Saturday, October 20, 2012

It's a Hocus Pocus Giveaway!

Now for some Halloween news from Antonia over at Forkin4th blog!


The giveaway  includes a $25 gift card to Amazon.com!  Not to mention, you have a chance to win
 19 high-quality HALLOWEEN products specifically designed for upper grade students
from some amazing TpT sellers!  All you have to do is head on over to Antonia's blog
Forkin 4th to enter! Click on her button and it will take you right there!

forkin 4th

Who doesn't love a freebie?

Take a minute some time to check out all the FREEBIES
posted by some of my friends!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

More Monster Mischief! ( and a bunch of FREEBIES too!)

There Are Monsters Among Us!


We have begun our Monster Unit and oh, what fun!

I started out by reading
There Are Monsters Everywhereand The Monster Trap
(my ♥favorites!♥)

We have been working on adjectives.
I introduced adjectives with these fun books...
I love Brian Cleary's books!
 I gave them a monster image to fill in with all the 
adjectives they heard while I was reading. 
(Unfortunately, I left the image at school, so I will have to post it tomorrow.)

Next, around the outside of the image, I had them write down any other adjectives that they thought might describe monsters.  Then they shared with their table mates what they had written.

I assigned the Monster Trap Project.
They have two weeks to design a trap to catch their monster.
It is a family project, and over the years I have have some AMAZING traps!
Click on the picture to get your copy (along with the project rubrics.)

Then we started to create our smoosh monsters.  Click on the picture for the directions.

Here are the kids working on making their monsters...

The next day I called the kids to the carpet with their sheets of monster adjectives.
Pulling sticks from the can, each student added an adjective form their list to create this
Monster Adjectives Anchor Chart.

I should tell you that this guy is about 20 years old!
I have been using him FOREVER!
He is BIG, much loved and well-worn.

I have used this poem for many years to work with adjectives.
I have no idea where I got it - a long time ago!
Click on the poem to get a copy.

We read through this together, identified all the adjectives, and noted the patterns.
Then we did a couple together as a class using this format.
We did one about cats and one about shoes.

Next, I had them use their monster adjectives and create a Monster poem.
Click on the picture to get your copy.  
This FREEBIE file includes a color version, and black and white version, 
and one where the kids can draw their own monsters.
Here are a few of their creations...





I made a class book with all of their poems.
Here is a book cover for you.
Click on the image for your editable copy.

Stay tuned  to see their completed monsters and other monsterific fun!
















Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Bit of Monster Mischief (and a FREEBIE!)

I am getting ready to launch my Monster Unit!
I love doing monsters because the kids get so creative.
I always start with 
There are Monsters Everywhere by Mercer Mayer 
and follow up with
The Monster Trap by Dean Morrissey.

Here are a few of my Favorite MONSTER books...


...and a few more
We start out by creating our monsters.
Check out 
My Monster Is Missing!
Writing Craftivity

Here is another goody I made today.
A book log for our Monster Unit.

Stay tuned as I fire up this unit!

I would love it if you would share your favorite Monster ideas!




Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Smart Art

I am trying to get caught up on sharing all the great stuff my kids have been doing.
Tonight I will share some of their curriculum based art creations.

Last week we worked on Native American art.
The kids made these FANTASTIC faux Buffalo Hide prints.
I got paper grocery bags donated by my neighborhood store.
First, I read aloud (ssshhh! Melissa, don't tell!)



Then I showed them a Power Point that I made with examples of actual
buffalo hide paintings that I got off the web.
You can grab the file here.

Then I had them crumple their piece of paper bag and tear it to resemble a buffalo hide.
Next they sketched their designs in pencil on their "hides."
The next day we "painted" them with markers.
They turned out great and are now on display in the front office
for parents to see during conferences next week.


The next idea I got from Jen Runde at Runde's Room.



I read the book "I'm Gonna Like Me" by Jamie Lee Curtis.


Then I had the kids write "I am..." poems.
Next, I introduced the project and we talked about the use of lines, 
spacing, and complementary colors.
The kids drew 7 or 8 curved lines across their paper.
I passed out the paint, brushes, etc., and they set to painting.


I used acrylic paint because what we had in the supply room 
in the way of tempera paint was YUCKY! and the colors were prettier.


After the paint was dry I used a large sharpie to draw the lines between the colors.
Then the kids added their poems to their paintings.
Then I laminated them.  This flattened them out, as the paper had curled from painting.
They, too, are on display in the front office.

These are some of the better ones.  I just ♥♥♥ them!

Three days off next week for Fall Break, then Parent Teacher Conferences, then it's
Monster Time!

Stay tuned to see what kind of October mischief we get into!

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Whole Lotta Math Goin' On!

Wow!  We have been busy, but we have been having so much fun, 
I don't think the kids realize that we have learning lots too!

First of all, I have a couple of great books to share with you.
My new favorite book is
Developing Number Sense Grades 3-6!


 I don't know about your kiddos, but mine coming into 4th grade
really struggle with number sense.
This book is awesome!  Last week I introduced a game called

Get to 1000.

Each pair of students get 1 die.
Players take turns rolling the die.
On each roll, each player decides separately whether he or she
wants to multiply the number by 1, 10, or 100.
Each player records the resulting product on a piece of paper.
Players continue to roll, multiply, and record their products until they each have 
ten products on their paper.  (Each player will have rolled 5 times.)
Each player finds the sum of his or her products.
The one whose final score is closer to 1000, whether over or under,
is the winner.
The best part of this book though is that there is a writing piece to each activity.
Here are some pics of my kiddos and their write-ups...













We played this game several times last week and they are getting better at it.

Last week we also did an activity that I found at The Teaching Thief.
First we brainstormed what they knew already about 
multiplication and created this anchor chart.

Then we made these multiplication concept posters.  
Just like Amanda said, stickers and food did the trick!

Here are a few of their masterpieces...












Today I taught them a new game, 
Oh, no!  99!

They loved that they got to use playing cards!
For this activity you need a deck of playing cards for each pair.
I got mine at Dollar Tree, 2 decks for a dollar!

It goes like this...
Aces:  add 1
Jacks:  subtract 10
Queens:  wild cards that can represent any other card in the deck
Kings:  add zero
All others (2-10):  add their face value

One player shuffles the cards and deals 4 cards to each player.
The rest of the cards become the draw pile.
Players take turns playing one card at a time, adding or subtracting 
the value of their card to or from their jointly accumulating score.
Each time a player plays a card, he or she must replace it 
with the top card on the draw pile.
Play continues until one player forces his partner to go over the score of 99.

I modeled it for them with me being one player and the rest of them playing against me.
For that game we got to see all of the cards, 
but when they played with their partners, 
they kept their cards hidden.
They LOVED it! 
(Warning - it did get kind of loud!)


Here is what they revealed about their strategies...








Whew!  That's a whole lotta learnin'!

What have you been up to?

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