Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cameo Classroom


I don't know what it is about the holidays, but I love to splurge on something "fun". This year I decided it was finally time to purchase a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. I've been wanting one ever since we did a linky party over at Blog Hoppin' where everyone showed off their neat creations. You can find that post here
I took the sale price as a sign that I truly needed this :D 

There's SO much you can create using this machine. I've had a Cricut and absolutely hated it. It didn't cut well and it was so expensive buying all those cartridges. I mainly used mine for cutting out letters, so I was basically paying $60 per font. CRAZY! That's what I love about my cameo: it hooks up to your computer, so you can use any font you have. *love*
Here's some of the things I've created over the past two days...I've gone a little crazy after discovering vinyl. LOL






Those fabulous parts of speech posters were created by the talented Lady Bugs Teacher Files. *LOVE*





Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Subject-Verb Agreement Freebie



Today we tackled subject/verb agreement and my kids did great! We did several activities with this so the kids had tons of practice. I created this sheet as part of the lesson and I though I'd share it with y'all if anyone can use it. It contains adorable clipart from Melonheadz that is themed around Paul Revere since that's our story this week. Click the pic to download it:

We coded the subjects (singular or plural) using two highlighters. Then we determined which verb agreed with the subject.

We then worked with more sentences. These came from their practice book, but I had them cut the sentences out and glue them onto a colored sheet of paper. I hate simply pulling out a workbook page so anytime the kids can add something to the activity, I'm happy! I feel like they get so much more when they create something rather than always filling out a workbook page.

In small groups, we been busy practicing close reading! The kids are doing fabulously with this. I've found a ton of great resources on TpT that make close reading easy and fun! I'll do a post soon on my favorite finds :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Frankenstein Compare and Contrast



If you follow me on Instagram (msleslieann01), then you saw my kids' adorable frankensteins.
This was the first step in our 2 day Frankenstein Compare and Contrast Project. The kids got into groups of 4 and made their own Frankensteins. We completed this on Thursday and by Friday, we were ready to compare and contrast!
Here's what we did. After each group created their Frankenstein, they teamed up with another group to compare the two Frankensteins, using a Venn diagram.


The final step was to write a summary detailing the similarities and differences between the two Frankensteins. They did such a great job on this step!


We need lots of practice writing, so this was the perfect project. Plus, the kids created absolutely everything! No prep needed. Simply, give out construction paper, let them create, give out a paper for the venn diagram, and then notebook paper for the summary. Easy squeezy!

Be sure and check out Southern Belle Inspired to see how fun Polyvore is!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Compare and Contrast



We haven't yet covered the skill of compare or contrast this year, so I didn't really know what to expect. Since I wasn't sure what and how much my kids would know, I tried to plan accordingly. Thankfully, the lesson was just right! It allowed my kids to practice identifying specific details in a text and compare/contrast them to other details. I was surprised to find that a lot of the kids were only comparing the people in each story, not events or things. I feel like we learned a lot and accomplished something today. :) Here's what we did







We did a little warm up activity by completing a paper plate venn diagram on two pictures. I gave the plate to one person, they wrote something on the diagram and then asked someone else if they had something to add. The venn diagram was passed around to several people before we moved onto the next activity.




These sheets will be used throughout the week as morning work/warm ups. We need a lot of practicing with writing summaries so these will work great! If you'd like a copy, let me know and I'll upload them. 

Now for the main part of the lesson. We divided into groups and went around the room to a passage, like the one below:

Each group read the passage, identified the two characters/things/events that were in the text, and completed a venn diagram on the similarities/differences





That's how we spent our day :) Be sure and head over to Southern Belle Inspired to find out where to get these gorgeous pencils. Every teacher needs pretty pencils, right? :)

Have a great week, y'all!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What We've Been Up To (in pictures)

September was a blur and I regret to say that I neglected both Life in First Grade and Life in Fifth Grade. And while we are on the subject, I've full on abandoned my lifestyle/fashion blog. It's my weekly goal to get back in a blogging routine and I'm proud to say I've finally found my camera charger and I'm ready to go! :)

Here's what we've been up to in 5th grade, which I've learned in a whole lot different than first in some ways and almost exactly the same in others. :)  :)
**Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for *almost* daily updates (msleslieann01)

We've been learning about cause and effect. I used this same graphic organizer in first grade, but at this age, the kids were able to not only create an illustration, but structure a sentence using a conjunction or cause and effect key word. I was so impressed with how well they did on this and how much it helped! Next week, we are going to take our cause and effect sentence and create a story with it. 










This chart was not my creation! It was a pinterest find, but the link was dead. If you are the owner, please let me know so I can give you credit! It served as a great helper chart when we were discussing the fact that you write the cause or the effect first as long as you use the correct clue word.



We've also been busy learning about fact and opinion. This was my first time teaching this skill and we had so much fun with it! 

We took a passage and identified each sentence as a fact or an opinion.



Next, we created our own facts and opinions based on what color card you got. 


Isn't this little opinion the sweetest?? I just love my sweet kids!

In other random news, we are getting much more organized on how we complete centers! Since we stay at the same center each day instead of rotating every 15 minutes like we did in first, I've given the kids choices on what they can do and what they can do afterwards. This has worked out really well!

A friend told me how she used bookmarks to guide her students, so I decided to try it and it has worked out fabulously! All I have to do now is call a group to go get their bookmark and they can find their center. Simple and effective!
I would LOVE to hear from you if you're teaching the new Scott Foresman Reading Street (the 2013 common core edition). On the weekly selection test, there are 6 words that contain the "Word Analysis" skill of the week, which we briefly cover on Tuesday. These words really throw the kids for a loop because they aren't familiar with them. I don't understand the reasoning behind this if the kids have never been introduced to the word, so I created a chart to help them with this part. We did a foldable activity that I'll share later! :)