It's the Beginning of the Summer!

8:50 AM

The classroom is packed up and summer is officially happening! I love my job, but summer is my favorite time of year and we all need a little break to regroup and get reinspired! 

Do y'all have to pack up your classroom each year? We always do because they wax the floors during the summer, but I'm painting this year so I had to take everything off the walls. I'm basically starting from scratch, which is kinda scary! I love the yellow walls, but I've had them for 6 out of the 8 years I've been teaching and I'm ready for a change! 

See that strip of gray along the right side of the wall? There were built in computer tables there for back when we had desktop computers. Since we are now 1:1 Chromebooks, I decided to remove the tables and make my reading area in that corner. I think it looks SO MUCH BETTER! I can't wait to fill that wall with bookshelves and rugs!

I've got big plans this summer, but for right now, my only goal is to get started on my summer reading. I've always loved reading, but this past year I REALLY got into reading. Follow my new book account on Instagram to see what I'm reading this summer and follow me on Goodreads :)

Reading Activities for the Last Weeks of School

3:04 PM

I have 6 more days, y'all! SIX! I'm going to miss these kids, but goodness am I ready for summer!
Now is a hard time to teach... tons of school events and end of the year celebrations are taking place and the schedule is a bit rushed at times. For example, tomorrow and Friday we will be on a short schedule due to the AR party and a school event. Since next week is the last week of school, some kids will start staying home early in the week, which makes trying to plan lessons and activities hard. I've created 5 activities/ideas to fill in time or to use during a short schedule. 

We did this the day before spring break and it was a HUGE hit! I displayed them in the classroom and the kids LOVE it! They recreated the cover on one side of the paper and wrote a summary on the other side. We will award the winners on Friday :)

You can find the printable for this here :)

Just have kids bring their beach towels and their book and enjoy reading out in the pretty weather! If weather isn't cooperating with you, you can always push the desks back in the classroom and read!

You can find the printable here :)

This one is my favorite! My kids know I'm obsessed with Harry Potter so I think they'll love this one. Simply google a picture of Hogwarts and display it on the board. Find the soundtrack to Harry Potter on Youtube and play it through your computer. The kids can read around the room while listening to the sounds of Harry Potter :) :) 

Do you have any fun ideas to survive the last weeks of school? Share below! 

End of Year Reading Reflection

4:17 PM

As the year winds down, I want to get my kids' opinion on our class. What they liked, what they didn't like. What stuck with them and what they remember. This is THEIR class and I want to know what they enjoyed about it and what they would recommend to the incoming 5th graders. I also want to know their thoughts on reading and what they are proud of accomplishing or wish they would have done differently. Grab your copy of the questionnaire here

1:1 Chromebook Classroom- Helpful Tips and Sites

2:46 PM

Happy Monday, friends! Today, I had a training where we talked to other teachers about our 1:1 Chromebook classrooms and shared sites that worked for us. I thought it might be beneficial to share with y'all that have a class set of Chromebooks, too!

Last year, the entire 5th grade in our district received Chromebooks for every student. Each student was given their own Chromebook and bag. The Chromebook went with them to each class, but it did not go home. The 5th grade teachers went to monthly trainings and were required to come back and teach lessons. This year, our 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades went through the same thing and those teachers came to the 5th grade teachers to see our model lessons. This process worked really well and I learned SO MUCH! 

Now that  I've been using Chromebooks in my daily instruction, I've learned about some neat sites that I wanted to share with y'all today. I know there's so much more out there, but this is just what worked for me. If you use a site, please share! :)

This is an online flyer generator. It's great for teaching vocabulary, pre reading strategies, grammar, etc. I blogged about how I used it for vocabulary here. You can see some of my smores that I've created and used this year below.

Previewing Tuck Everlasting

A grammar lesson on adjectives and articles

A vocabulary lesson

Nearpod is a site that allows you to show the kids teacher led presentations. The kids join via a session code that you can write on the board. Their screen only moves to the next slide when YOU move it, so it's great for making kids stay with you and not jump ahead. You can read about how I used this site during a figurative language lesson here

Animated video presentations. I created a few for introducing idioms at the beginning of the year. The kids have also created their own for grammar skills and other examples of figurative language elements. The 4th grade teacher showed an example of one of her kids creating one for prepositional phrases and it was really neat! You can check out my examples here.

My favorite! And my kids!
Allows students to upload a Google presentation and record themselves reading and discussing the presentation. The students create their own account using their Google account and they will email you the video when they are finished. We will use this at the end of a lesson when all the groups have completed their presentation.

Perfect for organizing documents, presentations, spreadsheets from Google Drive and for creating assignments for students. We use it at the beginning of every classroom for warm ups.

Google Drive
(This only works if your students have a google account)

Docs- like Microsoft Word. We are using this for our Reading Response journals next year. If you assign it through Google Classroom, it will make a copy for each student.
Presentations- my favorite! This is what I used for the lesson today
Forms- LOVE THIS! I create quizzes with this all the time. It will generate a spreadsheet once students start submitting so you can see the responses. If you use the add on flubaroo, it will grade them for you :)

I create language arts and spelling tests through Google Drive and share them with the kids each week. Saves so much copying!


Since each student has their own Google account, we use email all the time. Sometimes, as a warm up, students will email me their Status of the Class. On Fridays, they email me their Weekly Reflection, telling me one thing they learned in our class that week and one thing they enjoyed. I email them assignments when I’m out sick and have a sub. I also email the links to certain sites that we are doing so they don’t have to type long, complicated URLs.
***When all the kids email you, it will flood your inbox! I create a folder for each of my classes and move the emails to the appropriate folder.

Another fav! Great for quick assessments to see what the kids know (or don’t know!). They are always engaged with this because of the game aspect. Plus, the music is catchy!

I thought this was too young for 5th grade, but I was wrong! If the kids earn it, we watch one video from Go Noodle. Each class gets to pick a mascot and your mascot grows with each video you watch. My kids LOVE Koo Koo Kangaroo!

A video creator. Students upload pictures to it and it creates a video out of them. We used this for characterizations profiles from a novel study. They had to find 5 images that related to their character and create a video from it. The watermark won’t go away unless you upgrade, so that’s a downside. Here's an example of the characterization profiles from our novel study last year on The Westing Game.

This is what we used at the beginning of a lesson to provide a quick review or generate a discussion. Great to use as a beginning or after strategy. You create the poll and email the link to it to your students. They answer the poll question and you display the results on the board. Great for opening discussions or end of the lesson reflections.

* Create a set of rules for using Chromebooks and go over them when you begin using Chromebooks

* Let the kids know that you CAN and WILL check their search history. I haven't had a lot of problems with kids getting on sites that they weren't suppose to, but unfortunately I can't say it's never happened. Checking the history is easy too...just click in the top right hand corner.

* Invest in carrying bags. Our technology head ordered bags for each student so they could carry them from class to class. This prevents dropping the Chromebooks!

*Put names on the Chromebooks, not numbers. Last year when we first got them, we numbered the Chromebooks instead of putting their names on them. Then when it got time to give them to the 6th grade teachers, the numbers didn't match with the new homerooms. This year we realized it would work better to put their name on the Chromebook and the bags so the transition to new grades over the summer will be easier!

Five for Friday

2:37 AM
Yay for Friday!
 It's a field trip Friday for me (y'all know, the best kind of Friday! *said in a sarcastic voice*
9 days left people! 9 days! How many more days do you have? I'd love to hear!

Here's my 5 for Friday!

Last weekend I finished Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson. I LOVED this book, y'all! I was so excited to find out that the movie was on Netflix, so I quickly watched it after finishing the book and oh my goodness I was disappointed! The book was SO MUCH BETTER than the movie! So much better! If you haven't read this book, definitely put it on the summer must read list!

I just love my back porch right now :) It needs painting, but it's coming together! Reese is enjoying it, too! :)

I'm getting tables next year and I am so excited! 4 of them arrived this week and I'm still missing one. Now if I can just get the chairs I'll be in business!

I was out sick Monday and came back to school to find these pretty flowers and a stack of finished books. I could not be prouder of my kids and how well they have done with independent reading, especially right now when summer mode has kicked in! We are reading some great books and I can't wait to share with y'all some of our favorites. Be sure and check back next week! :)

I'm starting to prepare for our Readers' Choice Awards next week. Click here to read more about that! :) 

Be sure and link up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!

Target Carts for the Classroom- You NEED These!

3:30 AM

Friends, you need these carts from Target in your life. Your classroom needs these carts. They are wonderful for organization and storage! I purchased 4 earlier this year and used my Silhouette Cameo to make labels for each of my three classes. I put one cart at the end of each of my groups of desks. The kids store their practice books here so they don't have to tote them around all day or run back and forth to their lockers. I keep supplies that we use on a daily basis like sticky notes and highlighters in here, as well as extra pencils (the Dollar Spot tins made the perfect pencil cup!). I assigned a table leader for each class and that person is in charge of making sure the supplies are filled and the carts are neat. I've had these in the classroom for about 2 months now and they are working out perfectly! You can find these carts here.
(Psst... I also have one at my house! They are so useful and convenient!) 

5th Grade Supply List Ideas

3:30 AM

Happy Wednesday! I've been getting a few emails about what I ask for on my supply list, so I thought I'd do a blog post and share with y'all some of the things I ask for (or wish I'd thought about!) 

I keep highlighters in our classroom in carts, but it's always good for the kids to have their own, especially to use in their other classes. I wish I would have thought and specified a 4 color pack so it would be easier when we close read or color code, but I didn't think about it until just now! 

Sticky Notes
A must have! We use sticky notes daily in my classroom. We use them to chart our AR progress, we use them during close reading, we use them as book marks, exit slips. You name it, we use a sticky note for it!

I know this is on every supply list, but when I moved from first grade to fifth grade 3 years, I wondered how the supplies would differ. In first grade we used scissors and in 5th grade, we still do!

Composition Notebooks
I requested 2 this next year. We will use one as our vocabulary journal and the other as our reading response journal. Every student has their own Chrome book and I'm thinking of a way to make a reading response journal through Google, but I haven't figured it out yet. Suggestions welcome! :)

Prong Folders
Oh the many uses! I request one and we use it as our take home test folder

I SO WISH I had thought about requesting tape. I HATE gluing on interactive notebooks because it takes FOREVER. My coworker uses tape and it seems so much easier! I may use donation money to purchase a class set. 

This isn't everything on my list, but just a few highlights. I really want to know what's on YOUR supply list! Comment below so we can all get some new ideas! 

Don't forget about the Readers' Choice Giveaway! Click here to enter. 

Readers' Choice Awards

3:15 PM
Hey friends! I'm so excited to share today's post with y'all! 
As I was starting to think about the end of the year a few weeks ago, I realized I wanted to do something special to celebrate our love of books and reading. At the beginning of the year, I wasn't sure that a lot of my kids were going to acquire a love of reading, but I have been so pleased with their progress... especially these last few months. We have been reading more and more and choosing more advanced books. I want to celebrate this accomplishment, so I came up with...

We are going to have an awards day in our classroom to celebrate our favorite books/authors/
read alouds/characters/ and more!

I posted this pic on Instagram a few weeks ago and got a lot of questions, so hopefully this post will clear things up!

We voted on our favorites from each category and I complied the results in a Google Spreadsheet. During the last week of school, we will have the Readers' Choice Awards where we'll find out which favorites won!
Want to hold your own Readers' Choice Awards? Click here to get your printables! Here's what's included in the resource.

Grab your copy here! Want to win a copy? Comment below and I'll randomly pick a winner tomorrow (5/11) night. :)

Five for Friday {Saturday Edition}

4:55 AM
Happy Weekend, y'all! I'm joining my sweet friend Kacey's weekly Five for Friday link up this week. I missed the actual Friday part, so it's a Saturday edition...better late than never! ;)

I currently have 13 school days left before summer vaca starts. 13 days, people. I felt absolutely no guilt in yesterday's snack decisions. I'm tired. The kids are tired. There's one hundred and one school events crammed into the last two weeks that I don't have any "normal" days left, but I do have one more group of teachers coming to watch a lesson...the LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL! I feel sour patch kids, kisses, and a regular Coke was very much needed! :)

I'm dying to read this book after one of my kids came in this week and declared it as her favorite book of the school year. I can't keep it on my desk long enough to read it myself, but that's a good problem to have in my book! :)


I'm so glad I went ahead back in March and hired someone to build my deck. I can't wait to spend summer nights out here! 


Meet Libby! My mom's new, teeny tiny yorkie. She's the cutest, y'all! Reese is very jealous and won't have anything to do with her when she comes to visit and Libby is dying to play with Reese LOL. 


We are getting SO MUCH BETTER at short answer reading responses using TBE (text based evidence). I am so proud of my kids responses. Most of us are doing it on our own without even having to be reminded. Love! 

You can share your Five for Friday (even if it is on a Saturday!) here

Happy weekend, y'all! 

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