Saturday, February 23, 2013

Down the Drain...What's that?

My week ended with a plugged classroom sink.
The sitting water wouldn't drain and I was stumped because nothing ever goes down it except water, or my leftover coffee or tea. My assumptions were way off though.
A work order was put in and the district maintenance guy came to take a look....during the middle of my classroom instruction. He plunged, plunged, plunged...on and on while I tried to teach.
I stopped to ask him if I needed to clear out under the sink and he stated, "No, not unless I need to get the snake."  Great thing to say with a class full of kiddos. I could see many of them trying to figure out why he would need a snake to fix the sink. I clarified. "Boys and girls, a snake is a tool to unplug a drain, not a real snake."  On went the lesson, until finally after more plunging and  yes, using the "snake", 3 watercolor brushes were found. I was shocked. First, I never rinse watercolor brushes. I have the kids put them back in the container and air dry. Second, my class has not water colored this year at all. Third, how did 3 of them get down the sink? I could see maybe one as an accident but not 3.
I guess I'll never know. I can only assume this problem was started with my last year's class, since that is when I last remember water coloring.

If you are looking for some good freebies, hop on over to All Things Upper Elementary today.
I added this to the grabbings.

Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page or TPT store

Monday, February 18, 2013

Testing Time

Randy Sauer has written a testing theme song called Rock This Test.
So has Dallas Thompson's 5th graders. Links are below for both songs.
I'm adding them to my bag of testing tricks.
Standardized testing in my district will be in April. It's creeping up quickly.
I reinforce testing skills from week one of the school year though as part of my regular teaching.

Catchy rhymes and hints stick with my students when I use my Test Tip Posters.

Also, the week prior to testing I send home a healthy snack donation letter to parents so I can pass out brain friendly treats in between testing sessions.

On the first day of testing week I also give this Smart Cookie motivational note to each student

Click picture to grab this FREEBIE

You might want to revisit an older post of mine with a cute read aloud idea:
The Biggest Test in the Universe

How do you prepare for standardized testing?
Share your wisdom

Click picture to view poster set

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Field Trip and Technology Goodies

My class is learning about the solar system and we recently went to the California Science Center to view the Space Shuttle Endeavour exhibit.
What an amazing experience.

Click picture for Panoramic viewing of exhibit
Source: LA Times

A great follow up to this field trip was courtesy of Lakeshore Learning.
They sent me a box full of their educational software and I immediately explored the

You can choose to play with 1-4 teams and can also adjust the length of game.

Here's a sample question

A spinner feature adjusts the topic of each question

At the end of the game a prize selection page shows

Plus a score report shows the results of each team and it is printable too.

An added bonus is in the menu feature you can use a printable pre/post assessment in conjunction with the software.

Other goodies that are equally fun and educational include their math and phonics versions.

 If interested, Lakeshore has a buy one get one 50% off offer thru March 17th 

Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page or TPT store

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Topping Off the Day

I topped off today by combining Valentine's Day with Lincoln history.

I read this book that gives background on how Lincoln used to keep important notes inside his top hat.

Also of interest is a short video clip from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois

We then made our Valentine holders Lincoln top hat style

Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page or TPT store

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Learning from History Lincoln and Washington

I'm using this virtual tour of the Lincoln Memorial to bring history to life.

For Washington this interactive timeline is a treasure.

And combine both presidents in this catchy song

On another note, I shared a neat resource for a thesaurus study over at All Things Upper Grade.

Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page or TPT store

Friday, February 1, 2013

Volume...Pump It Up and a SALE

Friday math was pumped up with volume literally.

I introduced the concept of volume with this song and lesson combo by Have Fun Teaching

Click picture for link

This game reinforces cube perspective and accounting for all hidden cubes

And..are you ready for a good sale?

Stop on by my TPT store on Sunday and use the code SUPER for an extra 10% off my already discounted prices. My sale will extend into Monday as well.
My newest product posted is my Test Tip Poster Set

Find more great ideas on my Pinterest page or TPT store
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