I am linking up with Tara for this week's Monday Made It.  Last week my boys and I worked on some projects for the up coming 4th of July holiday.  I LOVE the 4th of July, being a military family makes this holiday a little extra special for us.

Every year I like to update my front door.  I new use the same wreath or decoration, only because there are SO MANY cute ideas out there!  This year I found a large "S" at Hobby Lobby and decided to dress it up for the 4th.

I forgot to take pictures as I was making it, but can tell you how I made it :)

1. Spray paint the letter white.
2. I used my Cricut to cut out chevron stripes and stars.  I wanted my lines clean and the same, but most of all it made the project go much faster.
3. I painted the top part blue.  
4. I applied my vinyl stripes and stars.
5. Finally, I cut my burlap ribbon and hot glued it to the letter where the two designs met.

My second project was for my boys.  Each year for the 4th I try to make shirts for them, this year I found an idea on Pinterest for them to make their shirts.  I started with plain white T-shirts from Hobby Lobby.

1. I painted their hands blue and had them place them on the shirt.
2. Once the hand print was dried I had my middle son and oldest son paint their red stripes.  I painted the baby's for my own sanity.
3. I used Crayola fabric markers to write their names and the year under each flag.

This captures his personality!

Congrats to Crystal for WINNING my 4th Grade NBT Bundle!  Thank you to all who entered and keep checking back for the 3rd and 5th grade set in the next several weeks!

Martha from The Teaching Tribune suggested we share a tried and true idea, lesson, activity we have used in our classrooms.  I am also taking advantage of "Throwback Thursday" and reposting a post I originally shared back in April.  (According to blogger not many of you saw the post because you were most likely away on vacation somewhere. :) )

My tried and true concept is my use of cooperative learning teams and structures.  I have always used these structures in my lessons.  If you do not use cooperative pairs, teams, or structures in your classroom I highly suggest you spend some time this summer finding at least TWO structures you would like to try next school year.  You may already use some and not know they are apart of Kagan's Cooperative Learning Structures.  For example Find-Someone-Who, I Have Who Has, Pairs-Check, etc.

In the post we were remediating Common Core Standard RI4.8 {Reasoning & Evidence}.  I used cooperative teams to teach the skill throughout the week.  This lesson was very effective for my students, they did awesome on it during our state testing!

Originally Posted in April

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!

It's Worksheet Wednesday over at The Teaching Tribune!  Today I have a summer themed FREEBIE for you!  I created a short passage about the history of the Lemonade Stand and included five text-dependent questions for the text.  

Click on either image to grab this freebie.

I created a color and BW version for you :)

I'm linking up with my girl Jivey for her new summer linky, What I'm Wearing Wednesday!
I'm not really a fashion person, I wear what I like and that's about it.  So this is new for me :)

I haven't worn this yet, but was so excited I had to share.  I will be wearing this for the 4th of July this year!  You may have seen it on Pinterest, but I was lucky enough to get my tank from a local online boutique.  (So local that my BFF lives in the owner's neighborhood and she delivers my goodies to my BFF's house...saves on shipping!)

Side Note:  see the HORRIBLE sunburn!?!  I went to the beach last week and brought back a painful full body sunburn.  It seriously hurt to wear clothes for two days!

This is what I wear for working out, okay to be honest this is basically my summer vacation attire.  My shirt says "A New York Girl in a North Carolina World".  I have been slowly loosing weight, but still see myself as my larger self.  I just received this in the mail and I think I ordered it a size or two too big. (The shirt above is a bit big too.)  I'm thinking of using ribbon to scrunch it up in the back similar to the tank above to help with the extra fabric.  Either way I have a new workout shirt!

I am participating in The Teaching Tribune's Two for Tuesday.  I surveyed my FB followers to see what they wanted to grab at half off today and they chose my Interactive Science Notebooks.  So for today only the following two Interactive Notebooks will be 50% off!!!

Any suggestions on what you would like to grab at 50% off next Tuesday?

Don't forget to enter a chance to win my Fourth Grade NBT bundle HERE.  Contest ends on the 30th.

My girl Mandy from The 4th Grade Journey is hosting an AMAZING giveaway!  You can win a class set of Sophie Simon Solves Them All and her Novel Unit.  Stop over and enter HERE.

Today I am linking up with The Teaching Tribune's Summer Bloggin' Linky.  I have shared with you three things you may not have know about me.  :)

Does anyone else love liver and onions!?!  :) Growing up our family would go to a fish fry on fridays and I don't like fish so I would always order my favorite.  So Yummy and good for you!

I've been working on a craft project over a week now, I can't find my glue gun to finish it up!!!  Once I locate which box it was packed up in I will show you my newest project....it's super cute!

I have however, finished up revising two products and created two new ones to go along with the unit. I have created lesson plans and everything  you need to teach the lesson.  You will receive a math investigation, interactive notebook foldables, cooperative learning activities, practice sheets, and homework sheets for each CC standard. Some lesson plans contain two days of lessons and all materials.

I am currently working on 4.NBT.5 and 4.NBT.6 to complete the unit.  Since I will be a coach at a 3-5 school I will also be creating lesson bundles for those grades as well. :)

I am very excited and proud of these units that I am going to give them away to one lucky follower!  The winner will receive all four bundles and 4.NBT.5: Multiplication and 4.NBT.6: Division (once they are completed).   Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am linking up with The Teaching Tribune's Worksheet Wednesday!  Today I am sharing with you a freebie from my Grammar Pack and a freebie from my Reading Informational Text Task Cards and Passages.

You can also check out my store for more ELA Freebies!  Here are just a few :)

Sequencing Events for 1st & 2nd Grades

Sequencing for 1-2

Active Reading Sheets for Any Text
Active Reading Sheets for 2-6

Today I am linking up with TWO linkys!!  First I want to share with you what I made for my dad for Father's Day for Tara's Monday Made It.

This is my dad and oldest son from Oct. 2011.  They are cool dudes :)

I get my sense of humor from my dad, sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes not a good thing. :)  I saw a shirt on Pinterest that was perfect for my dad, but since I'm a procrastinator I didn't have time to order it.  So I did the next best thing, I made it!

I picked up a shirt from Hobby Lobby, used my Cricut, some old vinyl, and fabric paint.

I am also HORRIBLE at getting things into the mail, so his shirt is currently on my dinning room table waiting for me to put it in the mail...oops!

I think my dad would be more surprised if I actually mailed something out on time!

The second linky I am linking up with is The Teaching Tribune's Bloggin' Summer Series.  Today's post we are to write a letter to ourselves from the day we started our blogging and/or TpT journey.  I must admit, it was a bit emotional to write...a few tears of joy were shed. :)  Read my letter below to see why.

I look forward to reading what other bloggers wrote to themselves!  I actually liked this idea and I am thinking about using it as a beginning of the year activity for my teachers.  I think it would be fun to have them write a letter to themselves as a first year teacher or student teacher for my first year teachers.

The kids last day was Tuesday and mine was Wednesday....YIPEE!  Before they left for the summer we had a class celebration to celebrate their successes. 

Our state changed the way they scored our assessments this year, students could earn a 1-5 instead of a 1-4.  To encourage them to do well I told my kids that if they earned a 3 they could throw 1 pie in my face, a 4 earned 2 pies, and a 5 earned 3 pies.

Our kids only test in Reading and Math so they had an opportunity to earn a chance to throw 6 pies in my face.  I am proud to say that I my students earned 62 pies!!!  A few students were absent and I had one sweet girl who didn't want to throw the pies at me, so I ended up with about 55 pies in the face.

I've done this before so I new to cover everything in plastic....learned that the hard way!

I think many of my kids were a little too eager to throw the pies! :)

I couldn't see a thing!!

Do you do anything fun to celebrate your student's achievements?
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