Monday, October 29, 2012

Personalized Pumpkin Writing Activity

I sit here tonight wishing and praying for a weather closing tomorrow!!! I could really use a day off already this week and it is ONLY Monday!!

Last week my kiddos completed my yearly Personalized Pumpkin activity.  First they color their own pumpkin on the given pumpkin.  After they finish coloring (without anyone peeking), they describe their pumpkin with a great paragraph, including an interesting hook.  Not the boring old "This is how I drew my pumpkin" or "I am going to tell you about my pumpkin".  The last is my absolute pet peeve!  BORING!

Anyway, after they draw and write, I collect their pumpkins and mix them up.  The kids stand in a circle and get a pumpkin which is not their own.  They hold their writing toward them and the new pumpkin facing the group.  One kid starts and reads their writing description.  They other kids then try to see which one is the person reading.  The kids love it and so do I.  Here are some pictures from after the activity.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oh no, say it isn't so. Not the big 3-0!

So, it is official! I am now 30!!! Eeek where has the time gone?  I really didn't have a problem with turning 30, just keep thinking how did my daughters get so old so fast!!!
Anyway, my lovely best friends at work didn't let me forget my 30th birthday was Friday.  Here is what I walked into at work Friday morning:

And then these were down the hallways to my room:

And then on my door was the final one:

So all day the kids in the building kept following the balloons to see whose birthday it was and then wished me happy 30! 

Oh, that wasn't it either!! Every 30 minutes a student from my past came and delivered a little gift to me, not quietly either.  They opened the door loudly and yelled "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!"  It was so cute!  The day wasn't as crazy as I thought it would be since it was payback from a few years ago when one of my friends (my special education co-teacher) turned 50.  We put 50 balloons in her room and tons of Over the Hill decorations.  I figured payback would be way worse!!!

Overall it was a great day and then to top it off my hubby and I went to the melting pot!!

I'll be back tomorrow to post about what we have been doing lately!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Awesome Giveaway!

Head over to Ms. Fultz's Corner for a FABULOUS birthday giveaway!  We share the same birthday--date and year, how cool is that???

Too bad I wasn't doing a giveaway (maybe once I hit 100 followers)... (But first I need to post more often and as promised I will after volleyball ends this week! Yay!!!)  So head over there and enter Christi's great giveaway!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Explanatory Writing Fun and updates!

Explanatory writing has always been part of our fourth grade curriculum, but we never taught it very often, maybe one or two short writing pieces and one bigger one.  This year, I've decided to implement all of the different writing pieces the common core requires more frequently.  So a few weeks ago I started off teaching the kids transition words and having them use them in a fun "How to Slide Down a Slide" writing piece, from Teaching Madness, along with a great game called "What's Next".  I highly recommend this mini unit.  I haven't used all of the materials, since I want to revisit explanatory writing throughout the year. 

After a couple small writing pieces, we went on to publish "How to Blow a Bubble" for our Open House display.  I purchased "A Mind Blowing, Bubble Bursting, Lip-Smaking Project- POP" from Teachers pay Teachers since I wanted a fun activity to do for Open House.  I used a little bit from this project and used my own "person" for the kids to decorate to represent themselves.  The kiddos glued their writing to pink paper and attached their drawing on the bottom.  We then put pink balloons in to look like bubble gum.  (The balloons are now deflating...)  I was so proud of how they all turned out just in time for Open House.  I still have a bunch of activities left to fit in sometime since we ran out of time that week! 

Just a few examples
Half of the hallway .... more on the other side since we had 69 kids
We have also been focusing on roots and started review three easier prefixes (un-, re-, and pre-).  Each time we focus on one the kids get a copy of the tree and make their own leaves based on words we come up with.  Each tree goes into their Reader's Notebook in the Roots section.  Here is a picture of our bulletin board so far...

Finally!!! My Nonfiction book cart arrived finally after being on backorder since August.  I was so excited to be able to put out some nonfiction books for the kids to read.  They aren't all organized yet, but will be shortly.
Our class reading competition is under way.  Look at all of those scoops on the wall!  Each scoop represents a book read.  The kids are really enjoying reading this year and get excited to mark in their reading log and put up a scoop.  They are really trying hard to read from different genres too!  (Sorry for the bad pictures, my camera ran out of battery before I could take better pictures!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

So crazy busy...

Yes, I am still alive but have been so busy planning our volleyball team's second annual Dig Pink game.  On Friday, my volleyball team wore pink jerseys, decorated the gym with streamers and balloons, had a crowd serving contest, sold t-shirts, raffled off items, and had a 50/50, all in support of breast cancer.  We are hoping to raise more than $500, since we raised that last year. 

So I promise in about two or three weeks I will try to post more often about my fourth grade ELA classroom, but until then, my family and volleyball and of course the mass amounts of planning I've been doing in this new position are taking over my life!