Sunday, December 1, 2013

Edward Tulane is Narcissistic!!!!

My favorite read aloud of the year is the book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.   I look forward to reading it every year and I still cry at the sad parts.  I am currently reading it with my fourth graders but this year has been different.  After completing our unit on Greek myths,  my students have been comparing Edward to Narcissus…go Common Core!!!  We have been collecting evidence to show that he is narcissistic or vain.  (I still break out into Carly Simon every time I hear that word.)  I am reading this book with new eyes and so are my students.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Change in Writing

Our district is making big changes in the way that we teach writing.  We are going back to a true workshop model based on Lucy Calkins.  Our system implemented the Common Core last year and has made writing a high priority.  

I found a great resource to support my writing lessons on Amazon.  (A recommendation from my friend Christine who is a third grade teacher.) They have specific grade level books for grades K through 6.

This book has lessons for setting up workshop, conference forms, rubrics, 30 lessons for the six traits of writing with printables, mentor text lists and MUCH More!!!!  You will not be disappointed.  

Visit Their Website

Here is a video on how to make multi-pocket folders for writing workshop.  I am going to do this for next year.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Using Photos for Inferencing

I created a couple of sheets at the beginning of the year to teach inferencing.  I googled "Inference Photographs" and downloaded many images to my computer.  There are also many photos on Pinterest.  I ordered them as 4x6 prints to save on ink.  The children worked in small groups to make observations, list schema(background knowledge) and then list inferences.  They enjoyed picking out the photos.  

Vertical Sheet

Horizontal Sheet

Monday, November 11, 2013

Catching Up

I have been busy for the past month on many things, here are a few…

We practiced writing four types of sentences: Declarative, Imperative, Interrogative and Exclamatory.  Some of the children turned their characters into punctuation people.

 During writing workshop, we are teaching the students to "Narrow Down the Topic"

 The Literacy Coach created this one

We read several Greek myths and many versions.  I used a unit that I purchased on TPT from Nicole Shelby.  She has great resources for fourth grade.  The unit was perfect for teaching allusions, character traits, inferences, themes, etc.

Greek Mythology Stories and Activities (aligned with CCSS)

My nest has been empty for the first time and 22 years.  I have been putting myself first and working on "ME."  I thought I would have more time to blog and create items for TPT…hopefully soon.  I have been getting FIT mentally and physically. -

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Don't Say...Using Synonyms

One of my Target Skills  this week was teaching synonyms.  I read one of my favorite books and had them listen for synoyms for the word "big".  The book "The Bunyans" by Audrey Wood is loaded with some great vocabulary.  The children wrote them down as I read the story.  We discussed how synonyms can be more specific.  At the end of the lesson, I had them put a checkmark next to a "boring" word and circle one that they would like to use in their writing.

Monday, September 2, 2013

And We're Off!!!

We finally started Back to School last week!  The teachers went back Monday and Tuesday and the students went Wednesday and Thursday, giving us a four day week-end!!!!

I did not take any classroom pictures because I didn't change a thing!!!  I loved my classroom set-up and boards.  (I also moved into a new home and my baby girl was getting ready for college)  The summer was crazy and I needed something in my life to be smooth and stress-free.  This year my school system is getting stricter about fire codes and I had to take down my pom pom flowers off the ceiling.  Nothing can be hanging.  I did staple them on my boards.

I am very happy with my new fourth graders.  We spent the first two days getting to know each other, organizing materials, establishing our rules and classroom expectations.  We will be jumping into the Common Core Curriculum with two feet on Tuesday!!!!

Click here to see post with printables
Brainstorming Rules
I made these using velcro...only need to switch dates and add new times next year or
fix if my specials change this year
Lady Bug's Teacher Files- Free Printable 
 I bought these mats last year and did not fit them in.  The kids took turns picking one question from the list.  The had to respond and record answers.  They created a three-way Venn Diagram.    I will use these again next year and just create my own mats.

Friday, August 16, 2013

iSymbols (US)

I was emptying out my camera and realized that I never posted a project that my students completed at the end of school.  We researched US symbols and landmarks and created ipads.  The kids loved making these and they came out awesome!!!  I made a pocket on the back for the facts.

I did not create these sheets and can't find where I got them from.  It was a fre download from some great teacher.  If it is yours, please let me know so I can give you credit.
Click for download

I bought these cards from Really Good Stuff but they no longer are available from them.  I did find them on Edupress.  There are 30 cards with facts and comprehension questions.  I ordered 2 sets for my class.  They were perfect for my fourth graders.
American Symbols Reading Comprehension Social Studies Cards EP3547