Sunday, October 4, 2015

BEST Upper Elementary Review Ideas

Check out some of these NO PREP ideas great for any elementary class to review content!  My students love review time because of the excitement and games surrounding it!

1.  Hexagon Bean Bag Throw - great idea to do with ANY subject!  Includes a link to a freebie to get you started.  This is great for last minute!!

2.  Student Created SCOOT - I hand out notecards and whisper the word or concept and students create the questions, then we rotate around until we have reached all or most then go over the answer together - they LOVE THIS!

3.  Musical Chairs -   Great for memorizing items!  We play this with states and capitals.  You write down a state then I play music and whichever chair you land at - you write down the capital and then another state right below for the next person.  Music - writing - music  - writing ....sometimes we even thrown in a dance leader while we are rotating.  (I play kareoke versions of popular songs -  no words = no problems with bad lanugage!)

  • This version would also work great if you wrote concepts at each table and whatever table the students landed at they had to write what they knew - not looking at others just whatever first popped in their head then reviewing as a class to make sure any misconceptions are covered. 

4.  One Word - Divide into 2 teams.  One person on team is guesser. The rest of the team is lined up and can only say one word per person going down the line to try and get the guesser to get the word.  For example if the answer was "barter." First person would say "trade", 2nd person "goods"  3rd person "for" 4th person "other" 5th person "goods."  They would keep going until the person got it.  This really forces them to work together - it's another FAVORITE!

5.  Hot Seat - One person sit with their back to the board (a word/concept is written on the board).  They call on people to give clues to help them guess what is behind them.  Sometimes I limit them to only 3 words to really make them think. Another variation would be to have the class use dry erase boards to draw or write only 3 words so EVERYONE is engaged then the guesser has to pick 3 boards to flip over as "clues"  I love, Love, LOVE playing this one!

6.  Group Charades - divide into groups of 3-5. One person from group is facing out and the word/concept is behind them, the other players in the group are ACTING like in charades what it could be.  This works great for social studies content.  I also sometimes ask someone or myself narrate a little to help them out since it can get tricky.

7. Back Art/Spelling - have the class pair up, they have to draw or write on their partners back to get them to guess the concept or word.  So tricky! I like having them confer saying I drew this....and then telling what they are thinking and how it relates.  This could also be a like a pictionary game is doing it on another's back is too difficult.

8.  Guess Who - notecards are taped to their back and students have to go around and ask clues (not just guesses!) to find out what they are.  This one involves the whole class in on the action.

9. Grudgeball - visit the link to learn more.  Basically answering questions to knock out other teams - we do a version and shoot a paper ball in the trash can but we do it to earn "Xs" I didn't like the knocking the other teams out - just didn't feel nice and we play where each team has to reach so many Xs to complete the game and if your team finishes they get assigned to another team to help.  This version does away with the cutthroat competition that my 4th graders don't need!

10.   Snowball - write questions on sheets or half sheets of paper - then crumple up and toss in.  Students grab a sheet answer and throw it back in.  They could write a follow up question or just grab another question to answer.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A+ Images

Have you heard of A+ images? They are a great company specializing in education shirts! What teacher isn't proud of their school and students? These shirts/apparel are a great way to show off you grade level or even your class like with the classroom faces shirts:

They do custom shirts as well that are super easy to design! Here is me with my custom shirt below.  I love the amount of font choices and the wide color selection as well.  

This teal/turquoise color is my absolute FAV!

You can even upload pics like my blog logo to put on your shirt all in one easy process. 
Another great part of the process was their customer service.  Doug and others emailed me back quickly about any questions I had and were extremely friendly and helpful, a must in online business. 

Here are some other designs I love as well: 

Keep Calm Because 4th Grade RocksIf You Mustache My Students Rock

With their great service and easy to design tools A+ designs is a great place to get those custom teacher shirts we all love! 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Easiest Review Ever!

Super quick easy idea!

Grab these hexagon shapes from The Science Penguin on TPT for FREE, use them for vocab or concepts in ANY subject.  

Have the students create them.  We put them together throughout the chapter or at the end for review.  I use a beanbag or snowball (crumpled paper) and they have to toss and say the definition or answer a question about what they landed on  - fun right?!

Literally no prep and can be used throughout a chapter - I usually display the honeycomb while we are working on it :) 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Nonfiction Text Features

We've been diving in our first genre of Information Text and all its characteristics.  The first topic we study is text features and how they help us - directly related to Common Core!

I'm making it a huge deal this year to put the standard front and center and refer to it often!

This is our anchor chart we use to study text features.  We make it together and talk specifically about how they HELP us! I don't remember where I got the pictures to add but you could easily add pictures from a science or social studies book.

We then practiced finding all these features in our science books with partners and how they HELP us understand what we are reading.

Next, as a class we put up a part of a Scholastic News couple page spread and found some text features all together.  We divided up into 2 teams and went back and forth until we couldn't find anymore. 

This was such a great way to get everyone up and moving.  We connected it to what we already knew about text features to build upon our learning.

For an exit slip they had to explain how their text feature - the one they put up - helps them understand the text.  It was great and an easy way to see who "got" it.

We used the FREE text features flip book below to in our notebooks to really reinforce the features. 

Nonfiction Text Features Flipbook

We did an assessment via iPad where they can label a picture and record why it helps then add them to our Seesaw portfolios.

I LOVE Book Creator  - it s a FREE app and was the simpliest and most fun assessment I've ever had to grade!  We just identified text features and then said that students could add text or write or ADD SOUND why and how that text feature helps you read nonfiction!

I love that sound option because I get to listen to them explain!  Some, especially at the beginning of the year are still working on that writing piece but this was fantastic.

All they did was Airdop their books to me and I graded - I plan to sent a rubric home to parents.  The only thing I didn't like was that the books are not able to be uploaded to our website or anywhere because of file type because I'd love to share them.  That said, I could easily email or text parents this file that have a "reader" device like iPad, kindle, etc... and they can be opened in their "Books" app.

The kids love that they can "read" each others books on our class iPad and it makes it easy to Airplay and show examples to the class as well.

What do you do to study text features?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Figurative Language Robots - FREE

I can't believe I haven't blogged about these robots!   We study figurative language in December with poetry BUT since we don't test until late April I want to make sure my kids get a review in (along with many other times!)  so we made these figurative language robots!

They were a hit with my class.  It did challenge them to think outside of the box to design.  We used this video below to create our robots.  You could also challenge them by just giving clues such as "start with a large rectangle - add 2 rectangle legs, etc..." then everyone's looks a little more different.  I absolutely LOVE Art for Kids Hub - the website and videos! They are fantastic even for 4th grade and have TONS of even cartoon characters.  It is always in my back pocket for indoor recess and projects.

We watched a video on how to draw a girl for our Mother's Day project  (if that tells you anything about my art skills!)  I love that I can incorporate art into the curriculum in a fun and engaging way.

After that we completed this half sheet on our robots and attached to make a display!  Easy peasy!

Just click the picture to grab a copy.

For some sad reason I knew I had pictures of this saved but cannot locate them.... here's the one I created.  Hope your students enjoy this activity!

If you love this idea I have a figurative language flip book that is superhero themed in my store.  My students love this as well and it dives deep into all aspects of figurative language.  Or my Poetry Portfolio also includes finding examples in figurative language. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Grandparents Day Project Ideas 2015

First up if missed this post last year - here is are some great/HILARIOUS ideas to start off Grandparents Day this year.  Pic below is linked to what I did last year.

I'm changing it up some this year because of how much time we get with grandparents and I want to use it wisely.

First up, I created this Kindercraze inspired tree.  I was really proud of it and it was the inspiration for other creations we came up with for celebrating this year.  I literally just cut random black strips of bulletin board paper and then up with glue dots it went.  Those leaves - just circles - even this completely unartistic gal got it together!

Here is a closeup of the frames hanging from the tree.  We put pictures in so far just drawing then adding real pictures once grandparent's day happens! 

Free frame from TPT (Creative Clips) and just added words

One of the activities will be completely the answers to these questions on Grandparent's day comparing then and now.  I'm excited to see the answers and the students already have some guesses, but we can't wait to get to them till next Friday. 

I love that this will tie in with our curriculum!

They will be attaching to our big hallway tree outside when complete (fingers crossed) 

FREE printable about "Thumb" body that comes with different numbers as well from Who Arted.  I love that I got to use stamp pads just something cutesy and I haven't done in awhile.  I plan to write letters and cover parts of a letter to grandparents on the back to give to them upon their arrival. 

 Can't forget this old favorite.  We used the Old Fart Booth (FREE) app again this year and made ourselves old! Which of course again was HILARIOUS! We stepped it up this year and I came up with showcasing them this way as a 50 year reunion for that class.

We also used the Grandparent Name Generator to give ourselves names as well - such a fun addition

There you have it!  Many activities to prepare yourselves for Grandparent's Day this year!  I hope you can use some of these in your classroom.  

How do you connect with grandparents and make them feel special?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Shelfie Thinglink Project

I have seen the idea of a "shelfie" floating around and knew I really wanted to incorporate that this year in my reading classes.   I set some guidelines for this project and am SO HAPPY with how it turned out!   I have loved seeing my students as readers and how much they can tell me from day 1!

They had to come up with
1) favorite book from childhood
2) favorite books from last year 
3) book they didn't like - lets me know they try knew things
4) books they already want to read this year
5) Book that made me change or think

We used planning sheets to think about books and any we needed to gather - these could easily be taken in the library with easy access to lots of books

We only spent one day in the lab working on these that's how easy it was on Thinglink!  I love that ITS FREE! and so easy to use - even for day 1 fourth grade students!

I see so many benefits with these and how it starts off my relationship with them as readers-  I embedded ours on our website after finishing to share with parents.

You can grab this for just a couple bucks for the planning sheets, writing template, and rubric or just go for it yourself!

Here's my example - no laughs please :)