Collective Noun Unit...Update Alert!!

Hey, everyone!  This is just a quick post to share an updated unit with you.  I'm getting ready to cover collective nouns with my students and I decided it was time to give my unit, A Collection of Collective Nouns, an update.

I always enjoy covering this skill with my students because it is a great way to expose them to new vocabulary.  Here's a look at what's included in this unit!

There is a mini book and poster that I like to use to introduce the concept of collective nouns.  The mini book is interactive!  There are also a few activity pages that you could use in class, for homework, or as an assessment tool.

A favorite whole group engagement activity in my classroom is Find Your Partner, so of course I included materials that could be used for this activity.  You could also use the cards in a game of memory.

Two new additions to the file include a game of I Spy and a class book (I love class books).

There are also some writing prompts, and, as always, suggestions for use are also included.  Here is a preview of the entire file.

If you already own this unit, be sure to head over to your "My Purchases" page on TpT to download the updated version.

If you don't own it, but would like to, click {HERE} to be taken to the product page on TpT. 


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Five for Friday {2-21-14}

 It's been a while since I linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.  This week I have lots of randomness to share with you, so the timing is perfect!

This week we read From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons.  CCSS tasks students with explaining how a diagram (and other text features) help to clarify a text.  So, I grouped my kiddos and gave each group a question to discuss and answer.  Each of the questions essentially asked them to tell how a diagram contributes to a text, but each question was worded differently.  The groups worked together to come up with an answer and the designated scribe recorded their answer.  They did great!

We started our geometry unit.  I always kick this unit off by using a mini book I created a few years back.  The students love making their own shape book!

Each page of the book lists the attributes of different shapes (and the category known as quadrilaterals).  Once we read through the book, the students use the provided shape page to correctly match each shape to the list of attributes.

I finally got my binders of writing units, close reads, and organizers all prettied up.  Don't they look great!  I wish the green binder was pink or turquoise, but Target didn't have any of the big ones in those colors.  Oh well, the shelf still looks spiffy!

I found the binder "decor" on TpT.  It was a freebie from Angeline Stewart!
This week we are learning about teeth.  On Tuesday, we set up an experiment to find out what happens to teeth over time as they are exposed to sugary and acidic substances.  Simply place one egg in a cup of soda and another egg into a cup of vinegar, sit back and watch what happens!  OK, we aren't just watching, we are recording our observations in a journal. ;)

When we kicked off our dental health unit, I asked my students if they flossed their teeth.  Only about 5 of them said they did!  Yikes!  So, I decided to share a demonstration with them as to why they might want to consider picking up this important habit.  Of course, I have Pinterest to thank for this wonderful idea.

Simply gather up a few materials: play-doh, a Duplo block, and some yarn.
{Click HERE to see the original pin on Pinterest}

Put some play-doh between the knobby things on the block.  Explain to your students that this is food.  Food that is just sitting there-ewww.  Use your finger, or a toothbrush, to show them that when you brush the outsides of your teeth, the spaces between your teeth aren't touched at all.

Then, bring out the yarn. 
Show them how the yarn (aka, floss) can remove the gunk between their teeth.

Most of my non-flossers said they were going to tell their parents that they wanted to start flossing their teeth.  I hope so!

That's about all, folks!  I hope you all had a great week!

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Strawberry Floats, Conversation Hearts, and More

Valentine's Day isn't on my personal top 5 holiday list, but I certainly make sure to have some fun with it in my classroom.  Our students deserve to have some fun at school every once in a while, am I right?

Here is a look at how we spent our Valentine's Day (we celebrated yesterday because today was a staff development day).  I started the day by leaving these cute treats on the students' desks.  Can you believe that these were both freebies on TpT?

Click {here} for Alison's sweet brag tags.
Click {here} for the adorable little note.

In math, we used conversation hearts to practice our addition and graphing skills, using two more amazing freebies!  Cara Carroll shared this fun cupid addition freebie on her blog.  The kids loved it!  

They also loved this graphing activity from Sarah Shelton.

The kids also played Forget Me Not Five in a Row.  You can grab a free copy by clicking here.

It doesn't look like either player got five in a row when playing this round of the game.  He he.
We also used our conversation hearts to write some sweet (and silly) stories, compliments of Kelley Dolling.  You should have heard the kids laughing as they read their stories to each other.

We spent the last hour of the day celebrating. I use that term loosely as I do not do a huge party.  Instead, we pass out cards and enjoy a special (surprise) treat.

As a homework project, I had the kids decorate a box to hold all of their valentines.

I had the students pass out their cards, one table group at a time.  When they opened their cards, I had them get out of their seat to thank each other.

I gave each of my students this fun gift.  You can read more about it {here}.

As the students passed out their cards/treats, I worked on making each of the kids a strawberry float.  All you need is ice cream, strawberry soda, some licorice (it makes for a fun straw), and a spoon!

The kids loved the floats.  At one point, all I heard was slurping as they used their licorice straws to try and get the last bit of soda in their cups.

Even though it was a festive day, it was still low key.  Best of all, the kids had a blast, as evidenced by the fact that I heard them say, over and over, "today is the best day ever!"

I hope you all had some Valentine themed fun with your kiddos today!

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Presidents' Day Recap

We have spent the past two weeks learning about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  Sadly, I was out sick for half of the George Washington activities, but my subs did a great job teaching the lessons I left.  One thing I did manage to get done with my kiddos are these amazing Washington directed drawings.

I told the kids they were not allowed to erase, unless I told them they could do so.  I assured them that this was possible. I modeled each step on the whiteboard and coached them to observe carefully and think about what they wanted their drawing to look like on their own paper as they added each new element. They did great!

Thankfully, we didn't have any substitutes this week and I was able to enjoy teaching my kiddos all about my most favorite president, Abraham Lincoln.  Here's a look at what we did this week (caution: you are about to be barraged by photos).

The students practiced taking notes as I read aloud a book about Abraham Lincoln.  Then, they used their notes to complete Three Truths and a Lie.  They love this activity because they always want to see if they can trick their partner.

We also did a directed drawing of Abe. Once again, the kids did an amazing job!

Yesterday, I woke up at 3:30 to attend to my coughing toddler and couldn't sleep afterward, so like any teacher, my mind started racing and I decided that I wanted to create something to show my students just how tall Lincoln was.  We had read the previous day that he was 6'4", but that doesn't mean much to a 7 year old (without seeing it, that is).

I cut some butcher paper that measured 6'4" and then put a tag with Lincoln's name at the top of the display.  Next, I had my neighbor measure me and I placed my name on the chart so they could see that he was taller than me.  I had each student come to the chart and we plotted their names to show their height in relation to Lincoln (I didn't take a pic of this because there would have been too many names to try and blur out).  They loved comparing themselves to Abe, and each other.

We also practiced our constructed response skills. We read an article about Lincoln and then completed the writing piece whole group.

The students used the same article to create a mini book about Lincoln.

The kids have also enjoyed using these centers from my best blogging buddy, Jaime, from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers.  Her Patriotic Presidents' Day pack has tons of great activities.  They practically run to grab an activity from the bin whenever they have free time!

Today, we watched two short videos on the life of each president.  Both videos can be accessed in the video archive on the Scholastic News website (you have to subscribe to the newspaper in order to access).

After watching the videos, we played a game of I Spy.  The students had to read the clue printed on each card and identify which president was being described. 

My kids l.o.v.e. I Spy.  Why?  Because not only do they get to move around, but they get to move around like a spy!  They creep about the room so as not to be detected by the other spies.  They don't even talk to the other spies because they don't know if the other person is an evil spy or not. Ha!

Many of these activities are from my Two Great Presidents pack on TpT.  Click the image to check it out!

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Heart Day Fun! {a Bulletin Board Display and a Gift Idea}

Valentine's Day is this Friday, can you believe it????  We will actually be celebrating the "big day" on Thursday since Friday is a Staff Development Day for all the teachers in my district. 

Despite taking two sick days last week, we were able to get a head start on the festivities in my room!  Only a small head start, mind you. I usually let the kids decorate a card holder in class, but sickness prevailed and it turned into a take home project.

Anyhoo, we did make these super fun Love Bots for our February bulletin board. Aren't they just too cute?  The kids were all kinds of excited about this project!

I had planned to do an elaborate narrative writing with this project, but that just isn't the sort of thing one leaves for a sub, so in the little time I had to get this project done, I had the kids write a cinquain about someone who makes their heart go "beep, beep."  I didn't take a picture of this, but I assure you, the entire bulletin board display is adorbs.  Click {here} to see this craftivity on TpT.

And now, for a cute and easy student Valentine gift idea!  Here is my disclaimer, I am not this creative and I have Pinterest to credit for constantly allowing me to find wonderful ideas that I can use.  With that said, I have made these cute little gifts to give my students this Thursday.

Cute, right?  And, so easy!!  Here's a breakdown.

Get some crazy straws (I found heart ones at Hobby Lobby) and tape them to a packet of red or pink Kool-Aid.

Go to {this pin} and follow the link to the cute label.  Or, better yet, visit the site, Blue Skies Ahead.  You simply need to save the image from the website and then insert it into a document.  I was able to fit 12 labels on one page.
Label image courtesy of Blue Skies Ahead
 Next, sign each card, and then cut them out.

 To attach the label to the Kool-Aid packet, I used Zots.

I placed one Zot in each corner and then placed the label over the taped straw.  Easy peasy!

Be sure to visit my Valentine's Day Pinterest board for lots of other cute Valentine ideas. 


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