Sunday, December 16, 2012

Three Braches of Government

Even though most of my instruction is on the 5th grade level, I have to remember that my students are still just 4th graders. And 4th graders, no matter how mature, NEED hands on crafty projects!!! So here is my method for teaching the Three Branches of Government, cute mobiles that not only act as a great learning tool, but also look really good around the classroom.

What's even more cool is that the BOYS love it! Plus it's a GREAT afternoon project that makes the kids happy and keeps the teacher sane!

In addition to the mobiles here are some links I use (because we know kids LOVE visuals):

School House Rock 3 Branches of Government

Corny rap video, but kids like it!

Want to try this project in your classroom??

Friday, December 14, 2012

Prayers for the Victims and their Families

Prayers go out to all of the lives affected by the school shooting tragedy today in Newtown, Connecticut.

As a teacher this tragedy especially hits home, my heart is heavy with the thought of young lives being taken so soon.

God bless all of the families connected to and affected by this tragedy. God BLESS America.

Reader Response Board

For a quick and easy way to get students talking and motivated about reading, I use the Reader Response Bulletin Board! This year long classroom staple allows students to 'discuss' reading in a very unique way. After students place their comments on the board they read the comments of other students.

What is cool about it is that I have actually witnessed students continuing their book conversations after reading another student's post!

All you need is a reading question ( I usually print out the question and have it up on the board after the first reading) and post it notes.

If you try it in your classroom, LET me know! 

Would love to hear how it goes in other classrooms!   

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Alternative to Paper and Pencil Book Reports!

Maybe it’s just me, but I DON’T enjoy reading and grading 25+ one page long book reports.  Not only are they tedious for me, but I’m not sure how much my students actually liked them either…  that’s when I had the bright idea that I needed to make a change! 

First I did some research and found this awesome Scholastic book that made book reports more fun! 
This is what I found:
24 Ready-to-go Genre Book Reports: Engaging Activites with Reproducibles, Rubrics, and Everything You Need to Help Students Get the Most Out of Their Independent Reading

The book report format that instantly became my favorite was turning your book into a board game. The kids LOVED it and instantly book report day became one of their favorite times of the month. 

My strategy was to have students turn them in on a Monday or Tuesday, grade them, and by Friday let students spend part of their afternoon discussing the books they read and playing the student created board games! 

Here are some examples of my students awesome work:


Brand NEW teacher blog!!

Brand NEW teacher blog!!

Probably one of the main reasons most of us got into this profession is because we love to be creative and share our ideas with others! Well if that's you, you've come to the right place!

So here you will find a collection of my ideas, ideas from around my school, from my teacher friends or from anywhere else I find a darn good tip!

and remember:

“Ask yourself: 'Do I feel the need to laminate?' Then teaching is for you.”
Gordon Korman


Happy Teaching :)