Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Turbulence Tip 14

I know it has been a few weeks since I have posted a Turbulence Tip, but here we go again.  (This is actually the last one I have prepared, so stay tuned to see if I decide to make more or change up post types.  Let me know your thoughts if you want more or have other ideas of things you want.)  

This one is pretty self-explanatory also, but I find myself in times of high stress looking for something to laugh at.  I often say "If I don't laugh right now, I will cry".  Don't get so caught up in the day to day routine that you forget to take time to laugh and joke with your co-workers and even students. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Indiana Goes Back To School Blog Hop

I cannot believe summer is over already!  This is my last weekend before starting into trainings on Monday... for my NEW job!!!  I am super excited to be changing positions to be a Special Education Teacher for Kindergarten (and maybe 1st grade... that part is in the air).. but 1-2 grade levels versus 7 will be amazing!  I cannot wait to focus on a smaller group of standards and make a difference in these kids' lives.  Don't worry... my blog will remain focused on Kindergarten through 6th for Behavior and Classroom Management and Differentiation.  There may just be some other primary posts thrown in.

So that is my exciting news, but here is exciting news for you... 21 Indiana Bloggers have joined together to do a Back to School Blog Hop.  This is Stop #1!!  You will find a freebie at each stop along with information about a paid Back to School Products to help you as your search for resources to start the year.  Oh yea... and a $75 giftcard giveaway at the end!!  Make sure you follow all the blogs as you go along, so you can enter the Rafflecopter at the end on Brenda's page at Primary Inspired.

 My freebie is 2 visuals that I always have prepared to use with students.  These are great to have in a general education classroom for those that have trouble with time and completing tasks.  One is a countdown of tasks and the other is a stoplight visual for starting and stopping an activity.  Ever have a time that you are waiting to be called down for a convocation or filling time for something??  You can't easily tell the kids that we will work for 5 more minutes.  Use the stoplight to control the time, but still give them warnings!  Click on the picture to get your freebie. I would appreciate if you would leave feedback if you download it.  Thanks in advance.

For my paid product, I have an Economy Based Classroom Management System.  I have 2 made currently, and I am willing to make them in different themes for you (as long as they are not copyrighted characters).  My current themes are Airplane ($6.00) and Chevron ($5.00).  They contain PDF files and some editable files.

PDF Files Included
- Airplane Cash (in 1s, 5s, 10s, and 20s)
- Boarding Pass
- Checks
- Deposit Slips
- Job Descriptions
- Classroom Signs
- Withdraw Slips

Editable Files Included
- Clip Chart with solid colored backgrounds
- Destination Signs for hanging in classroom
- Simple Job Application that is fillable for students to fill out on the computer.
- Medium Job Application that is fillable for students to fill out on the computer.
- Advanced Job Application that is fillable for students to fill out on the computer.
- Job Descriptions
- Job Offers - Set to be fillable
- Point Tracker - An Excel Document made to track points of 30 students with formulas that automatically calculate weekly totals and overall totals. It is also set to include buying prizes. Do not have to use all parts of it for it to calculate correctly.
- Teacher Tracking Form - Excel document to write down points throughout the day.
- Turbulence Fees - Editable page of behavior fees
- Smooth Flying - A list of positive behaviors that you could earn extra points for.

Also included are Ideas for implementation and classroom job ideas. If you have any questions or want to request another theme, please e-mail me at teachingthroughturbulence@gmail.com

The Chevron pack is a little smaller due to not having all the themed signs, but you will find it here

Are you ready for the next blog and freebie?  You are heading over to Teaching Ever After, by clicking on Blog Hop Icon.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Taking Turns With Freebie - Where Am I?

I wrote a guest post about ways to help kids take turns and share.  Is this something that your students have a hard time with??  Brenda from Primary Inspired had me guest blog for her.  I was so excited to meet her a couple weeks ago, and I was even more excited when we decided to trade guest blog posts.  Here we are:

Did you see her post for me last week? If not, make sure you check out her post.  She had a freebie for you.  Click here for that post.  If you are ready to find me and my freebie today.. head on over to her blog to check it out


Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: Want to Learn a New Language in a Fun Way?

I have taken many classes for Spanish and for American Sign Language... but how often do I use the languages?? Not much at all! It is hard to keep up with it, but I always want to stay fresh on them.

When Educents contacted me to do a review for Games For Language, I was so excited! I couldn't decide what language to do between the 4 they offer... Spanish, French, German, and Italian. I even asked some family to help me with the decision because I just couldn't decide! We (yes, it was a group effort...even my sister who lives in Texas helped me decide) chose Italian for me to learn.

How would you like to learn a language through games?  That is exactly what this site does.  It really throws you in to a variety of games, in which, you have no option but to learn the language.  It is definitely challenging, but very worth it.  Their site even states the following:
  • Developed for beginners who like a challenge
  • Great for adults and teens who already have some background in the chosen language
I was a complete beginner to the Italian language, but I found that it was similar to Spanish, so I felt like I fell a little in both categories.

As I played, I took screenshots of some of the games, so you can see what I was doing.  The screen shots are from Scene 4 of Level 1 of Italian.  There are 6 levels to each language with 6 Scenes in each Level.

***I did not receive any payment for this review.  I received a short trial of Level 1 of the language of my choice to review.  If you like what you read here, Educents has these posted on their site for a discounted price.  Details at the end of this post.

So here are the games:

Each scene starts like this.  They are all based on a story of people traveling through the country of that language.  I was following someone traveling to Italy.

The cards flip over and read the Italian word to you and show you its English translation.  After they show all of the matches to you, they mix up the English translation.  You will choose a red card with the Italian word.  Then, all of the blue cards will turn over for you to pick the English translation.  This is a much better way to learn words than just repeating after some program.

After every game you finish, you see how you did on that game.  You can replay each game for more practice or a higher score.  (You cannot move on to new scenes if you do not have 80% or better as a whole on all of the games in that scene.)
The clouds are floating around and you have to find the Italian word that goes with the English word in the middle.
This one trains your ear.  They say a word, and you click on the correct one out of the 2 balloons before they reach the top of the screen.  This really helped me with learning the sounds of different letters and parts in Italian.
They say a word and then you say it before the word pops up on the screen.  Great practice for saying them and then seeing the spelling.

You will pick the English translation of the sentence.  After many of these, it will give you tips about differences in forms of words and meanings of words that are spelling similarly.

Time for you to write a phrase!  There is an English phrase at the top and blanks for the Italian phrase at the bottom.  You pick the balloon that fits.  There are a new set of balloons for each blank.

Who doesn't like the duck game at carnivals, right?  I thought this one was super cute and fun!  The Italian word was at the bottom.  As the ducks go by, you have to click on the English translation.

Does this game look familiar?  Another favorite of mine!  You are writing a sentence in this one.  There are 2 words to choose from that show up at the top for each blank.  You shoot the correct one.

You better have been paying attention on the other games because now you are spelling the words.  You have seen them many times throughout the games leading up to this one.  I had the hardest time with this game, but I learned a lot from it each time.  The clowns are blowing balloons above their heads.  Yours gets bigger with each letter that you get correct.  Don't let the other clowns beat you.

The words move down the screen.  They will be said out loud at the horizontal line and then you have to click the English translation at the bottom before it hits the bottom.  Fast and fun game.

Then, you listen to the conversation that has all the words that you just learned in it.  Do you understand it?  If so, then you are doing good. If not, you should probably go back and practice more.  I was very challenged by this and loved seeing if I could figure it out and repeat it.

**Last but not least, you get to listen to words and phrases and then record them yourselves.  You can play it back to hear the computer say it and then hear your recording.  This was a great practice for me to see how I was doing.  At the end of a full course, you will be able to understand the full travel story, which means you will know over 2,000 words!

What do you think?  Are you up for a challenge?  I definitely was, and I loved it!  I'm not going to lie.. it wasn't easy, but I definitely learned from it and it was fun!  I am planning to even look in to the Spanish version to brush up on my Spanish in a fun way. 

If you want more information, you can check out the following page on Games for Language:  Approach and Methods.

Have you seen any language programs as cheap as this:  $27.90 for 6 months or $39.90 for 12 months?  Are you thinking.. this sounds GREAT, but I just don't have the time now?  That is fine also.  Purchase this voucher now... it is good until 2020!  I am so glad I had the chance to try this!

If you want to check out the deal to purchase it, head on over to Educents by using the following link:
What language would you choose, if you bought this?   

Let me know if you have any questions!  You can even try asking them in Italian, if you want.  ;-)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Guest Blog: Calm Counter App

Hi everyone, My name is Sarah Tharpe Winchell. I am thrilled to guest post at Teaching Through Turbulence by Heather. I wanted to share an app with you that we have found to be very helpful with children who experience bouts of anger or upset in the classroom. The name of the app is Calm Counter. 
Calm Counter works for many children. A child does not have to have severe behavioral problems to benefit from Calm Counter. A child can be taught to use Calm Counter independently. The app opens up to a “I need a break screen” that vocalizes “I need a break” when it is tapped. The screen then transitions to a red screen with an angry face and the number ten. With each tap the screen transitions to a calmer face and color. The app prompts the user to count backwards from ten followed by a deep breath. Calm Counter also includes a simple social story with line drawings about anger. The social story talks about feeling angry and gives suggestions of things you can do to calm down, like counting to ten, breathing deeply and taking a break, to calm yourself down. You can choose a male or female voice to count and read the social story to the child. We have used this app with children in the regular education classroom as well as children who may need support outside of the regular education setting. I recently worked with a child who was out of control pushing chairs about the classroom and confronting the teacher. The child was eight years old. When I started to intervene and move furniture out of the way and talk with him calmly he got under a table. The table was a kidney table. I slowly started to push the table back so he could not reach anymore chairs. As he and I watched one another he popped his hand up on the "teacher" side of the table and grabbed the ipad. He was upset but he immediately tapped the Calm Counter and went through the steps. I set down on the floor and eventually crawled under the table with him he used the Calm Counter and was able to talk with me and get out from underneath the table. The important thing about this story is that this app worked for him because his teacher had spent time teaching him about the app. He had worked through it when he wasn't upset. This was not the first time he used the Calm Counter to help himself. It gave him a tool to self-regulate and get back into his classroom routine. I think it is an amazing gift to help a child be able to regulate behavior. We have all taught children that have behavior problems. Many times these children are hurting deep inside and they don't want confrontation but often their behavior leads to that in a setting where tools are not available to help. I would encourage you to try Calm Counter in your classroom. 
I would love for you to visit my blog I Dream of First Grade. Let me know if you think Calm Counter would work in your classroom. I'm also having a Christmas in July Linky Party. Please come and link up with the party!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Brenda Visits From Primary Inspired!!

Hi! I'm Brenda from over at Primary Inspired! I'm so happy to be visiting you here today on Teaching
Through Turbulence! I've been a 1st/2nd looping teacher for the past 8 years, but am beginning a new adventure this year & will be teaching a 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Mult-age. Super excited!!

So, over this summer, I've been doing a book study on the book Building Mathematical Comprehension by Laney Sammons. Loving it so far! Have you ever thought of applying those Reading Comprehension Skills to
Math? I hadn't really thought of it either, but the idea is brilliant- right?! To find out more about it, just click on over!

I've just been reading about Determining Importance in math. I don't know about your kiddos, but mine sometimes really struggle with this! As Laney says in the book, when kiddos don't know how to filter all of that information coming in, they really flounder. I bet you've seen that, too. Sometimes, they just add up ALL those numbers, right? It takes some deliberate and explicit instruction to teach kiddos how to filter all that information.

Word problems seem to be the biggest hang up for a lot of people. Of course, some of that is just learned perspective. How many times have you met with parents who tell you, "Well- I never was good at math either", with the implication that of course Junior can't be either. And you can bet Junior is hearing that at home...& he starts to believe that:
  • Math ability is hereditary (huh??)
  • Of course, he's going to struggle with math
  • Math has little to do with effort
Of course, all of those are incorrect! It's a bit frustrating, isn't it? I try hard to fight those beliefs in my classroom, and I bet you do too!

So- back to word problems...
A lot of people consider math word problems a genre in and of themselves. Have you ever thought of teaching them as a genre? I'll be honest..I hadn't. But I can see a ton of value in it! Think about it: if your kiddos knew that there was a structure to math word problems, and knew that looking at the structure would help them find the correct answer.....how powerful would that be?! Knowing the structure is half the game!

So, here's a fun printable you can use in the classroom to teach Word Problem Structure.
Just click the image to download!

Stop over & visit me sometime!!I'd love to meet you!

Freebie Fridays

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Student Engagement Through Choice Writing

Hello I'm Kristy from the 2 Peas and a Dog Middle School Teaching Blog . I am so very excited to be guest blogging today at Teaching Through Turbulence. I am an 8th grade teacher from Ontario, Canada.

When I first started teaching 6 years ago, the buzz word was "differentiation". I attended several workshops on this topic and my favourite strategy to gets students writing was to create RAFT assignments.

RAFT stands for Role, Audience, Format, Topic. As the teacher you create one writing assignment with several writing choices on the same theme. At the top of this blog post you can see an example RAFT I wrote based on a DRA assessment booklet story called "Northern Spirit". In the story the main character Jason moves from Montreal (an urban metropolis) to the Yukon (a remote territory in northern Canada) and has difficulties adjusting to life there.

After students read the story and answered the assessment questions, I wanted them to take their learning further so I created a RAFT writing assignment with four choices. Students have a choice of line 1 -4. You read a RAFT by choosing a role and then following the audience, format and topic of that role.

As a teacher you tier the activities so they meet a variety of learning styles and abilities. On this assignment students have a choice of: an email, a top 10 list, an explanation letter or a poster, that way students can response to the same story in a variety of ways. As the teacher I am assessing their ability to gather information from the story and other sources for use it in their final product.

Students need choice to keep them engaged in their writing, but they also need guidelines. This type of assignment provides both student choice and structured guidelines, therefore limiting unwanted behaviours in your classroom.

Thanks for reading this post, and I hope it gives you another tool in your box of ideas. You can also find 2peasandadog on:
2 Peas and a Dog Teaching Blog
Teachers Pay Teachers

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Indiana Teaching Blogger Meet-up Success!!

Today was absolutely amazing.  Who thought that a group of people that have never met can get together and sit and talk for 4 1/2 hours!!!!  We had 15 wonderful bloggers get together today.

 Do you recognize anyone?  We are all going to link up at the bottom so you should definitely check all these wonderful ladies out!!

We had a great time chatting and sharing blogging and TPT tips.  We even had a Dirty Santa Teacher game where we all brought products or teaching supplies!  It was so much fun.

All the wonderful gifts together before we started the game

This one is a bit fuzzy, but we were all taking pictures of the gifts and then started taking pictures of each other taking pictures. I love all the candid expressions of Annie from Twenty-something Teacher Tales, Ciera from Adventures of Room 129, and Nicole from All Things Apple In 2nd (left to right) 

We definitely had some stealing of gifts going on during the game.

Here is Hilary from Rockin' Teacher Materials stealing a gift (which she ended up stealing the Conscious Discipline book from me)  

And Mary Beth from Run Teacher Run! stealing a gift that I ended up with!


I ended up with Hilary's Math Mysteries The Case of the Mixed-Up March Madness Third Grade. Her Math Mysteries have been in my Wishlist for awhile. This definitely won't be my last one to get!

Ciera made us all these adorable picture frames:

Can you tell we had fun??!  I cannot wait to meet up with these girls again!  A couple more pictures of me with some bloggers that I was super excited to meet are below.  Thank you to Jenny from Luckeyfrog's Lilypad for taking such great pictures so I could update them on this post to a better quality picture below.

Hilary from Rockin' Teacher Materials (middle) because I have been following her forever and love her blog and products and Jenny (right) from Ignite Learning because she has a behavior management focus, like I do!

And last but definitely not least... Brenda from Primary Inspired!!! I have also been following her for a long time!  

There are many Indiana Bloggers that didn't get to come.  We definitely need to do this again!  Thank you to everyone that came! 

Time to link up, so you can see all these wonderful blogs also!!

Making Your Own Weighted Lap Pad

For all you crafty people out there..  weighted lap pads don't sound too difficult to make on your own.  I know many of you really liked the giveaway of one from Therapy Shoppe, but I understand the funds are just not always there to buy one. 

They are so beneficial though, so maybe someone can make it for you!  I found this information from Quality Poly Pellets, which are the things that you put inside.  Here are the steps:

Materials you need to make a weighted lap pad
  • Poly Pellets
  • Thread, needle, scissors, measuring tape and iron
  • Your favorite type of fabric, to make you comfortable
Steps to make a weighted lap pad?
  1. A lap pad should be about  12”x18” or 12”x30”.
  2. It should be less than 2 pounds, or 5% of a person’s body weight. It doesn’t have to weigh much, since it is smaller and more compact.
  3. When you cut out your material, you will need two pieces of the same size: one for the front and one for the back. Cut 1” bigger than you want all the way around it.
  4. Sew the two pieces together around three sides, leaving one side open.
  5. Measure the width of the lap pad on the side with the open end and divide it by 6. With a fabric pencil, draw 6 columns from the open end to the opposite side and then sew along the lines.
  6. You will then draw lines going the opposite direction, so that your material is covered with squares. Don’t sew these lines yet! Make sure these squares are equally spaced.
  7. Count the numbers of squares you have.  Divide the weight of poly pellets you have by the number of squares.
  8. Put enough weight for one square into each column; push them all the way to the bottom. Now, sew your line along this row of squares. Repeat the process for the next row, until the entire weighted lap pad is stuffed.
Sounds pretty fun and easy to me! The best part about using poly pellets is that you can hand wash (or carefully machine wash) the whole thing and not worry about the weight changing. And when you make it yourself the fabric can be anything you want it to be!

Anyone planning to make one???  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Busy! Busy!

This is just a quick post to tell you that I am hanging out over with 2 Crazy Texas Teachers.

2 Crazy Texas Teachers

Head on over there to find me.  I wrote about easy accommodations to use in general education classrooms.  Freebie included!

Also.. I just have to tell you how excited I am to go to the Indiana Teacher Blogger Meet-up tomorrow!

I cannot wait to meet all the wonderful bloggers that are attending!  I know we are going to have a great time.  I will be posting all about it in the next couple days.  

Have a great day!  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Block and Move

If a child is coming at you in an aggressive way, remember to block and move.  Block a punch by pulling them past you.  Block a hit by putting your arm up so they can't hit you in an essential organ area.  Block a kick by using the bottom of your foot.  Then, make sure you move!  Think about where you are headed and don't get yourself backed in to a corner.  This sounds like a simple thing, but in the heat of the moment, it really needs to be something you know very well so it comes naturally!

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