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Friday, March 21, 2014

I'm not dead...I promise!

I can't believe it has been so long since my last post. The last few weeks have completely flown by!
Here's a quick recap for you:
I finished my grad. course for the semester (Praise God!)
I took a trip to NC to attend my brother-in-laws wedding. (Driving for 10 hours while 20 weeks pregnant was not my favorite part...)
I discovered that Glen and I are having a baby girl!
As for teaching stuff, I have lots of fun things to share with you. Things like this:
Science Fair activities:





Social Studies Simulations:

100th Day of School
Be on the lookout for posts on each of these activities in the next week or so!

What have you been up to? 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Currently

I cannot believe that it is already March! My poor blog...February slipped by so quickly I missed posting as often as I wanted to!

I'm linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for Currently!

Listening: My husband is on a Top Gear UK kick right now. I do find it highly amusing, so it is a nice show to have on in the background while I grade.

Loving: I'll be 19 weeks pregnant on Tuesday. This past week was the first week that I really felt the baby move. It is an amazing feeling...can't wait to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl!

Thinking: My poor blog has been so neglected. My school has had a lot of activities that I am involved in that have kept me busy after school.

Wanting: Even though we have had a million snow days this year I could really use one tomorrow...

Needing: I really need to get all our tax stuff together so I can send it off to our accountant. I also need to work on my final project for my grad class. If I have tomorrow off I'll have plenty of time to get it done!

?????: Can you guess the question to my answer? The first person to guess will receive a product of their choice from my store.

Happy March!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Multiple Intelligences Centers-Electricity

Happy Weekend everyone! It is sunny here in PA and the temperature is supposed to go up to 50 degrees! Just the thought of that makes me smile!

I'm currently in the middle of an excellent graduate course. It is called, Teaching the Diverse Learner. It is one of those courses that helps to stretch and challenge you as an educator. I love these kinds of classes because I really believe that we, as teachers, should always be learning.

This past week we have been studying Multiple Intelligences. Evaluating which intelligences we naturally teach to and which intelligences we tend to neglect. It was eye-opening to see which intelligences I don't normally create activities for.

Our assignment this week was to create eight stations/centers that we could have in our classroom during a particular unit of study. One of my favorite units of study is our electricity so I created my centers around that unit.

I wanted to share them with you, just in case you are like me and you don't naturally think of ideas that fit into each intelligence. You can download for free here.

Using activities that meet each of the learning intelligences will really spark some motivation in my kiddos. For other ways to Spark Motivation, head over to Joanne's blog and check out her linky party.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snowy Day Mentor Text-Nocturne

It is another snow day here in Pennsylvania. We appear to be about half way through the storm and we have about 7 inches on the ground...somehow I am seeing another snow day on Friday as well. While I still have power I thought I would share a mentor text with you that I used with my class earlier this week.

My students and I are in the middle of our historical fiction stories. These stories are probably the largest piece we do all year. It is also a favorite. The students and I spend a lot of time in the revising part of this piece. I use this piece to really help them strengthen their narrative writing skills.

Nocturne, Jane Yolen, Author, Anne Hunter, Illustrator, 1997, Harcourt Brace, ISBN: 0152014586, ISBN-13: 9780152014582

One skill I love to teach them during this unit is a Taffy Sentence. I like to use the book Nocturne by Jane Yolen to teach this skill. The first page has a taffy sentence-and then the taffy sentence is changed slightly but repeated three other times in the book. It really helps students understand how to stretch their thoughts, add "on purpose" details, and create a beautiful sentence.
Nocturne, Jane Yolen, Author, Anne Hunter, Illustrator, 1997, Harcourt Brace, ISBN: 0152014586, ISBN-13: 9780152014582
Example of a Taffy Sentence
Once we have read through the book together, we talk about places and ways we could add a taffy sentence into our stories. I then give my students time to reread what they have written so far and see if they can add a taffy sentence somewhere. It is the sweetest thing when they write one and come rushing over to my desk to share it.

What are your favorite revisiting tips to teach your students during a writing piece?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spark Student Motivation-Ordering Fractions and a Freebie

Happy Saturday! Even though I barely worked this week with all the snow days and two-hour-delays I am so thankful for the weekend! I'm also super excited to link up with the fabulous Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching!

A few weeks ago my students and I began our intensive study on Fractions. For some reason fractions really freak my kiddos our every year. As soon as I say the word they panic...does anyone else have this happen in their classrooms? Due to this, I always start out slow, review the basics, and add in fun activities as often as I can. This really helps to overcome that fear.

To help my students learn to order fractions I give them this Fraction Bar Chart that you can grab for free from TPT. I then give my students a baggie filled with small food items. I've used Lucky Charms, M&Ms, Skittles, etc. This year we used Goldfish because that is what I happened to have on hand. The students and I work together to compare fractions using the Goldfish to mark our spots on the fraction chart.


As the students get more confident, I give them multiple fractions to order. They use their fraction bar charts to identify the fractions and then write their answers down on mini white boards so I can quickly walk around and check them.


Even though this lesson is a little less-mini than most of my mini-lessons my students are engaged the entire time. Of course at the end of the lesson they are able to eat their treat...and that definitely motivates them!

How do you introduce students to ordering fractions?


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Workshop Wednesday-Figurative Language Mentor Text and Freebie

Happy Wednesday! I don't know about you, but I am over winter. Today is our second snow day this week. We had a snow day Monday, 2-hour delay on Tuesday, and a snow day today. Currently our school is without power...so maybe snow day number three this week? I might die if that happens!

I'm excited to link up with Jivey at Ideas By Jivey to share a way that I teach figurative language to my students. Teaching figurative language is one of my favorite things to teach. In fourth grade we spend a lot of time on idioms. To introduce idioms I have a few books I love to share with my class.



My Teacher Likes to Say

My Daddy Likes to Say


My momma Likes to Say

All of these fabulous books are by Denise Brennan-Nelson. I normally share one a day for the first few days of our idiom unit. I love these books because they are told in a rhyming way, which leaves my students saying the refrain with me (unprompted) every single year. It is the cutest thing when they just can't help but say it with you.

I also love to use the Idiom poster found in this product on TPT. I love these posters because it has students define what an idiom is in their own words, draw a picture of an idiom, find an idiom in a book they are reading, and tell how idioms are different than other types of figurative language. My students complete the poster and turn it in, once I check it over I have them keep it in their writing binder as a reference later in the year. (I wish I had a finished example at home, but they are all with my students in their binders.)

I also like to have my students add idioms to their writing. To do this I give them a list of common idioms.. (Click on the link to grab it for free.) I then have the students choose a story they are familiar with; fable, fairy tale, Bible story etc. to retell using idioms. I find having them choose a story they already know to retell makes it much easier for them to find idioms to add into the story. It is a great way to ease them into adding idioms into their writing.

How do you teach figurative language to your students?


Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Currently

I can't believe it is already February! Time is flying by. I'm linking up with Farley for Currently!


Listening: My husband has never watched friends before. We have been watching the entire series and are currently on season 8. I've enjoyed watching him get surprised at the twists and turns of the story line.

Loving: Glen and I call the baby "Little Bit" until we know whether it is a boy or a girl. I'm 14 weeks and cannot wait to feel this little one move.

Thinking: We started registering for baby stuff...there are so many things to consider and look at, it is a bit overwhelming.

Wanting: Naps are my favorite right now.

Needing: I just started a new grad class. Thankfully it is over in March, but I have a lot of work to do for it.

2 Truths and a Fib:
1. Truth-I have broken three bones in my life.
2. Truth-I did student teach in the classroom that I currently teach in. It was an awesome transition.
3. Fib-When I first started taking classes I thought I wanted to teach little ones, that is until I volunteered in a Kindergarten classroom. I prefer the older kids, and I think all Kindergarten teachers are Saints!

What are you up to this month?