Student Treasures Books and Writing Freebies!

Free Student Book PublishingFor the last few years our school has been using Student Treasures.  This is a company that prints student stories into a hard cover book!  It's very exciting to have.

We go through the whole writing process to get a final story.  I go through each step very slowly.  First it's modeled on my interactive whiteboard.  I have a Promethean.  If you want a copy of it, click here!
After I model each part we do a "Stop, pair, share".  Verbalizing their ideas is really helpful in getting it on the paper.    Click on a photo below to get the Activinspire flipchart for free.  Make sure you have the software to download it!

We work with a beginning, middle and end writing packet.  Some students would love to write their whole story on the first page and be done with it!  But that wouldn't make a very long or interesting story!  We go back and do a lot of revising and "digging" for ideas!  We add details and adjectives.  Click here for a copy of the writing BME packet.  Have fun with your writing!

Are you going bananas??

Is your class driving you bananas?  It's that time of year!  They all have the spring fever, summer bug, the indoor blues or whatever disease you want to call it!

I put the kids into groups and we are working on being a community or a neighborhood!  They are divided into color groups.  I named them so creatively! Red Racers... Green Racers... (see the pattern!)

Then each group chose a leader for their group.  This was a little bit of a challenge!  They all wanted to be a leader.  I had to encourage them to figure it out.  I gave them ideas as to what a good leader is and then some said oh that's not me! They wrote their name on the sheet with Vis-a-Vis pens.

Then they had to work as a community/team to pick their jobs.  I reminded them they get to rotate.  I explained that the whole community is responsible to complete the jobs.  If someone is absent or forgets they need to help each other out.  I glued these pockets on the 3 sides and after laminating I used a blade to cut the opening.

These are now hanging on the side of their desks with a magnet.  They are folded in half like a folder.  
When I see communities working together, following rules, or keeping their area clean and organized I give them a "monkey"! These are the Barrel of Monkeys.  Wish they came in different colors!  I have a string with a paperclip hanging from the ceiling.  The groups can earn monkeys.  They can also lose monkeys.  Today when they were talking, I took one away.  It helped at least for a little while.  At the end of the week I will give them a jungle buck for each monkey hanging.  I had gotten my Jungle Bucks from but it is no longer working. :(

If you think you'd like to try this out you can pick up your own copies... Here!
Good Luck with the end of the year and let me know if you try this and how it is working for you or did you make any tweaks that is making it run better.  To get through the end of the year I think we all need a bit of support! 

Or you could try out my other behavior system.  Behavior to Roar About


Wheelchair Basketball

We were so lucky to have the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Men's Wheelchair Basketball come for an assembly to our school.  My husband is the associate director of admissions at Whitewater and works with the team a lot and he asked them to do a favor and come to my school!  What an honor!!

Fifth through Eighth grade had students play against them and then they had the teachers.  It was rigged!  I got called up.  It was fun!  My daughter also got picked!
Here are some photos!

My daughter - she's in 6th grade!

Coach Dan - He had cancer as a young child and has been in the  wheelchair since then.
Double D had a great message for the kids.  He has spina bifida.
His message encouraged kids that they can do anything.
Double D demonstrated how they may fall over in their chairs but they have
belts to keep them in.  The following pictures shows Double D's amazing
way of getting back up!  

Assistant Coach Steve
Shai is from Israel.  He is a fantastic student.
He took 21 credits this semester and got 4.00!!
What a great role model!
Mr. Ott - 6th grade teacher!
All of the teachers that played attended UW-Whitewater!
Me - I tried a basket twice but no luck!  I can't shoot a basket standing let
alone sitting in a moving chair!
I have great respect for the players!
Miss Erikson - 5th Grade Teacher
Mr. Daniels - Phy Ed Teacher

We spent some time in class talking about disabilities and we watched a NBC video from the 2008 paralympics. The UW-W team was at the paralympics - what an accomplishment.

Fancy Nancy Freebie

For a few years now I have been doing a mini-unit with Fancy Nancy books.  The kids love reading them and there are so many to pick from.  The best is when we have our Fancy Nancy Book Tea and get all dressed up!  Everyone looks so dapper!

I've put together a few activities that I've done over the years.  You can grab it here or click on a picture.  Enjoy and please leave some feedback!

Have a great week!

Stop by Classroom Freebies for a lot more freebies and a chance to add your own!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies!

Classroom Freebies is giving everyone a chance to post their freebies on Monday on CF.   I post for Classroom Freebies, too!!  It's fun to share ~ so now it's your chance!!  Join us!!
Click above to go to the rules and see you tomorrow!!!

Seeds and Plants Unit

I've updated my unit to add these adorable Mr. Potato Head Pieces.  I originally had a link to another site that had these available but they are no longer available so I asked my wonderful brother to help me out!!  He did such a great job!!  So if you already purchased this unit.  I need you to re-download it!!  If you bought it from TpT or TN.


Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day from my class to yours!!

Yesterday we made water cycle bracelets.  
Light blue =  rain
Green =  grass
Dark blue = puddle
Yellow = sun
Crystal = Evaporation
White = clouds

Have a great weekend!!


Be Funky!!

Well I tried some technology with the kids art work.  A website called Be Funky has a lot of possibilities.

The students pencil drew a spring picture, traced it with black marker and then painted it with water paints.

I took pictures of each students work so we could upload them into Be Funky.  That took a little bit of time. I put the photos in a shared file so each child would have access and labeled them with their names.  I thought I was really planned and organized and then the tech guy updated the computers but forgot to add in flash.  So one bank of computers wouldn't work!  Ugh!  The best laid plans... 

After they uploaded the photos they were able to make effects on their art work.  Here are some examples:

Kind of wild and funky - heh??

Tomorrow we're going to mount them and then write a couplet poem about spring. I'll post finished projects hopefully tomorrow.


Earth Day Shirts and 2 freebies if you missed them

Today we started making our hand print Earth Day shirts!  They always turn out so cute!  It's a little messy but well worth it!  Here are just a few photos of us starting.  If you want to make them click here to my previous posts on how to make them.  Day 1 and Day 2 process.

If you missed the following two freebies - click on them to go to those posts!!  Happy Earth Day!!
Click above to go to this post and pick up this freebie.

You can also pick up this word wall bingo that focuses on recycling.


Poet Tree and a freebie

We started working on poetry today.  I began by reading aloud the poem Shout from the book Shout! Little Poems that Roar by Brod Bagert.  This poem talks about how poems have rhythm and beat and silky sounds and that poems tell a story.  We then made a poetry (poet tree) anchor chart on the promethean board.  This was inspired by Life in First Grade.  Click to see her link.
Click above to go to Amazon.

I have been taking pictures of my anchor charts and putting them in plastic sleeves for a binder.  I can't remember whose blog I saw this in.  If you know let me know and I'll give credit.  It is working great because I have cinder block walls and tape will not stick and the chart paper is too flimsy to stay up other ways.  What a space saver too!!  I took a picture but can't get it off my camera - ugh. I'll keep working at it. Here's a copy of the cover sheet I made for the binder.  Click Here!

We started working on writing couplets today and clapping out the rhythms on on our legs.  They did a great job.  I used Evan-Moor Take It to Your Seat - Writing Centers for inspiration.  Tomorrow they will start working on their own.  They come in other grade levels.  I've laminated them for durability.  I love the response sheets they have.  Click on the book to go to Evan-Moor.

This isn't the neatest board work but they came up with rhymes.  We had to stop and they said awww can we do more!  Gotta love when they're inspired to work!!


Birthday Sale Ends Tonight

Well, my birthday is almost over!  It was a nice day!  My hubby sent me flowers!  I left my camera at home so no picks.

My 3 year old told me what I was getting for my birthday 2 weeks ago ... He told me that daddy bought me a "candle fire!"  KINDLE FIRE!!  Whahoo!  So I got that early.  So tonight they gave me the cover!  What a great family and I love my kindle!  I'm working on sharing books with others now.

Don't forget to go to my sale at TpT and TN!! Ends tonight!!
40% off at Teachers Notebook and 20% off at TpT!!


Word Wall Bingo Printables - Grab a Freebie!

I like to play bingo with the firsties to review the word wall words.  Students have to write the words in the printable so they get some extra practice.  You call out the words and if they have it they color the spot in.  The first one to fill in all the spots wins.  You can also use bingo chips for multiple uses.

Click above to get all 8 for only $2.00.  The kids will love you!

Click above to get this printable for free.

I just became a new contributor on Classroom Freebies too!  I am so excited!!  Stop on by!
Classroom Freebies Too

Don't forget about my birthday sales - 40% off at Teachers Notebook and 20% off at TpT!! Today and tomorrow only!

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