Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Halloween--Task Card Halloween Haven and FREEBIE

 This year Halloween falls on a Friday.  I'm guessing it's going to weigh right up there with a full moon, so I've been thinking of things to do that are educational, "fun"ctional, and Halloween related.  Lately, my favorite thing to do in my classroom is task cards.  I love using them in stations or my new love and obsession--Scoots.

Directions for a Scoot!
1.  Assign each desk a number.  Put the corresponding task card on that desk.  I have my student put up cubbies around the card (see direction on how to make your own, cheap cubbies below).

2. Students read the card on the desk and put the answer on his/her answer sheet.  You can use the one that comes along with the task cards, or if your copies are limited, you can just use a regular sheet of paper.
3. After approximately 1 minute (may be more or less time depending on your class and the level of difficulty), the teacher calls out the word SCOOT.
4. All children rotate (or scoot to the next desk) in order (you of course determine the order that workds for you and your classroom).
5 Students continue through until all task cards have been answered. 

These are a great, quick assessment !  I've posted all of my latest Halloween task carts/scoots.  Nothing in my store is more than $2!

Click here to check them out!
The following Halloween themed topics for 2-5 are covered:
My best seller--Verb Tenses
Cause and Effect
Fall comparative and superlative adjectives
Conjunctions--coordinating and subordinating
Adjectives and Adverbs
Fact and Opinion
Multiplication Task Cards
5th grade CC aligned decimal review
3rd grade math review
Fall Unknown Factors Multiplication
Fall Unknown Factors Multiplication and Division
Unknown Factors-Multiplication
Addition with regrouping
Fall Unknown Factors- Division

Don't have cubbies?  Make these easy, cheap cubbies to keep your friends from being distracted:

Simple take two file folders, overlap them, and staple--two on the top and two on the bottom.  Voila!  There you have a cubbie/secret keeper/cubicle/office...whatever you want to call it!  :)

One last know I'm a freebies kind of gal...I wouldn't let you down now.  Head on over to my TPT for a Tic Tac Treat Freebie (simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).  Another great thing to do on Halloween!  

 Spook on!  :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

You've Got it in the Bag!

As most of you know, I'm all about playing games in the classroom.  If I'm bored, then they are bored, and sadly....I bore easily.  This is an easy and cheap, but fun game that kids can play when reviewing for an assessment.  It does require your putting a couple of things together, but it won't take more than five minutes to prepare, and you'll have it for the life of the bag.

Educational Game--Review

 Preparing the game:
1.  Print off these templates from my google docs.
(BTW, when you look at the doc in google docs, it doesn't look right, but it does download right.  Weird.)
2.  Collect three grocery bags from your local grocer.
3.  Glue the 100 template to one bag, the 200 to another, and the 300 to another.
4.  Bring in a small ball, around the size of a tennis/baseball. If you don't have one and don't want to buy one, take a couple of sheets of paper and ball them up.
5.  Gather a list of questions to ask the students for review.

1.   Line the bags up one behind the other (you determine how far apart the bags should be and where they should stand to shoot the ball according to your student's age and skill).
2.  Divide the class into teams (this can vary...I use two)
3.  Ask Team A, student 1 a question.  If the answer is incorrect, nothing happens and you move on to the next team.  If the answer is correct he/she gets 100 points on the scoreboard for getting it right.  That student then has the opportunity to shoot the ball into whichever bag he/she would like (100, 200, or 300).  If the student misses, no points are awarded.  If the ball goes in the bag, the student's team receives the amount of points on the outside of the bag.
4.  Repeat with Team B, student 1 and so on.
5.  At the end, we add up all the points to determine the winning team.  Of course, in the upper grades, the students will have been doing mental math all along. 

Bag on.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throw Back Thursday Linky--Back to School

Today I'm linking up with The First Grade Parade for Throw Back Thursday!   With the beginning of school right around the corner, I thought it was time to start thinking about Back to School Night.  Here is a post from September 28, 2012.  Enjoy!  :)

Back to School Night 
Last night was Back to School Night for my school.  Of course this time is designed to make sure our parents are "in the know" about what happens in the fifth grade.   We do a PowerPoint and go over the EXTREMELY condensed version of the curriculum, upcoming field trips, what's expected of them, etc. Blah, blah, blah.  This is also a great time for our kids to showcase their work.  I always make sure that the hallway is decked out and there is something on their desks that they are proud of to share with their parents.  Here are a couple of projects we show off:
Shades of summer: In Writer's Workshop the kids write at least two paragraphs about what they did this summer.  They publish their work and then make these awesome faces to go along with the writing.  They draw  pictures representing the writing in the shades.  Quite funny!

Mrs. Hager's Fifth Graders Are Starting Off on the Right Foot:  The right foot is traced and then they draw their foot just like they see it.  The kids do a nametag glyph to go under each of their right feet. 

Bio Poems and Silouettes:  The students create their Bio Poems and then make thier own silouettes.  We did this activity when I was younger.  This is when I realized that I had no chin from the profile view!  lol

Paper Class: My favorite part of Back to School Night is the fake class. You let the kids trace each other onto bulletin board paper (or you trace them yourself), then you let them design themselves. When finished you tape them up in their seats so that when the parents walk in they see a class full of fake kids. It cracks me up every year!! The parents love it, but even more...the kids love it. Here are a couple of my faves from the 5th grade:

What great ideas do you have for Back to School Night??? 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mother Lode of Creative Writing Prompts

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!  I spent the day yesterday procrastinating from unpacking, painting, and cleaning.  The good news?  I found some incredible sites for writing!  My kids in the past have always been more interested in my writing lessons that have been centered around images.  I decided to do a google search to find some interesting pictures that they could write from and I came across the mother lode!!!

 If you don't know about Luke Neff already, you MUST click here.  His writing prompts are A-mazing!  They are geared to the upper grades, but I can completely see some higher fourth graders or any fifth graders digging these prompts. For you younger grade teachers, I can see you getting some good ideas and adapting them to meet the needs of your kids.  I spent hours yesterday going through his archived prompts.  Again...A-mazing!  I will definitely be using some of them next year in my writing block!  If you are overwhelmed by the amount of writing prompts at my link above, here is a list of Luke's "most tried and true" writing prompts he uses.  If you have the time though, it's worth going through the others as well.  Of course, some of the prompts are way too difficult and/or not appropriate for the younger students, so use your best judgment! :) 

In one of Luke's posts, he mentions Karen Hallion.  She has these really cool images of different Disney characters in front of a booth of some sort, among other things.  Click here for her cool images that could really stimulate some creative writing!  Here, here, here, here are other sites I found with good pictures to write about. 

And wait...what about video writing prompts?  Check out this great writing prompt from Teacher Hub.  Click here for Teacher Hub's complete list of video writing prompts.  Here is a Pinterest page with a bunch of video prompts (most of which are from Teacher Hub). 

Now if this post doesn't keep you busy for hours....well...then you're nothing like me.  LOL  I was sucked in for HOOOOUUUURRRRS!! 

Write on.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

From VA Lovers to GA Peaches & Contractions

 I'VE MOVED!  I'm no longer a Virginia blogger....I'm now a Georgia blogger.  The move has been in the works for quite some time, but I was just worried to go public for fear of jinxing myself.  I've moved to the greater ATL area and I'll be teaching 5th grade next year!  (good thing because 5th Grade Rocks, 5th Grade Rules just wouldn't be the same)  My life has been one big ball of stress for the last couple of months, but with the move all has calmed (knock on wood) and hopefully it's smooth sailing from here.

Other news, better late than never, I've been selected as one of the Top 30 Blogs on the site Top Teaching Colleges!  Cool!  This is pressure to get me back on track and blog like I used to!  I'm going to try to catch up (I have a million pictures of all the things I WANTED to blog about and have never gotten to). 

Okay, so now onto why you read this blog to begin with....


You've probably seen my post on an easy, cheap way to practice plurals (Posting Plurals).  Well, this year, some of my kids struggled with contractions, so I did the exact same thing (see picture below--self-explanatory), but with contractions instead.  It was a great review.  Click here for a fun rock song, here for an R&B song, here for the lyrics to a rap.  Check out Carl's Corner to see a bunch of activities on contractions.
My life.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HELP ME...if I've helped you!!

Have I shared an idea with you that has impacted your student's learning in a positive way?  Have you benefited from something I've created or shown?  I'm currently pursuing my National Boards and would like to use this blog as one of my accomplishments.  I have to verify with documentation that this accomplishment shows me as a learner, leader, and collaborator; what better way to show than an email from one of you providing me with some positive feedback?  If you are willing to write an email (doesn't have to be long, but does have to be convincing) about how I have collaborated, helped, inspired, shared, etc through this blog and some how what I have shared has helped your students in some way, please send it to and tell me all about it.  Please! Please!  Please!  :)  I would greatly appreciate it!  The sooner I'm done with these boards, the sooner I'm back to blogging!  :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Review Time

I know I've been a terrible blogger--do I still even qualify as a blogger?  I'll explain it all later (why I've been MIA) but just wanted to quickly share a couple of my favorite review videos, as the state tests creep up on us!

First of all, my new FAVORITE videos are from Flocabulary, a site that reviews concepts through hip hop.  My kids are enthralled!  It covers writing, reading, math, science, and some social studies.  This is a paid site, but you can get a two week free trial.  It's only $5 a month...and I feel like it's worth it.  They do free songs and videos each month as well if your trial is up or you can't do the $5.  Click here to see the free titles.  So far, my favorites are prefixes, story elements, figurative language, states of matter, and energy. 

Also, on YouTube, here are a couple of my favorites: 
Cells:  Parts of a cell
Rocks:  Fossil Rocks
Order of Operations: Mr. QUE PEMDAS
Prime: prime numbers rap
***Thanks to a follower Ecosystems:  Mr. Parr

Here is a link to all Study Jams (all free). 
My favorite Study Jams:
Air Masses: fronts
Plants:  Photosynthesis
Water Cycle:  water cycle
Fractions:  Fractions are your friend
Matter:  solids, liquids, gases
Rocks:  Rock Cycle

Also, don't forget Brainpop and Brainpop Jr.! 

For those of you who teach atoms, I leave you with a little adult, cheesy humor:

Study on.