December 3, 2015


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas~ all through the classroom!  Adding a little CHEER to your Writing Center, helps to add a little fun the weeks before Christmas!  The Christmas Writing Prompt Cards help students who struggle coming up with topics, but all students enjoy writing about fun holiday topics.  
Copy, laminate, hole punch, and place on a ring
~ Instant Writing Center!  

 Writing Prompts added to my Writing Center

My Writing Center
~ Love my Word Wall and Writing Prompt Cards
It gives students extra support while writing!  

To unwrap more great holiday writing ideas, hop on over to these great blogs. Happy Holidays from Focused on Fifth!

November 18, 2015

The Book Whisperer~ Creating a Classroom of Readers

Wow!  I really enjoyed reading The Book Whisper!  It was a very easy read and motivated me to rethink my Reader’s Workshop approach.  In the early days of my teaching career, I tried hard to get all my students to love reading.  I had a strong passion to make reading appealing since I had always struggled with reading and hadn’t found the joy of reading until I was an adult.  As a teacher I wanted to share my new love for reading with my students, but the more I taught and the more trainings I had on other approaches the less I tried to find the perfect books for each of my students.  Its like the more you put on your plate, you don’t always realize what is falling off of it.  

After reading The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller, my passion for teaching my students to love reading came back stronger than ever.  I have made independent reading time a priority!  My students are loving to read.  They also enjoy getting to choose their own books.  One student who was reading below grade level and not very interested in reading has found a series she is loving.  She has now read three books in the series!  Wow, I’m so excited.  My kids have several books piled on their desk just waiting to read next. My students are also talking about books! I love hearing students recommend books to other students.  

Today I had a student crying while she was reading Out of My Mind. I called her out into the hall to see if she was ok.  She told me she was at the part where the little sister was ran over.  I'm glad I had read that book before, because I assured her that she would be fine.  But later I had four girls who wanted to know if I had another copy of that book.  I asked them why they would want to read that book if it made Ella so upset.  They told me that it must be a good book if the author had connected her that much with the characters!  Wow, that is a great way to look at it.  

Thanks you Donalyn Miller for giving me back my passion for teaching kids to love reading! Teaching is much more fun when the kids are beaming with excitement as they tell you about the books they are reading!  

September 30, 2015

Animal and Plant Cell Models

Check out our Cell Models~  Students created their own model of a plant or animal cell!

I love the recycled CD.  

Great labeling!  

Plant and Animal Cells are part of my frameworks.  My students learned the parts of the cell and their functions.  Students compared and contrasted animal and plant cells.  Once students recognized the cells and their parts, they then built models of a plant or an animal cell.  My students’ creativity came out while building models of their cells.   I was so impressed with their hard work!  Check out my unit on Plant and Animal Cells!  

September 2, 2015

Engaging Students in Science: When Your Science Lesson Comes Alive!

Today we had the one of the coolest experiences ever.  We watched a Monarch caterpillar emerge from an egg!  The kids were just arriving when I turned on my computer, the day before we were comparing a Monarch egg to a Swallowtail egg on the overhead microscope.  I noticed the egg looked a little different~Our Science Lesson then Came ALIVE!


August 19, 2015

First Days of School

Wow! It's only Wednesday and I feel like I have taught a full week already.  We have already had so much fun!
Some of my favorite activities so far have been.

You are a scientist
Making observations and collecting data

 A Little Closer Look! 


Observing our School Garden

Jelly Bean Observations (Yummy Research)

Would You Rather (A fun way for students to learn to collect data and discuss their findings) 

I can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the week!! I love learning with my students.