Sunday, May 24, 2015

End of the Year Book Fair

Testing is over (phew!), graduation practice is in full swing, and my students are starting to check-out and are ready for summer. The learning can't stop yet though - it has to continue well into June - that is why I've come up with a solution.

My end of the year book fair is a favorite of mine and my students for the past three years. I pick 5 books and have my students rank which one they would most want to read. I then split my class into 5 groups.

This year my 5 books are:

  • Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (A lot of my kids love HP this year!)
  • Bridge to Terabithia (A 5th grade classic!)
  • Holes (They were upset we didn't read it this year!)
  • Hatchet (A few of the kids read it and loved it!)
  • Maniac Magee (One of my favorites!)
So as my students are reading they take notes on many of the elements of the story and begin to build a trifold board with information.

This year I decided to align this project to the Common Core standards - one of the best parts about doing this was adding a new component - a venn-diagram. I gave students the option of which venn-diagram to complete, but with comparing and contrasting a big part of the standards, I was proud of this addition.

You can purchase the updated product from my TpT store - the project is 20% for the next 72 hours so grab it now!

What books are your kids reading to end the year?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Appy Hour: Class Dojo

So as my spring break comes to a close, I face the reality of a Monday morning alarm clock. The benefit of returning to school tomorrow is that while I was away, my laptops from Donor's Choice arrived. I am looking forward to opening a box with four new laptops for my students to use.

The excitement for tomorrow has inspired me to write a new reoccurring post. . .

Appy Hour was first introduced to me at a recent conference, where, like the title may suggest, educators gathered around a bar and shared some apps they use in the classroom. While we aren't discussing these apps at a bar, I hope you are enjoying a nice glass of wine as you read this. :)

And so, the first app I've chosen to share is ClassDojo.
To be honest, I use ClassDojo as both an app and a website - but regardless - it is still one of my favs.

I'm sure most of you are "down with the Dojo" but if you aren't, it is a classroom management program that allows you to award both positive and negative points for student behavior. One of the best features is it allowed parents to track the behavior and see WHY students are gaining or loosing points.

In my class, students trade in their points for prizes - the same prizes I have always given out as a teacher - but now instead of three classroom management methods - I'm down to ONE.

The best part is, I've convinced both my grade level partners to join this year so when my students switch classes, they are held to the same standard they are in my class because all teachers have access to each other's classes.

I leave you with the positive and negative behaviors I use. See you at the next Appy Hour!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Welcome Back!

Let me begin with an apology. I don't know why, but I haven't blogged in 558 days. Yes, over a year. The last blog post on here was at the end of the second week of the 2013-2014 school year. We are now more than halfway through the 2014-2015 school year. A lot has changed in the past 558 days and I'm excited that I've decided to return to the blogging world in order to share that.

Some of the big changes - I've moved from 4th grade back to 5th grade. I've spent a large part of my year working with two long term substitutes. This has added a unique perspective to the grade level switch. Not only that, but I've been lucky enough to work with the same students again this year.

My technology use has increased ten fold in the past 558 days. So much so, that I am currently applying for a Donor's Choice project for four laptops!

Additionally I've earned my Master's Degree from Nova Southeastern University. It was a one year program which I began in March 2014 and finished earlier this month. It was challenging at times, but definitely rewarding!

I'm excited to begin sharing all I do in my classroom - I enjoy my job each and every day and I look forward to sharing that excitement again. Before I go, one last thing . . . earlier this month I was lucky enough to be honored by my colleagues as my school's Teacher of the Year. That is half the reason I decided my 558 day absence has to end. After just three years as a teacher, it is very humbling to receive such an honor.

Let the blogging resume!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week Two!

Just finished week two - ten days down, 172 to go. . .

We had a lot of fun this week, in science we covered the scientific method and ended the week with a small (yet stinky!) lab where we inflated balloons using baking soda and vinegar.

In reading we finished our first story, "The Code Talkers" and to end the week we became code talkers creating codes for our vocabulary words.

It was a lot of fun, but now I have a mountain of papers to grade and a powerpoint to prepare for Monday's open house. Have a nice weekend . . . I'll be sitting at my desk the whole time. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ladies & Gentlemen . . Teachers of All Ages!

The time has come to the annual TeachersPayTeachers Back To School sale! This Sunday and Monday you can get 28% off any and all items in my TPT store. I begin classroom set-up on Monday so you can expect photos after your shopping spree! I already have my cart full!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

What Do You Make?

As we prepare to head back to school and my garage is a mess of me packing up to move into my new school I keep hearing "what do you make?" Well my friends . . .

But most importantly . . I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Get ready for Back To School '13!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teacher Love

Did you feel the love today? Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! Check out what our 5th grade student council did for the teacher;

Aren't they the best? What did you get? Hopefully a chance to shop! Our TAD sale is still going on!

Visit out store and fill your cart!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!