Friday, November 21, 2014

Fun Friday = Flashlights

I  saw this idea on another blog and had to incorporate it into our Reading Celebration this past week.

Flashlights are an excellent motivator to read even though my kids this year don't need much motivation! We had a reading celebration/marathon to celebrate each student making their AR goal from the past quarter.  

We spent an afternoon just reading.  It was glorious

We got snacks, flipped our chairs upside down to use as supports, brought in pillows and READ! 

For some of the time we used flashlights and got to buddy read (non-fiction).

It wasn't completely just reading.  I did introduce the students to their new reading response next week so reading a new book got us started on what we would be doing.  Stay tuned for how they turn out. 

This was an absolute HIT! They were engaged and loved it! What ways do you have to motivate reading in your classroom? 

You can download the FREE Invitation below by just adding text boxes to set this up in your classroom! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Glow Stick Science

This was so fun to do around Halloween time, but would be great any time of year.

With leftover glowsticks from a school dance, I wanted to show my students the cool science behind them.  This was a great tie in with the scientific method and a great break after our chapter test.  We went over the steps and used the handout (below) to record parts of our experiment along the way. 

First, I used the big camping glowsticks and showed the 2 liquids inside.  I watched a Youtube video describing the details and wore gloves and eyewear as a safety precaution and as long as we are not eating or getting it on us - we're good.

I put the liquids in different jars then mixed them.  I showed the students the glass tube that breaks and mixes the liquids together - some hypothesized that after realizing that you have to "break" and crack a glowstick to get it to work. 

We used the Mad Science Template from my Tech Exit Slips to record the findings and go over the scientific method during this experiment.  Since we did have a variable that changed, it was perfect.  You can get that here


After showing the science behind how glowsticks work - we jumped right into their experiment for the day.  The students used the regular necklace and bracelet glowsticks.  Which are tough to break and get liquid out (I tried!) much more safe for them.

We tested the glowsticks in hot and cold (ice) water to see what would happen?  I gave each table group the same two colors so they could compare.  What happens if you switch the glowsticks?

As you can see, cold slows down the chemo-luminescence and the glowstick is darker whereas the warmer water makes is bright.  The picture don't exactly do it justice, as it is pretty easy to tell in person which has been in cooler water. 

IT BLEW THEIR SOCKS OFF!  The lights were off, they got to experiment with glowsticks, I was really impressed with how responsible they were throughout the whole thing. 

If you want further directions or some more fun experiment ideas - check out my FREE Super Science Experiment book!  or use the the links below. It has over 70 experiments that we used at camp with household supplies which are great to introduce students to the scientific method.

Friday, November 14, 2014

FREE Turkey Trot Writing Prompt

I'm in the FREEBIE mood lately - can't wait to do this with my students today!

Teaching Blog Addict Freebie Downloads

For Fun Friday this week - we are going to work on this fun writing prompt: 

I wanted a little more than the traditional "Turkey in Disguise" this year - although I LOVE that idea, the younger grades already take it over so I needed something new for us to try.

I remember one of my favorite activities was when we would share writing with our class - meaning we would start a story, pass to the next person after folding over so they could only read the last sentence.  They turned out crazy and hilarious!

Since we have been using Thanksgiving stories for our mentor texts, this wasn't too far of a stretch for my older students.  


There is a planning page if you want your students to respond on their own with a prompt!  

This twist in writing involves the older students and gives them an opportunity to be creative.  Students really love reading these stories.  

Don't forget to leave feedback if you download! That definitely prompts me to work on more freebies for great followers like you! 

Make sure you check out my last post for a chance to win this great new poetry lapbook: 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Poetry Portfolio Lapbook Assessment

Are you studying poetry anytime soon?! If so, you need this resource! I have been planning my maternity leave and am so sad that I won't get to teach my students poetry! :( 

Super sad face!

I realized after planning all my lessons, checking with Common Core, and state standards that I wanted some assessment that would be fun for my students and a twist on the traditional group of poems.  

My students have fallen in love with lapbooks and this is little gem is no exception.  They have spotted it in my plans and can't wait to get started on poetry just for this reason!

 The front cover is easy to color for each student.  The back contains a foldable to show what students know of 6 common figurative language terms.  They just lift the flaps to give examples or defintions!  The bottom lets them choose a sample poem or write their own to show knowledge of  line, stanza, rhyme, and rhyme scheme. 
The inside provides opportunities for students to showcase their poetry with 7 different poem options - click the picture for more information.  This is a perfect end project for your poetry unit and one your students can keep for years to come!  
I even included my sample poems all typed up for easy printing and assembly by you!

Leave a comment with your favorite poem or type of poem to teach or why you like poetry and I'll pick a comment to get this resource for free!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Extinct, Endangered, Threatened Species

Just wanted to pop in and show you a FREEBIE that I created for my 5th graders to do some quick research.  

Talking about and explaining the difference between these animals can be troublesome so I created this worksheet so they can do some research and learn about them on their own as well.

I have some websites (valid ones!) pulled up and show them how to cite their sources.  They have to write about the animal: description and habitat and then finding out why it disappeared or what threatens its survival today. 

Because some of these animals are not well known or do not exist anymore they are fun to learn about.  Click on the picture or hyperlink above to grab the FREE worksheet!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Animal Adaptations!

We have been studying animal adaptations lately in 5th grade.  After our big test we did this quick project to integrate our learning! We used the Build Your Wild Self site and these printables to make a fun engaging project!

My students really loved how creative they got to be!

I required one of our adaptations to be behavioral since that was a focus for our learning.   

The pack comes with printables to make these for your classroom and also task cards which can be used for a SCOOT game!  This is the perfect review for a test or quiz over adaptations! 

We used Brainpop and some other resources as well to complete our learning.  This project really reinforced the adaptation concept in a fun way! Click any of the pictures to be taken to the printables.

Check out some of our examples: 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November Currently

I'm linking up to let you know what I've been up to lately:

Last night we through a Couples Halloween Minute to Win It party - SO FUN! Now that all the chaos has is calm...back to some cleaning!    We had some really creative games and I know the couples had fun.      Here was our team name:  (only a couple weeks till we meet our little one!)

I'm loving that Halloween week is over - granted it was a great time in our class.  We had so much going on this week between Red Ribbon Events, end of quarter, etc....   We enjoyed our Biome projects and presented them to a younger class, we read our Descriptive Writing Haunted Houses by flashlight for a spooky effect, did some fun dialogue activities (with pasta! -see below), did some animal adaptation projects as well - WHEW!! 

I'm definitely relaxing after all the busy-iness that was this weekend so far, besides the grading papers ...has to be done sometime.

I'm in a dinner slump and have been looking for super easy ideas to eat throughout the week since I'm usually pretty exhausted.  

I'm reading:  

He is one of my favorite comedians - because he is CLEAN! Well about 99% of the time and just absolutely hilarious.  His first book (this one) is all about his take on parenting, perfect for what will happen in a couple weeks.  I'm so enjoying this fun read.

Our book club just finished: 

Besides not being much for historical fiction, I did read it and I thought it was pretty good.  I may not remember all the historical details but the plot and events were interesting and fun to read about.