Thursday, October 12, 2017

#SPOOKYSALE on TpT





You do not want to miss the SPOOKY SALE happening on Teachers Pay Teachers! It's happening on Thursday, October 12 and Friday, October 13th only! 

Want to find all the awesome SPOOKY DEALS?! Just type in #spookysale on the search bar!

I'm featuring three products for this fun event. Check them out below!

Solar System Digital Flip Book

Human Body Systems Research Report

Subtracting Fractions Flip Book


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Halloween Sensory Bottles


 

If you're like me, you probably think of primary education when you think of sensory bottles. However, sensory items still have a place in upper elementary education. I believe that we separate upper elementary from primary far too often and forget that fact that kids are still kids! It doesn't matter if they're 10 instead of 7. Kids love playing with water bottles at all ages and this activity can be a fun break from the stress of testing and academics while also supporting some of your kids who need a little extra sensory attention in the upper elementary classroom. 

You could even turn this activity into a fun math activity (maybe I should create this for you!) by having students purchase supplies for their bottle.  You could also make these a part of a fun classroom fall party if you're just not sure where to fit it in during the day. With all the bottle flipping shenanigans that have been going on, this is sure to be a hit in your classroom.

Ready to make your own? Here's how to make it happen!

Materials:
      Empty water bottles
      Red , yellow and green food coloring
      Glitter
      Vegetable or baby oil
      Water
      Plastic Halloween themed creatures and bugs
      Halloween confetti
      Googly eyes
      Hot glue gun


Instructions:
  1. Fill your empty water bottles ⅔ of the way full with water.
  2. Add in your glitter, Halloween confetti, Halloween creatures, bugs and googly eyes.
  3. Add in 3-4 drops of food coloring and then put the cap back on the bottle and shake to mix. To create orange, use two drops of red and two drops of orange food coloring.
  4. Open the bottle and fill the remainder with vegetable or baby oil. Leave a small amount of space at the very top so that the contents of your bottles can mix more easily.
  5. Use a hot glue gun to seal the top of the cap, so that there are not accidental leaks with play.









 Now that you're all done, let the students play with their bottles for a little bit and destress together. It's definitely worth it!









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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

13 Fall Leaf Projects for Kids


Fall is one of the best times to be a teacher! I just can't get enough of all of the fun activities that you can do with kids using apples, pumpkins, and leaves. 

Before I was a 5th grade teacher, I was certain that 1st grade was the place for me. I completed nearly my entire teacher education program in 1st grade. In fact, I only stepped outside of 1st grade twice. Once was to complete my upper elementary requirement and I taught a small reading group on 6th graders for a a couple months and the only other time was a student teaching placement in 3rd grade. From there, I just kept climbing up in grades and finally settled in at 5th.

I loved doing this craft round up becuase it brought my back to my early elementary years and rekindled the love that I had for all things primary back in the beginning. The links below have amazing ideas for crafts and activities that you can do using leaves.

I left the photos out on purpose because I want to make sure that you're clicking through to their blogs to check out the ideas so that they get credit for their hard work!

photo: craftymom.com

Check out all of the fun below!

Apple Painted Tree by Crafty Morning
Painted Leaf Monsters by Messy Little Monster
Salt Dough Leaves by the Life of Jennifer Dawn
Paper Leaves Wreath by Meaningful Mama
Toilet Roll Stamped Leaves  by Crafty Mama
Button Branch by Rub Some Dirt On Me
Hand Print Leaves by Schooling a Monkey
Leaf Burset Paintings by Off the Shelf
Fall Leaf Suncatchers by Fantastic Fun and Learning
Finger Painted Fall Leaves by Mini Monets and Mommies
Sponge Painted Leaves by Jennifer Lambert
Leaf Turkeys by Crafty Morning
Leaf Punch Collage by Craftulate

What's your favorite fall activity? Share it in the comments for the readers. 


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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Creating Simple Machines with Candy



When I find that hands-on application activity that can allow students to demonstrate everything we've just learned, I feel like I've hit the jackpot! This activity is EXACTLY that! At the end of our simple machines unit, my students were given the task of creating as many simple machines as they can using a few simple materials.

MATERIALS:


  • 2 Oreos
  • 1 Life Saver Mint
  • A Few Pretzel Sticks
  • 2 Graham Crackers
  • 1 Twizzlers
  • 2-4 Fruit Slice Candies

The students had a handout where they sketched their design and wrote what type of simple machine they created so that they stayed on track during the activity and I could assess their work (since...as you know...I couldn't see all in the moment)!

The students were SO engaged and they never stopped creating. I love seeing my students work so hard and love what they're working on so much that they just keep thinking of new ways to design things.  I also challenged them to create compound machines at the end.

Of course, after the lesson, they were able to eat the treats and that made the activity infinitely better on their part. 

Take a look at some of the simple machines they created below and grab the handout freebie at the end of this blog post!







(excuse the awkward logo placement that's covering a student's name)



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A quick, differentiated homework solution!

Homework always seems to be a hot topic among educators. Whether you love it or hate it, some teachers are required to administer homework. Some parents just want homework. Heck, some kids even beg for homework!

Something I noticed is that the further I got into the school year, the more I dreaded putting together homework. PLUS, I always hated how many pages of copies those homework packets required. I desperately wanted a way to save the trees, save my time, and save my sanity while providing consistent homework for my students and their families.

This is how my homework choice board bundle was created! 

5th grade homework

I haven't created a full year of boards quite yet but they are IN PROGRESS and the price will go up as soon as it is complete! We do a few different projects throughout the year (science fair projects, JA BizTown, etc) that shortened my personal choice board creating requirements so I am working on adding in the final choice boards to make this a complete set!

My students LOVED this homework last year! All boards have been tried out by fifth graders and are student and parent approved. The boards contain a healthy mix of activities for all student preferences and learning levels. 

5th grade homework

Currently, the Homework Choice Boards contain questions pertaining to:
-Visualizing while Reading
-Writing with Colorful Language
-Narrative Writing
-Opinion Writing
-Persuasive Writing
-Money
-Multiplying by Powers of 10
-Adding Fractions
-Subtracting Fractions
-Colonies
-Native American Cultural Regions
-Early Explorers
-States of Matter
-Forces and Motion

5th grade homework

Some ideas for implementation:
  1. Suggest that parents get to pick one square and the student picks the rest. This will help with students avoiding their areas of need.
  2. Preselect the one required square yourself for students. This can be done on a student-by-student basis or all students can have the same requirement.
  3. Have students use their own paper at home to decrease paper usage at school.
  4. Have students type their work, scan images, etc. and submit their work digitally. 


5th grade homework

These choice boards totally saved my sanity last year and I hope they are also helpful for you as you embark on a new school year! Please feel free to leave feedback on the product below or ask me any questions!


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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sun, Moon, Earth NGSS Aligned Flip Book for 5th Grade


I feel like I'm constantly searching for high-quality, NGSS aligned science content for my classroom. We're going to start taking the new NGSS aligned science test next year and I've been (slowly) trying to get myself ready for the change next year.

I have two resources in my store thus far for the NGSS standards. These resources are quite difficult to make because the NGSS standards require significant interpretation and analysis. However, I have finally finished my second product. Along with my energy flow/ecosystems mini book, I now have a sun, moon, earth flip book.


This flip book covers each major topic addressed in NGSS. The bottom part of the flip book contains text on the topic. I love using this as a close read type activity. We work through unknown vocabulary and take notes on our learning as we read. 


The upper flap has visual illustrations of the content. This is helpful for supporting ELD students and struggling readers in understanding the content in the text. 



The end of the book contains response activities for the students to complete. They can all be completed at the end as a form of assessment or they can be completed as you read to aid in comprehension and developing strong constructed responses. All responses are open-ended because I believe that students need ample opportunities to write and explain their thinking. 

I am so excited about this new(er) addition to my store and I can't wait to put out more NGSS aligned flip books for you! I'd love to know what topics you're interested in so feel free to leave them in the comments!

xo

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Quadrilateral Flip Book - Make Math Easy!


I've been obsessing over flip books lately! I've created at least 8 new flip books in the past 2 months and this quadrilateral flip book is one of my favorites. 

The hierarchy of 2D shapes (quadrilaterals specifically) always seem to confuse my students. They're pretty good with understanding characteristics of individual shapes but they have a hard time seeing how they all fit together into a hierarchy of similar attributes.


 I love how this flip book keeps the student focused on the hierarchy of shapes by laying it out sequentially on the flaps. It also helps students as they go through the book because they can understand how the new shape is connected to the shape we learned about on the previous page. 


I have found that this book also helps students keep track of all of their learning in one place. Sometimes they just need something easy to refer to. I love flip books because they're great at keeping everything in one spot for my students, making it more likely that students will review and access their prior learning.


The students love being able to write on the shapes in this book. We measure each shapes sides for practice with rulers. We also measure all of the angles in each shape as an exploration into shape attributes as well as for additional practice with protractors. 

These flip books are really engaging and the students love working in them!