Saturday, September 21, 2013

Five for Fraturday - Science, Math, Writing, Reading, and More!

So, I DID start writing this 5 for Friday post for Doodle Bugs Teaching's Linky on Friday! Once again things got busy and it just wasn't in the cards to get this post published before the clock struck midnight!

So this was another busy week that just seemed to fly by! Here goes:

1. Pictures!

This week we had Fall Picture Day! I was sooo busy on the first day of school that I never managed to get my kiddos' pictures! Aagh! So I just decided to wait til Picture Day to get them because I knew they'd be dressed up! 

I hung this fancy green frame with fishing line from the ceiling. I had prepared these photo booth props for kids to use for the pictures and they turned out really cute. There were several mustaches, lips, bow ties, and glasses to choose from, each attached to the end of a dowel. 

2. Ecosystems Scoot!

We've been studying biomes and ecosystem stuff in Science lately, and this set of cards was a perfect check-in to see what we knew and didn't know still.

The kids LOVE playing Scoot, and the best thing is that they don't even realize that they are basically taking a test! 
Grab yourself a lifetime supply of copies of this game for just $3 by heading over to my store!

3. Read Bead Board version 2013!

I've talked about my Read Beads in previous posts, but didn't have a picture of my display board for this year until now! Here it is! 

I leave the board up all year long. Those fall leaves will turn into snowflakes, then spring flowers, then green leaves as we pass through the seasons. 

Kids LOVE collecting the read beads, and I think it makes a handsome display outside my room's door and takes the pressure off constantly worrying about changing the board.

4. Writing Workshop - Mentor Texts & Writing Activity

This week in Writer's Workshop we took a break from writing Small Moment Narratives to do a different kind of activity. I started the week by reading the book Fortunately to the kids. This book follows a pattern that goes back and forth between things like "Fortunately I was invited to a party!" "Unfortunately the party was in Florida, and I live in New York." "Fortunately a friend lent me his plane!" and so on. Unfortunately (ha!) this book is lacking in strong adjectives and vivid verbs. After reading it to get the pattern down, the kids begin writing their own stories. 

The next day I read Fortunately, Unfortunately to the kiddos. This book follows the same pattern, but features an occasional adjective that spices up the writing. We make note of that, and then we begin editing our stories by adding in interesting words.

Finally, I read That's Good! That's Bad! to the kids on the third day. This story follows a similar pattern, but the difference is that nearly every page is packed with strong adjectives and vivid verbs! The kids really can see the difference that those interesting words make. We pull out Fortunately at this point and practice by sticking in good words. The kids continue editing their pieces at this point (and now they really have the hang of it!)

On the fourth day we don't read a picture book, because instead we share our own "Fortunately" stories!

5. Measurement and Addition in Math

In Math this week we started working on lines, segments, and measuring perimeter of triangles and quadrilaterals. One of my independent centers this week involved the use of my newest TpT product, these Insect Measurement Task Cards. The cards have detailed photos of some unique bugs on them. I post the cards around the room, and when kids get to that center they get to walk around the room with their record sheet and go on a "bug hunt." I asked my kids to measure all of the bugs and then add up the measurements. Anytime you can practice multiple skills while keeping the kids highly engaged is a win in my book! Task cards beat out a worksheet any day...but they are essentially getting the same practice! Grab up a copy of my cards for just $2 and use them in your classroom for years to come!

So that made up a big portion of my week! Of course a whole lot more went down than that, but those were definitely some of the highlights! I managed to make it home with a little less work on my plate than the past three weekends! I'm hoping that I'll keep getting ahead a little more each week!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing what you did with your quick activity of using Fortunately, Fortunately, Unfortunately and That's Good! That's Bad! I'm ordering these books today (hooray for Amazon Prime) and plan to use them next week with my kids. I tried to have them replace "dead verbs" with vivid verbs as part of their revisions last week and discovered they don't know what a verb is! I had to scrap my plans and we've backed up a bit and talked about simple sentences, diagrammed them, began working on helping verbs (learning the song to help memorize them), made an entry in our notebook putting dead verbs to rest. So, your idea will be a great follow-up to really explicitly teach them exactly what I want them to do. I also made a set of vivid verb alphabet cards to put up in the room as a resource. Thanks for your inspiration!

    Are We There Yet?

  2. That green frame is awesome. What a great idea. We have picture day this week as well, so I may be stealing it!
    The Wild Rumpus 

  3. How do you do your Small Moment Narratives? Those Writer's Workshop books sound excellent!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  4. I just love your idea of scaffolding a writing piece with a new mentor text each day! So great that they get to immediately put into action the tips and tricks they have learnt from each book, rather than having to cast their minds back. :)

    I popped over to vist you from the linky.
    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  5. I have never heard of those books, but will definitely be checking them out- thanks for the great suggestions, Nick! When the students write their own stories, do you give them a template to work off of or just have them write it on plain notebook paper?

    Joy in the Journey


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