Sunday, March 29, 2015

TpT Meet Up

A small of group of us meet last month to talk about TpT and some other cool things going on in our classrooms in Anaheim.  It was a great time and I felt like I made some real connections with new friends.

Some of the topics which were generated from that meet up centered upon our TpT stores, products, blogging styles and a little about ourselves.

I have had my TpT store for a little over two years.  I sell a variety of products.  If you visit my store, then you will find the following:

Figurative Language across all genres
Holiday themed items (MLK, President's Day, Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, Saint Patrick's Day, Halloween, & Thanksgiving)
Mental Math Cards
Math Patterns
Daily Morning Work

The one product I am most proud of happens to be my simile and metaphor unit.  I have received great feedback on this item.
My blogging style is a combination of family and school. I like to write about what is going on in my personal life as well as all the incredible things we are doing in class.  The one major point of focus is writing.

I am currently approaching my twentieth year of teaching and it has happened so quickly.  I've taught third, fourth and fifth grade.

My son, Ciaran, a loving four year old, keeps me active.  He is an amazing little boy who brings nothing but joy.  My wife and I love to take him to the park, read, build puzzles, watch entertaining shows, travel, take walks and joke around.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mystery Trash Item

Have you ever tried the mystery trash item in your classroom?  I got this idea from other teachers (TpT) and I really like the way it works.

The challenge may be conducted in various ways.  You may randomly pick an item on the floor that you want picked up, but the students don't know what the item is that your looking for...hence the mystery trash.  Personally, I write down the item/s I am looking for on a piece of paper.  Then, I place the mystery item it in a box for the day. Sometimes I might even add items throughout the day.   I watch closely to see which student found the item. The selected objects may range from crumpled paper to straightening out a rug. Finally, I reveal the mystery item at the end of the day to the class.

The reward system is up to you.  I have several pencils that I use as the daily prize. Students may opt for a positive school coupon.  Either makes cleaning up a fun time and gets everyone engaged.  In addition, music is always playing in the background.  The students have a blast and we all end up with a sparkling classroom at the end of the day!

Images courtesy of My Cute Graphics

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Student Presentations on Inquiry

The students did their inquiry presentations last week and they did an amazing job.  They put together Venn Diagrams, Google slides, dressed up in character, painted images, made posters, note cards, charts and they walked the room keeping the others engaged.  

It's difficult to capture the amazing moments from their oral presentations, but students routinely drew raucous applause from the others.

I am quite pleased my class went down this path of inquiry.  I am so proud of them.  

Here are a few pictures from the creative presentations:


Venn Diagram



Ocean Formations

Inquiry on Failure

Failure Inquiry

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Inquiry Presentation Week

The students have worked so hard on researching their inquiry the past few weeks.  They collected data in school via the chrome books. Students were able to use articles and other media. In addition, students were allowed to gather more information at home, if desired.

The class had to come up with the question of inquiry on their own.  I did not offer assistance in the selections of their topics.

About five to six students will present their inquiry to the class each day this week.  I'm looking forward to the creativity within each presentation.

I have listed some of the topics of interest:

What lives in the various stories of the jungle?
How are legos made?
How did oceans form?
How is glass made and what are different types of glass?
How is money made?
Who makes computers?
Why do shooting stars fall from the sky?
What causes mental illness?
How do beavers make dams?
How does water evaporate?
What's a dog's natural habitat?
How do tsunami's form?
How do people figure out where to put the capitals of every state?
Who invented school?
What color is the sky?
Who invented the internet?
How do polar bears adapt to their environment?
How do koalas adapt to their environment?
How do volcanoes form?
How many countries are in the world?
I am curious about tigers!
Why are some fish flat?
Why are some cars faster than others?

Student Questions

I'll keep you posted about their research/presentations later in the week.