1. First up is the Pipe Cleaner Challenge. Divide your students up into teams and give them the following supplies seen in the picture, a few sheets of tin foil and pipe cleaners and let them construct. This is a great activity to give you time to put away school supplies on the first day, conference with each student, check their reading fluency, and even see who your leaders are in each group. Click here or on the picture to read more about this activity.
2. Kidblog is definitely one of my students go to sites in my 4th grade classroom. I've been using Kidblog with my 4th grade classroom for over 5 years now. Each year I learn new things and find new ways to get students writing quality posts. Some benefits of Kidblog are students get to create a year-long writing portfolio, work on their typing skills, read and comment on student posts and write for an authentic audience. What I love even more is that you can tweet your URL using the has tag #comments4kids to get other students around the country to make comments on your students posts, even some teachers have taken the time to read and comment on posts. This is a great way to get students to have pride in their work and show their best when they know others will be reading their posts than just their teacher. So click here or the picture below to see a great starting activity for Kidblog.
3. Love this Kiss Your Brain Jar, by Second Grade Stuff. Each morning of the week my students complete either a Daily Oral Language Review Or a Daily Oral Reading Review, I alternate weeks. During the review, I always extend the answer by asking students to give me the definition or another example. If they can show a deeper understanding, I reward them with a Smartie. I still plan to do this, but I love the cute and simple jar to store them in instead of the Smartie bag next to my computer. Click on the picture below to read more on how Second Grade Stuff uses the jar in her classroom.
4. Prose Constructed Response Questions are what we are working on now with CCSS. It is always important to not only teach the Tier II and Tier III words that students may encounter within the question, but also teach and model how to answer all parts. The last few years I have used a strategy passed on by a co-worker, it is the SSP strategy or STEAL SENTENCE PROVE. It has worked great with my students, but I love this new acronym and I'm ready for a change. Click here or the picture below to get your free copy to hang on your classroom wall.
5. Go Noodle! I just happened upon this site within the last couple of few week and my students are going to love it. The site is filled with fun and engaging Brain Breaks! Click here or the picture below to read more about it and Ms. Fultz utilizes it in her classroom.
I'd love your comments!