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September 6, 2013

Five for Friday


Friday!  Linking up with Doodle bugs Teaching to share about my week.  :)

What a week it has been.  Last week I actually felt like I was getting into the groove of it all, and then life/school/craziness started back up again...

and blogging took a backseat to grading and planning and being a mom.


First up, last weekend was the Lego Kid Fest - it was packed with Lego fans.  So many little boys running around, building up creations... future engineers...
My oldest has loved Legos since he was tiny... this was definitely a day that he loved.  :)  
I actually took some pictures of my classroom this week.  
Well rather today, I remembered to snap some shots.


We made up our Ecosystem folders.  I've never made lapbooks before, so I'm new to the whole thing.  I'm pretty happy how they came out.  The kids loved making it too.  This was just for our Chapter 1 in Science - it was reviewing nonliving & living things, community vs. population, and land vs. water ecosystems.  We made it up for a review before the first BIG TEST.  I think it really helped them study as the kids knocked the test out of the ballpark!

Since this week has been all about ecosystems, Tuesday we headed to the library and the kids had the job of "researching" an ecosystem of their choice.  From there we took those fun facts and went through the writing process of rough draft (learning the importance of not just copying our notes), rainbow edit, and final draft.  

I'm still not what else I want to add to the ecosystem pack... already have a bunch of stuff similar to my Regions pack... just for Ecosystems instead... maybe I should add templates for my ecosystem diorama...and things for predator/prey... food webs... guess it isn't done yet!   


This week we also had our first art docent lesson.  At my school we have creative parents that sign up to "adopt" a class for the year.  Wednesday mornings will become extra wonderful as my art mom will be coming in every other week.  :)  This week my class learned about Piet Mondrian and created an inspired piece using squares cut from cardboard, and primary colors.  The kids just traced the squares onto white paper with black crayon, and then colored in the rectangles and smaller squares with a pop of color.

Multi-Digit Addition and Subtraction Task Cards (Apple theme)
I also taught my kids the fun of scoot this week.  In math our focus has been on adding and subtracting greater numbers.  We played games using dice, and then I passed out my apple themed addition and subtraction cards.  Each kid got their own class number on their desk.  They wrote out the numbers 1-32 on a piece of binder paper.  They had a minute to solve their own problem, and then when I said scoot they would move to a different desk.  I didn't make them go in order around the tables, they just had to go to another desk.  They are big fans of the online-stopwatch website, specifically the snail races (Thanks Turbo!).  Anyway, after playing it for about 15 minutes on Wednesday, they begged for another day of playing it - so we played it for another 15 on Thursday.  :)  Love the practice and excitement levels.


I love almost every part of being a teacher - except grading... and specifically grading writing.  It's like nails on a chalkboard (especially at the beginning of the year)...  so this year I changed up my writing labels.  Maybe it's my old eyes, but the tiny labels were driving me nuts - plus I would have to find a spot to stick it...  Instead I fit 8 per page, large enough with all the information I need and it's just a matter of stapling it to the paper.  Since my school grades writing on a rubric, I used the same rubric idea to make my life easier.  4 is excellent, 3 is almost perfect, 2 is approaching standard, and 1 needs big time help.  Maybe it could help you - it's over on Google Docs.  

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Thanks for taking the time to write this great post. I love love love the Lego! Oh what fun. The art work is fab too - simple concept with stunning results. Going to check out that ecosystem unit and the apple task cards in your store. Cheers!

  2. I love the idea of rubric labels - I teach art and always struggle with writing the grade on the paper and explaining why a grade is a grade to parents. I'm going to be doing the labels ASAP!!!!
    I'm your newest follower!
    ~ Kristin

    1. Are they actually labels or just slips of paper? If they are printed on sticky labels - what size?

    2. I used to have it on labels last year but now it's just stapled on with slips of paper. My labels are still on the blog, you can search under the writing tab and Ill look for it too.

  3. Love the ecosystem lapbooks! Great idea. We use rubrics for every subject, they have changed my life! Love the idea of labels! :)


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