Sunday, March 25, 2012


Because Doc

Not something I can put up during testing, but I was in the poster-making mood, what with my new alphabet and everything! (See previous post for alphabet info.)

I failed to credit my inspiration for this poster in the original post. I have two teachers in my district (including one of my son's middle school language arts teachers) and (the boarder was a freebie she posted on her blog as well!) to thank for sharing their ideas on how to get students to explain answers with the use of the word "because." I would never have managed this poster without their ideas!

It's Kind of Fun...

After discovering KMP Doodles, I knew I had to have her alphabet to make a poster! I bought them this morning, had them in my in box within an hour, and of course, immediately started playing with them! Here, I used Alphabetsoup and Brightflowerpatch.

As always, I hope this is a poster you can use in your classroom too.

It's Kind of Fun Doc

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The [Person] Who Doesn't Read

As I mentioned in the last post, I am on a poster-making binge, in order to decorate my classroom during testing (and beyond). Here is another one. My students have all learned that brackets [] are used when you change or add to someone's words in a quote. If yours do not know this yet, you may need to explain it. The original quote uses the word "man," but I want my girls to relate to this as much as my boys, which I am sure is what dear Mr. Twain (or Samuel Clemens, which was his real name) intended.

The [Person] who Doesn't Read Doc

Teachers Open a Door...

I'm taking down and/or covering all of my educational posters per state testing requirements, and I hate the idea of a bland classroom. So, I'm working on turning some inspirational quotes into easily-printable "posters." I'll upload them in Google Docs and share them here for anyone that might find them useful or fun. :)

Teachers Open a Door Doc

Thursday, March 22, 2012

You are...

A few weeks ago, I was thrilled by this pin. I've been thinking about doing it ever since seeing it. Well, it is spring break, and although I have spent most of it reading (Good Reads is suggesting I increase my 2012 reading goal!), I do want to do a few things for my classroom. We start state testing next week, and I thought this would be a wonderful ego boost for the students as they return to face this daunting task.

You will notice that I changed some fonts, colors, and words, but the overall gist is the same. I am including a link to the download of mine, in case anyone wants to do this without having to recreate it. When I cut the words apart, I made the strips 2 1/2 inches wide and a 1/2 inch longer than the word at each end. The frame, then is 3 1/2 inches wide and another 1/2 wider on each end. I hope that makes sense... For "scientists," it required it to be printed in two parts, and some of the longer words have frames that are two parts as well, if you use 8 1/2 x 11 inch cardstock. I want to get these laminated before hanging, and I don't think the seams will show much after that.

Anyhow, I hope this helps or inspires.

You are...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I was visiting other blogs...

...when I came across this post about apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, and dystopian writing. I giggled loud enough that my husband and son came in to ask me what was so funny, Needless to say, after reading it to them, they were laughing too, which is why I must repost here. I could hardly keep such a giggle-worthy post to myself. You can read it HERE.

Fourth-Grade Writing Rules

Inspired by someone's pinning of the poster on Squidoo's writing tips , I created something to hang in my classroom that expressed my thoughts on 4th grade writing.

I've loaded it here for those that want to use it too.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

States of Matter

This isn't much different from all the other matter foldables out there, but I figured I'd post it anyhow. The stickers (ie hole reinforcers) we used were just something I had on hand. I'd like to find smaller stickers next time, so they can fit more on to really see the relationship of molecules and the space between them.

The foldable is just a sheet of paper folded in half landscape-wise. Then, the fold is glued together about an inch down, to create a title area. They measure in 3 1/2" from both ends to create the cuts for the flaps.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Disney Biography

I've spent the morning working on the biography my class will do next. We do the Dr. Seuss one together, with me teaching them how to determine important info from smaller details and the importance of chronologically presented info. This one, Disney, will be done in partnerships. The students will work together to reinforce the skills they just learned. Again, they get a more creative and engaging way to present their learning. (Pay no attention to the fact my floor needs to be swept! It is the basic teaching dilemma--clean the house or work on lessons...) We won't get to this for another week, but I was feeling motivated today!

Friday, March 2, 2012

I Mustache You a Question

Does anyone outgrow Dr. Seuss? This is one of the 'staches I made for my class and our kinder book buddies. We were supposed to celebrate Seuss' birthday and Read Across America Day together, but the snow day has postponed that until Monday. My high schooler thought this meant he could mess around with a 'stache. LOL It seems like only yesterday he was in a crazy hat parade; now, he is shaving--not that the bushy 'stache show it! BTW, he's wearing a Dr. Seuss shirt under that robe! :)

Dr. Seuss Limericks

In language arts this week, my students wrote Dr. Seuss limericks. Several are amazing; most turned out well, but I will forewarn anyone wanting to do this: you will read a lot of limericks about Ted being dead or in bed! LOL I'll post photos of the students' poems hanging when I can get to the school. (Snow day good news: I have time to catch up on blog posts; snow day bad news: I can't get to the school to take the rest of the photos I wanted to include!) Feel free to use mine as a model. The meter isn't perfect, but I was okay with that for 4th grade limericks (let a few iffy rhymes in some students poems too).

BTW, I used "Seuss" pronounced the way most of us say it, "soose." However, it is actually said, "zoyce," and I asked my kiddos, who had learned this fact, not to try to rhyme it that way, as most readers of their poems wouldn't realize why the pronouciation was different.


This started with an idea I saw on Teaching in High Heels. Her January 15th post had the most adorable science biographies, which I decided could be altered for 4th grade. I pinned it here so I wouldn't forget it.

You can see in the photo above how it became a 4th grade scientist biography. I will scan and upload my templates this weekend. (SNOW DAY today, which means I am not at school to grab it and do it today, but I will have to go in sometime this weekend to prep for next week.) Anyhow, the students and I liked this creative alternative to traditional biographies so much that I decided we'd have to make our Dr. Seuss one just as wonderful.

I hand drew the Cat in the Hat's hat and the thought bubbles. I will also load these templates! I adore how the final report turned out. The students get to choose which facts they include/feel are most important about Seuss, and many are going beyond the two books we read/are reading in class. The student versions are not done yet, but I will add a photo of the display when it is up next week.

We have one more biography to go, with two fun and famous people from which to choose, and I already have ideas bouncing around my brain on how to make them equally creative!

One More Cloud Lesson

I forgot to take my camera to school the day my class made these, which meant I didn't get a photo of it until this week. This post should be down below, with the other cloud and weather ones, but it isn't--sorry. Anyhow, this is the last foldable we made for clouds. It explains the clouds by shape, whereas the other did it by altitude.

Start with a square of cardstock or heavy paper. Fold it in half along the diagonal--corner to corner in both directions. (There will be and "X" crease when you are done.) Cut one of the creases up to the middle/crease intersection. This allows you to slip one triangle behind the other, and glue it, to create the pyramid. Before gluing, though, label the 3 main cloud shapes: stratus, cumulus, and cirrus. Cut each of these cloud shapes out of white cardstock or construction paper. Write a brief description to help students identify their characteristics on them, and dangle from thread under the side labeled with the cloud's name.