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Monday, April 21, 2014

Spark Motivation and A Peek at My Week {Frozen, Toliver}

Today is my last day of spring break and it has been a relaxing staycation! I tried limiting my computer time (you just need that sometimes!).
I'm linking up a day late for the wonderful Mrs. Laffin's Laughings weekly linky: 
We are starting Toliver's Secret this week. This will be my third year using this novel. 
You can about what I did last year more here.
Before break, we read Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?
I only teach ELA, but the math teacher will be gearing up for the NYS tests that are next week. In all my 14 years of teaching, I have always been responsible for preparing students for a state exam and we will have a celebration after the tests. Since this goes along with student motivation, I am linking this up with my BBB, Joanne, at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her weekly linky:

The ELA tests were the week before break, and the math tests are about four weeks after that. So, we decided to have two celebrations. Our celebration for the ELA tests was to watch Frozen:
We also had a couple frozen treats!
The whole 4th grade can fit in one of our 4th grade classrooms. The lights were off here but the picture shows it as being lighter than it actually was.
What do students have to do to be able to go to the celebration? They just have to work hard and show us that they're putting forth their best effort on test days! This means taking your time, going back to the text and underlining, and using TWO details for all those short response questions. I discuss this with all my classes in advance and really play up the celebration. They eat it up! I've never had a student not be able to go to the celebration but have had to give some students "warnings" during the test. It might be a little bribery, but, hey, whatever works! They deserve a special treat for surviving the test anyway! :)


  1. Your class just sounds awesome! In Ontario we only have testing in grades 3 and 6. I guess we should count our blessings. Congrats on having that behind you! Enjoy the final stretch!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  2. It sounds like you had a very relaxing staycation! I'm jealous....Our 5th grade is studying the Revolutionary War right now so I will share the Toliver's Secret book idea with them. Thanks for linking up! (I'm ready to go for Tried it Tuesday!)
    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  3. I love the movie Frozen! We have been watched part of it during lunch last week as a reward for getting Class Rams Tickets(tickets given out to classes for good behavior around the school).

    Adventures in 4th Grade