Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trick or Treat? A Treat I Think!

The principal and vice principal at our neighboring school (we are K-4 and they are 5-6 right next door) came over today bearing treats - coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  They said we deserved it since we would be dealing with sugar crazed kiddos the next two days.

I thought I would share a treat with you since you also will be dealing with the sugar crazies!
My whole Teachers Pay Teachers store is on sale at 20% off as a special treat for all you do!  And while you are there, make sure to follow to be eligible for the $25 TpT gift certificate I give away each month!

Also, a special thank you to Krista Wallden for the adorable sale button!  If you love clip art, be sure to check her store out too!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What Are We Learning About? The Pony Express!

We live in Nevada and Nevada Day is on Halloween!  We now get the day off the Friday before, but we are still going to celebrate at school by having a Pony Express between our elementary school and another elementary school in town.  The students at each school are writing each other friendly letters which will be delivered via "Pony Express".  To get the students ready, I decided to have us learn a little bit more about the Pony Express.

To get the kiddos excited, and engaged we did a pre-activity where I had pictures in various spots around the room.  The students wrote down what they noticed and what they wondered about each picture.

Then we came back together to talk about what was written about each picture.
On one of the pictures someone had written, I wonder if there will be a fire.  That confused me a little, so he came up and showed me that there was a fire extinguisher in the picture.

See it?
It always amazes me the things they notice!

Then we wrote predictions about what we thought we were going to be learning about.

Some great guesses, and one of them hit the nail on the head.


Do you ever have your students guess your teaching topic ahead of time to build anticipation?  What other anticipation activities do you use?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Making Our Own Kaboom Games

I really want my students to start motivating themselves to study and learn.  I decided to have them make their own Kaboom Games as a way to do this.  They each told me what skill they wanted to work on (from spelling, to multiplication, to fractions) and they partnered up with another student with the same goal.  Each duo got twelve index cards.  I asked them to write Kaboom!  on two of the cards and to make flash cards for their particular challenge using the other ten.  They had a blast!  I will definitely be doing this again!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Day The Crayons Quit Writing Prompt

A few weeks ago we read the most adorable book, The Day The Crayons Quit! The students (and I) LOVED it! It is about a pack of crayons who quit coloring, and they write letters to their owners explaining why they are on strike.

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase using one of my links, which helps to support the blog.  All opinions are my own and I only promote brands and products that I have used myself and truly love.

We have been working on writing narratives (Common Core Standard W.4.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.), so I thought it would be perfect for them to write a letter to themselves from their crayon's point of view.  They came out so good!  Here are a few of the letters:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five for Friday

time to link up for 5 for Friday from Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Five random things from this week:
Divider 1
Learning some new vocabulary word from Bunnicula.

 Working in our readers notebook as we read the story.
Divider 2
Learning about Factors and Multiples the fun way - with games!

 Both of these games are available in my new Ghoulish Math Product. I also have the exact same product in a non-Halloween form called  Factor Fishing.

Divider 3

My boys loved these cool swings at a new park we visited. Even my 6th and 7th grader played!  I love that they aren't growing up TOO fast! 

Divider 4

We had a fire safety demonstration from our local fire department.  The kids' favorite station was definitely the fire extinguisher!

I finally bit the bullet and signed up for the GRE!  I will be applying to schools to start my PhD next fall.

And now... enjoying a restful Nevada Day -we got the day off!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

White Tomatoes? Reading Bunnicula

We have been reading Bunnicula as a whole class.  I bought a class set for $24 when they were on sale for $1 in the Scholastic catalog.  I usually buy a small group set of the dollar books, but I thought it would be fun to read a book as a whole class. So far, the class is in complete agreement!
              Waiting patiently for me to hand out the books.
We have been reading together at the carpet - each student holding a book and me reading out loud.  Occasionally I will stop and ask them a question and they turn and talk with their neighbors.
We will be working on reading partnerships as well.
Anyway... the white tomato part of this post:
I have a parent helper that comes in every week to help me stuff our weekly folders.  She was in when we were reading the part about the white tomato in the book.  The next day she brought in some tomatoes to share and some of the tomatoes were white! It really challenged our thinking and predictions about whether or not Bunnicula is really a vampire or not!

                                                                     Organizing the produce :)

After checking out the tomatoes we did a little research on-line about what makes tomatoes white.  We wrote down a few details we learned along with some reasons why we think Bunnicula is or is not a vampire.  The majority of the students have decided he is a vampire.
I am loving using a whole class novel - it is really pushing the thinking of some of my lower readers.
Have you read Bunnicula?  Do you read whole class novels?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Teachers Pay Teachers Flash Sale

Just quick post to let you know that TpT is having a surprise "flash" sale this weekend in honor of 100,000 Facebook fans and I joined in!  I have tacked 10% more onto everything in more store for Sunday and Monday only!  Make sure to use this code when you check out to get the full 20% discount!

Check out this adorable button from Whimsy Workshop! I love her clipart and she is having a sale too!

 Also, don't forget to enter to win a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Certificate for even more shopping fun! Enter here.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Win a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Certificate

Ready to make a dent in your Teachers Pay Teachers Wish List?  Enter to win a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card.  All you have to do is follow my Teachers Pay Teachers Store to be eligible!  You can also earn additional entries!  This is a monthly contest, so even if you don't win this month, you'll still have additional opportunities to win!  So, what are you waiting for?  Enter today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 7, 2013

What Do You Want Your Teacher To Notice? Reflecting on September With a Freebie!

I absolutely LOVE Pernille Ripp!  She is one of my teaching heroes that I have been following on Twitter FOREVER.  I always get the greatest ideas and inspirations from her, and this one was no exception.  I read this blog post of hers entitled - What Do You Wish I Would Notice - this weekend and I knew I had to ask my kiddos the same question. I was nervous to be sure, but I was not disappointed with their responses:

This student was so honest about their behavior this month I really had to chuckle as I read it.

This one had some advice for me on dealing with bad behavior in the classroom.
This one wanted me to set harder goals - I love it!

I had told my students that my own goal was to be better prepared - I am constantly stopping lessons to find my white board markers or materials because I set them down somewhere.  This student obviously agrees with me.
These two were from the same student who has been acting up lately, which is not like her at all - I had no idea she needed a seat change, so that was definitely in order and an easy fix.
This was such a great way to get the students to reflect about their own work habits, but it really gave me a few ideas of ways I could also improve my teaching.

I have decided to have my students reflect each month, and have made a packet of reflection pages which I have made as a Teachers Pay Teachers Freebie For you! You can download it here.
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