Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Stinky Feet Review

Tomorrow is our next District Unit Assessment, and to prepare for that, we played the "Stinky Feet Review" game!!  This assessment will cover addition and subtraction of whole numbers and decimals.  I strive to create review games for students that engage them throughout!  This game does this and so much more!  Not only did we practice these skills, we also worked with integers, a skill that is not introduced until 5th or 6th grade here in Texas!  I found this activity on Pinterest, and I then created it in a SMART Board file.  

The students worked on various word problems as teams, and if they answered the question correctly, they got to press "select" on the Stinky Feet Review Game.  Once you click select, the system randomly chooses a number.  Each table has a scorekeeper that keeps track of the score.  We began by helping the students with understanding integers, but by the end they were pros!  The team with highest score at the end were the overall winners!  You call also say that the largest (or would you call it the smallest) negative number wins, too! Want the file? Click here!

Friday, October 9, 2015

You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!!

Today was a half day for students and staff, and we decided to begin our unit about Changes in Matter with a fun and yummy science experiment...homemade ice cream!  We (my team) found a file with these instructions, and I wish I could credit someone with it!  Please let me know if you are responsible for this fun experiment.  I recreated the file using PrintShop, and added detailed instructions for the lab groups to follow.  You can grab it for FREE in my TpT store! My student teacher, who is fabulous, took charge with this lesson, and she did great!  I had a moment where I must have looked like I was panicking, because my room was a mess!  Don't let that stop you, though!  The kids loved it, and totally approved!  I would suggest taking it outside, and I would also suggest using tubs for the students to shake it in.  Ms. Cooley and I quickly located a variety of tubs in my room for the students to use.  The second go around went a bit more smoothly!  Check out the images and video below.  As Kayla Delzer says, if it's good for the students it is good for me!  It was most definitely good for my kids!!  I know that I promised in a recent post to talk about post is coming soon!   #happyclassrooms 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"Baby on the Roof"!!

Before I get to "Baby on the Roof", I have to talk about Google Cardboard!  Over the summer, I attended a technology conference in Texas and was introduced to Google Cardboard.  Have you heard of this awesome VR (virtual reality) tool?  It has the capabilities to take your students all over the world while simply standing in your classroom.  When I first introduced this to my staff, I found it very difficult to explain with words.  You truly have to experience it!  What I did find was a video that showcased student responses to these view masters.  Here is an example of virtual reality Google cardboard that I found on Amazon:

This is the video that started it all for me!  It has also led me to Google Expeditions!  I signed up my school to pilot it, and I am hoping that it happens! Check it out!  It is worth your time!

Now, let's talk about "Baby on the Roof"! My students are currently learning about addition and subtractiom of whole numbers and decimals.  Within in this unit, is a topic about subtracting across zeroes.  This is a skill that requires lots of practice!  A fellow fourth grade teacher and friend first introduced this strategy to me a few years ago, and the students love it!  She has this elaborate story that opens up the lesson about a babysitter who finds herself in a situation when she loses the baby that she is responsible for...the baby is on the roof!  She has to go ask all of her neighbors if they have a ladder that she can borrow to help get the baby off of the room.  Of course, you can adapt the story for your own classroom.  My student teacher changed it up a bit yesterday, and said that the teenager was busy checking out the newest Vines when she lost the baby on the roof!  I stress to my students that this is another strategy that they can place in their "toolbox".  Do they have to use it?  Of course not!  I encourage them to choose a strategy that they are successful with...never box your students in!  I created a video of this strategy using the ShowMe app/website, and I added it to our class website so parents and students could reference it during this unit.  Here it is: