Outside the Classroom Walls - Measurement

I love taking my students outside for learning. There is such an amazing transformation in a student's desire to learn when you give them guidelines, tools, and then let them create the problems and solutions. They expand the lesson more than a worksheet or directed lesson will ever accomplish.

In this lesson, students were given a simple recording sheet and asked to find objects they could measure in centimeters, inches, feet, and yards. Each student had a ruler and a clipboard.

Some students worked in pairs, some in groups, and some preferred to go at it alone. Then they were asked to list objects found outside of the playground that they could measure in the same units. The list were creative and far beyond what they could of thought of in the classroom. By giving them tangible items they could touch and compare, they were then able to visualize other objects with the same measurement. It was hard to get them to stop working. Once we got back to the classroom, we used our collected data and started to convert the measurements. This was an awesome way to differentiate math. Some students used repeated addition, others used grouping and broke numbers apart, while a few even attempted multiplication. Overall, this was a great lesson taken outside the classroom walls.

Landforms and Bodies of Water

My kids have had so much fun with our Land-form and Bodies of Water Unit. First we talked about each form and what it takes to create each one. After that I put the kids in groups, and they made a poster about their form.
When they were finished, they shared all of its features with the class.
Next the kids made the form out of clay. I had to add on an extra 15 min. to my lesson just so they could play with the clay! They did a really good job and had a lot of fun too.

Today we got messy with paint. A little more mess than I wanted but they had fun! The conversations were great. They needed to decide on what colors to paint and why. They blended colors to add weathering and realistic features.

Next week we will be discussing how weathering and natural disasters affect the forms. The students can't wait to destroy, they are all fighting over who gets to represent the earthquake.


Being a student is about more than just learning how to be a mathematician or a good reader and teaching is about more than teaching the standards. Finding opportunities to teach students how to be a good person is equally important. Sometimes we forget that children do not automatically know how to interact with one another. These skills have to be taught, practiced, and talked about. I found these great posters made by
 Digital Divide & Conquer Thank You!

I was planning a chapel for school and knew I wanted to do something on friendship, these posters were perfect. My students all had a part and we told the group we were going to "Spell Out" how to be a good friend. We went through the cards one by one and gave examples of each concept. We ended the chapel with a skit on solving problems on the playground AKA "Rock, Paper, Scissors".

My students and the other classes loved the chapel and I see them using the strategies on the playground and in the classroom. I may not have gotten to everything on my lesson plans that week, but it was worth it!

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year, I can't wait to see what God has in-store for me this year. I have made my mental list of things I want to accomplish, create, and improve. If I make a real list, I will just be overwhelmed and it would take too much valuable time. I need to shorten the list! Life has been crazy, like I am sure it has been for most people. I feel like I never have enough time to do everything that I want to accomplish.. I am in the stage of life where I am taking care of and making decisions for both my parents and my own kids. It is a hard stage of life, trying to be the perfect daughter and not let your parents down and be the perfect mom who is there 100%.  With that being said, I think balance and being satisfied with what I do accomplish, will be my number 1 and only thing I write on a New Year's Goals List. Take this post for example, it was supposed to happen yesterday, it happened today.  But yesterday I took a shower, put on clean PJ's, and never left the house. It was the best day ever and I worked most of the day on a new writing packet that I hope to have done by next weekend.

I have 3 days left of Christmas Vacation and I am heading to Palm Springs with kids 1 and 3. Kid 2 has basketball and baseball evaluations on Saturday. My friend at Anchors Away in First Grade is organizing and running a family retreat for a local church. She is in-charge of the kid's program and she went with a Super Hero theme. Kim asked me to go along and be in charge of the children with special needs. I can't wait to be blessed by these little people and see what super powers will be present over the weekend. My own kiddos will be helping me, which I love. They always amaze me with their compassion and love they show the kids.

I know I will be recharged and ready to go back into my class on Monday. I only worked on my room for one day during vacation, I think that is a record. My closet was taking on a life of its own and was causing me a little anxiety. I can now walk in and find what I need, which always helps with my energy filled class. If I take too long transitioning from one thing to another, I pay for it throughout the day.

While I was going through old papers and trying to figure out the best way to file them, I had an idea. Control-Alt-Delete. That's my new phrase for starting from scratch. Why put all the energy into filing old stuff when I enjoy creating new things and looking on TPT for the amazing creations of others.
So my Game Plan for the new year is.... Stop trying to fix and change what I have done in the past. Just start doing it the way I want it to be done!