Sunday, June 30, 2013

Comparing the Earth to an Apple

I am taking a Historical Geology class this summer to complete my Middle School Science endorsement.  Even though I teach components of this in 4th Grade, I haven't gone nearly as in depth as I am expected to do in this course.

For instance, the first chapter alone covers the creation of Earth and the Solar System, the layers of Earth, the major features of mountain ranges and ocean ranges, the rock cycle, and the different types of rocks (and those are just the highlights).  Whew!

I have got to learn/review an enormous amount of information in a relatively short amount of time.  So I got to thinking...  The Earth kind of reminds me of an apple.  This could help me memorize the layers of the Earth.  Not to mention the fact that I just might get the chance to use this with my students before too long!

This customizable PowerPoint includes the following:
Label the layers of the Earth
Compare the (filled in) layers of the Earth to the layers of an apple
Answer key for the compare and contrast slide

You can pick up a FREE copy by clicking here.

Do you have any great tricks or resources for this information?  If so, I'd love to see it!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Teacher Always Says Linky

Tammy at Forever in First is hosting a Linky party to share our classroom mantras.  I absolutely love what I've ready so far!  I'm borrowing/stealing some of the sayings for next year!

One that I CONSTANTLY use....

This one comes from Dr. Becky Bailey's Conscious Discipline.  Even 4th Graders need to stop and think about this quite often.  It helps them to differentiate between tattling and reporting an emergency.  We have a "Tattling Turtle" and "Cool-Down Spot" for any comments that don't need to be taken care of right that second.

This is another one from Dr. Bailey.  You can fill in the blank with "take you to specials" or "continue with the lesson," etc.  It reminds the student that they have the power of self-control and they should use it at that moment.

This one is for when the class is a bit too loud or I just need to bring their attention back to me.  I say it quietly and compliment those that follow my directions immediately.  I remind them that if their finger is on their lips and the other hand is a peace sign, they can't be talking.  It usually doesn't take long for the entire class to be sitting silently with peace signs proudly showing!

This one lightens the situation when a student is just kind of pouting or maybe being a bit too dramatic.  The first saying is from "The Pout-Pout Fish" book by Deborah Diesen and the second is from "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?" by Dr. Seuss.  Kids usually will crack a smile when I say either one.

Do you have any mantras you use?  I'd love to hear them because I'd love to "borrow" them!  Head on over to Forever in First to link up and share!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Math Rounding Rules Poster

Each year, we almost always start out with a review of place value as it applies to rounding, and each year, I feel like I cannot do enough to help students remember the rules for rounding to a specific place value.

So I created a poster to put up next to my math word wall that I will refer students to when we are doing our daily review.  After all, I can say it a million times but ultimately, they must make that metacognitive process work for themselves.  The more they go look at the poster, the more they will commit it to memory or at least learn to read the room!

This customizable polka dot PowerPoint shows the little saying that I use to teach/review rounding rules with my students. I have added a little extra to it this year, so we'll see how successful the saying is! You can pick up a FREE COPY by clicking here.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Polka Dot Word of the Day

I've been working on improving literacy in Math, Science, and Social Studies.  I've learned that looking up words in the dictionary rarely, if ever, seems to truly teach students the meaning of the word.  Using prescribed vocabulary lists doesn't seem to do much, either.

I thought about all the words in our Social Studies, Science, and Math textbooks that students just breezed by but didn't stop to think about the meaning.  The students need to KNOW these words and be able to use them to be successful in these classes.  What can I do to increase the knowledge of these words?

This polka dot Word of the Day PowerPoint is customizable so you can choose what things you will have your students focus on.  The labels I've included:
1. Textbook definition
2. Textbook sentence
3. Synonym
4. Antonym
5. Non-Example
6. Dictionary guide words
7. Plural
8. Plural Possessive
9. Illustration
10. Prefix
11. Suffix
12. Root Word
13. Dictionary Part of Speech

You can pick up a FREE copy by clicking here.

I don't plan to have students complete this in one day.  It will most likely take several days, especially at the beginning of the year.  Some of the labels will not apply to every word, either.  For example, if the word is "venture", there won't be a root word, prefix or suffix. 

I do plan to create a classroom job (Word Master) so a student can go around to help/check their peers each day.  I always check this student's work first so I can assure it is correct and the understanding of the word is accurate.  This is a great chance for me to conference and assist ESL or other students that are developing language skills.