Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Products

I cannot believe that March is already here. It's the best month because it has my birthday, March Madness, and spring break! Woo! And my flowers start to peek through!

Here's what I'll have going on in my classroom this month.


{My March close reading passages} include a text about Theodor Geisel that will go with Read Across America and one about basketball that we'll do before the tourney.

These {spring ELA centers} will help us look forward to warmer days ahead!
St. Patrick's Day is over our break, but I'll probably do {this math activity} the last day before.

We aren't in school for the beginning of March Madness either, which I am totally okay with because I love watching basketball all day on that first Thursday and Friday. {These differentiated math sheets} tie in well.
And when we return from break, I'll have students share about their break with {this spring break graphic organizer}. It's free!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Superhero Product Linky - Close Reading Bundle

With the upcoming TpT sale, we want to help you find "heroic" products that have helped others in their classrooms. I recently received some wonderful feedback on my differentiated monthly close reading bundle. This bundle will provide you with a year's worth of close reading texts and activities that can be used as whole-group instruction, in small groups, centers, or as homework. They also have options so that they can be included in interactive notebooks.

Click on the image above or {here} to go to the products.
Browse around the linky for other heroic products, or feel free to grab the graphic and link up your own! Link to a post containing one heroic product and its feedback. Use the graphic if you wish. (No direct links to stores or products, please.) Include the linky button and link it back to this post so others may find great heroic products.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Thank You" Classroom Management Strategy

One idea that has worked really well for me when it comes to classroom management is what I call the "thank you" strategy. I usually use it when I'm starting to feel frustrated when students are not listening.

After I have given directions (like get out your social studies book and open to page 15) and notice that only a few are actually doing what I asked, I scan the room and say, "Thank you to the 1... 2... 3... (start counting the students) who are ready with their social studies books open to page 15."

When students start hearing me count, several more will scramble to do what I've asked so they can be included in the count. I like this strategy because students usually know when they are doing what I've asked, so they are proud to be included in the count even though I'm not calling out names. It also works because it very clearly gives the expected behavior that I'm looking for. I can follow up in a few more seconds with the updated count to include those who have turned the behavior around. And since I'm not mentioning specific names, I can fib a little. I can look in the general direction of students and just start counting. I don't need to get an actual count in order for this to be effective. No one has ever told me that there were actually 12 students with their books out instead of 14. :)

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on {Facebook}, {Pinterest}, or view {previous Bright Ideas} for more great ideas.

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

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Winter Fun

It's been a while since I've posted. I think that I remember how...

Going through my camera roll to share things I forgot to share.

This was a fun (and unexpectedly difficult) name project we did in the fall. I think this was a Runde's Room inspiration, but correct me if I'm wrong. Give the kids a piece of paper with a large circle on it. They have to fill as much of the space as possible with their names. Color their names, and cut out the white space. Most of my students struggled with this. They couldn't understand why their letters had to touch and why they had to share lines to make their letters. Mine turned out awesome at least!

This was a fun craft that I found {here}.

Flashlight Friday is still popular.

This snow globe writing and craft activity was a from a combination of sources. The gist is a five-paragraph creative writing activity about how they got in the snow globe and their attempts to get out. We got a few ideas from watching the {Knick Knack Pixar short}. The kids were pretty creative! They chose a scene to recreate a snow globe, which included a picture of them, fake snow, and a clear plastic plate. This wasn't as messy as glitter (which is forbidden in my room), but I underestimated the static electricity-ness. (I did the snow and gluing part. Since the plate had ridges, I had to make sure that snow wasn't going to leak out.)
If you want to pick up this activity, I put it as a freebie {here}.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Using "Unusable" Space

In my past two classrooms, I've had huge windows along one entire wall. And in both cases, due to the location of my room (near the playground, near the front door), I have to keep them closed the majority of the time. Here are some ways that I've thought of to use that space, even if you don't have to keep everything closed.

If you have horizontal blinds, angle them to that the slats point up. Take a clothespin and clip on your anchor charts, posters, presentations, rubrics, whatever. The good news is that you can also open your blinds if you put the clothespins up high enough.

If you have shades or blinds, you can take a couple of Command hooks, put them on either side of your window (which you can't see in this picture), and connect them with a cord. Then use clothespins to hang whatever. Caution: If you do a zig-zag with one long cord, take a binder clip or something to hold the cord in place (the left point midway down is actually attached to the flag holder on my wall) because everything hanging on it can make it heavy. This also allowed me to open the shades when recess wasn't going on outside.

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on {Facebook}, {Pinterest}, or view {previous Bright Ideas} for more great ideas.

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

Friday, January 9, 2015

Free Your Time Blog Hop {Freebie and Giveaway}

By now, most of you have completed your first week back after break. I'm exhausted, and I'm guessing that you are, too. I have joined together with teacher-authors from {Fifth Grade Freebies} to bring you some products that can help you with your planning. And when you get to Fifth Grade Freebies during the hop, you can enter to win a TpT gift certificate!

Here's my "official" Fifth Grade Freebies intro graphic in case you've never been here before:

I posted earlier in the week on {how I do close reading} in my classroom. For this hop, I'm sharing {my new close reading freebie}. I hope that it helps you with your literacy or social studies class if you have school on the 19th. Of course, you could use it anytime, really.

Once you have downloaded it (and hopefully left feedback - please and thank you!) you can continue the hop by clicking on the button below!

Mrs. O

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wordless Wednesday and Stamp Winners

And so it begins... no school today due to the cold temperatures. Today's projected high is -7˚F without factoring in wind chill.

And the winners of the Re:Marks! stamps:

a Rafflecopter giveaway