Saturday, May 16, 2015

The End is Near!

They really gave me the mic at camp read!!
Here we are! The school year is coming to a close. I know that everyone out there is feeling like me. I can’t get enough sleep. There are so many events happening at school that it’s been a crazy month of May.

Testing is finally over! (Except for running records) We’ve had visitors from all over, guest speakers, TCAP block party, field day, Camp Read, and soon to be graduation.

On top of it, to keep things interesting, I’ve been doing the Countdown to Summer! We started at 10 and are on our way down. I tried to make the school’s activities fit into the plan so that I didn’t have to do EXTRA work. J

Day 10- ABC Day one
Day 9- ABC Day 2

Kids got to play a Minute to Win it Game: Stackable cups, then we played Kaboom! Students had to complete a sheet of synonyms for the word eat, and put them in order. Finally they had to complete an ABC Book for Social Studies found here.  Students ate ABC animal crackers and juice.

Day 8- Camping Day
This was so much fun! I brought in my fire pit, and made a tissue paper fire. On the projector, I had a campfire that crackled, we listened to nature sounds on Youtube. We practiced our map and geography skills. Then we had a campfire read aloud, and they had independent reading around the campsite. Then we ate s’more snacks. (The day before in science lab, they created solar ovens and made s’mores with the scientist. Connection!)

Day 7- Theater Day
We discussed the difference between theater and the movie theater. Then we read a book on called Jeremy and the Enchanted Theater. Then we practiced for our Reader’s Theater. They enjoyed practicing their parts. They didn’t really enjoy sitting through the delivery, but to help get us through that there was juice and theater candy. J

Keep up with my IG and FB to see what the rest of the week will bring! Also, while you are checking back, make sure that you enter to win a fabulous end of year gift!

Classroom Friendly Supplies is supplying this prize! Haven’t you wanted to try out the quietest classroom pencil sharpener? There are so many people who have given great praises about this pencil sharpener, and what better way to end your school year by being ready for the next one?

Make sure you check out Classroom Friendly Supplies’ Facebook page and tell them that Exploring is Elementary sent you!  If you don't win it, you can always purchase it from www.
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Giveaway Alert!!

I just wanted you to hop over to my friend at Powerpoint Gaming and check out her 3,000 Feedback Giveaway. Her games are Ahh-mazing! She has 2 giveaways going. One is for the primary grades, and the other is for the upper grades! There are some great people who have donated to help her celebrate this milestone! 

You only have two days to sign up!! 
Click on the image to go sign up!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Just a few of my favorite things..

When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

I remember singing this at the Maxwell House Hotel in the school chorus my sixth grade year. It was such a memorable moment that our music teacher had made for us. Every time I hear the song I think about Miss Parks. J
Today I am linking up with the Teaching Trio to talk about some of my favorite teachable moments! After testing is a great time, because we can all just chill and enjoy the spring. (If only we were truly done with the testing!!)
If you are teaching about the Revolutionary War, you have to check these two sites:

The War lesson was priceless. Students came and had no clue what was about to happen. Our principal played it so cool. She told them they’d have to pay for recess (25¢) and specials ($5) every day, because we were going broke! They were in an uproar. Some made a connection automatically to the Intolerable Acts, but some were so shocked they started asking if they could call home to get money!! We had a discussion on how it made them feel, then they came up with a list with their group on why it was fair or not fair, then they wrote letters by themselves on why they agreed or disagreed with the principal! One student came up with the Compromise of 2015, where some of the money was taken from fundraiser events that were led by 4th graders. We let them stew with this notion until recess that afternoon. It was so hilarious. :)  hehehehe!

On a less happy note, is the Nepal Earthquake. Our kids were so emotional talking about the earthquake. Many of them remember the flood we had here in Nashville (they were about 4 or 5 at the time).  They were posed with a question, “What can we, as 4th graders, do to help the Nepalese?” They are going to start making PSA posters to put around the school to encourage collections for the Nepalese. It was a touching and humbling moment when the kids got revved up about helping others! 

What are some of your favorite teaching moments from the last week? I can't wait to hear them! 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May Pinterest Linky

I am linking up with PAWSitively Teaching and Inspired Owl's Corner for the May’s Pinterest Pick 3 Linky. 

The end of the year is coming. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Now I am looking for end of the year things to do with my kids, and I am a bit obsessive when it comes to thinking about next year. I’ve started seeing how I want next year to run in my head already.

The first one is a classroom change I want for next year. I didn’t do a great job presenting the student’s work this year. It was my first year with 45 students and I felt overwhelmed. So, I think that this year I want to do this kind of area to showcase work. Thanks to Teach-a-Roo for the inspiration! 

I’m working on our 4th grade graduation and I thought this Selfie project from Art with Jenny K would be perfect for the students to do at school as a keepsake. It would be a great decoration on the wall for parents to look at. 

Finally, the last pin that I found interesting was this easy prep reading center from One StopTeacher Shop. Centers are my kryptonite. I’m getting better at them and finding ways to make it easier on myself, but still being engaging to the students!

Don’t forget to check out the other blogs below to see what other people have found!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Because of Winn-Dixie

My very first supplemental packet is ready for purchase!

I just found out that I am staying in 4th grade next year, so with that I wanted to begin making things for the next school year. (I’m a bit obsessive like that!) With that being said, I began with our unit 1, lesson 1: Because of Winn-Dixie.

This supplemental pack has several printables that you can use in multiple ways. 

First there is a daily bell work sheet. We only have x amount of copies every month. If everything is on one sheet, it helps students become more responsible and helps me out all the same. This sheet allows kids to practice the skills in this unit.
Next there are vocabulary cards with matching definitions. Students can sort them, play Slap! or Memory, and/or make flash cards to practice.
There are several different writing sheets to use as students begin to create their first narrative writings in 4th grade. It’s important to teach them how to organize their thoughts before they begin writing. Students have to practice using the sensory details into their writing, as well as creating complex and complete sentences.

Another activity in here are summarizing sheets. There is one for lower level where kids are asked to do the 5 W questions on the hand and then rewrite the sentences onto the palm as a paragraph. The other is separated for students to show characters, setting, plot, and then to rewrite in a longer paragraph. 

Next is working on affixes, in particular, the prefixes un-, re-, and dis-. I have a couple of interactive notebook pages that students can sort words with the prefixes and their definitions. There are some blank cards so that you can add more cards to their stack, or so that kids can create more words with the prefixes as an extension activity.
There is a supplemental story called “Retracing the Steps” and students are asked to use their skills they have learned throughout the week to answer questions. This could be a middle of the week assessment or even a re-teaching tool.

There are 9 printable I can statements for students to know exactly what they are learning. Students love to know what they are learning and what they are going to be in charge of knowing for their assessments.
Speaking of assessments, the last item in this packet is a standards checklist. I took the 7 standards that this unit is based on and gave each standard three sections: pre-assessment, post assessment, and re-teaching assessment. You can use this to keep track of each child’s progression throughout the year. I use these to help me know which student needs what during RTI, data meetings, and parent conferences.

I know it’s a bit early, but Teacher Appreciation Day is near! To thank you for inspiring me and others, here is a freebie sample of my newest unit. I hope you enjoy it! 

Want to win a copy of the whole packet? Enter today for your chance. A drawing will happen on May 6th! 


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