Fun Friday LInky..Water Festival

I'm linking up with Mrs. B over at Teaching Fourth for Fun Friday!

We got to take our 1st field trip this year...The city sponsors a fantastic water festival for 4th graders every year.  Our science curriculum spends a lot of time on water and this event has so many hands on real life applications that students totally connect to it.

I even discovered that one of my students just may be an engineer one day..her bridge and dam building skills are phenomenal.

Before a field trip we create (or later refer to) an anchor chart outlining the criteria for success.

We also do an anticipatory/summarizing activity.  Thoughts Of a Third Grade Teacher has this Great Anchor Chart

Before we leave students write down one thing they hope to learn or one question they would like to ask a presenter.  When we return they write down 3 things they learned, 2 things they found interesting or two new words they heard, and 1 question they still have.  Its called a 3,2,1 summary strategy and I just add the anticipatory question to get more bang for my buck.

One of my colleagues husbands happened to be a presenter, he works for the public works department taking care of water main breaks..boy did my kids fire questions at him...I noticed most of the questions were the ones they had written down.  They stumped him with some specifics but they were also able to come back with some complex facts about water.



Anchor Chart Homes

Ive always been a fanatic at creating anchor charts WITH my students during mini lessons...ok so sometimes after school I rewrite them to perfection.  At the beginning of the year my walls are virtually bare until things have been created.

This year is no different, but thanks to some great bloggers like ... Mrs Childress at Fabulous Fourth Grade and Clutter Free Classroom among many other pinterest inspirations I have gotten organized and created focal points in the room for the charts.

 Right behind and right next to my small group reading area I have my reading focus walls, each has labels so kids know exactly where to look for what info..man it's great to see their eyes scanning the room looking for resources to help or confirm their thinking.

I posted smaller versions of anchor charts for reading strategies or skills as well as the correlated common core standard..they are posted as we cover them..our curriculum introduces determining importance and inferring 1st... so there is a lot of empty space!

 I got my common core posters from Jennifer Findley's Teachers Pay Teachers Store...you can grab a copy here.

Yes..this is where great charts are created..I rescued this fantastic yet large easel from another teacher who didn't have enough space

 I like to open my blinds and I still wanted access to prime real-estate for anchor charts to hang..so a staple gun and a roll of tulle later I had the perfect setup.  A few paper clips or clothespins and charts are easily interchangeable. 

After I saw Mrs. Lemons post about planning for a sub I knew I had to work with my students to create an anchor chart outlining a set of success criteria.  I'm gone a half day each month coaching teachers  using active engagement structures (Kagan).

(sorry for the bad iPhone pics)

By this time I had run out of cute green tulle so I resorted to plain old twine :(

Thanks for stopping by...  I'd love to host an anchor chart linky..but Im still wet behind the ears when it comes to blogging...its next on my never ending to do list.



Hurry on over and download a FREE podcast from "This American Life".  National Public Radio (NPR) puts this podcast out free each week and last week's feature was "Back to School".  Don't let the title fool you as it gets deeper than cutsey back to school stories.  Its focuses on research into non-cognitive skills (social and personality traits) and how they impact learning...Not to worry it's not boring gobbly gook!  Some powerful insight.

Click here to download

NPR also posted a powerful (yet short) article last week discussing how teacher expectations impact learning.   We already know this as good educators but this shed just enough new light on the subject that it tweaked my perspective!

Click here to read.



Teaching Fourth Giveaway

Kelly over at teaching fourth is having a great giveaway...head on over and check it out here



Summarizing...Main Idea and Details

So I found these sticky notes at target this summer in the dollar spot...They are AAAmazing.  Kids love them and its the perfect mini graphic organizer for main idea and details.

Now that I have modeled how to use them I leave them out for the kiddos to use during independent read to self time and I keep them close for reading group as well!



Monday Made it Monthly #1

So I'm a few days late to the party. Im linking up with Tara at Forth Grade Frolics

I did this on Monday...I'm just now getting around to sharing it.

One staple gun and a few dollars worth of fabric...presto chango my boring old chair has a new life. I didn't even have to take anything apart.


September Currently

Wow we are already in our 3rd week of school!

I used the Phillip Phillips song "Home" as a transition cue today.  The kiddos had till the song was over to cut out the needed materials and throw their scraps in the recycling bin.  What a difference...my anxiety level as well as the kiddos was way down..And EVERYONE finished the task on time.  Amazing.

In social studies the anticipatory set was a simple true false..we live in the state of Lawrence (ha ha)..we live on the southern hemisphere etc :)  I ramped it up a bit by using the acti-voters (techy texting devices).  I also threw in a bit of cooperative learning with round robin cconsensus before they could send in their votes.



Fun with Wordle

I'm linking up with Kelly over at Teaching 4th for Fun Friday.

The 4th graders just finished a math unit on Geometry, So when it was time for Daily 5 word work I challenged students to use wordle to summarize some of the key vocab we learned. They loved it :).

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