The week before Spring Break we did a little remediation on RI4.8.  Our recent local benchmark assessment showed that our kids (the entire 4th grade) needed to review this skill.  Looking at the questions we realized that our students always chose the answer choice that was a fact.  We knew we needed to show them that an an author can also support their claim with an opinion.

Early in the week I had received our newest Weekly Reader {LOVE them!} and noticed that the teacher guide said RI4.8....JACKPOT!  The cover story's topic was wether or not to ban plastic bags from grocery stores.

The first day we read the story and discussed the facts and opinions in the text.  The second day students silently reread the story and recorded evidence from the text that supported banning the bags and evidence that supported not to ban the bags.  The great thing about this article was that both sides were supported with both facts and opinions.

Students then shared and compared their T-charts with their partners.  They added any evidence their partner had listed that they didn't to their list.

The third day students reread the text with their partner.  I then numbered them off and put them into cooperative learning groups.  I provided each group with a sticky note labeled "Ban Plastic Bags" or "Don't Ban Plastic Bags"

In their groups each student was provided a smaller sticky note in which they were to write evidence from the text which supported the claim on the larger sticky note.  Students had to work together to make sure they all found a different piece of evidence to support the claim.

I instructed them to create a bubble map with their sticky notes as they were working.  This was to create a visual on how all of the evidence they founded supported the claim provided.

Once we discussed the groups evidence and how they each supported the two different claims we also discussed which evidence was a fact or an opinion.  Back at their seats I gave each student a large sticky note.  They were to determine their own claim on wether or not plastic bags should or should not be banned.  They had to support their claim with evidence, either from the text or their own evidence.

One thing I loved about using the sticky notes was that it quickly eliminated the "how long does it have to be?" question and they were excited to write on something different.  I am a firm believer on changing it up a bit to keep them excited...when they are excited I am excited about the lesson too!

I have some very strong opinionated personalities in my room so whenever they get a chance to express their thoughts and feelings they become very passionate writers.  Many students used evidence from the text to support their claim, which was great because it tied into reviewing our researching skills.  

I had a few students support their claim with their own evidence.  The student above had just finished a Girl Scout project using plastic bags to help the homeless.  I LOVE that she made a personal connection to the text and then supported her claim using her own experiences.

Once completed my kiddos placed their sticky on our class T-chart.  I was surprised at how many students were for not banning the bags, because I felt the article was geared towards banning the plastic bags.  As I mentioned before, my kids have very strong personalities and opinions :)

I was so proud of how well they grasped this skill and how passionate they were about their claims that I decided to whip up a bulletin board. :)  I guess we can add that to support the claim as to why not to ban plastic bags!

Today was back to work for me after having Spring!  We only have about 7 weeks of school left!  The Friday before Spring Break was a snow make up day for us, thankfully it was a half day.  I only had 12 out of 23 kiddos show up so we cleaned all morning.  It's amazing what students will clean when they have access to clorox wipes...I am pretty sure EVERY surface was cleaned with a wipe!

In the mist of our Spring Cleaning frenzy one of my students found my Versa Tiles tucked away and asked what they were...{a fun way to trick you into reviewing skills, I thought}.  I took one of the books and tile containers out and modeled for my class how to use them.

They were excited and ready to go after that!

The kit I have reviews fractions, decimals, multiplication, and division.  I gave each student a book and they all began on the first page.  There are 12 questions per page and an answer box at the bottom of each page. The in each of the answer boxes there are an answer choice and a letter.  Students place the corresponding problem number tile in the corresponding letter box.  From the above picture the student shows that answer choice A is for problem #3, and question #1's answer is in the letter box K.

Once the student has answered all of the questions and the tiles cover up the letter answer boxes they close the lid and flip it over.

To self check their work students compare the design the tiles create after flipping the tiles over, with the tile image at the bottom of the page they are working on.  My kiddos were really excited when it matched up!

If they tiles don't match up then the student knows they have made a mistake and need to go back and rework some of the problems.  

After about ten minutes I allowed my kids to switch books to review a different skill and keep them interested in the Versa Tiles.

What are some fun things you have done to review math skills this time of year?
As mention in yesterday's HOP post this time of year, spring fever has hit, and with the end of the year in sight, we all need a little extra magic to keep us going!  So, in the next few weeks, I’m joining with my favorite intermediate teachers to put a little extra magic in our lessons and keep students engaged.

Credit goes to these talented graphic & font artists: Krista Wallden, KG Fonts & CC Fonts.

We will be swapping resources that will be just what we need to keep our students engaged during the final weeks of school.  We want to share our finds with you in a fun way – a 2-part blog hop giveaway!

Today, we present Part 1, with each blogger introducing the resource they selected to keep their friends engaged and learning in our final weeks together.  Then, over the course of the next two weeks, we will be using these resources in our classrooms.  On Sunday, May 11, we’ll be back to report on how well these resources kept our students engaged!

Nonfiction Book Report Project (Aligned to CCSS)

Yesterday, I shared how I am going to keep my students motivated with Reading Bingo so when I found out I was paired up with Kathleen I knew I wanted to use her Nonfiction Informational Book Project with my class.  My kids LOVE reading and I have several who LOVE reading nonfiction books, as I have said before I am extremely blessed with this group of kids!

By this time of year I have run out of creative juice and my mind is on test prep.  With this project my students are still going to get the practice they need for identifying main idea and with grade level vocabulary.  I am going to have my students choose one of the books they are reading for Reading Bingo to use for this project.

What I love best about this project is that it allows students to be creative!  They get to use the other side of their brain while still staying focused for our upcoming state test.

I can't wait to tell them about this project when we go back to school tomorrow. {I am excited to tell them about it, but not excited our Spring Break is over.}  I also have a creative bunch of kids and know they will LOVE this project.

If you can't wait to see how my student's projects turn out take a sneak peek at Kathleen's post from when her students completed the project HERE.

Now to the giveaway!  Here’s what you need to do:

Stop by each blog below to check out the resources being swapped.

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.)

One winner will receive the entire set of resources being featured by ALL collaborating bloggers!

Here’s the list of blogs to visit: 
Swap Stop A
Teaching FourthTeaching with Blonde Ambition

Swap Stop B 
Fifth in the Middle

Swap Stop C

Swap Stop D

Swap Stop E

Swap Stop F 
One Lesson at a Time

Swap Stop G 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Finally, don’t forget to stop back in two weeks!   On Sunday, May 11, we’ll all be back to share with you how the magic went in our classrooms!  Oh yeah, you might want to know that that there will be a SECOND GIVEAWAY, too!  Until then, enjoy the magic and happy teaching.  :)

We are only weeks away from the end of the school year!  Can you believe how fast this year has gone by, although I am sure some of you may have wished this year went by even quicker!  Are you getting Spring fever, or are your students the ones showing signs of being checked out!?!  My BBB's and I have pulled together some of our favorite survival tips for this time of year and along with a few AWESOME giveaways!

By this time of year do you feel like it's pulling teeth to get your students to read?  It seems like all they want to do is everything BUT read!  Around this time last year I implemented Reading Bingo, I will introduce it this year on Monday when we get back from Spring Break.

Each student is provided a copy of the Reading Bingo sheet and can read any of the books off the chart.  We use AR at my school so students are encouraged to choose AR books so I can see that they did read and comprehend a book from their Bingo sheet.

Once they have read a book and passed the AR test I use a Bingo dauber to mark of their square.  Each time a student makes a BINGO they earn one of the following: a prize from the prize bin, candy, or a classroom ticket of their choice.  I do not allow them to stop there!  I encourage them to get as many Bingo's as possible for the remainder of the school year.  They will receive a prize with each Bingo.

My class last year did not enjoy reading. Once I implemented Reading Bingo I had more students meet their monthly AR goal in the last month of school than any other month!  This year's group LOVES reading, but HATES AR test.  They truly read for pleasure...I am blessed to have them!

I encourage you to grab my Reading Bingo Freebie to keep your students excited about reading these last few weeks of school!  I have created two different Bingo sheets. They both have the similar non-fiction text requirements, but one has students read any book from several fiction series and the other list specific fiction books. There is a color and BW copy for each sheet because by this time of year you may be out of color ink or color copies. :)  I hope you can use one of them with your students!  

After entering my secret code into the Rafflecopter below, click on the button below to HOP on over to visit Theresa and Robyn!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

With testing quickly approaching I decided it was time to try out The Quietest Pencil Sharpener to assist with ALL those pencils.  I currently have the following electric pencil sharpener.  It was VERY expensive and does it's job. It's loud and see all the smeared pencil shavings and lead!?!

I couldn't wait to receive my new sharpener!  I attached mine to a bookshelf, there is no lip on the countertop in my room so this was the next best thing.  I couldn't wait to test it out, the kids were also excited about it too!

I found two of my students pre-sharpened pencils and tested each one of them out in each sharpener.  I couldn't believe how long the lead was on the one from Classroom Friendly Supplies!  Normally, it would fall or break off from any other pencil sharpener.  The sharp point is perfect for all those bubbles on our upcoming State Assessments!
 Here is a comparison of the two pencils...can you believe the difference!?!

One of my friends tested out my new sharpener and wanted one for herself.  She sent out an email to our staff asking if anyone else wanted to order one, if you order more than one it ends up being cheaper.  Eleven other teachers also wanted this awesome pencil sharpener!  When she sent out a final email for ordering our Principal sent her a message and asked if he could help out with the order, she asked if he would pay for it and he did!  How cool is that!?!  

You can now find The Quietest Pencil Sharpener in an array of colors all over our school!

To order your sharpener please visit, maybe you can convince your principal to order them for your school too!

I had a post planned for today, teaching decimals on a number line.  I didn't get it done because I am exhausted and READY for Spring Break.  Many of you are currently on Spring Break or have had your break.  Mine doesn't start until 12:30 this Friday.

So let's do a fun product linky!  I haven't done one in awhile and it's easy! :) Feel free to link directly to your product or back to your blog. Please only ONE product, thanks!

I am linking up my new Measurement Review Task Cards, they are on sale for $1.00!

Today I am linking up with my girls Amanda and Stacia over at Collaboration Cuties!  I have discovered the text, Counting On Frank by Rod Clement. I just ordered this book to use as a review and as a way to introduce measurement to my class.

First, the illustrations are amazing and I know my kids will love them too!  The story is of a boy, he does not have a name in the story, and his dog Frank.  The boy uses Frank to help solve problems and provide the reader with random facts.

The author builds upon the problems in the text, for example for "Roomful of Franks" you will need the answer to question on to solve problem number two.  Problem two reads, "If eight of these Franks went out for a walk, how many would that leave in the house?".

This book is 33 pages long and I can't wait to use it with my kids.  I did notice on Amazon that it is not available in "New" condition so I am assuming it is no longer being printed.

 To go along with page 28 I am going to use my Measurement Review Task Cards.  I created 20 task cards that review metric and customary units of measurement.  ALL of the questions are word problems, ten are multiple choice and the other ten are multi-step/critical thinking tasks.  I have made them April's $1.00 DEAL!

If you haven't grabbed this GREAT deal by Educents you should!  One of my favorite lessons/products from this bundle is Cooking With Science by Teaching with a Touch of Twang.  It's a FABULOUS lesson for Physical and Chemical changes with a real world connection!

I hope you stop by for tomorrow's Mathematical Linky post!  I am sharing how we used decimals on a number line.

Last week we took our local Benchmark Assessment, this was the last practice test before the BIG ONE in May.  Our 4th grade team found out on Tuesday that we ranked FOURTH in ELA in the district AND FIFTH in Math!!!  There are 56 elementary schools in our district, so needless to say we are SUPER excited!

During testing last week we read Fireflies! by Julie Brinkloe and created my Lapbook for this book.  I didn't want to stress my students out during our local assessment and decided to have a little fun and provide my kiddos with a craftivity.

They loved it and didn't even realize they were reviewing skills such as fact and opinion, theme, similes, story structure, and text-dependent questions.

I got a pedicure this week!  I haven't had a pedi in over a year...oh my poor feet!  I went out of my comfort zone and went bold with the color.  :)

When I got home I told my hubby I think my feet are saying it's time to go to the beach!

Are you going to get up early on the 15th to see the lunar eclipse?  Not sure if I am going to be able to get myself out of bed, but at least my students are prepared to view this phenomenon if they get up.  This week we created Collaboration Cuties Moon Book from the Educent's Intermediate Science Bundle.

I included two of my Interactive Notebooks in the bundle as well!  A great deal packed full of fun hands on Science activities and lessons to use at the end of the year after testing!

FEUL Your Faith with Joy in the Journey

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Lately I can feel the changes God has been working through me, and I love the results!  When we transform to live by God's word rather than the world's ideas AMAZING things can happen!


Thursday I lost it!! I couldn't take my students interrupting instruction anymore with arguments over highlighters, dry erase markers, color pencils, etc.  I asked them if they wanted me to send them down the hall to Pre-K where that is a big deal.  I went around and collected ALL of their supplies except for a pencil.  One more week until Spring Break....I CAN MAKE IT! :)
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