Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday with a Freebie

It's time to celebrate Friday with a linky party.  Five for Friday time! I'm linking up again this week with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching.

I really enjoy digital scrapbooking.  Teaching, blogging, and creating products for Teachers Pay Teachers has been filling my time lately.  I love all of those activities, but sometimes I just want to relax!  Monday night I did a little shopping at Pixels and Company and created a layout for the "October Recipe Challenge".  Getting a new digital kit always gets me excited about scrapping.
Materials used to create layout:  The Little Things (scrapbook kit) by Digital Scrapbook Ingredients; Grunge Masks by Jen Martakis; Layered Looks Template no. 21 by Tiffany Tillman

We are wrapping up our mystery unit this week.  Last week, each reading group finished a Cam Jansen mystery.  Each student wrote a recommendation for the book they had read.  Only two of my students strongly recommended that others NOT read the book!  One of the boys emphatically stated that there were no laser beams and no spy gear in Cam Jansen; Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones. Furthermore, there wasn't a lot of fast action.  He explained that since he has a lot of energy, he likes books with lots of energy.  Finally, he made it abundantly clear that the book was too short. There wasn't "enough time to think about the mystery".  The magnifying glass templates came from Amy Lemons' Mystery Mini-Unit. I suppose I should have required students to "decorate" their magnifying glasses with symbols and pictures from the text. Too late!

It's been downright chilly in the mornings here in Connecticut!  You can see that it was 35 degrees Fahrenheit when I left for work Monday morning.  By the time we went out to recess at 1:35, it was 66.  Layers are definitely a good idea in October.  I love fall.  The bottom photo is a view from my classroom window.  I wouldn't mind a bit MORE color, but it's a start.

I've started math centers/rotations this week.  On my pocket chart, I have this week's center names written on sticky notes.  Not fancy, I know, but it works for me.  I decided to try using paint sample strips to write student names.  Next week, I'll use a different color of paint strip, but the groups will be different.  I will save these blue strips to use again in the future. The idea is to have 5 or 6 different sets of strips to make grouping less time-consuming.  I've never tried this before, so I'm not so sure how it will work.  

I generally create multilevel groups, and I try to select activities that could be differentiated on the fly.  For example, the Top It game was simple to differentiate.  I had some students use regular dice. Some students used dice that went up to 20. 

The fire-safety rounding materials above were what the students used with me this week.  Some students required more help than others.  I had copies of a "roll and round" activity handy for extra work.  I could differentiate roll and round by having students use either 3 or 4 dice.  Today, as a challenge activity, I actually gave some students 5-digit numbers. I had them round the numbers to the nearest ten, the nearest hundred, and the nearest thousand.  You can grab a copy of the roll and round sheet I created by clicking [here] or on the image below. 

You may be wondering what these two pictures have to do with each other.  Everyone in our house has been coughing and hacking the last couple of weeks.  There have been sore throats, lots of middle-of-the-night awakenings, and earaches.  The sound of coughing is starting to make me cringe! We've been trying to just patiently wait until everything viral passes.  Sometimes, though, we've all been a BIT grouchy.  After one particularly crabby day (I won't say just WHO was crabby), my wonderful husband ran to the store to get stuff to make dinner, and came back with roses for me. He's the best!

Take the time to visit Doodle Bugs Teaching to read more Five for Friday posts!


  1. I wish digital scrap booking had been available when my kids were little. I did scrapbooks with a lot of cutting and tape strips! The finished products are still priceless! You have the sweetest husband ever!
    Teachers Are Terrific!

    1. He is the sweetest! Sometimes I miss paper scrapping, but it's easier to open some files than it is to pull out all the paper and scissors and embellishments!

  2. I have to admit I didn't know about digital scrap booking but it looks like it gives good results judging from your photo. The trees are all starting to turn here in the U.K. and I'm sweeping leaves every second day but I do like the autumnal colours :)

  3. I've yet to sweep or rake anything! I kind of like a yard full of leaves, but it isn't so good for the lawn!

  4. Jan!!!! I was looking for a rounding anchor chart on Pinterest and it came up with this I scrolled through, I saw 'Math FIT with Mrs, Gervais'!!! I am so happy I came across your blog!! I hope you are well!

  5. So HAPPY to hear from you! You are missed!