Sunday, October 13, 2013

Teaching Making Inferences

Wow!  It has been over a month since I have made a post.  I apologize for my absence. The past few weeks have been extremely busy! One of the many things on my To Do List for today is to blog about the fun activity we used for making inferences. We have been reading stories, creating charts, and using task cards to make inferences, but I wanted I do something different with my students...something that would help seal their learning.  Well, we made S'mores!  One of my favorite TpT sellers is Deb Hanson.  She has created an awesome activity called Let's Make S'more Inferences that I used with my students.

The students were super excited when I told them that they would be making S'mores to help them remember how to make an inference!  This was a three part lesson.  The first thing I did was review making inferences.  As I reviewed making inferences, I related the ingredients of a S'more to using information from the text and using background knowledge.  Students were then given the actual ingredients and labeled each part on a paper towel.
Part One

The first Graham Cracker represented the text clues, the second Graham Cracker represented student's backgroud knowledge (schema) the marshmellow represented the inference, and the chocolate represented another inference that could be made.

Part 2 of the lesson required students to make actual inferences.  Students were given six short reading passages.  We completed the first one together.  Students underlined information from the text, discussed with their learning club what they already knew, and made inferences together.  The students then completed the remaining five on their own.  Several of my kiddos who struggled with making inferences were able to make the connection once I referred them back to the S'mores on the paper towels!  This worked like magic!
Part Two

During part three of the lesson, students created a S'more craftivity.  They wrote their text clues, background knowledge, and inferences from each reading passage on the ingredients of the S'mores and clued just the tops of them together to create a flipbook.  The S'mores flipbooks were then clued to a sheet of construction paper.

Parts One, Two, & Three

The students had a ball with this Let's Make S'more Inferences!  After they completed the activity, they enjoyed their S'mores!   

Monday, September 2, 2013

Implementing Daily 5 - A Beginner's Journey!

Dear Dairy,
This year I am implementing Daily 5!  I am a bit nervous as I have not had any training on Daily 5.  Most of my knowledge comes from reading the book, the Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades and one of my good friends who teaches first grade.  She uses Daily 5 with her students and LOVES it!  I am spending my Labor Day preparing for Day 1 - Three ways to read a book.  I will first introduce the students to the three ways to read a book:  1.  read and talk about the pictures 2.  read the words 3.  retell a previously read book.  I am still trying to decide which picture book I want to use to model this for the students.  As I model for the students, I will be modeling the metacognitive process of thinking aloud about my reading as this is what I want my students to do as they read.   After I model each way to read a book, we will discuss the three ways as a class.

On day two, we will review day one and the three different ways to read a book and then I will introduce read to self.  We will begin by making an I-chart, "Read to Self, Independence." As a class we will discuss the importance of reading to self and I will add student responses to the I-chart.  After we have completed our I-chart, students will model what reading to self should and should not look like.  Finally, students will begin practicing reading to self for 5 minutes.  We will add more time on each day to help students build their stamina for reading to self.  

I also want to introduce my students to their book baskets.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money on the baskets so I decided to head to the Dollar Tree Store.  My first grade teacher friend found some cute baskets there so my thought was... I would, too!  Not the case!!!! :(  I traveled to 5 different Dollar Tree Stores before I found some baskets that I could use.  They aren't exactly what I was looking for, but I guess they will work.  Now, I have to begin working on labels and name tags for the baskets!

Are you using Daily 5 in your classroom?  If so, I would love to hear how it is working for you especially if you are using it with the upper grade levels!  


Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Days of School Activities

I can't believe that I have made it through the first three days of school!  They were long, but filled with lots of fun and engaging activities. We have been working on a lot of getting to know you and building classroom community activities.  In order to get to know a little bit about the students before they arrived, I sent them their very first homework assignment with their welcome letters!  We use Edmodo in our classroom, so I had them to join our class Edmodo page and create a post telling me and their classmates a little bit about themselves.

Of course, they wanted to know A LOT about their teacher!  So I had them to complete a KWL chart on me!  It's always interesting to see what the students already know about you as a teacher or what they think they know about you!  Each learning club was given a few sticky notes and they had to write down what they knew about me, and what they wanted to know about me.  We then posted them on our class KWL chart.  After that, I used a PowerPoint presentation to introduce myself.  Students then completed the L part of the chart.  

Finally, the students completed a Find Someone Who.... on Ms. Scriven.  They had to mill around to music to find someone who could answer several questions about myself.  They really enjoyed this activity!

One last activity to share...I wanted the students to learn more about their classmates so, they completed  "Me Puzzles."  After they completed the puzzles, they cut the pieces out and placed them in an envelope.  Students then had to draw a self portrait on the front of the envelope.  After everyone completed their self portraits, I collected them and gave each student a different envelope.  They had to put the puzzle back together and try to guess whose puzzle they had based on the information on the puzzle pieces and the self portrait! My students were disappointed that I didn't complete a puzzle, so next year, I think I will!

What are some fun getting to know you and building classroom community activities have you done with your students?  I would love to hear all about them!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Technology Share Out!

Dear Diary,

Yesterday was my first day back at school! Boy, was it a long day!  The first part of the morning was spent reviewing and going over district goals and the nuts and bolts of our school, but the second part of the day was spent on technology!  Oh, how I love me some technology!! My principal shared several technology web 2.0 tools, all of which I have heard of and used in my classroom.  But she shared an Ipad app that was new to me.  I have been eager to share this app with you all.  The name of it is Tellagami.
Click on the image to learn more about Telligami!

It is very easy to use!  You can use it to create short presentations to introduce a topic to your students or you can let your students use it to demonstrate what they have learned! This app allows you to create a character, put your own voice to it, and create your own background scene.  How cool is that!!  I created this in less than 10 minutes and the background is from my classroom!!  I simply took a picture of the area of my room that I wanted as my background, uploaded it, created my character, recorded what I wanted to say, and BAM!!! It was ready to go! That's how easy it is!  Click below to check out the video I made to share with my Facebook fans!

What do you think? How might you use this in your classroom?

Friday, August 9, 2013

We Have a Winner!!

Dear Diary,

We have a winner for our 100 Bloglovin' Followers Giveaway! Congratulations to Lizzy Allen!  She will receive a $25 gift card to Target!  A special thank you to all of you who entered my giveaway! This was my first giveaway and I enjoyed it!  There will be a new giveaway coming up soon!  I now have 100+ TpT followers so that means another celebration! on the lookout!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Diary of a 5th Grade Teacher Newsletter

Dear Diary,

After much thought, I have decided to be put out a monthly newsletter!  This newsletter will be filled with lots of classroom ideas, tips, resources, and any popular posts from my blog.  The great thing about this newsletter is it will include a monthly FREEBIE for all of my subscribers!  If you would like to receive Diary of a 5th Grade Teacher's newsletter, please sign up by clicking the link under Newsletter Subscription on the right sidebar of my blog! What are some things you would like to see included in my monthly newsletters!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

100 Bloglovin' Followers Giveaway!

Dear Diary!  I am so excited to announce that I have 100+ Bloglovin' followers!  In order to celebrate I think I will do my first giveaway!  Enter to win a $25 Gift Card to Target!  The giveaway will begin August 5th and end on August 9th!  Good luck and thank you for following me on Bloglovin'!  You all are the best!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Classroom Finds!

Dear Diary,

Today I did some more shopping for my classroom and came across some really great finds.  I went to Michael's and found the cutest note cards that I am going to send my students to welcome them to my classroom.  I am so excited about these note cards because our school's theme is "Sailing Beyond Excellence" and the note cards say "Sail Towards Your Dreams."  I know I can incorporate the two some kind of way!! The note cards were 6 in a pack for $1.00!
My classroom colors are chocolate and turquoise.  While shopping at Educational Wonderland, a teacher supply store, I found these designer cut-outs.  As of right now, I have no idea what I am going to use them for, but I absolutely love them! I think they are soooo cute!  I may go back and get more for a giveaway!! What do you think? There are 36 in a pack and the cost was $5.99.  I especially like them because there are 3 different designs in each pack!
I also found the cutest border to match the cutouts! These were also found at Educational Wonderland.  I can't wait to see how this looks on my bulletin board.  I think I am going to accent it with an orange boarder to make it pop or stand out! What color would you use to make it stand out?!

Finally, I just had to go to Target!!  While there, I found these cute foam apples.  There are 10 in a pack for $1.00. There are 5 red and 5 green apples in each pack.  I think I am going to put a cute bow on the top and take pictures of the students during Meet and Greet to put on the center of the apple.  I then may create a bulletin board with the apples.  What would you do with these?!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Save the Date - Facebook Frenzy on the Way!!

Dear Diary,

Creation Castle is hosting yet another FB Frenzy.  This Frenzy is scheduled to begin August 9th.  I am excited about this frenzy because it will be my very first frenzy that I have actually participated in!  Be sure to mark your calendars because there will be tons of free back to school products for you to grab from this Frenzy...including something from Diary of a 5th Grade Teacher!!  What would you like for me to create for you all?


Classroom Preparations Begin!

Dear Diary,

Today I finally made the decision that it's time to begin decorating my classroom for my new 5th graders that will be arriving in three weeks. Here are some pictures of what my classroom looked like before I got started working.  


If you can't tell from the pictures, my classroom is in a portable.  We call them cottages to make it sound a bit better! :)  The entire 5th grade team, along with, 1 art class, 2 gifted and talented classes, and child development are housed in cottages.  I have been in a cottage for 5 years!  Hopefully, this will be my last year in a cottage. We have a new elementary school being built right next door, and yes, I mean right next door to our elementary school.  It will open the 2014-2015 school year.  This will cause our school to be split which means we will lose several hundred students and a handful of teachers to this new school.   

Well anyway, be sure to check back later for photos of my classroom once I have finished decorating it!  What do you think I can do with this bulletin board in the last picture??!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Fan-N-Pick Matter Review

Dear Diary,

This year I will be planning science for my 5th grade team.  I enjoy teaching science because of all the hands-on activities. My brain has been going 90 miles a minute trying to come up with some fun and engaging things to do this year along with all the other things we do. I started off by creating an I Have Who Has Matter Review.  If you have not picked up this freebie yet, head over to my TpT store to grab it.
I Have Who Has Matter Review
I have also created a Fan-N-Pick Matter Review.  As you can tell, matter is my favorite unit of study to teach in science!  With this activity, students are placed into groups.  There are 4 students in each group.

Student #1 (Fan) - holds the question cards in a fan and says, "Pick a card, any card!"
Student #2 (Pick & Read) - picks a card and reads the question aloud.
Student #3 (Answer) - orally answers the question. 
Student #4 (Check & Praise) - responds to the answer by tutoring or praising.

This activity can also be found in my TpT store if you would like to check it out!
Fan-N-Pick Matter
Each year we begin by jumping right into ecosystems and try to teach the science process skills as we go along.  This past year I found that did not work too well with my students. So, this year instead of jumping right into ecosystems, I would like to take two weeks to teacher the science process skills.  What are some activities you use to introduce your students to the science process skills?  Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kinder Loves Back to School Giveaway

Are you looking for a great Back to School Giveaway?  If so, head over to Kinder Loves and check out their giveaway!  There will be a new giveaway each week!  You know we all love those giveaways!!  

Here's a little secret.... During week four, Kinder Loves will be giving away my Getting to Know You: Quiz-Quiz-Trade! So, be sure to check back each week for some great giveaways!
Good luck to you all and have fun!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Back in the Swing of Things!

Dear Diary,

It is hard to believe that summer is almost over and I have done very little!  So, today I decided that I needed to do some classroom shopping and begin working on some of the projects that I have on my to do list for my classroom.  My absolute all time favorite place to shop is Target!  Especially in the dollar section! I found these cool colorful labels for $1.00!  There are 152 labels in each pack!  I think I am going to print my students names on the labels and use them to label school supplies.  We also have to make sure that students' names are in all the textbooks.  Instead of writing the names in, I will just use these labels with their names on them!  This way I don't have to write names over and over again!  How might you be able to use these in your classroom!

I also found these cute mini composition notebooks! There were 2 in a pack for $1.00.  They weren't found in the dollar section but with the school supplies.  I absolutely love these colors!  I think I might use these as a one minute write that will allow students to reflect on a lesson.  What do you think?  

Finally, making a mesh wreath for my classroom is on my list of classroom projects!  I have seen them all over and adore them!  I have been watching Youtube videos on how to make one and it seems fairly simple. So, today I am going to take the plunge and begin working on my classroom wreath.  Since Michael's is right next door to Target, I made my second stop for the day!  I had a 40% off coupon and spent only $26 for all of the materials!  Once I get this made, I will post pictures of it for you to see. That's only if it's cute!! :) Wish me luck!  If you have made a mesh wreath, what advice can you give me?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Makeover

Dear Diary,  I am so excited about my new blog makeover!  A huge thank you to Christi from Design by Christi!  She is a very talented blog designer.  She was able to take my vision and bring it to life!  Not only did she design my blog, she also created by Facebook Fan Page cover which I truly adore!  I am now ready to begin posting on my Facebook Fan page!  Be sure to head over to my Diary of a 5th Grade Teacher Fan Page and check it out!  Thanks Christi!  You are the best!  What do you think of the new look?

Design by Christi

Friday, July 12, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

Wow! I am without my computer for a few days because it crashes and when I finally get it back up and running, I return to some great news! My blog has been nominated by three of my fellow bloggers for the Liebster Award!


I am so honored to have been nominated for this award!  I really appreciate all of my followers and enjoy reading your blog posts each day.  Thank you to Kristen from Aspire to Inspire, Christy from 3rd Grade Theatrics, and Stacy from Ray of Kindergarten Sunshine for nominating my blog.  

To accept this award, I need to do a few things...

1.  Link back to those who nominated me, Kristen from Aspire to Inspire, Christy from 3rd Grade Theatrics, and Stacy from Ray of Kindergarten Sunshine.

2.  Nominate 5 blogs that have fewer than 200 followers.

3.  Answer 11 questions created by those who nominated me.

4.  List 11 random facts about myself.

5.  Create 11 questions for my nominees to answer.  

6.  Contact your nominees to let them know they have been nominated.

The bloggers that I have nominated are...
1.     Steph at Rock Stars in the Classroom

3.     Mrs. White at Mrs. White’s 5th Grade Class

4.     Sheila at Flipping in Fifth

5.     Beth at Whooo’s Ready to Teach

Aspire to Inspire Questions
1. What is the best part about teaching?  Seeing the light bulbs go off when my students know they have finally got it!

2. Are you an introvert/get your energy from being by yourself or an extrovert/get your energy from being around others?  I am definitely an introvert! 

3. If you watch television, what is your favorite show?  My favorite T.V. show is Cupcake Wars!

4. What was your worst subject in school?  Math

5. What's the best advice you ever got?  Believe in yourself!

6. If you could keep just three possessions (besides your family and pets), what would they be?  My Bible, my computer, my makeup!

7. What goal are you working toward personally or professionally?  This year my goal is to successfully implement reading workshop. 

8. If you had a day to yourself, what would you do?  Sleep

9. Would you rather swim in the ocean or in a pool?  Pool

10. What is your greatest accomplishment?   My greatest accomplishment has been having my two wonderful boys! 

Ray of Kindergarten Sunshine Questions

1. How long have you been teaching? 19 years

2. Did you always want to be a teacher?  If not, what did you want to do? Yes, I have always wanted to be a teacher.

3. What is your favorite thing about teaching?  Planning fun and engaging lessons

4. How long have you been blogging for?  I just seriously started this summer.

5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, no expense spared, where would you go?  Paris

6. Do you have a favorite techie tool or any techie advice? If yes, what is it?  I love my iPad.

7.  What is your favorite dessert? (I love dessert!)  apple pie

8. What is your favorite movie of all time? Titanic

9. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

10. Are you a dog person or a cat person? Dog!  We just got our first puppy about a month ago!

11. What was your favorite toy or doll from childhood?  My Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls!

3rd Grade Theatrics Questions

1. When did you know you wanted to be an educator?  When I was a little girl!  I used to play school all the time.

2. What is your favorite classroom memory?  The first day of every school year!

3. What is your dream vacation?  Going to Paris

4. What was your funniest teacher moment?  I don’t think I have a funny teacher moment.

5. What is your favorite summer activity? Going to the beach.

6. What is your favorite brand of handbags/purses?  Michael Kors

7. What is your favorite movie? Titanic

8. What is your favorite children's book?  Charlotte’s Web

9. Which holiday, during the school year, do you look forward to the most?  Christmas

10. What is your favorite on-the-go snack? popcorn

11. What is one piece of technology that you can't live without?  My iPad

 11 Facts About Myself

1.      I enjoy going to the mountains for Thanksgiving.

2.     I am a active member of my sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA)

3.     We got our first pet one month ago.  Head over to my blog to meet our puppy, Cody.

4.     When I was in 5th grade a sewing needle broke off in my foot.  It remained there for 6 long months!

5.      I am a huge Twilight fan!  Team Edward!

6.     I served as a mathematics instructional coach for 3 years.

7.     This year I took my first trip to New York and LOVED it!

8.     I have a 9 and 21 year old!  They fight like cats and dogs!

9.     I love technology!

10.  My favorite colors are pink and green.

11.  I enjoy watching crime T.V. shows.  

My Questions for My Nominees

1.      What is your classroom theme?

2.     Who inspired you when you were a child?

3.     What is your least favorite subject to teach?

4.     How do you spend your summers?

5.     If you could do something else other than teaching, what would it be?

6.     If you had three wishes what would they be?

7.     Target or Walmart?

8.     How often to you blog?

9.     What is the last movie you’ve seen?

10.   What is one word you would use to describe your first day of school?

11.   What motivates you?

Again, thank you for the nomination!  I look forward to learning more about my fellow bloggers!