Monday, April 30, 2012

Fun New Center Ideas

Are your kids getting restless? Mine are. I decided to create some "fun" centers that would help rejuvenate them. I've shared with y'all SWAT, and while this is still a favorite in our room, it needed a little spicing up. I made this mat/game board with a cheap dollar tree table coat and some clear packing tape and voila! A "new" center. It was a HUGE hit this morning. An added bonus: since you can't take the card if you swat it first, we kept score on the smart board using tally marks, which gave us extra practice on this math skill :)

I'm LOVIN' this next idea. I stole got it from teacher friend (hi Lana!) that teaches 6th grade. She used it for dictionary skills, which was fabulous. I decided to start it out in my classroom by using it for identifying story elements.

If you would like to create this center, I've uploaded the recording sheet and questions here as a FREEBIE!! :)
I know, it's the most creative title EVER right? haha If anyone has any suggestions on a new name, please feel free to comment and I'll change it. I don't have my heart set on "Roll and Answer" :)

And lastly, I'll leave y'all with a little preview of a new unit I'm working on for one of my most favorite stories of all time Eloise.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tub Books and a Writing Activity

I wanted to take a quick second to share with y'all something that has been working great in my classroom. I call them "tub books". I've group my desks (sooo wish I had tables!) into four different groups. In the middle of each group I have a colored bucket that I think was a shower caddy that I found at Target, but works great for holding pencil bags and labeling each group according to their color. We have a purple group, green group, orange group, and blue group.  I was having a big problem of my kids asking what to do when they finished with what they were working on. I'm not a big fan of coloring in a coloring book. I always like for my kids to read their library book, but let's face it: kids are going to get bored with rereading the same book over and over again, especially my high kids who know their book by heart. I wanted to expose the kids to lots of different picture books, but in a way that was organized and easy to access. That's where tub books came in. 
 These tubs sit right next to the pencil bag holders. I fill each group's tub at the beginning of each week with different picture book. At first, I just randomly picked books, but now the kids are requesting certain books. For example, I have one little boy that discovered he loved the Franklin book that he found in his tub, so I placed more Franklin books in his the next week. Now, any time someone finishes early, they can choose to read their library book or pick a tub book. They love it and I love that they are able to read lots of different types of books and discover new book series and find favorite characters. 

Our weekly story this week was Mole and the Baby Bird. This is in the Scott Foresman reading series, but you can also find the book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It's a really sweet story about a Mole who finds a wild bird and tries to make it a pet. In the end, he realizes that the wild bird needs to be free. We did a little writing activity Thursday and made our own birds.

Have a great weekend! :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Unit Posted and Some News! :)

First things first. Let me share with y'all my exciting news. I'm the proud owner of this new car:

 I'm in love. This is my first car purchase and I'm super excited about it :) :) I thought to celebrate this, I'd throw a TpT Sale! Starting now everything in my store is 10% off thru Monday. I have just uploaded my 102 page Spring Unit, so it'll be included in the sale.

Click here to visit my store!

First three to comment get the Spring Unit free. I am SOOOO sorry to the three winners of the Ice Cream Unit. I am sending free copies right now. I just completely forgot about them until I checked my email a few minutes ago. I'm also about to upload the vocabulary sheet and cause and effect graphic organizers as freebies so look for them soon! :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

TpT Sale!

Everything in my store in 15% off today only! I was hoping to finish my spring unit yesterday so it could be included in the sale, but I'm still working on it. When I do finally get it uploaded (hopefully today!) I will put it on sale for 1 day too :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Whole Bunch of Classroom Pictures

I've been awful lazy here lately and haven't taken pictures of our classroom happenings, so be warned: there's a lot of pictures coming up! :)


We've been learning about the suffixes -ly and -ful this week. I made these cards for reference


When I saw Cara's "Poet-tree", I knew I had to recreate it. It is the perfect way to introduce poetry, which I'm doing this week. I'm also using the fabulous Poetry packet from Amanda @ One Extra Degree. If you're planning on teaching poetry, you seriously need to check out her unit. Fab-u-lous!

Daily Objectives

Last year, I did my daily objectives using this chart and started off every lesson by going over this chart. That way, the kids knew exactly what we were going to do and we were able to check off each item at the end of the lesson. They had to show me "evidence" that we did that topic. For example, for "comprehension skill", we completed a graphic organizer and for "words to know" we did our sight word cheer. Just little things like that that refreshed their memory at the end of the lesson and bought it all back home. I don't know why I stopped doing this because it worked really well and helped me stay on task and organized. I started doing it again this week and *love it*.
(ignore my little girl with entirely too big a head)


I've been struggling with finding good vocabulary activities for my kids. They haven't been too excited about our new vocabulary center until I put this activity in it this week. Who knew putting a colored sentence strip on a piece of paper would bring such excitement :) If you want the sheet that goes along with this, let me know and I'll post! 

This is the chart they used at the center to find the definitions.

Earth Day 

We started talking about Earth Day today. Here's a couple of our crafts we did.

I found these little cuties on Pinterest. Aren't they cute??

Cause and Effect Activity

We did this for our comprehension skill this week. The read aloud was called "The Cat Chase". We identified the cause and effect in the story and illustrated below. I am using this graphic organizer in our comprehension center with the leveled reader next week since they know what to do now.  If you want a copy, let me know and I'll post! :)

If you've kept reading this loooonnnng post, sorry for the picture overload :) I'll do better about taking pictures and posting regularly next week!

Update: The cause and effect graphic organizer and vocabulary sheet freebies are uploaded and can be found at my TpT store. :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I just love fun link ups! I usually do these on my other blog, but I thought I'd change it up and post on here. I had big plans to catch up on all things school related this week, but then I discovered this absolutely fabulous book:
Oh my goodness y'all. This is unlike anything I've ever read, but after finding it on the NY Times bestseller list, I decided to give it a try. It's a trilogy and I started the first book late Wednesday night and since then, I stayed up reading every night 'til at least 1:00 in the morning. This series is sooo good. I've gotten hardly anything done because of it, which explains my absence from the blog. Have y'all read this yet??? If anyone is looking for an addictive book, go read this. You'll *love* it! 
Now onto the link up. I'm linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade, to show my currently list:
Want to join in? Link up here!