Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday

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I'm so excited to be hosting the second installment of Show & Tell Tuesday!



I was inspired by Head Over Heels for Teaching to do something different for Valentine bags this year.  Joann has great step by step instructions on how to print directly on paper bags!  You can read them here.  So, I created these bags for my students to color as their warm up last Friday.



After they were done coloring, we lined them all up along the counter so the kids could hand out their valentines.  Then I had a few kids help me tie all the ribbons on.





Having the bags neatly tied closed made it easier to have the kids wait until they got home to open them.  I figured after having our Valentine sundae bar...


they didn't really need any more sugar which seems to come with so many of the Valentine cards these days.  


Not only was Friday our Valentine party day, it was also the day of our first reading celebration of the year!  Everyone in the class had recently reached a milestone in our 40 book challenge, so we celebrated by having a flashlight read in!  


Everyone snuggled up with their favorite book, pillow, and blanket.  What a great way to spend one of our coldest days of the winter!


While the kids were spread out around the room reading, I had a few at a time come up to my desk to make a new bookmark.  I just rounded up some fabric scraps from my mom, some ribbon, a bookmark pattern copied on card stock, and a heart punch.





We finally finished all of last marking period's post-assessments and this marking period's pre-assessments so we could begin a new reading unit I just created on the civil rights movement.  This is the time of year that we begin working on reading nonfiction, so it was the perfect opportunity to combine that work with learning about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Linda Brown, and so much more.  I start the unit by seeing what the kids already know about a list of words associated with this topic.  





Not surprisingly, some of the students had a little bit of knowledge about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks but not much beyond that.  But that's okay.  I asked the students to choose words from the list that they wanted to learn more about, and each day throughout the unit, they have the chance to do just that.  

Each day's lesson involves a read aloud from some great nonfiction and historical fiction books.  You can take a closer look at each of them at Amazon by clicking on the pictures below.  























Each day's lesson also includes shared reading.  Students do close reading of common texts where they can practice the annotating that we have been working on all year.  


We end each day with reading workshop where students can choose from a wide variety of books about the civil rights movement that I found at the school library and two of my local libraries.  It's fun to see the students get excited as they encounter the words and people that they weren't familiar with at the beginning of the unit but are coming across in their reading each day.  If you would like to check out my Civil Rights Movement Reading Unit Bundle, you can find it at my TPT Store.  



Now here's what you need to know to link up and share your Show & Tells!

Linky Information:

1. This is a monthly linky.  The idea is to “Show” up to four pictures of things from school, home, etc. and “Tell” us all about them.  Created the most amazing bulletin board ever?  Show & Tell us about it!  Have the best seats at a Red Wings game, right next to the bench?  Show & Tell us about it!  Play the best game at a party with your class?  Have a pet that just got the worst haircut ever?  Show & Tell us about it!  Only have one thing to Show & Tell about?  Not a problem! 

2. Product promotion will be limited to one and only if you are introducing a brand new product or sharing pictures of how you just used a product in your classroom.  The focus should be on sharing, not pushing things to sell. 

3. Please choose one of your Show & Tell pictures as your image for the thumbnail and type your blog name to go below the picture. 

4.  Use the main Show & Tell Tuesday button and link back to my post.  Use the numbered Show & Tell buttons in your post to share your pictures.

5. Please leave comments on at least three other posts, including the ones before and after yours.  It’s always nice to get feedback from your blogging buddies! 





Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Made It

I'm linking up today with 4th Grade Frolics for another edition of Monday Made It!



Bonny had to head back to New Jersey at the end of January, and of course, it was right when the big snow storm hit.  Her flight back was cancelled three times!  So, we decided we had to drive her back. Timm and I "made it" to New Jersey and back to Michigan in 30 hours!  Ugh.  It was not fun.  It was nice to spend a little more time with Bonny, but it was exhausting. We arrived at her apartment, helped her shovel out her car...


grabbed some Chick-fil-A, and then headed home.  We got home about 11:15 p.m. and had to be to work bright and early the next morning.  


I've been working on making some new reading intervention groups and activities for a few of my kids.  I got out the whisper phones I made a few years back and have a student working on his oral reading fluency.


I also signed up for a free two week trial with K5 Learning.  This is an online program for reading and math, though so far, I am only using the reading part of it with three of my students.  It starts out by giving them a placement test to determine what areas they need to work on and what level they are at in each of those areas.  I was surprised by how accurate the levels were that they came up with compared to the DRA and STAR test results that I have for each of my kids.  

After that, the students can start working through lessons which seem to be very interactive and engaging.


One of my students that I have working on this program has struggled with staying on task and motivation.  He is now coming to me throughout the day to ask if he can work on another K5 Learning lesson when he finishes other tasks.  He completed five lessons in just a couple days, which I can see by logging in and clicking on his report.  I'm hoping to use money from the PTO to continue my membership once my free trial is over.  

If you would like to check it out and start your own free trial, just click on the button below.




My third Made It is my Homework Club that I started this year after I saw this pin from I Love Labels...


Here's my version...


I have had these awesome little magnets that you can slide a piece of paper in forever!  They were perfect for this!  I have been holding onto them for years, knowing that someday they would be just what I was looking for!

This is how the Homework Club works.  On the first day of the month, everyone is in the Homework Club.  If you have a single late assignment, however, you are out for that month.  I found this great little box that I keep on the marker board ledge for the magnets of the kids that are out.



All the kids that are still in the Homework Club on the last day of the month earn a prize.  To be honest, the September Homework Club was really small,  only a handful of kids.  Their reward was popcorn and pop during silent reading time.  That did it!  October Homework Club was about triple the number of kids!  

I just finished putting together my Homework Club Board set which includes everything you need to create a Homework Club of your own.

You can find it in my TPT Store.


Check out all the other Monday Made Its at 4th Grade Frolics!


Also, make sure you stop by next week for another edition of Show & Tell Tuesday!  I'd love for you to link up!