Monday, June 19, 2017

Glue Sponges - Jump on that bandwagon, people!

So... glue sponges. I don't know what's taken me so long honestly - but, as teachers we have eternal hope.  Every year I hope my students can just glue. That's not too much to ask, right? I taught 2nd grade and used journals A LOT! But, often their pieces would just fall off the page. Ugh and Grrr! 
I taught 4th this last year and - shockingly - the same thing.  I started to suspect it wasn't the gluing skill that needed work. Fast forward to my packing up and switching classrooms as I'm moving grades (back to 2nd!) and my good, hard core, X-treme glue stick was packed up.  So, I used the NAME BRAND "quality" kids glue stick. What a bunch of crap. It did not stick! But, even in 4th grade, using the glue bottle was - ahem - challenging.  Picture glue on elbows, tables and palms covered so they could peel it off. I gotta admit - that one brought back memories!
Hello, glue sponges!
Kid tested in 2nd grade summer school and - viola! Success!
I chose these containers because they fit half a sponge perfectly but are big enough for 2 kids to share.
Once done put on those lids and teach your students to listen for the click!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Literature Circles

Students finished their culminating projects for their literature circle groups.
Keeping Safe the Stars 
Trumpet of the Swan
Island of Blue Dolphins
Tiger Rising
The One and Only Ivan 
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Sunday, June 4, 2017

End of the Year Haiku

Wow, week 38
Saying goodbye will be hard
This year - gone too soon.
I can't believe we're already at week 38. 
This year has flown by - it seems like yesterday I was standing out meeting 33 new students and families. The whole year ahead of us. Since then we've immersed ourselves in great books, shed tears over characters and story lines, we've written great opinion pieces and poetry, we've divided large numbers, multiplied fractions, created our own math games and witnessed history in the making. When the outside world was uncertain we found comfort and security in the classroom, among our friends. We've come together on field trips and learned all about the history of our great state and spent time building engineering projects and circuits. We've participated in literature circles, melodrama and even taught a lesson! We've sewn and drawn and painted - tooted our recorders and created journals full of examples of our learning. And we've re-written books to make them our own! We've had a full year and we've grown a lot!
This weekend I was thinking of my students and hoping that next year's teachers really know how special each and every one of these kids are-
-how funny, talented and kind they are.
I worry, too, about new classes and worry that by the time 5th grade comes around others will have assigned roles to us that we just take on as our own. The smart one who is not allowed to struggle with learning. The quiet one. The artistic one. The rambunctious one. The one who can't. The one who won't. The one who loves to read. The one who hates books. I guess my last announcement is just to be careful with assigning roles or labels to others. Even the ones we think of as positive can really put someone in a small box and tends to let people off the hook, allowing them to not to get to know one another - thinking they already know what they need to know. Hey, if you're someone that has been labeled be loud about letting others know there's more to you than meets the eye.
Finally, thank you, thank you, thank you for making me feel so very welcome and appreciated this year. This has been the best teaching year ever and I have every one of my students and their families to thank for that. Your support, trust, and patience was invaluable.
Thank you.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Open house

It was so great to see all the families at open house. The room looked great because the kids have done great work - take a peek

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Book Recommendation

Scholastic orders are due 2/17 and we just got a great book recommendation from a very trusted source -- our very own Room Mom, and school librarian, Jenn! 
For your consideration....
The Girl Who Drank the Moon is available for $5
  • Item #35Y5 in Arrow January
    • Grades: 4 - 7
    • Ages: 9 - 12
    • Reading Level: GRL: X ▼
    Newbery Medal
Short Summary
A fearful town sacrifices a baby by giving her to Xan the witch—and a magical epic adventure begins.


There's gold in them thar hills!
We had such a great time today! Our field trip to VT Ranch was amazing as kids got an upclose view into what it was like to live in the Gold Rush era of California. The guides stayed in character and provided the students with great information that mirrored our social studies lessons this week. Students were able to pan for gold, make candles, create adobe bricks (little muddy), churn (or shake) their own butter and do laundry using a washboard, press and clothing line! 
Trips like these make memories that stay with kids much longer than some text book lesson -- so thank you - parents and families - for helping, arranging, and funding this wonderful day!
And - thanks to C.D. for this great pic. Find more on our Shutterfly site! ;)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chocolate milk

Students are really loving our new writing unit and are eager to get their arguments tight!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

California Missions Project

California Missions Project

Today kids got a packet detailing everything about the upcoming Missions project and a rubric is included.  This project covers 3 weeks and lots will be done in class. The more kids do in class (filling out the research notes page, rough draft and speech outline) the less they have to do at home for homework.

There are 3 parts: Written Report, Project, Presentation

Due Dates:
Monday -Tell me which mission you’ll be researching.

1/30-2/3 - Research that mission in class and at home as part of HW.

2/6-13 - Write the rough draft of the report in class. Final draft in the most beautiful cursive ever or can be typed up at home as part of HW.

2/10 - Tell me what your project will be (model, poetry, painting/art, compare/contrast missions or different points of view, diorama - just about anything. Make it fun and meaningful). I don't expect elaborate - just something showing deep thinking about the subject.

2/13-16 - Work on the project and verbal presentation as part of HW
PROJECTS  DUE 2/17 and PRESENTATIONS will begin that day, too.

What's done at home?
w1 Some research
w2 Final Draft using the rough draft from class
w3 Project and prepare your presentation (speech) 

Really the most time consuming part is the project so start thinking about what you want to do - what you have time and resources to do - and start early ;)