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

Currently

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?

March 15, 2015

Peek at My Week - 4th Grade Lesson Plans

I haven't linked up with Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten for her Peek at My Week linky in a long time. I LOVE this linky and am happy to be linking up this week!!


I went through the Lucky You! Blog Hop and I seriously felt LUCKY! So many awesome bloggers with amazing freebies. (If you haven't hit it, you better hurry fast!) Anyway, these freebies are going to be added to my week as soon as I get to school and have access to my printer and can laminate :) So, here are my plans (so far) for the week. Click no the pictures to view.



Have a fabulous week!

February 16, 2015

Different Ways to Learn Vocabulary in the Classroom

Graffiti Word Wall 

Graffiti Criteria
1- Word is drawn using bubble letters
2- Definition in own words
3- At least three images representing vocabulary
4- All white space colored in

I like the idea of a Graffiti Word Wall! The creativity is a great way to promote learning. The only thing I don't like is the fact that I would like each kid to do each word to help their understanding, but who has time for that? This might be a great activity to do after the vocab has been learned or at the end of a unit.



Crossword Puzzles




I REALLY like this idea! Have the students use their own definitions for the words and create their own styled puzzle.









This is a fun idea from Devoted to Vocabulary Development






February 7, 2015

Multiplication Facts Practice

Hey, hey awesome teacher blog world! I am dropping in today to tell you about our fabulous facts practice and linking up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for her helpful Spark Student Motivation linky.



 Every term we do a different celebration for students who are passing off their math facts. Some of my students are working on addition facts still, most are on multiplication and a few are on division facts. During the 2nd term we were working towards an ice cream sundae party. This term we are working towards a movie party with treats (pictures to come).


Each student received an sundae page that was their ticket to getting some goodies. Every time they passed off a fact I marked the fact off and they were able to color it! They LOVED coloring in each section!


Some students passed everything off and some only passed a few off. All the students passed off at least enough to get one scoop and one topping.

I created a Google Doc where parents could sign up to bring certain items for our celebration. I have awesome parents and everything was donated! I even had three volunteers come in and help serve up the sundaes. It was a blast!

Now, to the particulars...
My students have a "Math Facts" rotation in our Math Groups where they practice the fact they are on or review their facts EVERY DAY! This has helped my class tremendously. In years past, I have never made my students practice daily and I can really see a difference this year. To practice we use the site xtramath.com, flashcards, and math fact card games. 

Every Tuesday during our intervention time the students have the opportunity to take 4 math fact timed tests. I use the drills from Multiplication and Division Boot Camp by Teacher Chick to have them practice.


I give the students 45 seconds to complete the drill. They have to pass it off starting at the top and then pass it off again starting from the bottom. This way they can't just memorize the order :) The set also come with a BUNCH of fun games for the students. We actually started the year off by going to "Boot Camp" and used this. It was a blast and set up our math practice for the rest of the year.

December 1, 2014

December Currently

Oh Farley, how I love your currently!



November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Math Fun!!

I was absolutely stumped as what to do for math on Tuesday. There are usually quite a few students missing, but I wanted to do something meaningful. The BEST idea popped into my head in the middle of the night (do you ever have that happen?) and so off to our local small town grocery store I went before school started.

The students LOVED the activity and asked do it again!

Here is the scoop...

12 grocery store ads (Thanksgiving edition) + Paper and Pencils + Thanksgiving Dinner List = Math Funness


We made our list of our Thanksgiving favorites and how much 1 person would eat of each item. Then I told the students they needed to plan a Thanksgiving feast for 10 people using the store ad. I told them they had only $50 and needed enough of each item for each person. Every student was required to do the math.


It was a blast! We were dividing, multiplying, adding, subtracting over and over again. The conversations that were going on were priceless. And the real-world application was perfect.

A couple groups finished early and I told them they have 5 more people coming, but they only get $60. Off they went with determination.

We all loved it and the students asked if they get to plan a Christmas feast! 

November 12, 2014

Genius Hour Every Friday is a MUST!

Oh my! It has been a looonnnnggggg time! Sorry everyone. I do have a great excuse though :) I am expecting baby #3 in May! These last 3 months have been...well, lets just say that I have been loving my saltine crackers a lot. Haha!

Well, every Tuesday I think of my BBB Holly and her fun/awesome Tried it Tuesday linky! I have a bunch of catching up to do, but I will take it slowly.


I read about something called Genius Hour over the summer and knew I had to try it. Click here to learn more.

Every Friday I give my students one hour to study whatever they want. They LOVE this time. I've even had students not go on family trips so they didn't miss Genius Hour (not even kidding). They use their Chromebooks to research, keep their notes, and all that jazz. The requirements were to present 10 new facts they learned, 10 facts they already knew, and to have at least 5 visuals/models.

Today, we had our presentations and they turned out great! Here are a few pictures...

A student presenting


I had a couple students build models. This student actually built a snake robot. It slithered, hissed, and reached out to bite if you walked in front. I had another student make a very detailed model of the solar system. Both were very awesome. Wish I would have taken more pictures!

More presenting going on.


I had the students grade each other based on a 1, 2, 3 scale and also grade themselves. Genius Hour is definitely a keep in our classroom! 

July 14, 2014

Bottle Cap Multiplication Game

At the beginning of June I was stalking looking at Tara's amazing blog and saw her amazing Pop Top Math game for multiplication facts. I am ALWAYS on the lookout for multiplication fact games! So knew, KNEW this one had to join the ranks. I called my mom, my grandma and my mother-in-law and told them to start saving all their lids.

Well, fast forward a couple weeks and I was at a conference in Park City, Utah and the people catering the event gave us Stewart's Root Beer for lunch one day. Ummm...YUM! As I went to chuck my trash the boys serving the food were just about to throw away a cup full of the bottle caps from the root beer. The crazy teacher in me immediately stopped them in a 'I am a crazy person' way and I ended up with the caps. Do any of you ever do crazy stuff like that? Anyway, all the teachers around me groaned because they KNEW I had scored on this one! One lady even offered me $10 for my 50 bottle caps, which was kinda weird. 

This is good stuff.

In my Math rotations I use the letters M   A   T   H - go figure :) The M stands for Math Facts. During this rotation the kids are always working with facts. Always. 

So, I made my game own Pop Top game and here is how it turned out...



I like it...a lot!

Make sure to link up with Tara for today's Monday Made It!





July 8, 2014

Table Signs and Alphabet Display

I'm double dipping today. Hope you guys are okay with that. I am linking up with Holly for Tried it Tuesday and with Tara for Monday Made it!


   

So, have you heard of schoolgirlstyle.com? Well, if you haven't then you need to go check out Melanie's amazingness


I waited and waited this year to see the fun classroom styles she would create and I wasn't disappointed! I had a very hard time deciding what my classroom was going to look like for this next school year. Finally, I decided upon her Blue Paisley Pop Classroom Theme!


Isn't it gorgeous! The pink has been taken and the yellow will be an accent. The main colors will be the blue and green. I even talked to our school secretary and she ordered the lime green butcher paper for me! 

So, here is what I have made so far. The colors are MUCH MORE vibrant in person. Trust me. They match the colors from the above picture!

This is my alphabet banner that will be hung on my wall. I made the whole alphabet, not just the first 4 letters :-) I haven't found the perfect ribbon to string it up with yet, but I will!


These are my table signs. A-F...six tables. They will hang from lanterns with the cute ribbon I mentioned above. 

So the "Tried It" part of this post is the yellow and making my own decorations. I really tried adding more yellow into these but I just can't do it! I am loving the blue and green together!!!!!!!

I have been using my Cricut and stamps to make these. 
I love my Cricut! My stamps too! 

Make sure you check out the linky parties! Have a great day everyone!