Secret Walker

Today I’d like to share with you a little tip I have picked up from other teachers and used over the years to keep ALL the students in your class quiet when walking in a line. I find it those transitions times such as change over between lesson, walking to another room in the school building, lining up etc when ‘undesired’ behaviors are most likely to occur. So here is a little tip to help students stay focused when walking in a line.
Slide1-1In my class, we have to move to another area of the school several times a day, be it walking to the outside door for recess, walking to the hall for assembly/phys ed/lunch or collecting their belongings at hometime. First I line my students up. You may have a particular order to do this. I use register order for this. Then I tell my students I am going to choose two ‘Secret Walkers’ (I choose one boy and one girl) but I am keeping my choice secret until the end of the activity or lesson. The Secret Walkers have a special mission to walk in absolute silence, to walk and not run, to stay in single file and to not touch anything on display shelves/bulletin boards etc (add whatever your expectations for great line walking is) on their journey along the corridor. I tell them they will receive a reward if they complete the mission successfully. I give house points as our school has house teams, or it could be a raffle ticket, a sticker or whatever your class rewards and incentives are. The great thing is, all students know that it could be them I have picked, so they all try hard to walk perfectly!

I wait until the lesson or activity is over and we have made our return journey back to the classroom. I then announce who the two Secret Walkers are and tell them whether or not they have completed the mission successfully. If they have then I give then a house point but if they talked/ran etc then I tell them that unfortunately they did not complete the mission that time, as I do not want to give a reward and undermine the system if they did not walk as I expected. But you will find that the majority of the time the students are so keen to complete their ‘secret mission’ in case they have been picked that they will all walk in the line following the expectations you have laid out. This little tip has really helped keep all my students quiet and focused when moving to other parts of the school building.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

What Did You Buy?

Hi all,

So, did you manage to clear out your wishlist in the Teachers Pay Teachers sale? I certainly made a dent in mine! I snagged some fab clip art and some display sets for the mountain topic I am currently teaching. Take a look at my purchases!

I’m always on the look out for fabulous clip art and there are so many amazing creations on TpT. I saw these Gold Metallic Glitter Papers by Sonya DeHart and I just had to have them! They are gorgeous!

I also bought this Mega Value Borders Pack from Pink Cat Studio. There are so many different color combinations that there will be something there to suit any project.
original-889306-1-1
Paula Kim had an AMAZING sale on and I took advantage of her Stacking Borders Value Pack. These will some in sooo useful for so many things! I also bought her Decorative Tape Clip Art. So cute!
 
I love Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs for Math clip art and I bought this fabulous Planes and Graphs Clip Art to add to my collection!
 
original-619084-1-1

I’ve recently discovered Treetop Displays and I just love their clear, informative posters which have stunning photographs! I’m currently teaching a mountain topic so I purchased a Mountains Information Set  and a Mountains Photo Set – both of which will be on my classroom wall next week!

original-1605498-1-1original-1112214-1-1
What did you buy in the sale?

Guided Reading

I decided to give my Guided Reading Resource Pack a make over. Its cover was looking a little tired so I gave it a fresh new look!
Slide01-1

In the pack you will find student response sheets based on character, setting and plot. They can be used with any fiction book. Also included are word work response sheets. These focus on adjectives, verbs, adverbs as well as dictionary and thesaurus work.
Slide1-1
A selection from the pack. Much more is included!
I love using question cards during guided reading. They are great for discussion prompts and also something for early finishers to answer whilst waiting for everyone to finish reading the text! There are 48 question cards altogether included in the pack. They are based on character, setting, plot and language, I laminated the cards and have used them over and over!
Slide54-1
I love being prepared and organized for guided reading and I have also included covers for each of your guided reading group folders as well as a group recording sheet to record your student responses during the session.
Slide66-1
Happy guided reading!

Halloween

Hi everyone,

So, Halloween is nearly here! Do you have plans for some spooky classroom activities this week? Halloween is a fantastic opportunity for creative writing and there are plenty of activities to help fire your students’ imagination at this spooktacular time of year!

Here are some of my favorites:

Setting Descriptions
Get your students to imagine they are in a haunted house (or other equally spooky location!Encourage them to use their senses to describe the setting. What can they hear? What can they see? What can they smell?

Character Profiles
Halloween is the perfect opportunity for some creepy character description. Students could describe a well known character such as Dracula or Frankenstein or they could make up their own spooky character.

Adventure Stories
Have a go at creating a Halloween-themed adventure story with some spooky characters and eerie settings.
Students could write instructions for their favorite Halloween party game. You could even follow the instruction and have a go at playing the games!

Poetry
I’ve been using my Spooky Halloween Writing Paper for some extra inspiration! Just click on the picture below to go directly to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store to grab them.

Halloween2Bwriting2Bpapers

Morning Work

How do your students come into school in the mornings? Do they line up outside and come in together or do you have a window of time where they are able to come in? My class can come in any time between 8.45 and 9.00. This gives me a 15 minute period where my classroom slowly fills up. This makes it impossible to teach any sort of lesson with this staggered entry so it is important that I have something ready that is meaningful and my students can just get on with that requires no instruction from myself as I am taking lunch money and registering the students during this time. So with this in mind, I created my Times Table Daily Practise Sheets.

P1060896-1

I test the students every Friday on their tables. If they get 10 or more out of 12, I move them onto the next table. If not, I keep them on the same table for the following week as they are not yet secure in that multiplication table and need further practice. On a Monday I set out the sheets in the students’ places. As the students walk in they begin straight away by filling in Monday’s column. They do this every day of the week until the test on Friday when I review whether the student is ready to move on to a different table or needs further practice the next week on the same times table. My morning work routines ensures that the students know exactly what is expected of them as they enter the classroom and ensures a calm start to the day. It also provides an opportunity for differentiated multiplication fact review. How do you ensure a smooth start to the day and what do you use for morning work? I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Hi everyone,

Hope the new school year is going well for all of you who have started back already. I’ve just done my first week and I am TIRED!! Sooo glad it’s the weekend! So, next Saturday 13th September is Roald Dahl day and next week I will be teaching a unit based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I love using novels to teach across a range of different subject areas and this particular book is one of my favorites! I want to talk about how I use this novel in my class. All the ideas below, plus many more are included in my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Novel Study available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Slide01-1

Literacy
I also get my students to write newspaper articles based on Charlie finding the final Golden Ticket. This pushes the students to write formally and use the features of a report.

I love using Charlie Bucket’s house and the Inventing Room in the factory for setting description. I read the passages to the children and get them to imagine they are in that setting and then discuss what each of their senses would be experiencing, i.e. the creaking door in Charlie’s house or the potions bubbling over in the factory. I get encourage them to use descriptive language and finally the students write a paragraph based on each sense.

Science
The novel is also great to use as a basis for a unit on plants. you could get your student to write about the life cycle of the cacao plant and study the part of a flower.

You could also discuss nutrient and making sure the students understand the importance of a healthy balanced diet.

Social Science
Students can study a country where the cacao plant grows. Students could produce fact files on the country and learn key facts, main cities, river, and what life is like for the people who live there.

Technology
There is so much scope here to develop students’ skills. I have had my students aim to be the next Willy Wonka by designing their own chocolate product. I got them explore different ingredients which could go in their product, think about packaging and create a persuasive poster advertising their product. We even made the new chocolate product – lots of fun!

What are your plans for Roald Dahl day?

Flash Freebie – 200 Facebook likes!

Hi there everyone,

Yay! I’ve reached 200 Facebook likes! To celebrate I’ve made my Place Value Task Cards FREE in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for the next 24 hours. I know many of you are teaching place value at the beginning of the year and this set helps students to reinforce their understanding of place value up to 1000 in a variety of ways! Check them out by clicking on the image below.

Slide1

You Oughta Know About… Speed Challenges

Hi everyone,

I’m very excited to be involved in my very first blog hop. I’m teaming up with Jasmine over at Buzzing With Mrs McClain to tell you about something you oughta know!

yououghtaknowbloghopbanner_thumb4_thumb-1

And that is… Speed Challenges on the Top Marks website! This is a mental math challenge against the clock! Each challenge gives the students 10 questions to answer. They are ideal for displaying on an interactive whiteboard or students can access the challenges on computers or tablets.
First you must choose the area of mental maths. There is wide range of topics from number through to fractions and measures.
  Screenshot2014-08-06at16.54.47
The next screen takes you through to more specific areas within the chosen topic so you can choose the level suited to abilities of the students in your class. On this page you must also select the length of time the students will have to answer each question. This ranges from 2 second to 20 seconds. I love decreasing the time my students have to answer the questions over the course of a teaching unit and watching how their mental recall skills have improved.
Screenshot2014-08-06at17.00.55
As soon as you click on the specific challenge the questions will start. I usually get my students to record their answers on mini whiteboards with a dry wipe pen.
Screenshot2014-08-06at17.13.41
Next the answer page will be displayed. You have to click on each question to reveal the answers, so you can  reveal them one at a time. I usually get my students to mark their own work.
 
Screenshot2014-08-06at17.15.32

You can use this anytime during the school day. It is great to use for a mental warm up in a math lesson or if you have a spare couple of minutes before lunch! It really does help the students to practise their mental calculation and recall skills and it is great watching them get quicker at the challenges over time. Check the site out – I hope you find it as useful as I have!


100 TpT followers!

Hi everyone,

I want to tell you all about my milestone!!! I’ve finally reached 100 followers on Teachers pay Teachers! I’ve been watching that little number go up and today it has finally hit 3 digits!! To celebrate I’m holding a flash freebie on my Guided Reading Task Cards for the next 24 hours!

Slide01-1

Grab them while they’re FREE!