Students are exposed to the instructional style of more than one teacher.  For many students, this can be a benefit. 
4.  Our students each year rave about how quickly the days go by because of exchanging classes.  Perhaps it is because students are more focused in each class, the day is set at a faster pace, or that students have had a minute or two to walk and exchange classes.  Whatever the reason, students enjoy each day's pace. 
5.  Teachers have the opportunity to get to know all of the students in the grade.  For some, this may not seem like a benefit, but I find that it truly is an advantage.  I love getting to know all of the kiddos, plus because all of my co-workers have all of the students, we are constantly talking and discussing ways to help meet the needs of individual students.  Anytime there is a problem or a need, I know that I can go to my fourth grade colleagues for help, suggestions, or advice.  We are constantly working together to help meet the needs of our students.  HUGE advantage!!
6.   Students have an opportunity to release energy.  Just by getting up and moving from classroom to classroom helps students release energy. They then come to each class more focused and ready to work.
7.  Because students are in a class for only one class period, time for discipline problems and behavioral issues is greatly decreased.  Also, because students are up and moving between classes, extra energy can be released which also helps to diminish behavior problems.
Although departmentalizing may not be for every teacher at every school, my colleagues and I feel that it has certainly benefited our students.  Each year, our students tell us that they love exchanging classes.  They look forward to that time each day, and on the very rare occasion that we don't exchange classes, students usually express their disappointment. I think that is a testament to departmentalizing working for us.
Have a blessed day!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday

It's Friday, and I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!

What is better in the summer than fresh vegetables?  This summer we have had fresh corn,
and squash.
And now we have ripe tomatoes, so my husband and I have eaten tomato sandwiches almost everyday.  They are our favorite!
I have also been busy this summer making new products for my store.  One of my latest creations is my Pencil Borders and Pencils Clipart Packet.  This set has 4 different pencil borders and 4 different designs of pencil clipart, each in a variety of colors.  They would be perfect for parent notes, award notices, creating classroom awards, PowerPoint backgrounds, and more. 
Pencil Borders and Pencils Clipart By Kelly B.

I have also bundled 12 of my owl themed products into one huge Owl Themed Mega Bundle.   If you have or want an owl themed classroom, this packet is perfect for you!  This mega bundle is filled with owl themed graphic organizers, owl themed parts of speech posters, owl themed motivational posters, owl themed classroom decorating packet, and more!  Save over $20 on this packet valued at over $44! 
Owl Themed Mega Bundle:  Owl Posters, Packets, and Classro
Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope your Friday is blessed! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Meet Up

I can't believe how quickly this summer is flying by! I'd love for it to slow down just a little! We have had some of the most beautiful July weather that I can ever remember.  Instead of the humid hot July that we are accustom to in the south, we have had some absolutely gorgeous days with low humidity.  In fact, we spent most of July 4th outside enjoying the comfortable weather!  It was marvelous! Today, I am linking up with The Teaching Tribune for their final Monday Meet Up

1.  As a child I remember our family going camping in the mountains.  We had a lot of fun.  I remember playing in the streams that we camped beside, hiking to waterfalls, and campfires. 
2.  If I could change my name, I would probably keep my first name, but I would change the spelling to K-e-l-l-i.  Why?  I'm not sure, but I've always wished that my name ended in an "i". 
3.  One summer, my classroom at school caught fire.  Fortunately, no one was there to get hurt.  Someone at the post office next door noticed the smoke and called the fire department.  It was a faulty air conditioner that caused the fire.  My room didn't burn, but everything (and I do mean everything) had smoke damage.  I spend my summer days (along with some wonderful volunteers) cleaning smoke damage from my classroom and trying to salvage what I could.
4.  If I could pick a fictional character to meet, I would pick Harry Potter for my daughter.  I would love to see her face if she could meet him.  She is a huge fan, and is begging to go to the new Harry Potter Universal theme parks.
5.  I have one brother.  He is very sweet and very smart.  In fact, he is an electrical engineer. 
6.  I love home made butter biscuits with jelly or honey.  Yum!!
Thanks for visiting, and have a blessed day!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Borders are Here!!

I am so excited to finally have my new borders sets completed!  I have 3 new sets that are now being offered in one bundle!  I have created Borders Bundle that contains Circles Borders, Headers, and Page Dividers.  85 borders in all!
For July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, I am offering this bundle for 50% of the price of purchasing each border individually! Don't miss out on this savings.  These borders will not be offered at this savings again. 
I am linking up again today with the Teaching Tribune for Two for Tuesday
The second item from my store that I am offering 50% off are  my Describing Characters Graphic Organizers. This is one of my best sellers, and one of my favorite packets.  They are perfect for character studies, writing about characters, character analysis, etc.
Describing Characters Graphic Organizers
I am also linking up with Farley for the July Currently! I'm so glad that I remembered.  You'll have to stop by and read her post to send her some bloggy love!!  She has had a rough summer, and she sure could use some uplifting words of encouragement. 
Be blessed!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two for Tuesday

This week, my girls and I are helping with our church Vacation Bible School.  We have had a lot of fun and have enjoyed every moment, but I have to admit that I am tired, already, and it is only Tuesday! 

I am linking up once again with The Teaching Tribune for Two for Tuesday!  This is a great opportunity to find some fabulous products for 50% off and have some terrific ideas to begin your new school year.  I can't wait to have time to go through everyone's links to see what great products that I can find today!
The first product that  have 50% off is my Owl Themed Nonfiction Text Structures Packet.  This packet contains posters, graphic organizers, and interactive journal pages.  All are perfect for studying nonfiction text structures and can be used with most nonfiction texts.
Owl Themed Nonfiction Text Structures Packet
I'm also offering my All About Me Posters: Insect Themed 50% off! These are a perfect activity for the first day of school, open house, parent night, etc. 
All About Me Posters:  Insect Theme
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Two For Tuesday

I just found a new linky, Two For Tuesday, and I'm thrilled to be linking up.  Two products are now 50% off in my store, today only, so go quickly and check them out. 

The first product that I am offering 1/2 off is my Owl Themed Classroom Decorations Packet. 

Owl Themed Classroom Set

 Look at what you will find in this packet:
Birthday Pencil/Straw Toppers
Job Charts (with over 30 different job cards ready to print)
Editable Job Charts
Clock Minutes and Sign
Cursive Banner
Manuscript Banner
Editable Desk Name Plates
Supply Labels
Student Labels
Classroom List Printable
Hall Passes (2 styles: Girl's Pass, Boy's Pass, Office, Nurse, Hall, and Library)
Small and Large Student/Calendar Numbers and Calendar Headers
Owl Birthday Board
Days of Week Posters
Months Cards for Calendar
Table Numbers
Table Names
Welcome Banner
4 Styles of Pennant Letters  and pictures of this product in use in my classroom!
Next, to stay with the owl theme, I have my Book Report Bunting Owl Themed Reading Pennants 50%, too!  This is a fun and super cute way for your students to create book reports and decorate your classroom at the same time. 
Book Report Bunting Owl Themed Reading Pennants
Look what buyers have said, "I LOVE OWLS and these are so fun to use as response sheets in our reading centers. We will be doing the "recommendation" flag as an end of the year activity that I will hang up for next year :) "
Thanks for stopping by, and have a blessed day!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fairy Tales Anchor Chart

I hope your summer vacation has started by now.  My girls and I have been out of school for two weeks now, and this is what we have seen most of the days:

Rain, rain, rain!
And some very strong winds!!
Four days in a row we had strong winds and heavy rains!
We ended up with about 5 1/2 inches of rain in only 4 days.  One day we had about an inch of rain in less than 30 minutes!  Yes, it was a downpour!
Needless to say, our swimming pool has not seen as much action as we had hoped for by now, but this week, we plan to make up for the lack of time we have spent in the pool!  We have sunny days in the forecast, and I am so glad!
With all of the rain, I should have had more time to create and share some crafty projects with you for my favorite linky, Monday Made It.  Instead, I have spent most of my time cleaning and catching up on some much needed housework.  I did take time to create one anchor chart to share with you.  I recreated my Fairy Tales anchor chart.  My old one was so faded out, it looked terrible, so I made a new one.  We will be working on Fractured Fairy Tales at the beginning of the school year, so this anchor chart will be just what I need.

I am also linking up with my good blogging friend, Deb, at Crafting Connections for her Anchors Away linky.  This is a weekly linky to show off anchor charts or share a favorite anchor chart from Pinterest.  If you are looking for a fun linky for your blog this summer, this is a great one!
Finally, visit my TpT store tonight or tomorrow for a great deal! If you are considering decorating your classroom in owls, then my Owl Themed Classroom Set is perfect, and until tomorrow night, it will be 1/2 off!  Don't miss out on this great deal! Buyers have said things like, "There are so many things that I need that are included in this. The entire packet is so great!"

Owl Themed Classroom Set
Thanks so much for stopping by!
I hope your summer is blessed!