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June 13, 2021

Teachers in the Word Bible Studies

Today I wanted to share a little about the summer Bible studies 
I've done over the years.  You might totally already know about 
them, but in the off chance you don't, 
and have been looking for something... well I wanted to share.  

Teachers in the Word started years ago, and every year 
Bonnie and Bethany have put together a Bible study. 
The studies are geared for teachers.

Grace Changes Everything covers the book of Ephesians.

God's Promises for Life's Battles covers the book of Joshua.

Fruited is all about Galatians.

Just James covers the book of James.

Pits to Praises is this summer's, and it covers Psalms.  It just started.  :)  

There are also holiday ones for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  
I've learned a lot over the years through these 2 ladies.

Amazon has copies to pick up if interested, 
and Bonnie Kathryn Teaching on TPT has digital downloads of many of them.  

Hope you have a great day!

June 11, 2021

Our Class Musical

One of the highlights of every spring is our class Musical from Bad Wolf Press. 

Check out their products! (not an ad, just want to share what my team does)

This year I still wanted to do it, even though it couldn't be in the normal acting, songs, costumes, props kind of way... so we did it on our distance learning day as a Readers Theatre.  

In a normal year, starting in March, I start playing the songs during our independent work time.  Then eventually we choose parts, kids start working with their scene teams on lines and songs, and we practice the songs full class. After spring break we always kick it into high gear with staging and props. Then at the end of the year, parents are invited to 3 performances where they watch their kiddos shine.

Each class in my grade level has a different musical they are working on, so during those 3 performances, each class is able to take a time to come and watch their grade level classmates.  It's really a highlight of the year.  

The plays we normally do:

Mrs. P - 13 Colonies
Miss P - American Revolution
me - US Presidents: Washington to Lincoln
Miss H - Incredible Westward Movement

Last year the world shut down before we could even start the songs.  I'm kind of glad that we hadn't started yet.  That would have hurt even more.  

This year, I chose a Wednesday in our end of year countdown - our DL day - and we picked parts. Everyone had something. I shared my desktop screen with the script so the kids could all see, and had the file folder of songs open so they could hear.  They read their lines with emotion. They didn't sing, like they normally would, but they were still able to hear the lyrics.  It was good and it did my heart good.  

When it was all done, they turned their cameras on and they took a bow.  I'm really glad I was still able to give them this experience, even in distance learning mode.  I'm also looking forward to being able to get back to normal next year.  :)  

Hope this helps,

June 9, 2021

USA Paper Pillows - End of Year Project

One of the projects we did in the countdown to summer were USA paper pillows. I learned about this idea years ago from Teaching in Room 6.  She would have her kids make pillows about the 13 colonies.  Back in those days I taught 4th grade, so would have the kids draw the outline of California (since that's what our SS was all about), decorate it, cut it out, staple most of it shut, and stuff it with the left over paper before the final staple. 

I stopped doing that project when moving to 5th... don't know why. I think because other projects started taking over. This year I needed to go simple with projects that the kids could do at home.  I was reminded about it when Timehop popped up with my old 4th grade Open House pictures.  Seeing the California pillows hanging from the ceiling, I was reminded of how easy it was.  

When I was in 5th grade my elementary school used to have all the 5th graders head to the gym, where we had a huge USA state test.  Big paper on the lunch tables where we each had to draw the USA outline, and then fill in all the states and capitals.  So I decided to combine the ideas to make the pillows. 

It was fun.  It took a good 30 minutes, easily could have taken more.  Kids online and in class were both able to do it at the same time. 

I had the kids get 2 pieces of copy paper.  Then I showed them an outline of the USA, did not have them try to free draw it - posting a picture in our TEAMS conversation for the kids at home, and leaving under the document camera for the kids in class... 

Here are the student directions:

1. Draw the outline of the USA on copy paper or construction paper. Make it big to take up the whole paper. 

2. Write our units in the middle of the map and decorate with little pictures. You can use color.

3. Put your map outline on top of another paper and bubble cut both papers out. One cut for both papers. Do not try and cut the lines perfectly. 

4. Tape or staple the 2 papers together, leaving one end open. 
(This year I gave in class students a long piece of tape, and they just used their scissors to cut little pieces - they couldn't share a stapler.)

5. Scrunch up the scraps of paper, fill the pillow, and finish closing. 

Then being almost 6th graders they tried to use the pillows to take a nap... silly kids.  :)  

This project is great as a review.  Choose a shape that has significance and have them review what they have learned on by writing notes on top. 

Hope it helps,

June 7, 2021

Virtual Field Trips

This year I used my email drafts to store important links for easy access.  Everything was just a click away.  One thing, maybe the best thing, I learned this year was this link for virtual FREE field trips.  

Here's the link: Virtual Field Trips by Wide Open Schools

A lot of them tied into things that my class was already going to learn about... and then others that I used in the countdown to summer, when I added onto my own "theme" days. Here are the ones we watched and how it connected.  

(The images below are screenshots from their webpage, look for these images over there.)

Lego - this was one that I had the kids watch during an asych. time.  They then had to give me a RACE paragraph to explain the steps of engineering that they observed.  

Pencil - This was one that we watched during the final summer countdown - I screenshared the webpage and the kids chose this.  They got a kick out of listening to the accents, but also learned how pencils were created.  

Tesla - We watched this together in class when we were discussing how machines are built to make things easier.  It tied into our science unit.

White House - We watched this in our summer countdown on our White House Day, and this one as well to go inside.  Then we created our USA Paper Pillows, and also used the Art Hub for Kids link to draw the White House.  

Mount Rushmore - we watched on our Presidents Day countdown to summer. We had gone over the musical that I normally do with the kids, and watched this as well.  When we were done with the field trip, I let them spend some fake money in the real online gift shop. They had to review adding and subtracting decimals, and then share what they decided to buy. We ended our time with having them drawing Mount Rushmore. 

Animal Shelter - We live about an hour away from Sacramento, so in our countdown to summer, the kids asked to watch this one about the animal shelter.  

National Parks - Back in March I had to take a day off of school.  We were in the midst of our earth sphere's unit, and this tied in perfectly.  It was an easy thing for my sub to do with the class, love how it was guided.  

Chocolate Chip Cookies - the kids asked to watch this in our last week countdown to summer.  It was really interesting!

Space - we watched these during our Space unit. It tied in perfectly.  

Toilet Paper factory - We watched this because they are 5th graders... :)  

The link above has a ton more, sorted by grade spans.  These were all from the 3-5th grade level. 

Hope this helps, 

June 5, 2021

End of Year Countdown - Shout Out

Summer started a week ago and I'm now starting to feel like a human again.  :)  Today I wanted to share what helped me fill the last 2 weeks of school - you know, when life was crazy.  

The Core Coaches has this incredible resource that I've used the last couple of years.  

When I picked this up a few years ago, I was more thinking for easy sub plans or random theme days for Fridays to spice things up a bit.  This year it was completely used for the end of school.  I wasn't able to do all of them, but we did tackle a lot of the theme days.  Each day comes with a math review and ELA activities, and then some STEM, research, art, fun stuff, etc as well.  

To make this work with my hybrid classroom, I printed off the papers I needed and added them into file folders, then wrote the "to do" list on the outside so I could keep my plan in order, as I was adding in other links and activities as well.  During the actual lessons I took a quick picture to add to our TEAM conversation, and then put the paper under my document camera for my in class kids.  TEAMS was acting glitchy, so I was trying not to screen share for a long time. 

For the most part I did use it as is - highly recommend the articles and activities.  It's a complete unit. There are digital links as well, and those helped to find links for online read alouds, etc.  The kids just used copy paper to work on the activities, we did them whole class.  It kept them engaged over the last weeks of school. 

The days we did tackle: 
Aeronautics Day - tied in perfectly with our Science Design Parachute Challenge. We also made reflection 3D Hot Air Balloons about our dreams for the future, and had a Paper Airplane challenge.

National Parks Day - the kids loved to research. I added in a virtual field trip to Yellowstone, and I did take the kids outside to do the Mentos and Diet Coke. I had joined our class TEAM conversation on my phone so kids at home could participate, and my colleague dealt with my phone when I was dealing with the soda and candy. 

Weather Day - I added in some youtube links with Natural Disasters and the reminders how we can help others that have experienced them.

Summer Safety Day - Oh, the kids were also so good at brainstorming "rules" for their younger siblings of things to remember and why... The articles included were awesome. 

Summer Holidays - This was a fun one. I added in an Art Hub for Kids drawing. We used youtube links for each of the holidays as well.  

Reflection Day - This I used over a span of 2 days as I added in our ABC's of 5th grade, our Class Memory Jar, and Yearbook.  

Like I said, I highly recommend this.  Even if you don't know when you will use it - it really is a complete day worth of material, and you don't have to print tons of papers if you do things full class. To prep for each day, I simply got the specific file folder with hard copies and had added the links to my email drafts so it was an easy access. 

Hope this helps,