Monday, September 26, 2011

Inside my School Bag

I am a little late linking up with Abby over at The Inspired Apple, but we have been out of town and I am just now seeing all the links for "Inside my School Bag"! I have always loved different bags. I have used lots of totes/bags for my "school bag". Since I had my baby (who is now 16 months) I have tried to bring less stuff home and I usually do pretty good at it, but I still have my school bag. This weekend I upgraded to my new Vera Bradley bag! It was a gift for my birthday! Love it!
I always keep this cute notebook nearby and a smaller notebook. I always have lots of lists!

I have a couple of books that I'm reading or using in my room.

And, I have these essay's that need graded that I just keep putting off. Let's keep it real...I dislike grading essay's!

And I always have my favorite pens...Flair pens by Papermate...LOVE them!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Water Cycle

We have finished our study of the water cycle this week! Students are usually pretty interested in it and grasp the concept of it pretty well. We made a cute little water wheel!
Tomorrow is the first day this year that I'll have a sub. I'm a little nervous! I didn't get the sub I wanted. I literally called about 15 people and they all either couldn't/wouldn't. It's an unexpected absence. My son has had some swelling on the bottom part of his gums so I took him to the doctor and they are referring us to a dentist tomorrow so we'll be going to the dentist for the first time! I hope my students behave tomorrow!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bucket Filling, Reading, & Science!

I thought I'd never get back here to post some pictures of things we've been doing in the classroom this week! I am knee in Reading assessments, SIP (Student Intervention Planning) documentation, etc! But, in the midst of all that we have been having some fun! I cannot believe how GREAT bucket filling has been! We check our buckets every Friday afternoon and it is going so great! My students LOVE writing notes to each other and are always so excited to see what's in their bucket. Last week was a 4 day week so we didn't check them and today they were just overflowing!! I was making copies of the bucket filler form I found online until I realized how many copies I was making weekly so now the students use notebook paper that they cut in pieces. We have a limited number of copies so we have to do what works! It didn't bother the kids at all!

Our first unit in Science is weather because it's always a great time of year to study it with hurricanes, tornadoes, seasons changing, etc. This week we have focused on weather tools, specifically thermometers, rain gauges, wind vanes, and anemometers. We made our own anemometers and wind vanes and had the perfect windy day to test them!



Back in the summer when I first started reading Tara's blog at 4th Grade Frolics, she posted how she reads the Humphrey series. I was so interested that I went out and bought them and I am SO glad I did! I have a class full of Science lovers, so when they heard it was about an animal, they were ALL IN! We have finished the first book and started the second one today!

I also read on Tara's blog how she bought the Zhu Zhu hamsters and lets her students take them home with a journal! So, we started that today and the kids were SO excited about it!

I'll be honest, reading about Humphrey *almost* makes me want a class hamster! Maybe one day!!
I also want to thank Tara for the award "The Versatile Blogger"!! Thank you so much!! After accepting this award, there are several things you must do. 1) Thank the person/people who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. 2) Share 7 things about yourself. 3) Pass this award along to 15 blogs that you have discovered.

1) This is my 4th year teaching and every year I have taught 4th grade.

2) I live 7 hours away from all of my family, except for my husband and son. :(

3) I am a huge TN VOLS fan!!!

4) I must have my Chapstick everywhere I go!

5) I started teaching at the age of 21.

6) I used to think I wanted to be a nurse.

7) I love to read! I just finished reading The Help and loved it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grandparent's Day Questions

In my last post I talked about our Grandparent's Day celebration about how students interview their grandparent's and then we use that information to write a descriptive essay about their grandparent. I am TOTALLY new to Google Docs, so bear me with! I *think* I have it uploaded where you can see the questions. Click HERE.

I hope to have more FUN posts with pictures soon! It's been a busy week!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Indian Maize Pancakes and Grandparent's Day

I hate that I don't have any pictures to share, but I wanted to tell you about two things we did this week in 4th grade. First, we ended our Native American unit by cooking Indian maize pancakes! You can google lots of recipes, but the recipe I have seems to be the easiest! The kids loved it and while I cooked, we reviewed for our test. I'll try to find a digital copy to share the recipe with you.

Every year we have a Grandparent's Day celebration. We invite our grandparents to come have breakfast with us and we ask the students to bring in honeybuns, muffins, doughnuts, etc. We used to cook Indian maize pancakes then, but it was a lot of work and required a lot of materials. We usually average about 80-100 people total. While the students enjoy breakfast with their grandparents, they have a list of 9 questions to interview their grandparent. We then take the interview questions the following week to create our first essay.
Do you do anything to celebrate Grandparent's Day?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More Sand Art

In the post below I talked about how we do a sand art painting during our Native American unit. Today, I gave everyone a bird template and we each did a sand painting! It is kind of messy so we decided to take our Social Studies class outside! It was SO nice! The students behaved so well and having Social Studies outside was such a treat to them! Here are some of our creations!




I would share this template, but I have no idea where it came from and I only have a hard copy! I'll work on trying to find it! If you try it, I recommend printing it on cardstock (I prefer white, like above) so it'll hold up better!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sand Art

I have officially made it through another week of school! I really do have some sweet kiddos this year! We have a field trip coming up next month so our deposit and class t-shirt money was due yesterday so we had quite a busy day (and a little bit of drama). Anyway, I wanted to share a little art project we do every year. We have started our Native American unit in Social Studies, which I LOVE to teach and learn about myself! I think it's so interesting and it has to do with our upcoming field trip. Every year we do a sand painting! Yesterday I had each group do one as a group, but we will do it individuallly as well! Here is how they turned out! Sorry for such bad picture. I forgot my camera and just used my phone to take it.
We call it "sand" painting, but it's not actually sand. We use this:
and this:
Pour some grits in a ziploc bag, add a few drops of food coloring and rubbing alcohol. Shake it up and there you go! We also mix colors to create new ones! It's a cute and fun activity for the kids! Social Studies is probably my favorite subject so I love to find fun ways to make it exciting for them!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Notebooking

So last year around mid-year we heard about notebooking! So, we were given a stack of spiral notebooks and told "Go for it!" Well, needless to say....they were less than impressive. We were just new to the idea and didn't have time to prepare. SO.....this year we knew we wanted to make them MUCH better. Right now, we only do a Social Studies and Science notebook. I've learned one thing through teaching and it is not to do too much too soon. Eventually we add more subject areas. To start the week off, we decided to have the students collage their notebooks. Here are some of our Science notebooks. The first is mine.





Stay tuned this weekend for a FUN Social Studies project! :) It's one of our favorites in 4th grade!