Monday, July 30, 2012

Reading Journal
I’ve been working on reading journals today. Many of my students have trouble identifying the Main Idea of a story.

So here are a few journal ideas to help solidify locating the “Main Idea”

This flip book shows the students the steps they need to do, to identify the main idea. 

 This “Pocket Full of Main Ideas” Uses the story “The Great Kapok Tree”.  Students write 2 facts and 2 opinions about the story.  Remember the opinions should be the author’s opinion.
The final pocket contains the main idea in the student’s own words formed by reading the facts and opinions.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Classroom Décor

I decided to make a “Reading Nook” for my students in my classroom.  I have an old unused classroom heater under my window in the room.  The past few years I’ve used it as a really nice size shelf….but now, I want a Reading Nook.  

So….here it is sitting in my garage ready to be assembled!

The heater is about 18 inches deep and 3 foot tall.

The tall pieces of wood that I painted green and covered the tops with striped denim (to avoid splinters on the portion the kids will lean against) will be screwed into the sides of the heater.  The students will sit on the heater and lean their back against the wood.

The bench I painted and recovered is an old piano bench I found. My husband cut off about 5 inches from the legs.  Students (2 small ones) can sit on here and lean against the front of the heater and read.  Students will also use the bench to access the top of the heater. The top of the heater will hold 2 students.  Each student will lean against one of the boards. I embroidered the pillows I made.  The students will use them while in the Reading Nook

Friday, July 27, 2012

Teacher Interview: 1st day of school

Make up index cards with only the answers to the questions on them.  Pass out the index cards to students.  Play “Who Has? I Have.”  Ask the class…..”Who thinks they have the card with the answer to this question: What is my favorite color?”  As each student answers, open up the conversation and discuss this part of your life.
When a student gives you the correct answer, take their card, but ask them a similar question and let them share with the class.

These are the questions I’ve decided to use.  Be sure you have a question for every student.

1.    Name of my horse…..Gracie
2.   Name of my daughter’s horse….Lady
3.   My youngest daughter’s name….Katie
4.   What I live on….farm
5.   My house cat’s name….Lily
6.   Another profession I have…..Artist
7.   One of my favorite hobbies….quilting
8.   My favorite subject in school…..Reading
9.   My least favorite subject in school…Math
10.  The subject I think is easiest to teach…..Math
11.   The hardest subject I think it is to teach….Grammar
12.  My favorite author….Lois Lowry
13.  My favorite chapter book…The Giver
14.  My favorite picture book…The other side of the fence
15.  My favorite color….green
16.  My daughter’s and Mrs. Hereford’s favorite color…..Purple
17.  How many children have I raised? …7
18.  How many total animals do I have?   11
19.  How long have I taught 4th grade? …..5 years
20.  What irritates me the most from students?........ Not trying
21.  Do we have homework on the weekends?  ……No.
22.  How much homework do we have?..... Depends on how you do in class
23.  What is the most important award in my classroom? …..Citizenship!
24.  What is my favorite food?.....  chocolate

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Math Journal

I Love this journal page!  The clip art is PERFECT!!!



Math Journal

Below are some more math journal pages I’ve made.  My kids are really enjoying them.  I want to remind everyone that these are not ORIGINAL ideas.  As with all teachers, we search the internet, read old books and magazines and search for new and old ways to reach our children.   Some of these ideas I would say are “original” to me, but I’m sure I have seen them somewhere!   Please share any of these ideas with fellow teachers. 



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Reading Journal

Open Ended Questions

4th grade is a time for learning to answer open-ended questions with a perfect paragraph.  Students learn to restate the question as a statement, add two detail sentences and a closing sentence that restates the topic. 
My students answer 3 open-ended questions every week.  As the first grading period comes to an end, they are proficient in changing questions into statements and writing good paragraphs.

 (A wee bit stilted, but perfect)


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Reading Journal

Vocabulary Work!

“Give Me Five” can be used for prefixes, suffixes and root words.  It can also be used for Writing on “Who, What, Where, When and Why”

Click here for Give Me Five--> Give Me Five


All About Me…Fact and Opinion

Divide students into pairs.  Students will interview each other and then complete the worksheet.
On the worksheet they must write 3 interesting facts about their partner and 3 positive opinions they formed about their partner.

Next, turn the worksheets into the teacher.
After you have checked the work, hand it back out the the student that it was written about and let them cut it out and put it in their journals.

Click here for Worksheet-->  Fact and Opinion About Me

Reading Journal

Story Structure Roller Coaster!
Students will love having a visual aid they can relate to for understanding rising and falling action in a story. 
Give each student the worksheet Click here 

Students will write 1 sentence on each coaster car
        Rising action àRising action àClimax àFalling Action

Students will write 1 sentence on each coaster car
        Rising action àRising action àClimax àFalling Action

The cars are labeled to help remind students what to write.
Also, the cars are colored to depict the rising action up to the climax (more intense color) to the cooler falling action color.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Reading Journals

Well, as you can see from the pictures, Reading Journals are definitely FUN !  Emily is having a BLAST   with them !!

This is a 4 panel book fold. You glue the last page to the journal.
One the first page the student will write the title and draw a picture,
Next, is the Setting…..then  Character……Conflict….and finally Resolution !


Math Journals

Division Help Pocket

The pictures in this are self explanatory on what to do.  The students will paste this into their MATH JOURNALS to use when they are doing math worksheets.

Chain of Events

(Story Sequence)

 This is a fun way to help students see the sequence in a story.  It can be changed for story elements, character traits or you name it!

 1.   Give the students 4 index cards with a hole punched in the middle (lengthwise)  at the top and bottom of each card. 
2.   On the 1st card, students will write the title and the author.  On the back side they will draw and color a scene that represents the story.
3.   On the 2nd card, students will write the beginning of the story and on the back side of that card illustrate a scene from this part of the story.
4.   Students will continue until the ending card.
5.   Spread open paperclips and connect them to the cards.
Hang them in the room. :)


Sunday, July 8, 2012

3 Forms of Numbers Card Game
My Set of 3 matching cards

Emily Playing the Game
My granddaughter and I went to the “Everything’s a Dollar” store and came up with a cool card game for students to play.  This game will reinforce the 3 forms of numbers, standard, expanded and word form, in a fun way.

I printed up 3 sheets of labels of various numbers in the 3 different forms. Next, I put the stickers on the backs of cards I purchased at the store.  (3 sets of cards for $1.00)  I’ve up loaded the labels that fit Avery 5260 and 5160 for you to use. 

Students can play the game in 2 different ways.  They can play it like “Go Fish” or using the “Rummy” rules.

I played this with my granddaughter and she preferred the Rummy way. She said it was more “challenging”. J
I plan on printing the rules of both games and let the players choose.

Everything you need to make your game is on the links below.  All you need to do is get an old set of playing cards or go to the Dollar store and get them.

I do plan on laminating my cards as I really think the kids will love this game and I want it to last!

Labels for your Avery 5160 or 5260 Click the link for your template

Click here for 1st sheet of number labels  Number labels

Click here for 2nd sheet of number labels  2nd sheet number labels

Click here for 3rd sheet of number labels 3rd sheet of number labels


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vocabulary Cubes
I got the idea to put sticky letters on unifix cubes from Pineterest.  I can’t remember who though.  I took the idea and applied it to our vocabulary practice. 
I used 3 packs of sticky letters so each player would be sure to have enough letters to make the words. 
You need 3 players.  One player is the “Reader”. The reader job rotates through all players.  The reader will read the definition for the word.  The reader will use the synonyms on the reader card as he/she reads it in a sentence.  The first player to correctly connect and spell the word wins a point.  Play continues till center rotation time is up.

The vocabulary game rule card is available on google doc by clicking the link below.


New Classroom Signs

Hey! I’ve been working on some new signs for my classroom.  My color scheme is Green, Pink and Yellow. 
These signs can be downloaded from Google Docs and you can edit them as you like.  At least I hope they download! 

I’ve taken some pictures so you can see what they look like and I’m embedding a link.  J 


Click Here for link --> Classroom Signs