Saturday, December 28, 2013

I'm Back!

I'm BACK!!!! I know I've been away for some time, but I'm BACK!!! :) Hope that everyone has had an amazing holiday season!!! Oh yeah,and follow me on Pinterest :) Big City Teacher

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Giveaway Success!

I just wanted to say a really BIG thank you to all who entered the giveaway! It was a success and the prize is on its way to the winning subscriber! :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

First Giveaway!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fun Shaped Papers!!!

I don't know what it is about the approaching of Spring, but it makes me bulletin board crazy! Maybe its my inner child or my soul's way of showing gratitude for the sun and cool breeze... but there is this level of creativity that sparks in me that is other-worldly!

Any who, I created a packet of fun shaped papers that you can print and use to display your student's work in really fun ways! There are so many that the possibilities are endless! :)

TpT: Shaped Writing Papers

Sunday, February 10, 2013

First font I EVER created!

Here is the first font I ever created!!! I thought it was cool...

If you would like to download it here is the link!

PIN: 2454

I decided to join the LINKY PARTY!!

The Polished Teacher is hosting a really AWESOME linky party and I decided to join in! This is my first linky, hope I covered everything (lol)!It was such a fun time! :)

A: App
Group Me- It’s a great way for me and some of my teacher buddies to share laughs throughout the day! :)

B: Book Character
When I was a little girl my favorite book was Pinky and Rex get Married! To this day I LOVE this book. So I’m going to have to go with Pinky because she has a special place in my heart! When I have a daughter I will make sure to add this book to her library.

C: Clip Art
There is so much great stuff out there I just try to find cute clip art wherever I can!

D: Dollar Spot Find
I seem to LOVE baskets and containers from the dollar store. When I first started teaching I outfitted my whole library in bins and buckets from the dollar store!

E: Essential to Start Day
Green Smoothie and my iHome set to some obnoxious level. Luckily, my neighbors don’t complain.

F: Font
There are too many to choose from! I really love, pretty cool resource for work and other projects!

G: Game
I’m not a huge game player, I just feel like there is never enough time. But I do LOVE The Sims! When there is some downtime I play a little on my ipad. 

H: Holiday
Christmas! Family, Food, Fun. What more can you ask for?

I: Ice Cream
Cookies and Cream! I don’t think they can make an ice cream that tastes much better than that!

J: Jewelry Piece
My grandmother’s wedding ring!! My grandfather passed away in the fall right after my grandmother gave me the ring. When I wear the ring I have fond memories of both of them.

K: Kid-ism
When my five year old niece says “It’s a sticky situation”! There is something about it that just puts an instant smile on my face.

L: Location to Travel
This might sound strange but I love Nashville! I have family there and I LOVE the Gaylord Opryland! I try to stay there EVERYTIME I go! Just a cool get away from the fast pace of home!

M: Management Technique
Go around cup. Each kid has their name on a Popsicle stick within a cup on my desk. The cup is useful for calling on students or different flexible groupings.

N: Nail Polish
The “It” Color by O.P.I
I wanted this color so badly that I tracked it down on Amazon! By the way I LOVE the OPI app…

O: Open House Idea
 A well organized PowerPoint. :)

P: Pinterest Find
This question isn’t even fair! I feel like Pinterest is like walking through other people’s classroom and stealing all of their ideas. But if I had to pick just one cool thing that I found it would have to be related to my classroom safari theme.  

Q: Quote
'Even a broken clock is right twice a day’  I tend to want to think that even bad people have some redeeming quality.

R: Read-Aloud
Bud, not Buddy! It’s my student’s favorite book. We have an older grandparent volunteer that comes into my class each year and does the read aloud. This year we even went to see the play (awesome by the way). Totally a GREAT book and provides for a great dialogue with my students!

S: School Supply
Mr. Scent Markers!!!


T: TPT/TN Product

U: Un-Official Hobby
Sewing. I never have enough time, BUT I do enjoy learning to sew. 

V: Video Brain Break
Well I am slightly embarrassed to say that this week I have been watching a WHOLE lot of *Nsync videos…. LOL even typing that makes me feel silly! Takes me back to when I was 14!

W: Way to Spend a Day Off
I really enjoy live music events, comedy shows, or other events out and about in town.

X: X-tra Special Blogs You ♥

Y: Yummy Dessert
Brownies with pecans or walnuts and a tall glass of milk!

Z: Zoo Animal

Thursday, February 7, 2013

More with Point of View...

My students and I have been knee deep in point of view over the past two weeks! We have been discussing the various different types of POV, as well as thinking about how perspectives change based solely on who is telling the story.

As you can imagine they found the concept interesting for a day, but after that they were ready to move on (typical fourth grade behavior)!

To keep their interests and to spice things up a bit I thought of an activity I was taught a few years ago. In the activity students were asked to write about a person slipping on ice and then asked to write from the perspective of the ice. Well I ran with the idea and made some simple modifications of my own...

For my activity I created the fictional character of Mr. Jones, the substitute teacher. Jones who is heckled by the children is giving his lesson and his pants RIP!

I then divide my students and ask them to either write Mr. Jones, the students in his class, or the PANTS! After the uncontrollable laughter stopped, their pencils hit the pages with haste and they churned out some really cool writing!

Here is the bulletin board we produced! I think it came out pretty cool! Many of the students from the older grades have stopped by to see the display so think it was pretty effective! :)

ALSO, I made the shaped papers we used for the writing as well. So if you want those bubble presentation papers and many more, here is the link (Shaped Presentation Writing Papers). Hate to be too self promoting, but I think they are an AWESOME RESOURCE!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Figurative Language Bulletin Board

I'll be honest this is NOT my best bulletin board, but it was a HUGE hit with my students! It was an idea that I took from Mailbox magazine. Then my bestie (she teaches 6th grade) and I went to town with the concept. Each of the jewels contained a different Figurative Language concept. The awesome thing about boards like this is that they can be interactive and TRULY grow throughout the month. Students get excited and want to keep adding more jewels!

Happy Teaching :)

Geometric Self Portraits!

One of my favorite units to teach in math is Geometry. I love it mostly because even students who struggle with computation can do REALLY well with geometry. I find that this is a GREAT confidence building unit. It never fails that this unit falls around mid-year and offers those lower students an opportunity to go into the second half feeling better about their mathematical abilities.

What I have created is a simple little GLYPH activity which kids LOVE and it offers an amazing way to assess student's understandings of the key concepts. This activity can be done in class in a large group (which I love) or this fun activity can be given as homework!

Furthermore, it allows students to be creative during math time which is always a PLUS!

Happy Teaching!

This activity can be purchased for JUST $1 at my Teacher Pay Teacher Store:

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Human Body Systems

Here is a cool project I do with my class each year.

When teaching the Human Body Systems it can get mundane just reading the textbook and discussing the various concepts! So I decided that this unit really needed a project! That's when it hit me! How about life-size human bodies where the students could draw in the actual systems.

It worked and it was SUCH a hit!!! The students loved it and all I needed was a few yards of butcher block paper turned on the wrong side.
 These pictures are not the best quality and do NOT show the total 'cuteness' of the project, but I'm sure you all can get the idea.

 Happy Teaching!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Suffix Snowmen

Reviewing affixes and root words with my students has always been something I sort of dread! I used to feel like I had to lecture and have the students take tons of notes. Only to be followed by me creating an anchor chart with WAY TOO MUCH information, which only gave me a larger headache when I found that my students still couldn't remember the difference between common suffixes and prefixes.

I knew my old way just wasn't working!

So I sat down and came up with a mini project that would engage my students and get them interested and excited about affixes!

That's when I came up with Prefix Turkeys (i'll post them at another time, its January for crying out loud) and Suffix Snowmen!

These festive crafts/lessons have quickly become some of my favorite winter activities!  Perfect for a cold snowy winter afternoon activity and they double as an awesome wall or window display.

These super cute snowmen are great for a number of reasons! FIRST they allow students to review what a suffix actually is (and as teachers we ALL know that it's the BASIC things that students tend to forget), additionally the lesson requires that students use a dictionary and do a little digging (a lost art if you ask me), and finally and probably their favorite part, they get to 'coolify' their snowpeople. This year was NO exception! Lots of hip hop snowmen and even a snowgirl in heels and a Vera Wang bag (does Vera Wang even make bags? lol)!


Interested in the template and activities? Click the link below and pick it up from my Teachers pay Teachers store!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Daily Affirmation?

When I first started teaching my school used to have a school wide pledge. I never thought much about it, but now that it is gone I seem to miss that old thing! It seemed to have given the students a sense of pride and honestly a feeling of school wide solidarity.

So I decided to start doing a daily affirmation in my classroom!

Seems to be working well! The students memorized it, and if for some reason I forget to put it up in the morning they make SURE to stop me in my tracks before we move on.

Using Textual Evidence to Support Your Answer

So I'm totally into this idea of text based evidence to support your claims right now! In a previous post I discussed how I was really trying to focus in on the Common Core and use it to help guide my instruction.

So I create a little graphic organizer that my students could use with just about ANY text! All they needed was the text source (of course) and a question (created by me) to guide their thinking. The purpose of the organizer was for students to think about the big  question, come to a conclusion, identify the details that informed that conclusion, and then give the exact location of those details.

Well guess what? It was amazing!

I used an article from the newspaper that a parent sent in, from that we did a read aloud, and then I asked the students an overarching question to get them started! The results were awesome... their thinking was awesome.. and most of all my students were TOTALLY engaged!

I've posted the graphic organizer on TpT for FREE! So go download it and try it in your classroom! I would LOVE to hear how it worked! Common Core Graphic Organizer

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Figurative Language Minilessons!

It used to seem like every year I would either get to standardize testing time or even worse the end of the year and had NOT properly covered Figurative Language.... I will never forget how mortified I was my third year of teacher when an admin asked a student in my class what personification was and the kid didn't have the SLIGHTEST idea... 

I felt like I had either dropped the ball or was just the world's worse teacher! I beat myself up that whole weekend. Now as more of a veteran I understand that these literary skills can be easily omitted! However, since that moment, figurative language has taken up special residence in my heart!

Here is a little mini unit I put together that covers imagery, similes, metaphors, alliteration, personification, idioms, and onomatopoeia. I usually make the pages into a little workbook and the students and I complete an activity everyday after lunch! They love it and we really cover figurative language!

Find it on TpT: Figurative Language Grades 3-5

What's even more fun is if your school has a OFFICE QUALITY copy machine that can take paper 11x17 you can make this mini unit into a workbook and the students can keep it as a resource! 

 Happy Teaching :)

Textual Evidence and Common Core...

As  we all know the Common Core is upon us! For some districts and schools this has been a slow process, for many others you have already started to grab the bull by it's horns. I will admit that for my school we have been a little behind the times and I am still finding my way!

So for the duration of the school year I am making it my business to align EVERYTHING I do to the CCSS as to further build my familiarity! Painstaking task? Of course! But, I'm hoping by next school year I feel more fully integrated and on top of things as they relate to the standards!

While 'aligning' last week I was rummaging around in my closet and found this book; The Reading Detective (a1) by the Critical Thinking Co.! I have had this book for years, BUT when I pulled it out this time it had NEW meaning (don't you just love those moments). The book which asks comprehension questions for various passages also asks students to locate the paragraph or sentence where they found their answer! I love it because it gets the children thinking about finding SOLID evidence to support their claims!

I think I'm going to craft a little mini unit on being a Reading Detective... Could be fun for the kids and REALLY helpful in continuing to hammer home the idea of SUPPORTING what they say with textual evidence!

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

(not the greatest, but it is a START)