April 24, 2016

My Classroom Library

Hi! It is me. Yes, it has been a loonnnggg time. Hopefully there is still someone out there to read this :) Anyhow, I finally redid my classroom library and I LOVE it!

I went from a leveled library, which I was always told "was the thing to do" to a genre library. It is fabulous! My students have been checking books out like crazy and actually finishing them! Shock and awe people, shock and awe.

I snapped this photo on my way outt he door, so the baskets are a little messy, but hey, that means they have been looked at. The books  on the top of the bookcases are random books I pull out that kids seem to enjoy. They are usually the first to be checked out and I find myself replacing one or two a day.

February 12, 2016

Valentine's Day Foldable Card Freebie!

Good morning! I made this awesome little gem at the last minute (early this morning) and thought I would quickly share. This is a remake of an old ditto copy I received over a decade ago from a retiring teacher. I've just copied it all these years, but my baby woke me up early this morning and I figured I would remake the thing. Click the pic to get your copy! 

Instructions: have your students draw or write their answer (or both) to eache question. Cut out. Fold out on one line and in on the opposite line to make a collapsable heart. I will post pictures after we do this today! The I Love You is for the front of the card when it is all folded up. Have fun today!

January 4, 2016

Tracking the Writing Process

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and New Year! We don't go back until Thursday, so I am trying to get my brain back in school mode. To start the brain transition, I am going to quickly share with you the way I track the writing process in my 4th grade classroom.

The tracking is super easy. All you need are your writing process signs and sticky notes! The kids move up and down on the chart depending where they are. I used to use clothes pins, but then I had to reinforce the posters time and time again because the weight kept pulling them from the wall. This year I made a heat of the moment split second decision and used sticky notes. BEST. IDEA. EVER!

That is all for today! Have a fabulous Monday!

November 27, 2015

No More Reading Calendars!

I have never been a reading calendar fan. N.E.V.E.R. We are strongly encouraged though to use them at our school. Blah! I figured it out this year though and we are having a blast tracking our reading. We do a new reading challenge each month with a reward at the end if we meet our goal.

This month, the kids took home a turkey feather every night and parents signed it. The next day we added it to our turkey. Below  is our awesome (colorful) turkey! The principal would even stop in to check on our feathery progress daily.

In September we did a football game and students earned yards for their reading. In October we had our own version of the World Series. Stay tuned for December's reading challenge!

November 26, 2015

Real World Thanksgiving Activity - Planning Dinner with Local Ad

Hi all! Happy Thanksgiving! I am sitting here, holding my baby and being thankful that I only have to make the rolls and a couple pies this year. Last year, the whole celebration was at my house and it was a ton of work and a ton of fun! Anyway, on to the classroom activity...

I know there are a bunch of Thanksgiving dinner planners on TpT, but I like to use our local grocery store's ad. Much more real life.

The students are given a sheet I made on Docs that lists things from the ad. They are required to figure out how much of the item is needed and the total cost.

They are broken up into groups of three and the fun begins! This activity takes around an hour and everyone is always on task.

That is it! Super simple and free!

November 10, 2015

Pencils in the Classroom-Nightmare or Daydream?

Hi everyone! It has been a few months, but I am back for good. Today I want to share with you an idea that is brilliant! I hated handling pencils in my classroom. Students always lost them or over sharpened them and they always always needed a new one. What a nightmare! I've tried many things over the last decade and this one finally solved my problem. I stumbled over this idea on someone's blog, so if it is your amazingness that I am sharing, let me know!

Simply write the student number or name on the end of the pencil and hand them out at the beginning of the month. At the end of the month if they still have their pencil, then they get a reward! I do this every month. So simple and brilliant! I very seldom have students lose their pencil or visit the sharpener too often. 

Have a fabulous day!!

August 22, 2015

Math Flipped Classroom at a Low Income School

Hi bloggers! I'm going to link up with the awesome Holly for...

and to a new and fun linky I found...

You definitely need to check them both out!

On to flipping...

Have you ever wanted to try flipping your classroom? Then this post is just for you! I do what I call an "in-class" flip. Many of my students have no internet access at home, so I have flipped my math lessons by using the math workshop rotations.

First off, let me tell you about my classroom. I am going on my third year of having a 1:1 Chromebook classroom, BUT YOU ONLY NEED 5-6 DEVICES to flip your classroom! I've been flipping my math lessons for over a year now and it has been awesome for both my high and low students. This year I have 23 students (isn't that low number awesome?) so I have seperated them into 4 differentiated groups. These groups go through 4 rotations, which are:

-Math Facts

-At Your Seat

-Teacher Time

-Hands On Practice

At the Math Facts station, the students simply practice their facts. Every. Single. Day. This is a must. Hands On Practice is where the students practice the topic we are studying at the moment with task cards or games.

What I really want to talk about is the At Your Seat rotation. My students watch a video I have created using educreations.com on their Chromebooks.

The first bunch of videos are free to create, but then you do have to purchase a license for $100 to continue making videos. My principal happily purchased this for me using technology money.

Each video is a lesson. For instance, we are doing addition and subtraction right now. I have 4 addition videos that walk my students through addition. The videos are SUPER EASY to create. I use the app on my iPad so I can write with my finger during the video. The app is awesome and is the only way to go when creating a video. Here is an exmple of one of my videos we watched this week. I was distracted and made a mistake on the first problem, but caught my mistake after a few seconds. My students loved that I had made a mistake :) It was pretty funny. Enjoy!

 My daughter talked at the first and sometimes leaves messages for my students. They love it :) The above video is the second lesson in the topic, so we have already went through vocab and walking through the steps. My videos gradually climb up the Higher Order Thinking ladder, so by lesson 4 or 5 they are doing more creating and evaluating.

After the students watch the video, they go to the Teacher Time rotation. This is where we do the assignment. I sit with them at my group table and I challenge the high group and help the lower groups. 

By doing an in-class flip in the classroom, my students are getting me twice during math. I also love it because if I have a student gone one day, they can easily watch the video the next day.

Okay, I know I have missed something. So please let me know! Have a great weekend!

August 15, 2015

Multiplication Facts Review with Card Games

School is back in full swing, which means I will have more to blog about! I am the exact opposite of most teacher-bloggers out there because I don't like blogging during the summer. Especially this summer, because I had a beautiful baby girl in May and I spent most of my time cuddling!

I'm going to link up with my BBB Holly for Tried It Tuesday! I know I am late to the party, but oh well!

So, math facts. I always start the year off reviewing multiplication facts. I found this little beauty on Amazon for $8 and couldn't resist. I am loving it already!

We have only played one game so far, but the excitement and motivation going on in the room was amazing! I had only planned on 30 minutes to introduce the activity and play, but the kids were having so much fun (and computing like crazy) that I let them go an extra 20 minutes! We could have went longer, but the fire drill was going to happen :) I can't wait to introduce more games next week.

Have a great Saturday!

June 2, 2015

Currently and Monday Made It: Writing Journals

Hey everyone! I need to start posting more than once a month :) Oh, life gets busy with a newborn, a 3 year old, and 6 year old. Maybe I should feel lucky I am posting at least once a month! Haha!

On to the post. I am doing a double-dip today with Farley's Currently and Tara's Monday Made It. I love both of these and am excited to go explore the link-ups.

I loved my students this year! One way this class was different from the other classes I've taught in the last 10 years is the way this class LOVED to write! It was fabulous! So I am going to link up with Tara for Monday Made It to share our writing journals!

One day we were talking and one student said they wanted a writing journal to keep all their "stuff" so I brainstormed aloud with them and this is what we developed!

Superhero Writing Journals! I made the covers and we simply put lined paper behind with a colored page on the back. We also made a little pocket on the back cover to keep "other" writing like posters and mini-books.

The students LOVED these! I made a bunch of different formats of the writing journals (half-sized, full sized, etc.) The kids get a different cover and journal each month to collect their writing. Sometime soon (hopefully) I will post on how easy my Writing Center is. 

You know what? I am in the giving mood :) if you would like a copy of my Superhero Writing Journal, leave a comment with your email and I will pick a few winners! Hope you have a fabulous day!!

May 4, 2015


I love Farley's Currently! I am a few days late this month...oh, well. Here you go!!

April 22, 2015

Brain Break Ideas!

Do you give your students Brain Breaks during the day? How about during testing? Well, if you do, but haven't tried GoNoodle for these Brain Breaks, then you are missing out!

Your class gets to choose a Champ to represent them. They start out as just little tiny dudes!

As soon as the class has completed 10 activities, their champ gets an upgrade and grows! My students LOVE when they get an upgrade!

 After 5 upgrades your class is awarded with a certificate to print out and display. Then you choose another champ. We have a new champ about every 4 weeks.

 The activities to do are endless!  Crazy-fun songs, Zumba, fitness challenges, track and field events, stretching, yoga, and more! The GoNoodle team keeps adding more and more too!

The activities take in all ages. My 3 year old and 5 year old love playing at home and my 4th grade students love it too! 

I'm linking up with Holly on this one! Make sure to go check out the other awesome Tried it Tuesday! links. Have a great week and good luck with testing!!!!

March 27, 2015

The Gallon Guy...or Girl

I'm sure MANY of you have used the Gallon Guy/Man/Girl in your classroom. Me too! I use it to teach the awesome concept of capacity in the customary measurement system. But I do it a bit different than others because I don't use a template that is copied. I simply use half sheets of construction paper and we fold and cut to get the right amount. Everything is cut out of different colored half sheets. I (over) emphasize that all the measurements are equal to a gallon. Since each different measurement is cut out of a different colored sheet that is the same at the beginning, the students are able to see how many quarts/pints/cups are in a gallon. I don't know if I am making sense. Let me show you what I mean.

We started with 4 half sheets of different colored construction paper.

The first we left whole and wrote:
1 Gallon
=4 quarts
=8 pints
=16 cups
(no picture, sorry)

Then we took the next color, folded it into fourths, and wrote 1 quart on each fourth. Then we talked about how this is the same capacity as 1 gallon (because the papers are the same size). Then we cut it and place it on top of the gallon paper.

We did the same to the pints, but cut them in eighths :)

And then we did cups, but I didn't get a picture. Sorry.

Then we glued the dude together! The students LOvEd it!

Oh! Everyone got a "head" for their little guy that was 1/4 of a piece of construction paper. The students immediately made the connection to a half gallon. It was awesome!

And here are the finished product before I put them in the hallway. 

I love incorporating hands-on activities! How do you teach capacity?