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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Geometry Galore!

My first math unit in Every Day Math is Geometry.  I was pretty relieved because I taught it in late spring with my third graders and it is a unit that they love.  There are only a few new vocabulary words introduced at this level .  I read  a few of my favorite geometry books and planned activities to reinforce our standards:
Sir Cumference and the First Round Table (A Math Adventure)From Simple Shapes to Geometry
The Greedy Triangle (Scholastic Bookshelf)What's Your Angle, Pythagoras? A Math Adventure
Ed Emberley's Picture Pie (Ed Emberley Drawing Books)Ruth Heller's Designs for Coloring: More Geometrics

We used compasses for the first time.  It went better than i thought.  No one tried to poke anyone and there were no accidents.  We practiced drawing concentric circles.   It also reinforced our multiplication facts.

Another activity that we did was break into several groups and use our bodies with elastic to create polygons and to demonstrate geometric terms.  I read the lesson on-line and it said to use Chinese jump-ropes that I could not find anywhere.  (you know you are old when the kids don't know what they are)  I ended up buying 3 packages of sewing elastic (3/8") and tying each one into a big circle.  Here are the kids demonstrating intersecting lines.
Another activity that I plan on doing next week is using toothpicks and glue to create geometric vocabulary pictures.  I also found this idea from Pinterest.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hopes and Dreams Time Capsule

As part of my Responsive Classroom I always have my students write their Hopes and Dreams on clouds and hang them up on a wall in the classroom at the beginning of the year.  I wanted to change things up and loved this sheet from  Thanks for sharing!!!!

I reduced the size of the sheet so it would fit into can when rolled up.  I had the children share them during morning meeting.  We rolled them up and tied them with a ribbon.  We then closed up the Hopes and Dreams Time Capsule and will share our sheets on the last day!

The paint can was from Home Depot.  I tied lots of ribbons on the handles.  Here is the cover sheet and top of the can.  Click on picture below to print out:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bucket Filler Frenzy

Last year a Kindergarten teacher,  at our school wrote a grant and provided all the teachers copies of "The Bucket Filler" book.  It was mid-year and all I did was read the book and stick it on a shelf.  This year I decided to use some of the ideas that Tina Adamson, shared to kick off the year on a positive note with my new fourth grade class. 
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
I read the book and had the children brainstorm ways they could be bucket fillers.  I set up a bucket filler station with library pockets where they can put notes when they see someone filling a bucket or had someone fill their bucket.  I told the children once everyone's buckets were full (at least one slip) that they would be passed out and shared.  Not sure how this will go. 

Here are the forms that I use. I created the web and I got the second sheet from The third sheet was from Pinterest.

I ordered books to continue reading each week.

The Recess QueenEnemy Pie (Reading Rainbow book)
If Everybody Did
How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Multiplication VIP Passes

Here is my design for the Multiplication VIP passes to go with my Rock Star theme. After the student passes a fact family the number will be covered with a star sticker.  I got my lanyards from Office Max and the plastic holders came from the Dollar store. 
You could also print on oak tag and punch the numbers.

Room Makeover!

Opening day is quickly approaching.  I will be teaching fourth grade for the first time ever....19 years in third!  Our school system has redistricted and placed fourth graders in the primary buildings.   Luckily, I did not have to move buildings or my classroom and made the choice to move up.  I have six returning students and was ready for a room makeover.  I wanted to give my room a different feeling for my students and myself.  I choose to do a Rock and Roll theme this year.
 I have worked very hard the past few weeks and was inspired by many photos on several blogs and Pinterest.  Here are my results.
The children will autograph a star.
I added spotlights and gold cellophane for lights from the ceiling.
The sign in station for attendance, lunch and bathroom.

The cards are from
I attached the stars with Velcro so that they can be changed weekly.
My Bucket made from a Target pail.

The children will add bucket filler slips to the pockets.

I got this adorable birthday download on Teachers Pay Teachers from Hope King.
Their birthdays will be written on notes.

My favorite new tool kit.
The download is from

The writing center is actually my teacher desk covered with a tablecloth.
Many ideas are inspired from Pinterest.  Check out my link.

My social studies board is ready for a US Postcard Exchange.

I will add pictures of book covers as we share during the year. 
The download is from

My mini-listening center. 
The cubes are from Target and have storage.

My CAFE board is ready!  The download is from

The calendar and math took kits.  I have math vocabulary to add as we go.

My VIP Multiplication passes...stars will be added to each table passed.
I created a file folder to correlate with each reading story.  It includes, title, author, genre, skill and vocabulary. 
The skill sheet was downloaded from

My teacher corner is ready for students!  Yeah!!!

The book corner is organized by author and genres, there is a bookcase full of chapter books to the left.