Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Best (or Worst) of 4th Grade

Hello wonderful readers!  The flu has hit Whitney's house, so Brenda has been at school without her other half of the team.  The students have been little angels while they wait for their teacher to return have acted like most students do with a sub...try to get away with anything they can!  Luckily, this sub was used to our classes last year and this one is like heaven compared to those!

Anyway, the real reason for this post is to join the Best (or Worst) linky party with 3AM Creations.  

1. Grade Level I Currently teach: 4th grade...this is my 7th year (5 years all subjects, 2 years of Math, Science, and Social Studies only)

2. This grade has its ups and downs.  The kids are at a level that they are starting to understand sarcastic comments and jokes, but they are still kids.  They soak up anything new and still think school can be fun.  The downfall seems to be that there is a lot of brand new material that kids have not been exposed to.  Also, parents can be a help or a hindrance at this age as well!

3. Two years ago, I had "that class" that everybody knew about...in a good way though.  Kids were great...parents were great.  Well, our National Honor Society hosted a Pull Tab Drive for the Ronald McDonald House.  One teacher made a comment that she was going to beat our class and there was no way we could keep up with her.  Now I am by no means competitive one of the most competitive when it comes to competition of classes.  This teacher had not learned her lesson when she made the same comment about the canned food drive at Christmas (which we won by having about 400 cans to her about 100).  Well, we started out a little slow on the pull tabs.  A few came in here and there, but then my class parents got wind of the heated competition.  We suddenly had pull tabs coming in from everywhere and we had to count each one.  We ended up having 5 paper boxes filled with pull tabs (over 100,000).  Let's just say that that teacher left our class alone after that.  

I shared this story because I think it is important to build a sense of community with your students...especially at this level.  They can help you by helping each other, or they can make your life miserable when everyone is on their own.  Sometimes we get bogged down with the curriculum, testing, etc, and we forget those life lessons that they need too.

Whitney(Finally, over this Flu mess)
1. Grade I currently teach: 4th Grade Reading/Language Arts (3rd year(total) in 4th, 2nd departmentalized)

2. THE BEST!  When I first started in the Teacher Ed Program, I wanted the little babies, but then I student taught in fourth grade... and that all changed!  I love 4th graders for many reasons, but mainly because they are young enough to still want their teacher to help them and to learn from them, but they are old enough to be independent on many things.  I have been blessed with classes that have a great sense of humor!

3. Memories!  Last year, I had my son around this time and had to take my maternity leave until spring break.  The students knew I would be back when they got back.  That morning, the librarian came up to me and told me that everyone looked so down to be back at school, except for my students. She had to slow them down as they were running down the hall at the sound of the morning bell.   Talk about feeling like a rockstar! Plus, that was a hard day for me leaving my little bundle, and I needed that reassurance that they still liked me.  Now, just need that feeling to last 27 more years LOL!

Now it is your turn, go link up with the 3AM Creations and tell us about your grade!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday's Weekly Wisdom: I Just can't.....

We are always talking about school related subjects items and things we absolutely love, and can't live without.  Soooo, we decided to create a board for you to post your own items (classroom related or not).  We are proud endorsers of begging, borrowing, and stealing ideas....let's face it, Pinterest is everyone's life now.... so, post all the goodies you can't:
live without, leave without, or lose without!



Your Turn...this is so exciting!!!  We feel like true bloggers :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January's Something Good

We wanted to link up with Rowdy in First Grade and her linky party by telling OUR something good.

Something Good at Home:  I was able to fix the pressure on my bathroom sink BY MYSELF...without a plumber!  Now I can go shopping with that $100 that I saved!

Something Good at School: My students have discovered that they enjoy "Liberty's Kids" cartoons.  They don't realize that they are supporting our study of the American Revolution during their indoor recess!!!  Always good to sneak that curriculum in!

Something Good at Home: I have an 11 month old at home growing by leaps and bounds.  He is approaching his 1st birthday, and I am busy planning it all out.  His nursery is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so that is our birthday theme. Exciting, yet unbelievable!

Something Good at School:  I have started giving my students their news magazines with a handout that requires them to write: 3 Facts, 2 Questions, and 1 Opinion.  It keeps them reading, and helps pull in my reading strategies!

Visit this blog to link up as well by clicking on the photo below!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday Weekly Wisdom: The Dreaded Indoor Recess

It's that time of year that we all love and look forward to dread to see come...time that you have to have indoor recess.  We are lucky enough to have a few days during the winter to go out, but they are few and far between!  We wanted to discuss today some of the ways that we have found to entertain the kiddos when you just can't make it outside to the playground.

iPods:  Now don't get jealous, but our school has furnished each teacher with a cart of 25 iPods.  These are intended for educational use only, but, being the geniuses that we are, we have found ways around that.  Some how, Temple Run ended up installed (wonder how that got there!), and our kids were hooked.  We were too, but that's another story.  So, we thought about ways to use this app for education.  One problem we were having was that the kids could not tell who was winning when they compared school.

LIGHT BULB MOMENT FOR US!!! Let's turn this into a Place Value Lesson/Game.

So, we have "tournaments" for Temple Run.  This would work for any game that gives a final score.  The students are given a time limit (usually 10-15 minutes).  They can play as many games as they want on that app.  Each time they get a score, they take a screen shot of the score.  When the timer goes off, they find their highest score.  Then all students must line up in order from lowest to highest.  If time allows, we take the top kids, and they compete in another round.  The kids love it, and they are SILENT for at least the 10 minutes!  

Wurdle is another good app to do the same thing, but with Language Arts.

Adventure to Fitness:  Brenda stumbled on this site through Pinterest.  You have to create a user account, but it is free.  Students are led to follow a guy through a physical activity episode.  They last 30 minutes and also contain educational lessons.  You can download activities to accompany each episode.  They only change the new episodes once a week, but you can access the archives.  WARNING:  Some of the movements (running in place, jumping, etc.) may get a little loud!

Wii: As a reward, Whitney has brought her Wii to school.  Just Dance is available in the $1 renting boxes that are red!  We allow 2-4 students to use the remotes to get a high score, but the whole class can follow along.  Some of the videos for these are also on You Tube, if you can access that at your school.

What are your ideas for indoor recess?  What has worked in your classroom?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

January Currently

Well we are a little behind on joining this linky party.  We had good intentions...just got a little sidetracked.  I know that is a shock that a teacher would get sidetracked. Be sure and join up with Farley @ ohboythirdgrade.blogspot.com! Anyway, here ya go!