Hurry, Hop and Win Winners!

27 February 2014
Thank-you so much to all who participated in our Hurry, Hop, and Win Giveaway.  I truly appreciated all your comments!

The winners have been chosen and contacted already through email.  Congratulations to:

  • Katy E who won the $25.00 gift card 
  • Michele B who won my Question Fan Bundle.

Don't forget - all my resources are on sale for 20% off, with an additional 10% off when you enter the code TPT3 at the checkout.  To take a peek at my newest resources, click HERE.  I hope you see something that will work for your classroom.  :)

Happy Thursday!!!

Hurry, Hop, and Win!

24 February 2014
Have you heard the news?  Teachers Pay Teachers is 3 million teachers strong!

To celebrate, Teachers Pay Teachers' next big sale is coming up this Thursday - Friday!!!  I've teamed up with the best upper elementary teacher bloggers around for a great giveaway.

We are each giving away a $25.00 TPT gift certificate to help you in cleaning out those wishlists (the only kind of cleaning I like).  ;)  So, what are you waiting for?  Hurry up and hop along our blogging trail for your chance to WIN!

To enter, simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below by "liking" my facebook page and following me on TPT.  Easy peasy.  To sweeten the deal, I'm also giving away a second prize of a product of the winner's choice.  Simply visit my TPT store, take a peek around, and let me know which product you want to win by writing the name and product url in the blog comments below.  You can see my newest products HERE.  We will be choosing our winners after midnight on Wednesday, February 26th, and will contact all winners on Thursday.  Good luck!

Ms. Fultz's corner
The next stop on our fabulous blogging trail is Mrs. Fultz' Corner.  Be sure to visit all the blogs in our Hurry, Hop, and Win giveaway.  You can use the link up below to make sure you have hit them all!

Did you know you can use the custom categories on the left side of our TPT stores to see all our products grouped by category?  It's a great way to search for items.  Here are a few of my newest categories:

Happy Hopping!  


Five for Friday - Olympics, 100 Days, Valentine's Day

15 February 2014
I never seem to have the time to get one of these finished on a Friday, so Five for Saturday it is ... :)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Olympics - I've said many times this week that there should be national holidays during the Olympics so we have the time to sit back, relax (OK - maybe not relax) and cheer on our favourite athletes.  But ... bringing it into the classroom is the next best thing.  We're having a classroom Olympics during the big event.  On Monday, I arranged my students into 5 mixed grade, mixed academic abilities, and mixed athletic abilities for this time.  Each group came up with a country name, and they are also responsible for following that country's accomplishments for the Olympics.  The groups are also earning medals during this time.  They can earn medals for showing great team work, great character, working quietly or efficiently, earning compliments from other staff members ... anything positive.  LOVING the effect it's having on my students ... they are literally falling over each other to show that great character (and they were a pretty wonderful group to begin with).  I made up a quick chart on my smartboard to track our medal progress.  This is what our chart looked like after the first day.  

Tuesday was our 100th Day Celebration.  SO MUCH FUN!  I wrote a blog post earlier this week about all our activites (you can view it HERE - you can also grab a copy of the graphic organizer we used for the writing piece), so I'll just share a few pics from our day.  We integrated our celebration into science, writing, and math.  We came up with 100 ways to conserve energy, aged ourselves and wrote a reflection of our lives at 100, and explored the number 100 through measurement and geometry in math.

We've been taking on close reading in the classroom.  It's not something that's required in our school board yet, but I started reading Notice and Note a couple of weeks ago, and I was hooked.  It takes the comprehension strategies I already use in the classroom, and just bumps it up a notch.  I love the way it ties it all together, and the connections the students were making with their thinking and reading.  We've started reading the second book in the Shadow Children series, Among the Imposters, and we've been doing a little close reading with some excerpts from the chapters.  My students are LOVING this series!  I made a Close Reading Poster set for my students to use during this process.  

You can read a little bit more about my Close Reading Concept Posters HERE.

We've also been doing some fun word study activities inspired by another great read I picked up, Word Nerds.  This book has so many great word study activities you can take right to your classroom.  My students are really enjoying these activities.  We're focusing on new words and word choice with our close reading, so this has tied in perfectly.  For one activity, students had to identify a new word in their reading, define it, and then colour their card with the colour the definition made them think of.  On the back of the card they made, they had to explain why they chose that particular colour.  For another activity, students had to pick out a character trait in their reading, and then illustrate the actual letters of the word to show the meaning of the word.  Some of these word illustrations were fantastic!

Last, but never least, Friday brought Valentine's Day (and a full moon).  ;)  I was up far too late on Thursday, finishing Valentines for my daughters' classmates.  I found these ridiculously cute Valentine's cards on I Heart Nap Time.  My own kiddos LOVED them.  

I only had half a day with my students on Friday because I had a meeting in the morning, but I wanted to sweeten our learning with a few treats.  :)  We've been studying angles in math, so I gave each of them some Conversation Hearts.  They had to copy the messages from their candies on the hearts they had drawn on their papers, and then measure all the angles in the letters.  They then added up the total number of degrees in each message, and it quickly became a contest to see who had the highest scoring message.  :)  We've also been looking at apostrophe use this week (SO needed in my class right now).  So, I had them write an announcement they could read over the PA system, explaining what would happen on their dream Valentine's Day.  I asked them to include at least 10 apostrophes in their writing.  While they were out for recess, I went around and added candy hearts over all their correct apostrophes in their writing.  

And that brings me to today ... all done the girls' activities for the day, and looking forward to a day spent watching the Olympics.  Happy Saturday!  I'm linking up to Doodle Bugs Teaching Five For Friday.  Grab a coffee and hop on over.


Celebrating 100 Days

11 February 2014
Today we celebrated 100 days of school.  Technically it was our 101st day, but as I had a workshop yesterday afternoon, we postponed our celebration until today.

I've seen so many fun primary 100 day celebrations in the blogging world lately, I knew I wanted to have a similar celebration in my classroom, only geared to my older grades.  We have also just started our Classroom Olympics, so I knew I wanted to tie that it.  For our Olympics, my students are divided into 5 groups in the classroom (mixed grade 5 and 6 students, genders, and abilities).  Each group took on a country name, and gold medals are handed out for various reasons during various points of the day (when I catch them doing something great).

We started our celebration this morning, coming up with a graffiti board of 100 different ways to conserve energy.  Each group had to come up with 20 different ways (first group to finish won a gold medal, as well as the group that showed the most team work).  From there, each group had to add their 20 ideas to a whole group graffiti poster (each group wrote in a different colour).  It was a pretty impressive display when all had finished.

My favourite activity was our writing activity - no original ideas here - it was just a "When I am 100 years old" writing prompt.  A few days ago, I took all their pictures and "aged" them with the agingbooth app (well worth the $1.00).  I sent them to be developed, and we added them to our writing.  We completed the graphic organizer for writing (in our writing right now we're focusing on organization (paragraphs) and adding voice).  When students were finished the organizer, they began to publish their work.  Only a few students finished up so far, but I can't wait until we're all done.  Our very incomplete bulletin board was like a magnet, drawing students in from all over the school.  :)  I actually had 2 sets of pictures developed, so we could send home a finished writing piece right away, instead of making parents wait until the end of the year when our writing portfolios go home.  This is what we have so far.

In the interests of sharing (and maybe prompting me to buy more moisturizer), I'll share mine.  I did one up for myself (and have displayed it, too) to lend a little moral support to the ones who were a little apprehensive to share their pics with the class (grade 6 girls ... enough said).  And of course, if I had a student who really didn't want to share their pic or their writing, I wouldn't make them.  So far, we're all in.  :)

If you would like a copy of the graphic organizer we used, I've uploaded a copy to google docs.  Click HERE to download a copy.  

We finished our 100 day celebration in math.  We have just finished up our measurement unit, and are just about to start into geometry, so I thought I'd treat our class like a diagnostic for our upcoming unit.  Each group got a piece of chart paper and a set of markers.  I told them that each task was a medal event, and the first team to correctly finish the task would win a gold medal.  To celebrate 100 our tasks were:
  • draw an angle with a measure of 100 degrees
  • draw a circle with a circumference of 100 cm (I was surprised they found this one difficult)
  • draw a quadrilateral with a perimeter of 100 cm
  • draw a polygon with an area of 100 cm2
  • draw a prism with a volume of 100 cm3 (I wasn't surprised they found this one so difficult - no medal winners for this task)
So much fun!!!  I KNOW the students had a lot of fun learning today.  We stayed on task with our current units of study, awarded a lot of gold medals, and celebrated our learning.  This is definitely going to be a tradition I continue in my classroom.

Happy Tuesday!!