Friday, April 18, 2014

Five for Friday {Spring Break Style!}

After a little vacation from blogging, I am coming out of hiding to link up Five For Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!   

We are on spring break! Yay!! Last weekend was gorgeous and then Tuesday hit and we had a 40 degree drop in temperature in one day. It was snowing all morning and was cold enough to stick. Yuck!
Before leaving for break, I gave my students a little Easter treat. I love these little cups that were four for $.97 at Walmart. I put some Easter candy and a pencil in them.

I finally signed up after reading all about Stitch Fix!! I can't wait to get my first box of clothes/accessories in the mail next week. I don't make time for myself to shop often with two kids that I have to shop for as well. I'm also not up on the latest trends and could use my personal stylist to help me! I'll let you know how it goes with the first shipment. :)
We spent Tuesday and Wednesday night in a hotel about 30 miles from home. The kids thought we were in another world though! We went to an indoor water park all day Wednesday. It is exhausting but the kids loved it!

Here is my six year old (soon to be seven) who is getting so grown up! She has several students in her class that wear glasses and she had to get some fake ones for herself! Haha! I remember wanting glasses, especially in middle school and we used to "borrow" our friends' glasses to wear. Lilly might be out of luck since neither myself or my husband have ever worn glasses. Hopefully, the good vision genes got to her too! :)
 Here she is with her shipment from Little Passports that came recently. Her great aunt gave her a subscription as a present and she loves it! This month the package was from Egypt and she had to excavate this plaster pyramid to find the hidden treasure inside. :)

I'm Lovin Lit is hosting two awesome fundraising bundles to help raise money for her nephew Jaydon. You can read more about his story here.
This is the 3-6 bundle:
This is the K-2 bundle.
Each bundle is only $10.00!! The bundles are only active for a limited time though!

Have a great weekend everyone!! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tried It Tuesday {Intermediate Science}

Only four more days to go until TEN days off!! I think I can...I think I can! As I sit here writing this post, my grades are due today, my walk-in observation can be any day, and I am still mentally exhausted from last week's ELA state tests (which I get to regionally score tomorrow so I need sub plans made still! Yay me!!). Haha! It's always something!

We are staying home for the most part over spring break but are taking a two night trip to an indoor water park with the kids. I am looking forward to playing catch up on many items on the to-do list! I won't be posting a new Tried It Tuesday post next week, but this link up will be open for TWO weeks, so feel free to link up anytime and check back!
Now, it's Time for Tried It Tuesday! 
What have you tried at school or home?
My Tried It:
Intermediate Science
Now that the ELA test is over, our teachers are gearing up for math and science. I can breathe a big sigh of relief since I only teach all the ELA, but wanted to share some great science resources with you today by some of my BBB's!
One topic I taught when I did teach all subjects in fourth grade was physical and chemical changes. I love using videos in the science classroom and found this engaging "Changes Rap" on Youtube.

I also found this great anchor chart example on Pinterest.
This chemical and physical changes SCOOT game by my amazing friend Sabra at Teaching With a Touch of Twang is a great activity to incorporate when teaching this skill!
I love the chart that comes with this pack listing many examples of physical and chemical changes!
The cards are so colorful and REALLY make the students stop and think!
These students actually used this game at a center and I laminated the answer sheet for use with dry erase markers. They each took half of the cards and recorded their answers with different color markers. Then, when they were done, they calculated who had more correct answers! Of course, you can also play whole class SCOOT with the cards too!

Are you looking for a great deal on some fun, engaging intermediate science activities? Check out this amazing deal on Educents! For a limited time, there are NINE intermediate science downloads (including the SCOOT game above) for only $10.99 from Educents (this is about 65% off!).   

Check out all these amazing science products included in this bundle!

And if you have never purchased from Educents before.. they always have a great deal for your first purchase.  
Click here if you are a first time purchaser to take advantage of a  special offer just for you!   

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Peek at my Week {Revolutionary War Role Plays, Point of View}

I know...I'm a day late to the party! Our ELA state tests were last week and after THAT, I felt like I needed to reside permanently in bed this weekend. I could have easily done that since my lovely husband passed strep throat to me (as well as my six year old daughter!).
We are already feeling better because we called in that antibiotic on Saturday as soon as I knew. It was nice that we didn't have to go to the doctor since someone in the household already had it. So, yet again, I'm having a bad week of blogging.:(
However, I took pictures on Friday with the intent of linking up with my sweet friend, Jennifer, from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for her weekly linky: 
I teach three ELA blocks a day and today was a pretty easy day as we finished up our novel, Can't You Make Them Behave King George? by Jean Fritz and took a test. 
Then the reading teacher and I conferenced with the students to set new Accelerated Point Goals for the last ten weeks of the year (YAY!) while they were at Daily 5 centers. 
We learned about first and third person point of view last week. I forgot to take individual pictures of a student notebook (I'll try to update this tomorrow) but here are some shots from my APPR binder of point of view notes. The interactive notebook chart is from Nicole Shelby's Reading Interactive Notebook.
You can also see more about point of view in the lesson I shared here last year.
This week, we are using these Primary Sources of Famous People in American History found here at Rosen Publishing or here at Amazon. I have a collection on loan and had eleven different choices of people from the American Revolution. I have 15 or 16 students per section, so a few students in each class had to choose the same personality.

 The books are about a third grade reading level and my students could read them in about 15 minutes. I love that even my lower readers were engaged and many students raised their hands to have me come over so they could tell me a neat fact they learned. "Did you know Alexander Hamilton" was in a real life duel?" Tomorrow, they will take an AR test on their book. 

 Large print with colorful pictures

Last year, I had students research their Revolutionary War figure online, but I think I am going to like using these books better as a source. They have more than enough information that the students will need and it is at their level (or below). Next, I will have students write about their figure in the second person "You are Crispus Attucks." Here is a sample below and click here for the resource I used.
I will place students in groups and give them a "role" to play by handing them an essay written in second person. The group will then have the task of creating a script for a role play based on their Revolutionary War figures. We will work on this Tuesday and Wednesday and groups will present their role plays on Thursday. I will be out Wednesday grading ELA state tests regionally (not my own kids but grading probably one written response question ALL day from students ALL over the county!...yeah, NOT fun!). I will be sure to blog about the role plays soon and let you know how it goes this year!

Friday we have a 1/2 day with students in the morning and teacher's in-service in the afternoon. In the morning, we are having our ELA test is over "celebration" by watching Frozen and enjoying a cold treat! Students are also allowed to wear their pajamas to school (they cheered when they heard that!).

THEN...It is spring break for me until we go back on April 22nd!!! Wahoo! Four more days!
See you tomorrow for Tried It Tuesday! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tried It Tuesday {APPR, New Fan Freebie, Pin It to Win It!}

Happy April Fools Day! Today is day one of three for ELA testing in New York. Wahoo! Ready or we go! This is always a stressful time of year for me and teaching all the ELA this year has made given me more pressure. The time constraints on the test worry me the most because my students tend to work slow. On day three (Thursday), they will have three [rigorous] passages to read, five short response questions, and an extended response question to answer in 70 minutes.
I know my students will put forth their best effort. That's all I can ask! :) Then, we have one more week to teach next week and will be on spring break for a week!
The countdown begins...
It's Time for Tried It Tuesday! 
What have you tried at school or home?
My Tried It:
APPR Binder
My APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review) binder was due yesterday with artifacts aligned to Domains 1 and 4 of the Danielson Teacher Rubric.
It is great fun getting this "portfolio" ready every year (insert sarcasm!). I feel like I'm back in college and spent the majority of Sunday and Monday (early) morning getting everything ready since I am the queen of procrastination. It is not a [complete] waste of time because it is somewhat satisfying thinking about the work I do that I'm passionate about but there are so many other things I could have been doing during that time to help my students. Sigh...

About a year and a half ago I made binder dividers for my APPR binder aligned to the Danielson rubric and put them on TpT for sale. This product slowly evolved into more than just binder dividers as teachers repeatedly asked me for more examples of what I used as my evidence. Now, it includes 132 pages of materials to organize the binder with many examples of "artifacts" that are editable for teachers to adapt for their own use. 
Here are some pictures of my binder for this year that I turned in yesterday:

My least favorite task was typing my "Educational Article Reflection and Curriculum Implementation" that aligns to 4e: Growing and Developing Professionally. Our district gives us three choices of "recommended artifacts" for each domain's element and you have to use one of the three or it doesn't count. I have one article reflection from last year in my Danielson product. The reflection from last year and the new reflection for this year is available as a Fourth Grade Flipper Facebook Fan Freebie! It is fully editable for your use too! The iPad article I used this year has a link to the full online article in the PowerPoint file.

Would you like to a chance to win my Danielson APPR product? Pin the image below, leave the URL in the comments and I will chose a winner (or two!) tonight. :)
Have a great week everyone!


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