Sunday, February 22, 2015

Guest Blogging!

I'm Guest blogging over at Minds in Bloom today sharing other ways to use Decide Now in your classroom!  Click the button to go to check it out! 

Grab button for Minds in Bloom

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Status of Class Exit Slip FREEBIE

If you love the technology exit slips in my store! Then I have a FREEBIE right up your alley!

This was so fun to do with class and has so many uses.  It is Facebook themed and students get to create a status!  There are literally 100s of ways you could use this in your classroom.

We just started traditional literature this week. I had the students activate their prior knowledge by filling out a slip for a character from traditional literature.  I did give the subgenres (myth, legend, tall tale, fable, and fairytale) so they had some idea!

I loved how creative they were!  Some of our lit groups just read Percy Jackson and Ella Enchanted so this fit in really well!

This FREEBIE is tech themed just like my other slips in my store! Be sure to check them out!   Leave comments here if you like it!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Moby Max Tablet

Moby Max sent us a tablet to use in our classroom!  If you have never heard about Moby Max you can read my post - here - about why I love it!

I was so excited to come home to this package! My students use and LOVE MobyMax for various reasons but being older one of my favorite uses is for test prep!
I knew as soon as I got my hands on this tablet what I would do with it. 
My students were SO grateful and excited to get their hands on more technology as well! We have 1 iPad, 1 barely working computer and my teacher computer - so any techology is greatly appreciated! 

We use MobyMax for 1/2 of our computer time because I can track what they do and I like the limited use of rewards time for practice - it works for us. 
This tablet stays in our room for Title 1/RTI time.  It rotates through students everyday and they focus solely on test prep for this time.  They can choose either language arts or math but it has to be test prep.  Sadly, they need mulitple choice practice and I don't feel like they get enough in class.  At least, it is on the computer and they earn game time for test practice, plus I can start this early in the year and get more students ready faster without piling on a bunch of test prep.
Did I mention the tablet is also able to support a browser and has apps?! I'm always encouraging students to research quetsions and find their own answers well with another tablet that is possible.  The calculator has also come in handy quite a bit!
The tablet does take a little getting use to at first since I'm only used to iPads but the students and I figured it out very quickly (them more so than me and I'm only 23!)  It really fits in well in our class and the tablet aspect has really helped me differentiate my teaching during small group time with focused test prep for students!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Currently

It's been awhile since I've even done one of these! I'm excited to be back in a semi-groove with blogging.

This little guy is still sleeping away! Don't get me wrong he got up at 4 (usually only once a night) great for a 2 month old! He's growing up so fast! He changes every day!!

He can coo and talk with the best of them and I love recording him!

He has a pesky pretty bad cough, that we've been to the doctor twice for.  Thank goodness not RSV or anything just virus but geez....even with what they suggest...still haven't had any improvement.  He's been sick and so has my husband, One day soon I hope we're all well!

I am excited for our new traditional literature unit we are starting on Monday! We did a round of book clubs in between genres and my students really love what this genre has to offer.  

I created a Traditional Literature Tab Book  to help my students keep the different types of folktales straight.  They were so excited about this!


There are even QR codes on each page linked to video examples for students to watch and fill out.  There are definitions, examples, characteristics, and practice on each page. 

Also, if you have not tried this in your classroom - it is a great FREE management tool and privilege for a class.  Check out my post to see more details!

I chose that title because as you can see in this post, motherhood has slightly consumed my life.  One day it would be a dream to be a Balanced Betty but right now the scales have definitely tipped and I'm ok with that. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Traditional Literature Folktales

Our next genre is Traditional Literature.  We just finished studying theme in various stories and literature circle groups now are moving into folktales.

I found a few different resources for studying the different types of traditional literature but I wanted some way for my students to keep them all organized.

I created this Interactive Tab Book to keep straight the different types of folktales when we were discussing them.  It gives definitions, characteristics, and examples along with practice for each type.

The best part is that the book has QR codes! Each page contains a QR code that links to a video example of that folktale.  This can help students who need a refresher or have not heard that story before.  I was amazed at how many students didn't know Robin Hood or Paul Bunyan! This was great for them to explore! 


They were so engaged  the whole time and we took quite awhile to do this.  Next year, I'll probably plan it over 2 days but I didn't reserve the iPad lab enough ahead this year.  Here's some pictures of us - getting our tech on! QR readers were easy to use and familiar with my students, if your class needs a refresher there are some great FREE apps and videos to show - extremely easy to use!

There are pages for legend, fairytale, tall tale, fable and myth.  We're starting with myths first and some of my boys just read Percy Jackson so I know they are excited to start this!  These tab books are great for interactive notebooks or as an easy to use stand alone resource. 

What's your favorite folktale to teach and why? We'll be continuing are study of theme with these stories since it fits so well!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

No more BORING seatwork!!

 It's a dreaded battle....seatwork... Students aren't itching for it, honestly I don't like to give it unless necessary.  Most seatwork is used to practice or eventually assess a skill that we have been working on.  Introducing a concept I like to do an activity, use short clips, or some way to get moving.  Alas...practice of the skill usually comes in the form of worksheet, questions from book, homework, etc...

It is inevitable that it will happen in your classroom at some point or another...more often in the older grades.  I want my students to keep their kid like happiness or innocence at least until after their year with me (4th grade) so we have some ways to spice up seatwork in our room!  Check it out and see if they can benefit your room - trust me you will earn some major cool points.

The premise involves choosing a fun or different way to work in you seat!  There are many methods of doing so, I use the Decide Now app it costs a dollar but well worth the editing capabilities! Just a spinner that you can change the labels! It's very easy to use and displays great on the Smartboard, the fun sound doesn't hurt either. My students were asking all day... Can we spin again? 

You could certainly use a smart board spinner, online tool, draw slips or paper even!!

All these are FREE fun options...and I remind my students...a privilege! 

  • - NO shoes - self explanatory
  • - reverse in chair - flip chair around to work (we loved this one today)
  • - last ? First, sometimes starting from the end switches the dynamic
  • - cool tools, use pens or special designated tools for assignment 
  • - on floor - work around room 
  • -under desks - a definite favorite until your students get so big (you cold modify and have them complete like Picasso with just head under desk writing upside down)
  • - partners they choose
  • - partners I choose
  • - groups-just table groups we have already makes it easy
  •  switch seat with number before you
  • switch seats with number after you
  • work on top of desks
  • work with feet up on desks
  • work with music
  • work on dry erase boards
  • work by flashlights

I know not all of these would apply to every assignment, but changing it up really helps my class.  They are responsible enough to stay on task otherwise they don't participate. 

Do you have any others to add to the list? How do you spice up seatwork in your classroom?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ordering Adjectives!

Looking at the new CCSS standards, I realized that teaching the correct order of adjectives was in the 4th grade curriculum as a language standard.  Mostly this seems to be pretty common sense but can be a little tricky when more than 2 adjectives are involved.  I created some great HILARIOUS resources to help with this concept.  You can check them out below:

This pack has A TON of great engaging activities that are perfect for any classroom! Below you can see with our flip book a great way to start the unit with an explanation, examples, and space to practice these types of adjectives. 

A color by adjective page is included - such a fun quick assessment to see if students know what type of adjective each is which will in turn help them put them in the correct order!  My students had so much fun with coloring and it was easy to grade to see if the colors matched - we had some great discussions about the adjectives and it was very low pressure! 


this reference poster comes in the pack! Great for quick reference and went along with our flip books!

More great activities are included as well! Cutting and pasting sentences in order! Sorting adjectives by type (great for groups, individual or whole class), describing pictures, describing favorites, and my personal favorite - pass it on pictures.

Seriously, this was one of the funniest moments of the year so far.  We used the template below and students filled in the first block and passed to the right, when you got yours back you illustrated what it was.   We had so many hilarious pictures. 

12 elderly gray monkeys

large round metal Barbies

4 old spotted turtles...the list could go on and on..

At first, this standard scared me, but after finding do so many creative activities not to mention a fun assessment that is included, my students have mastered it!

You can some parts separately: 

or save $$$ and buy the bundle that includes 5 additional activities for less than the price of all 3 put together