End of Year Product

Just a quick little post to say that I'm lovin' these {end-of-the-year activities} from Erin at Lovin' Lit! The students had a awesome time drawing and learning about eight dangerous animals. The research and booklets took about three class periods to complete. I didn't get a picture of the finished booklets because they wanted them back right away.

Then we watched Homeward Bound and used the included worksheet to identify idioms, figurative language, allusions, and sound devices. The kids loved this movie so much. Just the right amount of kid humor, references to butts, and sentimental moments. We, I mean, they may have cried a bit. Or maybe it was allergy season. Anyway... The worksheet was just enough to keep student engaged without making watching the movie a chore.

I will share one little tip here. I don't own Homeward Bound, and the teacher on my team who does is recuperating at home after having surgery. So I wasn't about to ask her to bring it in. Since I'm not one to actually go to a movie rental place, I remembered that I can "rent" movies through Amazon Prime. It cost me $4, and I simply hooked my school laptop to the projector and away we went. I was able to finish the movie in two days. I believe that the rental expires two days after you start watching it, for a total of 72 hours. Anyway, it was the perfect amount of time, and no videos to return.

If you need something to get you through your last week of ELA classes, this is perfect. (And I know that at the time that I'm writing this, Erin has it on sale.)


Wordless Wednesday - May 28

Sometimes it's fun to chaperone school events (This is me, BTW) :)
(Sorry for the low quality of the video)


Five for Friday - May 23 (Flower Edition)

Kind of burnt out. Just going to share my flowers :)

Fern leaf peony - Before rabbits...

Black-eyed Susan vine

Irises are ready to pop open!

I thought this azalea bush was dead. It has never grown a single leaf.

I like this lighter hosta that my mother-in-law gave me. I have an even lighter one, but rabbits got to it. If it makes a comeback, I'll share it, too.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!


Wordless Wednesday - May 21

We are making these shirts for our class for track and field day to identify our team. Do you have a track and field day?


More End of Year Tips {Linky}

There were a lot more tips that I wanted to include in {yesterday's Bright Ideas post}, but we were supposed to keep the posts short and sweet. So I decided to tell you more today! You can even link up your own end-of-the-year ideas!!

Thank you to the fabulous Theresa at Pinkadots for making me a button!

This may pain some of you to read. Feel free to close your eyes. I go through practically everything once in the fall and once in the spring and purge. Even though I have plenty of storage space (which is a luxury, I know), I just can't justify hanging on to things that I have no intention of using. Or that I have intentions of using and never do. All of my lesson plans from 1999? I finally let go of all of them except last year's. The literacy worksheets from two curriculums ago now that I no longer teach lit? Gave them to the teacher who actually wanted them.

Now, there were a few instances this spring as I was gutting my two filing cabinets when I wasn't quite ready to part with some of the materials. I let those stay. I tend to go with the two-year rule. If I haven't looked at it or even thought about it in the past two years, it's gone. That might be a little ambitious for some of you. Maybe some of you would prefer a five-year rule. Whatever works. I'm not the boss of you ;) Anyway, sometimes there are still things that I can't let go, but haven't used for a really, really long time. In that case, if I can scan it to my computer, I go that route and recycle it.

Which leads me to my next tip...

Retiring teachers. These lovely people who have been-there, done-that have a wealth of information that they are more than willing to share. However, they also have a ton of stuff that they no longer need that they want to unload. On you. That does NOT mean that you have to take it! If you can't think of how you would use something, just... say... no. Or, if you are like my passive-aggressive self, you will hang on to it for two years and then feel guilty about throwing it in the trash/recycling bin. (Luckily, no one in my building is retiring this year!)

Clipart from Educlips

Now let's talk storage. My personal favorites are clear tubs, binders, and magazine holders (IKEA has really cheap ones at 5 for $2 or something insane like that). They just make everything so much easier to find.

What end-of-the-year organizational tips do you have? Comment below, or write a blog post to add to the linky! (No products, please.)


Bright Ideas - End of Year Tip

I'm SO excited to be a part of this month's Bright Ideas Blog Hop! I'm going to share one of my ideas that will help you get your classroom organized as the end of the year draws near.

Often I have ideas on how I want to do things the next year. Either something was awesome and I don't want to forget, or I have ideas on tweaking what I've done. Since I'm a visual person, I like to take pictures to remind me. So I need to change this board:

If I will have 150 social studies students next year, I will need to have more No Name and Absent clothespins. I want to move the Missing Work to the other board in my room, and I want to remove the NLWC because I ended up doing that on a bulletin board.

Other changes since I probably won't be teaching ELA.

So I take a picture, put it in Word or PPT and note the changes I want to make, and save it on my computer in a folder labeled Next Year. Or, you could also create a pin of the picture and note the changes in the description and pin it to a secret board in Pinterest. Gotta use those secret boards for something ;)

I have many more end-of-the-year tips that I plan to share in the next couple of days. I invite you to follow me on {Bloglovin'}, {Facebook}, and {TpT} for more ideas!

For more bright ideas from more than 130 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!


Five for Friday - May 16

Still wrapping my brain around my assignment change next year. If you had 90-minutes for math (or maybe you do) with fifth graders, how would you structure your time? I'm kind of leaning towards a math workshop approach, but I need some inspiration...

Got my fifth Fix. This one was my best one yet, even though I only kept one thing. I would have kept more, but you'll see some of the issues I had.

I also got a black satchel that I forgot to photograph because I'm sending it back. I have more than enough purses. We'll get into my Coach outlet problem another time...

Click {here} if you are interested in checking out Stitch Fix.

I'm pretty excited to be part of awesome starting on Saturday. And then I'm extending it on Sunday so you can participate, too. So if you have any great ideas for organizing at the end of the school year, get ready to link up!

Need some last minute ideas to get your students (and you!) through the end of the year? Make sure that you follow me on Facebook. Tomorrow I'll spill the beans about some great deals happening this weekend!

Journeys only has a few full novels to go with it, and this week we started one of them, Frindle. I wasn't too wild about the plans that Journeys provided for it, so I went searching on TpT. I was excited to see that the top two results were from teacher-authors that I already followed, so those are the resources I decided to use.

{This resource from Martha Hach} will provide the day-to-day structure for us. A 15-day lesson plan is included in the resources to make it really easy to map out. I love her use of MIWs with summary writing. MIWs are Most Important Words. Kids find 5-7 MIWs per chapter, then use those words to help write the summary. I'm finding that it helps them leave out the fluffy details of the chapter and focus on the meat.


For digging little deeper, I am using {another one of Martha's products} and well as {one from Jessica Lawler}. They both provide great activities for amping up the rigor, since this book is actually pretty easy for fifth graders. We haven't gotten into these activities quite yet since we just started the book, but the activities look great for characterization, figurative language, and extensions.

Twelve more day!!


Wordless Wednesday - May 14

My fern peony, that I took from my brother's house after it sold...

What gets you through the last few weeks of school?


Five for Friday - May 9

Another week is in the books! I'm sure some of you only have a few days left! I have 18. Not that I'm counting...

On Monday, I {posted some pictures} of the flowers I have popping up in my yard. Spring is definitely my favorite time of year! Every day I check to see what has opened that day. I'm a little obsessed, I think. As a side note, this bunch of tulips is also supposed to have black ones interspersed (in honor of my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes), but they never bloom at the same time!

Yesterday, I got a shipment from {Twice}. It's an online consignment store that I blogged about it last night, and I see that many of you have already decided to give it a try. You (and I) get $10 towards your first order, $10 if you put the app on your phone, and another $10 if you put the app on your tablet.

Here is one of the finds that {I shared last night}.

I am inching ever so slightly to 2,000 Bloglovin' followers. I'm starting to assemble a bunch of goodies that I will be giving away. I won't give away any surprises, but I will tell you that I'm finding some awesome stuff! The value is already over $150!! I'll just keep adding to the box until I reach 2,000 ;)

I released my {June close reading} texts earlier this week. I saw that some of you picked them up during the TpT sale. Anyway, I need to know if I should work on July and/or August, or if I can just start on September. I know that some people are using them for summer school, but I would like to have a fall bundle (September, October, November) ready for the back-to-school sale this summer.
If you have an opinion about wanting them for the summer months, please comment below!

AAAANNNNDDDD.... Wednesday pretty much rocked my world. I have yet to decide if it's in a good way or bad way. Our district is going through budget cuts, which meant that three core teachers had to be cut in our 5-8 building. With three fewer people, the schedule was going to have to change as well. We had a pretty decent idea that out of our team of six, two teachers would be teaching three 90-minute classes of math, another two doing three 90-minute classes of ELA, one teacher doing six 45-minute classes of science, and one teacher doing six 45-minute classes of social studies. We currently all teach one 50-minute class of ELA, then departmentalize for the rest of the day. So I have one 50-minute ELA class and three 50-minute social studies classes. I assumed that I would just be doing the six SS classes next year, since the other SS teacher is going to do ELA. Or so I thought. But guess what?! I'm teaching math, which I haven't taught since the fifth grade moved to the middle school two years ago. That was quite the shock. I enjoy math, and I have an endorsement in it (which is why I was moved), but it totally came out of nowhere. I had a huge list of SS materials to revamp and make interactive during the summer, since that would be the only way I would survive doing the same class six times a day. So, yeah. I think that the other math teacher and I have an idea on how we would want to structure a 90-minute block of time, but if you have any ideas or tips, please comment below!

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