Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2 Great Givaways - All in One Day!

Two lovely blogs are currently having givaways!

Check out Twins, Teaching, and Tacos for a chance to win two items from here TpT store!

Check out Fun in Room 4B for a chance to win a whole slew of fun stuff!

Which gets me thinking that I am almost at 50 followers. This is VERY exciting for me since I'm still new to the bloggy world. Anyone have a good idea for a giveaway?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Blog!!!

This is so exciting! :)
Misty from Think, Wonder & Teach has created a new resource blog for 3-6 teachers!

Link up with your grade level and check out some amazing resources!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cause and Effect

This coming week I'll be beginning  new reading lesson with my kiddos on Cause and Effect.
 I LOVE the Laura Numeroff books for this. I think I'm going to Use If You Give a Pig a Pancake, but I'm still working on that lesson.
What I have created so far is an introduction to Cause and Effect.

I've listed it in my TpT store, and I'd LOVE for you to go check it out! I'm playing around with products for my TpT store, so it would be helpful to see what you think. I have it listed with a price, but if you follow my blog and message me with your email, I will send you a free copy!
Please give me feedback, and if you could, follow and rate me in TpT!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

If you have a TpT or Teacher's Notebook - I NEED YOUR OPINION!!

So, I recently added a TpT store for fun. A lot of the stuff I have on there is free, and a few things are at a small cost. I am working on some bigger items to put on the site, but TpT takes a big cut for a basic membership.
What are your thoughts on using TpT vs. Teacher's Notebook. Pros/Cons. I know I can also upgrade in TpT and keep more of my profits, but that also takes a yearly fee.
I'm just curious what you, my fellow bloggers think of both sites.

Clipart CRAZY!!

I think I have a clipart addiction.
Yep, clipart.
There is nothing worse for me than a boring, plain handout for my class. Even worse is boring displays. So, I was more than excited to find a new etsy shop that I ABSOLUTELY adore!
Maybe I'm just behind and everyone has already checked out The Digital Bakeshop, but if you haven't, and you love clipart ..need I saw more! The coolest part about her site is that everything is ALWAYS buy 2, get 2 free.
I just went through and ordered 4 sets, and got 4 FREE!!! :)

On a side note, tomorrow is the last day of our state testing ... Halleluiah! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Another Giveaway!!!

Yes, it's true! Two in one day:)
And this one is ... STARBUCKS! Music to my ears. This is not something I would have said a year ago. A year ago, I would have give away a Starbucks gift card, however, somehow I've gotten over the gross coffee aversion and began to crave it. And thank goodness, because I don't know how I would make it through some days without it.

So, the bottom line is that Think, Wonder, Teach is GIVING AWAY a $10 gift card to starbucks! Click on the link to enter for your chance to win :)

Who Doesn't Like Giveaways?!

Ok, if you're anything like me, you love a good giveaway. Head over to Daisy Days for Learning! She is giving away EVERYTHING from her TPT store as she now has more than 100 followers :) Drawing is tomorrow, so don't wait :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Who said it would be easy?

Well, I've just spent the last two hours trying to make blog button?! ..and it still doesn't work! HTML code racks my brain ...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Think Happy Thoughts

Have you checked out technology rocks. seriously. ???
If you haven't, then you SERIOUSLY need to do so.
Shannon has made some  amazing inspirational signs. They bring some color to my classroom, AND the kids love them. See the picture below:

I even was able to use them in a class meeting. We talked about each of the posters in the room. Each has a different positive or inspirational message. We talked together about what the quotes meant and how they relate to our lives. I had each of my students pick a quote that resonated with them. They wrote the quotes into the front cover of their agendas. It was amazing how true to character some of the quotes were to each child. They really did a great job picking a saying that would really benefit them in the classroom. If I would have thought about it earlier, I would have taken pictures of their journals ... something to do next week!
So, bottom line? If you haven't check it out... GO! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thankfulness and March Writing

First of all, I am SO thankful for Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies for hosting the upper elementary linky party. I've found SO many wonderful new blogs to stalk. There's nothing I love more than blog stalking.

Anyway, this week my kiddos have been taking the dreaded PSSA (our standardized test) ... insert obligatory horror music. Needless to say, after three straight days their brains are mush, and they're a bit out of control. I wanted to brainstorm an activity we could do that would give them a creative outlet for their energy, but still tie into our curriculum.
So, thinking of March ... I think of "in like a lion, out like a lamb". Though, it's been in the 70's for the past week ... Punxatawney Phil didn't know what he was talking about. But, that isn't the point ...
So, I had the kids begin brainstorming about character traits you could use to describe a lion and a lamb. They thought of some really good words:
My students then used these words to think of an activity or time when they are like a lion and like a lamb. Each student had to think of a main idea: "I'm a lion when ..." or "I'm a lamb when..." Then, they used the words on the board to think of at least 5 details to support their main idea. They also had a put an example of figurative language in there since we just completed a whole unit on similes, metaphors, personification, and alliteration.
Of course they piled them haphazardly on the windowsill in true ten-year-old fashion. 
Then, I hung the ones that were finished (and dry) in the hallway. On a side note, why do kids always use seven pounds of glue when two drops is all you need? 

Tomorrow I'll have to hang the rest. Hopefully they will be dry!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My First Linky Party!!!

Yay! This is my first time participating in a linky party, and I'm excited!
Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies has invited all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers to link up. What a great idea. I too am always looking for new blogs to "stalk". I don't think I can ever have enough blog links on my blog reel. Do you? So, if you're here on my blog  because I linked up, awesome! Now I look forward to checking out all of the other teachers who've linked up as well!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Teachers Pay Teachers!

I feel like I am stepping up in the world. I created a TpT account!!! I uploaded a project I am going to do with my kids after we finish our Pennsylvania unit. As we have been learning about PA history, government, and the regions, my kiddos have been taking notes to create an ABC book. I made an ABC book template for them to create their final products and uploaded it to TpT for free! :)
Click here and tell me what you think!


This year we began talking about visualizing with our students. There are some amazing books out there which are great for this strategy.
One is Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsberg, however our kids read this in 3rd grade, so I was looking for something else.
Helen Ketteman writes some hilariously funny stories, and visualizing them is equally as enjoyable.
I introduced the strategy by reading Luck With Potatoes aloud. I didn't show the students the cover or any of the pictures. While I was reading, they closed their eyes in order to "make a movie in their head". After every few pages I had them turn and talk to a neighbor about what they were picturing.  I also had them draw a scene from the story. The language the author uses really helped them to picture the small details about the story events.

Students then got the opportunity to practice visualizing with another story by Ketteman, Heat Wave. Instead of reading the book to them, I typed the book out and gave them each a page, picture free (Click here for the Google Doc). Students then took turns to read their pages to the class, and then illustrated each. We were then able to make a class book with their visualizations.
It was so neat to have the kiddos make their own book. After having it displayed for the duration of our lesson, I hole punched the pages and put them into a 3 clasp folder to make a "Class Book". And voila. The best part is, the kids love to read and reread the story because the art came from them.

Monday, March 5, 2012

What Is Figurative Language?

If your state takes some dreaded standardized test, then like me, you're trying to make sure your students know everything they can. Meaning, you try to stuff as much information into them as possible and their heads start feeling like an overstuffed chair.
Anyway, a few months back I introduced 4 types of figurative language: Alliteration, Similes, Personification, and Metaphors.
I decided to work on one type each day. So, I had the kids make a figurative language booklet using a large piece of construction paper. They folded it into four sections, one for each type.
Here is a picture of my example:

For each section, we begin by defining the type of figurative language. Then, I add a sentence that shows an example and the kids can illustrate. Below you can find my (insert sarcasm) amazing illustrations I created on the board as an example. Then, because I LOVE picture books, I tried to find one to go with each type. Here are some I like: 





I'm Dirty
Sweet Tooth

Ok, here is amazing artwork. Yep, amazing.
The kids made fun of my gazelle. I guess it does look more like it's doing a leg kick than jumping. Hi yah? (emphatic karate noise)

Anyway... after reading a picture book and talking about how we can identify the figuative language, I do a hands on activity. A collegue of my took a brain-based learning course, at which she learned that students learn better when they can create something with their learning.
So, here are some things I did with my kiddos.

Since we began learning about figurative language in the winter, and I wanted some cute decorations, I decided to have the students make alliterative snowflakes using their names. I used the heading "No Two Are Alike", since both people and snowflakes are all said to be unique. I think they turned out really cute! Example: "Brody blew blissful bubbles around the barn"

For the simile I gave each student a wanted poster, Then, they had to think of a "criminal" with a distinctive feature to create on a poster. Mine was, "A teacher as tall as a giraffe". Then they colored them and cut them out. It made a great hall display.
The template I found was from Mailbox Magazine. Click here for a copy in Google Docs.

Metaphor and Personification: 
I think these are harder for 4th graders to brainstorm on their own. Because of that, I printed out metaphors and personification and cut them into strips. Then, each student got one to illustrate. They glued their sentence onto a white piece of computer paper and illustrated it. Then, I made them into a class book using a three clasp folder.

Click here for a Google Doc of Metaphor examples. 
Click here for a Google Doc of Personification examples.

Happy creative writing!!