Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ta Da!

Do you SEE this?  Do you see my new blog design!?  I am so in LOVE with it!  

My little blog turns ONE in May, so I thought I would spruce things up and give it a fresh new look.  What do you think??

I worked with Melissa from Designs by Petite Kisses.  I found her here on Etsy.  She was so easy to work with, and really took the time to understand my style and how I wanted my blog to look.  I made a lot of changes along the way, and she was very flexible!  I am SO happy with how it turned out!!  :)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Finally… A Listening Center!

I know that I'm a little late to the game… okay, maybe a LOT late to the game (it's almost May- yikes!), but I finally got a listening center up and running!  I am SO pumped!

I LOVE shopping at Goodwill for children's books.  Look what I scored this week!

13 books, with audio cassette tapes!  TWO BUCKS FOR EACH SET!

Remember those cassette tapes?  I had to explain to my students how these were like CDs from when I was a little kid.  "Back in the olden days, we didn't have iPods…. and we had to have tape players…."

It was a difficult concept for them to grasp.

So, I found a boom-box with a tape deck, and got this listening center rolling!  They LOVE it!  (I wish I had gotten myself in-gear sooner in the year.)

Of course, I had to do lots of demonstrating of how to put the tape in and how to rewind it.  We did lots of practicing of how to operate the tape player, and how to sit elbow, elbow, knee, knee (EEKK), so everyone can see the book.  So far, it's working great!  Eventually, I would love to have my listening center be digital, like Mrs. Stanford's Class's Listening Center.  I love how she has it all organized with the iPods and headphones at a table.

But for now, these old-school tape cassettes will do the trick!  :)

What does your listening center look like?  How many books do you have in your listening center?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tried it Tuesday- Triple Play!

It has been such a busy week!  Tuesday came and went, so today I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday!

Last summer, I visited a teacher store in Nebraska and found this neat card game.  It's called Triple Play, and my kids love it!  I have a few sets:  Homophones, Synonyms, Antonyms, and Math Vocabulary (not pictured).

The games offer three ways to play: Go Fish, Memory, and Match Maker.  I divided each set into 2 piles, because each set has 25 pairs.  Try playing memory with that!  The cards spread across the whole table!  So I divided them up to make matching more manageable.  Now kids can just grab a bundle and get to work.  My guided reading groups especially like using them as a warm-up activity.

I love that the cards have clear pictures and sentences.  Perfect for my ELL kiddos!

A match from the Synonyms set.

A match from the Homophones set.
Like I said before, I found these at a little teacher store in Nebraska.  I did look online and the ONLY place I could find them was on Amazon.  I actually found many other Triple Play games that I had not seen before!  Click the links below to check out the games.  :)

Antonyms           Homophones          Synonyms

Letter Recognition          Ending Sounds          Letter Sounds

What did you try this week?  I'd love to hear about it!

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday- April 23

I'm linking up again with Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.

It's testing week, and this is my quiet, calm room during my 50 minute prep.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job, but I also love the little break I get in the afternoon.

Do you ever just sit and relax during prep (and not actually get work done)?  How do you spend your prep period?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five For Friday- April 18

I love Fridays, 'cause I get to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday!

This week at school was Spirit Week to help us gear up for MCA state tests starting next week (eek!).  Each day had a different theme, so my Five for Friday will feature the FIVE days of our spirit week.  :)

1.  Wacky Hair Day

2.  Pajama Day

(in other words, teachers' favorite day EVER.)

3.  Twins Day

Ms. Boos and I were twins last year, too!

Ms. Eichhorn, Ms. Meredith, and Ms. Tarah were triplets!

4.  Character Day

Viola Swamp visited Miss Woodward's class on Thursday…..

I LOVED Miss Nelson is Missing when I was a kid!

Camilla Cream (A Bad Case of Stripes), Mulan, and Viola Swamp

Ms. Frizzle and Viola Swamp

5.  Sports Day

 Ms. Tarah is rocking her middle school basketball jersey.  Mr. Wolf is wearing a Cedar Rapids Kernels shirt (the Kernels are the Class A team that are part of the Minnesota Twins).  
{{Did I mention Mr. Wolf is a long-term sub at our school now??  He's right down the hall in the middle school science room for the rest of the year!}}

Next week marks the start of our state tests.  Whew!  GET READYYY!

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Students READ to ACHIEVE!

This year, students at my school had the opportunity to participate in Read to Achieve.  Read to Achieve is a program sponsored by the NBA to promote reading for kids.  The goal was for each student to read 500 pages by the deadline.  If they did, they had the opportunity to attend the Minnesota Timberwolves game for an after-school field trip!
I had six students participate and reach the goal from my class.  There were over 90 students total from our school!  So Friday after school, we fed the kids dinner, loaded the buses, and headed to the Timberwolves game.  It was a crazy fun time!

The kids could bring some of their own money, so you bet they bought every sugary thing they could get their hands on.  Cotton candy, slushies, candy, pop… you name it.

They were full of Timberwolves spirit!  My students were really good at watching the ball and knowing when teams scored.  Even though we were in the LAST row of the whole stadium.  :)

After the game, the kids got to go down onto the court and shoot a free-throw!

Even though we didn't get back to the school until almost 11:00 pm (where parents were waiting for pick-up), it was a good time had by all!  Go Timberwolves!

Most teams in the NBA support Read to Achieve, so check out the website to see if your local team has a program that your students can participate in!

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday- April 16

Happy Wednesday!  Tonight, I'm linking up with Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday!

The question that prompted this response?  "What kind of text-to-world connection can you make to the story we just read?"

Yes, they are talking about our lovely Title I teacher, Ms. Mai from Diary of a Grumpy Teacher.  
My students are very observant.  Good connection, kiddos!

Have you had a "kids say the darndest things" moment recently?  
Tell me about it in the comments below!

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Break (And American Revolution Resources)

Spring has sprung!  (When I started writing this post it was snowing, but thankfully, almost all of that snow has melted, and it's been like 60 degrees this week!)

In honor of the lovely spring weather, I bought a little bouquet for my classroom.  It definitely brightened things up for a couple days!  :)


For spring break, Mr. Wolf and I took a week-long trip to Boston, Mass.  Any New England bloggers out there?  We had such a blast, and I am so excited to share our experience with you!

Our first stop was the Boston Tea Party Museum.  It was the perfect attraction for kids, because it was very interactive.  First, we held a mock town meeting to discuss what we should do with the thousands of crates of tea sitting in the harbor.  After the decision was made to throw it overboard, we went out onto the good ship Eleanor and threw some crates of tea over.  Huzzah!

We went inside the museum to learn about what happened after the Boston Tea Party, and the events to take place prior to the Battle of Lexington and Concord (the shot heard 'round the world).  

(Is your elementary school history lesson starting to come back to you….?)

If you live elsewhere in the US, and still want to learn about the Boston Tea Party or the Battle of Lexington and Concord, check out Liberty's Kids.

Liberty's Kids is a show that does a really nice job of illustrating these events.  There are tons of episodes about the American Revolution.  I wish I could post them all!

Episode 1:  Boston Tea Party

Episode 6:  The Shot Heard Round the World

We also went inside the Old North Church (you know, the lanterns… "one if by land, two if by sea")

The pews in the church were almost shoulder-high.  Back in the day, it could get so cold in the church that they needed "room-like" pews to huddle up and keep warm.  I think it's so neat that this church still holds services every Sunday!

Just a short walk down the Freedom Trail was Paul Revere's house.  No photos were allowed inside, but it was really interesting to see what a typical house was like for that time period.

Speaking of Paul Revere, check this book out!

A Picture Book of Paul Revere     by David A. Adler

Aside from the Liberty's Kids videos I talked about earlier, here are some great books to supplement your lessons! 

John, Paul, George, and Ben     by Lane Smith

We the Kids     by David Catrow

Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?     by Jean Fritz


{{Side Note:  Just down the block from Paul Revere's house was Mike's Pastry- couldn't resist a cannoli!}}


We also took the subway to Harvard, where we visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History.  It had such an impressive collection!

Prehistoric skeletons...


And a WHALE skeleton!  With the teeth (baleen) and all!

This exhibit was of GLASS flowers.  All anatomically correct, from seed to flower to fruit.  Very cool!

My favorite room, though, was filled with hundreds of rocks and minerals.  The sizes and colors were brilliant!  There was a field trip at the museum when we were there, and the kids in this room were going nuts with all of the rocks to see.


We stopped at Boston Public Garden to visit Mrs. Mallard and her little ducklings:  Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Oack, Pack, and Quack.  They were all bundled up in their little scarves!  :)

If you do not have Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey in your classroom library, you must!  It's a classic!


Another awesome attraction we visited was the New England Aquarium.  The design of this aquarium is so unique!  The center of the aquarium is a huge 4-story tank, with a spiraling ramp leading to the top.  You could view the tank from every angle!

Along the way, there were smaller tanks showing different water habitats.

This is the view from the top of the center aquarium.

And the view straight down, into the penguin exhibit!

The New England Aquarium was a great place to learn about freshwater and saltwater habitats.  If you are going on an aquarium field trip, head over to my TpT store and download my Aquarium Field Trip Recording Sheet for FREE!


Mr. Wolf and I LOVED every minute of our trip!  We even got to see some of my cousins, which was SO fun!  :)

Whew!  I am sorry for such a long post, but hopefully you gathered some useful resources along the way!  What did YOU do for spring break??

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward


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