Sunday, March 6, 2016

Teaching Students About Land and Water

Hey everyone!

My class just finished up their land and water unit. They did an amazing job!

We started off the whole unit with each table group having a plastic box and mixing gravel, sand, clay, and soil to create their land. Each box has a hole that has a plug. I use the kits our school has, from STC.

My kiddos started off with condensation and then precipitation.

They progressed to creating rivers and studying the flow of water from a small hole in a cup to a large one, to one with three holes.

They learned about redirection of water with hills and also saw erosion. They built dams, planted yellow mustard seed to see a natural dam. Learning about how plants stop erosion was an eye opener for them.
 Then they had to be engineers again and create the perfect landscape for no flooding. 

Finally it ended with slideshow presentations from each group and most chose to do theirs  about dams or water.

This unit took us several weeks, but my student never grew tired of it and looked forward to science. Seeing them work together to create and engineer the dams and landscapes was thrilling for me!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Testing Time Already?

Hey everyone!

Blech. It's almost that time of year that many  teachers despise. State testing. Last year was my first year having to prepare students. This year I feel better equipped, especially with the help of Carson -Dellosa. 

The Spectrum kit I got includes a ton of practice pages and test prep pages! 

It comes with these great flashcards that my kids will think is a game.

 The math and LA pages will be great morning and center work. Even homework!

I'm really loving these kinds of pages with two texts, since our state test tends to have these.

My kids also need to have some fun with all this practice and they can do just that with this Interactive Notebooks Science Resource Book

I have a force and motion unit at the end of spring and this will be perfect!

Review Disclaimer: I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received these products for free to review.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quick Update

Hey everyone!

I've been super quiet on here lately because as you've maybe seen on my IG or FB, I bought a house!

I'll post a house tour soon!

So in the mean time, here's a quick update on what's been going on in school.

I finished my last formal observation of the school year, hurray!

My students thoroughly enjoyed our Oregon Trail unit and we are now in our land and water unit.

I also won an award at my school and was recognized at a school board meeting.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Reflections of 2015

Hey everyone!

2015 was a crazy good year. 4th blogiversary, hired permanently, and so much more!

I'm linking up with these lovely ladies:

I went to Vegas this summer and got to see my blogger and TpT buddies.

My classroom was actually mine to decorate.

I looped with my 3rd grade class and have seen how much they've blossomed.

Figured out a great way to lay out my social studies/science units to match our IB ideals.

And just recently, bought a house. I get the keys in 2016 and move in.

I can't wait to see what else is in store for 2016.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

What's on Your Wishlist?

Hey everyone!

Jen from Teaching in the Tongass has a great linky where we share our top 3 wishlisted items in our stores!

I went to my store and looked at what the top wishlisted items were. I actually had a tie for number 3!

Those are my top wishlisted items! They'll be on sale, along with everything else in my store for the TpT sale!

Thanks again to Jen for hosting this linky!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Oregon Trail: We're Hungry!

Hey everyone!

My students don't want our unit to end and thankfully we still go until January with it. We've had some wagon misfortunes, close calls, and a lot of fun!

I decided since one of the wagon's oxen died, we had a grass fire, and the whole wagon train came down with measles, we need a pioneer fun day. After all, pioneers knew how to have fun too!

Hopscotch in the class!

Cat's cradle, taught by a student expert :)

Using technology to figure out how to make an old fashioned doll. Past and present collide!

End result! 

Then we learned some more things and we kept coming back to chores from the past compared to today's chores. The kids were loving this topic, so I decided to surprise them with a fun day last week. We mad our own butter! I've seen a few variations of the recipe, but here is what I used.

 I spread a checkered cloth down, had some "hardtack" (aka saltines) and some beef jerky. My lantern added a nice touch!

Students shook for a minute, passed it to the next person, and repeat. We shook for about 20 minutes  (we did use heavy whipping cream, so it may be why it took that long).

End results :)

Kids spread some butter on their crackers and nibbled on jerky. They declared it to be the best butter ever! Then they remember Little House on The Prairie put carrots in the cream to make it orange, after one student asked why ours was so white. Though their butter was completely formed, they scraped in carrots that happened to be the school snack that day (fate?!?!?) and shook and colored their butter. So much fun! I love bringing realia into the classroom. Hands-on makes the learning more memorable. 

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Oregon Trail: Our Journey Begins

Hey everyone!

We began our journey on the Oregon Trail and my kiddos have loved it from the first minute. It makes me thrilled that we expanded this unit into January and give a bigger amount of time of how our state was really developed from this big moment.

Now I love getting into character, especially at the start of any new social studies or science unit. This lent itself beautifully for me; pioneers are a topic I have been obsessed with since I was a little girl. I even dressed up as Laura Ingalls one Halloween.

I started this unit last week. We had Monday off for teacher in-service and Tuesday, the kids learned about Oregon Trail propaganda. I tried to entice them with the "land of milk and honey" poster and a "cooked pigs run free" stuff, but they wouldn't fall for it. They couldn't believe some people headed to Oregon just because of those posters!

They came in Wednesday morning to see me dressed in a bonnet and apron and my trading post ready to go. Toss in some fiddle music in the background, a southern accent (yes I know we started in Missouri and they don't have that accent, but it was about being a different character!) They called me ma'am and I called them sir and ma'am and we had fun. That was until they were told they were at my trading post to go to the Oregon Trail and they now had 20 minutes to decide in wagons (table groups) what to spend their $1,000 on and that it had to be 2,400 pounds or less. 

Intense discussion and agreements going on. Each table/wagon was so into it!
I loved the math talks I heard going on, "Six people with 30 pounds each is 180 pounds. We can afford it too."

This wagon group finished early, so they taped out an approximate size of the wagon, 4 x 10. "Hey Ms. T, that's an area of 40 sq ft.!" Oh a little more math in social studies? Oh yeah!

Sitting in the wagon is a popular thing now in the last week lol.

We're an IB school so I like having it laid all out there for them and myself to refer too. 
Our first key question actually got us talking about the migration happening in Germany right now with refugees.

 The next day they came into class and we had this map and wagon ready to go.

Then on Friday we picked pioneer names and got journals/diaries ready to go. They were so excited!

They loved my pioneer name and journal.

 Yesterday was the best though. We had a wagon council meeting, because on Monday, fates hit them hard. We had sick oxen, fire problems, and some food issues already. I rolled some construction paper, cute flames, threw in some electric tealights and my assistant wrapped tissue boxes in paper for rocks/bricks.

Turn off the lights, put on fiddle music, and project the prairie and it was a fabulous meeting. The pic above has the kids warming their hands :)   We discussed our wagon train business, decided to set up camp for the night, I read by lantern a few pages from an Oregon Trail book, and our time was up already!

I can't wait for the rest of journey to unfold and will definitely keep you posted as we travel along the Oregon Trail!

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