Monday, October 31, 2011

Scary Stories for Halloween

With today being Halloween, my students and I celebrated by reading their scary stories. They had been writing the stories for a little over a week, and used a shortened version of the writing process. They began by using my Scary Story Map. They then went from the story map to their rough draft. I had them proof and edit their own story, and then they traded and had a buddy proof and edit it. We went from there to their final copy which they wrote on notebook paper, glued to black construction paper, and drew a picture in white crayon.

Today, they all got a turn to share. I turned out most of the lights and gave the author a flashlight... and the fun began! I was so proud of all their stories. While they all have plenty to work on, every single student wrote a cohesive story, even my low ones. It was great! And the students really had a spooky good time. Here are a few photos.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Easy (and FREE) Multiplication Lapbook

As we started our multiplication unit, I wanted my students to create a lapbook. Other multiplication lapbooks I've seen focus on learning the facts and have lots of intricate foldables. Well, I didn't have the patience to help 19 kids create these foldables correctly, so I designed a simpler lapbook. My goal was to have all the basic information about multiplication in one place, especially the academic vocabulary. I also wanted to students to take ownership of the information, so they filled in the pieces with guidance.

First, start with a file folder. I used colored ones to add some fun. Open the file folder up all the way and fold each end into the middle to create a book that opens like barn doors. The title frame glues on the front, students write their name, and decorate the cover in a multiplication theme.

The center of the lapbook is a multiplication chart that the students completed. I used the Multiplication Tables: Blank (0-12) template from Super Teacher Worksheets.

On the left side of the book, students drew a picture illustrating the key action of multiplication (Join Equal Sets), wrote key words that often signify to multiply in a story problem, and looked for patterns in the multiplication chart.

On the right side, the students defined vocabulary words and wrote down strategies to use to figure out the facts.

I am thrilled with how the lapbooks turned out, and the students like to use them. As they have had multiplication assignments, every student is using their lapbook as a reference without even being asked.

And here are the pieces to download for FREE: Easy Multiplication Lapbook

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Red Ribbon Week

It's Red Ribbon Week, and we celebrate at my school with wearing certain colors and other things to signify the Pillars of Character and saying no to drugs. This time of year we are also doing Dream Boards where students complete posters of their dreams for the future, including what they want to be, where they want to go to college, and where they want to live. I thought a perfect class meeting lesson this week would be to talk about goal setting. So, we talked about what the students wanted to be when they grow up. I always love that question. This year I got answers from a composer to a scientist to a teacher to a ninja. Haha! Then we talked about how you can't reach goals if you do drugs... one bad choice could change your whole life. Finally I had the students finished the sentence, "I will be drug free so I can become ____________." And they illustrated. I glued them all together on a piece of paper to make a class "quilt." The results were super cute!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Paint with Words

I always tell my students that writing is like painting with words. The writer needs to paint a clear image of what is in the story, just like an artist paints details into a picture. I use this handout with a mini lesson on using descriptions and specific words. This should be used after the students know adjectives and adverbs. And you probably should have done some lessons on "tired" words to help students choose more specific ones. This activity is a culmination of those lessons. It is quite simple. The students look at the basic, boring sentence and choose words to add to it to make it a more descriptive, exact sentence. I usually have the students choose their favorite expanded sentence and illustrate it on the back according to their descriptions. So if your students need some practice with Painting with Words, then download this freebie.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Using "Smart" to Introduce Money Unit

When introducing a unit, I love to generate interest by reading a story or, in this case, a poem. My favorite to introduce a unit on money is "Smart" by Shel Silverstein. It can be found in Where the Sidewalk Ends. The poem is about a boy who trades a dollar for two quarters because two is more than one. It continues until he ends up with only five pennies and is very proud of himself.

To start with, I read the poem straight through and ask students to write in their math journals if they feel "Smart" was an appropriate title for the poem and to explain their answer. We usually come to the conclusion that money isn't about how many of each coin you have; it is about the value of those coins.

I then read the poem through again while the students use manipulatives to show the trades and calculate how much money was lost at each level.

The students love this poem because they love to point out how they are smarter than the boy in the poem.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Little Inspiration

Just wanted to share a picture with my all-time favorite quote. "Dance in the rain" has even become my mantra when times are tough.

FREE Scary Story Map

I decided I wanted my third graders to write scary stories for Halloween. Many of my students are into reading Goosebumps and other scary book series, so I thought this would be a perfect writing exercise. I always like to start off any new writing assignment with a planning sheet, and so began looking for the perfect scary story map. When I was unable to find exactly what I wanted, I created my own. And I wanted to share it with you all. I think it would make a great activity for a substitute, but teachers may want to use it in October as well. I will be using it with my students this week and will let you know how it goes.

So, download my Scary Story Map for FREE and see what kind of "dark and stormy night" stories you can get your students to write.

Monday, October 10, 2011

500 Facebook Fan Frenzy!!!!

Make sure you visit the blog of the ladies who donated items to thank them for their generosity.

Wow! Thank you... thank you... thank you! I can't believe I now have 500 fans on Facebook. To celebrate I am thanking all of you! What you will find here are fabulous free downloads from such amazing teacher bloggers as Rachel Lynette of Minds in Bloom, Carolyn Wilhelm of Wise Owl Factory, Rachel Reyna of Fisher Reyna Education, and more. Just follow the directions at each link and awesome resources can be yours for FREE... all for liking Sub Hub! Don't forget to follow the blog here too. We just never know what might happen with Facebook. You can follow Sub Hub through Google, RSS Feed, Pinterest, or Twitter. There are lots of options... don't miss out. And don't forget to check out and follow the fabulous bloggers who so generously donated to this giveaway. Their links are in their listings. Stop by and tell them thank you.

From Rachel Lynette at Minds in Bloom

From Carolyn Wilhelm at Wise Owl Factory

From Jennifer Kadar at Empowering Little Learners

From Crystal Radke at Kreative in Kinder

From Lydia Rb at Kinder Latino

From Rachel Reyna at Fisher Reyna Education

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kinder Emergency Sub Plans Ready!

OK, kindergarten subs and teachers. Ready... set... DOWNLOAD!!! Here are some emergency kindergarten sub plans for you. These are based on If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and include a craft warm-up, a reading lesson, a language arts lesson, a social studies lesson, a science lesson, and a math lesson.

I have to say these have been the hardest ones so far for me to write because of all the things I needed to create. So, hats off to all you kinder teachers!

My husband was just telling me, "I like how all your plans are based around a theme. I don't think it would be good to theme teach every day, but it's nice to have something different when a sub is there." That is basically my purpose in theme-planning the lessons. And I also try to use as few materials as possible because a sub never knows what will be available when they walk into a classroom. Anyway, I hope these plans help even just a few teachers and subs. Enjoy!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Seeing Things from Another Perspective

One of my favorite higher order thinking skills to work on is seeing things from another perspective. I got this idea from my children's gifted and talented teacher Wendy Brake, and I adapted it for use in a regular classroom. Before the first perspective activity we do, I have students make "perspectacles." When worn, these glasses allow students to see an event from someone else's perspective.

I give each student five chenille sticks, two for the eyes and two for the ear pieces and one to cut up for decoration. The student then twist them together to form a pair of glasses, using extra pieces to decorate. I've had students add eyelashes, a moustache, and all sorts of details. It's fun to see their creativity and personality come through.

The perspectacles live in the students' cubbies throughout the year, and every time we do a lesson or activity using perspective, the students are allowed to wear their glasses. The students ask me almost every day if we will be doing something with perspective because they just love to wear the glasses.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Come Find Sub Hub on Twitter

Hey all! Just a quick post tonight to let you know there is a new way to follow Sub Hub... Twitter! Yes, I finally jumped into the Twitter ring. I have included a Twitter follow button on the right. And here is also the link to Sub Hub on Twitter:!/SubHubOnline
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