Saturday, December 13, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: Post It Notes and Spelling!

I am linking up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation Saturday!

My son has always struggled with learning his spelling words. We have tried all different "tricks" over the years to help him. This year he has two weeks to study his words and his test are on Mondays. Ugh! There always seems to be so much time to master the words and then before we know it, it's Sunday night and he has barely mastered a third of the list.

So when my son came home with a few study suggestions from his teacher, I knew I just had to share.

My doorways and cabinets now look like this.........

The idea is to put the spelling words in high traffic areas. Each time your child passes the word, they stop and spell it. This way they are constantly reviewing their words.

My son's teacher also taught him to use an aerobic component. When he stops at a word, he spells it aloud and does hand signals based on how the letters fall on the line.

He raises his hands up for letters that touch the top line (b, d, f, h, etc).

Hands on hips for letters that only reach the middle line (a, c, e, m, etc.).

Hands touch toes for letters that go below the line (g, j, p, q, etc).

I can't recommend these two methods enough. Even before he arrived home with the scored spelling test, I knew it had been successful. Monday afternoon after his first spelling test using this method I arrived home to find new post-it notes replacing the old ones. He felt so confident after his test, he wanted to get started on his new list immediately.

Days later he arrived home with his spelling test - 100%!

How do you spark motivation when it comes to studying vocabulary words?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Favorite Things Blog Hop!

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I am so excited to be involved in this amazing blog hop that Laura from Where the Magic Happens has put together. 

First, let me start by telling you about some of my favorite things.

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Image result for dunkin donuts
I love coffee but I try not to drink it every day. So when I do have a cup, I want it to be good, really good. Dunkin Donuts is my favorite coffee shop. I drink decaf coffee and many other places have such a limited selection of flavors in decaf. DD never disappoints. I love treating myself to one of their many seasonal flavors. Pumpkin Mocha is my current favorite! Since I love DD so much I will be donating a DD gift card to the prize package below so one lucky winner can enjoy DD too!

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My all time favorite treat to make over the holidays is sugar cookies. This tradition has become even more fun now that I have children of my own to share it with. We then deliver the cookies to our neighbors and friends. We, of course, make sure we save some for us too!
The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
Here is the link to my all time favorite sugar cookie recipe. 

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I am sure I have said this before but my all time favorite school supply is Post-It Notes.
I use these for everything. I use them for exit tickets, summarizing, my shout out board, book discussions, the possibilities are endless.
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Lastly, I would like to share my four favorite items from my TpT store. They will be 50% off from December 7th - 14th. They are currently my featured items at my TpT store. I use these products all the time in my 5th grade classroom. My students love them.  You can also use #myfavoritethings2014 to search on TpT for all the 50% off items available in this blog hop.
If you click on the picture it will take you directly to the product and you can see a full description as to what it includes.

If you click on the picture it will take you directly to the product and you can see a full description as to what it includes.

If you click on the picture it will take you directly to the product and you can see a full description as to what it includes.
If you click on the picture it will take you directly to the product and you can see a full description as to what it includes.

Enter the contest below and then hop on over to the other great blogs participating in this fabulous event!

Because we value our followers and wanted to treat you to our favorite things Oprah style, we have put together the best giveaway of the season! My bloggy friends and I welcome you to the best, biggest, most cheerful event of the season:

7 winners for 7 prize packs!

Come and enter the giveaway and check out my bloggy friends' favorite things:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pick 3 - December Pinterest Favorites.

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If you're looking for great holiday ideas for your classroom you have come to the right place/linky. PAWSitively Teaching  and Inspired Owl's Corner have set up this great linky to help you find what you are looking for. My three favorites are below.
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Last year I made these adorable penguins with my class. They are an easy holiday project that my students loved. See the step by step directions here.


Click on image to view original Pinterest link.

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I plan on making these cute Rudolphs for my students. I can't wait to see their faces when they find them on their desks. You can find the directions here.

Click on image to view original Pinterest link.

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I think this would make a charming classroom door. The snowman can be left up all through the winter. Go here to find the details.

Click on the image above to view original Pinterest link.

Now hop on over to the other blogs and check out their great Pinterest finds. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday Sale!

It's that time of year again. TpT is having their annual Cyber Monday Sale!

My entire store is 20% off today and tomorrow. Add the promo code TPTCYBER at checkout and get an additional 10% off your purchases. It's a great time to get all those items still on your wishlist. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The 14th Goldfish and Kidblog (Update)

On October 6th my students and I helped kick off Global Read Aloud by starting The 14th Goldfish  by Jennifer Holm. You can check out my first post here. My students loved this story and enjoyed connecting with another classroom in New England.

We used Kidblog to connect to our blog buddies and it was an amazing experience for my students. Reluctant writers posted and commented from home at night. My students that excel in ELA have a venue to expand their thoughts and share ideas they wouldn't normally do in the classroom. Shy students who normally don't share in class commented on classmates blog posts.

I wish I could share our classroom blog but my school requires that only our two classes have access to the blog posts.

The 14th Goldfish is a great read aloud. If you decide to use it in your classroom, here is the link to Jennifer Holm reading the finally chapter of her book. There is also a Q&A with Jennifer here.

What are your favorite read aloud books?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Global Read Aloud

Starting tomorrow my class and I will be participating for the first time in the Global Read Aloud.

Created in 2010 by Pernille Ripp, the goal is for one book to connect the world. Over the next six weeks I will be reading The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm to my class. During that time we will use kidsblog to connect with a class in Maine.  I am excited to be part of such a huge global event.

Tomorrow I plan to kick-off this event by playing a video of goldfish swimming I found on YouTube. I plan on asking the students to make predictions as to why I am showing the clip and how it will connect to what we will be learning. (The students are still unaware that will be participating in GRA.)

Anyone one else participating in GRA? I would love to hear how you will be kicking off the big event.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

School Starts Tomorrow!

I honestly don't know who gets more nervous me or the students. 

I have so much I want to share about my classroom but as you can imagine I also have so many last minute things I need to do before tomorrow morning. 

I will quickly share two things. 

First, I was given this chalkboard last year and promptly put it up on the wall between two of my windows.

 My intention was to use it for reminders - "picture day tomorrow" or "bring in your field trip money by Friday". And for a while I did use it for this purpose. But I felt as if the reminders were so few and far between that many stopped even noticing the board. 

So this year I will be using the board for our Quote of the Week.

I can't wait to see how many students notice the board upon entering the classroom. I am hoping this will help me utilize the board much more than last year.

Second, I just finished my newest product, Place Value Twisted Scoot. I can't wait to use this in my classroom in the coming weeks. It's a great way to assess students learning without them even realizing it. They think they are just having fun.

From now through Friday night, Place Value Twisted Scoot will be half price! You can check it out here!

Whether you are starting school tomorrow or have been back for weeks, I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Spark Student Motivation with Homework Club!

I am excited to be linking up for the first time with Joanne from Head Over Heels For Teaching.  I don't officially head back to school until after Labor Day but I wanted to share one way I motivated my students last year.
Last year I started Homework Club. I got the idea from Molly over at Lessons with Laughter. She blogs about it here.

The first day of the month all my students names go up on the homework club board. Their names stay up as long as they complete their homework. If an assignment is missed, their name comes down and is placed in the basket. At the end of the month, all students who remain on the board attend a special homework club luncheon. We grab our lunches and head back to the classroom. We play music and board games while enjoying lunch and each others company. I was surprised at how much I looked forward to these luncheons. It's so great to see the students in a more relaxed setting. If you like the homework club sign you can get it for free from Fourth Grade Frolics here.

My Homework Club was such a success that I am doing it again this year. Here is a look at this year's name tags. I got these adorable frames from Graphic From the Pond. You can get them for free here.

As each month past, more and more students attended our Homework Luncheons. It was a great motivator for many students who might not have otherwise aspired to complete all of their homework. 

How do you spark student motivation?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Made It - For my office.

To say my home office is out of control is an understatement. It was so bad that I refused to take a "before" picture. This past week I spent a bunch of time getting it under control. My biggest problem was that I didn't have any storage. I had a desk with a few small drawers and that was it. So a purchased this...

And turned it into this....

You see I have this awful habit of getting really excited about a product I have just purchased and I print it off right away. Then I run out of time and never finish cutting out the cards or I don't have a chance to laminate. This would result in card stock scattered all over my office. Now I have a place to put it all. 

I also needed a place to put all the little things. So I made mini versions of the drawers above.

These little guys fit perfectly on my desk.
So it is all starting to come together. Now I just have to find a place for all the other stuff!

How do you organize your home office?

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