Tuesday, January 28, 2014

State Testing

State testing is soon approaching! My 4th graders will take the Writing portion of the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP), which is a series of annual assessments in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. These test determine whether a student has mastered the content of the academic standards.

So, in preparation for our upcoming tests I would like to share a few testing resources that I have found and created myself.

Here is a Testing Strategies anchor chart I created for my students, hanging on our anchor wall. 

Here are some products I created for testing!

Last here are some resources I collected on Pinterest

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Peek at Our Week

    Last week was a long week due to Interval testing and Thanksgiving break fast approaching. However, after testing we kept busy with numerous activities. Take a peek at our week!

1. Turkeys in Disguise

We started with a persuasive writing to convince our families why we shouldn't eat turkey for Thanksgiving. We brainstormed some ideas and then students wrote a 3 paragraph essay giving their reasons and details. Then to conclude the lesson they disguised a turkey. Here are a few of the best ones.

Here's a student's sample writing.

2. Skype Call

Next was a Skype call to a 4th grade class in Maine. The teacher from Maine @jennygr4 contacted me through Twitter asking if we would be interested in skyping with her class to compare and contrast our states. Of course we were interested! She sent over a list of questions they would be asking us, and we researched the answers to get ready for the Skype call. During the call, I had a few students volunteers who answered the questions and then we had our turn to ask them the same questions. Great way to learn about another state!

3. Our PreK Friends

On Friday we visited a PreK class to share a Thanksgiving story and help them with a turkey craft.
Fun Times!

4. Baby Shepherd

Went in last Friday for my last ultrasound. Baby Shepherd is 20 weeks along!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Veterans Day, Webmix, Skype Call, Grammar Songs & Kidblog

So happy to be able to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. 

Here's a look at our week!

1. On Monday we celebrated Veterans Day by watching a video on "Armed Forces" on Brainpop, and then created an outline of the key points mentioned. Finally, we came together as a class and created the anchor chart (Pinterest inspired)  "We Love Our Veterans" using our notes. The anchor chart was a great addition to our foldables we made last week on the Causes and Effects of the American Revolution. 

2. Wednesday we had our first Skype call with @sarahallen's 5th grade class in Missouri. They shared their vertebrae riddles with us, and we did a great job at guessing what they were. Their riddles inspired us so much that we are planning to create our own on important figures from the American Revolution next week. If you are interested in hearing our riddles leave me a comment below.

3. Last week I tweeted that I was looking for an activity for my 4th graders and @sabuller replied back to me with an awesome Thanksgiving web mix that she created. I then created a Scavenger Hunt for students to complete in centers and we finished it up today in computer lab.

4. After students completed their web mix in computer lab today they also made a post on Kidblog of what they are Thankful for. Check out their posts here! They would love you or your student's comments.

5. Finally, all this week during morning work we have been discussing parts of speech. My student teacher taught the students two songs to help them remember linking verbs and pronouns. 

Here they are- 



Monday, November 4, 2013

Our Trucker Buddy Visits

    Three years ago I found out about Trucker Buddy through a blog post, and for the past three years my class and I have been buddies and communicating via email with Mr. Eason.
   Today Mr. Eason visited our class and gave my students an introduction about himself, information about his profession and where he has been the last 10 weeks. The last 10 weeks he has been traveling to Alaska for his job. He shared with the students an awesome powerpoint that he put together with lots of pictures of his travels on the road, what he carried on his flatbed, and pictures of the beautiful Alaskan scenery.

Here is the Alaskan flag which he purchased for our class. 

The Alaskan newspaper....

And a mug he purchased just for me from Alaska. How thoughtful!

We love communicating with our trucker buddy, and we can't wait for his next visit. Next time he plans to bring his truck so we can take a tour. It was in the shop being repaired for this visit. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Classroom Magazines

Last school year, I wrote a grant through Donors Choose requesting a class subscription to Scholastic News and Time for Kids. Well the magazines have been coming in like crazy, that sometime it's hard to keep up with them.
  However,  we've used them in numerous ways so far such as:

  • reading the debate that is located on the back page of the Scholastic News magazine and writing our own opinion statements and posted to our Kidblog
  • reading them daily to keep up with the current events
  • we also use them on Friday to closely analyze an article and answer map related questions
  •  And this week we will be using them to learn how to write outlines.
I also plan to use them in the next month to teach students about non-fiction text features, introduce the structure of texts and finding the main idea.

How do you use these magazines in your classroom? 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Making Connections

I have been away from my blog for way too long. This is the first time in the last two years since I've started my blog that I haven't posted in at least a month's time.

Here's my excuse. My husband and I are expecting baby #4, and our boys are so excited! So needless to say I've been exhausted when I get home from work, which has led me to neglecting my blog. However, I am entering the second trimester so I'm hoping for my energy to soon make a come back.

My post for today is about how my students and I make connections. Making connections gives students an authentic learning experience. It allows students to have a more positive attitude towards learning, and creates opportunities for learners to collaborate and produce polished products. 

My students have pen pals in New York and Iowa, whom we write to at least once a month. We just sent out our first pen-pal letters introducing ourselves and asking our pen-pals a few questions. 

We are also collaborating with a class in California on a Geography project. They are sending us information on California, and we are sending them information on Louisiana. We are just finishing up our first product, which is a map of Louisiana outlining all of our 64 parishes. We have also written in our state symbols on the side. 

We have also made a connection with a class in France, who has already sent us a letter describing their class and their country. We are still working on ours.

Last but not least, our class is still connecting with our trucker buddy who has collaborated with me for the past two years. He has already sent us pictures from his travels to Canada, and we are looking forward to seeing pictures to his next destination to Alaska. 

How do you make connections? 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

French Postcard Exchange

A french teacher who found my blog via Pinterest is doing a project this year with her 9-10 year old students on North America. She is looking for US teachers who would be interested in exchanging postcards with her class. If you are interested leave me a comment below with your state and your email address. I'll send her the information, and she'll send you an email in reply with her school address so you can start the exchange.

Hope you'll participate! This is a great opportunity for your students.