Friday, December 27, 2013

A Great Giveaway!

Check out Tammy's fabulous giveaway!
There are so many prizes waiting to be won. :-)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Turkey Time!

My first graders made some adorable turkeys on Kid Pix last week. 

How cute is this!?!

I made an example turkey on Kid Pix and some sample sentences to guide their writing. Each student was given a copy for reference, but they could make their turkey any way they wanted to. 

Turkey reference page:

Here are some more cuties that I had to share! I wish I had a color printer at school because many of the turkeys had such colorful tail feathers. 
Click on an image to see a larger version.

I hope you enjoyed my students' terrific turkeys!

Background paper from Emily Wean. Font by Kimberly Geswein.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thanksgiving Freebie!

It's getting close to Thanksgiving, and I have a fun freebie I'd like to share:

Click HERE to download this Thanksgiving freebie from my TPT store.


Monday, November 11, 2013

What Gets You Going in the Morning?

It's no fun getting out of bed in the morning. Especially when it's dark and cold outside and. I used to sleep as late as I could and drag myself out of bed to get ready for work. I'd take my coffee with me to work in a travel mug and never really get time to enjoy it. 

Last school year, I changed my routine. Now, my day starts off on a much nicer note. I set my alarm 30 minutes early, make myself a great cup of coffee, and relax on the couch. It's so nice to wake up slowly and enjoy sipping my warm cup of coffee. I look forward to it, and I even find myself waking up earlier before my alarm goes off.

My family loves our Keurig! It's so easy and convenient to make a quick cup of coffee, tea, or even hot cocoa any time of day.

I have a lot of coffee cups! These are some of my favorites. 

~I had to have the Las Vegas mug from Starbucks because it's so cool and retro looking! 
~My family went to Disneyland for their 50th anniversary and I got the middle mug there. 
~The Mickey Hawaii cup was a fun find last summer in Honolulu. 
~The adorable owl mug was given to me by a favorite student. Owls are my school's mascot.
~The Okinawa mug is from Starbucks in Okinawa. My husband and I traveled to to Japan a few years ago. 
~In the previous picture, the Kyoto mug is from Starbucks in Kyoto.

There are a lot of Starbucks in Japan. They have a coffee size called Short that is smaller than Tall. It's not enough for me in the morning, but I think it's great for an afternoon pick-me-up.

How do you get going in the morning?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Evaluation & Feedback ~ The Writing Process in 2nd and 5th Grade

After working so hard on their five paragraph opinion essays, my 5th graders were anxious to share their work. I think it's important that the sharing be as meaningful as possible. I had my students evaluate their own writing, evaluate the writing of others, and give feedback. My students value each other's opinions and are really eager to both give and receive feedback. 

I had students reread their own essays first and use the highlighting tool in Microsoft Word to select the best piece of evidence to show that their restaurant would be a good one to try. They also filled out a feedback card for themselves to practice before giving feedback to their peers.

Then it was time to evaluate and give feedback to their peers. The students loved rotating to other students' computers and reading their essays. I had them use a different color highlighter each time they selected new evidence. 

After about six rotations, my students couldn't wait to get back to their own computers and read their feedback!

This opinion essay writing unit is available in my TPT store here.

My 2nd graders' robot paragraphs turned out great! They drew a picture in Kid Pix and typed their paragraph in Microsoft Word. The cute tech alphabet was made by Elementary Techie Teacher.

For evaluation and feedback, I copied these cards front and back so that the "I liked" was on one side and the "I have a question" was on the other.
I had my students work in groups of three to read their paragraphs. The listeners each wrote what they liked, wrote a question, and read them to the author. I stapled the cards to their printed paragraphs for them to keep.


This informative writing unit is available in mt TPT store here.

To see what other teachers have been teaching, click the image below:

I hope you enjoyed reading about my evaluating and feedback activities!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

This Week in My Computer Lab ~ Intermediate

One of the great things about my third, fourth, and fifth graders is their proficiency on the computer. I've had most for them for three years, and they've learned and retained so much. At the beginning of the year, we're ready to dive right onto some great Common Core writing projects!

Third & Fourth Grades

The first trimester Common Core writing benchmark for third and fourth grades is narrative writing, real or imaginary. We recently finished publishing writing projects from my Narrative Writing Packet:

It's available in my here in my TPT store.

In my computer lab, we work on every stage of the writing process:

1. Brainstorming/Prewriting
2. Drafting
3. Revising
4. Editing
5. Publishing
6. Evaluating/Feedback

I love to start off a project with a quick brainstorming activity.

My third graders brainstormed unusual pets, 
and my fourth graders brainstormed interesting field trip destinations.


I created a prewriting graphic organizer template for my students to type into. It takes them longer than it would if they were writing with a pencil, but it's good keyboarding practice.


I have students type their rough draft and then go back and revise. Editing takes place throughout the entire process. Really, they can't seem to move forward when they see those red, green, and blue lines!

My students love to add border, clip art, and change their font when publishing. I have a list of approved fonts for publishing because they would otherwise pick really fancy fonts that are hard to read.

With my third graders, I really have to work on paragraphing. 
It's a big leap from writing one good paragraph in second grade to 
a five paragraph paper in third grade.

My fourth graders have paragraphing down from last year, so I focus a lot on dialogue and how to properly use quotation marks on the computer.

We're ready for the evaluating and feedback portion of this project, and I have some new ideas to share with you soon!