Wednesday, May 1, 2013

This past week we were discussing how to put sensory words into our writing without using the words see, hear, touch, smell and taste. After practicing all week, the students read a story with limited sensory details. After grading the paper a 2 out of 5 using a rubric created for this lesson, the students then had to write their own and use the same rubric to guide their writing. Instead of doing this writing on a boring piece of paper, I decided to spice up the end result. Here is what the finished product looked like in the end.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I haven't posted in quite some time. It has been a crazy month at school with all the ISAT preparation, as I'm sure everyone is feeling right now! 

Today after finishing our reading portion of the ISAT, I decided the kids needed a little break. Our math curriculum will next be covering multiplication. Instead of jumping back into the drill and practice, I decided to play two games from Superteacher to ease them back into the mindset. I started with Multiplication Bingo yesterday and played Multiplication Roll Em' today. This is a partner activity so the kids were out of their seats! 

The kids each take a turn rolling the dice in the container and multiply the two numbers together to find the product. The player who has the higher answer is the winner for that round. The worksheet has 18 rounds for them to play. It took about 15-20 minutes for the kids to complete. This was a great way to work on facts and give them a little time to be up and out of their seats!


A while back, I posted about some fun dice shakers I bought at Target. These are great because the dice don't go flying all over the room.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mayan Ballgame 

The last two weeks we have been studying the Mayan ballgame Pok-ta-tok. I found a Scholastic book (Mayas, Incas and Aztecs) that had an activity for this topic. The game is similar to volleyball and basketball so naturally the kids were very interested. 

We studied the rules, the consequences of losing, and what it was like to be a spectators.  The activity in the book was to make a trading card, which looked like a baseball card. I found a great website about the Mesoamerican Ballgame. We went through what they wore during the game to protect themselves. The book also had a page that described all of the gear they wore, too, with explanations for why it was important during the matches.

After all of our discussions, the kids went on to begin their trading card. Boy let me tell you how funny they turned out, but how great they did at having all the necessary materials on their player!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Daily 4 Binders

I just began teaching the kids my version of the Daily 5. I am doing everything except partner reading because my kids are quite chatty and get enough partner work with the reading and health materials throughout the day.

I wanted the kids to keep their Daily 4 materials in a safe place, but couldn't figure out a cheap enough way for them to do that. It just so happens that my cousin, an Office Depot manager, told me they were having a major clearance on binders. I went to the nearest Office Depot and found dollar binders! That was much more affordable than I thought.

Then I searched Pinterest and found a bunch of sheets that would work for the kids which explain what we are doing and organizers to fill out at each location.

I then had things I wanted the kids to keep in their binder that didn't have three rings. I hole punched the gallon ziploc bags, which I also cut and duct taped to make them fit inside the binder. Plus, it was much easier to hole punch through the duct tape as opposed to just the ziploc bag.

The item inside the bag is from It is a writing activity where the students pick one prompt a week if they want to write the middle of a story to. They are given the beginning and the end, but the middle is missing. 

As I was halfway through cutting, gluing, laminating, cutting, hole-punching and putting each in a binder, I asked myself, "Was this the best use of my time?" After I thought about this, I knew I could have just printed it on paper, but now that I created all of them, I know I will have them for years to come.

Overall, this was a successful MLK weekend! Yay for a four day week!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

For the second half of the year I am going to try to implement the Daily 4. I am not including the read with someone because my kids wouldn't be able to handle it. I was/am struggling with the writing center and am trying to come up with some ideas for it that are easy to do and fun for the kids.

One thing I created was I pulled random pictures that were unique in some way. For example, one of the pictures I have is of a shopping cart in the middle of a beach.

The kids then have to write ten questions of more about the picture. Some that they came up with were:

  1. How did the cart get there?
  2. Did someone put it there? 
  3. Will it eventually be fully covered by sand?
  4. What store is it from?
  5. Will someone come take it off the beach?
Then they have to write a mini story about the picture basing it off of one of their questions.

Picture Sets: one, two, three, writing page

I also found the Would You Rather prompts on Teachers Pay Teachers and printed, cut and glued them  into an index card set that was bound. 

I have yet to send the kids on their own, but they seem to be picking up on the activities and are excited to get to that point! If you want the picture documents (at least 50 pictures) so you do not have to search for some, email me and I can send it to you! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Incas

This past month, the fifth grade has been studying the Incas. We did the quipu math (see in another post) and we also made bridges. The goal of their bridge was to hole the weight of a camel (mini water bottle) in order to get hired for a job. I didn't set to many limitations on the how the bridge was to be built, other than the materials.

The materials were:

  • 10 sheets of paper
  • 5 paper clips
  • 12 inches of tape
Each inch, clip and paper had a price. 

The students who spent the least, but had a bridge that held would be hired. 

One thing I may do next year is say that the bridges have to have a side. Back then, the people had to walk camels across and the balance would be thrown without sides. 

Here were some of our bridges.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snowmen Fun

Our class enjoyed making these snowmen before break. To make them we used socks, rice, hot glue and pom poms! The kids were very excited to bring them home and they turned out to be very cute!