Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bright Ideas for April: Rocking with Review

I am sharing some review ideas with you today because that's what I've really been focusing on in my classroom in the past few weeks. In all honesty, this time of year leaves me feeling less than "bright" and more "dim" than usual. So I am sharing some simple ideas for review that can be implemented in any grade.

My students favorite way to review is an easy group activity. I give each group a big sheet of paper. You could use half a sheet of poster board or some large drawing paper. Each group gets a different colored marker. Each group gets a set amount of time, usually 3-5 minutes, to write things down on their sheet of paper. For example, if we were reviewing adjectives, they would have 3 minutes to write down as many adjectives as they could. The big kicker is that they can't talk above a whisper because they might give ideas to the other groups. They also can't repeat any answers. If answers get repeated, they get crossed off the list. I'm not a stickler about most spelling but you could cross off words that were spelled wrong, especially if that's what you are working on that day.

Here is a video of my students making a list of adverbs. I have it zoomed in really close so the video quality isn't the greatest but you should be able to see what is going on. Notice how quiet they are and I have some chatty kiddos.


My students also love to play catch with a little Koosh ball. Remember these?

I use a Koosh ball for review. I have my students form a circle or, more like an oval in our case, and we pass the ball around. When a student catches the ball, they have to say a word or something that goes along with what we are reviewing. If we are studying prepositions, they would have to say a preposition. I've recently started giving them a time limit so they have to think faster. If they can't think of something in the time limit, they are out and have to sit down.

 I hope these quick and easy review activities have sparked some ideas for you. I like that these activities keep the kids engaged in their learning. While you are here, I would love for you to follow me on my Facebook page,  my Instagram, or Pinterest.

For more bright ideas from 150 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting! 

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Must-Read Monday: Historical Fiction

Must-Read Monday Linky

I'll admit that I'm a history nerd. I love reading historical fiction. I thought I would share some of my favorites with you today.

I read Songs of Willow Frost over spring break and I couldn't put it down. The main character is an orphan who is given up during the Great Depression. He remembers his mother and wants to find her after he sees her picture as a actress. This story is heart-breaking and inspiring all at the same time.

I love all Khaled Hosseini's books. I was anxiously awaiting for this book to come out. So good!

The Aviator's Wife is about the wife of Charles Lindbergh. Very interesting read.

This book is one of my favorite books that I have ever read. I read it a long time ago but it stills stands out as a favorite.

I could go on and on about my favorite historical fiction novels but I'll stop for today. Do you have any favorite historical fiction novels that you love? I'm always looking for some new reads.

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Post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Visual Plans (April 7)

Hi everyone! I'm back today with my visual plans. I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten for her weekly linky party.

In reading, we are working on inflected endings, comparing and contrasting, and homophones.

For Mr. Putter and Tabby, we will be comparing and contrasting Mr. Putter and Tabby.

This story was in our old reading series and is perfect for comparing and contrasting.

For "The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf," we will be comparing the original story of the three little pigs to this version.

Click on any of these images above to download these pages.

 I didn't include my homophone activities in my plans because they wouldn't fit on this page so I'm going to add them here. We will be doing our pairs of pears (originally from the fabulous Sarah Cooley) and reading these fun stories about homophones.

For math, I searched through my files and found some good stuff to use to teach place value this week. It's sad that I have so much on my computer that I don't even know what I have.

We have started to review for the BIG test coming up. Ugh! Can't wait until it's over. We have spent more time reviewing and just haven't had time to do much unit. I am carrying over my unit on fossils until this week because we only got to it 2 days last week.

If you are looking for resources to review, you have to check out my Common Core Reviews for ELA and Math. You can check out more of my math pack here and my ELA pack here. There are many centers available in each pack but there are also some reviews that you can just print and use.
 Have a great week! I'm officially counting down to the end.

I would love if you would leave me a comment if you download any of these files. 
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Currently April

Wahoo! It's April! I'm so excited that is spring that I can't stand it. I'm linking up with Farley for her Currently linky party. I haven't linked up in forever because this school year has been so busy. I'm so glad that it is winding down now.

I love baseball! I was so excited about opening day yesterday but I completely missed the time that the Braves were playing. By the time I got home, the game was over. Oops! So I am watching today. 

I just got a Polar heart rate monitor and that thing is amazing. I blame Jen Ross' Instagram for making me want one. I took a spin class tonight and it showed that I burned 558 calories. I knew spin class was no joke but I had no idea how many calories I burned in each class. 

Summer break is so close I can taste it. Only 33 1/2 days left for me, not that I'm counting down or anything. :) My kiddos are driving me crazy right now. We have reached the point of no motivation on their part and we haven't even taken the SAT 10 test yet. This could be ugly! By the way, if anyone wants to volunteer to plan the rest of the year for me, I would love you forever. I'm really trying to plan ahead but that never really seems to work out. Oh well! I can survive until the end of the school year.

We start school at 7:45 but I usually get to school around 6:30. I like being at school and getting things done when it's quiet and I have less distractions. I can't get anything done after school.
Be sure to go check out Farley's linky party. Have a great night!
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