Thursday, June 30, 2011

So What's In Our Desk???

With and without textbooks, there have been a few things that have become staples for me to give to my students to keep in their desk.

One of my favorite things is my students' KWL book (green book above).  I buy these because the ones I buy use heavy duty paper, and they hold up all year, but you could make them by just folding paper in half with a piece of cardstock or construction paper for a cover.  Each time we start a new unit in social studies or science we add an entry to to the K and W sections of our KWL book, and when students finish a unit they add what they have learned in the L section of their book.
Students decorate the cover of their book and refer to it regularly.  By the end of the year their books are almost completely full.  Here is a few samples of a student's book from last year.  It's a little light, and I'm not sure how to make it darker.  The K and W are on the left side of the crease, and the L is on the right side of the crease.

I also use Lakeshore Learning's vocabulary journal for our content vocabulary.  Adding vocabulary words is such a slooooow process at the beginning of the year, but I'm committed to teaching academic vocabulary using Marzano's vocabulary strategies, which require a vocabulary journal.
I will also be using data folders this year.  I attempted them last year but bit off much more than I could chew.  I love Amanda's approach on One Extra Degree on data folders, so I'm going to incorporate them this year.

I will be team teaching again this year, so I won't teach reading and writing, but if I were I would also have writing notebooks and reading journals for students.  My writing notebooks are very simple 1-inch 3-ring binders, and most of my students usually bring those in as part of their school supplies.  In the past I've always bought reader's notebooks for my students, and I loved them!  I loved their durability and the tabs on top for easy navigation.
However, they are kind of expensive, so when I teach reading again I might try to make my own.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Measurement Is Ready

I have finally finished my new measurement unit, and it may very well be my new favorite unit.  I've always loved teaching measurement, but I didn't feel like I had a good written plan for teaching it.  Now that it's summer and I actually have time to sit and develop the unit, I'm more excited that ever about teaching linear measurement.  I've upgraded all of my tried and true lessons and added several new activities as well.

You can click on the link if you're interested.

I've added a lesson from the unit that you can download for free!
Just click on the link.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back At Home

Geometry is such a fun unit to teach, because it easily lends itself to hands-on activities. I've been working on a new Common Core aligned geometry unit for some time now, and I'm thrilled that I've finally finished it. In the unit, there are six lessons and activities.

There are six sorts and worksheets that dive deeply into the properties of quadrilaterals.

I also included a geometry vocabulary booklet, with all required key terms.

There is a I Have, Who Has game and Geometry Concentration.

 I've also added an entire set of geometry task cards.

You can get the Geometry Concentration game FREE here!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not Again

Every summer I go a little crazy with Vista Print orders, and I tell myself that I am not going to order anything new next year.  Of course, I keep ordering again and again.  I'm still waiting on a big sale, but my shopping cart is loaded full of goodies.  I thought I'd share some of the things I've made.
I use these business cards as a reward in my treasure chest.  Some of the things I write on the card are sit by a friend, sit in the teacher's chair, chew gum for the day, wear a hat to school, etc.  Everything is something that doesn't cost me any money, and my students LOVE it.

This return address label will be new for me this year.  I've yet to find a system I really like for saving my students' work when they are absent, so I'm going to try this out next year.  I'll just write their name on the sticker and circle if I want them to complete it at school or home and stick it in my makeup work box.

I'll send these postcards home a few weeks before school starts back.  If I get my class list in time.  Last year it was too late :(

I'm excited to try out these reflection cards next year.  I hope they help students reflect on their choices and how their choices effect others.

These return address labels will go inside students' library folders to help select "just right" books.

I'll use the return address labels on tests that I want students to retake. 

I love the brochures I make for open house.  They're much cuter without all of the red arrows :)

I'd like to make something to stick on papers about how their work meets the standard, so let me know if you have any great ideas.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

All For the Sake of Research

Two of my grade level friends and I did a little field trip research yesterday.  We took our own kids to Animal Safari outside of Atlanta, and we had the best time seeing all of the animals and just hanging out together.  It was amazing to be able to get so close to the animals, and the kids loved it!  More than likely, we won't be able to take our students there for quite awhile due to the distance (we couldn't take school buses and can't afford other means of transportation), but I would love to have seen some of my students' faces when a huge buffalo tried to lick them-yuck!  I'm also so thankful to teach with a group that works well together and truly enjoys each others company.  We missed the other two who couldn't make it.

 I've also been working on my fractions unit, and I'm happy with the end result.  This is one of those units that I always feel rushed in, but I'm going to try to slow it down a little next year, because there are a lot of fun things students can do when studying fractions.  I may also make a small mixed numbers unit,  because I still need to create a few additional lessons on mixed numbers, because even though that's not in our standards, it really helps when I get to my measurement unit.
Here is a link to the fractions unit

You can download one of my favorite activities from the pack on the link below!  Enjoy!