More Games and Inexpensive White Boards

Look how stinkin' cute my kids are playing this game.  These moments make me smile :)  They LOVE the I Have, Who Has games.  This is them playing my Angles/2-D Shapes game.  At the end of the day, after they write their agenda and pack, they meet friends on the carpet and play games.

Also, this is something I use DAILY in my class - whiteboards!  This is a cheap and quick way to make them yourself.  I'm not sure who I got this idea from or if I conjured it up myself, but nevertheless, it's a worthwhile project.  Just buy a pack of plastic sleeves and insert card stock (paper makes it too flimsy when they display their answer).  Voila!  I use a ring clip to store them.  EASY!  You can even print lines or graph paper on the card stock if you find it useful.


Lunchbox Linky!

Tara, over at Fourth Grade Frolics, is have a Lunchbox Linky Party!
Come join the fun (and her give away)!

Here is my (breakfast, snack), lunch (and snack) from Tuesday...  I pack many choices (I like options).  I didn't end up eating the chocolate (go figure), the apple, and the jell-o...


Angles and 2-D Shapes


I finished another game.  My kids are learning (hopefully most is a review from 3rd grade...) Angles and Two-Dimensional Shapes tomorrow.  I plan to finish before week's end so it's fast forward (cue tape deck sound).

I'm going to have this game printed and laminated to reinforce the vocabulary since that's where most kids miss the mark in this chapter.

Here's a link to my TN page if you'd like to take a closer look.  Pass it on ;)

What do you do to teach this unit?  I always love fresh ideas!


Word Catchers

(first post from my iPhone so we shall see what it looks like hmmm)

I wanted to share this idea (evolved from Elements of Reading Vocabulary -love it). It really helps my kids understand new vocab.

Each day I give each student a chance to share. "Do I have any Word Catchers today?". Their hands shoot up. When they share, they have to tell me when/where they hear/saw the word and give the word in the context in which they encountered it. This is how I keep record. You can even make it into a competition with groups or teams. And when I hear a student using a word (or past word) I give them a reward.

Area Foldables and Models

Boy!  What a day!  I don't know about you but cramming in all this math when our state test (FCAT for those of you in Florida) is 14 teaching days away is a nightmare.  My team and I are on fast forward at this point.  At any rate, I wanted to share these 4 (yes, I said four - I must be CU-Ray-Zee O.o) foldables/models I did with the kiddos this week (three of which we did today).

For those of you who use the 4th grade Go Math text, we are just finishing Chapter 10 on area.

Started off with vocabulary... this is my model.  The kids had to make up their own examples in their foldable.

Today we did these three (in this order - it really was a Math-a-Palooza today *phew*)

Cut and paste with pictures from the internet...

Finally, we compared measuring tools.  Notice how we made the text from smallest to largest ;)  Then the kids searched the classroom for examples to write with each tool.

 Tomorrow's the test... we shall see how they do *fingers crossed*


Classroom Clock Freebie

Took a picture of my classroom clock today (notice the time hehe).
It came in handy when we were practicing time.  
Just print the numbers, cut, glue to colored card-stock, laminate, and tape...

Thought I'd share it with my bloggy friends :)


FAN-tastic Giveaway!

A FAN-tastic Giveaway!!

Hurry!  It ends tonight at 7:00pm!

Head over to


Upper Elementary Linky Party!

Lorraine over at Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies is hosting a Linky Party!  All of us in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade are invited to check out the list of blogs (maybe join some we haven't seen yet).  It will be a great way to share ideas, strategies, and lessons!

I know what I'll be doing tonight ;)  Time to blog stalk!


Decimals, Fractions, Percents Card Game

Ok, so I LOVE card games.  Must've been all the card playing I did as a youngster - before video games and reality TV.  This is my latest labor of love.  Not so original by looking at it, but my original thought was.  It took some time to get my visualization onto the computer.

Nonetheless, I finished the card game last night (120 cards *phew*).  Then, I decided to sleep on it before I published it to my TN page.  I still had some kinks with the directions.

After much consideration, I made my husband (who is VERY competitive) play with me.  "We gotta try this out first so I can make sure the directions are clear," my teacher's voice instructed.  My initial thought was to make it like a RUMMY game - since it is decimals, fractions, and percents.  I grew up playing RUMMY with my grandmother so, to me, it's fun.

After five minutes and no movement, we were bored to tears.  I tend to over-analyze things sometimes so we took out a third of the deck (the ones that needed some REAL thinkin').  Further, I had to give my husband a quick tutorial on fractions that can equal denominators of 100 (chapter 8 for those of you using 4th grade Go Math) and we were movin'.  We played a RUMMY version placing pairs down and either of us got the third, we played it on the pair.  The game lasted about 15 minutes.  He won.  And BTW, he never lets me win ;)  With that, I decided to just ditch the directions and let the teachers be as creative as they want to be.

I'm looking forward to using this in my class.  It will be a great way to review for FCAT.  I will NOT be using the hard cards lol - well maybe for my gifted group ;)


I Have, Who Has - Rhyming with Dr. Seuss

My newest game is ready.  I'm on this Dr. Seuss kick... Fo Sho!

I wanted something for The Cat in the Hat and rhyming words seemed much more feasible than vocabulary this time.  So here's to you, primary teachers!


Cause and Effect with The Lorax

What a great end to the week!  Well, the teaching part was great... The field trip part, not so much O.o (read on about THAT).

Super cute Cause/Effect Books.  Check it out. (Excuse the cursive - we are still practicing)

We also made Lorax mustaches lol (found those on Pinterest).
I drew this and made a template.  Grab this freebie.

Now, about the field trip...

I made arrangements to see the 3-D version of The Lorax.  When we arrived there (on time, mind you - 30 min before show time), the three staff members (yes, I said 3) were just popping the first kernels of popcorn and placing the nozzles on the soda fountain.  Are you kidding me?!?  With 128 kids there, really?!?  We gave notice - it's not like it was "Surprise, we're here!"

Then, we sent the kids into the theatre to sit and wait.  "I thought we were going to see a 3-D movie?" one child asked.

My blood pressure got a bit higher.

"My paperwork says you are going to see the 2-D movie," the "manager" replied.

Quickly, I whipped out my cell phone and dialed the corporate office.  But oh they are closed.  Colorado is 2 hours behind us. *Ugh*

Now it's creeping up to 10:00, an hour after our arrival (and 30 minutes after our anticipated start time).  Parents are racing back and forth with soda and popcorn to give to our kiddos.  The three __(insert colorful plural noun)__ behind the counter are scrambling to finish the snacks.

Meanwhile, I call corporate UH-gain and finally get a live person - actually the girl who helped me from day one.  I tell her the dilemma and she tells me that her records show that we are signed up for a 2-D movie.

"If I wanted to see a 2-D movie, I would've taken my kids to the theatre five minutes from our school.  We drove 30 minutes to get here.  I don't care what your computer screen says, I know what I asked for - a 3-D movie."

"Well you can see the 3-D movie but it costs extra," was her "textbook" response.

"This is what's going to happen: I asked for a 3-D movie, we are getting a 3-D movie and we are NOT going to pay extra."

"Is there a manager nearby?"

Problem solved.

So the drama fizzled and we started the movie (45 minutes late).  After all that, The Lorax was a GREAT movie.  The kids loved it and it was such a lovely rendition of the book and then some.

Oh, and did I mention that the Science Test was postponed yet ANOTHER day.  Good thing they are called lesson "plans".  Kids took it Friday :)


I Have, Who Has with Horton Hatches the Egg

Here's the latest of my "I Have, Who Has" games...  It's available in my TN Store.


Classroom Job Application for Students

Alright.. So I've tried a new tactic for classroom jobs this year... In the past, I've changed my jobs each week, rotating in ABC order *big yawn*.  Well, I have so many things I delegate (oh the perks of being an upper grades teacher) that I wanted some more efficiency in the quality of work the kids did.  I mean, it IS their classroom too...

I came up with this job application.  Each nine weeks I send out a new application.  The better I know the kids, the less "random" my job selection becomes.  Unfortunately, I had to fire one child the other day.  I gave three chances but...  I mean, the Mail Manager is a VERY important job.  So when kids weren't getting their homework, I had to put on my best Donald Trump.  Fortunately for me, I wasn't such the bad guy after all.  The student switched jobs with the Line Leader.  *Phew!*  All's happy :)  Now if I could only get him to stop where I want him *hehe*.

I like the way this application is working out.  It gives kids a chance to really cultivate their task.  Even if you changed the jobs each month, it's a good outcome for everyone.

Before we switch jobs, we have an "office party".  I bring donuts, juice, etc. and I present a few "Exceptional Employee" awards :)

Here's the first page.  Download the WORD version and edit to your liking.

Let me know if you try it out.  


Figurative Language Foldable

Today couldn't have gone better... wait... I take that back... impromptu soccer tournament on a "non" PE day = Science test delayed.  Out of my hands.  I could say, "No." but you know what, what's an extra homework assignment, right?  They'd choose more homework over missing the tournament any day of the week.

While this backs me up a day, The Lorax Unit was still full speed.

Check out their finished products for the Figurative Language Foldable (courtesy of Mor):

The kids LOVED it.  (plus they learned somethin' too :)  We started off by filling out this chart while we read the story.  It made it easier to create the end product AND we found ALL (or all I could find) of the examples not just one of each.


Gone Fishin' Game Cards

Fill-in-the -blank "Gone Fishin'" Cards.  Can be used for ANY skill you want students to practice.



Happy Monday!

So not only is it pre-Spring Break week, it's also Spirit week (thus the kids in pajamas).  This is the perfect week to do this Lorax Unit.

I started by having the students do a "Sketch-a-Story" about pollution (one a presenter used in a training in August).  I showed this on my Smart Board and uncovered each statement as they sketched.

Imagine a big lake.
Next to the lake is a huge factory.
Give your factory a name.
On the lake is a fishing boat with a fisherman.
Give your boat a name.
Suddenly, the factory begins to leak toxic waste into the lake.
The fisherman catches a fish.
The fisherman sells the fish to a nearby restaurant.
Give the restaurant a name.
Inside the restaurant is a couple, eating.
They eat the fish the fisherman caught.
When they leave the restaurant, they get sick.

Some of their sketches were really funny.

Afterwards students retold the story to their partner and we briefly discussed the cause and effect relationships.

Tomorrow we dive into the Figurative Language on The Lorax.  Thanks Mor for the Seuss Hat Foldable!   The kids LOVED making it today.  

Next we will find the examples in the story.  I'll use this chart to help students locate examples.  

Download this Freebie!

Then they shall choose the example they want to write into their Foldable.  


Fishin' for Fractions Game

Just finished this game... Plan on using it Tuesday.  I'll let you know how it goes :)  It's in my TN store.


I Have, Who Has with The Lorax


This (pre-spring break) week I am starting a short (but in depth) unit using Dr. Seuss' The Lorax as inspiration.  On Thursday, my students will be seeing the movie in 3-D.  I can't wait to get everything in gear!

Thus far, I've got a Language Arts activity.  My students LOVE, LOVE the "I Have, Who Has" games.  So I made one using vocabulary in the book.  Here is a sneak peak:

You can purchase the entire activity at my Teacher's Notebook shop.

Here is a freebie!  Enjoy!

More posts to come!
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