A place to share thoughts, ideas, gadgets, and giggles from my classroom. 💜

Fall goes well with Word Clouds

We have a big week at school this week! With a field trip Thursday and book character dress up and fall parties on Friday, we decided to take a break from the regular routine and mix it up a little! We have been reading 
We read the story yesterday together and then listened to it on YouTube today. Then I had the kids make a list of words that were important as to why leaves change color. It could be adjectives describing the leaves or whatever they could find that they thought was important. 
The rule was to list at least 20 words. 

Then I showed the students Tagxedo! This is a word cloud maker. Go to the site, and hit create! It is sooo much fun! 
The students typed in their words and hit submit on the side. They are able to change the shape and the colors of their word cloud! 

They have everything from animals, to guitars, to Abraham Lincoln, which the kids thought was so funny! 

I let them print in color which is a HUGE deal! I'm sure it would be a big deal for your kids too. This is the only thing I have ever let the kids print in color. We had such a good time working on them. Be sure to check out the site. It is so simple to use and a lot of fun!

The Primary Gal's Birthday Bash

It's Amanda's birthday and we are helping to celebrate! I have put a couple of my classroom favorites on sale for only a dollar!
The first one I chose was:

Click here to find it!
I love, love, and LOVE using commas in a series. I know, weird, right!? When students are writing, I want them to know about this very, super, and amazingly important grammatical skill! There are 20 task cards.
Students have a response sheet that doesn't make them write twenty sentences. There are five spots for them to create sentences. They just have to put the card number and then their sentence. This is great for groups or for a whole class activity. 
The second activity I have on sale is...

There are ten task cards for students to work through. The QR code gives a short explanation and the answer. The sums or differences are no more than $1.00. There are also a couple two steppers! Last year I strung them on a clothes line and had students use them during groups. 
Check out the other great dollar deals below and wish The Primary Gal happy birthday!

STEM:Cup Stacking

This week, I challenged my students to build the tallest tower with forty cups. The cups we used were punch cups. That is all you need! Such an easy, fun, engaging activity. My students loved it!! I set 20 minutes on the Class Dojo timer. I used the random chooser to assign groups. There were 5-6 students in each group. Then I yelled " Go!"
At first, all the groups wanted to make a pyramid with their cups. That was just not going to get them very far. I didn't want to give them guidance, but I needed to give a tip to get their brains working in overtime. 
They were done with the task in less than five minutes with the pyramid way. Then I gave them the idea to turn their cups around and wow! They just took off!!
They went higher and higher! I walked around listening to the groups work. I heard, some say, "Stop being bossy!" " You need to listen to me!" " I don't wanna work with you." and my favorite " Don't breath!"
I don't usually leave my kiddo's faces in the pictures, but just look at the fear, the wishful thinking, and the worry on the kids in the background! It is priceless! 
These two boys were neck in neck with each other. They both have a leadership attitude and had a hard time getting along as a group. 
The winning group had a tower 52 inches tall! I was so proud of my kids for tackling the challenge. 
We did the stacking challenge twice. The first, I picked the groups randomly. The second time, I picked team "leaders" who chose the rest of the group. There was a lot less bickering when I chose the random groups. I think everyone had a good time and learned a little something about working as a team. 
They were trying not to breath on the tower...

Task Card Crazy

My class went a little crazy this week, task card crazy that is! We had Parent/Teacher Conferences and fall break right on the horizon.  I don't know how you get ready for conferences, but I HAVE to be on the floor with all my papers all around me. It is quite a sight:)
LOVE using the panorama function on my new phone!
We have been working on place value and using our hundred chart. Well I had found an awesome set of task cards where students had to do ten more or ten less than a number from 1-1000. Last year, I didn't introduce students to numbers above 100 for a while. This year, I want students to realize their skills do not stop at 100. They can use what they know for any number!  

In my room, I use task cards ALL THE TIME! I make a lot of them but I also find a lot. I love Jamie's from Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher! Sometimes I print and laminate them, but a lot of times, I just print at school with no color. We use them scoot style, sometimes we use them in groups, sometimes I just walk around the room and put them on the floor. Students like this because they can just walk around and not lose their place in the circle. 
This I put them on the floor. These cards need the hundred charts for numbers 1-1000. I put the task cards around the room with the charts in the middle for students to use for reference. 
The best part about using task cards is that students can go at their own pace. They are able to walk around and move, not just stay at their seat. 
I made a response sheet for students to just do ten task cards. They can pick and choose. They have to tell me what card number in the small box and their answer in the larger box. I think this tricks the kids into working quicker because they don't have to work soooo much, or so they think! 

Fall break has officially started at my school. We are off all week! Too bad my husband has a list, a long list of things to do before we put the house up for sale. I guess it will be best to just get it over with! 
Happy fall!

Weather Vanes

This week our reading story was Super Storms by Seymour Simon. I LOVE LOVE LOVE teaching about weather. It is my absolute favorite! The kids loving seeing the YouTube videos about tornados, hurricanes, and blizzards that I pull up. This year, since we were supposed to have a stormy week, I laid off the videos because I didn't want to scare my kiddos. The one thing each of theses storms have in common is the wind.  For our science activity this week, the students made weather vanes! 
The materials were things I just randomly had in my classroom! This was fun and easy for the kids to make. To make the weather vane you would need:
-paper plates
-tissue paper(cut up into strips) 
The first step is to label your paper plate. The best way to do this is to tell students which direction is North and to start there. I told my students about the saying, " Never Eat Soggy Waffles". They were amazed with my cleverness until I told them that my teachers had taught me that, and I didn't make it up on my own! ha! 
Then I passed around a pinch of clay for students to roll in a ball, then flatten out a little. This is to hold the straw. 
Kids at my school are HUGE Duck Dynasty fans;)
Then comes the tough part. I didn't even show the kids how to do it. They had the piece of tissue paper and I gave them a loooonnnng piece of tape. Their task was to find the way to tape the tissue paper to the straw. Some of them were getting a little frustrated but after looking at other successful ones, they all got it!
Some were did a good job hiding the tape, some were not. They all were just perfect though!

Then the next step was to test them out!
It was a rainy day so we stayed under the awning. The kids loved seeing which way their tissue paper was blowing. 

The kids got to take their weather vanes home. In the car line, my end of the day duty, I noticed one weather vane was starting to have a rough life..
Oh my Miss S. She is something else! 

Sunday Scoop

I'm linking up with the Teaching Trio to give you my Sunday Scoop! I'm not doing a whole lot today, but there are some things that need to get taken care of!

Five for Friday-TGIF

Head over to add your own Five for Friday!
I had a little bit of a crummy week. I think I just was grouchy all week. Do you ever have those weeks? Here are the highlights of my grumpy week. There were quite a few:)
I got the prettiest flower from one of my little girls! These kids always know how to brighten up my day! They are too sweet!
We finally got the room decorated for Halloween! I love our math Candy Corn! They turned out soooo well! Check out my post all about them by clicking on the picture! They took about 20 minutes (ish) to make and the kids had a lot of fun doing it. 
Yes... I am one of those people who dress up their pet. I love looking for a new costume for Willy! Toby doesn't humor me as much as Willy does. Here is what we are thinking for this year. What do you think?
Cutest pirate ever right!?! It is so hard finding outfits to fit his looooonnnng body! It always looks like the shirt shrunk! I love him!
My 2nd anniversary was last week! If you like us on Facebook, you saw the most awesome anniversary gift ever! It's had to believe two years ago next week my super handsome husband and I were in Italy on my honeymoon. It was the best vacation( of course it was, we were in Italy) ever! While we were there, it flooded in Venice! We got to venture out in boots(Willies according to the English lady we ran into) and splash through the stores and streets. It was the highlight of our trip!

We have been talking about weather all week. Our story was Super Storms and I love love talking about storms. I think the kids caught on to my excitement because they loved talking about them too! We had a crummy, rainy week in Southern Indiana.  I had one boy ask, " We are reading about storms, and it stormed last night. Why did it do that?" It just cracked me up! In honor of all the super storms we talked about, which of course talked about how crazy the wind gets, we made weather vanes! It was super fun! I'll be blogging about how we did it this up coming week!

Candy Corn Math

We made the cutest candy corn today! It took about thirty minutes, three pieces of paper, a little chaos management,  and a messy example on the board, but wow! They turned out great!
During my prep, I created tracers for each piece of the candy corn. I didn't make enough for each person to have a set, they did have to share. The pieces were labeled so everyone could see what it was. I was so proud of how well my students shared the tracing pieces!
I kept hearing, "Who needs a bottom?!" yelled across the room. This was the only chaotic part. It wasn't even bad because they were sharing so well! 
When they had all their pieces traced, the students had to cut them out!
I had originally thought about putting the candy corn together on a piece of construction paper to hang. Then duh! it hit me! The students can use both sides of their candy corn and it will look soooo much cuter hanging if you can see both sides. 
Once it was put together, students had to draw two numbers( one for the front and one from the back) from a baggie. The numbers were from a 100's chart that had been cut up. I took out 1-19 because those are kind of boring to work with ones and tens.  The number they drew goes at the top, in the white. In the orange, the kids had to tell me how many tens and ones their number had. In the bottom,  they had to show the expanded form for their number. 
I hung them up after I check them! My classroom is sure screaming fall now! I love it! If you need a template to make your tracers, just google it:)

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