Monday, April 30, 2012

Classroom Freebies - Manic Monday

Scoot on over to Classroom Freebies to check out this week's Manic Monday Freebies!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
How do kids in your classroom keep other people from copying off of their papers?  File folder privacy folders, corregated cardboard carrels?  Personally, I do not like thos options because the I cannot directly see what the kids are doing, and unfortunately in the past I have had issues with cheating using this method.  So, I came up with these Privacy Cards.

I copy them on bright colored cardstock and laminate for durability.  The students use the cards to cover up their work and to keep wandering eyes from copying.  This has worked really well for me.  Let me know what you think.  Do you have something else that works well for you?  I would love to hear about it!

See, Mondays aren't so bad after all! (Especially when you only have 3 left for the year!)


Saturday, April 28, 2012

My First Video!

Several people asked about HOW I created the word clouds that I made for my End-of-theYear gifts for my kiddos, so I decided to venture out and try making a video.  I would love to have your feedback, but be kind.  This is my first attempt.

I will fix this in the morning if it doesn"t work the way it is supposed to.
Thanks for watching!

Supersized Giveaway!

Join Michelle from The 3AM Teacher and Clay from Big Event Fundraising for a supersized giveaway!
You could win...

What have you got to lose?  I have already entered.  What are you waiting for?

Friday, April 27, 2012

End-Of-The-Year Gifts For My Kiddos

We have done several Wordle projects this year and my kids have really enjoyed them, so I decided to make word cloud gifts for each one of them for the end-of-the-year.  First I created a handout for them to complete like the picture below.
Each student filled one out choosing words that they felt best described their classmates.  I will confess that we had to do this twice because the first time they did not put much thought into it and used the same words to describe most of the class.  I knew those wouldn't work, so we redid them with more direction this time.  I suggested that they use their lists of character traits and Thesaurus.  They could not use our no-no words like nice, great, awesome (and a few that I noticed they overused or used inappropriately the first time,) AND they could only use the same word twice for the whole class. They could also not use anything mean (I differentiated between mean and honest when I created the word clouds because some words really did fit.)  I really wanted them to think about the words they chose, and most of them did.  One even came up with the word "loquacious" for a student who really is!

Next, I collected all their lists and compiled a word document with the descriptions for each student.
I individually copied and pasted each list into to create the word clouds for each one and saved the images to my computer.  Then I put all of the images into a powerpoint with a title at the bottom.  It took me most of the day to get them all done.  Here is an example with the words the kids used to describe me...

Last weekend I hit up the dollar store for all the 8X10 frames I could get.
Here is what the finished product looks like...

My daughter LOVES them and keeps telling me I am the greatest teacher EVER!  I hope the kids like them!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sparking Interest in Electricity

Today in science we started exploring electricity.  I used an idea from AIMS Electical Connections
called Sparky's Light Kit. 

Each pair was given a D cell battery, a light bulb, and a paperclip.  Their job was to figure out how to get the bulb to light up.  (Please not that when the paperclip is connected to the battery correctly, it gets HOT, so make sure to warn them.)  They had to try to find 2 different ways to light up their bulb.

Here are some pics of their exploration...

Then they had to draw diagrams of their working circuits.

Tomorrow we will continue to explore circuits and LEARN
how to create them so that the bulbs will light up.

What kinds of activities are you doing with your budding scientists?
I would love to hear about it!

Classroom Freebies - Manic Monday!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Check out all the cool freebies ftom Classroom Freebies' Manic Monday Celebration! 

Here is my Mother's Day Acrostic Poem FREEBIE!

Monday doesn't seem quite so Manic now!
I cannot wait to check out all the goodies myself!
What are you waiting for?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

End the Year With a BANG! Linky Party!

Join me and 3 Teacher Chicks and showcase some of your favorite end-of the year activities or ideas.  I worked on a couple of things this afternoon, so I decided to link up.

I do an end-of-the-year election where the students vote for their classmates to decide the smartest, funniest, best speller, etc.  Then I make certificates for the "winners."  I am in the process of updating my certificates and they will be posted on TPT as soon as I get them finished, but in the mean time, here is the voting form I made. 

Here is another reflection sheet I made for the last week of school - Looking Back on the Year...

I am still working on more stuff and will post as I get it finished. 
I can't wait to see all of the AWESOME end-of-the-year ideas you come up with!

Funny Facts About Real Teachers

I was doing some surfing, blog stalking, Facebooking and came across this poster on
I couldn't help but laugh because it is just so true!
Download it by clicking on the image.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Teacher's SECRET Life!

In an effort to add a little levity to the seriousness of testing week we did a reading/writing innovation lesson that I got from Cristie Fultz over at Ms. Fultz's Corner.  I started by reading the book My Teacher's Secret Life by Stephen Krensky.

Then they brainstormed about what MY secret life might be, and created circle maps to include any ideas they had.  Then they created a flow map to create their "secret life" story.  They drafted, peer conferenced, revised and edited their stories coming up with these priceless ideas...

 I have one of my students illustrating the cover to make a class book.  I got such a kick out of reading their stories, everything from my being a secret ninja, rock star, famous author, biker, and of course "just" a teacher and mom.

Click here to get the free printable masters for the pages and cover.

This was such a fun project!  I can't wait to do another innovation! 
What great reading innovations do you have to share?

Whew! What a week! AIMS, Math, Mother's Day Freebies and More!

I am SO glad that this week is over!  Why is it that the one week of the year when we do the least amount of actual teaching, testing week, is the most exhausting?  Am I the only one who feels that way?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Testing is DONE and we have 23 days left of school.  Holy crap!  I have way too much to still get done in 23 days, but at least most of it is more of the FUN stuff!

We started working this week on discreet math, color mapping and outcomes, etc.  At least the kids like these lessons and are engaged.  We worked on outcome trees this week.

I also created a couple of Mother's Day FREEBIES for my blog followers this week.
Here is a Mother's Day acrostic poem template.
Click on the image to download your free copy.

And here is a template for students to write letters to their mothers.
Click on the image to download your free copy.

Coming later this weekend...  Ideas for the end of the year.  Stay tuned!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Great Resources for Teaching Circuits

Thanks to Rachel's Teaching Notebook for this great link for an interactive website for teaching circuits.

Click on the picture to go to the link.

Also check out The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits

Both are great visuals for the kids!

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