I really wanted to name this blog post: This, That and Another Thing but thought I should be a little more specific....so here goes.

I am linking up with my friend Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her linky party....

On Tuesday I posted about trying multiplication name tags (read about it here). They are a huge hit!! We wore them all week and my students learned mine every day and retained the facts that I wore (I wore 8x8, 6x7 and 7x7). I know my students were motivated because #1 everyday when they walked in the walked straight over to the hooks and picked one up and #2 a few parents came in to my class to see our nametags since they had heard so much about them and we showed them how we were using them. Also as I walked the halls my former students would stop me to work out my nametag - yes I wore it everywhere!!

So if you are thinking of trying this to motivate your students I just wanted to share two more ideas that we used this week. One day instead of just introducing themselves they had a clipboard with a grid with everyone's name and as they walked around they recorded the fact for each person. We used the list for them to call on each other throughout the day.

The other idea we did on Friday - because hey, it was Friday - was we stood in a circle and threw a nerf like ball to each other by calling out each other's fact and answer. We tried to go fast but sometimes there was a dramatic pause and some quick finger counting. We played a couple times throughout the day - because hey, like I said it was Friday :)

While I have you here I want to share two more things that have been huge motivators in my class over the last few weeks. They are Joanne's Synonym Rings and Cite the Evidence posters. I have both of these products on binder rings for my students. They love pulling them out to improve their work. They love that they can use them independently and they super duper love when I point out someone's work who used them. Our current favorite is to use the sentence stem "According to the text..." we have to say that one in our very serious voices. Here is a picture of one of my cuties who asked if she could read her rings when she finished her work - really she just wanted to flip through them and read them. One of my Educational Assistants asked for a copy to use at home with her kids after she saw how the students in my class used them and loved them!

And lastly I wanted to let you know that myself and a bunch of other bloggers are having sales on TPT this weekend - just in case you are motivated to try any new products!!! Be sure and check out these stores.

Thanks to Kayla at Primary Junction for making this cute button!!

I know that I should be posting this....

Frame from Lovin Lit, Fonts from KG Fonts

but today I am the guest blogger over at All Things Upper Elementary. Go check it out. There is a link to a freebie that has an interactive element, phew, still Flippin' Friday!!


And I am back on track! Linking up with my friend Holly at the Fourth Grade Flipper for her weekly linky party two weeks in a row!!

Okay, so this is really a "trying" it post as today was our first day but it was BIG fun and hopefully there was some learning too. I got this idea last year from a blog/Pinterest pin and I have no idea who to credit - I can't find it anywhere!! I am also positive I downloaded a file to go with it but can't find that anywhere either. So to the teacher out there that inspired me - thank you and I give you credit.

So let's get to the point. The idea is students wear a multiplication fact all day and instead of using people's names you say their fact and their answer. The reason - to hopefully help students recall some of the trickier math facts.

Here is what I did.

I bought these nametags at Business Depot.

I bought these multiplication cards at Business Depot. Yes I could have made them on the computer or written them with marker but I did not want to make a file (since I was still mad that I could not find the one I KNOW I saved) and did not want to use more ink. Also my writing always starts out neat and well spaced and falls apart after about 5 students.

It cost me $20 - but the nametags are totally reusable so I am okay with that.

I cut the multiplication cards so they would fit.

Today I brought them out and explained to my class what we would be doing. They loved it and had a million questions - what if i don't know the answer, do we have to do it at recess, what about French, can we wear them home.

So we all put on a name tag and I gave them time to go around the classroom introducing themselves. Hi my name is 8x8=64 (that was my name today!) and they would introduce themselves and then you would say nice to meet you 7x9=63 and move on to a new partner.

My students had to call me 8x8=64 all day, if they didn't and said my name, I ignored them (which made the other kids go crazy with whispering, you didn't do it right, you said her name). I would always reply by saying their multiplication name and the answer to their question.

Also at lunch I had our teacher of the day call one student by their multiplication name to get their lunch and then they had to call someone and so on and so on. We did this again before we went to library.

At the end of the day they all hung up their nametags and will have new multiplication names tomorrow and for the rest of the week.

As their ticket out the door they had to answer the question (I was holding the flashcard) 8x8= and we knew it!! My name was very popular today.

I'll keep you posted with how this works for us but so far it a has been loads of fun (and some learning). Congrats to all of you that already know you have a snow day tomorrow.

Happy Monday! I was going to have to call in sick today and spent time making plans yesterday only to wake up to a SNOW day. While I am home I thought I would pop in to share two things with you.

***Click here*** to pick up a copy of these calendar cards.

 Second, my friend Amy over at Eclectic Educating is having an awesome giveaway. If you have not checked out her blog before - you really should, she shares amazing lesson ideas. I love how she teaches summarizing -  just love. So be sure and check it out - there are some great prizes up for grabs.

Hope you are having a great Monday. While I do appreciate the snow day I am 100% ready for this polar vortex to move on already!!

Once again I was feeling sad thinking I had nothing to link up with my friends Amanda and Stacia, THE Collaboration Cuties, for their amazing linky....

but then I started planning out my week and it came to me, so now I am here to share it with you.

Next week I will be moving on to teaching point of view and I will also be continuing our look at people who have changed the world through their words and actions. To combine these two activities I will be using these books:

Both of these books retell the story of Rosa Parks - but from two very different points of view. Here are the descriptions from Amazon:

Back of the Bus

It seems like any other winter day in Montgomery, Alabama. Mama and child are riding where they're supposed to way in the back of the bus. The boy passes the time by watching his marble roll up and down the aisle with the motion of the bus, until from way up front a big commotion breaks out. He cant see what's going on, but he can see the policeman arrive outside and he can see Mamas chin grow strong. "There you go, Rosa Parks, she says, stirrin' up a nest of hornets. Tomorrow all this'll be forgot." But they both know differently.
With childlike words and powerful illustrations, Aaron Reynolds and Coretta Scott King medalist Floyd Cooper recount Rosa Parks' act of defiance through the eyes of a child, who will never forget.

Rosa's Bus

The story of the bus--and the passengers who changed history. Like all buses in Montgomery, Alabama, in the 1950s, bus #2857 was segregated: white passengers sat in the front and black passengers sat in the back. Bus #2857 was an ordinary public bus until a woman named Rosa Parks, who had just put in a long day as a seamstress, refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a major event in the Civil Rights moment, led by a young minister named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For 382 days, black passengers chose to walk rather than ride the buses in Montgomery. From the streets of Montgomery to its present home in the Henry Ford Museum, here is the remarkable story, a recipient of the Crystal Kite Award, of a bus and the passengers who changed history.
We will be talking about the actual events and comparing the stories and how different points of view can present different information or perspectives.
Here are some resources I posted in the summer for teaching point of view (just in case you missed them or were not thinking about point of view in August :) ) 
This is what I will display in my class (it is made with my Reading Goals Chart editable pages) and the checklist I will have for students. You can download these for free here.

I will be working on providing students with a framework to answer questions on point of view to get us started. Here is the framework I will use at the beginning of our unit (pretty basic but we will build upon it until we can answer with evidence and our own ideas independently). Click here for a copy.

Well it is that time again....

Frame from Lovin Lit, Fonts from KG Fonts

I am a little late getting this post up as I have been busy writing report cards and visiting with my parents (before they leave on their pilgrimage to the holy land for all retired Canadians - Florida).

This week we were reviewing the four types of sentences before moving on to writing complex and compound sentences (ugh, sometimes a very painful experience - just when we stopped writing run-on sentences!!).

Anyway here is what we did. After reviewing the types of sentences and doing a group task card sort on Monday and Tuesday I brought out these on Wednesday.

I made the pockets using the freebie graphics from Ashley Hughes and added a rectangle to the side for a tab. I glued the tabs down and put glue on the v part of the pocket too. The four pockets took up one sheet of chart paper!

Each table group was given a sorting mat (since they are so big they needed their whole group area to work with :) ). Then I gave them sentence strips and they each sorted the sentences they had. They checked with each other if they weren't sure. I had a variety of sentences and just for fun I had some non-sentences too!! Those stumped them for a minute. I did not include ending punctuation for my sentences, again to make them read the sentence and focus on the words.

They had some discussion over exclamatory and imperative, so we reviewed these again.

On Thursday we made class posters using the sentences from the pockets the groups had sorted. Then students put their own mini-pockets in their writing notebooks and made 2 sentences for each pocket. They could use our posters (like my friends in the picture) or make up their own sentences.

That is it - the only notebook activity we managed this week, but it did take us 2 days!! Hope you had a great week and you are staying warm if you are in this Polar Vortex thing too!

Phew!! I can breathe a sigh a relief. I have something to share for Holly's linky. I was starting to feel bad that I was not trying anything, telling myself there must be something I tried and then not being able to think of anything. So here it is, something I tried!!

My tried it is based on this article from Scholastic. I made an answer and question board.

Such a simple concept but I am loving it!! I just started last week. It took a few minutes of discussion for my students to get that they would be writing word problems to match the answer since in our daily morning math they write equations that equal the number of the day so they were all set and raring to go with that. Once we did a few samples together they got it and went to work. They just write a math word problem that would work out to the answer I have posted and then place it on their number.

The first day we checked through all the problems together, identifying what type of math we would need to do and doing the math.

Then we took a day off. Then I put up a new answer - students wrote and posted their questions - then each student took a different card and worked through it.

Then we took a day off. I posted a new answer yesterday. After students had posted their questions I had students model what they would be doing from now on with the questions. 1st they need to say what operation they think they will need to do, what words told them what operation to do and then perform the operation. We will be recording this in our problem solving space on our daily math sheets. So it will be one day make up a problem, the next day solve or check our work (well our classmate's work at least). It takes us about 5 minutes each day. I love that I can add any word after the number to make my students work harder for a question) and change the numbers to make it more challenging too.

Confession - I made the response area with the exact number of students I have - two students moved over the Christmas holiday. One of my students said "My number is not up there" and I was all like, of course it is, I made enough numbers for the whole class - only I numbered them in order forgetting that student number 1 and 12 had left!! Ugh!!

I have also included a template for making a Question of the Day board in your classroom in this pack....


Be sure to check out Holly's blog to see what everyone is trying!

Well the trend continues, my to do list grows and my motivation declines. It is report card writing time for me and what did I do last night - went to see The Hobbit - a 2hr40min movie. But the time with my family was definitely more important and more fun then working on report cards. But by Sunday night I will be feeling the pain of procrastination.

This doesn't mean that I don't have time to stop by and blog, of course not.

In addition to report cards I am starting to think about activities for our next Anti-bullying week. We have two focus weeks at our school when we really work on anti-bullying initiatives (that hopefully carry over ) - the one in November and the last week in February for Pink T-Shirt Day (here is last year's post if you do not know what the heck Pink T-shirt day is). You can also read this post or check out my Anti-Bullying Pinterest board

Anyway I thought I would share some of the things we did in November just in case your too are planning for Pink T-Shirt Day or just wanting to focus on friendship and kindness in the month of February.

In November we did a few things:

1. We focused on Taking Action - on the first day we had an assembly and reviewed our previous initiatives through PPTs and a new portion with students acting out actions they could take. Each student left with the task or writing down a pledge of what they would do to stop bullying.

2. On the Tuesday we got all the students together again, watched a video on Passing it On. We told our students we did not think it was enough to say what we were going to do, that we had to TAKE ACTION (theme!!!). We did a pass it on activity. We had our students line up along the walls of the gym. My co-worker that plans these activities with me and I stood together in line. Then we each turned to the person next to us and gave them a compliment. They had to turn to tell the person next to them a compliment. When you did that you sat down - spreading kindness went around the whole school population. Students left with the challenge that they were being given a piece of paper to record an action that they DID and they had until Friday morning at 9 a.m. to do it .(saying the first one was not good enough!!). This is sort of what the slip looked like - only with our school name removed.

3. On Thursday each class was challenged to decorate their door using words that show the type of action we want to take. It was based on this pin here. Here are some of our doors.

My door, each student took one of the words and turned it into a celebrity for the red carpet.
My friend and co-planner for all of this!!
My friend in primary. They worked on the Kid Kindness Club activities all week.
My friend in Grade 7/8. Each student did a puzzle piece.
My friend in 5/6 students made the words with their bodies - each student making a letter.

4. On Friday we got together again. We had two of our Grade 8 students act as ushers. Students had to bring their piece of paper with their action recorded. Our ushers whole punched their ticket and collected it. Students then walked the red carpet to enter the gym (red plastic tablecloths from a dollar store). I had a camera and took pictures paparazzi style while they worked their walk. Then they went to the wall to get their picture taken inside a star frame (black Bristol board with stars around it). We re-did our pass it on compliment activity, only this time we had a timer up on the screen so we could set our first official passing on kindness record. We reviewed our accomplishments and then had 2 fantastic presentations from our Grade 7/8 students.

Later we took their slips of paper to make a wall of action.

In February we will wear our Pink T-Shirts on Wednesday the 26th, we will watch a slide show with all of their star photos and review our theme of taking action. We are going to make another school mural with pink hearts or t-shirts or something - see still planning. I would love to hear ideas from any of you!!!

I hope some of these ideas may spark your motivation to do something at your school and that these ideas may spark motivation in your students to spread kindness. So of course I am linking up with the Queen of all that is positive motivation, my friend Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her fab linky....


Enjoy your Saturday!!

Happy Friday everyone!! I am so thankful that it is Friday, I am not sure how it is happens but sometimes the week seems so long, yet I can not get everything I want done (like blogging!).

I thought I would try something today (and other Fridays too!) and that is to share any interactive elements we used in our notebooks during the week. I am very new to the world of interactive notebooks but I know I truly appreciate when I see examples of interactive elements people have done, either on their blog or on Pinterest. So with out further ado (because seriously that was enough ado) I bring you...

Frame from Lovin Lit, Fonts from KG Fonts

As you may recall (since I mention it once a month) I have Erin's Ultimate Interactive Notebook Templates. That is what I used for all of the following activities.

 photo Presentation1_zpsaf25b6b8.jpg

1. Bossy R sounds. This is actually in my Winter Wonder R Controlled Vowels pack but is pretty easy to duplicate. I put our sample words on each flap, students colored in the vowel diagraph and then we brainstormed words to add under the flap. Students added words as the week went on to our master list.

2. 3D Solids. Okay this one is actually from before Christmas but I just started sharing so.... Anyhoo. Students wrote their learning goal (this one missed some of it!) and then under the 3D solids part we wrote what terminology we use to describe, sort and compare solids (faces, edges, vertices, congruent faces, base). Under the prism and pyramid tab we wrote what distinguishes these two types of solids (types of faces, number of congruent bases).

3. Multiplication Strategies. Inside is an example of how to use each with the same problem.

4. Parts of a Paragraph. This is the one I am most proud of - the first time I ventured into different shapes (I usually stick to the tabs). I put the parts of the paragraph on the semi-circles. Students cut the shape out and glued it down so that the words would fold over. I wrote a paragraph about paragraphs in a hexagon shape (lined it up with the template - love that this package is editable!!). Students glued that into the middle. Then we color coded the semi-circles. Then we used the color coding to code the paragraph. Woo hoo.

Click here to pick up a copy of the foldable.

We followed this up with labelling our P.O.W. (paragraph of the week). I found these adorable lables at Business Depot. I ended up labelling them just to save time. After writing a final draft of their paragraph students used the labels to label their paragraphs. I am really happy with how this activity worked out - especially for those students who had an indent label left over and did not know where to put it and the other kids would say "It goes in the space you left at the beginning....oh, you didn't leave a space...".

Hope you like Flippin' Friday!!

Back to Top