Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Math and English Language Arts Daily Morning Work

In my classroom, students start each morning by completing a page from my Daily Morning Work resource.

Before we started a morning work routine, our mornings were chaotic. Students were were lingering in the hallway, socializing, or using the time to read or finish work from the previous day. Trying to complete those important morning tasks and get the students ready to start the day was crazy! You know how that goes, right?!

Well, I knew that something needed to change. I needed something that was engaging enough to get my students excited to work each morning. But, I also needed something that would help them review important concepts they needed practice with.

So, after planning this resource and working on it for about four months, it is finally ready: 5th Grade Math and English Language Arts Daily Morning Work {Common Core}. Now, our mornings are organized and productive for both the students and myself.

This resource is intended to get your students started off on the right track each morning. By using my Daily Morning Work, your students will develop a strong routine and receive constant review of Common Core-aligned problems. Because this resource allows your class to work indepently, you will have time to take attendance and get organized for the day while they work.

This resource includes a special section of teacher instructions to help you get started. In these teacher instructions, you will find information on how this resource is organized, ideas on how to assemble this resource, printing instructions, and copy/paper-saving ideas. I also answer questions about grading morning work and even give you ideas on implementation!

For teachers interested in organizing their students' work into a 3-ring binder, I have included binder covers and binder spines.

This resource is a year-long resource with 36 weeks of content. Each week, the first four pages are a mix of both math and language questions, with each question aligned to a specific Common Core Standard. 

I worked very hard on each individual question in this resource. Knowing how important (and difficult) it can be to keep my students engaged, I made sure each page is full of visual examples with problems and questions that are fun for students to complete! 

For example, instead of having students simply write numbers in standard and word form, they can fill out a personal check for fun and real-world practice. Other examples include answering problems to solve riddles, games, crossword puzzles, color by number, calculating batting averages of famous baseball players, etc., etc.! 

In addition to being fun and engaging, it is also important that the problems are aligned to the standards and stretch your students' thinking. The problems are designed to be intuitive and allow your students to complete them independently. So, new and difficult concepts are introduced with appropriate examples and hints to allow autonomy. 

You will also find vocabulary questions or a Greek/Latin affix question on each page. Since it can be tough to squeeze these important concepts in, reviewing them in our morning work has been so helpful for my students to get the extra practice!

There are also a series of review or "fact check" questions that either spiral back previous grade levels' standards, or review important concepts that students need to practice. Some review concepts include elapsed time, money/making change, grammar, fractions, cursive, editing sentences, geometry questions from previous grade levels, letter writing, addressing envelopes, locating continents, and many more!

The fifth page of each week contains a reading passage with either questions or a graphic organizer for students to complete. Each reading passage is aligned to the Reading Literature or Reading Informational standards. 

The first fifteen pages of this resource are aligned to the 4th Grade Common Core Standards. This is so you can start your year with this resource and review last year's concepts before jumping into 5th grade material. 

Last but not least, I've included answer keys! Detailed answer keys are included with the standards listed for each problem. 

You can download the preview to get a free week to try out in your classroom! 

Click the button below to check it out!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back to School Sale!

While some of you are still enjoying one more month of summer bliss, many of you are gearing up to go back! Whether you can believe it or not, another school year has sprung up on us! With that comes a new batch of eager students to love on, another year to grow, another year to try new things, and also another opportunity to do things better!

To kick off the new school year, I am participating in TpT's huge site-wide "Back to School" sale! My entire store is set to 20% off, and with TpT's code: BTS14, you can get 28% OFF EVERYTHING!

While everything in my store will be on sale, below is a preview of just some of the items! 

Click HERE to check out my best-selling English Language Arts/Literacy Assessments and Teaching Notes! These packs come in handy as not only assessments, but as supplements to use in your classroom all year long! Every single standard has resources that are ready to use in the classroom! 

Check out my best-selling Beginning of the Year Team Building Activities and Classroom Procedures to Teach.

Want to start your year off right? Get organized with my Student Data Tracking Binders and my Standards Based Assessments!

Click HERE to check out my Student Data Binders, and then check out your grade level's Standards Based Assessments!

Don't forget about keeping yourself organized! Check out my Teacher Data Tracking and Grade Book packs HERE!

There are over 800+ pages jam-packed with resources to keep you organized when teaching, grading, or tracking the Common Core!

Have you had a chance to check out my Color by Number for Big Kids Packs? My kids are obsessed with these. They make learning fun! Click HERE to check them out!

From August 4-5th, every single resource will be on sale! Click HERE to check it out! Happy shopping! 

Don't forget to also check out some of my favorite blog friend's stores! Click the links below to check out their sales!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Smooth Sailing into a New School Year: Back to School Tips and Tricks!

I am joining up with some of favorite my blog buddies for a huge link up…Smooth Sailing into a New School Year!

We are offering a collection of tips and tricks to kick off a new year!

Starting your school year on a positive note is so important. In the past, I've had first days that were pure poetry, but I've also had days that were pure…well, you can imagine! While there are definitely things that can happen in those first days that are out of our control, there are many things we can do beforehand to set the stage for success. 

Two of the most important things you need for a successful start to your year are a strong classroom management plan with procedures and routines in place, and a risk-free, welcoming environment for your students. 

First, let's talk about classroom procedures and routines. In my store is a comprehensive checklist with over 100 procedures and routines that I model and teach to my students constantly throughout the year. Click HERE to check it out. 

Whether it's lining up for recess, sharpening a pencil, or transitioning from one activity to the next, having classroom procedures and routines are extremely important. There is honestly nothing better than having your classroom run like a well-oiled machine. Routines save learning time and will make your job a lot easier. The biggest thing to remember when teaching classroom procedures and routines is that you want your students to do them correctly and without your help. 

Here are some tips and tricks on how to teach classroom procedures and routines:

In addition to establishing classroom procedures and routines, it's also important to build community in your classroom. The culture you create amongst your students during those first few weeks will set the tone for the entire year. 

The best way to encourage a classroom community from the beginning is through team building activities. In my store is a pack with over 30 Beginning of the Year Team Building Activities to help you build a community in your own classroom. Click HERE to check it out. Your students will have a blast working together and getting to know each other. 

Here's why creating a classroom community through team building is so important:

Make sure you stop by each blog to check out their back to school tips and tricks! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Beginning of the Year Team Building Updates!

How has your summer vacation been going? Mine has been both relaxing and busy at the same time. I have been working like a busy bee planning for my mid-August nuptials! If you follow me on Instagram, then you're definitely up to date on all things wedding!

I've also been making more of an effort to unplug on the weekends and spend time with family and friends. The picture below is my fiancé and I on his birthday. I surprised him with a trip to Northern Michigan to tour all of the wineries. It was such a great weekend!

I also promised myself (and my amazing blog readers) that I would have my HUGE 5th Grade Math and English Language Arts Daily Morning Work pack out before the beginning of the year. I am working so hard every single day to keep that promise! It has taken on a life of its own and is even more awesome than I originally anticipated. 

Stay tuned for more news on the release date! 

Last, I wanted to let you know that I've given my Beginning of the Year Team Building pack a huge facelift! Click HERE to check it out! 

I have added new games and activities, clarified the directions to make them easier for you, and I've added printables to help you easily implement these games and activities in your own classrooms! Below is a quick look at just SOME of the additions/printables I've added. Click HERE to check out the preview to see more of the updates! 

Starting your year off on the right foot is crucial. Building a community of learners is one of the first things I tackle at the start of the new school year! You want your students to feel welcomed and safe in your classroom. If you want to read more about how I use this Beginning of the Year Team Building pack in my classroom, see these blog posts HERE, HERE, and HERE

If you already own this resource, click HERE to redownload it on TpT to grab your updates for FREE! If you don't own it yet, I have it marked 20% off until midnight EST tonight! 


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Role Playing with the American Revolution {Freebies Included}!

Social studies has always been one of my absolute favorite subjects to teach. I get so excited about United States history, and I do my best to make a potentially boring topic come alive for my students! There are a lot of opportunities for hands-on, get out of your seat lessons and projects in the classroom (especially on those hot and extra wiggly days)!

So, on this particular day, I decided to throw out my original lesson, and get my students up and moving instead for one of my favorite lessons, The King's M & M's (or our version of it at least)! This lesson is not my original idea, but it is most definitely one of my all-time favorites!

The object of the activity is to get students to understand why American colonists were upset with British tax laws, like the Stamp Act, after the French and Indian War. The activity will also help students understand the idea of Taxation Without Representation. Since this activity involves role play, students will have the opportunity to simulate a scenario of what happened when the colonists were being taxed by Great Britain. It definitely gives them a better understanding of what the colonists felt during that time.

Here's what you need to do to prep for the activity:

{Side note: Since this was not a planned lesson, of course I forgot my nice camera and had to use my phone, and I scribbled all the role card signs together during my lunch break. It's what we do, right?! I have made some prettier signs for you all to use, and you can grab all of the freebies at the bottom of this post!}

1.) Choose one person to be the King.

2.) Choose two people as parliament members/tax collectors. 

3.) Print out the role cards/signs that say King and Tax Collectors. Hole punch them, and tie string around the signs for students to wear the signs around their necks.

4.) Print and cut out the tax cards.

5.) Give each student a paper plate (or cup!) with 10 pieces of candy, and instruct students not to touch them. 

Luckily, I had some red plastic cups in a cupboard, and a huge batch of gumdrops from a science experiment we did the week before! ;) 

Before you start the activity, you may want to pull your King and tax collectors to the side and explain their roles:

When the tax collectors go around the room to collect the candy pieces, I typically divide the room in half and let each tax collector collect the candy from their side of the room only. I have the tax collectors collect the candy from each student in an individual cup. Then, once they collect the candy in their individual cup, they pour all of the pieces out on a plate so students can see all of the candy that accumulates throughout the activity. 

Once you have all of your materials ready, invite the King and his/her tax collectors to the front of the room. Introduce them to the class as the King and his tax collectors, and then tell the rest of your class that they are the colonists. I typically make a big fuss over the difference between the two groups.

Have the King explain to the class that he/she will be taxing everyone for various reasons. 

*The man above is actually my dad! :) He would come in to my class to help every once in awhile, and my kids adored him! What better person to play the king, right!? They all got such a kick out of it! 

Once the class is ready, the King can start reading the tax cards, and the parliament members can start collecting the taxes. Watch how upset your students get! It's kind of hilarious!

Make sure the King points out all of the tax money (or candy) that is piling up!

I typically only read about four or five tax cards. This seems to be the perfect number that leaves many students with no candy pieces, and some students with just two or three of their original candy pieces. 

Once all of the taxes have been collected, have the King tell the colonists that the tax money now needs to be dispersed! For their work, each of the tax collectors will get 10% of the tax money (or candy), and the King will get the rest for him/herself. Now your students will probably go bonkers! Typically my students show some definite feelings of displeasure, and the students that are the King and parliament start gloating a bit. 

At this crucial point in the lesson (and to calm them all down!), I talk to students and get them to understand how the colonists reacted to the tax collectors and the various tax laws from the different acts. In small groups, I had students discuss these questions:

It's amazing how many lightbulbs go off during this activity, and how many big smiles will be plastered on their faces! 

Then, to finish out the activity, I found this awesome video on TeacherTube called, Too Late to Apologize - King George

The video is hilarious, educational, and very relevant. Your students will love it! Mine even shared with me that as soon as they went home, they got online to watch it and show all of their family members! Score! And of course (the most important part), hand out the leftover candy pieces for them to eat!

Side note: If your students are going to be handling food, and later eating it, make sure they use gloves or some type of utensil. Because this lesson was done last minute, I did not have gloves or utensils to use. So, we did not eat any of the candy pieces that were touched by students. Instead, since I had an abundance of gumdrops to get rid of, I opened up a new container of gum drops for the students to eat at the end of the lesson.

Click HERE to grab all of the freebies to use in your own classroom! Enjoy! 

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