Check out this amazing site that has compiled a list of apps and how to use them effectively.
Today My 4th graders had a big dream, a dream to go to college.

Just a few weeks ago, during Morning Meeting, my student teacher Mrs. Ahmad asked the students who planned on attending college. Very few student hands went up, and even one said, " I don't want to go!" Well, that's all it took for my student teacher to put together a field trip they would never forget, where they could begin to dream "Big".

Upon arrival, the students were greeted by the Dean of Education.

Then they were given a Math lesson on "Transformations" by Dr. Germaine McCarthy, who was my professor 10 years ago.

Next, was a shared reading by Dr. Austin. She shared two wonderful books titled Pitching for Eubie by Jerdine Nolen and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba. They were both wonderful and had two great themes that represented the underlying purpose of our field trip well, which was hard work and persistence comes success.

Then we continued our trip with a tour of the campus. Here is a shot of the University Library.

Then the best part of the field trip came, according to the students, which was lunch at the University Center. Students were treated by an anonymous donor to an all you can eat buffet. Students had their choice of salad, chicken sandwiches, soup, hamburgers, grilled cheese, fries, baked chicken, mash potatoes, veggies and dessert. I've never seen kids eat so much!

Finally, we toured the Recreation center and the dormitories.

Then back to school we went, where students received certificates for attending college for a day. The university also gave them pens, lanyards and a necklace.


Friday was an exciting day for my Shining Stars. Our trucker buddy came to visit!

Back in October, while reading a few teacher blogs I came across a post introducing me to the Trucker Buddy Organization. I immediately went to the site, and I signed us up to correspond with a trucker. My initial thought was a hope for an amazing experience. Now in February, with our visit and all of our corresponding emails, I have definitely confirmed my initial thoughts.

The students were so excited to meet our Trucker Buddy, Mr. Eason. When he entered our classroom he sat and chatted with students about his recent experiences and took numerous questions from the students. Although, some of the boys were quite fixed on asking him if he was ever in danger. Then students were given a tour from Mr. Eason to see his 10-wheeler. They each sat in his chair and toured the back of his truck. Finally, he opened the engine for them to see what it takes for an 10-wheeler to run. It was a wonderful opportunity and experience.

Our Trucker Buddy Visit on PhotoPeach

There were definitely fireworks at the end of my lesson today. There was also some singing of the song
Fireworks by Katy Perry.

Today's lesson purpose was for students to identify, label and explain figurative language in the song Fireworks. I began the lesson by telling my students I wanted them to listen, really listen and try hard not to make a sound. So , they did and as they listened to the song played from my iPhone interesting looks on their faces swept across my classroom. Then as the song progressed I began calling out "that was a simile, I heard a metaphor," and then students were telling me in unison onomatopoeia. After the song concluded, I then gave students a copy of the lyrics and in collaborative groups of 4 they began to identify, label and explain the types of figurative language in each verse. They loved it!!! They will definitely listen to this song in a whole new way. Thanks to Tracee Orman for creating this lesson, which can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Do you have students who are always off task? Or students who just aren't getting it because it is not fun, and they are obviously bored?

Well, thanks to Whole Brain Teaching Strategies and techniques my classroom environment has dramatically changed. My students are engaged in purposeful talk, applying skills and completing purposeful and meaningful products.

The Whole Brain teaching lesson that I am currently using is the Genius Ladder. My students are writing paragraphs everyday, and not just simple paragraphs but complex paragraphs including compound sentences, descriptive words and transitions just to name a few. It is so exciting to not only see my Regular Ed students achieving, but also my Special Needs students.

Here is a colleague of mine demonstrating the Genius Ladder in her classroom with her 3rd graders. She is the one who inspired me to begin! Thanks Lisa!!

This week during shared reading, I read aloud Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. I used this book to review figurative language such as similes discussed last week and introduced new figurative language such as metaphors, onomatopoeia, personification and hyperbole.

In preparation for the lesson, I went through the book and typed out all sentences that contained figurative language. Students gathered on the rug with their partners and were given the handout. I then began the shared reading and stopped periodically to allow students to engage in purposeful talk by identifying the figurative language and proving how they were able to identify each.

Tomorrow's lesson will involve students working again with their partners to identify,label and explain the types of figurative language or poetic devices used in song lyrics. We are going to analyze Katy Perry's song "Firework." I found this lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers as a free download. The lesson was created by Tracee Orman.
    Today was an exciting day in Room 3 for my Shining Stars. We participated in two Skype calls in which we hosted and presented information about the history of Mardi Gras including king cakes, throws and parades. We even ended our calls with our own parade marching around the room to "Mardi Gras Mambo" and some students throwing beads.

Our first Skype call was with @powell4thgrade .  You can view our Skype call below!

Last Friday, my partner teacher and I took our students to the local library. For some of our students this was their first visit. The purpose of the trip was to introduce students to the wealth of resources available to them in their local community, and to assist them with researching information on their upcoming Social Studies projects. Students were given a tour of the library and utilized the books and technology that were available. Most of the students also received their first library cards.
Check out one cool video, showcasing our schools' Positive Behavior Intervention Support rules. This video was created by an awesome third grade teacher, Mrs. Rodriguez, and her third grade class. Teachers are asked to show the video to their students three times and then have students sign a roster stating that they viewed the video and understand all rules of the school.

Have you or your students ever been to a Mardi Gras parade? Well if the answer is no, just leave me your email address below if you and your class would be interested in learning a little about Mardi Gras.

My students have been researching this week the history of Mardi Gras, king cake, beads and doubloons and local parades. They are taking this information and creating Mardi Gras Glogs based on the information collected and sharing some of their own personal experiences.
By signing up here your students will learn a little about Mardi Gras, see some of the throws that are caught and get to witness a second line.

Here are a few pics of my students hard at work gathering facts on Mardi Gras.

Back to Top