Saturday, February 9, 2013

Where in the USA...

So I have this whole system for teaching the states to my kiddos...I'm sure there are others out there that are doing it better differently, but this really seems to work for my students!  In a typical week we learn about three new 3 states.  We have a cute little travel bag that looks like a suitcase with travel stickers and all on it!  It's made out of a full size paper bag and we use it to store all of our continents, oceans, and states materials in.  It ends up having two pockets inside that can hold 8 1/2 X 11 sized paper, including several mini books, one for each region we study - it's all a lot of fun!  We do half for world (continent and oceans) and the other half for the United States. We put maps, travel stickers, continent poems/songs, etc. all over it.  Here's what it looks like undecorated. 

Here's the sheet I send home with students when we return from winter break.  On the other side is a note to parents explaining my system.

During the time we are learning about each region I have this bulletin board set up in the hallway.  (The Penelope part of it comes from SuperTeacher Worksheets) 

Students have the entire time we are studying about the region to figure out which state each set of clues is for and hand it in.  At the end of each region we use The Mailbox's Mystery State series and spend a day or two (of Social Studies time, not the WHOLE day) researching to figure out which state is the mystery state.  We just finished the northeast region and ALL 5 groups guessed the state correctly.  They weren't very happy with me when I told them they would have to wait until we got to the end of the southeast region to do the mystery state again! 

When we are all done learning about our states we have a fun license plate bulletin board challenge.
Students try to figure out what the license plates mean, and then we do a drawing from all the entries.  The winner gets a copy of this book:


100th Day Celebrations

Here are some pictures from our 100th Day celebration. We did 100th Day Mosaics. First, we had a lesson on the history of Mosaics (and WOW! I have to say I sure did learn a lot while I was researching them and making my PowerPoint!) Then they did a picture and writing for "When I'm 100 Years Old" and "If I had $100". Some of them were PRICELESS! One student was going to keep her money in a safe with lasers and pig guards and if her brother tried to steal it melted stinky cheese would squirt all over him...and others were going to buy a lot of duct tape (hmmm....who would have thought kids would be making hairbands and bracelets out of duct tape?! MacGyver would definitely approve!) And yet another 100 year old student would be writing a book about their life. 

Angry Verbs

Here's an Angry Verbs Bulletin Board my students created...they did such a great job on it!  I got the basic idea for the board from Pinterest...but man they came up with the idea for the rock, the pause button, the 2X button, the sun, the golden was all them!  They had so much fun!  You can't see it, but each bird/pig has a sentence on it with the verb underlined.  This was the culminating activity for our 6 week unit on verbs.  We had a TON of fun!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

January 2013 Happenings

Here are a couple of the things we did in January in fifth grade:

First, after conducting an experiment about force, we used Excel to graph our results.  Students entered in the data, used a formula to find the average, and then graphed it.  Then of course the exciting part for them: PLAYING WITH ALL THE COLORS!  I reminded them that the important thing was that you could read their graph, which *most* of them kept in mind!  They have asked several times since when we were going to do another experiment that needed a graph!

And of course we had to do something for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! 
I found a GREAT product on TpT from Howywood Kindergarten!
It was reasonably priced and very user friendly!  I highly recommend it!
First, I printed the 26 quotes (included in the product from Howywood Kindergarten) onto cardstock. 
Next, students picked a quote that was meaningful to them and thought about what the quote meant to them.  Then, they wrote about it in the thought bubble. Students took their quote and used watercolors to paint over the quote.  Finally, when they were finished they completed the Martin Luther King, Jr. craftivity.  The craftivity was ALSO in the product from Howywood Kindergarten!
Here are a couple of close up pictures:

We got A LOT of compliments on this display!  One teacher even took the time to email my class a letter telling them how much she, as well as her students, enjoyed their display.  This made their day!  It was absolutely WONDERFUL! 

Forms of Energy Foldable Graphic Organizer

Can I just say how much I am LOVING creating these Foldable Graphic Organizers....and as much as I'm loving creating them - I can't begin to explain how excited I am when I see one of my students open their notebooks (without me telling them to!) to use one of these! 

So here's my latest one....Forms of Energy...I've included 7 forms of energy (mechanical, chemical, solar, light, heat, sound, and electrical).  I've also included graphics, which lend themselves very well to using this FGO as an assessment if one wants to do that!

Here it is mounted and ready to go into their notebooks: 

Here's what the inside looks like, all completed.  The product on TpT has it four different ways (complete, just clipart, just definitions, and blank):

Here it is with just a couple of tabs open:

Here's the page at the end with just the clipart so students can cut and paste them if you don't want them to have to draw their examples:

Yep....I'm pretty happy with how this turned out!  And it's on sale TODAY in my TpT Store in honor of Sunday Super Special!  Hope you find it ELECTRIFYING!!