Pumpkin Plurals (with a freebie)

Hi everyone! It's Courtney from Swimming into Second. I'm dropping by today to share a little pumpkin freebie with you. This week is pumpkin week in my classroom because we are heading to the pumpkin patch on a field trip on Friday. I am super excited about going, maybe even more than my students!

We've been studying plural nouns this week and for the past few weeks. I'm not sure why most of the different types of nouns start with P (plural, proper, possessive). Can we say perplexing? 

We've been working on all kinds of plurals and I wanted to make it a little bit pumpkin themed so I made this pumpkin worksheet to check that students understand what we learned last week.

Click on the image to download the freebie.

This week, we are learning more about nouns that need -ies, -ves, and all those irregular plurals.

 I remembered that I had this free poster in my store that goes over -ies words.


If you are looking for more pumpkin themed goodies, click here to check out my blog post from yesterday.

Thanks for stopping by! 


Making Student Goals with a Freebie

Hi everyone!  It's Angelia from Extra Special Teaching.  I wanted to show you guys how I keep my students invested and involved in their learning by setting weekly academic goals.

For reading, I have 3 weekly assessments that my students take each week.  I always do a cold read fluency on Mondays before students take home their weekly homework fluency and I do a phonics and high frequency assessment on Fridays.  

After I do our cold read on Monday, I fill out this form real quick.

I help my students set reasonable goals based off their past performance and the difficulty of what we're learning this week.  I try to keep the goals reasonable so they can feel some success.  

On Fridays, we fill out the form with their new score and circle whether or not they met their goal.  For each goal they meet, they receive a star for their Super Improver Wall books.

I made a more generic form that you could use with your students.  You can download this freebie by clicking on the picture below.

Happy goal setting!

Fern Smith's Color For Fun Printable Freebies

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Color For Fun Printable Freebies 
Color For Fun!
I've started a new series of resources that I would like to share with you. They are for your classroom and/or personal children, Color For Fun. Each resource has over 30 printable pages and are also available in a Four Pack Bundle. 

There are all sorts of things you can do with them other than just print one page.

Pre-K to First Grade
  • Use as morning work or place at a center to work on fine motor skills.
  • Staple one or more pages into your weekly homework packet for a little fun and joy!
  • Use as a quiet winding down activity at the end of a long school day!

Second Grade to Sixth Grade
  • Use as a reward for the weekly homework being turned in.
  • Use on Fun Friday if everyone finished their work, some teachers call it a Ketchup Day {catch up with work}.
  • Staple one page into your weekly homework packet for a little fun and joy!
  • Staple 5 to 10 pages together for a treasure box coloring book.
Possibilities are endless! :)

Each resource has a full page FREEBIE in the Preview at my TPT Store. Click under each picture for the link to try it for free today!

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Back to School Fun! Color For Fun Printable Coloring Pages
 Click here to download using the free PREVIEW button.
 Click here to download using the free PREVIEW button.
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Fall Fun! Autumn Color For Fun Printable Coloring Pages
 Click here to download using the free PREVIEW button.
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Halloween Fun! Color For Fun Printable Coloring Pages
 Click here to download using the free PREVIEW button.
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Color For Fun Fall Four Pack of Printable Coloring Pages
 Click here to see the convenience bundle of all four resources.

I'm Fern from Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas, stop by my blog anytime for tips, tricks, resources and freebies for your classroom!
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas AT Owl-ways Be Inspired
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas AT Owl-ways Be Inspired
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Marshmallow Shooters {Force & Motion} & a Freebie

We are having tons of fun with our new Force & Motion science unit. Today, I wanted to share a little about the Marshmallow Shooters I posted on Instagram. These were inexpensive and easy to make, but provided lots of fun learning opportunities!

Here's what you'll need:

Cups - I've seen others use paper cups, but I chose to use the cheap-o plastic cups. These were easy to cut and a little more sturdy. For added stability, I double stacked the cups for each shooter since there were 80 in my package.

My plan was just to squeeze the cups and cut the bottoms off. Yes, this would have left a little more of a jagged edge, but I have lots of cute duct tape and washi tape to take care of that.

However, Mr. Madden would not hear of it! So, he lovingly used a box cutter to cut the circle bottom out of all 48 cups we were using. #lovethatman

Balloons - Nothing special here. I picked up everything for this project at Target and the balloons in the party section were perfect. Just cut the top tip of the balloon off as seen in the photo below.

Marshmallows - Lots of mini marshmallows. Actually, you won't need too many - one bag was perfect since the marshmallows can be used over and over again.

**You could also use mini pom-poms if you have those at school already. Since they are less dense, they will not "shoot" as far, but that could be a good thing for this lesson. ;)

Here's what you'll do:

Tie a knot in the end of the balloon.Stretch the cut end of the balloon over the top of the cup...the lip of the cup will help hold the balloon in place.

Drop a marshmallow into the cup so that it falls into the little "hole" where the knot is. Pull the knot back, aim, and shoot! That's it!

Beware...these little shooters work better than I expected! My little scientists worked with a partner to use different strengths of force to shoot the marshmallows. Then, they used tape measures to measure the distance of their attempts. They didn't even know they were learning! ;)

When I do this lesson next year, I plan to do it outside so that I can draw "targets" on the sidewalk/pavement. This way students would be encouraged to use different strengths of force to reach the targets (with some being closer and some being farther away).

I would highly recommend this activity if you teach forces and motion. It was definitely a HIT!

Of course, we recorded all of our results in our science notebooks. Here's the cover that I promised some of my IG followers. I use a composition notebook with a tab to divide it - half for math and half for science - but I've included an all-science version, too. I hope you can use it!


Halloween Freebie

Hey peeps!! I found these cute wallpapers and thought I'd put them to good use.  My son was BEGGING for a copy of them!  So, here you go! 

For this activity, the student must read the quote and figure out which picture it matches...a great way to help kids see how quotation marks work.

Also, if you are in need of more sight word phrases (I like to do a different set each week), there are more in my Halloween Pack! Be aware that they do not utilize these same wallpapers though...I don't want any hate mail!  The wallpapers cannot be sold.

Here are a few examples of what they look like.  Just click on the pics below to go download!

Enjoy!!!  P.S.  A mistake was found and corrected!  There is a new link, so be sure to re-download it!

Small Group Must Haves

Hey there everybody! It's Megan from I Teach. What's Your Super Power?  I'm teaching small groups this year, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite small group reading resources (besides lots and lots of books) for my 1st-4th grade groups.
I'm in love with these fluency sets from Stephanie at Falling into First.  We read them and we read them and we read them.  And then one day, they practice by themselves a few times.  Then they read it to me, and I give them a sticker, and the universe is a wonderful place because they got a sticker.  I love first graders.
I also love these sets from Miss DeCarbo.  I'm using this with my first graders now.  I'll use this second resource with them later in the year.

For my second graders, I love this Fry phrases from Shauna's Shop.  You can see some of them in the 1st grade picture laying on the tray.  We practice them as a warm up, but if someone finishes quickly or I'm listening to a student read, they're a perfect grab and practice.  We don't waste a minute around here.
I also love these Text Detectives from Luckey Frog's LilyPad.  She's got a bunch in her store, and I'll be using these all year.

Does your state use paired passages on your reading tests?  Ours does, and they throw the kids off big time.  I bought this book (and the 4th grade one, too) to use with my groups.  I like that the passages are shorter, so we can spend more time thinking about our thinking when answering the questions.

My fourth graders loooove Jen Jones.  They just don't know it.  I bought her Hello 411 sets.  These short articles are great.  We can read and do some comprehension work in one session.  These articles make a perfect fluency reread when we meet again the next time.
You can use the comprehension resources in her Reading to Learn set with any text.  I love these sets from Lakeshore, too, and I can't wait to use her resources with them.

Behind my table are the supplies I use with all my groups.  The whisper phones are a MUST.  I don't care what grade you're teaching, these are awesome.  I was lucky enough to grab these from Lakeshore when they were on sale for $1.99.  I have a stack of dry erase boards and a bucket of dry erase markers and erasers ready to go.  There's also a basket with little tubs of crayons.  I've also got highlighters, glue sticks, scissors, and stetro grips ready to grab as needed.
What are your favorite resources to use with small groups?  I've got a lot of ground to cover this year with my 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders.  I'll take any tips I can get!

Stepping into S.T.E.M

Hey friends! Denise here from Sunny Days in Second Grade.

Our entire second grade team has been slowly incorporating S.T.E.M projects into our monthly plans. At first, the term S.T.E.M sounded a little daunting, but after a bit of research I found that it's actually quite easy to bring these engaging, hands-on experiences into the classroom.

S.T.E.M of course, stands for Science Technology Engineering and Math. Not all components of S.T.E.M will be incorporated into each activity. Most that I've found seem to be heavily focused on engineering. I've been collecting some great ideas and products on Pinterest if you want to take a look-see.

Follow Denise Boehm's board STEM on Pinterest.

So this year we started out with the cup stacking challenge. It's quite deceptive! It really seems to be an easy task, until you get started and you realize just how much thought and planning is involved. And how one false move can bring you right back to square one!

For this challenge, I broke up the kids into groups of three. Each group got 40 small plastic cups and they had 10 minutes to construct the tallest tower they could using all of the cups. That's it! Easier said than done though. We had lots of collapses and lots of rebuilding - and lots of fun!

In the end, we also had a standing tower from each team. Success!

You'll notice from the picture above that the towers were all almost identical in design. So after we put away the supplies, we talked about ways that we might do things a bit differently next time. I guided them towards thinking of different shaped bases, besides the pyramid. The next day, we tried it again. Same teams, same goal, same supplies, but we now had the experience from the first attempt and what we learned from our discussion. Our results were a bit different this time around:

Notice the round base on this one!

You can see that this experience took very little planning and prep time other than grabbing some plastic cups during my weekly shopping trip (which can be shared by many classes). After this first S.T.E.M. experience, my kids are hooked! Our plan is to incorporate one challenge a month and then at the end of the year invite the parents into the room to complete a challenge with us.

You can read a little more about another popular S.T.E.M challenge I completed with my class last year on my blog. I tried it on a whim for a fun end of the year activity and I knew immediately I wanted it to be a big part of my classroom this year. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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