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Friday, January 9, 2015

Three States of Matter

I just love teaching science and I really love teaching matter.  The kids really get into it!

This last week I used the theme of snowmen which was a great way to integrate the three states of matter.  At first I wasn't sure if we would even have snow this week and we ended up with an abundance plus some extremely frigid weather.


The Sneezy Snowman by Maureen Wright
Sneezy doesn't like being so cold so he tries to get warmer. Of course he melts!  Then they build him again!  This was a great way to integrate the solid and liquid!

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
A great classic.  Peter spends time outside and decides to bring a snowball in the house and keep it in his pocket.  He soons learns that snowballs - melt!

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro
Now this story doesn't have any melting but building of a snowman!  After we read the story we brought in some of our wonderful cold snow!


Wow - this snow is cold!

We got some gloves and tried to build the base.  The snow wasn't packing snow.  So we added some water from a water bottle and it helped a bit.
Earlier this week we discussed and wrote the process on How to build a snowman. 
 Next we built the middle of the snowman.

Our head is looking a bit sad but it's there.

We added in some buttons, scarf and arms.  We discussed what state of matter it is and what properties made it a solid.  The snowman had a shape.  This is a soft solid.
We then discussed what would be the next state of matter if the snowman melted and what do we need to make a change in the matter.
We needed a heat source.  I turned on the skillet to 400 degrees.

It started melting right away and then started boiling 
 Kids starting saying,"Poor Snowman!"

He now was a liquid!  The water took the shape of the container.

 Can you see the steam?  The kids caught on to this right away and told me it was a gas!  Wow I have a smart class!

Good bye Mr. Snowman! It only took about 15 minutes and he was all gone!  What happened to him?  Let's build him again!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Top 10 Posts of 2014

It's been a great year in teaching!  I've enjoyed expanding my career even after 20 years! I'm looking forward to the next 20!  Hee Hee! I hope not!

Using a scoreboard in my classroom has been a great addition to my behavior management!
You should try it!

This was a volcano week during my summer school class.  What a lot of fun!!


Check out my beginning of the year booklets!  I've been making these for 15 years.  They are great memories!


Dominoes are sure a lot of fun!  We learned about energy!  Check it out!  I have videos too.


Pick up the bubble recipe for you to try!


Daily Math Freebie!!  This is such a great activity. Make sure you  give it a try.  The kids become secure in these skills even before I teach the unit in math.


Pick up two different versions of this Dr. Seuss math game.  Save it for March!!


I shared my popcorn unit that the class just loved!  Pick up a freebie too.


Visualize What's Inside!!
This free visualizing riddles was a big hit! The class couldn't wait til the next day for a new riddle.


This is a great hands-on unit!  Get the first level for free!

Thanks for stopping by!  Check out the linky to go to some other Top 10 Posts!

Here's to 2015!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Super Improvers Wall and Genius Writers with Whole Brain Teaching

I'm so excited to start My Super Improvers tomorrow!  The kids will be in shock when they come in and the clip chart is gone!  They love moving up the chart but I hope that they will love this more.  

Each child have a color coordinated card to the chart.  You can't see the bottom one but it says Beginner (white).  Each time I notice a child improving they earn a star!  This can be in behavior, academics or even handwriting!  When they earn 10 stars they move up to the next level!  The final level is Living Legend!  A teacher I watched on video keeps her Living Legends up from year to year so they can come back and see their names!!  How cool is that!?

I am absolutely loving Whole Brain Teaching for Writing!  My students are writing these fantastic sentences.  We started with the Blah sentence and each day added more to end up with the genius sentence.  They were so proud of their work.

This made me giggle!  Check out his super arms!

We are working on the Triple Whammy Sentence now.  We spent two days doing Oral Writing.  This is where they orally say the sentence to the class using whole brain teaching gestures.  You can watch videos and get print outs from The Whole Brain Teaching website.  Everything is free!!!
They wrote a sentence about winter.  The next step is for us to write a detail to support the sentence.  We will then continue until we are done writing a five paragraph essay!  I'm motivated and so are the students.  I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

One is a Feast for a Mouse Free Writing Prompt

One is a Feast for a Mouse is an adorable story written by Judy Cox.
It helps us to remember to give thanks for the little things!

Enjoy this little freebie!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Teacher Costume

Today is over!  Boy am I tired!  
The kids come into school so excited they're hanging from the lights! 

"What time is the party?"
"When can I put on my costume?"
"What time is it?"
"I brought treats for everyone!"
"Is it time?"
"I'm not telling you my costume it's a surprise."
"This is the best day ever!!"

My team decided to go as dominoes.  We hot glued the felt pips to a black shirt!
We all wore our age!  I know I'm the oldest!!

 The kids wanted to tip us over!  So cute!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Little Red Hen vs. The Little Green Witch and a Freebie

One of my favorites and also of my class is the Little Red Hen.  
But have  you heard of the Little Green Witch?  
This story is absolutely adorable and it has a cute surprise ending!

I introduced the book this week during Halloween.  
There are many extensive vocabulary words to discuss before reading the book.  

Vocabulary: cauldron, twisted, hollow, reek, amid, scattered, soot, gruesome, gremlin, damp, potions, grumbled After we discussed the words the students raise their hand when they hear the word while I'm reading.  It keeps them being focused.

Retelling:  Students loved retelling this story.  The funny twisted ending keeps them laughing!

Compare and Contrast:  Of course this book leads to great Text to Text comparison.  Before I read I tell the class that this book reminds me of another book I've read but I don't tell them which one.  It isn't long into the book and someone catches on.  Use a venn diagram to compare the two stories with each other.  

Writing Ideas: 1) Would you help the Little Green Witch?  Why or Why not?  2)Write a recipe book for pumpkin pie. 3) If I could unclean my house this is what I would do.

On youtube this book can be found being read by some fourth graders!  
Great option if your school doesn't have the book.

Another way to compare and contrast texts is to use The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza.

Grammar: I use this book to work on plural nouns.  This mini unit includes a noun sort using words from the book.  Then there are three levels of worksheets for differentiation and also include a writing option.  Click on the cover sheet to pick this up for your class.  Please leave a comment if you download.

Cooking: In the past when reading the Little Red Hen I've made bread with the class but making little pizzas is a lot more fun!  

Making Pizza in Class

electric skillet
jar of pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
package of pre sliced pepperoni
box of Triscuits

Place the Triscuits on the electric skillet, spoon some sauce on top, add a piece of pepperoni if desired and top with cheese.  Just warm until the cheese melts.  Quick and easy! Yum!

Writing: Cooking is a great way to lead into "How to..." writing.  If this is your first How to... writing write it on chart paper as an example.  Or you can have students write the steps in their own "How to..." booklet.  Stop over at this previous post about How to writing!  You can pick up a How to... booklet for free.  Click Here.

"Would you help me share this post? said the blogger.
"I will!" said the author.
"I will!" said the parent.
"I will!" said the teacher.
And they did!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Writing

Fall is my favorite season!  I love everything about it!  The leaves are all changing now and they are just gorgeous!

Our test scores have show that informational knowledge needs improvement so instead of using a cute Fall book I chose to read a nonfiction book on Fall. 
The kids couldn't contain their excitement in sharing what they've done in the Fall which was the same as in the book.  Then we brainstormed what we love to do int the Fall.

Students then wrote their own favorites things to do on lined leaf paper.
Each could start with In Fall I like ...
We cut it out and glued to Fall colored construction paper.  Then using squared tissue paper glued it around the border.  Such a beautiful project.

Some other October things we worked on were our fire safety facts.  After reading Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill and going to Fire Safety Day the students wrote facts that they learned about on the belly of their fireman.  We hung them on their lockers.

We started our space unit in October too!  Busy month!  Our new art teacher did these wonderful drawings.  They used craypas on felt and splatter painted white to look like stars.  
They turned out so cute.

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