Thursday, April 28, 2011

Green Giants

I had a sub yesterday because I was feeling a little under the weather, and so I had him do the "Green Giant" activity with the kids.  They LOVED it and told me all about it today.  We have been talking about descriptive language, visualizing and mental images so it was a perfect activity for a sub to do.  Here are a few pictures!

If you haven't heard about the "Green Giant" idea...I googled it and found a lot of teaching blogs that talk about the project.  I really loved how the giants turned out!  My bulletin board posters came from One Extra Degree's poetry packet from TPT and Room 36.  Thank you!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

30 Unit Spelling Plan

This is a 30 unit document for use with your current spelling program. There are 5-6 pattern words included on each of the 30 units. Students write class words and super spellers. There is also a space for differentiating your spelling by adding students' words (words they need to spend extra time studying.) Students practice their words by writing sentences, putting them in alphabetical order and finding more pattern words. There are also ideas for more hands-on practice included.

I have my students do several of these activities throughout the month, but I wanted to have a packet for them to have and use as they practice weekly.  I give spelling words on Monday and give a test on Friday.  These papers would be part of the homework and also would be due on Friday.

Tell me what you think!  You can buy this 60 page, 30 unit spelling companion at my TPT store.

I planned this unit so that you can use it with your current spelling program. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Charlotte's Web "Diary of a Pig" Diary

I posted before about the "Diary of a Pig" to go along with Charlotte's web.  The students in my class are LOVING this and I am really enjoying their diary entries!  Here is the packet that I used for the diary. 
Diary of a Pig

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Summer Splash

I know, I know...we have over a month before school gets out for the summer, but I am so excited for warm weather I couldn't help myself!  I spend two weeks of my summer in Santa Barbara and I have been dreaming of the beach, while I sit here in the rain/snow.  Here is a 7 page packet that I created tonight to help with those last couple of days of school.  After the desks are cleaned out, the room is sparkling, and you still have just a few hours to fill.  You can buy this for $2.50 at my TPT store.  There is a word scramble, word search, two writing assignments, a summer goal sheet, an outdoor scavenger hunt and a short math review (multiplication and division).  I am really hoping this packet helps the sun come out and stay for a while!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Book Share Projects for the Year

This is my book share project packet.  It has projects for each month's book shares for October through May.  There is also a rubric and fiction story map.  You can download this at my TPT store!

Probability Spinners Take 2

Oops, for some reason the spinners that are free on a previous post won't work.  So sorry!!  I put them on my TPT site now so you can download them.  Don't worry, they are still free!! 

Here is the site TPT.

Let me know if they don't work and I will try, try, try again.  :) 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Charlotte's Web "Diary of a Pig"

We started reading Charlotte's Web yesterday and today.  Today, I introduced our "Diary of a Pig" writing responses.  This idea came from the Littlest Learners blog.  Inside, I have different pages for the students to write on.  I found them on a website about notebooking, and don't remember where.  (If I find out where, I will post it on here.)

The students and I talked about Perspective and then read the book Diary of a Fly.  Then we brainstormed feelings that Wilbur might have felt during the first three chapters of the book.  This is what they wrote about for their first diary entry. 

Here are samples of the book's cover:

One student wrote this in his diary:

"Today started out so boring.  I didn't want to do anything I could do.  Fern wasn't coming but then there was a voice.  It was the goose, he said a board was loose on the pen.  I saw the board and started shoving.  It came off easily.  It felt strange to be in the wide open.  Then the goose said "Why just stand there? Have some fun!" So I started digging up ground, but then someone saw me and shouted.  Everyone came after me!  I evaded them for quite a while but then someone gave me slop.  I followed them back to the pen and ate.  I fell asleep warm, full and happy. "

Isn't that cool?  I was impressed that he used the word "evaded"! 

The other students did awesome jobs too.  I am very pleased with the way this reading response to Charlotte's Web worked out!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pirate Probability 2

The kids in my class have loved the pirate probability unit. We worked on it during math time today and yesterday.  We decided to have the students read the "likely", "unlikely" statements one at a time like pirates.  Then the class would call out the answer and if we agreed we would "rrrrrr" like a pirate.  I was laughing so hard that I was crying!  It definitely made my day! 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Teaching Blog Addict

I was inspired to do my own teaching blog because of all the other teaching blogs out there (there are a lot).  Now, some of my favorite are all at one place!  Click on the button to see! 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Plant Sale for Africa

For the past 3 years, we have been a doing plant sale to raise money for malaria nets in Africa.  We have raised over $1700 which is about 170 bed nets for families!  We start buy collecting tin cans throughout the year.  Then in April, we plant seeds: basil, oregano, cilantro, zinnias, sunflowers etc.  The students put rocks, dirt and seeds in the cans and then nurture them until they grow into plants (hopefully). 

We sell them over two days for $2-5 per can.  It has been a great project, and one that myself and my ex-colleague are proud to have initiated.  I will be posting a packet soon with more details. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pirate Probability

Arrgh! Teaching probability to your class just became more fun! This packet includes 12 pages of probability activities like: X marks the spot dice game, Argh game (like Pig), Capture the Pirates instructions and game board, likely and unlikely statements and more. My students absolutely love these activities!  You can purchase it at my TPT store!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cursive Application

During the school year, the students learn cursive using a consumable cursive workbook.  When finished, they have chance to fill out a Cursive Application.  Once they fill it out and I check it to make sure the letters are correctly formed, I stamp it with an official date stamp and give them their license.  The kids love them and so do parents!  You can download it for free here.

Probability Spinners

You can download my nine probability spinners here.  I use them for probability games and activities.  I use them to show "fair" and "unfair".  We use a paper clip and pencil as the spinner. 

I love teaching probability.  I find a lot of my resources at

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Alien Fractions

Aliens and fractions are two things kids love! This packet includes a fraction kit to make, two game ideas, a quiz, comparing aliens using fraction statements and a fun alien fraction hunt. It is 10 pages long and oh so fun. Download it at my TPT store!

Here are some pictures of the students' aliens:

Literature Groups

I start literature circles in the Fall after I assess the students to get their reading levels.  I enlist the help of 4-8 parent volunteers so they can run the groups.  This year, I only had 4 parents sign up to help, so I did circles once a week.  Twice a week is what I prefer, but we do what we can right?   I make sure everything is organized before we start.  I get leveled book sets for the groups and then give them a big bag with all the stuff the group needs.

Here is the bag with all the materials in it for the literature groups.
 Some of the items that are in the bag.

Wondering how to get started with literature circles in your classroom?  This kit will give you 11 pages to get you started, including 16 cards response cards.  There is information on how to create your groups and information for parents who come and volunteer to run the groups.  My students have loved literature groups this year! You can buy the whole packet at my TPT store. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Freebie: Spider Unit

Creepy spiders become not so creepy after students study them.  This is a 6 page unit to help little ones ease into learning about spiders.  There is a word search, a form for a spider hunt, a poster about spiders and a dice and draw game.  Your class will love this introductory unit on spiders.  You can download it free at my TPT store.