Sunday, February 26, 2017

Five For Friday - Digital Resources for Fables and Myths

I'm back for a look at my week through Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday!
We've been working on reading traditional literature.
A few years ago I came across this great app that features many popular fables, and they are told through animation.  My students love them.

The app is called Animated Aesops Fables and is $1.99.  You can find it at this link.
I created a reflection booklet for our unit on Fables, and it covers many of the Common Core skills.
You can check it out in my TpT store here.  It is a great deal at $2.50!
These are some the books we use for our Fables unit. 
You can find the suggested titles in my TpT product.

We also read myths as a part of our unit on traditional literature.
I used the easy myths from Starfall, but was surprised to find that the website is no longer free.
Luckily, they do offer a free app, so my students were able to access the myths through that.

Our current social studies unit is on Russia.
Our city has a sister city in Russia, Kurgan, so we research what life is like in this large country.
I created a class Google Slide presentation, and groups of three each worked on a specific topic.
So, each group was responsible for preparing one slide of the class presentation.
It was a jigsaw-like activity where students then presented their research to others in the class.

We had President's Day off which is a rare occurrence in my district.
My college friends and I took advantage, and drove to St. Louis to see BON JOVI!
The concert was awesome, and we got a great deal on a hotel room on Hotwire.
Our hotel was right next to the Arch.
Unfortunately we missed the photo shoot of the band that apparently took place the day after the concert.

How was your week??

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Five For Friday - Stone Fox, Black History Month and More

Happy Weekend!  It's Five For Friday time!
Here's a look at five events from my teacher life this past week.

We started Stone Fox as a read aloud.  I LOVE this book, and so do my students.
To invoke curiosity about this book before we begin reading I put a potato, a dog collar, and a tax bill in my classroom mystery box.  I pull out each item and explain that each one is somehow important to the story.

On to number two!

I'm part of a teacher book club, and this was the book we read this past month.
I'll admit that it was hard to read, but it really got me thinking.
The author spent time living in two separate poverty-ridden areas in Milwaukee.
We had a great discussion, and all agreed there are no easy answers for solving the problem of housing in low-income areas.

We do a poem a week, and this is our poem from last week.
I created a template of the poem for students to revise, putting their own spin on the concept.
I loved their ideas.
We just don't get to do enough poetry!

I have ten iPads in my classroom, although obtained through grants.
Recently, the screen on one of our oldest iPads shattered. 
I heard about a match offer on Donors Choose from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The crux behind the match offer is that the project must support student/parent communication.
We use the Seesaw Learning Journal app to communicate with parents throughout the school day, so it seemed like a no-brainer to write the project with this idea in mind.
The wonderful parents and grandparents of my students funded this project in
We are so lucky to have such supportive families. 3>

Black History Month has begun, and we will soon tackle some research about Famous Black Americans and their contributions.
My students love the projects within this packet.
There are guidelines for working through the projects, as well as rubrics for scoring.
Take a look at this product here.

Below, you can see one of the projects included in this packet.
The product also includes a colorful display banner!

If you'd like to use the poem by Eloise Greenfield to begin your study of Black History Month, 
you can find it here.

Be sure to check out all the posts on Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Five for Friday - Show - Not Tell, Using Padlet and More

Happy Weekend!
I'm excited to be joining Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday this week. 
Here's a peek at our week:
Do you do Guided Reading?
I love these short reads from Scholastic.
There are leveled, and a variety of text types is included at each level.
Check them out here.  I am in no way reimbursed by Scholastic for this link - I just like these sets.
We're working on writing realistic fiction stories right now, and one of the lessons this week was on Show - Not Tell.  I loved this freebie idea from Deb Hansen.
Night Noises is a great mentor text to use with this lesson, too!

We are studying simple machines in science, and on Thursday we used the free Epic Books app to find related vocabulary by analyzing text features.
Then students took snapshots of the text features, cropped the photos, and added them to a Padlet page.
Padlet is a free online bulletin board!

So, on to the next subject area!
We are telling time in math, and we used Mega Math for a quick, fun review of elapsed time.
We get the Mega Math games with our Harcourt math series.

In this photo you can see that each child was given a time card.  The pairs had to measure the elapsed time between the times noted on each card.
You can never get enough practice with elapsed time!

We watched the Kid President's video on "Twenty Things We Should Say More Often".
Then students used a sentence stem to write a quote they thought they should use more often.
The quotes look really nice on the front of each student's desk!

This post was all over the place with content!
Hope you found something inspirational!
How was your week??

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Lego Wall

Hi All -

Recently a Lego Wall was installed in our library/media center.  It is a part of the developing MakerSpace in our library.  If you are not familiar with MakerSpaces, these are areas in classrooms or schools where students are encouraged to use creative and critical thinking skills to build, design, tinker, make messes, explore, collaborate, problem solve, and more. These spaces may or may not include technology tools.  
Our building engineer built the backboard and shelf for the lego wall.
Our media specialist asked for lego donations for the wall, and she also wrote a local grant to add to the donations.

We currently have Ozobots, Spheros, and BeeBots in our developing Maker Space.
Here is a photo of some students using an Ozobot to work on computer programming.

Does your school have a MakerSpace? Please leave a comment to share what you might have.  We would love more ideas for our MakerSpace!

For more on Maker Spaces, check out this article from Edutopia.

Friday, July 29, 2016


For the first time this summer, I'm able to join Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

First up, are you looking for the BEST MARKERS EVER?
Well, these beauties could earn that description.
I used them this summer at a workshop I led for teachers, and I loved the bold, vivid colors.

 They are a bit pricey - I found this pack at Office Max for just under $10.
But, Office Max/Office Depot is running a 25% off sale this weekend (July 30 - August 2), 
so hurry on over and pick up a pack.

Does your district use Words Their Way?
We do, and I've found these pouches to be perfect for storing weekly word sorts.
These are also from Office Max, and these happen to be our school colors - blue and gray!
In the light, the polka dots reflect rainbow colors.
I am looking forward to attending this technology workshop next Tuesday.
More on that in next week's Five for Friday.

Last week our Book Club took a 2-day trip to beautiful Door County, WI.
One of our book club members has a condo in Egg Harbor.
This is what summer mornings are made for - having a cup of coffee or tea while enjoying that view.

This was our view of the sunset later that day outside a favorite restaurant called The Waterfront.
Are you getting pumped for the Olympics??
I created a product for the Winter Olympics 2 years ago and it become one of my best sellers.
So, I revised it and created a similar project for the Summer Olympics in Rio.
Students do independent research on current athletes.
This product includes links to projected medal winners from the U.S.A.
You can check out this product at this link.