Thursday, April 27, 2017

Five for Friday

     Each week is busy and activity filled!  I enjoy visiting your blogs and taking a peek at your crazy, busyness!  Thanks, Kacey for hosting this weekly activity filled party.

1 Healthy Kids Week - So many activities to keep the kiddos engaged.  Try something new, enjoy fruits and veggies, drink your milk, take a walk, and prizes!
2 Weather Research -  One day in Science class students did a little impromptu research.  I selected a leader for each group of six students.  The leader assigned various tasks to each group member.  They had 20 minutes to get a quick presentation together about their assigned season.  The presentations were pretty good and much better than me giving info to the kiddos.

3 Active Spelling Relays - After a littler longer than usual testing time, I got the class up and moving while they practiced their spelling words.  It was fun to see them running up and down the risers grabbing letters to spell the various words.  The letters are written on plastic lids, check out my post here for more information.   The kids were grouped in several different ways to the teams were always changing and no one had bragging rights to being the top winner.  It was a great spelling review and a little time to be loud and somewhat unstructured!

I know this isn't five things but, thanks for peeking into my busyness!


Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Happy Thursday, Friends!

     Today we're talking about one of my favorite non-teaching topics but certainly related to teaching - ORGANIZATION!  I know you like organization too.  As teachers, we all have our organization habits, tricks, and tips.  I know it is the end of the year but maybe you're looking for a different twist on your organization.

     I struggled with writing to do lists on sticky notes, in a spiral notebook, on scrap paper, I even made a teacher binder like so many others and I'm probably forgetting some other things I've tried. Each of these were abandoned after a little while, with the exception of the scrap paper lists.  

     With this in mind I decided to "pretty" it up and viola I have something that I am able to use and maintain.  It does help that a very sweet parent gave me a handy clip board complete with an inside pocket!

     Why does this system work for me?  I am able to see the entire week at a glance, it keeps my preps focused, and it has ample space for notes.  Oh, and one more thing, if I feel the need for the scribbled extra notes - the entire back of the paper is free!
     I have at least a 30-40 minute prep everyday and one day is a common planning day with my 2nd grade team mate.  With that in mind I divided up my week to keep Monday and Friday light and Tuesday through Thursday as my heavy planning/organization days.

     The thrifty part of this post, I have my time budgeted and I don't waste those precious prep moments.
     I would love to hear how you keep yourself organized.

Until you visit again,

Friday, April 21, 2017

Five for Friday

It was pretty hard to get back into the school routine after our spring break.  This week was very short for me, PD and personal day.  Even though time was short, here are a few glimpses at my week.  I'm linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for...

1  With tomorrow being Earth Day my class I should have spent more time on some of my favorite projects.  But hey Teacher Friends, you know how the time slips away!  It seems impossible to try to leave some of these things for a sub to tackle.  Maybe it is my controlling side (c'mon you have one too) but I'll just work on Earth Day next week.  Anyway isn't everyday, Earth Day?

2  We are working on our Weather unit in Science class.  I wanted to get this investigation completed so the sub wouldn't have to do it.  We made a cloud in a jar and as an added bonus the rain really came down in our little water cycle!  This is the first year the rain formed in picture perfect fashion! 🙂 Everyone was so happy!

3 Our school is exploring Keyboarding Without Tears for next year.  Admin has asked if we would try it out.  Thursday was our first day.  It seemed easy for students to log on and follow the directions.  Many asked if they could work on it at home!  There were some frustrated challenged students but that is not a bad thing.  Challenge is good for taking the kiddos to the next level.  As I look at the picture closer, I can see a few of the challenged students.  But I also see many accepting the challenge of the program.
     Your thoughts are valuable to me.  I would love to hear your comments about Keyboarding Without Tears.

That's all for me.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Five for Friday

Happy first day of a long weekend!

     I'm hoping you all have off Good Friday like our school does.  We also have Monday off, so long weekend for me!

     Thank you, Kacey!  I'm so glad you host this weekly link up!

1 Landform snack - We are very fortunate that we can have snacks in our classrooms.  This week we used our snack to study for our Social Studies test.  Marshmallow plateau, M&M island, candy corn mountains (I told the kiddos they didn't have to eat the various parts, but I think almost everyone did!)  While I was working with each snack group, I was quizzing them on the many landforms we learned about in class.

2 Estimating activity - usually around holidays I bring out our estimating jar.  I found the glitter eggs at my favorite Dollar Tree.  Students  had to estimate the total number of eggs, next the number of yellow eggs, and finally the pink and blue eggs.  Many students remembered the total number of eggs subtracted the yellow egg total to find the remaining number of eggs for their guess.  However, I asked them if they thought I would really make it that easy.

3 Bunny Peep catapult activity - this week students scientist/engineers worked with a partner to build a catapult.  Once built, students launched bunny Peeps to see how far it would travel.  I used chalk to make our "track" as the kiddos called it and marked off one foot sections.  This helped when measuring the distance of each flying Peep.

So many smiles and giggles as we watched the Peeps go flying and landing with a thump!  How fun for the day before vacation, especially when it is hard to concentrate.

Check out my Thrifty Thursday from yesterday to grab your freebie for Peep Catapults.

Enjoy your long weekend!

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Happy Thursday evening, Friends!

     This freebie may be late for you to use before your Easter break but, if you do this activity a few days after Easter your students will LOVE it.  A teacher friend pointed out that Peeps will go on sale the day after Easter and this usually when does her classroom Peep projects!

     Here is my Peep Catapult STEM activity freebie.  I make a big deal about calling my students, scientists and/or engineers when we are doing the STEM projects.  I want them to connect occupations with our classroom learning.

     When the partners were finished building their catapults, they tested it using various milk jug/bottle caps.  I didn't hand out the Peeps until it was their turn to complete their three final trials.  Scientists/engineers needed reminders that the task was to launch their Peep the farthest not the highest.  Some partners tried to go really high rather than trying to gain distance.

     All in all the scientist/engineers had a fantastic time!  So many smiles from the students as they were shooting plastic lids around the room.  Who can't help but smile when a cute, yellow Peep bunny flies through the air and lands with a thump on the floor.😊

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Ahhh, Saturday!

It's a beautiful Saturday in Wisconsin!

Thanks, Kacey for hosting another Five for Friday or Saturday!
1 These sweet girls completed all their class work, so they were rewarded with a little different spelling activity.  I've talked about our great student teacher this semester, which gives me the opportunity to do different activities with students.  I grabbed the box of giant letters (just note cards attached to wood sample squares - from a door company) and a spelling list.  The girls worked together to spell as many words as they can.  Don't you love hearing giggles when they are having fun?!
2 Mrs. B (our student teacher) had great activities for the kiddos this week.  Like your students, they really like the time to interact with a friend and the teachers like the learning involved! 

3 Prodigy - Wow!  This fantastic FREE program is a must for your classroom!  Students work through math questions to earn the opportunity to battle in the game. 

     Due to a schedule change this week my students had thirty minutes to work on Prodigy.  When I announced Prodigy time the kids were so happy you would have thought I started tossing candy around the classroom!  In that one thirty minute session they answered 347 math questions! 
     Check out my Thrifty Thursday from this week for more information.  If you do sign up your class, I can earn points when you use my referral code:  Your students will totally enjoy the program.
 4 Scholastic News time offers an engaging discussion time for my classroom.  This week when we finished reading the selection our class went on to connect the issues to our ELA classes.  To reinforce our poetry work students searched the issue for onomatopoeia words and rhyming words.  Then to review they found proper nouns and adjectives.  For each students used different color crayons.
Have a wonderful weekend!  Wisconsin is excited for our first 70s of 2017!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thrifty Thursday - Teacher Style

Hi Friends!

Do your students enjoy playing video games?
Would you like to engage and stimulate your math students?
Introduce your students to Prodigy and you'll be the coolest teacher in the school!

     Prodigy is a fantastic way for students to do both!  The best part is the program is FREE!

     Prodigy is an engaging math program/app for students.  Students work through math problems, as they complete a problem they earn rewards that help them as they battle various characters.  Stop by the Prodigy site, watch the video, and sign up your class!  Oh, by the way I'd love for you to use my referral link:   With full disclosure I do earn points for my class if you use my referral link.  

     Teachers can easily set assignments/concepts for their students/classroom.  When your students log on to Prodigy, they will be practicing the concepts you set for them.  I haven't told my students that I set the concepts for the class.  One student said, "Mrs. Brown, I have lots of money questions to answer."  Between you and I, what teacher doesn't love a little secret from their students?

     My teaching partner uses Prodigy during her Daily Math rotations.  Her kiddos can't wait to log on and work on their Prodigy journey.

     Teachers in grades 3-5 will enjoy the test preparation component of Prodigy.  Just like setting assignments/concepts for your students, you can select specific test prep questions. 

Thanks for visiting today!