Monday, February 25, 2013

It's nearly March, bring on the four leaf clovers!

March is absolutely my favorite month!  I love how the weather starts to warm up (fingers crossed!), and it's the month of Spring Break- woop woop and it may just be the month of my birthday... I just LOVE March!  I'm also a huge fan of all things green... and Saint Patrick's Day is all about the green!  I was super excited to make a few Saint Patrick's Day sets to use in my classroom! 

My St. Pattie's {5th Grade} Math Centers are full of all things 5th grade.  {Working with decimals, converting measurements, working with ordered pairs, multiplying and dividing multiple digits, and finding volume}.  I am so excited to start using these games in my classroom.  The activity I am most thrilled about is my Ordered Pairs Cryptogram!  Using ordered pairs, students will find the answers to 3 different St. Pattie's Jokes.  I laughed so hard when i found some of these jokes...

For example!  What is left out on the lawn all summer and is Irish?

Wait for it...

Paddy O'furniture!  Ha!

I looove that one.  And the other two are just as great.  This is a great way for your kiddos to practice working with ordered pairs!  Check out this fun product- HERE!  Or click on the picture below :)

Also Green & St. Pattie's Day Themed...

Coordinate Graphing BATTLESHIP!  Just like we used to play back in the day :)

And last but not least, a fun little {freebie} featuring an ordered pairs graphing activity!

I hope that you find something here that you can use in your classroom.

Happy Monday!  Enjoy your week :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hall Pass Linky!

I am super excited to be joining up with Miss Reagan Tunstall's Hall Pass Linky today!  (Go check out her fabulous blog AND her adorrrable classroom.  Seriously.  It's beautiful.)

And the rules are......

I absolutely wish I could have a Hall Pass some days.  Especially with state testing around the corner! 

P- My favorite product I've made... hmmmmm.  I would have to say it's a Free one!  I LOVE my multiplication game I created.  I needed a game for my kiddos that reviewed multiplication facts (that wasn't just flash cards). And this game is so simple.  My kiddos love it and I love that it can be differentiated in no time at all.  I have several students playing this game every single day.  LOVE.  It's so funny how the simplest things can be the most effective. 

A- Area... my favorite area in my classroom has to be my horseshoe table.  I just love meeting there with my learners.  It's where we meet for almost all of our small groups (unless I feel like sitting on the floor or venturing out into the hall), where our kiddos go if they need help, or want to brag about how much they've grown, or want to talk, or need to talk.  And it doesn't hurt that my comfy chair is there too...  So my horseshoe table is where everything happens.  And from here I can see just about everything that goes on in the room.  As you can see, here...

S- Signals are vital to every classroom.  And I love how they're so unique to each teacher.  I have a ton of signals I use to keep my kiddos on their toes.  But my all time fav has to be one I learned from my mentor teacher during student teaching- snapping my fingers.  When students hear me snapping my fingers, they have to stop what they're doing, zip their lips, and start snapping too!  It's so funny to see them snapping (or trying to snap!).  And it allows them to wrap up what they're working on and then join us in the snapping. 

S- Oh sanity... I am amazingly fortunate to be working in a school that has Fridays off.  We still have work days on Fridays... but no kiddos.  {It's all kinds of amaaaazing}  I love going into work early on Friday mornings, while the building is quiet and nearly empty, and getting on my laptop and scowering blogs and pinterest for teaching inspiration for the next week.  I always try to have my lesson planning finished by Friday afternoon, so this is how I jump start my planning.  I drink my coffee, eat my greek yogurt, and plan away.  It keeps me sane for the weekend and is a great way to wrap up my busy week. 

What's your Hall Pass?  Join the linky over at Miss Turnstall's Blog and link up!

Tweet tweet!

I know I'm behind the trend... as always :)  But I have an exciting, new (to me), bulletin board to share with y'all.  My super duper co teacher has been amazing at updating our bulletin board out in the hallway all year. 

At the beginning of the year, we had little windmills that corresponded with our energy unit.  During our poetry unit, she made an actual PoeTREE that we hung student's written poems on.  This past week, she made our very own Facebook and Twitter Page bulletin board.  SO stinkin' cute.  I've never seen students SO excited about a bulletin board before.  They kept asking us if we were going to really get a Facebook account and what we were going to do with Twitter! 

Well, we, the teachers, finally made our first "Posts" this week.  On our "facebook" page, we asked students to tell us about a problem they are facing in their book right now, as THAT character.  And on "twitter" we asked students to summarize their book in 140 characters. (They were shocked that it was harder than it sounds!)

In their  weekly book clubs (I'll be posting about how we do those later this week!), we had some of our students write to either board, and then edited and revised their work, wrote it on a strip of construction paper, and posted their "response"! 


I'll try and get some close ups for y'all... All I have now are these two pictures.  But the bulletin board is just absolutely darling and so much fun!  I love how we've integrated "technology" into our every day learning. 

And in an attempt to try adding some more technology, I've gotten our class a twitter account.  We'll see if we can actually use it :)  Feel free to follow us @IACS5thGrade. 

Happy tweeting!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cursive- Who uses it?

Hey teacher friends!

When did you learn to write in cursive?  I remember moving from Georgia to Cincinnati, Ohio at the beginning of 3rd grade and realizing that everyone already knew how to write in cursive- except for me!  Eeeee.  I went home crying and my mom talked with my teacher and I got extra help so I could catch up to everybody else.  But now cursive is not really part of our school's curriculum.  There's too many other things to worry about and cursive just gets swept under the rug.

Or maybe you're like me and you just send home cursive pages once a week for homework/ practice. 

How important is cursive?  What's important about cursive?  Should we be teaching it?  Or should we just be teaching how to read it and sign a name?  I never know.  So it gets put on the back burner.  But that's SO not good either. 

So this week I decided to step up the emphasis on cursive.  I wasn't really sure what direction to take.  But I thought about what's most important these days.  I think kids should still learn to write in cursive, but it's not as important for them to write in it all the time.  Instead, I feel like they should know how to sign their name and they should be comfortable reading cursive.  If they decide to learn how to write it, that's great, but it's their own choice!  So to emphasize the importance of reading cursive, I've started writing my morning messages in cursive.  Yikes- that's even hard for me to do! 

I already see some improvement in their knowledge of reading cursive!  Students that asked me questions at the beginning of the week are no longer asking questions and are getting their morning work finished!  We'll see how this goes, but I'm hoping it will at least prep them for the middle school years coming up!  What types of things are you doing?  Any thoughts on how to make cursive even better?  I look forward to hear what other teachers out there are doing!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Best idea ever!!

My co teacher found this great idea somewhere on Pinterest... if you know where it comes from, PLEASE let me know so I can properly give them credit.  BUT  I am in love.  Like, this is amazing/ teacher nerding out, type of love :) 

Our kiddos are ALWAYS stealing our new Expo markers and wearing them down.  No matter how many times we talk about it.  They love them just as much as we do.  I understand!  But I still want to be able to find a nice marker when I'm writing up on our whiteboard.  So I've tried coloring on the expo markers, writing my name on them, taping ribbon to them, etc...  But nothing seems to help keep them "mine".  So here comes the brilliant plan... ready?  Drum roll please....

We hot glued large pom poms onto the end of them!  That way our learners know they are ours AND we have an eraser on hand, all the time!  FABULOUS! 

Look how beautiful they are!  :)

And so practical!  Gaw, I feel like a salesman, but seriously- they're brilliant!

Ahhhh happiness over the small things!

Please let me know if anyone else has any brilliant ideas like this... I love something simple and creative that will help you out in the classroom!  I hope it can help you too :)


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Much needed

Weekend getaway!  Whew- sometimes we just NEED them.  Whether it's to get away from your work, the day to day, or just to take a break, weekend {or week long!} getaways are so important.  This past weekend, my fiance and I took a much needed overnight.  We hopped on the TRAIN {wooo wooo} and rode an hour and a half up to the neighboring town of Glenwood Springs.  AAAMAZING.  Such a fun trip!  Riding the train was most of the fun- and pretty inexpensive.  I really wished I could have just stayed on the train all day.  When it was time to get off, I was so sad.  The views were amazing and we just had a great time relaxing and traveling! 

But this was our first time in Glenwood and we had lots to explore!  So off we went... finding delicious food, drinks, and spending LOTS of quality time together :)

The next day I came back home feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the week!  Sometimes a getaway, no matter how small and inexpensive, is just what you need! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Day Love!

Earlier this week I found this super cute and fun activity via Bridget at Little Lovely Learners. She posted here about a fun FREE Valentine's Day activity from Angelica Aves.

So we started off the week making our own "Recipes for Friendship".    It was so easy to do.  There was even a PowerPoint and student and teacher examples.  Naturally, we teachers had to make our own recipes! 

Our little learners loved doing this activity and came up with the absolute sweetest recipes!
Get a big bowl and add some kindness, a hunken piece of love, a bit of energetic, a cup of Paris, a very full cup of secret.  Stir a lot of energetic in then add a teaspoon of animals and a little sprinkle of kindness... and add a cookie.  
First you need love and humor.  Don't forget hugs!  Pour a cup of respectfulness and kindness.  Don't forget athleticness, secret keeping.  And you have to put a cup of fun and a cup of height. 

We hung them up in the hallway for others to enjoy throughout the week!  LOVE!  Thanks to Angelica Aves for this great activity!

This week was just full of Valentine's Day fun.  On Wednesday we had our 5th grade dance.  Yikes!  It's an annual activity that our school does for 5th graders.  But these little guys are so not ready to be having dances.  However, it is precious to see them run around in circles or, in some cases, roll across the floor.  There is no "dancing" to really be had.  We just play some {loud!} music, add some bright lights and a colorful paper chain, and viola!  There's a dance!  I'm pretty sure we have more fun than they do... maybe. 

Here the girls are dancing together.  Who needs boys!
The next morning, we celebrated Valentine's Day with a little breakfast fun!  I think this is one of the best ideas I've had in a long time.  Having a breakfast allowed us to take our time and it got their excitement out of the way.  We had no "When are we handing out Valentine's?" or "What do I do with my Valentine mailbox?"  Thank goodness.  We spent an hour in the morning passing out Valentine's and eating breakfast, and we were through!  Whew!  I had some fun activities planned for us that we didn't even get to touch!  Parents brought in containers of pancake mix, fruit, eggs, and bagels, and we had ourselves a delicious little breakfast!  The kids watched "The Lorax" while we baked.... they were so happy and content.  And so was I :) 

We ended up having SO much food that we had to offer it to the teachers at our school!  And we STILL had some leftover! 
Thank goodness for projectors.  Some days are just made for a little movie time :)
Co teacher making pancakes for us!  YUM!
Valentine's day week ended up being a great celebration!  I often dread parties because of their hecticness and the insanity they bring with them, but this one went so smooth and was a lot of fun.  PTL, y'all!!  Now we just have to make it through TCAP... Here's to one last party before State Testing! 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Sale!!

Check out my store for a Valentine's Day Sale!  Everything will be 20% off for the next few days!

Be sure to look into my Valentine's Day Set!  It has plenty of Common Core Alligned activities and math games for 3rd- 5th graders!


Body Parts Everywhere!

It's not what it sounds like, y'all.  My fabulous co-teacher has been teaching science for us- UH MAZING!  I am so sad to say that I absolutely hate science.  I know it's suppose to be fun.  I know it's suppose to be super hands on.  But it just doesn't stick in my brain.  I don't get science.  I don't love teaching science, no matter how hard I try and no matter how bad I want to, it's just not my thing.  But my lovely friend does love science and it is completely her thing.  More power to her :) 

So she has been doing a superb job of teaching.  Like I mentioned previously, she had groups create a paper body.  Since then she's been filling in their bodies with their "organs".  Very cool.  I'm learning so much just by watching and helping out.  Seriously- SO. MUCH. 

LOVE the "monster" head on this paper person! HA

She even has hung body parts from the ceiling!  Hey, if they need to daydream, at least they can daydream and read about some vital organs!  
Look at all those streamers of body parts hanging from the ceiling!

Hooray!  Science has become fun again in our classroom :)  What have others done to make science fun?  Please, please share!!  Happy Tuesday to all!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


There's nothing worse than waking up with aches, chills, and a fever on a Monday morning.  Blah!  Lucky (PTL) me, I have my AMAZING co-teacher to sub for me.  I am still recovering from being sick but luckily made it to school today.  I felt like my head was completely detached from my body all day but missing just one day feels like a seven month vaca, I swear, and I couldn't miss another day of school. 

I did find out that we won our school's canned food drive, today, which brightened my spirits :)  I pretty much bribed the class with a homework pass if they brought in cans of food.  I couldn't help myself... it is such a good cause and the winning class gets an ice cream party.  Eeee. 

Check out their cans from the beginning of the week...

Can you believe we ended up bringing in over 100 cans of food??!  They did AMWESOME!  I am so proud of my little learners! 

So who else finally purchased all those {amazing} items on their Wish List?  I was counting down the days to the Super Bowl Sale on TpT so I could purchase these fabulous products!  Check out these great purchases by some fabulous ladies!

The product I am absolutely MOST excited about is Miss Nannini's March Madness Project.  My students are ALL about sports.  Football, basketball, baseball.  You name it, they LOVE it.  And love following and talking about it.  This is right up their alley! 

These math games are going to go so well with my Valentine's Day Math Games.  I am so giddy that it is *finally* February! 
A few other purchases I made just to bring some fun or simplicity to my life!  Thank you, Ashleigh, for my 100th Day for Big Kids.  Big kids need 100th day fun too!! :)
and Anne Murray for this fun little Simile and Metaphor Quiz!
And last but not least, thank you, The Enlightened Elephant for your Graph Paper Clip Art.  How did you know I would need exactly this for my graphing unti coming up? 
I hope everyone had as much luck as I did during the sale- I can't think of a better way to spend the Super Bowl :)  Other than watching Beyonce work it at half time!!