Monthly Archives

January 2016

Teaching Suffixes

Welcome to our “Filling Your Teacher Toolbox Series!”
Here are some tools for teaching SUFFIXES!
This creative and colorful anchor chart helped to kick off our theme…
We are Suffix Rock Stars!
This time, we had students create a mini-version of it in their Reader’s Notebooks for future reference.
We started the unit by having students choose a suffix and writing the suffix in big bubble letters. Inside, they wrote in words that had the suffix they chose.
Students also started by creating flashcards for
each of the 20 suffixes we taught.
On the front, they wrote the suffix and on the back, the meaning.
Throughout the unit, students were able to study
at home with these flashcards.
We also implemented the strategy of “Quiz Quiz Trade.”
Another way for students to practice identifying the meaning of suffixes was through a matching game.
Students always love a game!
We had students do what we call, “JOTs.” JOTs are a quick creative writing prompt activity that students complete in their Reader’s Notebooks. JOTs are a way to make sure that students are understanding the concept you are teaching. They also create a fun visual! In this JOT, students practiced breaking apart a word and looking at each word part to discover the word’s meaning.
Our theme of being Suffix Rock Stars came from our new Task Cards! Students participated in a classroom game of Scoot! They were able to practice with two sets of task cards. One set tested students’ understanding of suffix meanings and the other set tested students’ ability to use the suffix correctly.
Students then filled out a graphic organizer with the
suffixes that they were still struggling with.
Because we love to throw a party, we had students pose with these props! They also enjoyed this yummy treat. The treat was a scoop of ice cream with a Pop Rock surprise!
Below, we are doing a GIVEAWAY of our
Rockin’ Prefix and Suffix Task Cards!
Be sure to enter!!!!!!!!!
We look forward to sharing another tool with you next week… Proverbs and Adages!!!! Stay tuned!!
Be sure to to follow us on Bloglovin’ for notifications!


Teaching Plot

Welcome back to our “Filling Your Teacher Tool Box” Series.
Today we are going to talk about PLOT!
We have a new and exciting way to teach plot.
You and your students are going to love it!
We’ve all heard of a plot mountain, or a plot roller coaster.. here’s another way for students to remember the parts of a plot!
Are you ready????!!!!
PLOT…It’s the PULSE of a Book!
We got this idea because we try to have everything that we do related to a career whenever it is possible. In this unit, we went with the theme of DOCTORS!
We started off with this fun Anchor Chart to help students remember the parts of a plot:
Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action and Resolution.
To reach those kinesthetic learners, we had all of the students stand up.
They put their hands over their heart and they patted the beat of each part.
A slow beat was done for both the
E         x         p         o         s         i         t         i          o         n
R         e         s          o         l         u         t         i          o         n
A medium beat was used for
R   i   s   i   n   g    A   c   t   i   o   n
F   a   l   l   i   n   g    A   c   t   i   o   n
A fast beat was used for the
We started by going in order, and then I would mix up the parts and they would show me the beat that matched the part I called out. THEY LOVE THIS!!! This is a great way for students to remember some difficult vocabulary!
Students took notes in their Reader’s Notebook, which listed the definition for each part.
We also went over the last class book that we read and identified each part.
Next, we did our  “APP”lication activity, which is directly connected with our Anchor Cart!
If you enter the raffle below, you have the chance to win this “APP”lication for FREE!
Photo Booth Props: Book the students are reading, stethoscope, doctor coat, headpiece
If you’ve read our posts before, you know we love a good theme!
Our entire Language Arts block was a PLOT PARTY!
Students dressed up like a doctor, made a fun craft, enjoyed a fun snack, and took a fun picture ALL WHILE LEARNING ABOUT PLOT!
Photo Booth Props: current book the students are reading, stethoscope, doctor coat, and headpiece. For the headpiece, use a strip of white construction paper and staple it to the size of their head, cut a large black construction paper circle and a smaller yellow construction paper circle. Then, glue black circle to white headband and the yellow circle to the black circle to create a light!
Snack: Red Jello cups with whipped cream and a chocolate heart! Quick and easy!
When we tested Plot, we decided to have the students dress up in their lab coats!
Dressing up increased their excitement, which motivated them to do better on their test as DOCTORS!GET OUR FUN “APP”LICATION FOR FREE BY ENTERING THE RAFFLE BELOW!!!!!!
PLOT… It’s the PULSE of the BOOK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Your First of Many Tools… Relative Adverbs!

Welcome to our first blog post in our series of
“Filling Your Teacher Toolbox!”
Are you ready for your first tool????
Your first tool is how to teach RELATIVE ADVERBS
while keeping it simple!
Before we begin, we want to give you a disclaimer. We are very aware that Relative Adverbs can be very detailed, such as relative clauses, prepositions, etc… For the sake of teaching Relative Adverbs to fourth graders, we have simplified the concept to what we consider, appropriate for their developmental level.
With that being said, let’s get started!
We started teaching Relative Adverbs with this bright and beautiful anchor chart. Anchor charts are a great tool for students to reference throughout the unit. We love how it reaches our visual learners!
Here’s a few tips for teaching Relative Adverbs!
Here’s “The Test” for relative adverbs…
Where: Can you plug the words “in which” or “at which”?
      Example: I went to the school where  I attended elementary school.
      Test: I went to the school “at which” I attended elementary school.
      Non example: Where have you been all day?
      Test: “At which” have you been all day
When: Can you plug in the words “on which” or “in which”?
      Example: I like the time of day when my students go home!
      Test: I like the time of day “in which” my students go home!
      Non example: When is it time for lunch?
      Test: “On which” is it time for lunch?
Why: Can you plug in the words “for which” or “the reason”?
      Example: I needed to explain why I was late for work.
      Test: I needed to explain “the reason” I was late for work.
      Non example: Why do you cry all of the time?
      Test: “The reason” do you cry all of the time?
In our experience, we have found that students tend to create relative adverb sentences incorrectly because they use them as the “5 W’s.”


Because our Task Cards that we used today were Monster Themed, we thought, let’s go with it! We love a good theme! (One of us more than the other… but anyways…) We started out by making these adorable Monster Ballot Boxes! These monster ballot boxes are a great idea because the task cards required students to write the number of the task card on either Monster A’s eyeball jar, Monster B’s eyeball jar or Monster C’s. Whichever monster had the most eyeballs at the end, won! As students finished, they put their name in the Monster Ballot Box that they thought won. Here’s why this was so amazing… There were 2 students that picked A. The rest picked B (which was correct). I was able to go to the two students that got the wrong answer, find their mistakes and review those task cards with them on a one on one basis. Talk about an easy red flag, right!? I plan on doing more Ballot Boxes in the future!!!! Such an easy tool!
We also made some cute eyeball cookies! The kids loved them!
Not to mention our fun Photo Booth!
Task Cards:
*** In our class, we also used our Week Long Lessons Relative Adverbs Product***
In these products, you will find Students Notes, Practice Pages, Readers’ Notebook Ideas, Sentence Frames, Foldables, Assessments & Answer Keys


Upcoming Blog Series

We are excited to announce our next blog series! 
We have already shared our year long planning and some of what we do on a daily basis. Now, we want to fill your toolbox with tips and strategies for teaching various concepts. In this blog series, we will go over how to teach what we are teaching in our unit: 
Plot, Connecting Text to Visual, Suffixes, and Relative Adverbs. 
This is the first group of standards that we will cover, but we will blog about more in future posts. 
Be sure to follow us on Bloglovin’ 
(the “b” blue flag at the top of our page) 
to be notified when more standards are posted! 

Colorful and FUN Writing Wall Idea!

We are so excited to show you our new writing wall!!!!!
One of us (okay, it was the brunette) got the idea from looking in a magazine! She saw some colorful clipboards on the wall of an office. She thought…. why not for our classroom??? I immediately fell in love with her idea and ordered enough for my class too!!! :)Anyways, if you love this as much as we do, 
So, back to our writing wall…
Our writing wall is used to post student writing samples. We have students generate a writing sample from one of the three genres (narrative, opinion, or research) once a month. During holidays, we feature a holiday inspired writing piece for about a week or so. After we are done displaying the writing sample, the piece goes into the student’s portfolio. So easy!
In the center of this board, you see a group of papers. They are: the genre, the prompt, steps for the genre, revise/edit guidelines, the rubric, and anchor charts for the genre.
We love our writing wall and the students are always so proud to display their work. How do you display your students’ writing?