Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sparking Student Motivation- Scavenger Hunts, plus a giveaway at the end!

Happy Saturday blogging friends!  I hope you are having a fantastic week-end.  I took a two hour nap, which was wonderful because on Saturdays my body still feels it needs to get up super early!  Today, I am linking up with Joanne from Head Over Heals for Teaching.  She has a fantastic linky on Saturdays...Sparking Student Motivation.

(I have to apologize for not many pictures this week.  I updated my phone yesterday and had some major issues.  I lost all of my current photos including the pictures for this post!!  It made me very sad!)  

I have found my students love to move around the room while working.  I often times will use scavenger hunts during my lessons.  This is where students look for cards that have questions on them to answer, they find them, answer them and then move on to find the next one.  You can do this for any subject or topic and the kids love it.  I hide the cards in fairly easy to find places, never under anything.  The students are given simple instructions on what to do and how we behave while wandering around the classroom.  Then, I set them off!  It is fun to see them helping other students find certain cards.  This gives them practice, while not keeping them tied to a chair.  My students get excited when they come in and find a few cards.  They are then looking frantically to find the rest of them while I am giving instructions.

I have two scavenger hunts in my store right for addition properties and the other for multiplication properties.  Check them out or even create your own on the topic you are studying.

I am in a giving mood...Let's play Pin It To Win!  Pin either product and leave the link in the comments and I will pick two winners tomorrow night to receive one of these products.  You have two chances to win, so pin each one!

I am off to do some grading so I will not have any tomorrow!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mentor Text- True & False Books

Hello friends!  I hope you all are doing well...I have had a very productive week-end doing "adult" things.  Oil  I am very proud!  I am excited to link up to one of my favorite linky parties....Collaboration Cuties Mentor Text Linky Party!  I always find amazing books through this!

This week, I want to share a series of science books by Scholastic.  They are Scholastic True or False books by Melvin and Gilder Berger.  They have about ten books out on different science topics...animals, reptiles, storms, planets, rocks and minerals.  I love these books and so do my students.  I recently used the rock and mineral book when we were studying that topic in science.  I would start each lessons with a true or false question.  Students would have to guess and we would check and see if we were correct.  They loved it!  I would also find my students quizzing each other during silent reading time or when they were done with their work.  They are written at a lower level then my 5th graders, but they love them just as much!  As I was looking them up on Amazon, I noticed a few I will have to add to my collection!  If you haven't seen these...check them out!

Amazon Description: Scholastic True or False is a science series aimed at second and third graders in a fun question-and-answer format. Each book contains 22 true or false questions with a full-color photograph of dangerous animals on every page. Kids will read the question on the right and turn the page to see the answer on the left. Every answer also includes a bonus fact related to the question.

I hope you check them out and all of the other fun science books that are linked up!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tried It Tuesday: Projects By Jen

Hello Blogging Buddies!  I hope you are all doing well!  Today, was a my first day back after a nice three day week-end.  I was very tired today, but it was a good day!  My students and I had fun learning and doing various fun activities!  I am linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried It Tuesday!

Today, I want to talk about a site I fell upon sometime last spring...Projects By Jen.  This site has great projects that classrooms around the country can take part in.  The projects are very simple, but very fun and exciting for students.  I signed my students up for her O.R.E.O. Project (Our Really Exciting Online Project)!  It was  really an exciting project for my students to be involved in.  

The project consisted of stacking oreo cookies and finding the average of the classes stack.  Each child got two chances to stack cookies and they were took each students highest stack.  I told the students we would be inputting our information and comparing it to students in our grade level all over the world.  They were excited!  I did inform them it is not a stacking competition, but some of my boys were very competitive!

It was really neat to watch my students because they were finding out the sounds and movement could knock over their stacks, which is something we will talk about later in the year.  We also talked about finding the mean of a group of numbers.  I have two math and science classes so we found the average of each class and then took the average of both classes.  Our average matched the average for 5th grade around the world, which was neat for the students to see!

Building our towers...don't move...don't say anything!

Don't fall!!!

We had two baskets of Oreos.

Our attempt charts!

Best part...eating Oreos!

Check out Projects by Jen for some fun easy projects to use in your class!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mentor Text- Millions, Billions, Trillions

Happy Sunday!  I am enjoying my time with family in Boston!  Today, my sister, Sarah, and her husband, Steven, ran the Boston half marathon.  It was Sarah's fifth or sixth half marathon and Steven's first.  Steven is unsure if he will do another one, he may just be Sarah's biggest cheerleader!

Watching them run makes me want to get out and start running again.  I wish time would allow!  If I did not need sleep, I could totally do it!

I am linking up with the wonderful Amanda and Stacia from Collaboration Cuties for their mentor text linky party!  This week we are talking about math books!  I love using picture books in math, they provide another way for students to see and understand the math concepts.  Today, the book I want to highlight is Millions, Billions, and Trillions:Understanding Big Numbers by David A. Adler.

Amazon description:  What does a million look like? A billion? A trillion? These huge numbers are hard to visualize. This book explains quantities in terms children can understand. For example, one million dollars could buy two full pizzas a day for more than sixty-eight years, it would take the heads of ten thousand people together to have one billion hairs.

I really loved this book because it gave some great examples of these big numbers that kids sometimes have a hard time grasping.  It also went in order from smallest to greatest so the kids could see it the numbers growing and getting bigger.  It is a great addition to any place value or number sense unit of study!

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a surprise sale and I have joined in the fun.  My entire store is 10% off and if you use the code FB100K you can get an additional 10% off!  It is such a deal!  Make sure you check it out!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sparking Student Motivation...Decorating their space, plus a sale!

Happy Saturday!  I am on my way to Springfield, MA to meet my sister and her cross country team.  They have a meet and my mom and I are driving up to support them!  My sister, Sarah, coaches girls cross country at Gordon College.  It feels like yesterday, I was watching her run cross country in high school!

I could not forget to link up with Joanne from Head Over Heals for Teaching.  Today is her Sparking Student Motivation weekly linky!

My room is a bit different in the set up.  I have these partition desks built into the wall on one and a half sides of my room.  

When I first found out I was going to have these offices, I was not to excited.  They take up a lot of wall space and I didn't think I was going to be able to use them.  Well, I had a bright idea one day in the car driving from school to home (I drive an hour and a half one way!)...I would use them as the students' cubbies.  They can put their jackets and back packs in there along with extra books and supplies!!! I am so smart!  I shared my idea with the other teacher who has them and she loved it!  So that is what part of them are used for.  I decided since my students are in fifth grade I would give them the opportunity to decorate them, like a locker, which they will get in middle school.   They jumped on the idea.  Many students brought in family pictures or pet pictures to hang in their cubby.  A few kids put pictures of their favorite sports team.  This was something that didn't take a lot of time and doesn't distract them from their work.  They feel ownership of their cubby now and they loved showing me all of their pictures!

One student decided he didn't want to decorate his cubby and instead decorated his desk...with Christmas lights!  They run on battery and he was told he could keep them in his desk if they do not become a distraction to him!  When I first saw them, I just had to laugh!!

Do you let the students decorate anything and make it their own?  I would love to know your ideas!

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a FLASH sale...I am putting my entire store on sale for 10% off through Monday night!  You can get an extra 10% off by using the code: FB100K! Enjoy!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five for Friday!!!

I am so excited it is Friday!  This week has been another long one, that did pick up pace towards the end of the week!  I am excited to be linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for their Five for Friday.


Did you notice anything new about my blog????  I got a new blog design!!!!!  Megan from Bird in Hand did an amazing job...better than I even imagined.  I choose one of her build your own blog designs...they give you lots of choices for a great price.  If you need a blogging update...I give her two thumbs up!

A Bird in Hand Designs

Last week-end I had the opportunity to go on a church women's retreat.  It was an amazing time away of hearing God's word and spending time with friends.  We ventured up to Camp-of-the-Woods in Speculator, NY.  It was breath taking...the leaves were at their peak!  The week-end focus around Psalm 121.  It was amazing how we all heard the same message, but God talked to each one of us individually.

The stage decorations.

Saturday night Bon fire by the lake!

A beautiful fall tree.

This week, we also had an in school field trip.  The Creation Museum came to our school.  The kids really enjoyed it and learned a lot.  I was very excited that it fit right into what we were just studying in science on fossils and dinosaurs.  (I love when stuff like that happens).  The kids got to see and touch some amazing fossils.

Photo: In-School Field Trip!
The Creation Museum. It was great!!

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to explore a possible field trip destination.  World of Wings in Teaneck, NJ had a teacher night for teachers in grades K-5th.  A few teacher and I headed out to explore this place.  Well, they treated us like royalty.  They fed us amazing food and took us on an amazing tour of all they have to offer.  It was night and most of the butterflies were sleeping, but it was still so beautiful to see them each so unique.  World of Wings offers many great programs for all different ages.  If you are in the North Jersey area, you make want to check it out.  

One of the sleeping butterflies!

They even had a photo spot!

Last week I had a giveaway for three teachers to win three items from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  I am proud to announce that I have three winners...Diane from Fifth in the Middle, Andrea L. and Bethany from Hunter's Teaching Tales.  Congrats to the winners!

Well, I am off to go pack for a three day week-end in Boston.  My sister and brother-in-law are running the Boston half marathon on Sunday.  I am excited to spend time with family and relax.  Hopefully I will be able to find time to grade a huge stack of papers that have piled up over the last week and a half!  Have a great night!