Sunday, October 30, 2011

Team Signs - Freebie!!

Whenever possible I always have my teams set up in groups of four. In an ideal classroom that's great, but as we all know that doesn't happen all the time. I never have a team of less than three or more than five. If I had the choice of having a team of three or five, I would say I like the team of three better. Why? Sometimes I feel like the fifth person gets left out. I like the team of three for a couple of reasons. One, I feel that buliding a relationship happens better in a smaller group. Also, I would rather have a team member doing double during a structure rather than having others sitting idle. Of course, when all is said and done, what works better for the students is what we all need to consider.

Here is a new set of signs that I created.  I hang these from the ceiling to identify team numbers.

You can download them HERE from my TpT store for FREE!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Color Editing Checklist

Just posted:  A new freebie!!!  I have created a color editing checklist to go with my color editing poster.  I hope you find it helpful!

Click HERE to download from my TpT store for free!

In case you missed it, you can download the poster HERE from my TpT store for free also!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

T-Chart Factors

I have been teaching factors for a long time now, and it wasn’t until I came across a picture on Pinterest that I had an Ah-ha moment!  The T-chart!  Why have I never thought of this before?  I have always modeled finding factors by listing them horizontally.  Today, I used this with my 4th grade students and they got the hang of it pretty quick.  It was a GREAT visual!

Have you used the T-chart to help students list the factors of a number?

Monday, October 24, 2011

K-W-L Alternative

The traditional K-W-L is not only boring my students, it is boring me!  I decided to get my students moving and interacting with each other.  What used to be raise your hand to tell me what you know then tell me what questions you have, turned into a Carousel of an event. 

I wanted to know what my students knew about solids, liquids, and gases.  Using three pieces of chart paper, I posed the three questions:  What do I know about gases, what do I know about solids and what do I know about liquids?  I divided my class into 3 groups and assigned each group a specific color that they were to use when recording responses.  I then appointed each group to a poster.  Each group was to appoint a recorder in which their job was to write down the things that the group knew about the topic.  After a few minutes, students then rotated to another chart.  They were to read the responses that the team before them had written.  After reading each response, they put a checkmark beside them stating that they had read them.  Then, they recorded their own responses to the new question.  This continued until all groups had been to all charts. 
After all groups had carouseled, they returned to their seat.  For accountability, each student wrote down one “what I want to know” on a sticky note, discussed with their groups, then as a class we recorded our thinking.
The standard K-W-L was transformed into an all-in-one K-W-L for the kinesthetic, auditory, and visual learner!

Friday, October 21, 2011

What's My Voice?

This week my students have been working on the Voice Trait.  With partners they practiced using the voice trait with cards that they were given.  Each card had a character, and they were to use words or phrases to show the character's voice.  They had so much fun with this!  Not only were their conversations lively, but the animation they added was fantastic!  So much fun!

You can download the cards that we used for FREE at my TpT store.

Language Arts Common Core Posters

Finally!!!!  I have finished with 4th Grade Language Arts Common Core posters.  Just like my Math posters, they are in kid friendly language.  Also, on the bottom of each poster you will find the name and standard number. 

You can purchase them at my TpT store.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Club - Part 2

Week two of our book club was a success!  We have 19 students that are extremely excited about reading 39 Clues.  I have to say, that I am just as excited!   Today, we added a little food testing into our meeting.  In the book, Skittles and Diet Coke were mentioned as a favorite.  Our kiddos had a little taste of Skittles and sorry folks, just regular Coke!  They all liked this taste test.  A little tasting of mushrooms later on may not be quite so popular.  
We have a book fair going on in our school right now.  This was a perfect opportunity to take our book club on a mini field trip.  Their mission was to look for their top five picks for our next book.  Not only did we let them in on this decision, we also helped out our library with a nice order. 

Students are posting comments on our blog, they are reading, and showing up after school to share their love for reading.  So far, it looks to be a great success!

Thanks Lori, for being such a great partner in this exciting adventure!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Editing Made Colorful!

Do you have problems with students editing their own writing?  They want to rush through one of the most important parts of the writing process so they can get to their favorite part, publishing.  Sound familiar?  I have found that color editing works well with my students.  It guides them in what to look for and is great for those visual learners. 

This is the poster that is displayed in my classroom. 

Students follow these steps to self-edit their own writing.  They quickly discover that if they have a red, then they MUST have a green. 

After they mark all that needs to be marked, they go back to make sure their punctuation and capitals are correct. 

Editing isn't so dull now, it's actually quite colorful :)!

You can download my Color Editing Poster for free at my TpT store.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Club - Part 1

As an after school activity, Lori, a friend of mine, and I started a book club for fourth and fifth graders. This is our first go at it, so it is a work in progress. Our first book is The Maze of Bones, the first in The 39 Clues series by Rick Riordan. 
Lori came up with the discussion questions, and I created a blog for students to interact with at home. The blog interactions are already making me smile! It is so exciting to see our students excited about reading and taking the time to talk about it! Our new discussion questions were posted a couple of hours ago, and we already have a student who has read and responded for next week! How exciting!!

Take a look at our Book Club blog. I'm proud of our readers!!

We have so many other things in store for our book club, and I can't wait to share!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Decimals Aren't So Scary!!

In my fourth grade class right now we are in the middle of a decimal unit.  In honor of the upcoming Halloween frenzy, I created these decimal activities that students can complete with partners or on their own.  This would be great for math centers or stations!

You can download this for free at my TPT store.

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Top 5 Pins

So, I'm officially addicted to Pinterest!  I'm a visual person, and this is just perfect for me!  As a result of my addiction, I thought I would share with you my top five favorites for the week.  Drum roll please.............

How creative!  I can't really tell from the picture, but I'm thinking that if we add a brad students can move the hands. 

Sticky notes!!!  Oh how I love sticky notes.  The possibilities are endless.  I just need a working printer in my classroom.

We have been having a lot of discussions in my class about genres.  I like this particular foldable, because the visual allows students to see what genres are considered fiction.

I'm into foldable right now and this wikispace,, is full of ideas.

This would be a great way to practice suffixes and prefixes.