Friday, August 29, 2014

Language Words on Freebie Friday

Over the summer, I was on a mission to give my classroom a much needed makeover.  I didn't get to everything I wanted, but I made huge progress.  (There are definitely plenty of projects remaining for next summer.)

One of the items I was able to address was my language word wall.  My students referred to it often, but I was never happy with the overall look of it.  I started off the makeover with my new class colors of purple, lime green, and turquoise.

Later, I decided that a couple of shots of pink were in order.

There are 17 words total: prefix, suffix, root word, base word, synonym, antonym, homophone, homograph, idiom, simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, onomatopoeia, interjection, alliteration, and imagery.

I have three closet doors, so I cut each piece out and placed one on each door.  The students are already familiar with the resource, and they have referred to it several times.

(The door handles are right under the alliteration signs.  The other words were a little too low to get in the photo, but students can see them easily.) 

If you are interested in picking up this freebie, you can get it here.

 Freebie FridayTeaching blogs share freebies all the time and at Teaching Blog Addict, we give you the place to find them all in one spot! Be sure to come back each week to see what's new! Find free downloads and teacher resources for kindergarten, first grade ,second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and sixth grade.

Thank you, and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tried it Tuesday - Reducing Glare

This is week three of the new school year, and it is off to a great start!

I am linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for her fun linky Tried it Tuesday to share one of the last things I tried this summer. 

After I hung up all the posters, etc. in my room, I noticed the glare on some of them was pretty bad.  I decided I wanted to try and do something about it, so the students could get the information they need more easily.

A while back, I pinned this from Common Core and So Much More.

I was off to Jo Ann's to get some spray paint.

I started off by spraying my 7 Habits posters because they had some of the worst glare.  I definitely saw a noticeable difference.

I went ahead and sprayed everything that I knew I would keep up all year.  The only downside was the smell.  I definitely had to leave when I was finished.  

I don't know that I will spray everything I laminate, but I will spray those items that will be displayed for a long period of time.  Some of the angles in the classroom cause the glare to be especially bad, and this seems to really help.  Thank you, Melissa for sharing this great idea!

That's all for today.  I am off to see what everyone else has tried.  Thank you, Holly for hosting this fun linky!

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Spark Student Motivation Saturday

Well, I successfully completed the first full week of school, Meet the Teacher Night, and our first assembly.  Now, I am excited to link up with the wonderful Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for her fun linky, Spark Student Motivation Saturday.

Our first social studies unit is geography.  One of the standards my students need to master is learning the states that surround Ohio.  Today, I am going to share an activity we completed this week to practice learning standard.

One of my favorite resources for teaching social studies is Ohio Studies Weekly.

Inside the first issue is a map that includes the states that border Ohio.

I had students reproduce the map the best they could.  I told them not to worry about getting all of the lines right.  The basic shape is fine.  They turned out something like this.

After completing the drawing, the students cut it into puzzle pieces.  I really stressed that it is not important to cut exactly on the lines.  This activity was meant to be practice learning where the states are located.

The students exchanged puzzles, and they assembled their partner's puzzle.  After using the original map to check the puzzles, students glued their own puzzles into their notebook.

The students enjoyed this activity and ended up with a study aid in their notebooks.  I loved that it was very little prep.  Now, that's teacher motivation!

I am off to check out all of the other motivating ideas.  Thank you, Joanne for hosting this awesome linky!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Positive Thinking, Technology, & Throwback Thursday

Wow!  These last two weeks have been a whirlwind.  Going back to school is always an adjustment, but a very positive one as we get to meet and teach another wonderful group of children.  It is in that spirit that I am linking up with my friend, Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for Positive Thinking Thursday.

One of my personal goals this school year is to really model the 7 habits for my students.  I am sure when there will be times I will need to remind myself to put first things first and not stress about the little things.  This Irish proverb says it better than I ever could.

I couldn't agree more!

Today, I am also linking up with The Teaching Trio for Technology Thursday.

This will be a Throwback post, so I will link up with Angela from The Teacher's Desk 6 for Throwback Thursday as well.

I picked this post partially because it includes a freebie that I use quite often.  I hope you find it helpful!

Hello Everyone!  Today I'd like to share a great comprehension app I found called Stick Pick.


This app allows you to create individualized questioning activities for multiple groups.  After you program students' names, you select their level of questioning based on Bloom's Taxonomy.  When you tap the stick can, it randomly generates a name.  Under that name is a list of question stems for that particular level of Bloom's.  Here is a sample for the comprehension level.

You could use this app to ask your students questions about their reading.  However, I used it in a different way.  One of my reading groups is working on a talk show project where they will be interviewing characters from their book.  We are working on expanding the types of questions they are asking.  When we met in a reading group, I used this app to help them generate questions.  I also typed out the questions stems so they can refer to it throughout the project and for future use.  

There is a way to track how many questions students answer correctly, so you will know when to move them to the next level.  I haven't tried that yet, but here is a sample I found.

Anyway, I am always looking for new ways to change up the way I ask questions.  This app definitely helped.  It also helped inspire me to create a new SMARTboard activity.

This is a random question generator that I started using at the end of our read aloud a couple of days a week.  Sometimes I ask the question, and other times students ask the question.  It definitely requires thinking on your feet, but it has been a lot of fun so far.  If you have a SMARTboard and would like to give this a try, you can download it here (free).

That's it for me today.  I am off to check out all of the other positive thoughts, technology ideas, and throwback posts.  Thank you, Jennifer, Teaching Trio, and Angela for hosting these fun linkies!

Enjoy the rest of the week!