Friday, September 27, 2013

Five for Friday - No Copy Machine Edition and a Sale!

This week started out with the news
that our school copy machine was not working.
It wasn't working until Wednesday afternoon.
For some of the staff, this was devastating news.
For the rest of us, we just decided to go with the flow.
I took it as an opportunity to think outside the box.
How can I teach this without a copied activity sheet?
My Five for Friday is a list of some activities I used this week.
1.  Practicing Area with Tape Rectangles
I used tape to make some rectangles on the floor
and my students went around finding the area of each one.
It looked like this except they were rectangles.
This is a picture from another blog.
I would have shared my pictures except my four year old
dropped my phone in the toilet and it died.
I lost the pictures I took of the activity.
Yes, I did try the phone in a bag of rice thing.
New phone for me!!
2.  Grammar - Complex and Compound Sentences
I took a screen shot of a kid friendly article.
I projected it onto our white board.
The kids came up and underlined complex
and compound sentences in the article.
3.  Dry Erase Boards
Dry Erase Boards
and more
Dry Erase Boards
4.  Math Games with .... Dry Erase Boards
One new idea I tried was having the kids
save their boards to show me the work they completed.
This way I was able to work with a small group
and those playing the games were being held accountable
for their work.
I also sent a few back to correct computation errors.
5. Construction Paper for Main Idea Organizer
The top rectangle was the main idea of our article.
The other three were supporting details.
In other news...
I reached the 500 followers milestone.
As a huge thank you for all the support,
I'm having a sale over at my store.
Be sure to check out some of my top selling items!
Sorry about the pictures being all over the page. 
I couldn't get them to fit in the right places.
Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Weather Foldable Winners

Just a super quick post today
because my four year old dropped my phone
I'm on my way to get a new phone!
I really wanted a new one anyway.
Shhh!  Don't tell her that.
I picked two winners for the
Kayla Root #6
Allee Ellen #10
Contact me so I can get you the foldables.
Thanks to everyone who left a movie suggestion.
Now I have something to watch this weekend!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weather Foldables - You Can Win Them and a Giveaway

School started over a month ago!
I've been so busy because we just started math Common Core.
We are starting ELA next year,
but my team and I are trying it out this year.
So I was so excited that I found a few minutes
to finally finish a new product.

 I love using foldables in my classroom.
We are always adding them to our journals in
reading, writing and math.
In science, we usually make a lapbook
to organize our learning.
So take a look at this new set in my TpT store.
Would you like to get this product for free?
Leave a comment below that answer this question:
What movie makes you laugh every time you watch it?
My answer: Anchorman
Everyone loves a giveaway.
Be sure to help Shifting Teacher K-2 celebrate.
Head on over and enter to win some great prizes.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five for Friday - Guess my Garbage, Math Videos and WBT

You know it's a long week when you doze off as your husband reads
bedtime stories to your two little ones.
I napped for two minutes and now I feel better.
I feel good enough to share my
1.  I found a fun way to get all the kids to help clean up the room...
Basically, choose one item in the room
that you would like to see fixed/cleaned up.
Don't tell the kids what you are thinking!
Ask everyone to help clean up.
The student who fixes/cleans up
the "mystery garbage" gets a prize.
I've already given away a pencil and some playdough.
It makes cleaning up a little bit more fun.
2.  My students made word problem videos.
Each small group wrote a problem
and then acted it out.
On Monday we will watch them
and give everyone a chance to solve the problems.
They really had a lot of fun.
It's also a great way to show that word problems
are actually very short stories.
3.  Idea #2 was created by the classroom aide in my room.
She was hired to assist with some particular students in my room,
but she has helped me so much.
She always has new ideas to share with me
and I have been able to ask her for advice about certain students or lessons.
I wish these professionals were paid more
and recognized more for the huge difference they can make in a classroom. 
4.  We are exactly a month into school.
How many more to go?
Just kidding!
5.  I started trying some Whole Brain Teaching strategies in my classroom.
We've done - Class, Yes
Teach (I just say - Talk to your buddy).
What are some other WBT strategies that I need to use?
Hope your week went well.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What are KenKen math puzzles?

Have you ever used these puzzles in your room?
They are fun way to practice math facts
and problem solving.
My student also learn about perseverance!
This is a KenKen puzzle.
You can create larger or smaller puzzles.
All four operations are available.
The best part...
it's free!
They have an online version and a mobile app.
I haven't tried them yet.
I get puzzles emailed to me weekly.
I print them up and use them during math
or even as a way to fill a few extra minutes during our day.
Click on the logo below to go to the site.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five for Friday Random Thoughts

I just made it through another week!
That means it is time for me to share my...
1.  We had an assembly at the end of the day today.  
I'm not a big fan of assemblies,
but it was awfully nice to end a Friday with it.

2.  I went to my first School Improvement Plan meeting.  
It's a school committee that my teammate usually is a part of,
but she's on maternity leave.  
I actually walked away with a few ideas
for in my classroom.
That's a first!

3.  It's Friday, so my daughters and I had our first
 "Friday Morning Starbucks"
of the school year.  
They get chocolate milk.  
I get an Iced CafĂ© Americano and a reduced fat turkey bacon sandwich.  
Do you have a weekly treat for yourself?
4.  Speaking of my two girls,
here is a picture that melts my heart.

The little one is starting to be able
to join her sister for certain activities.
5.  We used the Skitch app again in our classroom.
This time it was to show multiplication and division.
Are you ready for the weekend?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Made It - Quiet Dice and Number of the Day

I can't believe I made it through today.
My youngest has her molars coming in.
She was asleep/awake last about every 15 minutes.
It wasn't until 2:30am when she finally fell sound asleep.
Tonight will be an early to bed night for me.
Just as I like it quiet when I sleep,
I also like it quiet during math rotations.
To help with this, I made some special
bowls just for the dice we use.
I had some plastic bowls and felt.
I traced circle on the felt.
Then I cut the circles and used the spray
adhesive to keep them in place.

It's nothing fancy, but it was cheap and they work.
Another product I made were
Number of the Day Activity Sheets.
I love using Number of the Day during math.
It's a great way to review skills.
My problem was not all the children were participating.
Also, it was taking us too long to complete all the skills.
So I created these 1/2 sheets with only 4 skills on a sheet.
On days when I have more time,
I copy them back to back for a total of 8 skills.
I also like having the sheets for any day
when a substitute is in my room.
Number of the Day is great for a sub
because the kids know the routine.
Having a sheet for the kids to record their answers
makes sure they are completing their work when I'm not there.
Click on the pictures above to check them out at my TpT store.
I hope your week is off to a great start. 
Be sure to head over to
Fourth Grade Frolics
to see all the great things other people have made.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Are the kids even listening?

It all happened on Thursday.  
The class was quiet,
looking at me
and ready to hear the next set of directions.
 "What I need you to do is go to your desk,
take out your writing journal
and put the date at the top."  
I called on Kid A to repeat the directions.  
He didn't know them.  
So I called on Kid B.  
He didn't know them.  
Neither did Kid C, D or E.  
Finally, Kid F knew what to do.  
So I went back to Kid A
so he could repeat the directions
now that he heard them again.  
He didn't know them!  
Neither did Kid B!
Kid C did!  
Sooo I went back to Kid B a third time
and he knew them!!!  
Listening is something we are really going to work on.  
I wanted to share a few things
I'm trying and some new ideas for this upcoming week.
#1 - The above scenario is one listening technique
I use often.
Call on a kid for an answer.
If they don't know,
move on until you find someone who
does know the answer.
Then go back to everyone who missed
the answer and they have to
give the correct answer.
#2 - Tell your partner the directions.
I'm going to try this next week.
After I give directions,
I'm going to have everyone get up
and tell their partner the directions.
I'll give everyone a partner ahead of time.
Maybe we will keep the partners for a week or two.
I know it will take a minute for everyone
to get up and talk, but I think
my kids will like the movement.
#3 - Say the directions once.
Our students (and even my own kids)
are used to everything being said numerous times.
Try saying it once.
As all of this was happening last week,
I received this article in my email.
Perfect timing!
Check it out.
There are a few other ideas.
Sometimes a new seating arrangement can help.
I try to get the non-listeners to the front.
Ryan agrees with the idea!
Hey girl, you really rocked that new seating arrangement - way to separate the talkers.
So tell me,
how do you make sure everyone is listening?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fun Science Lab Coats

Halfway through the second week of school.
Fantasy football team drafted.
Spend lots of time sharing ideas on my blog.
No check.
I know that many of you are just as busy
and that makes me feel better!
Today I wanted to quickly share a science lab coat idea.
This year, my team and I are trying to add
more excitement to science.
One thing we are planning is monthly science experiments.
To get the kids excited about this,
we gave them a chance to make science lab coats.
Everyone brought in a used t-shirt.
It could be a white or light colored shirt.
If the shirt had a logo on the outside,
we just turned it inside-out.
I gave the kids some time to decorate their shirts.
My class used permanent markers.
They placed their writing journal in the middle of the shirt
so the markers wouldn't bleed through.
The other teachers just used regular markers
and they turned out fine.

When the decorating was complete,
I cut the front of the shirts right down the middle.
Then we had....
We've already done one experiment
and the kids were so excited to wear the coats.
I even had one kid bring in a pair of goggles.
Hope your week is going well!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Currently - September Edition

Can you believe it's already September?
That means it's time for me to link up with Farley for...
Listening:  My husband has our older daughter and they are at the Home Depot.
The younger one is sleeping. 
It's so quiet!
Loving:  Who doesn't love a three day weekend?
I especially love it when the rest of the family is also home with me.
Thinking:  I got no school work done with weekend.
It was nice to just sit back and relax.
Of course, today will be a work, work, work day to
get it all done.
Wanting:  I want to make some oatmeal muffins
and a chicken for the week.
I freeze the muffins and take them out the night before.
Then they are ready for my breakfast.
Needing:  If I want to get the cooking and school work
done, then I will need a few extra hours today!
#1 - I ran a 1/2 marathon race last weekend.
Now that it is over, I need to keep up with my running.
#2 - Last year I would make meals on the weekend
and freeze them for during the week.
September is my month to get that going again.
#3 - I really need to relax. 
I'm getting stressed out with everything at school
and keeping my home in order.
Let's see if I can do it.
Have a great week!