Five for Friday - November 21

I just cannot get back into the swing of blogging! When I'm not working or with family, I'm busy trying to complete the next month's close reading product. And I don't want to blog about those all of the time because blogs that only blatantly self-promote really bother me. So I'll see if I can finish this post before dinner arrives :)

My kids are really loving flashlight Friday. {Joanne} blogged about it forever ago, but I just started trying it this year. These are the flashlights I ended up getting.
They were only $10 when I bought them, but they appear to be more now. At this point in the year, about 15 are dead, but I think that I can change the batteries if I want. But maybe not.

They are also loving these holiday coordinate pictures. I have several of hers, and they are incredibly popular. Right now we are working in the first quadrant, but they have options for four quadrants.

Today we attempted to escape from slavery. I know that I've mentioned {} before, but it is seriously awesome. And free. I had to make the kids promise me that they wouldn't do it over the weekend!

Trying to find a way to get rid of some extra pounds while still being productive. Finding time for exercise is so not a priority for me. I ordered this Desk Cycle, and it arrived on Tuesday. Put it together last night and rode (that doesn't seem right) it for 45 minutes tonight while watching a basketball game. Baby steps!

I don't have a visual for this one, but for the first time in my 16-year career, I took my daughter to a Girl Scout roller skating party and saw a few of my students. For the first time ever, I work in the community in which I live (kind of), so I occasionally see my students outside of school. It's kind of nice, and it's not something that I ever thought that I wanted. A few weeks ago, I even attended a basketball game of a few of my fifth grade boys. They were thrilled that I came, and so were their parents. I feel very fortunate that I now have this opportunity to work closer to home. It has been a real change and somewhat stressful, but it will be a great thing for my family.


Turkey Talk ELA Center Freebie

Today I have a freebie for you from my Thanksgiving ELA centers. In this center, students identify the point of view and practice their editing skills. I have also included a blackline version for those of you who can't print in full color. Click on any of the pictures or {here} to download. Enjoy!


Bright Ideas Round Up

This month's Bright Ideas post is actually a collection of my past posts. Since our fall is so crazy, you may have missed these the first time around!

May - Documenting changes for next year
If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on {Facebook} or {Pinterestfor more great ideas.

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


Fabulous and Free Websites

Today I'm here to share some websites/apps with you that have been in use in my class this year.


Class Dojo - Well, technically, I haven't used it this year, but my daughter's teacher has. She has enabled it to send weekly reports to us so we can see how she does during the week. As a teacher, I was not aware that this could be done, so maybe you didn't know that either! Look at my perfect angel ;)

Go Noodle - I love the stretching exercises for the morning. All of my students are bus students, so some of them are a little wound up by the time they get to school. They roll their eyes at Maximo, but I know that deep down they love him ;)


Spelling City - I've used SC for a while now, and I've always upgraded to the premium account so that I could give my students more game options and track their progress. For about the first eight weeks, I manually entered the on-level list, had the students take the list as a pretest, then they decided if they wanted to be on-level, approaching, or beyond for the week. Then I typed in those lists and made them visible to only those students. Sounds like a lot of work, huh? One day I was messing around, and I noticed that THE LISTS FOR WONDERS ARE ALREADY ON SPELLING CITY! How did I miss that?! So now, I publish the on-level, have the kids take a practice test then tell me which level they want to do that week. Then with a few clicks, I take them off of the on-level one (if needed) and assign them to the approaching or beyond. What a time saver!!!

Computer Skills

Typing Web - This was recommended to me by my team, and I've just started using it with my class. It was really easy to set up, and I like that I can see in real-time what everyone is doing on one screen. Since I'm typing this at home, I don't have any screen shots of that, but here is one of the reports that you can get (I cut off the student names).

I obviously have some kids that have been keyboarding at home! - I absolutely love this site, and so do the students! I am working with a group of great kids on Course 2 of the K-5 courses. It's just the right mix of challenging and motivating. My room is completely silent for a solid half-hour. Once in a while I will hear "This is hard", but absolutely no one has given up. They see it as a challenge to solve. There are some off-computer lessons where we talk about algorithms, programs, looping, and debugging. The site can be a little tricky for teachers to navigate just because there are SO many options, but this might be the most engaging thing that I've done with technology all year.

Here's my group's progress:


Front Row - This is a nice alternative if you don't have an IXL account. It's even a nice option if you do! This assigns my kids randomly to a "team", so when they solve problems, they earn points for their team. Like IXL, it lets the kids progress at their own rate. You can also have them practice specific math strands. I couldn't get a decent screen shot without having to block out a bunch of names, but there are also some really nice grouping features and reports.

XtraMath - We're just starting with this, but it's for mastering basic facts. Set up was pretty easy, so we'll see how it goes!


Kahoot - You know those bar trivia games where you look at the screen and try to be the first to correctly answer a question? That's Kahoot! All you need is a device to project the game and devices in the students' hands to answer the questions. I use my laptop, and they students use either our Chromebooks or iPads. When I've created a quiz, I launch the game and project it. Students go to and enter the special code for that game. Then they choose a team name (and you can easily delete any that are a little questionable ;) ), you start the game, and then the fun begins! After a few uses, then I have had the kids write their own Kahoots and share them with me so I can project them. Some are better than others, but they are so proud of their quizzes.

If you have discovered any wonderful websites, please feel free to mention them in the comments!

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