Skip to content

Writing Notebooks

July 24, 2015

CENTER_SIGN_WRITINGWriting in the elementary classrooms can take so many different forms. My students had access to iPad, Neos, laptops, and desktops. They had stationary, colored paper, shaped paper, index cards. sticky notes, Writing Notebooks, and much more. They wrote throughout the day, in all subject areas, for different purposes and audiences.
The Writing Notebook gives the students an outlet for recording their ideas, impressions, and observations. They are the audience for their writing. They can use this notebook for ideas to develop into other forms of formal writing.
My students decorated their own notebooks, and were encouraged to bring photos from home. (Photos that parents allowed them to paste in the notebook.)
Here is a presentation that can be used for introducing the Writing Notebook to your class.


Long Term Project

July 22, 2015

This clever, fake Facebook Google doc slide is a great online tool that has many possibilities.
Students could use this to create an autobiography or biography.
This could be a team building activity where students are grouped and given the task of describing the members of the group, and reporting what they are doing and learning in class. They can be given a science topic question to research and report. They can take videos on their topic and post on the Facebook page.
The possibilities are endless.
Guaranteed to engage all students!
This slide was found on Google Docs slides for educators and students.

Class News

July 22, 2015

Are you looking for an activity that will engage your students?
Try this Class News Google doc presentation slide.
This is a fun way to integrate reading, writing, science (weather report page) and technology.
This News Team can be assigned to a group of students for a week or longer.
This Class News could be embedded into a class blog.
There are so many possibilities for learning.
The slides can be changed to meet the needs and interests of your class.

This slide was found on Google Docs slides for educators and students.

Check this out!

July 13, 2015

Math Problem Solving Thinglink (Primary)

April 7, 2015

problem solving

In order to increase the critical thinking skills of students, they need daily practice with problem solving.
The experience of solving word problems on a daily basis helps the students make the connection from classroom mathematics to real-world mathematics.
Creating word problems,using the names of the students in class, helps to motivate the students.
Also, creating word problems based on themes such as the seasons, animals, or topics of classroom studies or interests, will also help the students to connect to the problems.

There is a difference between a math strategy and a math procedure.
A strategy is a method or a plan such as draw a picture, make a model, or make a table.
A procedure is a series of steps taken, such as circle the important numbers, and underline the question.
The Thinglink below provides both strategies and a procedure checklist (CUBES).

There is also a difference in “telling” students to use math strategies and allowing students to “tell” how they solved the math problem. A friendly and encouraging learning environment helps the students to feel free to take risks. The more practice they have in verbalizing their strategy and thoughts, the more success they will have in solving the problems and increasing their critical thinking.
My first graders learned to use the app, Educreations. They would work in groups of 4 to solve a word problem.
They would take a picture of the problem with the iPad, insert it into an Educreations slide, then follow the math procedures we had practiced in whole group. (CUBES- included in Thinglink)
Each member of the group would have a specific role:
Facilitator-Assured everyone had input and stayed on task; implemented CUBES
Strategist-Led the discussion as to what strategy would be used
Problem solver- Actually solved the problem according to the discussion of the group
Reporter-Shared solution with the class
Students would get the opportunity to take on each of the roles.

The Problem of the Day Google slides that are on this Thinglink can be paced out according to the needs of your class, or the time allowed.Once students get into the routine, the time allotment could be as little as 15 minutes.
Students will need manipulatives and math journals, or iPads.
The Problem of the Day Google slides can also be used on Smartboards.
The important element of this Problem of the Day activity is to have the students talk and tell how they solved the problem.

April Calendar (April is National Poetry Month)

March 23, 2015


Each year, the students in my class loved the month of April.
Students would spend time listening to, reading, and writing poetry.
I would purchase a package of the small composition notebooks and issue one to each child.
They could write their own poems as we took Poetry walks on campus; or they could copy their favorite poems.
This Thinglink includes poetry based on the topic of the specials days in April.


Incredible Kid Week

February 23, 2015

incredible kid
Incredible Kid Day is a national day set aside to honor our incredible children. This year, Incredible Kid Day is March 19.
Years ago, I ran across this special day for kids, and I decided to celebrate in my classroom. I declared the week after spring break to be Incredible Kid Week.
I had parents write letters describing their incredible child. They could either use a letter form I provided, or they could email me or create their own letters. The results were amazing! I had parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, aunts and uncles, and cousins writing submitting elaborate letters about their Incredible Kid. The children beamed with pride as we read the letters aloud in class.
The students were also allowed to wear super capes in school. The capes ranged from kids wearing their baby blanket,to the costume super capes, to capes specially made to represent the child. I even converted a costume red cape to a super teacher cape. I used sticky foam letters to write: Mrs. Cunningham’s Class of Incredible Kids.
My students and I swooshed around the campus with confidence and pride!
During the week, we read books that promoted leadership, self-esteem, and life goals. Students wrote narrative poems and compositions.
This was a very popular week for students and parents. It was one of my favorite weeks!
I created this Thinglink with activities that include: videos of books by Wayne Dyer; a Power Point of lesson ideas for the vertically aligned TEK of summary;interactive poetry templates; how to draw a super kid tutorial, brain break dance, and much more.
Hope you enjoy this incredible week!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.