Monday, February 25, 2013

Come on over to the B-FARM!

In Science, we learn about invertebrates and vertebrates.  Students have to classify types of vertebrates, which are: birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Another fourth grade teacher in my district said she uses the term "B-FARM" for this and I thought that was a good idea!  So, welcome to the B-FARM!  Today we discussed invertebrate vs. vertebrate, watched a video on invertebrates, and set up our notebooks for each vertebrate. At the top of the page we have a few characteristics about the animal.  Students searched through various magazines to find examples of each birds today!  
This area, which serves as my guided reading area and my desk is a hot mess lately!  I consider to be pretty organized, but lately papers are just laid around.  My goal on Thursday is really go through and organize this area!  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dollar Tree Finds

Yesterday I was on a mission to find some baskets for my classroom library.  I have some new {to me} books, but I don't have any baskets for them.  I went out to Dollar Tree, where I have gotten a lot of my baskets.  
But, I couldn't find what I was looking for.  I would LOVE to have these neon baskets from Really Good Stuff.  Right now, I have primary colors on one bookshelf that was already in my classroom when I began teaching there.  Then on other bookshelves I have blue and green baskets.  I would love to add some pink and orange to brighten things up and get rid of the primary colors.  
I saw on a blog {can't remember which one!} about these cute little frog fingers that she got at the Dollar Tree.  I've looked high and low for them but can't find any.  The only thing I found was this nail set {which I did not buy}.  I don't think boys would appreciate that.  :)
I did find two books, The Lion King and Jungle Book, which appear to be chapter books, but aren't.  You know how you always have those students who want so badly to read a chapter book, but just can't?  These might be good for them.
I also picked up a tumbler for my Secret Pal for St. Patty's Day!  I love that our school does Secret Pal!  I also bought these foam shapes in the hopes of using them in Math.
Although we've already covered multiplication, they always need practice.  So, I use the foam shapes for multiplication practice with the answer on the back for self-checking.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Translations, Rotations, and Reflections FREEBIE!

Thanks to everyone who responded to my post about using pattern blocks!  I am happy to report that I have really cleaned out and organized my math manipulatives and began using pattern blocks this week.  We are beginning our geometry unit with translations, rotations, and reflections!  We used pattern blocks to draw original shapes and then made translations.  
I made a translation, rotation, and reflection quiz that I wanted to share as a ~FREEBIE~. I plan to use it for a quick, easy grade but it could be modified for practice.  

Happy Saturday, y'all! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hall Pass Linky

I saw several blogs doing this awesome link, Hall Pass, so I thought I would join in on the fun!  Hop on over to Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits to join, too!
This link has 4 parts, outlined below:
P - Product

I am going to cheat just a bit and not show a product.  Believe it or not, I've never even bought off of Teachers Pay Teachers or made my own cute product like I am seeing.  {gasp}  I know, what rock have I been living under?

A - Area

My favorite area would probably be my classroom library.  I have added lots of books this year!  Eventually, I picture a library with the same color bookshelves and bright colored baskets, but this works just fine for now!  This is also the area where we meet at each day.  
S - Signal

I use a very traditional signal, the clapping method.  You know that saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Well, clapping in a pattern just works for us!  So, clapping it is! 
S - Sanity
Lately, I have been stopping at a gas station and getting a little afternoon snack and it has been a great thing at the end of the long day.  Unfortunately, it's super un-healthy!  I love all things salty and Lay's Classic chips are my all-time favorites!  Weight Watchers, here I come!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

February Fraction Bulletin Board

At our school, teachers are assigned a hallway bulletin board to decorate.  My month was February so I knew I wanted to do something related to Valentine's Day.  Since we've been studying fractions, we decided to make a fraction board!  Some students solved for equivalent fractions, some changed mixed numbers to improper fractions and vice versa, some found simplest form, and some compared two fractions.  I thought it turned out cute!  
Now, I need some advice from you!  I ordered pattern blocks for my toddler for Valentine's Day.  He LOVES blocks and LOVES to learn (alphabet, colors, etc) so I know he'll just love these pattern blocks.  I bought these from Discount School Supply for only $18 for 250 wooden ones.  I thought that was a great deal! 
Now, here's my question.  I have TONS of pattern blocks at school, but rarely use them in Math.  I have completely organized all of my Math manipulatives at school because our school is placing a large order on manipulatives needed next year when we implement Common Core standards.  Our district Math coach help us to identify what we would need per grade level and she said we'd need pattern blocks.  I will admit, I haven't focused much on Common Core standards, except for Writing, since we haven't implemented them. But, I would love to hear how upper elementary teachers (especially 3rd-5th) use pattern blocks in Math.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

100th Day of School

In upper elementary, the 100th day of school isn't as big of a deal as it is in the younger elementary grades.  But, we still had a few 100 day activities yesterday!  

At the beginning of Math class every day, we talk about the day of school and they decompose that number.  They started off by decomposing the number 100.  Then, I split them up in groups and they had 100 seconds to decompose the number 100 on a poster.
They also enjoyed a 100 calorie snack, a Milky Way chocolate bar. We also had hot chocolate.  Not for the 100th day of school, but because I am trying to clean my closet out and needed to get rid of it!
Our last activity was to walk 100 laps as a class.  You should have seen their faces when I said 100 laps!  They thought we all had to walk 100 laps.  But, we used Math to calculate how many laps we would have to walk to get to 100 as a class.  
Have you celebrated the 100th day of school yet?  If so, what activities did you plan?