Happy Sunday everyone! I thought I would just pop by for a quick book recommendation and to link up with the awesome ladies over at Collaboration Cuties for their linky...

 
 
I thought I would share a book that is perfect to use for Remembrance Day or Veteran's Day as those days are coming up quickly. The book is A Bear in War by Stephanie Innes and Harry Endrulat.
 
 
Here is the description from the website:
 
A Bear in War, was inspired by the true story of “Teddy,” a stuffed bear that was sent to the front lines during World War I.

Teddy belonged to ten-year-old Aileen Rogers, who lived with her family on a farm in East Farnham, Quebec. Her father, Lawrence Browning Rogers, enlisted in the Fifth Canadian Mounted Rifles in his thirty-seventh year in 1915.

When Lawrence departed for training in Valcartier, Quebec, and then for the war, he left behind Aileen, seven-year-old Howard, and his wife, Janet May Weaver Rogers.

Janet and Lawrence exchanged more than two hundred letters during the two and a half years he was away. Aileen and Howard also wrote to Lawrence – and Aileen sent her beloved Teddy overseas to help protect him. However, it wasn’t enough. On October 30, 1917, Lieutenant Lawrence Browning Rogers died at the battle of Passchendaele.

In 2002 Lawrence’s granddaughter, Roberta Rogers Innes, found Teddy, the letters and other war memorabilia inside a large family briefcase. As she delved deeper, Roberta discovered how a Canadian family’s strength was tested during the First World War and how a tiny stuffed bear became an enduring memento of their love.
 
This book has beautiful illustrations, an interesting point of view (the teddy bear tells the story), touches on life in the early 1900's and life during war. It also includes real archival photos and documents. I would love to visit the War Museum to see the display of all the photos, documents and Teddy.
 








 
  
The website has lesson plan suggestions and links for students at all different grade levels.
I think this book is a definite must read!
 
Have a great week everyone and Happy Halloween!! 
 
 


That's right I have been Boo-ed. My friend Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching Boo-ed me and she was Boo-ed by Gary the host of this linky...



On Halloween our student dress up, we have our monthly spirit and recognition assembly, we have a pumpkin carving contest and we have a dance in the afternoon to support Halloween for Hunger (students donate food to attend). The dance is broken down into grade levels and there is a spooky maze set up, some guessing games and loads of fun dancing!

I thought I would share a few Halloween like activities that we are already doing in the classroom - things maybe you could use too.

First, we finished our googly eye frames. You can read this post to found out how we used inquiry math to figure out how many googly eyes we needed and which package of eyes would be best. Here are their works in progress.



We have also done some eye-ball math. I bought eye ball ping pong balls at the dollar store and wrote numbers from 0-20 on each one. I place them around the room and students go and collect 2, bring them to their desk and add them up and place them around the room again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat - you get the idea. Then they collect 3 eye balls to add. Then they go back to two and subtract them. Fun little warm up.





We are also working on adjectives. We read "Big Pumpkin" and "Room on the Broom". Then students took turns describing the witch and we had to guess which witch it was! Then I introduced a third witch - from the Melonheadz clipart set. Students had to write about one witch using adjectives. We read out our descriptions, added words to our anchor chart and they highlighted the adjectives in their work. This was our first day of descriptive writing - but we will get better :)




We have also been using a ton of the notebook templates from the Collaboration Cuties Halloween Interactive Notebook templates. We worked on nouns last week and have been doing story summaries this week. Tomorrow we are using the adjective template and the story summarizer!!


 There you go a little look at some of our Halloween themed activities.



I really wanted to link up with my friend Holly for her linky and just have not been able to get my post together for the last two weeks. I even had it started, it was all about spelling resources, including Spelling City, but that is what she posted about today!!! So be sure to check out Holly at the Fourth Grade Flipper to learn more about Spelling City, I will save my post for a later date (you know when you've forgotten that you wanted to check that resource out and needed one more reminder!)



So I am linking up a book I tried this October (a stretch I know) but it is a great alternative to traditional Halloween books.

It is....



Here is the description from Amazon...

Jasper Rabbit loves carrots—especially Crackenhopper Field carrots.
He eats them on the way to school.
He eats them going to Little League.
He eats them walking home.
Until the day the carrots start following him...or are they?
     Celebrated artist Peter Brown’s stylish illustrations pair perfectly with Aaron Reynold’s text in this hilarious picture book that shows it’s all fun and games…until you get too greedy.



It is a fun book to make predictions, discuss mood (all the pictures are black, white, grey and orange and eerie), message of the story or big idea, story elements and so on. It is just a good all around book for shared reading. It was part of our October Scholastic book orders - so that is a great deal too!



Here are the follow up sheets we did in our class if you are interested in trying this book out. Click on the picture to pick up a free copy (pics are linked to opposite pages, sorry).



Here is a great video that you can use to show the illustration process.



Polka Dot Kinders had her students write how they would deal with creepy carrots and made their own creepy carrots.

Well that is it, a new book that I tried this year for Halloween without it being an actual Halloween book.




I am so thankful it is the weekend!! While I should be working on progress reports or the mound of laundry that has appeared in my house I am instead taking a minute to link up with my amazing friend Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching!! Be sure to read her post today - totally stealing that idea!


I know that I have blogged about brag tags before so here is just a little recap...our school uses customized brag tags we purchase from www.imagestuff.com .  Love them! We give them out at our monthly spirit assemblies. We focus on a value each month (respect, helping others, kindness etc) and each teacher selects a student to receive the brag tag (stands up and makes a little speech and presents the tag). We also hand them out for any team, club or special event students participate in (bus patrol, volleyball, choir, talent show etc). Students love them.

This summer I bought this handy dandy case at Michaels to keep them all organized...


Loving my camera skills : (


Only sometimes I am not super organized (gasp, I know) and an assembly is upon us and I do not have enough or the right tag. That is where the DIY brag tag comes to the rescue.

This year I bought the super handy dandy DIY Reward Tags PPT Template from Diane at Fifth in the Middle for only $2.00!!! I needed to quickly make some baseball brag tags for an assembly. But then I started thinking of all the possibilities for the tags in my classroom and have not been able to stop!!

I am making tags that go with our clip chart behavior system and to go with our superhero home reading program. I also have plans to make them for my students when they master their math facts!! I also will be making some for when we do our R.A.K. and will hand them out to students who get caught doing random acts of kindness. The possibilities are endless. All you need to do is print, cut, and laminate! I put a picture on one and text on the one next to it, cut them out together, fold and paste to make one tag - but that is just me.

Here is a sample of some of the ones I have made ...



Just one last tip - I have found that leaving rewards on my desk - without showing my students - just leaving them out, is a huge motivator - they are very curious about what is on my desk, what I will be using it for, how they can get one etc. They can always detect something new on my desk (even when it is a huge mess!) even a new book for shared reading - they get super excited and ask a million questions about the things on my desk


I hope your week is going well - I just wanted to take a minute to link up with Jivey from Ideas by Jivey for her Workshop Wednesday linky...



This week people are sharing math games. I am not sure if all of these fit under the umbrella of math games but I wanted to share 2 of our math center "games" and 2 early finisher math "games".

First of all we are working on addition and subtraction right now. I found this super cute freebie from Positively Learning for students to practice making 10 - they play it sort of like war - each person flips a card and if it makes 10 they record it. Here is what one page of the cards look like...




We played that game as a center at the beginning of the unit. But these number cards are just too cute - so now we use them just to play addition war - each partner gets a set of cards they flip their top cards and add the numbers - they record their work on a regular piece of paper. Something about the adorable clip art motivates my students to play this game like there is no tomorrow.

Another freebie activity we are using is addition poke from Flapjack Educational Resources. If you have not played poke before it is a fun little self-checking or partner checking activity. There is the question and 3 possible answers. Students poke their pencil through the hole they think is the right answer and then they or their partner checks. I also have the students record any answers they get right on the first try for a little extra accountability. I like these cards because they go up to the 12 facts.


One note of caution you do have to print, cut (laminate if you are lucky), punch holes in all the cards and circle the right answer on the back - time consuming but hey, once it is done...




Of course we play Bump. I have talked about Bump before. Here is the autumn themed Bump boards we are using. Click here to pick up a free copy of the addition and multiplication version.




The last game we play is Stack O'Chips. You just need one playing card and 27 counters for each set of partners. I print my board out on cardstock and would laminate if I could : (
Students place 3 counters in each square. Then players take turns taking off 1, 2 or 3 counters. They can be from one or more grid squares. The object is to NOT be the person to take off the last counter. It is a fun little game of strategy - it is fun to watch the students who just rush through the game realize that there is some thinking involved - as they catch on to the point of counting the chips and trying to make a plan as they get closer to the end. Often I hear students saying "If I take 3 and they take three, then I can take two...."




I am off to write reports - or procrastinate and read some blogs - either way I hope you are having a great week!




Since today is a holiday Monday it is sort of like I am not late for the party - right? After all the family time and turkey time I am just sitting down to look at some school work and thought what would be a great way to avoid marking....linking up with Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties for...


The book I am recommending is a book I first found out about from this here linky, but I thought I would show you how I used it in my classroom last week. It is


This book is adorable!!! It is filled with equations like: dark + popcorn = movie.  There are a ton of simple addition equations, but there are some with triple addition, two addition and a subtraction, multiplication and division. There is even a does not equal!

I used this book as an intro to our unit on addition and subtraction. I only had half a  math period (half the period was used for introducing QR codes!!) so I did not want to get into anything too heavy - this was perfect.

I made an anchor chart with the word equation at the top and nothing else - we brainstormed what we thought it was and some examples. Here is our finished chart.


Then we read the book and my students loved it!!

Next the students had to create their own equation and illustration. Here are some samples of their work.
That does equal weekend!!!

We also used two other books to extend our understanding of equations - but I will save those for another day!! Tomorrow we are working on addition strategies so that we can make equations!


If you are looking for extra practice for your students to work on balancing equations I have this unit in my store:


Have a great week everyone. If you have not already done it,  check out Amanda and Stacia's blog for some great math ideas, head over there now!




Hi guys! Well I am at it again - showing up late to linky parties. But I really wanted to link up with Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching since she always has the most motivating (and easy to steal) ideas! So I am showing up late to....




What is my idea for motivating students - letting them walk around. I know - groundbreaking stuff right! But off course the trick is to make them work while they are walking around. My students love any sort of scavenger hunt or scoot game. I take any task card like activity, tape or place the cards around the room and send my students off with clipboards to work and learn and they love it. They are too funny when they can't find a certain numbered card,  helping each other out, they share their thinking - they just love it.

Last year I hid Hershey Kisses around the room for the students to collect as data for a graph and hid plastic Easter eggs with math questions inside for them to find and solve.

My students also love any variation of snowball. Taking math questions, scrunching the paper up, throwing it (the best part) and then scrambling to get a snowball so they can quickly answer the question and start all over!!

Last week I blew my students minds when I added QR codes to the scavenger hunt. It was in their words "the best math class ever!"  I used a freebie from Kristen at iteach 1:1 that had my students counting up base 10 blocks like it was the most amazing thing ever.




I have 3 more of her QR code scavenger hunts in my cart at TPT right now (speaking of motivating, this bonus sale at TPT has me motivated to shop - use the code FB100K to recieve 10% off your entire purchase).

While my student loved using the tablets - they belong to the whole school so we can't use them all the time. I made some addition task cards to use during our math rotations though and I am sure they will love these too. What I love about these types of activities is that when using them with groups you can easily differentiate the task (but since the cards and activity look the same no one knows that some students are working at a different level). These cards are on sale in my TPT store right now - my entire store is on sale 15% off (plus the TPT discount code = 25% off) if you want to check them out.







Woohoo, we are half way to the weekend!!

When Jivey announced that this week's topic for Workshop Wednesday was going to be Opinion Writing and then gave a little teaser using the book The Spider and the Fly she really got me thinking. So today I am linking up with her for Workshop Wednesday to share my idea!



This week my grade 3's are using the book Stellaluna for all kinds of reading response activities (while the grade 4's complete the CASI reading assessment or go to French). This is a four day week for us and it is very full and I was having a hard time fitting in a writing assignment with all of our reading assessment/activities. When I read Jivey's post though I came up with this idea.

We wrote on opinion piece on Birds vs. Bats. First we co-constructed this anchor chart on what we knew about bats and birds - from the book Stellaluna and our brains. The cute pictures are from a Stellaluna unit by Linda Kamp that are supposed to be for a different anchor chart but....
Please note, that I started out really neat, but then they kept adding info and it got messy - but I started out strong!
 Next we talked about texting short forms, they all knew what LOL and TTYL meant so I wrote down IMO and prompted them with clues to figure out what it meant.

Then we talked about opinion - what is an opinion, what are some examples. Then we talked about how we back up our opinion with facts (not just cause I said).

We used the sentence starter...In my opinion birds/bats are better than bats/birds. Next we brainstormed what transition words we could use for sentence starters (we have been working on writing retells). I prompted them to use a reason from their column and add info from the other column as well. Here is the sample we worked on together (I wrote a sentence then they write their own sentence using mine as a guide).
Yes it is missing the word day and it is getting seriously messy - we were writing like crazy and things got a little out of control!!!



 Here is a sample of one of my students opinion piece...

The word better is missing at the end - we ran out of time. Also we are still working on capitals!!

 Can't wait to find some more ideas to spark my own thinking - or out right steal. Make sure you check out Jivey's blog for more ideas.

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