Monday, October 20, 2014

Gummy Bear Government

We have been studying the different types of government that can be found around the world today and throughout history. The most common include, Anarchy, Monarchy, Dictatorship, Oligarchy, Theocracy, Democracy, and Republic.

In order to better understand these systems, we first applied hand motions to them (See THIS post to watch these in action), created a flip book with their definitions, and finally, ACTED them out with GUMMY BEARS! I found the idea for 

this off a pinterest picture and decided that it could make a great review activity!

Students worked with a partner to create their system of government "scene" acted out by the gummy bears.  

 Once we had recreated the system of government, we drew a matching picture in our flip charts (either of the gummy bears or stick figures). 
 The kiddos REALLY had a great time with this activity and I felt that it helped them solidify the different systems since they were having to create the definition in a visual way. It was SO cute listening to their ideas for how to make the system. Here are a few of my favorite depictions. 
 Oligarchy - ruled by a rich and powerful few
Monarchy - notice the "gummy" throne!
 This group created a voting booth for their Republic depiction :0) 

To see more of what we do during my Government Unit, Visit THIS post and THIS post. 

Learning with FOOTBALL

This last Friday, we had our school homecoming game. With that, we celebrated football throughout our school day, ending with a tail gating party! 
I know that pinterest ideas are not the most original thing to post about (especially if they cost money!), however, these two activities are WELL WORTH a shout out! 

1) Editing NFL players TWEETS
After seeing this article, I KNEW we HAD to do this as a homecoming activity. As suspected, it was an absolute HIT (even got staff members and parents comments!)
WARNINGThe initial prep for this takes a while. I basically went down my fantasy league teams and searched through my player tweets, looking for anything misspelled, inappropriate or missing commas, misused capitals, wrong verb tenses, etc. Some players were very simple to discover errors, on others I had to go through multiple tweets to discover something wrong. 
Of course, we all know that many internet mistakes are honest and due to quick typing and small iphone screens. However, as I told my kiddos, it is VERY important, whether you are tweeting, facebooking, emailing, or handwriting, to ALWAYS reread what you've written because no matter how accidental, they often make one look ignorant and open you up for ridicule... or fifth grade editors ;0) 

2) Root Word Football
Incredible lesson from TPT 
THIS was a perfect activity not only for its engagement but also because we are knee deep in roots, suffixes, and prefixes so it worked perfect as a fun review. It is well worth the money! I even allowed the students to THROW the football during the activity (WHAT?? Mrs. B, we can actually THROW the football in the classroom!?) *Coolest Teacher Award* This activity would also make a great test prep review or fun friday activity. 

Do you do any thing fun for your homecoming football game day in the classroom? 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Walking Classroom

Through a grant opportunity, my class and I have the great privilege of becoming a "Walking Classroom"! This program helps address different learning styles and allows for physical activity within the school day. Students walk, listen, and learn to educational podcasts which are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. I feel it will be especially beneficial for students who are highly active due to its physical stimulation and that being able to get up and move around will enable my kiddos to better enjoy, remember, focus, and understand a lot of the concepts needed to move on to 6th grade. So far, we have utilized this great program numerous times and look forward to using it all throughout the year! 
SHOUT OUT MOMENT! I originally heard about this great program (and the FREE grant opportunity) through the incredible Stephanie over at Teaching in Room 6. Check out her and her class out HERE for a video of them IN ACTION! 
 Students discussing their learning with their partner 
If you are interested in applying for a donated set for either 4th or 5th grade, check out this link for more information. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Extreme Learning: Classroom Tour

Another school year is upon us! and per usual, I am a bit behind in my blogging. 
One month down and my classroom still looks surprisingly nice *grin*

We started this year with an "Extreme Sports" theme focused on Extreme Learning. I had been wanting to do an extreme theme for a couple of years but just couldn't wrap my head around how that would look. This year, after a summer of theme contemplation, I finally decided to give it a try. 
So, I raided our garage and brought all of my husband and I's toys to school - lucky for him, I have decided this year to only have this theme for the first month of school until we start social studies heavy so yes dear, you will have your snowboard in time for boarding... no, you will not have your climbing shoes for another week, sorry. Next week, the theme will be changing to match our social studies units, beginning with Government.

Here is our EXTREME classroom tour - Enjoy!
Decided to try a pinterest idea - McDonald's cup holders as table supply holders! Thank you for visiting the virtual tour of our Learning Conservatory! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

DIY//Tissue Paper Border

I am finally back in "school" mindset. Partly because I am ready to start thinking about it, planning for it, getting excited about it ... and partly because well, it. is.
Can I get an AMEN! *smile* 
With that said, I have officially started working in my classroom. It isn't very cozy yet, but considering this was ONE Friday, I am pretty excited about my accomplishments! 
Today, I am sharing one of my favorite bulletin board borders. This idea is by no means my own, and there are quite a few tutorials floating around the internet, however, I figured it wouldn't hurt to put another one out there to encourage more people to utilize this FUN, EASY, and CHEAP boarder. 
I can do one bulletin board with a packet of colored tissue paper from Dollar Tree for ONE DOLLAR! 
PS: I do NOT use paper for my bulletin board backgrounds. I always use plastic table clothes from Dollar Tree (again, CHEAP!). At first, they do have the lines but I don't mind and they smooth out fairly quickly. Black is my favorite color to use because it goes with EVERYTHING and it really allows student work to POP! 
First: Using one sheet of tissue paper, fold it and bunch it toward to top much like a tootsie roll end. Some people like to fan it out and make the sheet longer but I like to go all the way to the end and balloon the middle to make it a bit more 3D.
Bunch at the other end as well. 
Second: Do #1 to all of your pieces (2 or more depending on your color scheme) - you should end with with a batch of tootsie rolls. I like using three to create a color POP!
Third: Gather and pinch the ends of the three together. Push pin them together onto your board. Some people use staplers but I find that push pins hold it better. Pin both ends. There should be some space between each "balloon".
Fourth: Using the same three colors, cut each color into smaller squares and create small "bunches". I like to crinkle the edges a little. 

Fifth: Pin these bunches between the "balloons" to create a finished, flowery, look.

There are so many combinations you can try with these! These are just a few I have done - the abundance of red, white, and blue is because I teach American History and Government. 
Rolled, Tulip-like, flowers in between
Using only two colors 
Two colors and a solid flower

Now you have FABULOUS and super fancy looking borders to place your kiddos work in! 
Warning: Be prepared to get many compliments ;0) 
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