Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Writing Worries

I'm sure I'm not the only 4th grade teacher out there who struggles to get their students on board with revising their writing. My kiddos are so quick to tell me everything is perfect and they are finished. While they are not too bad at editing, it's the revising that gets us every time. "What do you mean you want me to change what I've written?"
So, I model, model, model. Then, I went to a writing conference and got this great idea about STAR revising. It is a great way to give students ideas about HOW and WHAT to revise. I created a document to put in their writing folders and shared it below.

How do other people help their students learn the wonderful art of revising?

Click HERE to access this document on google docs!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I love teaching poetry with my students. It is such a fun way to get students thinking creatively! Every month I pick one type of poetry to teach my children. Then, I model a poem and have the students write their own. I went to my local IU and used their large Die Cut machines to make seasonal cut outs. The students use these cutouts to write their poem. Not only are the students learning, but they help me decorate my room! :)
Here is the form I am using to show the students Cinquain poetry.

Here is a link to access this document through google docs

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Today my students were working on a book about the things they are thankful for. We talked about some ideas after reading Thanks for Thanksgiving. Then I actually read their ideas...
Here is the funniest one I read (or cutest):

"I'm thankful for zebras because they give elephants someone to play with"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jungle Madness

Is anyone else obsessed with fun clipart? I get so excited when I see clipart that jumps off the page. It is cute, fun, and brightens up activities ... at least for me! Today my students were working on a KWL and I was able to post each section on my smartboard to project for them. We are about to read a story that involves westward expansion, so they were brainstorming things they already knew. Having a cute picture of a cowboy at the bottom made some of them giggle, but it got their attention to the worksheet!
A website I just love for scrappy clipart is Scrappin Doodles. I am obsessed with animal print and wanted to try out some new graphics I downloaded. So, since my students are working on homophones I decided to use my fun new jungle clips to make an envelope game with fun jungle art!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Love, Love, Love!!!

As I was cruising blogs today I stumbled across one called Technology Rocks! SeriouslyBeing a lover of quotes, I feel I've hit the Mecca! She wonderfully created amazing documents to showcase some great quotes. I can't wait to print them out and display them in my classroom.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Using Comics to Teach

Have you ever considered using coming to teach important content? Every year I have students who just really can't stand to read. It breaks my heart. What has happened to this child so far in school that they have such a negative attitude toward books? As I thought about this, I wanted to think of some way to get kids reading social studies content without having to use their textbook. Thus, I discoved Comic Life. This program on my mac is amazing. It allows me to create comic-like formats to create my own stories. I used this to convert information from our social studies text into comics.
Below I linked two comics I created using Comic Life. One is about abolition in Pennsylvania, and the other is about The Walking Purchase. Both are used with our Pennsylvania History unit. I then had my students create their own comics using a section of the text. Then I copied the student created comics and had them share their work with the class. It was an awesome collaborative experience and a fun twist on reading our text.

The Walking Purchase comic
Abolition comic 

Have you ever used comics in the classroom? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I love using visuals in my classroom. Not only do they brighten the room, but they also give the students resources to help them during lessons. I love this site:
Busy Teacher Cafe
I found it a few weeks ago while trying to make new visuals for my comprehension strategies. They have great posters for all of the main comprehension strategies, as well as some comprehension skills.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

And so it begins...

I've decided to go for it and create my very own blog. This is the last thing I thought I'd be doing. I've only recently delved into the blogs of others, and here I am starting my own blogging adventure. I got the inspiration this morning while feverishly browsing blogs to "borrow" the ideas of others. My philosophy is work smarter, not harder. And one thing I definitely don't want to do is recreate the wheel. That being said, my goal as I begin my blog is to share my experiences and ideas so I can give back to the blogging community I have so readily enjoyed taking from.
First, a little about me. I'm currently in my 5th full year teaching 4th grade, and mostly loving every second of it. This year our district has changed the structure for the 4-5-6 grade levels. I now only teach humanities in 4th grade (reading, writing, social studies). I have three adorable kitties at home, and they provide constant entertainment. When I'm not teaching, lesson planning, or worrying about new activities for school, I love to scrapbook, hike, and read a good book.