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December 15, 2014

Life in the Classroom {Giveaway and Donors Choose}

I love my classroom.  I really do.  It makes me happy.  So much blue and green on the walls that calms my soul.  I realized the other day that I don't know if I ever really showed you a picture of my classroom since the very beginning of school.  Well here are 2 overviews of the room.  It's not a perfect picture, goodness I just realized that one of my kid's whiteboard rags is on the floor... but that's life, right?  

Things I love about this room:
*The colors - the blue and green fabric have lasted for years, and they still make me happy.
*The space - I can arrange the desks in so many ways.
*The 3 drawer storage drawers that line the side and back of my room.  I bought the Sterilite containers over a few summers, but now I'm so organized.  The kids know exactly where to put things back and where to find things. 
*Room for a carpet area - The ability to sit as a group on the ground.
I love so much about the room itself, and that's not even including all the kiddos that I get to work with every day.  

Over on FB, I'm having a giveaway.  Just find the post with my classroom picture, and leave a picture of your own classroom in the comments.  I'll choose a random classroom on Thursday afternoon at 5pm, and the winner can choose whatever task card or research set that he or she wants from my store.  

I'm also looking for help funding my Donor's Choose project.  I just created a new one last night - a class set of Boogie Boards, and this week all donations can be matched by Disney by using the promo code DISNEY.  Please consider helping my class, and get a tax write off in the process!  

Thank you!

December 9, 2014

Crossword Puzzles - Be Still My Heart

I love making my kids use crossword puzzles in class to review vocabulary.  There are tons of free websites out there, but I keep finding myself heading to this link.  It makes it easy to input the words, definitions, adding a title, and choosing whether or not to include a word list, answer key, etc.

At the end of the chapter I pull up the site, and type in the information.  It allows me to save it as a PDF for next year.  The kids are actually excited to do it because it is fun!  It's a great way to review! 

Do you use crossword puzzles too?  What other games do you play for vocabulary?


December 4, 2014

Rainbow Edit in Action

By this point in the year I can really tell the kids are "getting" editing their rough drafts.  I know they are paying attention to all those conventions, mainly because their paragraphs are full of color.  I wanted to share a student example with you.

Since the 2nd week of school we have been working with paying attention to the different details in our paragraphs.  First trimester (because it's only 9 weeks long), I have the kids focus on writing one solid paragraph for each of their writing pieces.  I know 1 paragraph doesn't seem like much, but the kids are constantly writing on a daily basis in all subjects, so 1 paragraph they can tackle at a time (and it won't take them forever since they also have to reread it and color it).  

Now in 2nd trimester they have moved onto multi paragraph essays, and they are doing good with it.  We don't always get past the editing/revising stage, but I have seen this group come so far as writers.

Want to check it out?  Here's my Rainbow Editing Pack!
 Rainbow Edit Writing Process

Hope you had a great day yesterday!

December 3, 2014

Prime and Composite Freebie

Months ago I decided to start a folder on my computer of TPT Projects to Finish.  I would start something and then think of something else, and would stick it in my folder to finish.  Hence, a lot of projects were half done and over break I realized that I needed to finish them before my class needed them this year.

Prime and Composite Numbers are quickly approaching, and since my kids love to color I decided to turn this lion into numbers they have to identify.  Let's be educational.  :)  

Here's the link over at TPT if you need something fun for Prime and Composite Numbers.  


December 2, 2014

My Math Online Chapter Tests

This year my district adopted My Math as our new math curriculum.  It is an easy program to follow, the big jump has been taking the chapter assessments online.  I know the whole point is to be as "green" as possible, but there wasn't a way to notify parents and students of their child's scores, so I made up these chapter notes.

Now I just print 8 copies of the specific chapter page, and fill in student scores.  It's working!  I still print out the assessment if a child doesn't pass (so their parent can see the actual test), but for the majority of my class the note suffices.  

If you happen to teach 4th grade My Math, the notes can work for you too!  They are free over on TPT.  

Have a wonderful day!