Idea for Pulling Sticks

Hey guys! Today I want to share with you something new I am going to try this year. In years past, I have used popsicle sticks to randomly call on students to answer questions. I use them a lot when I am doing review, specifically in Science and Social Studies. I love pulling sticks because the students never know who I'm going to call on, which causes them to pay closer attention. The only downfall I have is that I don't want to continually pull the same stick and have the same student answer multiple answer, or miss a stick and a student not have a turn. So I started laying the stick to the side once a student got an answer correct. This lead to another problem... Once the student answered a question correctly they quit paying attention because they knew I wouldn't be pulling their stick again. Sigh... This ruins the whole purpose of the review in the first place! However, I believe I have found the solution!

I have added colored dots on both ends of the popsicle stick using a sharpie: one blue, one red. (I choose these colors because it's the color scheme of my room. I'm a bit OCD about matchy matchy!) I'll begin by having all sticks having the same color sticking out. Once a student answers a question correctly I will turn their stick over so that the second color is showing. This way I know who has answered a question and who has not. It also causes students to continue paying attention after they have answered a question, since their stick is still in the cup and could still be pulled.


Here is my "sticks cup." I have two cups because I have two classes since we departmentalize. My homeroom has McDonald on the cup and the other class has their homeroom teacher's name on the cup. 

This is one of the sticks. I just used a blue and red sharpie for the dots. Easy and cheaper than buying actual dots to stick on it. 




I have seen an idea where a toilet paper role has been used hidden inside the cup. Once a student answers a question the stick goes into the toilet paper role, which keeps the pulled sticks and unpulled sticks separate.

If you use a different strategy for pulling sticks, I would love to hear about them in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed!

5 Things I Want to Try in My Classroom This Year!




Hey guys! Today I want to share with you the 5 things I want to try in my classroom this year.  Last year we went full common core in math and reading. After a year of getting my feet wet, I'm now ready to dive in and see how it goes. Here are the 5 things I'm wanting to try during my "diving in" process! 


Number 1: Number Talks 

During a recent math conference this book was brought to my attention as a great way to work on fluency and math strategies with students. This book has common core connections and is for grades K-5.  I have talked my school into purchasing the book and am waiting very impatiently to get my hands on it! 

Number 2: A Carpet 



This one may seem strange but hear me out! In my school only K-3 grades have a carpet in their classrooms. It was always thought to be "too young" for 4-5 grade. To better implement number talks from above I need a "meeting place". Thus I would really like to get a carpet this year. I have read many blogs about intermediate grades using carpets successfully. Of course when I go searching for them again, I can't find them. ::sigh:: Once I have implemented the carpet and number talks I promise to come back and report how it is working! 

Number 3: Desk Organization 

I found a blog that had a really neat idea on how to keep desks organized when students switch classrooms. I am really hoping to try this this year to help keep the desks from becoming black holes. This idea can be found here: http://www.ashleigh-educationjourney.com


Number 4: Fractions 

During a recent math conference, this book was recommended to me for teaching fractions. In 4th grade CCSS fractions are a major focus. I really want to make sure I am teaching it in a way that my students will understand and comprehend, not just know how to find an answer. 

Number 5: I Can... Bulletin Board 
I am really wanting to turn my small bulletin board into an I Can.. CCSS Bulletin Board. I have been posting my standards on my white board, but now that summer is here, I am ready to tackle the bulletin boards. There are MANY cute ideas on how to decorate or organize an I Can bulletin Board. I'm juggling ideas around in my mind and have decided that I will decided on July 1 (when I am allowed to go to the teacher store and purchase items for the new school year) what route I want to go. 



What are some ideas that you are hoping to try this school year?

I hope you enjoyed!

Whats the News?

Hey Guys! I have been MIA for a couple months and have FINALLY sat down to write a blog post! One of the biggest reasons I have been absent is because I found out I was pregnant! We are extremely excited for this new chapter in our lives! I did however spend the first trimester snoozing on the couch as soon as I got home from school everyday because I was SO tired! However, I am officially in my second trimester and it's summer break so I am starting to feel much more energized!

I have recently posted a new product on Teacherspayteachers.com that I hope you will check out!
                                                    Decimal Illustration Matching Game

I have also started a twitter account so follow me! https://twitter.com/mcdonaldgrade4

Here is my most recent "belly picture" because I know you really wanted to see! 







Teaching Moon Phases: Moon in My Room


Hey guys. Today I wanted to tell you about a new toy that I bought to help teach moon phases. It's called Moon in My Room. This has been one of the neatest things to help teach moon phases. I hung it over the classroom door and after teaching moon phases we turned out the light, turned on the moon, and each student had to identify the moon phase being shown. The moon comes with a remote and I would sit in the back of the room, cycle through the phases, and stop on one at random. My students loved it, and I really feel that it helped improve there moon phase identifying skills.

Need more Moon Phases Ideas?
Moon Phases Worksheets -TPT
FREE Moon Phases Matching Game




I hope you enjoyed!
 
 
 
 

New Products and a Freebie!

I have recently added several new scoot games to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. If your following my store you may already be aware of the new items, but if you aren't here is what you may have missed. 






And last but not least don't forget to grab this cute free bookmark! 







Teaching Complete Metamorphosis

Hey guys! Today I want to talk about one of the activities I did when I was teaching complete metamorphosis this year! In fourth grade, students need to know the difference between complete and incomplete metamorphosis. They also need to be able to visually identify which metamorphosis an insect goes through. For this activity I had students compare and contrast the life cycle of a butterfly and a ladybug. I have a real specimen of a butterfly life cycle and a plastic specimen of the ladybug.

First, I had the students draw the different stages of both insects.

Second, they had to answer question comparing and contrasting the butterfly life cycle with the lady bug life cycle. 

Here is a picture of my students examining the ladybug and butterfly life cycle specimen. 









Classroom Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

Hey guys! Today I want to share with you a fundraiser that we have been doing at my school the last couple of years. Each class receives a pumpkin and they decorate it however they like. The pumpkins are then displayed in the hallway and voted on. The class with the highest votes get a pizza party. Each vote is worth one dollar. Last year we used real pumpkins and ended up with rotting pumpkins in our hallway, which I do not recommend! This year we used fake carvable pumpkins, which have turned out really cute. Here are some of the great pumpkins the classes came up with this year!

cowgirl pumpkin

mummy pumpkin
mickey mouse pumpkin
Uncle Si pumpkin (1)
Uncle Si pumpkin (2)
2 sided minion pumpkin
Good side

Bad Side

basket ball and goal pumpkin

Merida pumpkin
Cinderella carriage pumpkin
kitty pumpkin
rainbow fish

lady bug

bass drum pumpkin


I hope you enjoyed!


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