Shake, Write, Learn Tumblers

What a treat!  Got this from one of my super sweet students and his mom!  Is that cat adorable?  They painted the box all cute and then under the cat were some new dry erase markers in fall colors!!  LOVE!!

So I have been noticing that my peeps are having trouble spelling sight words.....not super good since they have the Florida writes test and the bar keeps getting raised higher and higher....are you kidding, do these poor kids not have enough pressure.  So, I decided to add some sight word activities to my Word Work.  I have seen some super cute different sight word shakers and decided to try making something like that for my kids.  I'm calling them Shake, Write, Learn tumblers.  They are kinda like a mini version of my Vocabulators but sight word specific.  I wanted them to be fun yet functional.

I got all this at Dollar Tree.  I wanted something in them to keep the noise level down so added the pom poms.  I originally found these amazing little foam balls at the Dollar Store.
Thought they would be silent and work wonderfully.......NOT!  I don't know if it is because they are so light weight or the static or both but all the words went to the middle of the tumbler and stayed there!!  I'll have to come up with something else to do with those......On to Plan B, the pom poms and little beads. 
I printed my words on card stock, laminated, cut and we are off:)


I wanted to make a work sheet to go with these to add to my Word Work activities.  I have seen several awesome ideas on Pinterest.....this is little bits of some that I liked.  Yes, I realize my kids are fourth graders and some of you may be thinking.....rainbow write???  Well, I say, what ever works and makes it fun in the process:)  My thinking......the more times they write it over and over, the more they will remember it.



Hope you can use this!  I also would like to introduce you all to the cutest little rabbit I think I have ever seen and the newest member of my family....

Is she stinkin cute or what?????  She fits in your hand!!!  Wish she stayed that small:) 

Happy Saturday all!!!  My little girl is home from college so we've got some "girl time" to catch up on.  (BIG SMILE!!!)
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Vocab Journals, Lasers, Creatures and Update

Daily 5 (currently 3 in my classroom) is running great.  I still have to use the basal.....so, I manage to squeeze it in.  The stories in the basal have vocabulary words and some of them are pretty tough so we use a vocabulary journal.  I have been using this (or some form of it) for 3 years....and, the original idea is not mine but was shared a few years ago.  Each student has a notebook that is their vocabulary journal.  I make labels each year for these.  On each page we put 2 words.  We divide each page so there are 8 boxes.  (4 for each word)  1st box = the vocab. word, 2nd box = the definition, 3rd box = synonyms, 4th box = antonyms and examples. 


This is a pic of half a page.  I also let the kids draw pics if it will help them.

This is a whole page.....sorry it doesn't show up very well:/
These really help the kids grasp an understanding of the vocab.  They also pull these out to use during writing to add to their narratives.

A few days ago I blogged about the great idea I had seen using the laser fingers.  Well, I have been using them during guided reading only and the kids are LOVING them!!



Got them at Dollar Tree!!  Best thing everrrrrrr!!

I also wanted to blog about a super cute idea I started using today during Daily 5.  I got the idea and worksheet from Pitner's Potpourri.  If you haven't been to Mary's blog you have to pop in.  She has lots of wonderful FREE downloads.  She shares all her ideas and they are great!!  I wanted to do some fun activities to do with Halloween and I found this adorable Creepy Creatures writing activity at her blog.  I'm posting some pics as a teaser......if you want to read more about it, check it out here:)




If you look closely, you will see "creepy creatures" on the students desks and papers.....they loved this and it fit in perfectly with Work on Writing for Daily 5. 

Daughter ankle update (totally non-teacher related....sorry)

This pic freaked me out!!  I thought it was broken, infected, falling off........just kidding but it did freak me out!

Good news:  had an x-ray today and nothing is broken.....
Bad news: she tore all 3 ligaments and has nerve damage:,(  Huge bummer!  Out for the rest of the indoor season and lots of therapy to work towards beach season.  That lovely black thing they called a swelling squid.....kinda looks like it doesn't it?  She is now in a air cast.  So hard on mommy to be 2 hours away!!!

Happy Monday Everyone!!


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Spidey Stuff - Main Idea and Details

We just finished a chapter in our Science text so today we used the leveled reader that went with that chapter during guided reading.  The super little book was called Web Wizards and it was all about spiders.  Perfect timing with the whole Halloween time of year (would love to say "oh yes, I planned it all that way."  NOT, it just happened)  We also have been doing Main Idea and supporting details so, this afternoon my kiddos worked in groups and made spider posters with the spider/Web Wizards  being the main idea.

They had to draw a spider....I have to say, some of them totally creep me out!!  I have some pretty good artists.  Next, they had to write details about the spiders that they learned from the book we read this morning.  Each detail was put on a note card. 


Then they glued the note cards around the edges of the poster.  The spokes of the web came next.  One from each card to the spider (in the center).  Then they just made the lines to make the web. 

  I think they turned out pretty neat.  Loved the team work I saw having them working in groups...only one group needed a referee  redirection........


I also wanted to share about a great blog and fun idea I saw.  The Schroeder Page has lots of super ideas.  She just recently posted about using laser fingers as props to keep the kids engaged.  Go read about it here:) I got super excited about this idea and filed it in the "remember to do this Tara" file in my head.  Well, yesterday I went to Dollar Tree because my kids must be eating my dry erase markers  I never have enough dry erase markers and what do I see as I'm waiting to check out????????????
LASER FINGERS!!!

I used them today and my kids thought I was wonderful!!  I have also decided to use them with my guided reading groups.  I bought enough so each student can use one as a pointer.  Kinda fun:D

P.S.  Thanks for all the sweet comments and well wishes for my daughter.  You guys are amazing and so supportive:)  She is doing well.  She has several hours of physical therapy a day and working hard to get back on the court!  She's out of her boot already and in a wrap:)  Thanks all:))

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Cause and Effect in Reading and Real Life:(

Cause and Effect has been our focus skill for a story we just finished up.  Most of my kiddos get it but to help make sure they all really get it, we used drawing again!!  The story we finished was Mimicry and Camouflage, they loved this story because of the great pics and all the wonderful ways animals and insects use mimicry and camouflage to help them to survive.  After we discussed cause/effect and the "clue words" to help them identify an upcoming cause/effect relationship, they had to choose one cause/effect relationship from the story, draw it and then tell about it in words.....here is some of their work.

(this one says : The harmless beetle mimics a dangerous wasp/cause ---- the effect is enemies stay away)


(My lovely camera taking cut off these words....Cause:this praying mantis looks like the flower of an orchid----effect: prey flies right up to it)



Little did I know when I took these pics thinking I was going to post them this weekend, I would have my own "real life" cause/effect relationship to share.  If you follow me at all you know we are off almost every weekend to my daughter's college or one of her volleyball matches.  Well this weekend was no different BUT sadly my baby got hurt.  CAUSE: Because the  opponent kept crossing over the line under the net on the volleyball court during the match.........EFFECT:

My sweet girl came down from a kill attack onto that girl's foot and rolled her ankle:(((  (my daughter has tiny ankles so this still freaks me out!)  She's out for at least a week.  Mom and Dad are too bummed but grateful we were there with her.  Today she sent me this pic:


That's my baby with her gorgeous new footwear.  At least for a while.  The trainer seems to think she should do well with therapy and be back on the court in a week or two.  Soooooo, cause/effect relationships everywhere!!  Happy Sunday night all:)
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Halloween/Fall Writing Story Starters - Freebie!!

Thanks to Daily 5, my kids LOVE to write sooooooooo they lost their minds today when I introduced some new Halloween/Fall Topic cards for them to use during Work on Writing.  Wanted to share them today as my freebie:


Super cute clipart from KPM Doodles!!  LOVE:) If you download these please leave some love and let me know:)  Would also love to hear other ideas for the Fall/Halloween story starters:)

I also wanted to share a new blog I found that has SUPER ideas.  The blog is Dandelions and Dragonflies (ok, love the name).  She does Smart Beads with her students.  After I read about them, I totally had to do this  for my peeps!

Please go to her blog and read all about it.  It helps promote student participation in class.  If a student participates, gives a good answer, or is really engaged (maybe when others aren't) give them the Smart Beads.  They wear them all day and at the end of the day trade the beads in for one of the cute tickets below (you can find these adorable things at Dandelions and Dragonflies).   Then they take it home and show mom and dad:)  Such a cute, fun, positive idea to keep the kiddos involved:)

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Daily 5 Work on Writing Story Idea

Today was a teacher work day....I know...report cards, end of a quarter!!  I can't believe it!!  So, once the report cards were done, I got a few other things done....did I get my entire To Do list checked off?  NO! (is a teacher's to do list ever done?!)   Oh well, tomorrow is a new day:)

Now on to my idea......my lovely librarian has been super sweet and gives me the book sleeves that she doesn't need or use.  (that's what I used to make my book bunting)  So the other day I found some new ones in my mailbox and a fun idea hit me.  (gotta love it when that happens)  Why not have the kiddos write a story that is inspired by a cover??  I cut the covers to fit on the fronts of folders, hot glued them on and popped some loose leaf paper inside each folder.  I made 22 of these.  Each one is different, I even have a few Christmas themed covers.  Now they are ready to go for work on writing:) 


I am VERY excited about this idea.  I have previously made theme journals for Work on Writing and the kids LOVE them!  I have some extremely creative writers so I can't wait to see what this inspires:)


Imagine the possibilities!!!!  I am giddy with excitement:)
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Look What I Made and a Multiplication Freebie!

I have had clipboards on my to do list  forrrrrrever!  Then life happens and I get so lost in the busy that I don't make/take time to do the fun stuff.  So, last week after I saw an awesome post from my bud Leslie at Jack of All Trades, where she made an adorable clipboard as a gift for her secret pal at school it reminded and remotivated me to make time to do it. SO I did:)  Here they are:



I also made a multiplication "center" for my kiddos.  I am the most excited about this because I have  found the cutest clipart from KPM Doodles and bought a bunch in the hopes that some day soon I can start my own TPT store......maybe.  Until then I can dream and share, right?  So, I know this is not nearly as amazing as lots of the wonderful things I've seen out there but it's a start.  Thank goodness I have the adorable clipart to make it super cute!! 


My plans for this are to print up several sets, laminate them and then have my kiddos work in pairs.  One will have  the answer key and the other will have  the multiplication sheets.  Since they are laminated, they will be able to write on them and erase when they are done:)
Kids are supposed to come to 4th grade with basic multiplication facts memorized but that's in a perfect world so, my babies struggle, especially with the bigger numbers so wanted to make these up for practice.  Monsters kind of fit in with this time of year and my peeps will think the monsters are wonderful:D 

P.S. Kristen at Ladybug Teacher Files is having a give away right now with KPM Doodles clipart so ya need to hop on over there and enter it.  If you haven't seen this art yet, you'll fall in love!
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Super News and Project Turtle Continued

Today the little ones completed their turtle projects.  After researching their turtle in books and then on the computer, they put all their info. together and came up with these....

I think they turned out super good and can't wait to hang them up in the hallway next week.  Their research was focused to a specific species of sea turtle.  For this they drew out of a bucket.  We included Kemps Ridley, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Green Sea Turtle, and Leatherback.  They had to research: FACTS, NESTING HABITS, and THREATS to that species. 

Each of those is a flap with their info. under the flap.


We've been reading a Reader's Theatre Called Emerald's Eggs (from Harcourt) and they love it.  We have also watched a few video clips about sea turtles and why they are endangered.  Last year I adopted a Sea Turtle named Hope for my class.  I am looking into doing the same thing this year:)  It really connects the kids to the environment and opens their eyes to the fact that we play a big part in helping (or hurting) the survival of these sweet creatures.

And now, for the good news......drum roll please.........My Donors Choose project was fully funded yesterday!!!!!!!  I am so stinkin excited and so grateful I can't even tell you!!  We are getting a color Nook and case!!!!  My kiddos are so excited.  It's like Christmas in my room and we haven't even gotten it yet!!

Now (after another Spiced Pumpkin Latte.....hoping it will help me get everything done.....can you say coffee addict???)  I am off.  I want to do some fun Pinterest projects this weekend, have a ton of papers to get graded and entered....our 1st quarter ended today....where does the time go?????  Hoping to spend some time in the garden too for some much needed relaxation:)  Happy Weekend bloggy buds!!
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