Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cyber Monday Giveaway!

The holidays are a fun, but crazy time of the year. It always helps to have fun curriculum based units ready for that mad season rush! My Gingerbread Man themed unit is perfect for those crazy times. 

This unit contains the following five activities:

1. Search, Search as Hard as You Can! Can You Catch the Gingerbread Man- This activity is played like the game Battleship and reviews using ordered pairs.

2. Gingerbread Story Activity- During this activity, students will read different versions of the Gingerbread Man (a book list is provided to help you easily find books). The students will compare different stories, and use planning sheets to help them create their own version of this classic folktale. Gingerbread publishing papers are included.

3. Gingerbread Man Measurement- Students will use a Gingerbread Man cut out to measure different items in the room. A recording sheet is provided for this activity along with extension activities for early finishers.

4. Run, Run as Fast as You Can!- The students join the Gingerbread Man Capture Squad during this science experiment, and explore what happens to their pulse before, during, and after exercise.

5. The History of the Gingerbread Man- This activity goes over the Gingerbread Man's history and has students practice their map skills.

I have included activities for each subject area so it can be used for a day of gingerbread fun, over a couple of days, or throughout a week.

Starting now through December 3rd, you can go to my store at Teacher’s Notebook to register for my holiday giveaway. One lucky reader will get my gingerbread themed unit, Work, Work as Hard as you Can! It’s a Unit of Fun with the Gingerbread Man!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cyber Monday on TpT

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It's that time of year again! Time to bulk up those wish lists on TpT, and get ready to spend on Cyber Monday! I love this sale! I have so many items on my wish list that I am ready to purchase. There is nothing like a sale to perk up your teaching during the holiday season! I am joining in on the Cyber Monday madness. All of the items in my store will be 28% off. Happy shopping!

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you enjoy this much needed time with your family and friends! Rest up! The Christmas bug bites our little ones over the break, and we need to recharge before the holiday rush!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Exploring Cause and Effect

This week in reading we were exploring the relationship between cause and effect, and how understanding this relationship can improve our comprehension. At the beginning of the week, I showed my students our new anchor chart and went over how cause and effect are related. 

I absolutely love this anchor chart! It provides great visuals for my students. They loved the Angry Birds and felt bad for the poor little pig.

After I introduced the anchor chart, I read them the story If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff.  Any of the books in this series would be great for discussing cause and effect relationships. I selected this book due to the time of year and chilly weather. While I was reading, I had my students listen for the different causes and effects throughout the story. After I finished reading we discussed the different relationships they found. Once I felt they had a good understanding of the skill, I sent them back to their seats with a sticky note for their independent reading time. While they were reading, they had to find two cause and effect relationships and record them on their sticky note. I have some nonfiction lovers in my classroom, and they were concerned about finding cause and effect  relationships in their books. This led to a great discussion about cause and effect relationships in nonfiction. Once they were finished reading, I had the students come back to the front of the room, and we shared our results. I then posted their sticky notes on our anchor chart to provide more examples.

Later in the week, I had the students review what we had learned by playing a game of Cause and Effect, I Have, Who Has.

This game was a great review strategy and a bunch of fun. By the end of the week, we were cause and effect masters! I posted my Cause and Effect I have, Who Has game as a freebie to my TeachersPayTeachers store. Feel free to check it out, and use it in your classroom!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I'm Thankful for Activities Like Learning Menus!

I don’t know about you, but this school year is flying by so quickly! I have been really bad about keeping up with my blog. I am still working on trying to balance work and new mommy guilt. I want to spend time with my sweet baby girl before she turns into a teenager and doesn't want to spend time with her mother. Needless to say, I am so very THANKFUL to join this linky party and get my blogging back on track! This week, Blog Hoppin' is having a Thanksgiving linky party! I missed the earlier posts, but I am linking up today for New Ideas. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent searching Pinterest for creative new ideas for my classroom. Pinterest is a teaching gold mine! Throughout my hours of searching, I stumbled upon the idea of using activity menus or choice boards in the classroom.  I work at a project based learning school, and learning menus are perfect for incorporating projects into the classroom. Plus, students love having a choice when doing their work.  I found this idea last year and have been using activity menus regularly in my classroom ever since. They have been a huge success! My students love when our units have menus. When they work on their menu activities they are actively engaged and excited about their work! You really get to see their creativity come out. Let’s face it, anything is better than a boring worksheet! I have used many different types of menus with my students. In math, we have used cafĂ© menus where the students pick an appetizer, main course, and dessert. 

This is the front page of my Place Value Cafe Menu.

In science, and spelling we have used Tic-Tac-Toe menus where the students have to pick three activities in a row. 
My Plant Tic-Tac-Toe Activity Menu.
During our guided reading groups, we use the pick three menu to practice our reading skills.

Our Cause and Effect Reading Skills Menu.

Menus give your students freedom in their learning, and the students they take pride in their work. If you haven’t tried using menus in your classroom, you should give it a try! I have many different menus on my TeachersPayTeachers store all ready for you to use. Stop by and take a look!