I am excited to link up with Doodlebugs Five for Friday!  I haven't linked up to this linky in a long time!

We have been on Snow Days since Tuesday here in North Carolina!  We had school Monday and haven't been back since.  The past two days were due to ice on the roads.  A lot of our back roads are sheets of ice.

My hubby had a Snow Day too, that is a pretty big deal because the mililtary post rarely closes.  We were able to have a day of fun at home!  My oldest and youngest ambushed their daddy. :)

 My boys have enjoyed their days off.  My oldest taught my youngest how to be a soldier by hiding and sneaking up on someone.  It's actually quite funny to see the baby mimic everything his Bubba does.  My middle guy has enjoyed playing video games.

These snow days have helped me complete a few new products.  I completed my Fossils Interactive Notebook, I am excited for this one!  I used some fun pockets and foldables for this unit.  While cleaning up my computer I found a product for teaching theme I had started and forgot about.  I fixed a few things and finished it up.

I always create a meal plan every two weeks, today I completed it in word so I could just use the hyperlinks to get to the recipes.  Normally I write (P) next to the recipe if it is one I have found on Pinterest and then log into Pinterest, find the pin, and then go to the recipe.  I saved the calendar to my desktop for easier access and just have to open and click on the link.  Skipping Pinterest will save me some time, especially when I get the "504...Oops! Something has gone wrong" message.  If you would like my meal plan feel free to comment with your email and I will send it to you.

This week I have two PIN IT TO WIN IT contest happening!  The Scarlet Stockings Spy contest ends tonight and the Multi-Step Area & Perimeter contest ends Sunday night.

Do you have a snow day today?  We are on our second snow day and I am secretly hoping for another one tomorrow!  There is no better way to spend a snow day than reading teaching blogs and checking out Pinterest for new fun ideas and lessons to use when we go back.  Today I am linking up with my friend Jivey for her Workshop Wednesday.

I wanted to show pictures of my students starting our Historical Fiction unit, but due to the snow we only got through the first day.  If you teach the American Revolution or a Historical Fiction Unit I hope you have The Scarlet Stockings Spy in your collection of resources.

I discovered this book from my BBB's and other teachers at my school.  The story is a tale about a little girl, Maddy Rose, who helps spy for Washington's army.  Maddy Rose uses her clothesline, wash, and scarlet stockings to help send messages to her brother Jonathan, who is a 15 year old soldier.  The Scarlet Stockings Spy is a wonderful story about loyalty, patriotism, and an emotional tale of the American Revolution.

I start my Historical Fiction unit by going over what Historical Fiction Text are.  We also reviewed the American Revolution using online resources.  Since we are just starting this unit we haven't discussed many of the major events, but I knew my students had some prior knowledge because of what they were taught in third grade.  We watched a Youtube video and a Brain Pop video.  Later in the unit we will watch Liberty Kids videos as well.

As I read aloud The Scarlet Stockings Spy my students completed the Historical Fiction sheet.  We discussed their answer as I read and after I read aloud.  It was a amazing to watch them work hard in the beginning of the story, but once I reached the climax of the story their pencils stopped and they sat there listening intently, waiting to see what would happen next.  I LOVE when I find a story they all enjoy!

Since I am unable to share more of how we use this unit in my class I am sharing my suggested lesson plan.  I link I am going to switch days three and four, because my students were already picking up on Maddy Rose's character traits as I was reading on Monday.

I created a Smart Board file to go along with this unit, and have included it in the product.  For those who do not have a Smart Board I also have the unit available without the SB file.  The SB file follows the suggested lesson plan, includes images of the sheets making it easy to go over with students, links to the videos for day one, and interactive games.

(Unit & Smartboard File)

1. Pin the Area & Perimeter Pack image above on Pinterest.
2. Leave a comment with your email and the URL after you have pinned the image in your comment.

I will choose a winner Friday the 31st using a random number generator. Good Luck and thanks for entering!

Don't forget to "Follow The Trail" to enter a chance to win 14 products and a $25 TpT gift card!

Yeah!  We have moved on from division!  I enjoyed teaching division because of all the new strategies I used this year, but after a month of it I was ready to move on and so were my kids.  We have moved onto area and perimeter.  It was brought to my attention the other day that this is the first time I have taught this skill in three years!  Last year I threw my back out during this skill and the year before I just had my youngest son.

Last Tuesday I posted about our PD, I actually learned some new techniques I couldn't wait to try in my classroom.  I shared the Cube Creator and today I am going to share Probable Passages.  Our district, along with Common Core, is pushing for writing across the curriculum.  

A Probable Passage is used for Preview & Review purposes.  I wrote our vocabulary terms for this unit on the board (area, perimeter, addition, multiplication, length, and width), without going over the words I asked students to write about how these words were related.  I wanted to see what knowledge they already had on this topic.  I was able to QUICKLY see where everyone was on this skill.

 I could quickly tell that this student related the terms to measurement, knew how to find the area of a rectangle.

 Again, I was able to tell with this student that they were able to recall how to find area and perimeter.

This student knew the definition of each of the terms.  I had one student write down, "when you measure tiles on the floor".  I was able to quickly determine he didn't remember the vocabulary from last year, just part of an activity our third grade team does with the students.

After the students shared their writing with their teammates we discussed how the words were related.  I modeled for them how I would of answered the question to model technical writing.  At the end of our area and perimeter unit I am going to have them complete the same writing task to determine if they made any growth in their knowledge of this skill, and writing in math.

For the next part of my lesson I put our districts Meaningful Math Task on the board for students to investigate.  I provided them one minute to think about the problem on their own, then we discussed what information was given and what information was needed to solve the problem.  I then provided each team with unifix cubes and let the work together to investigate and solve the problem.

This group used division to help solve the problem and then the cubes to visually determine if their solution was probable.

This little guy decided to draw his cubes to solve the problem.

This group and I had a great discussion about checking our work.  The problem stated the perimeter was 56, the length and width they came up with was over that measurement.  We also discussed how they were going to fix their shape once they determined how many units they were over.

I had another great discussion with this group.  When I walked  by they had written down 30 and 26.  They determined this was the length and the width.  I asked them to draw their rectangular shape with their measurement and check their work.  Once they determined their perimeter was doubled, we discussed why and reviewed that 26 was the total for two sides of the rectangle, as well as 30.  They were able to fix their mistake quickly.

Once all teams had a solution we discussed their answers, how they discovered their answers, and how all the rectangular shapes had different lengths and widths and the same perimeter.

 I really liked the rigor with this task, because this is similar to the types of questions our students will answer on the End of Grade test.  I created a Multi-step Area and Perimeter pack that we are going to use this week.  I am actually going to use it during my observation Tuesday, so I am not sure I will be able to snap some pictures.  I created three Math Investigations, 20 task cards, and a worksheet for students to complete.  It is available in my TpT store if you are interested, or you can Pin It To Win It!


1. Pin the Area & Perimeter Pack image above on Pinterest.
2. Leave a comment with your email and the URL after you have pinned the image in your comment.

I will choose a winner using a random number generator and announce the winner next Monday, February 3rd. Good Luck and thanks for entering!

Don't forget to "Follow The Trail" to enter a chance to win 14 products and a $25 TpT gift card!

Are you up for an adventure this week?  A number of fellow intermediate teacher-bloggers have joined to provide you with blog-hopping fun this last week of January.  Perhaps snow covers the ground outside where you are reading this from, making a real outdoor hike out of the question...so we thought we would offer you a trail to "hike along" from the comfort of your couch!

Back in December, I was partnered with Jennifer from Teaching to Inspire in 5th! You have no idea how excited I was when I found out she was my partner! Jennifer and I checked out the resources available at one another's TpT stores, and then picked one that we wanted to use in our classroom in January.  (How fun is that?!)    It didn't take me long to choose my resource!  Her Base Ten Roll and Answer Math Centers resource would work perfectly with the skills we were working on in Math.

We were working on division when we came back from break and needed some review.  I used the division game from Jennifer's Roll and Math Center whole group.  I wanted to model how to use the game first before having my students play it on their own.

I put the Roll sheet up on the Smartboard and had team members take turns rolling the dice.  Everyone at the team solved the problem corresponding to number rolled.  This worked really well for my students and I was able to walk around and monitor their work.

Later in the week I used the Rounding Roll sheet for morning work using the same procedures.  The only difference was that students rolled their own dice and completed work on their own.  I can't wait to use more of Jennifer's Roll and Answer Math Games!

Now, to help with your exercise for the day, here's what you need to know about our hike and giveaway!
Hiking Tips 
-Start anywhere along the trail!

-Along the way, stop by each blog and read about the resources swapped between bloggers.

-Enter to win the resource that is featured at each blog in the raffle below (the same raffle is at each blog, so you can just add to your entries as you go!). While you are at each blog, if you’re not a blog follower already, sign on to follow! (You can earn bonus entries for following all blogs once you unlock the additional entries.)

-The raffle is open until midnight on January 31, so feel free to take a break from your hike, rest up, and finish it later! 

One winner will receive the entire set of resources being featured by all 14 collaborating bloggers AND a $25 TpT gift certificate! 

Here’s the list of blogs to "hike" to: 
Swap Stop A

Swap Stop B 

Swap Stop C 

Swap Stop D 

Swap Stop E 

Swap Stop F 

Swap Stop G 
 Well, friends, settle in on your couch and grab the granola. It's time to get your hike on! :)

Today I am linking up with my friend Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday.

Today we had Professional Development and for the first time in a long time I actually learned something new!  Our PD was great and I couldn't wait to share one of the tools we played with today.  Our district is focusing on Writing PD this year and today's focus was on Writing to Learn, Writing to Apply in Math.  I will be sharing more of the great stuff I learned today as I use it in my Math instruction.

Do you use cubes in your lessons?  You know the ones where you write a question or prompt on each side and students roll and respond to the prompt or question.  Do you find an old copy of your cube master and handwrite questions onto each side of the cube?  Well here is your life saver, readwritethink.org Cube Creator!

You can find the Cube Creator under the Classroom Resources Tab or use this LINK.  There are three pre-made cubes available for reading skills, but if you choose the Create-Your-Own-Cube option the possiblities are endless!

 Our focus was on Math today so my team and I created a cube for each of the vocabulary words in our next unit, Area & Perimeter.  In the Question box we wrote the following questions for each side:
1. This reminds me of when we learned about...
2. Write related words to _________. (Or list synonyms)
3. Draw a picture to represent ________.
4. How can I use this word in real life?
5. Write a sentence using the word ___________.
6. Write the definition of __________.
 We used the vocabulary words: area, perimeter, addition, multiplication, width, and length.

Students answer each of the questions on the cube template, cut, and glue their cube together.  Some of the ideas we discussed were having each student at the teams complete a different vocabulary cube and then roll their teammates cubes to review the other terms.  We also discussed having teams complete the  cube template using the cooperative learning structure Round Table.

I also created a cube for this week's Spelling words.  We are working on the prefix semi and multi.  I am going to have students complete their cubes during our Reading Foundations time.  I wrote the following tasks:
1. Define the prefix semi
2. Define the prefix multi
3. Draw a picture for the prefix semi
4. Draw a picture for the prefix multi
5. Create a list of words with the prefix semi
6. Create a list of words with the prefix multi

One of the features I like about the Cube Creator is you can save, print, and email your cube!  I can't wait to use these cubes this week and see how much my students enjoy them.

Back to Top