Thursday, September 15, 2016

Root Beer Floasts STEM lab for Grades 4-8

I know you've all seen the cute root beer float lab for first and second graders where they see all three states of matter.  But you can use the floats in upper grade too!


I created this one for 4-8 graders.  


Review states of matter and explore the law of conservation of matter as well as physical and chemical changes with this root beer float lab.

Students measure the parts of the float as they create it to show that the mass stays the same. They also discuss whether a physical or chemical change is happening.

This lab uses the 5E method (engage, explore, explain, extend, evaluate) and includes step by step directions along with a student lab sheet. The lab sheet is 2 pages and there are several pages of detailed teacher directions with pictures.

The lab takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

Only $3 in my store as of NOW! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fall Elementary Pinterest Round Up

It's almost fall!  Can you feel it in the air where you are?  I can't. :(  It's in the high 90's around here.  But some mornings, the air is slightly crisp until about 8:30.  I soak it in.

I thought in preparation for the season I'd share a few Pinterest boards I either follow or have on my own account for fall/autumn.  Click on the pictures of the boards to go there.

First is my personal collection for k-6:

I also like these group boards that are full of ideas:

I love the tree made out of pumpkin seeds on this one.

There's a great Fall Colors poem on this one.

Great book lists and pumpkin learning ideas on this one.

And because a lot of seasonal ideas tend to be geared to primary, I am including a few boards for upper elementary. 

There is some awesome art on this one!

This one is small but has great art AND reading/ELA activities.

Take some time with a cup of hot tea and welcome the season in with some grand fall plans!

Do you know of a fall educational board you think we should follow?  Link it in the comments!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Cute Fall Pretzel Packs Equals Fun Learning

I was walking in the store the other day and noticed these cute pretzel packs that I remember seeing on someone's blog last fall.


4th 5th and 6th grade math with Halloween pretzels

What I didn't realize last year was how inexpensive they are!  This box has 40, count 'em, 40 little packs of pretzels!  

3d 4th 5th and 6th grade fall halloween activties

And the entire box was under $5!  The decision was made.  I had to get them and make a fun learning day of them. 



It starts with a fraction math book:

fall Halloween math with fractions


Pumpkin shaped, like some of the pretzels, the book asks students to represent the their pumpkin and bat pretzels in fraction form, make equivalent fractions, compare fractions, and use ratio and percent forms of probability.

Also included are ratio art, graphing and data, and then non-math items.


halloween fall bat pumpkin math literacy science nonfiction

For non-math we have both fiction and nonfiction writing prompts, and a nonfiction fluency and comprehension selection about bats.  

We're hitting it all here!  Math, science, social science (natural problem solving integrated into the reading and comprehension), reading, fluency, nonfiction, and art...I've got you covered.


Best of all, I've specifically kept all activities related to autumn, pumpkins, and bats, not Halloween.  That means you can use this up to Thanksgiving and you don't have to worry about most students who avoid the Halloween holiday.  


The best part is, other than buying the pretzels, the only prep work is copying!


Head on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download yours today!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

3 Pinterest Boards for Back to School

It's that time of year!  Every teacher is perusing Pinterest to either get new ideas or tweak an idea they already have but want to freshen up a bit.  I have three Pinterest boards that are especially timely right now.  These aren't your standard "Fractions Ideas" or "Writing" boards. These are all about Back to School.


1)  The Beginning of the School Year Board!
3 Pinterest Board for Back to School

Self explanatory right?  These are all great ideas about going back to school.  Games, ice breakers, and books for the first day.  Goal setting, jitter juice, Who am I?, activities, first day centers, meet the teacher, and more!



2)  The Cute Classroom

This one is dedicated to classroom decorations.  Bulletin boards, classroom themes, gifts, and cuter ways to organize.  It's all right here.  

And last, but certainly not least:



3) Classroom Management and Discipline

That's what we're mostly teaching those first few days anyway right?  This board has it all: lists of procedures to cover, newsletter templates, shout outs, and PLENTY of organization tricks.  


Head on over to my Pinterest page to peruse to your heart's delight!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Math Missions for 5th Graders!

Last fall I posted a product in my TPT store of math missions for 4th graders.  It quickly became one of my best sellers!  This year I'm posting the 5th grade version of the same thing.

What is it?

It's a problem of the week for 34 weeks of the school year.  Each problem requires thought, student explanation and usually multiple steps as well.

Math Missions (AKA – Problem of the Week) help you support your students’ understanding and application of the Mathematical Practices on a consistent basis. This is a comprehensive packet that covers all domains and almost every standard!

Each little booklet walks yours students through the processes of evaluating the problem, deciding on an approach and order of approach steps, working through the math, and explaining their reasoning.

These are ready to print, copy, and use!

The Math Missions pack includes 34 problems (that’s enough for the entire school year!) , centered around 5th grade standards. They cover all domains (Numbers and Base Ten, Geometry, etc…). They can be used for remediation in 6th and 7th grades or advanced practice for 4th graders as well.

 These are all aligned with common core standards and are consistent with the Smarter Balanced Assessment style.

 I've included a rubric and methodology for getting started with these, helping you and your kiddos get the most out of the process.

Head on over to my shop where you can get these today!  Have them ready for your entire school year! 

Friday, July 1, 2016

5 For Friday - July 1, 2016!

I can't believe July is here!  It's been a while since I've done a link up with Doodle Bugs.

This is a non-teaching related 5 for Friday.  Mostly.  My brain is just not there!

I've noticed some Back to School sales lately.  Really!?  My summer break just started 3 weeks ago!  I don't want to see this yet!  

It's been in the triple digits every day here for more than a week.  We normally are in the 90's for June so I'm kind of worried about the rest of the summer.  We're also in a drought.  Not good y'all. 

I'm enjoying the start to summer.  My kids have done VBS, the garden is starting to really produce, we've been to the library twice...I'm feeling the unwind starting to happen.  The end of the school year just about killed me this year and it has taken me longer than normal to feel the relief of summer break begin.  Does anyone else feel like the last two months of school seem to speed up and make everything crazy?

My pile of projects to work on is growing instead of shrinking.  Is that supposed to happen?  As you get things done the pile shrinks, right?  

My family is considering moving.  Like really moving.  And not just because of job needs or something, but because we want a life change.  We're currently in Southern California. I'd love to be some place with seasons.   We might take some vacations in the Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina area over the next couple of years to see if we feel connected to the area.  Any suggestions on places to see/go while we're there?

How is your summer going?  What are you hoping to still get done before school starts back up?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Very Informal Survey

I have a very informal survey for you.  This is about the summer lives of teachers.  If you could answer any or all of the questions in the comment section I'd really appreciate hearing from you!

1-  What do you do to rest in the summer so you go back to work recharged?

2-  What do you do you prepare for the coming year during the summer months?  Do you make games, re-do classroom decor, organize a particular item, make emergency sub plans, etc...?

3-  What school related items do you shop for in the summer?  (supplies like markers and such, or curriculum items like items for that new fossil unit)

I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my questions in the comment area!  This is for a freebie project I'm working on.

Monday, April 25, 2016

One Last Resource for National Poetry Month - Limericks

I've found when teaching rhyming poems, there are kids who get it easily and kids who really struggle.  Then with limericks, you through in a different meter along with the rhyming patterns.  It's always been one of the more difficult types of poems for kids to understand well enough to write their own.

If you've been teaching limericks this month, or any other time, you might be interested in this episode of The Electric Company on PBS.  You can show it to your students for another layer of exposure.  It addresses both the rhyming pattern and the meter in a poetry slam episode.  Cute, yet still appropriate for upper elementary.

I've included the link to PBS as it was the only way I could find to connect the video to this blog.   It won't go straight to the video.  Select the Electric Company from the right side bar (currently looks like a girl with a purple shirt) then select to brows episodes.  The Limerick Slam will be there.

The Electric Company Limerick Slam

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Open House Ideas

I kept some of the stuff my kids' Open House's last year to share this year.  Their teachers had done a few cool things that I thought y'all would be interested in.

I apologize now for the photo quality.  I was being quick and the lighting wasn't great.

The first grader had this check off sheet.  All 3 of my kids are in Dual Immersion Spanish so the front was English and the back was in Spanish.  (notice my native-English kid did the Spanish side).

I like that there were clear instructions on this to not take stuff home!

The classroom itself was great too.  I should have taken more pictures of that to share.

My 4th grader had three teachers-each covered different subjects.  The students had a page like the one above, but with columns that each belonged to one teacher.  Once they showed the parents the items in all three classes, they turned it in to their main teacher and got an Easter egg with a treat inside.  While it was really hard to get it all done because we have a 1 hour open house and 3 children, I must say that the 4th grade classes had VERY high attendance because those kids wanted the Easter eggs!

In their main class they had a folder on their desk that was student decorated:

So my oldest is not the most creative of my bunch...

Inside was this ME activity - only it's in Spanish so it's MI: (I just realized my white kid colored himself brown, he he he)

It has a lot of things like favorites, etc... I think I've seen these in other shops on TPT or Pinterest or something.  There was some work inside, like the equivalent fractions thing they made, and their current AR reading report.

I loved these first grade "Where in the World is ___________" of each kid.  It was a writing activity with the kid's pictures of themselves on the world.  It even started with a picture of our school.  It was one of those things that went further out each page - city, state, country, know what I'm talking about.

Here is my kindergartner reading the room with the pointer:

And my 4th grader showing us how to syllabicate certain words:

They're all a year older now, sigh, but I thought the ideas were great for any year.  In less than a month I'll be taking pictures of Open House again, for a whole other year.  Where does the time go?

Do you have a great Open House idea?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.  If you blogged it, leave a link!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The March Pinterest Pick Three Linky Party!

I'm linking up this month with The Inspired Owl for the March Pinterest Pick 3 Linky!

We have to fit in both St. Patrick's Day and Easter because they're both in March!

Let's start out with some art for upper graders for St. Patrick's Day.  How about this Celtic knot paper piecing by Art With Jenny K?  You can work in a little bit of culture here instead of just the normal cute  symbols.

Here's a great way to keep the algebra thinking going while celebrating the Irish, a puzzle freebie!

Captain's puzzles use algebraic and critical thinking.

 And finally, some Easter math for upper graders!

Coordinate grids with jelly beans, what could be sweeter?!

Head on over to the Inspired Owl to see what other people are pinning for this month's classroom, and feel free to link up your own pins!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Currently - March 2016

March is here!  I don't know why I'm so excited about that.  It's usually the month things start to get crazy.  Does that happen for anyone else?  It's like the spring version of the holiday season.  March through mid-June just feels nuts.  There's baseball, open house, and a bunch of random things creep up because spring is in the air and people feel like doing stuff.  The end of the school year is just around the corner and you start to feel the press of testing season.  But still, for some reason, I'm excited that March is here, even though I'm already exhausted just writing about it.

So I'm linking up again this month with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade with this month's Currently.