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.


  1. I never thought about using conversation hearts for measuring angles. Very creative!

    The Math Maniac

  2. I love your enthusiasm for the Olympics! You've given me a couple of great ideas for trying with my students the next time we do an Olympic reading unit. Thanks!

  3. I've been hearing a lot about close reading. I'll be trying it next week in my classroom. Those posters look fantastic!

    The Teaching Twosome

  4. Your Word Nerd activities turned out great:) Love them:) I just need to come sit in your class and take notes for a few weeks so I can be a super teacher too!!! You are amazing:) <3

    4th Grade Frolics

  5. I love your Word Nerd vocabulary activities. My favorite student example was DETERMINED! So perfect! Please give that student a high five! Thanks for recommending Noticed and Note, I am going to go look it up, right now! I loved your 100 years old essay. I literally was laughing out loud. My parents would join the "15 extra rooms" club if they could! :)

  6. Hahaha!! I LOVE your 100 year old writing piece! Amen to Hawaii rather than the Antarctic!! I can't wait to be warm again next week! By the way... you look GREAT for 100! ;)

    Mrs. Beattie's Classroom

  7. Love this post and interested in using the Word Nerds resource. There seems to be a lot of book by that title at Amazon. Could you provide me the author's name so I can find it?