Thursday, December 20, 2012

Buddy Day/Gingerbread Man Hunt

Today we had the best day with our buddies!! It was a half day and 5th grade stayed with me all do so we were able to spend the whole day with our little friends. We started the morning writing about how we would make the Grinch grin. 

The 5th graders helped their buddies write their sentences. 

We then watched the Dr Seuss's The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

After our Grinch activity we ate lunch outside with our buddies. My students love to eat outside and their buddies were SO excited to sit with the big kids at lunch. It was a great day to be out, the wonderful thing about Florida is that the week before Christmas the temperature is in the 80's. :)

The real fun started after lunch. Our buddies had special cookies to share with us but the gingerbread man stole them while they were at specials. When my 5th graders showed up the kindergartners were so upset. They made lost posters to hang up in the room in hopes that the gingerbread man would return the cookies. 

We then followed the clues to find the cookies and gingerbread man. The kindergartners were so excited and my 5th graders were great sports. I could tell that they loved it but still wanted to be cool. Several of my students remembered the same hunt when they were in kindergarten and afterwards were telling me how it was different/wrong. 

I am happy to report that while we were out searching for the gingerbread man he returned all the cookies. Our principal and vice-principal caught him and made him give the cookies back.

Today was a fun day and nice break from the everyday lessons and schedule. I think that my kids enjoyed playing like a kindergartner for the day. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Gift For....

I found the cutest idea on on Pinterest, no surprise there. :) Check out Unique Teaching Resources for lots of other cute ideas. The original idea that I found was a gift box where students give a gift (actions only) for their family, school, town and world. I created my own box pattern and had the students give a gift (action) to one person in their family. I love how this turned out and it was a simple gift to make and their parents will love it. 

The students explained their gift on one side of the box and decorated the other. They were very creative with their gifts and how they decorated. It still amazes me how excited 4th graders get over stickers :)

My students created a pyramid for me with some of the boxes.

*I used an onion soup mix box for the template and copied the template onto card stock.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our Tree Name Steve - Main Idea

We recently finished lessons on finding the main idea and writing a paragraph explaining the main idea. We used lot of different books and articles as we talked about an main idea. The final project that 4th grade completed was from the book Our Tree Steve by Alan Zweibel. The students loved the book. 

*Warning: if you have never read this book before be prepared. It is sad and every time I have read it have I fought back tears. 

I found this project on the blog Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons. After reading the book Our Tree Steve, students wrote the main idea on the trunk and five supporting details on the leaves. The students then
wrote the main idea and supporting details in a paragraph. I love how this turned out. 

Decelaration of Independence

I am getting a head start on planning our next social studies unit: Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War. While searching online I found this AMAZING video with several different movie stars reciting the entire Declaration of Independence. I want to share this video so that anyone else what will be teaching about the Declaration of Independence can use it. Happy lesson planning!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Liebster Blog

I returned from Thanksgiving break to discover that I was given the Liebster Award! Kristin from Tech'n'Tex sent me the award, a BIG, BIG thank you to Kristin. This award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It is to show new bloggers that they are appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs. I hope it also encourages them to keep blogging. 

The Rules:
- You must post 11 random things about yourself..
- Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
- Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
- Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
- No tag back (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you)!

Random things about me...
1. I have ridden cross country twice on the back of a motorcycle. 
2. My first job was mowing yards in my neighborhood.
3. I collect Nutcrackers.
4. I don't eat pie or cobbler.
5.My favorite movie is 'Gone With the Wind'
6. I have not read the 'Twilight' or 'Harry Potter' series, but have seen the all movies.
7. I am oldest of four girls.
8. I love to bake, but don't usually eat what I make.
9. I can't go to the movies without getting popcorn.
10. I love John Mayer
11. I do not drink coffee.

Answers to Kristin's Questions:
  1. How did you end up in your grade level and/or subject area? I taught 3rd grade for 4 years and wanted a change. My first choice was 5th grade reading and then my principle asked if I would teach 4th / 5th reading.
  2. How many teammates do you have? 4 reading teachers, 2 in 4th and 2 in 5th
  3. Do you plan alone or as part of a team?  5th grade plans social studies together and reading on our own, 4th grade plans everything together.
  4. What is your favorite read aloud? Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  5. What games/activities do you do at your student holiday party? We are very low key, movie and pizza.
  6. Why did you start blogging? I love reading others blogs and thought that this would be a fun way to share my ideas.
  7. What “makes” your holidays? baking!!
  8. What is your favorite pizza topping? lite sauce and cheese
  9. What book are you currently reading? War Brides by Helen Bryan at home, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen at school.
  10. What is your favorite holiday carol/song? All of them!!
  11. If you weren’t a teacher/educator, what would you be doing? stay-at-home mom
Questions I'm Asking My Nominees:
    1. Why did you decide to become a teacher?
    2. If you had to move grade levels what would you want to teach?
    3. If you weren’t a teacher/educator, what would you be doing?
    4. Would you be the principal of your school? Why or why not?
    5. What is your favorite lesson/activity?
    6. What book/s are you currently reading?
    7. What is your favorite read aloud?
    8. What is your favorite part of blogging?
    9. Do you share your blog with your teammates?
  10. What is your favorite part of the holidays?
  11. What are you asking Santa for this year?

Blogs I'm Nominating:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kindergarten Buddies - Pumpkin Fun

This year my 5th graders helped our kindergarten buddies with their fall pumpkin activity. Both classes loved working together and learning (playing) with pumpkins. 

My students each had a station and helped the kindergartners discover how many lines were on their pumpkin, can a pumpkin float?, how much the pumpkin weighs, and the distance around the pumpkin. We love working with our buddies and teaching them new things. 

Better late than never - Vocabulary Hat Day

Well....Halloween was almost a month ago and I am just getting around to posting our Halloween activity. I actually forgot I had the pictures until I was at Seaworld and flipped through the pictures on my camera and saw the hat pictures, LOL! 

So, we do not do ANYTHING for Halloween at my school. The primary grades have book character day but the older grades do not. This year we decide to have Vocabulary Hat Day. The students picked a vocabulary words they have learned in math, science or reading and created a hat to illustrate the word. The hats were awesome!!!! I was only able to get a few pictures but check out how creative our kids were.

My vocabulary word is glisten and the teacher next to me used crave.






Saturday, October 27, 2012

Inferencing Lessons - 4th Grade

We have had lots of fun learning about inferencing. Each day for two weeks we practiced inferring with stories, videos and real items.

Day 1 - To start our lesson we watched a great pod cast from a class on inferencing. Check it out!

After watching the video my 4th grade students sorted through my trash. Yep, trash! I brought in 'clean trash' (mainly items I was recycling). From the trash the students created inferences about my family and me. After sorting through the trash the class discussed what the items said about me. It was fun to listen to the students come up with ideas of what everything told them.

Day 2 - We watched a great short film called Pigeon Impossible. It is really funny and has lots of opportunities to pause and infer. The kids loved it and everyone had their hands up to answer questions. These are some of the questions I asked: What is the man's profession? What is the setting? What might happen? As you watch the video you will see many other questions you can ask. 

Day 3, 4 & 5 - We looked at cartoons that have one empty thought or speech bubble and inferred what we said or thought. After discussing, inferring and using background knowledge for two days each student created their own comic strip. 

Cartoons - I only used the cartoon pages. 

Week 2 - The second week we read mysteries and inferred the answer. This was a short week for us so we did not have a full week of lessons. 

After all the different way that we practiced inferring my students had a better understanding of inferring than any class before. YAY!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Inferencing Lessons - 5th Grade

We have had lots of fun learning about inferencing. For two weeks we talked about an practiced infering with books, videos and real life situations. 

Day 1 - To start our lesson we watched a great pod cast from a class on inferencing. Check it out!

After watching the video we looked through a packed suitcase to make inferences about the person the suitcase belongs to and where they went. I packed a suitcase with a few of my husbands things as if he was going to a baseball game. I would show the class 2 or 3 items and then let them discuss with their group.

Day 2 - We watched a great video called Pigeon Impossible. It is really funny and has lots of opportunities to pause and infer. The kids loved it and everyone had their hands up to answer questions. These are some of the questions I asked: What is the man's profession? What is the setting? What might happen?As you watch the video you will see many other questions you can ask.

Day 3 - Crime Scene

This was my favorite day!! It was so much fun! Check of the post I made about our crime scene

Day 4 and 5 - Riddles 

We read a few different riddles and then students created their own riddles. For my higher students I had them write a riddle about something that is not physical; wind, love, etc. Each riddle included 4 clues and the answer. 

Week 2

We read poems and discussed how to infer what is happening. I used kids poems and poems by Robert Frost. We also read a mystery and discussed the clues that help us infer what will happen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Biography Reports

5th Grade Biography Report
Our projects on display in the library.
This year I switched up the biography project for my 5th graders, they made gift boxes. I found the idea online but can't remember or find the site. Everyone picked a person that they would like to research, the only limitations is that there must be a book on their level about that person in our library. Our library has a great selection of biography books so the kids were able to find a book easily for this project.

After completing the research they began working on the shoebox. The students wrapped a shoe box and made 4 gifts for the person they researched based on what the person would like or want. I LOVE, LOVE how they turned out. The students were so creative with their gifts. Check out the projects below.  Biography Gift Box Project

Leonardo Da Vinci - copy of Mona Lisa, paint, paint brush

Amelia Earhart - pontoon boat, GPS, Iphone, and parachute

Martin Luther King Jr - bus, picture of 'I have a dream' speech, peace necklace, cross

Benjamin Franklin - American flag, kite, calendar, American history book

4th Grade Biography Report

My 4th graders also just completed their biography reports, I LOVE this project. It is so much fun and the kids are able to really show their creativity and personality. Everyone picks a person that they would like to research and a book that is on their level about that person. After reading their book the students then complete the written portion of the project.The report is done in a file folder.  

The best part is the project are the presentations! I am kicking my self for not taking pictures of the AWESOME outfits my students wore :( 

Theodore Roosevelt

Jerry Rice