Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mother's Day Projects

My Tried It Tuesday this week are the word clouds we made for Mother's Day at wordle.net These were super easy and even made for a good review on adjectives! Here are some pictures of the Mother's Day "wordles" that we created!
What new things have you tried lately in your classroom? Link up with Fourth Grade Flipper's Tried it Tuesday linky party!
P.S. I plan on putting up my 100 follower giveaway on either Friday or Saturday. There is still time to be a part of it if you are interested! Fill out the form in yesterday's post :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Giveaway Help and Mother's Day Project!

I posted yesterday about wanting to have a giveaway for reaching 100 followers and many blogger friends offered to help. I appreciate it soooo much! I have noticed that lots of other, more experienced bloggers have set up a form to fill out to help with giveaways, and I think I finally figured it out! So if you would like to donate to my giveaway, please fill out the form below. I am hoping it will make it easier with the setup of the giveaway! Thank you!!

What do you have your students do for Mother's Day? A couple years ago my assistant principal went around at recess and asked students for adjectives describing their teachers and he made a wordle out of it. I absolutely love it and have it framed and hanging in my classroom! This year I decided to do the same project for Mother's Day. The students had to come up with a list of 15 adjectives describing their moms. We used http://www.wordle.net/ to create our word clouds. It is a free site and very easy to use. We found that typing mom three times seemed to work the best to make MOM really stand out in the word cloud. We also messed around with it a bit and figured out how to use the custom colors section. The projects turned out great! The students glued them onto scrapbook paper and I laminated them. Nothing like a cute, free project! I will try to take some pictures tomorrow and post them!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Flash Freebie/100 Followers/Mentor Text Linky!

I blogged a few weeks back about having a project funded through Donorschoose.org and I have already received my class set of Out of My Mind books! We started reading the book this week and the students love it! The book has really given my students a better understanding and appreciation for students with disabilities. Here is a summary of the book from the author, Sharon Draper's, website:

"Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school—but NO ONE knows it.

Most people—her teachers and doctors included—don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows. But she can’t. She can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write.

Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind—that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it."
I finally finished my novel unit for this book and it is now up in my TPT, which means I will give a free copy to the first two bloggers to comment and leave their email! Or you can check it out by clicking on the picture below.
 I have reached 100 followers! I am working on setting up a giveaway and would love it if any of my blogging friends would like to participate! Please leave a comment if you would like to be a part of my giveaway! Thanks!!
Sorry for such a long post, but I also wanted to link up my must read social studies mentor text. In social studies we spend most of the year learning the states and capitals. I found a great game to practice the states and capitals and later learned the game was inspired from the book The Scrambled States of America by: Laurie Keller. If you are teaching the states and capitals, I highly recommend the book and game!

What books do you use with social studies? Go link up with Collaboration Cuties Mentor Text Linky and share!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Science Day and Where the Wild Things Learn/ Hunter's Tales from Teaching Giveaways!

Amelia at Where the Wild Things Learn has a great 200 follower giveaway going on now! She has a K-2 and a 3-6 giveaway, and I am a part of it! Make sure you enter it!

Bethany at Hunter's Tales from Teaching also has a great giveaway going on that I am participating in. Click the picture below to enter!

I had one of the best Fridays in a long time! I had this idea for a science day and luckily I work with some great teachers whom agreed to participate with me! We had six teachers be a part of the science afternoon, and we each picked a different science experiment to do with the kids. We mixed up all of the fourth graders into six groups and they rotated throughout the six different science experiments. Some of the experiments they did were chemical reactions, tree rings, magic milk, surface tension with pennies, blubber hand, and nothing to sneeze at. The students looooved it, so I would say it was a successful event, and hopefully one that can be continued each year!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Interjections! Show excitement! Or Emotion!

Fiiiiinally , we got to the topic of interjections in grammar! My favorite Schoolhouse Rock song is definitely the Interjection song, it just never gets old! So I started this lesson out by showing the song once, twice, ok we watched it three times....but each time they had to write down the interjections they heard. By the third time we had just about all of them! Then I put the students into groups of three, and they had to write out a conversation between the three of them using an interjection to start each sentence. The students then shared with each other, and let me tell you their conversations were hilarious! We ended up talking with interejections at the beginning of each sentence the rest of the day...it made for an entertaining day!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted: My Classroom

I finally remembered to bring my camera to school so I could take pictures of my three favorite parts of my classroom! I'm a little late linking up but better late than never! So for this week's Let's Get Acquainted Linky the topic is My Classroom.

My favorite part of my classroom is defnitely my reading corner. This year I added a chair, pillows, and a rug. It is now the perfect place for the students to relax and read!
Next up is my United States map bulletin board. This has been very useful while learning the states and capitals this year and it's bright and colorful, which I love!
Finally, I LOVE my windows! My first year of teaching I had a classroom with no windows, so having a whole wall of windows now is absolutely wonderful!!
What are your favorite parts of your classroom?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Science Mentor Text: Bartholomew and the Oobleck

I am linking up again with Collaboration Cutie's Mentor Text linky. This week's Mentor Text topic is SCIENCE!
One of my favorite science units to teach is matter. There are so many fun experiments you can do with solids, liquids, gases, and chemical and physical changes. I always start this unit by reading Dr. Seuss' Bartholomew and the Oobleck
After reading the book, we discuss the characteristics of the Oobleck. Then we make our own! Making the Oobleck really allows students to observe both the solid and liquid characteristics. Click the picture below for a freebie recipe on how to make Oobleck and an observation worksheet.
Oobleck Recipe (From Dr. Seuss' Barthomew and the Oobleck)Oobleck Exploration Worksheet
What are your favorite pictures books to use with science?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spark Student Motivation Saturdays

We are in our final weeks of the school year...woot woot!! And boy, oh boy do my students and I both need motivation to keep going strong for 4 more weeks! Last year to motivate the students to continue to work hard for the last few weeks of school, we had a countdown. I think I did a countdown with the last 15 days...I blew up 15 balloons and in each balloon I dropped in a surprise. At the end of the day, IF they were good, they got to pop a balloon. I made sure to number the balloons so I knew what activitiy was coming up. Some of the activities that were in the balloons were: sit wherever you want for the afternoon, picnic lunch, extra silent reading time, P.E. with the teacher, lunch with the teacher, science class outside, walk to the park, walk to DQ, wear your favorite hat, pj day, bring an unhealthy snack, etc. Hopefully my students have a better week this coming week so we can actually participate in this fun end of the year activity...yikes!
How are you motivating your students to power through the last few weeks of school??  Link up with Head Over Heels for Teaching's Spark Student Motivation Saturdays Linky!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fourth Grade Common Core Workbook

Over the summer I read a lot of lower grades bloggers, blogging about a Common Core workbook, but it was only available for the lower grades. I just found out there is now a "Fourth Grade Common Core Workbook"! There is a giveaway going on a for a copy of the 4th grade edition now! Click on the picture below to check it out!

fourth grade common core standards workbook Free Giveaway   Fourth Grade Common Core Workbook Download
Here is the description of this wonderful resource:
This Fourth Grade Common Core Workbook is the largest collection of resources for teaching the Common Core State Standards. This workbook includes over 850 pages of Worksheets, Activity Centers, and Posters that teach all the Fourth Grade English Language Arts Common Core Standards and all the Fourth Grade Mathematics Common Core Standards! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mystery Writing

I have some students this year that absolutely love to write! Our latest writing project was a mystery. A couple years ago when Scholastic had their dollar downloads sale, I snagged a great writing book. This book has writing projects for all different kinds of genres. The one for mystery writing is great. It has an introduction that discusses the different mystery terms like suspect, alibi, red herring, sleuth, etc. It takes the students step by step through the writing process starting with a great prewriting page that helps students come up with clues, characters, suspects, and motives. Once the students have written their report, included is a pop-up activity to put it all together! Below are some of our finished products! I was really impressed with how well they turned out!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Workshop Wednesday Linky: Writing Mini Lesson

I am linking up again this week with Ideas by Jivey for her Wednesday Workshop linky party! This week the topic is Writing Workshop.
I look forward to teaching figurative language each year and my favorite part to teach is onomatopoeia. The students love it as much as I do! I always start out with a Notebook presentation to review and then show my two all time favorite video clips! My students beg to watch Mrs. Munger's class throughout the year!

After watching the videos, I bring in the comic section from the newspaper for each student to look at, and we look at examples of onamotopoeia. I also like to have the students write their own comics, including the use of onomatopoeia.

What are your favorite writing workshop mini lessons?

If you are interested in the Smart notebook activity I use, leave a comment with your email and I will email it to you!

Teacher's Notebook Daily Deals

Is anyone else loving Teacher's Notebook's Daily Deals??? I am obsessed with checking daily and have spent waaaaayyyy too much money all because I tell myself that it is such a good deal! I am excited to have my first deal up today though....so maybe I will make a little money off of it so I can buy more stuff for myself :) You can find my Greek/Latin Roots Task Cards Bundle. All 5 sets of my task cards for 40% off!


Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


My 4th grade team was lucky enough to have some extra funding for reading this year to help supplement our reading series, and we decided on using it for a subscription to Scholastic's Storyworks magazine.
We have received the magazine three times now and we absolutely LOVE it! Not only do the teachers love it, but the students love it too. Each magazine has been full of articles that are of high interest to the students. A play is included in each magazine as well, which has been a huge hit with the students. Not only does the magazine have great articles, but along with the subscription comes access to the website which is FULL of extension activities. Some of the articles have short video clips that go along with the them and every article has multiple worksheets to use. If you happen to have extra funding and are trying to decide what to do with it, I highly recommend checking out Storyworks!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Forkin 4th Giveaway!

Another great giveaway is going on right now and I am a part of it! Antonia at Forkin 4th is having a giveaway to celebrate her birthday and reaching 200 followers! She has a 4th grade giveaway and a K-3 giveaway, both with tons of great prizes! Click on the picture below to check it out!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Math Mentor Text Linky

I'm excited to link up for the first time with Collaboration Cuties: Math Mentor Text Linky!

This is going to be a quick post because I need to get ready for church and then I have a busy day planned out!
I always start out my fraction unit by reading The Hershey's Milk Chocolate Fraction Book by: Jerry Pallotta. It is a great overview of compring and ordering fractions, simplifying fractions, and equivalent fractions.  I always pass out a Hershey's candy bar and when I am done reading I put the different pages of the book up on the document camera and we use the candy bar as a manipulative. The students love this activity and they can't wait to eat the candy bar at the end :)


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spark Student Motivation Saturdays!

I am linking up with Joanne again for her Spark Student Motivation Saturday's Linky! This is a great linky idea....I love reading all of the ways other teachers motivate their students!

This week I wanted to share something I do on a weekly basis to try to motivate the students to get homework turned in, do well on tests, read AR books, etc. Each week I pick a different goal for the students but I don't tell them. Some weeks I choose no late assignments for the week, students who passed AR tests, 100% on spelling test, turned in weekly reading log,  or received an A on science, math, or social studie's test. Whatever goal I pick, I keep track of the students who meet this goal and put their name on a slip of paper. On Friday I choose one name and they get a special coupon. I have gone to various restaurants and asked if they would donate coupons and you would be surprised how many gave me tons of coupons! I have received coupons from Pizza Hut, DQ, Papa Murphys, Subway, Texas Roadhouse, Family Video, and I think there are more I just can't remember. The students are always excited to see if they are the weekly winner!

Ideas by Jivey Giveaway

Congratulations to Jessica at Ideas by Jivey for reaching 300 followers! She is hosting a great giveway and there are tons of great prizes up for grabs! She has giveways for different age groups too! Click the picture below to go check it out!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spark Student Motivation Saturdays

Today I am linking up with Joanne for her Spark Student Motivation linky party! What a great idea to share quick and easy ways that teachers motivate students.
Something that I do is a monthly candy guessing jar. Each month I fill up a jar with a certain type of candy. If a student passes an Accelerated Reader test, they get a slip of paper to guess how many pieces of candy are in the jar. At the end of the month, I pick the closest guess and the winner gets the candy! Not much too it, but the students enjoy it and look forward to hearing the winner each month!

What are some things that you do to motivate your students? Link up!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Greek/Latin Root Task Cards-Flash Freebie!

I just finished a new set of Greek/Latin Root Task Cards! These cards cover the roots vid-, jur-, astro-, dict-, aud-, inter-, trans-, super-, micro-, and uni.  I will send a free set to the first two followers who comment and leave their email :) If you are interested in these, you can check out all of my sets at my TPT or TN store! Happy Friday!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Project Funded, Interview, Edward Tulane

So many things to share....where do I start?? First of all so many bloggers have written about DonorsChoose.org and their successfully funded projects, so I decided to try it out. I posted a project request months ago and actually kind of forgot about it. I do not have Facebook, so I didn't do any advertising of my project and really didn't expect anything to come of it. Well.....I opened up my email today to see that my project had been funded! A retired teacher from Nevada funded my whole project! I can't wait to receive the novels I requested!! If you have been thinking about trying out Donorschoose.org, go for it!

Next up...I wrote about being unsure of my plans for next year in my April "Currently". I love the school I am at, but I am feeling a need for change and the 40 minute commute is getting old. A couple weeks ago I had heard of two 4th grade positions opening up in the district that I live. I applied thinking I didn't have a chance, and yesterday I got an unexpected call  from one of the principals. She interviewed me on the spot, I was a nervous wreck. I don't think I took a breath the whole time! I got off the phone and replayed every answer I gave and came to the conclusion that my answers were terrible! About an hour later I got a call from the asst. superintendent and he set up another interview for this coming week. I am already freaking out about it, I do not do well with interviews! Does anyone have any advice for me?? I was told I can bring anything I would like to share...any ideas there? Last year my class made a couple videos for different topics ....would that be appropriate to share?
And finally....my class has been reading the Miraculous Adventures of Edward Tulane the past couple weeks and we just looooove it. Such a cute story. I made a unit to go along with it. It's nothing fancy but has vocab and comprehension questions for each chapter, cause and effect, making connections, and inferring graphic organizers, and a storyboard project. You can check it out at my TPT store pr click the picture below if you are interested!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Math Websites

Three cheers for another linky party! Can you tell I'm on Spring Break with nothing to do?? I have never posted this often before! So here I am linking up with another linky party....Ideas By Jivey's Workshop Wednesday.
The topic this week is math websites. I have tons of websites that I use regularly but I will narrow it down to my top three!

1. Sumdog is probably my student's favorite math practice site. It is is free and easy to set up. It is a fun site to work on basic facts. Sometimes as a class reward I put it up on the Smartboard and let everyone take turns playing.

. Free games to make math fun
2. Scootpad is another good site to work on math and reading. It is also free. The students don't think this site is as fun as Sumdog but it has excellent practice questions for all different topics. The questions are also aligned with Common Core. It tracks the students progress and the level of questions get harder as the students answer correct questions. The students can earn coins as they answer questions and then you can set prizes for coins earned, which the students think is pretty cool!

3. Xtramath is the perfect free site for working on mastery of basic facts. Again quick and easy to set up. This site also allows you to track student's progress.
XtraMath logo
There ya have it....my top three math websites! What websites do you use in your classroom?

Spring Break = Online Shopping Time

I absolutely hate to shop, but online shopping is another story. I am so ready for spring so I decided to buy some new spring clothes! I want a new swimsuit from Victoria's Secret so bad, but they are so stinkin expensive AND it was going to cost $17 for shipping! Anyways... has anyone heard of Ebates? I had heard of it and thought it was probably a scam, but one of my friends signed up for it and said it was legit. So I signed up too and it has made me feel much better for all of my online spending because you get a percentage back! Ok, ok it is a small percentage, but it's something! I totally recommend going through Ebates if you are an online shopper! All you need to do is sign up and then search the store you will be shopping at on their website and then it keeps track of what you spend at that store. Then they mail you a check! It works for pretty much any store and the percent back that you get varies from store to store. Click below if you want to check it out! Happy shopping :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tried It Tuesday: Have Fun Teaching

I am excited to be linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper's Tried It Tuesday Linky! I always love to hear new ideas that you bloggers out there are trying!
Last week I went to a workshop and I am completely drawing a blank on the name of the speaker, but anyways he told us to check out the website Have Fun Teaching. It is full of songs on just about any topic you can think of and they are SUPER catchy! We were reviewing the different parts of speech last week so we listened to a few of the songs and by far the NOUN song is the BEST!! My kids begggggged me to play it again and again! If you are a kindergarten teacher, I totally recommend checking it out because there are songs for each letter of the alphabet that little ones would totally love!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Currently April

Every month I read everyone's "Currently", but I have never linked up. So, I am super excited to actually be joining in on the fun this month!

Listening: I am currently obsessed with Justin Timberlake's new CD and JT himself! Really wishing I wouldn't have sold my JT and Jay Z tickets now.
Loving: The weather is finally starting to warm up and I am in such a better mood because of it!
Thinking: There are so many changes that are taking place at my school for the next school year, and I just need to decide what my next move is going to be.
Wanting: Now that the weather is warming up, I cannot wait to get out in my yard and get things cleaned up!
Needing: I decided I wanted to plan a sciene day with the other 4th grade classes and now I actually need to figure out what I am going to do.
Advice: Be patient! I am slowing gaining followers and it makes me a happy blogger :)
Now it is your turn to go link up with Farley's April Currently!

Let's Get Acquainted Linky!

I hope everyone had a happy Easter! Yesterday was also my birthday, which made the day even more special, annnnnd this week is my SPRING BREAK! Could things get any better?!? Well.....I would love some warmer weather, but I'm not going to push it!
I am linking up with Latoya from "Flying Into First Grade" for her Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party! The theme this week is favorites.

Favorite Place to Shop
Apparently, I am not alone with Target being a favorite place to shop, sooo many other bloggers listed Target as their favorite place to shop too! A new Target was built 15 minutes from my house...not good, not good at all. I see the Target sign on my way to work everyday, and it is just calling my name!
Favorite TV Show
I was a total hater of this show. My friends all talked about how much they loved it and I thought it looked stupid. I got bored last summer, decided to rent the first season, and OMG I am now totally obsessed! Tonight is the first Tuesday of no new Pretty Little Liars and I am already going through withdrawal. I am going to go crazy waiting for the summer season to start!
Favorite Sweet Treat
I love, love, love cheesecake! Chocolaty, fruity, you name it, I love it! Some people celebrate their birthdays with cake, I celebrate my birthdays with cheesecake :)
Favorite Food
No joke, I could eat pizza EVERYDAY! Cheese only...yes, I am like a child when it comes to what I want on my pizza. I will pick all the other toppings off!
Favorite Restaurant
I love Italian food and Maggiano's is definitely my favorite Italian restaurant. Soooo unhealthy, yet soooo good!
There ya have it, all of my favorites! I would love to hear yours, now go link up!