Well, it is that time again!!!

Frame from Lovin Lit, Fonts from KG Fonts

For the last two weeks (with some snow days and interruptions thrown in) we have been working on prefixes. I am using resources from my Monkey Love unit, making anchor charts and a interactive notebook element. Here are some pictures.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Prefix-and-Suffix-Mini-Unit-with-Monkey-Love-546959



This week I made an anchor chart that replicates the interactive element the students would be making. We wrote what the prefix means on the back of the flap and then examples on the lined paper. Click on the picture if you would like to pick up a copy of this element.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cs0faihpxy93qsi/prefixfold.pdf

You can check out this unit for more prefix activities:




Hope you are having a great Friday night - perhaps doing a little last minute shopping at the TPT sale??





Soooo happy to finally be linking up with my friend Jivey for Workshop Wednesday.



This week people are sharing writing tips for teachers and students. I want to share a lesson I did with my class today. I used the Build a Better Sentence resource from Erin at I'm Lovin Lit.


I made an anchor chart and worked with the students as they put the cards into their writing notebooks. We worked on one card at a time and brainstormed and recorded our own better sentence ideas. While we were recording our sentences I actually recorded them on wooden blocks I have in my class (IKEA ones from when my girls were little). I would build the sentence on the blocks. Then when we got to the last card, where you have to move a part from the end to the beginning, we were able to actually move the blocks around and come up with different variations. Here are some pics (ignore the messy writing - I have the worst writing when writing while teaching!!)










Then we started working through the steps again with the sentence Jill walked - but we ran out of time. I will definitely continue with this lesson and writing on the blocks :) . My tip is to pick up this freebie ASAP and use it. It is really well laid out with great examples and my students experienced real success building better sentences.

As for student tips there are two things I insist on every year - sometimes I only need to drill it in to one or two students either years it is an epidemic. I never accept a story that starts with "One day". Nothing every happens "One day". You would not start a story with Two day or Three day therefore no One day. I also do not accept the word so at the beginning of a sentence. I have had some students that every sentence starts with so or so then. Using better transition words is one of the first skills we learn in September. One way to really get the point across to students of how this makes their writing sound is to take a picture book that your class loves and read it with so or so then at the beginning of every sentence. That helps them to see what so and so then does to good writing.

Okay, one last teacher tip. If you are looking for great writing resources be sure to check out the huge sale at TPT this Thursday and Friday!! There are so many great products. Be sure to use the code TPT3 when checking out to get your 28% discount at the following stores.










This is the best day ever - our school review is over!!! All the principals have come, the superintendents, the Ministry of Education workers. They came, they saw and most importantly they left! What a great feeling to have your observation over with!

Now that the huge stress of preparing is over I am taking time to link up with my friend Holly, the Fourth Grade Flipper, for her weekly linky...





Today I have two tried its (but that is okay because they go together).

Last year when I first started blogging I felt a little lost and unsure of myself. I do not know anyone else (IRL) that blogs or even reads teacher blogs (or stalks them like I do). Since then I have met (on-line) loads of great bloggers and their support has helped me both in my classroom and with my blogging and TPT products in ways that I can never repay. But when I first started out something else that helped me was joinging Teaching Blog Traffic School.

If you have not heard of it and are just starting out or thinking about starting a teaching blog or store you may want to check it out. Charity Preston has made a series of video tutorials that help with all types of social media and things I never even would have thought of. There are videos on FB and selling your prodcuts and affiliates and Pinterest and so much more.

Now perhaps I am not the greatest spokesperson for how much this program can help a person out (you may be thinking, she is not all that successful), but that is just because I have not (yet) followed all of the amazing advice she has given. That is what is great with this program - you can take from it what you need, what you are comfortable with and keep going back to the video tutorials and chats and learn at your own pace. If you want to check it out their is a button on my sidebar that will take you to the home page.

What I have found super helpful are the on-line chats and the opportunities Charity presents for collaborating and new ventures. One opportunity that I was lucky enough to be a part of is guest blogging for Charity's blog The Organized Classroom. I am a guest blogger on the 23rd of each month.

This month I shared a post of how I use partner picking cards in my classroom (click here to read it). I shared a picture of the milk and cookie partner picking cards (a free download from Brandi Caldwell that you can check out here and another set here).



I also shared my partner picking cards for making groups of three. You can pick up a free copy of these cards by clicking here.




I call this strategy Lions, Tigers and Bears - students have to find their matching animals or make groups of animals that I call out (you will need more copies of the animals for this strategy).

The last strategy I shared was using the puzzle pieces to make groups of four. I laminated the cards and then cut them out. Students make groups of four by completing a puzzle. I love these because they make it really easy to assign jobs based on their puzzle piece number. You can click here to pick up a copy.  (unless you got the first one - they are the same file!!)



I am off to put up my feet, watch t.v. and do nothing (well other than dishes, lunches and homework helping!!) Hope you had a great day too!



I am dropping by to share a book with all of you and link up with my friends Amanda and Stacia, the Collaboration Cuties for the amazing linky party...




I am sharing a book that I learned about when my daughter brought it home from the school library (and then proceeded to bring it home again and again and again, she may just love it).

It is How to Build Your Own Country by Valerie Wyatt.


Here is the description from Amazon:

How to Build Your Own Country is an interactive and totally original learning experience that shows kids how to build their very own country from scratch. This book, the only one of its kind, offers children the expertise and advice they'll need to plant their flag in the backyard, in the bedroom or online. Kids will be amazed to discover that anyone can do it. Nation-building advice is peppered with examples of events that have shaped countries throughout history, teaching young readers about government, elections, geography and global issues. Backed up with lots of amazing examples of real micronations - some established or ruled by kids - How to Build Your Own Country promises to inspire, entertain and inform young nation-builders. Want to build your very own country from scratch? It's easy: Step 1: Stake Out Your Identity ... with a flag, money and a national anthem. Learn how to put your country's name on the map. Step 2: Run the Country ... with a government, constitution, laws and an economy. Step 3: Meet the Neighbors ? and join other nations on the big issues that face the whole world, such as poverty, global warming, security and international aid. How To Build Your Own Country is part of CitizenKid: A collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.

I love this book. I think it has so many teach possibilities....but I have not actually used it in my own classroom YET!!

Here are some pictures from inside the book. As you can see it is really set up as a great model for student projects.



Fun facts while getting to name their country!!


Branches of the government!!


Woohoo - responsibilities of the government!!



 See you could make a class map with all the new countries!! Each student would make a flag and a fact page. Students could even make trade agreements and peace pacts with each other!!


Look at all the real terms they will learn!!


 This book is full of fun facts and humorous ideas that will really engage your students while teaching them about the different types of governments and the responsibilities of governments to govern and care for their people.

Of course I think you should add a bit about what sports their country would participate in at the Olympics - would they be a summer or winter kinda country?

Which leads me to Sunday Funday. I am also linking up with  Molly and Deidre for their new linky...



Our Sunday Funday started at 7 a.m. (gasp) when we got up to watch the gold medal hockey game.


It has been so fun watching all of the great sports we don't get to see very often and hear all the stories of these amazing athletes and their dedication. Looking forward to tonight's closing ceremonies too. So proud of all the athletes - love, love, love the Olympics. So sad to see them end.




I am sooooo ready for the weekend!! But before I snuggle up on the couch for hours on end (hopefully)I wanted to share an idea with for...

Frame from Lovin Lit, Fonts from KG Fonts

This is an idea I had hoped to use on February 13th, but that did not work out so well for me and I just used it this week. One of my lovely, lovely students (no seriously, love her to death) said whilst cutting her interactive element, "We should have done this on Valentine's Day". And I was all like, ya, I know!!!

So, I used the envelopes from Krista Wallden and added tabs. The students cut it out and then cut the top part of the envelope off. They folded the tabs down, added glue and presto - a cute little envelope (the tabs overlapped a wee bit so I fixed that). They also cut out three hearts. On each heart we wrote a statement about point of view. The point of view presented in the story, an alternative point of view the story could have been told from and our own point of view. We used the story The Paperbag Princess - since it is a story we love and an atypical fairy tale we are using it to help us with point of view and making inferences.

Here is how they turned out.



She put hers in sideways!!




You can pick up a copy of this notebook element by clicking here.

 



Also, be sure and head over to my friend Molly's Blogging Birthday Bonanza over at Lucky to Be in First, there are a load of great prizes to be won! Click on the adorable button to head there now.

http://www.luckytobeinfirst.com/2014/02/its-bloggy-birthday-bonanza.html




We are having an snow/ice/rain/bad road day! So I am crossing off some of my to-do list items.
First up, March calendar cards. These cuties are up on my FB page if you want to pick them up.


I also have a new math product in my TPT store if you need something for March to help review math operations with your kiddos.


I will be back a later for Flippin' Friday, must watch a little Olympic hockey!!!



I was so thankful to have today off to recuperate from our double sleepover - 4 girls can sure make a lot of noise!!

I am linking up with Jess at I Heart Recess for her Mathematical Monday linky party!!


Last Thursday my class moved on to Data Management (thank heavens!!) after our long battle with multiplication and division. Okay it was not all a battle - but for some kids and on some days it sure was.

Here are a few things that really worked for us:

Multiplication Homework Packages - I send these home at the beginning of the unit so that students can continually practice without their parents having to look up resources and so that we can focus on strategies in class.


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Multiplication-Practice-and-Strategy-Posters-Facts-to-2-digit-by-1-digit-492012


Multiplication Name Tags - huge hit in my class this year - will probably use them again time to time just to keep us on our toes!

http://lookingfromthirdtofourth.blogspot.ca/2014/01/multiplication-nametags-tried-trying-it.html


Challenging my Grade Fours - multiplication is one of those areas where the divide between the two grades seems pretty big. We start the unit with most of my Grade 3's knowing next to no multiplication facts or strategies and some of my Grade4's knowing all of their facts and needing some challenge.

This year I used this resource for my strong group of Grade 4's.



Sometimes it easy to focus on my struggling students but I really tried this year to keep my high group moving and this really helped me out.

I really liked that my students had to show the expanded form strategy of solving the question - my high group can breeze through questions but have a really hard time showing their work and explaining strategies - this page was a big help.


Also the word problems really add a challenge for my students. Even though they can multiply any number having to read, understand and pull numbers out of a problem really makes them stop and think about what they are doing. Plus they never want to answer in a sentence or show their thinking so this was perfect.


You can find this resource - along with a ton of other goodies on multiplication and fractions (another tough one in my class) in this Tricky Math Pack from Educents. Use the code PRES10 for 10% off the $10.99 price (a steal!!)

http://www.educents.com/tricky-math.html#amgooding


I am not sure how a holiday Monday goes by so much faster than a school Monday but this one sure did!!

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