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October 30, 2012

Storybook Character Parade

In a previous post, I mentioned how every year I am a pumpkin for our storybook character parade. This year, I found a new character, a bass playing goat from the book Punk Farm.

Needless to say, I earned several cool points (Anyone remember the Happy Days game?) with my boys.

Rockin' my Forever Lazy onsie!


October 29, 2012

Veterans Day

Every year, I read my favorite book, The Wall by Eve Bunting.

 I usually share the Reading Rainbow video on Teacher Tube or Vimeo.  (Back in the day, I showed the video on VHS that I taped from the actual show. Thank goodness for technology!)

I ask my students to bring in the name of a veteran, branch of service, their rank, and years of service. If they don't know one, then I allow them to use a celebrity Veteran, like Elvis or Ronald Reagan. They transfer the information onto a black construction paper brick using a white crayon.

Then we build our wall. When I first started doing this, it was just my classes (a small wall). Now my entire grade level does it. It is pretty impressive.

(A medium size wall made by both of my switch classes.)

(Grade level wall 2012)


October 22, 2012

I've been Boo'd and Blessed!

Link up at 2nd Grade Pad

Here is how to play... Choose a fellow blogger that has MORE followers, one that has about the SAME number of followers as you, and one that has LESS.

Highlight their blogs and encourage others to check them out. Don't forget to let them know about the love and the linky party.

Lastly, leave them some love by offering them a goodie or a "treat" from your store, unless you don't have one, yet. (My goal for next summer.) 

Here are my BOO friends...

Mrs. Rojas deserves a "BIG" thank you for creating, inspiring, and sharing her Boggle board. Check out my Boggle post to see how I use her idea. Thank you for taking time to "Create*Teach*Share".

I am having a hard time finding bloggers that haven't been "Boo'd", yet. Instead of playing by the rules, I am making up my own. (Imagine that!) 

Diane is the awesome teacher, who Boo'd me! She also is an outstanding Math teacher, good friend, and former teaching partner. 

Megan is a new friend, who happens to be Diane's new partner. She is an amazing teacher and blogger as well. I will soon be blessed by a new blog design, because of  her. Please visit her blog design site as well.


October 14, 2012

Fourth Grade Frolics Giveaway

One of my favorite blogs...the reason I started blogging...Fourth Grade Frolics! Tara has 2000 followers, at least one is a blog stalker...me. This summer I discovered her "Monday Made It" linky party.

I was so excited and inspired that I started my blog to share what I was making. Now, I check it frequently to get ideas to use in my classroom. Congratulations!


October 11, 2012


This year I have made Boggle part of my homework packet. Each week students receive a new Boggle board with 16 new letter combinations. At first, I gave them some simple guidelines.
1. No proper names (The first Boggle board spelled out Bryan Drew McMillan.)
2. Must be 4 letter words or more.
3. You may not use the same letter twice, unless there are 2 of those letters on the board.

Since then I've had to add...
4.  Must be appropriate words for school. (This one was added after I graded about a dozen "fart" papers in one week. That same week I also got "porn" and "naked". I spoke to my "porn" star, and he was just using a pattern. He honestly didn't know what the word meant. I chose to believe him.)

Each week, I put up the same letters on the bulletin board as their homework.

Sensing a lack of enthusiasm for Boggle, I came up with the idea of adding a little competition. Since, I teach two classes, this was easy. Now, they are trying to come up with the "Longest Boggle word", the "Most Unique Boggle word", and the "Boggle word with the Most Vowels". After I determined the "winners", I had them write their word on a sentence strip and hang it on the wall of honor.

I use Mrs. Rojas' from Create*Teach*Share Boggle printable for homework and her letters for the bulletin board.

October 6, 2012

October Currently

Every year we have a Storybook Character Parade the last week in October.
Every year I try to think of a new costume.
Every year I end up pulling out my pumpkin costume that my mom made me when I was 13.
Every year I end up going as a pumpkin from my favorite October book, Too Many Pumpkins.

If anyone has any great ideas for a new character, please comment below.

October 1, 2012

October Made Its, Winning & a Little Sugar

Word Study: Homophones
In my district, we do word study, instead of spelling. Last week the focus was on homophones. I saw a similar anchor chart on Pinterest. Here is my version.

Word Work poster
It is hard to tell, but the letters are on polka dot paper. It is hanging over my word wall. 
On the far left hand side, I've started hanging up our pattern lists.

Evan-Moor Take It to Your Seat Centers
If you don't have these, buy the books. Super easy to make!

File Folder Stations
I apologize. I downloaded these, but I don't know where.

Kate Klise Clocks
Last week, Kate Klise visited my school. If you aren't familiar with her work, she is the author of

During her talk to the kids, she drew a clock and used it as an analogy on how to tell a story. Today, we made our clocks and added them to our "Writing Tools" tab of our interactive journal.
 From noon to 1, explain your problem.
From 1 to 7, your character goes on a journey.
From 7 to 9, she likes a "Oh no!" moment.
From 9 to 11, it turns into a "Ah ha!" moment.
Finally, conclude the story by midnight. 
 I didn't take a picture of their timeline, but they have written this next to their timeline
 before they started writing a rough draft. 

Winning...Bic Pen Giveaway
This was a contest on Facebook this summer. I received this in the mail today.

Look what one of my sweet kiddos brought me. There was candy and a package of Crystal Light inside.
Coincidentally, there was a bible verse (She made it a church the night before.), too. It was the same verse as the one my church put on our calendar to pray that day. Goosebumps!