Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Real Talk: Summer is ALMOST here!

Hi y'all! Normally I use this blog to share happenings in my classroom and give ideas to other teachers out there, but y'all I have 2 DAYS LEFT before summer begins and I. am. tired. 

I've got nothing left. No ideas. No fun activities to pass the time. I'm in survival mode and once Friday arrives, I don't want to think about anything school related for a looooong time. But I did want to talk with y'all today! So I thought I'd share what I'm looking forward to doing this summer :)

I'm looking forward to spending time with the sweetest dog in the world!

I'm looking forward to sitting outside in the afternoons and enjoying the pretty weather.

I'm looking forward to enjoying my back porch. Hopefully it will be fenced in soon so Reese can enjoy being leash free! 

I'll be sharing more pictures of my back porch over on my life+style blog, Southern Belle Inspired. Be sure you follow it on Blog Lovin'!

I'm looking forward to actually blogging more on Southern Belle Inspired :)

I'm looking forward to reading, reading, reading! You can follow me on Good Reads to see everything I'm reading. I've started keeping up with how many books I've read this year by creating a 2015 list on the site. It's fun to look back and remember the different stories. :) 
This one is being compared to Gone Girl. I was not a fan of Gone Girl. I LOVED the movie, but could not get through the book. The Good Girl, however, was wonderful! Love, love, love!

 Another book that is suppose to be like Gone Girl. This one was great and I'm so glad I gave it a chance. I normally would not have picked this book up, but after repeatedly seeing it on the best seller lists, I decided to try it out. Sooo good!

 I LOVE the young adult genre and this one was a quick and fun read. I like books that keep me guessing which character the main character will end up with and this book did exactly that!

 I haven't read this one yet, but after Reese Witherspoon instagrammed it, I ordered it. If Reese liked it, I'll like it! :) While I haven't read this book, I have read What Alice Forgot by the same author and I loved it!!! 

The Selection is my favorite series of all time (except Harry Potter, of course!), so when The Heir came out, I preordered it in order to have it the day it was released. It was nowhere near as good as the first three in the series, but I expected that since this one follows the main characters' daughter and is set 20 years in the future. With that said, I would still repurchase and read again. It wasn't great, but it still captured my attention and so I'll be preordering when the next one is released! :)

When do you get out for summer? What are you looking forward to? :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Modern Teacher Planner GIVEAWAY

Have I got a treat for y'all today! I'm sure y'all have heard of April from A Modern Teacher. Her blog is one of my favorite reads. She always has the BEST pictures! They make me happy just looking at them. If you aren't aware of her absolutely adorable planners, do yourself a favor and go check them out now! They are the cutest planners around and are packed full of useful pages that will help you become organized and stay organized. 
I've tried many planners, but when I received April's, I knew I had finally found one that I loved. The one I was currently using was too small so I never carried it. I like a planner that is more the size of a notebook so that it's easier to write in and April's is a much better fit! 
I have the Rainbow Chalkboard style, which is almost sold out! As of Friday (5/15), there are currently 4 left in stock! But don't worry! April has graciously agreed to giveaway one to a fabulous Life in Fifth and First Grade reader! Check out the end of this post to enter!

Isn't it fabulous? You can grab one of the 4 left here or enter to win a blue gingham one (so pretty!) below! Giveaway ends a week from today (5/24) and I'll announce the winner Monday, May 25. Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Recycle Crafts for 5th Graders- Guest Post

Hi friends! I'm excited to share a guest post for y'all today! Corinne from Alternate Tutelage is here to show us some neat ways to make colorful spring crafts. It involves recycling, which is perfect since we just celebrated Earth Day!  I know y'all will love it! 

*** Want to be featured as a guest blogger on Life in Fifth Grade? Email me at lifeinfifthgradeblog@gmail.com to discuss details! 

Recycle to Make Colorful Spring Crafts with Fifth Graders
The bright and cheerful tone of spring makes it just the perfect season to involve kids in some fun games in the classroom. Incorporate these colorful and exciting crafts and activities into your fifth grade classroom and spread the joy of spring!

Sun Catcher with CDs
Ever felt bad about throwing away old and used CDs? Use them to make the most of bright, sunny spring days! Here’s how you can make sun catchers with old CDs for the classroom.
·       Junk CDs - ask the students to get an old CD each from home
·       Craft glue
·       Rhinestones, beads, glitter, sequins, etc.
·       Monofilament fishing line
·       Scissors
·       Newspaper
·       Permanent marker
·       Choose a large desk for your work station. Cover the area with newspapers.
·       Have each child write his or her name on the non-shiny side of the CD.
·       Hand over a cup of gems and rhinestones to each student and have him/her glue them to the CD on one side in any random pattern.
·       Lift the sun catcher when the glue has dried. Be ready to catch anything that wasn’t glued down well! Glue them back.
·       Turn the disk over and let the kids decorate the second side. Let the side dry.
·       Cut a foot of monofilament and tie it through the disks. Make several chains of the disks or make a single chain with all the CDs. Hang the sun catchers close to a window where they will get plenty of sunlight to glisten!

Food Can Chimes

Spring is the season of fresh flowers, chirping birds, humming bees and all other things that are boisterous and cheerful. Here is how you can involve your class in recycling old and used food cans, like a baked bean can, a green bean can, a cream of mushroom can, or a condensed milk can to make a cheerful wind chime that screams of spring.
·       Old food cans with lids, instruct the kids to get one each from home
·       A hammer and a big nail
·       Liquid acrylic colors
·       Clear spray paint
·       Round cloth hanger
·       Thin rope
·       Take the hammer and drill the big nail and make a hole on the bottom of each can.
·       Hand over the cans back to the kids and have them first write their names on sticker labels and glue them on the outside of the lid.
·       Invite the kids over to start painting. Use bright colors. It’s advisable to use non-toxic acrylic colors as the children are bound to get messy with them.
·       Once done, spread out a newspaper and place the cans on it to let them dry.
·       When they are dry to touch, take off the lids. Pass a length of rope through the hole of each can at the bottom and tie a knot at the end from the other side. Vary the lengths of the rope. Put the lid back on.
·       Tie the other end of the rope on each can to the hanger and your wind chime will be ready!

Light Bulb Garden

No better season than spring to start your own garden. Use old light bulbs whose filaments have already been cleaned to make a spring garden for each student in the class.
·       Empty light bulbs – Here’s how
·       Water
·       Dandelions with stems/other flowers with a long shelf life
·       Permanent marker
·       Wire
·       Empty the light bulbs and invite the kids to write their names on the light bulbs.
·       Fill up each of them till 1/4th with water. Use this activity to explain germination to fifth graders.
·       Have them slowly drop stems of dandelions into the water.
·       Wind a fair length of wire around each bulb and hang it from a tree branch or blinds’ rod at the window.
Easy and fun activities like these are sure to make classroom time more fun. I’d love to hear about any other spring crafts and activities that could bring a slice of spring indoors and make the classroom brighter!

Author Bio:

Corinne Jacob is a wannabe writer who is convinced that kids learn best when they’re having fun. She is constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make learning an enjoyable experience. Corinne loves all things that scream out un-schooling, alternative education and holistic learning.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Differentiating with HOTS!

Making sure all your students are working at their own level can be HARD! I remember when I taught first grade, I struggled majorly with making sure my centers were differentiated! I would try and make individual activities for each of my groups and I quickly discovered that would simply not be possible (not to mention crazy hard!) So I created these two resources that allow each student to work at his or her level and with their own leveled reader/text.  You can read more about my Bloom's Ladders here and my Think Mats here. My Bloom's Ladders are my #1 best seller! I think these might just be two of my favorites resources that I've ever created! You can check out each one below and grab them on sale during Teachers Pay Teachers Teacher Appreciation SALE! :) You can shop my entire store here

Monday, April 27, 2015

Quick Character Assessment- The Westing Game

So, we started The Westing Game almost two weeks ago and we just finished chapter 4 today. I told y'all...we are taking it SLOW! After reading the first three chapters, we took a mini break to really analyze and understand the characters. One of my favorite activities was this quick assessment that I used as a homework assignment. We took two of the characters (Barney Northrup and Grace Wexler) and drew them using key details from the text. We also wrote down everything we knew about them (along with traits). This was just after chapter 1, so there wasn't a lot of information to go on, but enough to get a good idea of what type of character they were. Ideally, I would have liked for them to cite where they found the details of the character's physical appearance, as well as supporting evidence for their traits, but this was a homework assignment and I only have 30 copies of the books (enough for one class, not all three). It made for a quick assessment, though! And can we just talk about how great these illustrations are??? Love!

For those of you who have asked about my central questions for this novel, I am in the process of writing all of them and uploading. I was hoping to upload yesterday, but I went and saw The Age of Adaline instead. Let me know if you've seen it and your thoughts! I had some issues with it! 

I'm sharing my favorite drugstore lipstick over on Southern Belle Inspired! Come check it out!