Sunday, March 9, 2014

Free Lit Study Book Bag Labels

Well, it was not until recently that a clever little organizational tool I had used while student teaching appeared to be the solution to our grade-level problem.  We had the ability to use the Who was ______? informational biography series (the kind with the caricature-esque illustrations on the front cover.)  These made for quite engaging reads during our lit groups.

The only downfall was these books only come in paperback since they're new so our library doesn't have the durable Turtle binding.  Needless to say, some of them came back looking really doggedy.  I mean, this was the first year they were ever used and the bottom pages of one came back magenta for crying out loud!  "What happened?"  "Oh, my crayons fell out in the bottom of my backpack!"  "Good grief!"

Hence the reason for my implementation of gallon-sized Ziploc book bags for students to tote their novels to and fro.  Especially since this time around they will be my brand new lit set of One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia!  This is such a great read and I can't believe I've never read this author before, she has such a captivating way with words that makes you want to keep reading.  Literally, I read this book from cover to cover in one sitting!  Pick it up using Scholastic Book orders while they're $1 per copy when placing a TAB February order.  That's what I did; bought half with points and the other half with dollars! This morning, it was even the #1 bestseller of Children's African American books on Amazon.com
 Using the gallon-sized Ziploc bags, any brand will do.  I'm actually a fan of the Dollar Tree kind because they're plain with no lettering to compete with.  You can even fit worksheets or the lit unit packet inside and still be able to zip it shut (as long as the novel isn't too fat)!  However, they're not as durable as Ziploc bags are, so you do lose some quality points if you go the dollar store route. If you'd like to create a set of book bags for your class, just pick up the freebie below and have the following materials on hand:
*packing tape
*fluorescent copy paper (I prefer lime green)
*paper cutter
*gallon-sized clear Ziploc bags

Hooray for Spring Break! Be sure to check out the other freebies offered up on Manic Monday below.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


Monday, March 3, 2014

Pin to Win! St. Patrick's Day Printables for Big Kids

 Hello Everybody!  The arrival of March means the onset of shamrock-laden aisles and wishes of four-leaf clovers.  Well, this year is different from all my other years of teaching because it is my very first St. Patrick's Day spent teaching in the classroom.  Luck would have it that St. Patty's Day always fell during our Spring Break or the weekend, but not so this year!  Well, what's an upper grade teacher to do?  Prep to bring the luck of the Irish within our classroom walls, that's what!

I created this pack to engage my 4th graders who need to be digesting passages within the 740-1100 lexile band.  These kiddos also could benefit from a spiral review of various math skills before our statewide testing begins in 20 school days.  Lastly, I threw in a hands-on science project because that's irrefutably their favorite subject!

About the product: This simply easy printables pack comes complete with an answer key, 5 ELA handouts (1 writing, 1 context clues / vocabulary, 3 reading & comprehension), 5 Math handouts, and 1 two-paged science experiment using Lucky Charms marshmallows and water!  In the ELA section, you'll find three St. Patty's Day passages followed by appropriate yet challenging comprehension questions.  (Appropriate for 3rd - 5th grade)

Click here to see the unit on TpT.
I will give away this unit to the first THREE people to pin the image above.  All you have to do is leave your pin url in the comment section below and tell me you want it!  If you're not one of the lucky lassies to snag this pot 'o gold, it will be on sale until Wednesday.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

DIY St. Patrick's Art & MARCH currently!

Merry March 1st!  I happen to have nothing March-decor to hang above the top of my clip chart.  Ever since November, we've had a seasonal poster to "clip up to" after making it to "Top of the Chart."  Now that February is over, it's quite bare, so good morning pinterest crafting session!

I was able to put some of my pins from this morning to instant use.  I made two DIY paper hanging shamrocks and painted a pot of gold q-tip rainbow art with glitter shamrocks. Here's a look at how these crafts turned out:


 
listening - Ladder49 is playing on Cinemax - Robbie Robertson's "Shine Your Light" is playing as the movie ends (need to make sure I have that song on my iPod)

loving - hanging with my chihuahuas on this relaxing Saturday, I am reminded of just how long I have been blessed with these lil chihuahua schmoopies.  They just celebrated their doggie b-days (Mia pictured below just turned 6 on the 18th, and Chico turned 8 yesterday)

thinking - how adorably cute my new March-themed crafts will look on display in the classroom.  I had to replace the Cupid bear artwork from Dollar Tree and the handprint hearts on display and it looked so bare afterwards! 

wanting - my final observation to be over and done with (could it hurt to ask for it to breeze by with flying colors?!?)

needing - to do some work on preparing materials for my grammar lesson that I'll be having my formal evaluation (yay for the progressive tense!)

??? (random thoughts) - Hooray for Shamrock Shakes!! (such a morsel of March)




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Monday 2/24 is National Fake Moustache Day!

With any reason to alleviate a little stress that comes with preparing for high-stakes testing which is only 28 school days away, we will be celebrating National Fake Moustache Day this Monday (2/24)!  Help yourself to this un moustache-ably cute freebie I'm sharing to help you bring this fun frenzy into your classroom too!
[download freebie here]
From the makers of the AgingBooth app, comes BoothStache available for iPhones and free on Androids just in time for our class celebration of National Fake Moustache Day!  Just snap a serious headshot of your student and stick a stache on their face.  Fun for all to enjoy!
In the spirit of sharing, I also found some FREE online printable moustaches:

Keep calm and MOUSTACHE on!



Monday, February 17, 2014

If I Were 100 (Aging Booth & 100th Day for Big Kids)

Forgot to post these last month, but thought they were TOO cute to keep to myself.  After searching pinterest for some FUN bigger kid (I have 4th graders) activities, I ran across this activity from Edukate and Inspire which uses the app, AgingBooth.  Luckily, I have an Android, so it's completely free! Conveniently, I was able to snag this "If I Were 100" freebie and this became an instant classroom hit!
Also, I recently discovered this free photo publishing website called canva.com and was able to put together the image above.  BONUS:  they have plenty of free clipart / text editing images and layout to get carried away with.  Another nice alternative to creating my images in PowerPoint - however I must say that I'm much quicker when creating in PowerPoint.