Monday, December 29, 2014

Anchors Away: Asking Questions

I'm linking up today with Crafting Connection's Anchors Away linky. 

Today I have an Asking Questions anchor chart to share with you!

I took some ideas from a couple different anchor charts I had pinned on Pinterest. You can check out the anchor charts I used here on my Pinterest board

Sunday, December 7, 2014

States of Matter

We just started our States of Matter Unit. I love this unit because there are so many hands-on activities that can be used! Every year I make oobleck with my students to start off a discussion on solids, liquids, and gases. We start by reading Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Suess and then we make oobleck. This always creates a huge mess, but the students have fun with it. All you need to create oobleck is corn starch and water. Unfortunately, throughout all the chaos of making the oobleck, I forgot to take pictures. 

As we discuss the differences between solids, liquids, and gases, we play charades to show how the molecules act in each state of matter. For solids, the students stand close together and do not move. For liquids, the students spread out a little bit and move slowly back and forth. For gases, the students spread throughout the room and move freely about. 

We also like to watch this states of matter rap!


I'll try to take some pictures and post more about the activities that we will be doing this week, but for now I will leave you with a link to the Matter "I have, who has" game that we will be playing at the end of this chapter to review the vocabulary terms. I just posted it on TpT  today so I will discount it at 50% for today only!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ecosystems and Food Chains!

I was going through pictures on my phone and realized I never posted pictures from our ecosystems and food chains unit.  This is one of my favorite science units. We start the unit by discussing what an ecosystem is and then we create our own! We make a simple woodland habitat in 2-liter bottles. This year a local nursery was generous enough to donate spider plants for us to use in our project!

When we got to talking about food chains and food webs, the students created their own. The students had fun researching what animals eat in order to complete their food webs. 

To end our unit, we played our favorite "I Have, Who Has" game. We love "I Have, Who Has" games and they are a great way to review vocabulary terms. 

I Have, Who Has Ecosystems and Food Chains

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Fun!

I want to share some of the fun Thanksgiving activities my students did this year. Maybe you can add these to your TpT wishlist and use them next year!

This year we only had school Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. I knew I didn't want to start anything new, but I wanted to do some fun, yet meaningful Thanksgiving themed activities. So, I purchased Deb Hanson's November Craftivity Bundle. 

November Craftivity BUNDLE (Main Idea, Fact & Opinion, Syn

It has four different craftivities in it. A main idea, fact and opinion, synonyms, and book report actitvity. Unfortunately, I didn't purchase the set until last week, so we were only able to do two of the activities this year. Next year I will plan a little better so we are able to do all of them! Here are some pictures of the Thanksgiving Main Idea Turkey Craftivity and the Scarecrow Fact and Opinion Craftivity. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I enjoyed the extra days off along with lots of family time and good food :)

I don't know about you, but I have been anxiously awaiting the TPT sale coming up! My wishlist is filled with great projects that I have been looking forward to purchasing! The sale starts on Monday and runs through Tuesday. 

I am linking up to share with you some of my top wishlisted items!

Feel free to grab the images and link up with us! Share two items that people have on their wishlist of your items, and share one item that you have on your wishlist that you will be purchasing during the sale. 

The number one thing people have wishlisted from my store is my Animal Adaptations "I Have, Who Has" Game. My students actually just played this last week to prepare for their science test. They even made me get out my phone to time them to see how quickly they could get through the game!

Animal Adaptations "I Have, Who Has" Game

The second most wishlisted item is my Government Task Cards. These task cards are a great way to review government terms!

Government Task Cards

I have so many things on my wishlist right now that it's going to be hard to figure out which ones to buy. I had to set myself a spending limit because I seem to have a TPT shopping addiction these days. The one product that I REALLY can't live without though are more of Deb Hanson's partner plays. My students are loving these partner plays. We just finished up with all of the animal adaptations plays and now they are ready for more! So instead of just buying one set I might as well buy the bundle right?! Wouldn't want to miss out on any!

Partner Plays 4th-5th BUNDLE (a set of 90 2-person scripts

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Veteran's Day Decorations

Our school puts on an awesome Veteran's Day breakfast and assembly each year. The students do a great job of decorating the hallways for the Veterans. This year I struggled to come up with a decoration to have the students make until I came across a post by Upper Elementary Snapshots. As soon as I saw the post, I had my students get to work! Here is a picture from Kelly's 4th grade class. 

When I showed my students the example, they couldn't wait to create their own. Here is a picture of the ones my students made :)

Thanks for sharing your Veteran's Day project, Kelly! I am definitely going to do this for years to  come!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Accelerated Reader Point Tracker

In the past, I have used a sticker chart to keep track of student AR points, but this year I decided to change it up a bit. I printed out cards with point values in increments of 5 and use clothespins with students names on them to keep track of how many points the students have. The students are very good about reminding me to update it every Friday :) It has been great motivation to keep them all reading!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Anchors Away Monday: Synthesize!

Today I want to share the synthesize anchor chart that I copied off of  Pinterest. I am not very good at coming up with my own anchor charts, but I sure do enjoying copying the ones that I find on Pinterest :) I am seriously so jealous of all of you teachers that are so creative, and I am very grateful for Pinterest for allowing me to recreate these ideas! I took ideas from a bunch of other anchor charts that I saw to create this one, so if any of these are your ideas let me know and I'll give you credit!

I'll be honest, synthesizing is my least favorite reading strategy. It is a hard concept for students to grasp, so I had to refer back to this poster multiple times. We will continue to work on this strategy this week, so if any of you have suggestions of activities to use for synthesizing, I would love to hear them!

Monday, November 3, 2014

No Talking by Andrew Clements Novel Study Flash Freebie!

My class just started our newest novel, No Talking by Andrew Clements. My students enjoy this book every year and always want to try their own no talking contest when we finish the book. They never last long. They quickly realize they all love to talk way too much!
This year I decided to work on my vocab and question sheets and spice them up a little. I finally have it all finished and it is up in my TpT store. Since this is a new product, it will be free for the next hour or so. If you download, I just ask that you leave me some feedback! Let me know if there is anything I should add or change! Click on the picture below to head to my store. 

No Talking Novel Companion Pack

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Activities!

I told myself that I was not going to spend any more money on TpT for awhile, but then I was bored yesterday and started searching Halloween......and ended up purchasing a bunch! I am super excited to do these activities with my students this week! They are going to love them, I just know it! Take a look at what I bought!

Halloween for Big Kids {3rd, 4th and 5th Grade} ELA

Common and Proper Noun Halloween Craftivity: Witch's Brew

Halloween Readers' Theater BUNDLE (a set of 3 scripts cont

What are some of your favorite Halloween activities?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Sunday Scoop!

I'm linking up today with Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop linky. 

Have to do: I always leave laundry and going to the grocery store for Sunday afternoon when all I really want to do is be lazy all day! I am excited to make copies of the new Halloween products I purchased on TpT! I will share with you tomorrow what I purchased!
Hope to do: I really, really, really hope to make it back to the gym this week. I have got to get into a better gym routine! My boyfriend and I are basically on completely opposite schedules so I'm hoping we get a night to have dinner together!
Happy to do: Saturday I get to go to wedding number five of the summer! I'm happy to see two of my friends tie the knot :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I have become a little obsessed with couponing lately....and being on a teacher salary can you blame me? If there are any of you out there like me, I want to share the latest grocery savings app that I found. It is called Snap by Groupon. It doesn't offer a ton of coupons like some of the other apps, but what I like about this app is that you can purchase items at any store to receive the deal. Every couple of weeks or so they put up new $1.00 off deals. Right now you can get a $1.00 off any bag of candy and any gallon of milk. They also offer deals on fruits and veggies! To get the rebate all you have to do is purchase the item and then submit a picture of the receipt on the app. When your balances reaches $20.00 you can cash out!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

We just finished our second novel of the school year....Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. 

This is the first year I have read this book with my students. It was only $1.00 in the Scholastic book order, so I couldn't pass it up! It's still available in the 4th Graders September catalog if you are interested. My students absolutely LOVED this book. It was a quick, easy read so it was perfect for the beginning of the school year. 
I purchased an awesome novel study on TpT by Renee Smalley. I highly recommend it. 

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing {Novel Study & Art Project}

At the end of the book, my students completed a super cute character analysis project that was also included in the novel study. Here are some pictures of the completed project. This was the perfect project to have on display during Parent-Teacher Conferences too!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Christmas Shopping Already!?

So I have a confession to make....I'm kinda anti-Christmas gifts. I am really not into buying gifts or receiving them. Every year I try to convince my family to not buy gifts and no one ever buys into it. So every year I wait until the very last minute, like the day before Christmas, to buy gifts. This absolutely kills one of my co-workers because she finishes her Christmas shopping during the summer. So anyways, I'm super excited to say that I just bought my first Christmas gift!! My sister is a scarf addict, so when I saw this cute white hanger, I thought it would be the perfect gift! I found it over at Pick Your Plum

It's In The Cards - White Hanger Card/Accessory Holder & Clothes Pins

Have you started any of your Christmas shopping yet? Have you found any good gifts? I am the worst gift giver ever and would love to hear some ideas!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thank you and Monogrammed Sweatshirt Blanket!!

I want to start by thanking those of you who offered advice to my classroom management post! I have so many great ideas to think about now and figure out what system I want to use! So thank you, thank you my blogging friends!

The next thing I am super excited to share with you has nothing to do with school, but I'm sharing anyways! I am a total blanket snob. I am one of those who walks around with a blanket wrapped around them at all times. I am that dork that would buy a snuggy! When I was in high school, my grandma made me this awesome sweatshirt blanket that had the name of my high school embroidered on it and it was my favorite blanket of all time. I somehow managed to lose it a while back and have found nothing even close to replace it....until today!! I'm a tad bit obsessed with Groopdealz, which is a site that offers daily clothing, jewelry, and home decor at a discounted price. As I was looking around today, I found my sweatshirt blanket! Now it isn't hand-stitched by my grandma and won't have my high school embroidered on it, but I still had to order one. I can't wait for it to arrive! I ordered a gray one with pink lettering!

Disclaimer: Groopdealz provided me with a giftcode to use towards the purchase of this item. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Government Activities!

I used to hate teaching government, but luckily it is starting to grow on me. Honestly and sadly, I think it's because now that I have taught it for 5 years I am even starting to understand it! I'm not wanting to jump into politics or anything, but I kinda get what each of the branches of government does! :)
One of my favorite products to use with this unit is Ashleigh's American Government Activity Pack. It has tons of great activities to use and unfortunately I don't usually even get to them all. I love the levels of government and branches of government organizers. My students love the cootie catcher reviews! 

American Government Activities and Worksheets

This year I had the students create a tree poster on the branches of government. They had to label each of the branches with a branch of government and then use the leaves to write a description of what each branch does. Here are a couple that I thought turned out nicely!

I like to end this unit with a review using my Government Task Cards and my Government "I Have, Who Has" Game. 

Government Task Cards

I Have, Who Has Government Game

What are your favorite activities for teaching government?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Brag/Reward Tags Opinions??

I have a rough group this year and my behavior management system that I have used in the past is just not cutting it! I have used a clip chart the past couple of years and it worked well. Unfortunately, it is not effective for my group this year. I have heard a lot of talk about the brag tags/reward tags and I would love to hear your thoughts on these if you use them! Does anyone use them for a behavior management system? Would you recommend it? Or what do you use for your behavior management system? Seriously, help me....before I pull all of my hair out! Ok, it's not really that bad but any advice you can give me would be awesome!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Open Your Eyes and VISUALIZE!

I've told you before how I have jumped on the anchor chart here is my latest chart to share with you! We have been working on visualizing this week, which is probably one of my  favorite comprehension strategies! Of course I can't take credit for my poster because I "borrowed" the ideas from multiple posters that I found here and here on Pinterest and I used the idea from our Interactive Notebooks from Nicole Shelby

We really focused on using all of the senses when visualizing. Luckily our book has some great descriptive stories that are perfect for working on visualizing. 
Here is a picture of what we added to our interactive reading notebooks...thanks to Nicole Shelby! I love her Interactive Reading Notebook!

4th Grade Interactive Reading Notebook (aligned with Common Core)

Teaching with a Mountain View has a great free set of visualizing task cards that we also used this week. My students had fun illustrating what they pictured in each task card. 

Free Visualizing Reading Skill Task Cards Mini-Set

What are some of your favorite visualizing activities?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Place Value Vocab Sorting Cards Flash Freebie

As I posted the other day, math has been a struggle this year. We have spent tons of time reviewing basic facts and place value. We are finally about ready to test over place value! This year I spent much more time on the vocabulary involved in place value and I expect the students to know this for the test. To practice the vocabulary, I created a vocabulary card sorting center. This quick and easy center has students match up the vocabulary word with a definition and example. Since this is a new product, it will be free in my store for the next hour or so. Feel free to click on the picture below to head to my TpT store and download it! Let me know what you think! If you have any suggestions of things to add, I would love to hear that too!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Adventures of Ai Giveaway!

I was lucky enough to be  given a chance to review a copy of Adventures of Ai by Craig T. Bouchard. 

I really enjoyed this book and will be adding it to my read aloud list. This book would probably be a little difficult for reading groups for my 4th graders, but I think it will make a great read aloud. 
We have been talking a lot about different cultures in class and the setting of this book is in Japan, making it perfect for discussion. 
The book starts out with a dad telling a bedtime story to his children about a family in Tokyo, Japan, and then goes back 500 years to tell the story of a young girl named Ai who lived in 1514.  The story tells about the adventures of Ai and the lessons she learns along the way. 
The book also has a video game that can be downloaded for free. Check out the book and video game trailer below.

Here is a link to the video game if you are interested: Adventures of Ai video game.

Enter the giveaway below if you are interested in receiving an Adventures of Ai e-book! Two winners will be chosen. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway