Thursday, May 31, 2012

Need your advise, please!

I need your opinion. I have been thinking about this idea I found on Pinterest for using dollar store frames and dry erase markers for posting lesson objectives like this...

So I decided to make some templates to go inside the frames that match my themed classroom accents (calendars, name tags, newsletters, etc.)  So let me know what you think of these two samples. Should I make them for the rest of my themes? Would you want something like this in your classroom?

Back tomorrow with more goodies!

Catching up...

I have had to do some decompressing and regrouping since school got out last week.  Things ended in a whirlwind as they always do, and I had to take some time for myself and my own children. 

My teaching partner and now close friend bailed on me  took advantage of an opportunity to move to the school where her son goes, and has left me in the lurch!  I am sitting in on interviews for her position this week and hope to find a great candidate to replace  fill her spot.  Hopefully we will make a decision in the next day or so.

We finished out the school year completing our wordless picture book unit, and as soon as I figure out how best to share a couple of their masterpieces, I will post them.

We made ice cream in a baggie as an end-of-the-year treat, and the kids loved it!  The pics were not very good because of all the shaking, but we sure had fun.  I tried it out at home the night before with my kids and my family loved it too!

Later that afternoon, we autographed beach balls.  I bought beach balls from Oriental Trading Company.  Click the picture for the link.  I also purchased multi color packs of sharpies from to use for the autographing.

The kids started by writing "I Had a Ball in 4th Grade," their name, and the date in one of the sections.  Then we passed the balls around and everyone autographed the balls.  It was a big hit!

On the last day (half day)  we had a game day and our awards ceremony.  The kids got their award certificates that were voted on by their classmates.  Click here to visit my TPT Store for the certificates, and here to find the End-of-the-Year Election Form.

Each one received a framed word clouds that I made for them using their classmates' descriptions.
 We started with the Just One Word activity.
I compiled all of their responses, and made individual word clouds for each student.  See the video turorial below.

Here are a few of the students with their word clouds.
Here is what my kids thought of me...
That's it for now.  More to come later or tomorrow about my DIY project and some other updates.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The End In Sight!

I have been supper busy getting things ready for the end of the year - 2 1/2 more days!  My grades are done and so is my evaluation, so time to let my hair down a little, except that it is too stinkin' HOT - 108 already!  Anyway, today we did a Pinterest inspired project - Area and Perimeter People.  The kids first created a mosaic of themselves using squares of precut paper.  They had to make the people look as much like them as possible and use the whole page.  Then they had to figure out the AREA and PERIMETER of their person, and determine what fractional part of each color they used.  It took us all afternoon and the kids had a lot of fun with it.
Here was my sample...

...and here are their creations and works in progress.

Tommorrow is finishing our wordless book, making ice cream and signing beach balls.  Will post pics as soon as I can.  Enjoy your last few days with your kiddos!  It will be over soon.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

End-of-the-Year Award Certificates

My End-of-the-Year Award Certificates are finally finished!  They took quite a bit longer that I expected to get them done, but I think they turned out great.  Please let me know what you think. The End-of-the-Year Election form is also available on TPT and Google Docs for free.
Visit my TPT Store to purchase this Award Collection

That's it for tonight folks.  Have a great Thursday tomorrow!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Reading Innovations - Wordless Picture Books

Today we started working on our Wordless Picture Books Unit.  I haven't done this in quite a while and I was excited to do it again.

I started out by explaining that when we hear a book read aloud, we get pictures in our minds to go along with what we are hearing.  When we look at or "read" a wordless book, the opposite happens.  We create the story to go along with the pictures that we see.

I shared a couple of examples and we talked about how we create the stories.  See below to see some of the examples I used.  Next I broke the kids into groups using a deck of playing cards to randomly group them.  Each group got a copy of the pictures of a wordless book.  They first had to "read" the pictures and talk about what the story might be.  Then they brainstormed words and vocabulary they might need in their stories.  The last part for today was to create a flow map with a story line to match their book.
Tomorrow we will begin to write the first drafts of our stories.  They all seemed to enjoy the activity, and were really engaged in creating the stories.

Tune in tomorrow to see what comes next!

Teacher Appreciation

What special things or recognitions did you get today in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week?
We got lunch provided by the administration; pizza, salad, and some decadent desserts!

I'm off to do a little more blog stalking and then off to bed for this tired teacher.
Have a great Tuesday and know that I appreciate each and every one of you and all that you do for our kids!

Manic Monday FREEBIE

Did you grab a bunch of Teacher Appreciation Freebies yesterday?
I sure did!  I cannot wait to go through all the files and check out my goodies.  I feel like a kid on Halloween dumping my bag of goodies in the middle of the floor and sorting it all out! 
Know what I mean? 
What was your favorite favorite file or activity that you downloaded?

Well, here is ANOTHER freebie for Manic Monday!

It's a quick and easy Word Work Center that I made with alphabet tiles, and ice cream tub begged from Baskin Robbins, and a dollar store ice cream scoop. Click on the photo to get your FREEBIE!

Hop on over to Classroom Freebies to see all the other Manic Monday goodies!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Happy Monday everyone only 13 more days for me!  How about you?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Teacher Appreciation FREEBIE

Come on over to my TPT store and grab my Muggie Maggie Literature Study for FREE today only!  While you're there, check out all my other goodies on sale too!
Have a fabulous Teacher Appreciation Week!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Electricity, Field Day, and FREEBIES, Oh My!

First of all, WELCOME to all of my new friends and followers!  I am so glad to have you join us!

It has been a busy week, so this is going to be a long one!
Thanks and a shout out to Ms. Jessica at A Turn to Learn for her picture collage tutorial!

In science we are working on electricity and circuits and the kids had lots of electrical exploration fun this week.  I started out by giving each team a D-cell battery, a light bulb, and a large paperclip.  Their task was to try to get the bulb to light up.  It was tricky and the paperclips get hot, but they had a lot of fun.

For their next task, they were given the same battery and bulb, but this time they got two wires instead of the paper clip (no burned fingers, and a mini lesson on insulators.)  They had to try out various configutations and find the ones that created complete circuits.

The ideas and materials I used for this lab are from

On Monday, we will use the Blobz Guide to Electrical Circuits

and do some problem solving to repair incomplete circuits.

It was also field day on Thursday, so we spent the afternoon outside doing a rotation od fun stations including kick ball, Splish, Splish, Splash (think duck-duck-goose, but with water,) capture the flag, king pins, water brigadges, and finishing off with popsicles!

After being out in the hot sun all afternoon (in the 90's,)  we had our Desert Valley Showcase for Parents.  4th grade all created wordles about the important things they have learned this year.

...And now for the freebies...

OK, so I missed the boat on linking up with the Teacher Appreciation Jackpot,

but I will be giving away a lesson perfect for 3rd and 4th grade tomorrow! Over 130 other teachers will be giving lessons away as well! Check out the Teacher Appreciation Jackpot giveaway that will take place on May 6th.   Click on the image above to check out all the freebies and let the blog hopping begin!

Wait there's even more!  TPT is having a HUGE teacher appreciation sale May 6-8, and you gan get up to 28% off files from your favorite teacher authors!  My entire store will be on sale for this event, so be sure to stop by and grab some goodies!

Whew!  What a week, and another BUSY one coming up.  I will be ending the year with a unit on wordless picture books.  Do you have any favorites and/or activities to share?  I would love to see them!  Stay tuned to see what my kiddos come up with.  I'm sure they will be fabulous.
Only 13 more days for me!  Happy Cinco de Mayo and Teacher Appreciation Week!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

And the WINNER is....

Drumroll please.

Congratulations to
for winning a $10 Starbuck's Gift Card in the "What Went Right Today?" Linky Party Giveaway!
Email me or PM me on Facebook with your address, so I can get your gift card out to you.  Thanks to everyone who played along!  I really enjoyed reading all of your posts.
Stay tuned for another linky and giveaway soon!

16 more days for me! How about you?

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