Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Literacy Station Update

Just wanted to drop in and let you know how my literacy stations are working out.

I love how well the students are working within their groups.  Students stay on task and are truley engaged in their word work part of their station.  Here are a couple of pictures of them working at their stations.  Some choose to work at a desk while other choose the floor.

Here are my problems:

The books I have chosen (by theme) for the literacy box are on second grade level.  The problem is my students are below grade level.  They are not able to read the books I have chose for them.  UGH!!  I know this happens but it is so frustrating!!  As a temporary solution students are choosing books to read from the leveled classroom library and they have free choice within their level.  I have a strong collection of books however, the weakest area of my classroom are the lower level books.

Here is what the leveled library collection looks like.

Here is a picture of my management board.

We still have a lot of work to do on getting these stations going as I would like but we are off to a great start!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Math on Mondays

Hey Everybody!  I hope you all had a super day today.  I am trying very hard to get back into this blogging routine. Between school and home responsibilities in can be tough.   Amen ????

So.... for the rest of the calendar year I am going to talk about math on Mondays.  Today I am going to give you a brief overview of how we have started off the year.  I have been in school for 3 weeks.  Today is day 15 for us.

I am to follow the Investigations series.  For the most part I love it!  However, at times I thinks it moves too fast for my little team of folks this year.

We have started daily data.  For now in our class we have one question a week.  On Monday we answer the question.  On Tuesday we draw the diagram in our notebook.  On Wednesday we tally.  On Thursday we make a graph and on Friday we write a number sentence and put our data into words.  We will follow this pattern for a few more weeks.  Our daily data is displayed on a magnet board I have attached to a  bulletin board.  
Students record their daily data in a spiral notebook that was cut in half.
  I am working on the children with how to record all their data on a two page spread.  This is supposed to be a quick routine we do every day.  At this point my students are not able to do anything quick.

We have also began our introduction into money.  We created this chart. as we explored the coins.

I changed the way we keep our money.   I like these Glad containers better than the ones I have used in the past.  Students have an easier time getting the coins out. 

What have you been doing in math so far this year?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Currently September

Today I am linking up with Farley with this month's currently. 

I am loving today!  My hubby and girls are home and we are not going out.  We are finally all together!  This makes my heart happy, happy, happy!  There is no work, school or any type of practice schedule today.  Hallelujah! 

However, we have a small bump in the road.  Saturday I fell and badly sprained and bruised my ankle and foot.  I spend Saturday evening getting x-rayed.  Thank God nothing was broken.  I still can't put weight on my foot without it hurting.  I am going to try to walk on it this evening so I can go to work on Tuesday.

My goals for this month:
  1.  To cook more for my family.  They have noticed that I haven't cooked since school started and they are not thrilled.  Together we are going to make a menu and try to get back into a routine. 
  2. Walk more.  I hope my hubby will join in a brisk walk a couple of times a week.  Maybe I can walk to my parents rather than drive.
  3. I want to visit my parents more.  They live very close to me and there is no reason why I can't go over and check on them more.
Head on over and see what other bloggers are up to this month.  Have a great week!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August SLANT box

This was the first month of the SLANT box exchange.  I was so lucky that I got to "meet" two new to me bloggers.  This month's theme was "A Few Of My Favorite Things..."  We were to get to know our partner and send them 5 items with a total value of $10 or more. These items will hopefully be something our partner will love.

First, I got to know Lauren from Learning, Lessons, and Life.  Head over to blog to see the box that I send her.  We are both southern bloggers and we live in neighboring states.

I got my box from Michele over at Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans.  We found out we share a love of SEC football and I am happy to report that both our teams have victories for the first game of the season.   

What to see what I got?

She did such a great job!  I loved all the different items.  The chips was something that we have never seen here and we loved trying it!

This was a great experience and I will participate in it again.  I got to "meet" two great ladies, make two new friends and read two more great blogs.

If you want to read more about the SLANT box exchange or sign up for next month click HERE.

The SLANT Box Exchange

Monday, August 12, 2013

Let's Talk About Me! {Teacher Week '13 Linky}

I wanna talk about me
Wanna talk about I
Wanna talk about number one
Oh my me my
What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see
I like talking about you, usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about me

If this title doesn't make you think about the Toby Keith song I don't know what will.  Now that this song will be stuck in your head all day enjoy this linky party hosted by Blog Hoppin'.  With this linky party you can find out about all your favorite bloggers.   

Now here is a little bit about me:
My name is Mechele Barrow and I am the face behind Barrow's Hodgepodge.    

This year starts my 21st year as a teacher. I have taught kindergarten, first, second, third and fourth grades. I have also taught technology classes and specialized reading and math classes to struggling fifth and six graders.  I have held a variety of positions over the years.  I am currently a second grade teacher in a self contained classroom.

I hold a bachelors degree in early childhood/elementary education and a masters degree in elementary education from the University of Montevallo. I am considered Highly Qualified by the State of Alabama.  I am fully AMSTI trained for second grade.

Outside of school I am a wife and mother.   

I have been married to the same man for the past 21 years.  We will be married 22 years on the 17th of this month.


My oldest daughter is a sophomore in high school.  She is talented musically.  My daughter plays two instruments.  She is a wonderful pianist and talented flute player.  This year begins her third year in the high school band in which she plays the piccolo.  


My youngest daughter is entering the eighth grade. She is very active. She loves her horses and helping with animals on the farm.   She is on a local equestrian team and he shows on a thoroughbred.  


In February my family was given two Great Pyrenees puppies.  I have fallen in love with these dogs.  They are currently six months old and are growing larger every day.  I have a brother and sister pair.  My girl is named Daisy Doodle and my boy is Buster Bear.  My dogs should grow to be about 80-100 pounds.

I am a home grown girl! I have lived in this area of Alabama my entire life. I can't imagine living anywhere else. I love to travel and visit other places, but, none are like my home.

Friday, August 9, 2013

First Day of School Plans

Good Evening All!

Tonight I am linking up with Deana over at Primary Punch with my tentative plans for the first day of school.   Like most everyone else I have written them in list form so I can just check items off as they have been completed. 

 I will be required to turn in my plans by the week so I will be 
posting them on Aug 18.  

Ready or not I will be returning to work on Monday for a full 
day of professional development.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Classroom Photos and Currently

Where has summer gone?  Can you believe it is August?  Well, it is here and we might as well roll with it. Today I am going to link up up Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for her monthly linky party.  First, I am going to share some of my classroom pics.

I have spent this week getting my room ready.  Is it completely finished?  No, but it will do until I return to work the Week of the 12th with 4 PD days and 1 work day before the children arrive.

I have a small rectangular shaped room.  I have no windows, just one door to the outside and one door to the hallway.

This is what you would see if you entered my room through the hallway. I have grouped 20 student desk in the middle of the room.  My small group table and teacher desk is to the right of the door.  I have a group meeting area in front of our magnetic white board.   (Sorry for the poor photo)

 This is the view when coming in through the outside door.  I have a second meeting area to the right of the room.

 This is the view from the back right corner.

This is the view from my teacher area.

As you can see I still have boxes stacked on top of the student closet area.  I am like many other teachers with lack of storage.  I need some ideas on how to make my sink area more functional for storage and student use.  Any ideas???

Now for my August Currently...

I enjoy being at home with my two girls.  It seems that the television is only background noise to their talking and laughing.  I love to hear them together.  They are also loving to play Just Dance.

I am loving the way my room is coming together.  I have thrown away so much stuff this week.  I have a few more areas to organize around my sink and above the children's closet.  I hope to get that taken care of before August 19.

Thinking about supper.  I have no idea what I am going to feed my hungry family tonight.  It may be a sandwich night.

Wanting to get my literacy centers finished up and organized.  It is a very challenging task.  I am determined to finish.

What I need and my Back To School must haves are self explanatory.  I think several of us have similar B2S items.

I am off to read others are currently doing....