June 22, 2016

Word Nerds Book Study - Anyone Interested?

Hi all! I just received the book Word Nerds as a gift and am excited to read it. I know there have been a dozen book studies on it, but I figured I would ask if anyone would be interested in a book study who hasn't read it yet or wants to read it again. Either comment or email me at croftsclassroom@gmail.com


June 21, 2016

Writing Poster Freebie

Today I have a free product for you that I love using in my classroom. These writing process posters make tracking so very easy. All I've done is cut, mounted on blue paper, and laminated them. Then you need stickies with each student name. Then the students just move their name to where they are in the writing process. SO EASY and I can quickly tell who is where. I've used clothesline clips in the past, but when 24 students are all on Planning, the poster can't support them all. So stickies it is! Yes, I do have to replace them about twice a year, but it is completely worth it and easy. Click the pic to get your free copy! Please follow my blog and TpT store while you are at it! Happy summer!

June 15, 2016

Secret: Math Homework Made Easy

Good Wednesday Morning! Those of you on summer break, I hope you are enjoying it to the fullest. Those still in school, I hope everything is going well and your sanity is still intact.

I'm here to share a little homework secret with you all today. Are you ready? Here it goes. I hate homework. The thought of homework just fills me with dread. Blah!

But, I believe in homework. So I am kinda stuck. 

After ten years of teaching (has it really been ten years already), I've FINALLY developed a plan that I love. Thanks to the Amazing Amanda from Teaching Maddeness, I send home a weekly newsletter/homework page with a card game for homework. Easy as that. I've always liked keeping parents in the loop with a newsletter, so why not incoorporate the two? Check out my post here on my weekly newletter/homework page.

I have been using 3rd grade math card games and games from this book as homework. I finally created some 4th grade card games! I'm so excited! If you would like to check them out, click here.

June 13, 2016

Math Card Games for Homework

Happy Monday! I have something to give you and I am really excited about it. I've been whipping up some math card games and am giving them to you for free today. Only four have been made, but that is better than nothing right?

I use math card games for my math homework. I have tried EVERYTHING in the past for math homework and nothing, NOTHING, my friends, has been more successful than math card games. I have parents tell me all the time how much fun they have as a family when playing these games. I've even had older and younger siblings tell me they have fun playing math card games. All I do is copy on fun colored paper, cut and send home each Monday. I also throw these in my math rotations at times.

The only problem is (please don't tell) that I've been using 3rd grade aligned card games for my 4th graders! Gasp! I know! So, I am going to make a whole set of 4th grade aligned card games. So far I have four games for you. They are all yours. Just click the pic and enjoy! All the games are free in my TpT store.

*Update - because of the awesome response (emails just keep coming) I've created a set of NBT card games and will be making the other standards soon. Click here to visit my TpT store if you would like.

I'm linking up with my favortie summertime linky! Thanks Tara, for being so awesome!

June 6, 2016

Class Homework/Newsletter - All in ONE!

Summer, summer, SUMMER! This is officially week 2 of my summer break and I am loving it! My kids and I are already regulars at the pool and I've finished two books. Summer is a success so far :)

I am linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for the Monday Made It kick off. Love this linky.

My made-it for today is my class homework/newsletter that goes home weekly.

I found this idea from Amanda at Teaching Maddeness and loved it! I switched my entire homework system mid-year and couldn't be happier. I revamped the entire sheet this week and love the new look! This paper goes home on Monday and comes back on Friday. I don't check any homework other than the signature and I have a student total up the checkmarks.

On the left side are the skills (some of them) we wil be learning for the week. On the right is our word work. Our district adopted the Reading Wonders program and we will start in the fall. The program has three spelling levels, so each list was added. On the bottom is our Teamwork Homework. It is so much fun! The students put checkmarks each time they complete an activity. A student totals up the checkmarks and if we reach a certain number then the students earn STEM activity time. They love it!

That is all for now. Have a fabulous Monday~

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!