Sunday, July 20, 2014

Circuits Print-and-go Craftivity

Happy Sunday! I have seen a lot of people posting pictures of them working in their classroom and am feeling 1) behind 2) a little anxious  3) a little excited and 4) like summer is almost over, but didn't it just begin!?

So instead of working in my classroom, I have been working on some ideas for next year! I just finished working on is my new science bundle: Circuits Print-and-go Craftivity!

Not only do I love teaching science BUT my students always love it! 4th grade covers so many fun science topics: ecosystems, earthquakes, rocks, minerals, weathering and electricity! Electricity is always shocking to students! We go over static electricity and take funny pictures with our hair standing straight up.  Then, they learn about series and parallel circuits.

I have included some vocabulary posters:

along with a more detailed explanation of what each circuit is...

Then I created a little CLOSE reading activity that goes more in depth about series and parallel circuits:

 The students get to organize their CLOSE reading passage with Thinking Maps.  The first read I have them focus on the two types of circuits...
and for the second read they compare and contrast the two!

I added sentence stems to both of these activities to help the students structure their language when working in groups or pairs.

After the students have a good understanding of both circuits, then the fun begins with the circuits craftivity!

This is a print-and-go set, so the teacher prep for this is very minimal.
Each student will use their findings from the CLOSE read and their Thinking Maps and write a short summary of each circuit on this recording page.  It is a great way to have them use the vocabulary and explain what they just learned.

Then each student gets labels for their paper...

4 lightbulbs….
2 batteries….

and 4 circles each….

From there they make their own series and parallel circuit.  This craftivity
is perfect for a bulletin board and the students really get a good understanding of how each circuit works.

After I have them make their own visual representation of the circuits, I let them build a real circuit! They get all of the supplies and I let them work in their groups on their own.  They have to build a series circuit first and then once they do that, they move on to the parallel circuit. 

 This is a great team building exercise! They love being in control of the learning and showcasing what they learned from paper to real life!

Your class will be shocked with the electrifyingly, fun activities in this Circuits Print-and-go set
and. for some Sunday pinning fun... The first 3 people who pin this creativity will get it for free!!! Just pin it and leave a comment below with the pinterest address (for example

Happy Pinning!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hello 30 Sale!

Tomorrow I turn 30! To celebrate the farewell to my 20's, I am having 20% sale off of everything in my store!!!

 Stock up on some back to school goodies like my…Me Bag.
This is a great Back to School activity. I use it as their first assignment of the year. It is a way for them to introduce themselves to the class in a non-threatening way. They choose 5 things that they want to share with people, place them in a bag and explain them to the class in a informal 2 minute speech. I always model it for them. I bring in a pair of running shoes to represent that I love to exercise, a picture of my family that symbolizes their importance in my life, my favorite book etc. It is a great ELD lesson too!

Get to know your new class with this fun activity that combines a craft with a little writing
*This is a great activity for back to school. The students get to show off their individuality and you get to see their creativity and writing level
This pack Includes 
-A page of directions
- Example pictures
- A Whoo's in Our Class Sign
- Copies of the template to print out (beaks, feet, owl body, eyes, wings and belly
- Writing prompt to go inside. This includes a rough draft/ planning worksheet for the students and the option of just having them fill it in!

or my….

This is a great activity for the beginning of the year. It gets the students involved in critically thinking about classroom rules and expectations. The circular map can be used individually- allowing each student to consider what they think are good class rules to have. As a whole group the students can share what they think are the most important rules that they came up with. Then, in their table groups the students can sort out the behaviors on the tree-like map. They will sort the various examples of good behavior under the categories: Be Safe, Be Respectful and Be Responsible. This is a great discussion starter and allows the students to communicate the type of classroom environment that they want to have.

My 20's have been great! I have: traveled, studied abroad, graduated, earned my Masters in Education, met and sustained amazing friendships, taught grades 4-7, fell in love, got married, had 2 kids, started a blog and met an amazing community of teachers worldwide that have inspired and helped me rediscover what a joy being an educator is.  I look forward to the new adventure of my 30's!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Currently!

I am excited that it is July! It is a very busy month for our family with my daughter's 3rd birthday, my 30th birthday (eek!), our 5 year wedding anniversary, parties and vacations gallore! It really feels like summer now.   I am going to try to finish this Currently before the World Cup USA game starts.... so here goes.

Listening to: My husband actually LOVES working in the yard. It is his quiet place- even though it's not-so-quiet.

Loving: One of the perks of summer is being able to exercise whenever I want! During the school year I have to do it around my kiddo's bedtime- which isn't ideal.  I love that I can exercise in the morning and have it out of the way!  This morning was so humid and June gloomy that I sweat as if I was in the tropics!

Thinking: I turn 30 in 13 days! I am not freaking out about it because I have an amazing and supportive husband, 2 happy and healthy kids, a job that I love, great friends, a good church community,  a house that we are turning into a home everyday and I am healthy.  All that said, I do want to celebrate- perhaps a spa day?

Wanting: The perfect red lipstick for the 4th of July- perhaps a visit to Sephora is in my near future!

Needing: Duck eggs- these are hard to come by. We are trying to make a Danish dish that uses them but I am thinking that a plain old chicken egg will have to do!

4th Plans: Well not only do we get to celebrate our country's independence but our 5th wedding anniversary as well. 
 Also, my husband and I are in a supper club that is super fancy-schmany.  It is composed of 5 couples and each couple hosts a dinner a year.  The dinner is usually 5-7 courses, has a theme, everyone dresses to the nines and all the food is prepared from scratch.

A fellow blogger and supper club member documents all of our suppers.  Here was our last one and our first one.

So, we will be hosting our 3rd dinner this coming Friday- I will share pictures afterwards. We have been practicing all of our dishes, the invitations sent, wine list created, table rented, silver polished and decorations gathered.  The next 3 days are all about cleaning the house, food prep and figuring out what to wear! We asked all of our guests to dress in formal red-white-or-blue attire.

Well, thanks for stopping by. I am off to see what all of you have in store this July!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Open House 2014

   This past Thursday was our Open House. It was really late in the year and it gave my class A  LOT of time to show off all their learning!

The kids loved my Circuits- Print and Go- Activity and it made a fantastic bulletin board! **New product coming soon!**

Parents and students got to play with real circuits at the back table while admiring our the Ecosystem my class made in October… The fish is STILL ALIVE!

Social Studies:
We did a lot with Social Studies this year because we integrated a lot of our reading and writing with it.
It was a great way for them to work with non-fiction text, interact with difficult vocabulary and go beyond just reading a text book. They read, they researched, they wrote and they got creative!

On their desks they had their Gold Rush projects. Students were able to make a Conestoga Wagon, Sutter's Mill, Mining Tools or Sutter's Mill.

They proudly hung their research reports on the back wall.

Earlier in the year the student did a group mission project together. Each group had 6 kids in it and as a group they chose a mission to research together. At school they brought in their tablets, library books and internet research and each person was responsible for a different part of the report.  Individually they were responsible to make a model of the mission they researched or make a poster board about it.  I hung their group reports on the wall and bordered it with pictures of them holding their mission model/poster board.  I connected string to each of the group projects and attached them to where on the Camino Real their mission was located. They kids loved it! 

The ramp leading up to my classroom was decorated with their poster projects.

To learn about the Gold Rush we did a pictorial timeline of the most important events and details about the California Gold Rush.  I read to them an excerpt, they summarized and then drew a picture of each event.
It was fun to see the kids explain the California Gold Rush to their parents by pointing to each picture and explaining it in their own words!  

Accelerated Reader is BIG at my school and in my class. We challenge the upper grades to read 1,000,000 words in a school year. If they reach their goal they get to attend a fancy luncheon at the end of the year as well as receive front of the lunch line passes for the year! To track their progress I hand a $100 bill each time they reach 100,000 words on a piece of ribbon with their name on it.  It is a great motivator and cool bulletin board!  The tree house tracks their points for the year. They move up in hopes to become a Top Owl!


We just finished algebra and moved onto geometry!  The bottom picture is my Fall in Love with Algebra activity.  They worked on these with a partner, in their math centers. They had to solve the algebraic equation and then match the variable with the corresponding equation.  This is a great review activity and makes a super fun bulletin board!  The top picture was a group activity where they sorted the pictures into different geometry categories.  

Above their desks I hung All-Star baseball cards of my students.  On the front is a picture of them in their favorite sport's team jersey and on the back are all of their accomplishments this year.

You can pick up this End of Year All-Star Brag Card at my TpT Store on sale now!

Thanks for letting me share my Open House 2014 with you! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Sale

Have you heard? There is a HUGE sale going on today and tomorrow on Teachers Pay Teachers. Not only is my cart over flowing with goodies but my store is also on sale!
Come on over and stock up on end of the year items to help you get through until summer!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May Currently

Happy May! I feel as though May snuck up on me this year.  April was a fun and full month! I feel like I wasn't even in school too much because I had Spring Break and then was chosen to serve on a jury for a week… imagine those sub plans! Woof!  Needless to say, I am looking forward to this month.

Listening: My husband has a green thumb and thank goodness because it takes a lot of work to maintain a yard and garden!

Loving: I am so grateful for great friends and family.  My husband graduated yesterday with his Masters in Education. The family came out to show their support and sat through the LONGEST ceremony ever and today we are having a fiesta for him with a bunch of our friends.  It is just so great to have people in your life to celebrate and walk through life with!

Thinking: It has been in the 100s this past week and with our graduation fiesta today at 3 I am hoping and praying for cooler weather!

Wanting: I haven't mentioned yet that I am moving school sites for next year. It was not by choice and I am so beyond bummed to move a school that I love so much. I have never clicked with coworkers so much before and I team with two amazing 4th grade teachers so it makes the move even harder. Three teachers, from my site with the lowest seniority were forced to move to new schools in order to make room for teachers who have previously worked at our school to return… and I was one of them.  I had several offers at other schools in our district and chose a fantastic one with a great reputation! I am also excited to be able to stay in 4th grade! All that being said, I have to pack up my room and I am not looking forward to it! Not only is it a lot of work but it is emotional!

Needing: I would love some new summer clothes but I am not loving the current fashion trends that are around…

Surprise: Ideas by Jivey- If you haven't been to this blog, you must! She has a lot of really great ideas and resources for upper grade teachers. I am personally in LOVE with her Mentor Sentences units! Be sure to check her out and if you haven't linked up with the Fantastic Farley for May's Currently, do so too!

Happy May everyone!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Showers

Emily from I Love My Classroom and AMC from Looking From Third to Fourth are celebrating a huge milestone- 1,000 Followers! I decided to join the fun and donate any product from my TpT store to one of the five AMAZING bundles that they've compiled.

Be sure to check out both of their posts to enter in for your chance to win!