5k Teacher

Saturday, December 31, 2011

11 in 2011

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Today is the last day of the year! Where did this year go? The older I get the faster time seems to fly. Today I am joining some of my blogging buddies in reflecting on my top 11 of 2011. Here are some of my favorite teacher things I have discoverd in 2011.

11. Favorite movie

I absolutely LOVE this book and had the opportunity to read it and show the movie with my kids.  The acting is so so however this movie is almost word for word the book.  Love it!

10. Favorite tv series

Oh my word...this is my NEW obsession.  My hubs and I love this show.  The vocabulary you can learn in one episode is amazing.  Beside that is is a great way to unwind after a long day with the kids.  

9.Favorite resturant

My grade level and I frequent the local panera when we are planning.  Great coffee!

8. Favorite new thing you have tried

Oh my word need I say more??? Pinterest is a teachers paradise! Visit my boards at http://pinterest.com/kds0425/.  Follow my boards and I will do likewise!  Seriously, this site is full of great ideas for all grade levels, recipes, fashion advise etc.  

7. Favorite gift

I love my new iPad.  I have been busy downloading apps for my kiddos.  They are going to be pumped on Monday when I show it off.  

6. Favorite pin
Pinned Image

My kids have a daily word problem.  Each time we begin our word problem my kids KNOW I am looking and expecting them to use their pencil strategies.  They have a copy of this in their math folders and I have made a HUGE pencil to go in the front of our room. 

5. Favorite blog

She is amazing.  If I could meet her in person, I.would.just.die! Farley has so many cool ideas like the pencil strategies above.  This is my go to blog for all things 4th grade!

4. Favorite picture

Oh my...do my kids make me smile!

3. Best accomplishment

This really isn't teaching related but....over the Summer I planned and helped put on my churches VBS.  This was a BIG deal to me.  My church puts on some awesome VBS' in the past and I did not want to let them down.  It was such an awesome sense of accomplishment knowing that I had the right people in the right places and the kids were having fun.  

2. Favorite memory

Meeting Ron Clark was the best! He is such a teacher leader and truly lives out what he writes and speaks of.  I am so glad to have met him.  Now, I just need to find a way to watch him teach :) 

1. Goal for 2012

I have been thinking of a word that I can use to define my GOALS for 2012.  I think I have concluded that my word for 2012 is time.  I want to take more time for family, health, school.....etc.    

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ipad for our 4th grade pad

Mr husband and I got iPads from good ole santa. I am so pumped to use this with my kids. I have been searching google for must have apps. So far I have downloaded splash math. It is awesome! This game based program allows students to be assessed on all strands of math while being I engaged and focused. I plan on using this app during guided math and center time. Also, it will be used for enrichment. My kids will love the music and fun graphics.  Most of the apps that I have downloaded are FREE, this is a teachers favorite word!  However, there are a lot of awesome apps that are relatively inexpensive (like the full version Math Splash app for $9.99)

Here are some awesome blogs/websites for using your iPad in the classroom...enjoy

Social Studies

Blogger Buddies...what are the must have apps that I need to download before going back to school??

Saturday, December 24, 2011

12 Days of NC Christmas

There is NOTHING like Christmas in the South.  The cool weather, lovely views, amazing fatty foods etc.  My class read the book 12 Days of NC Christmas prior to break and they LOVED it.  If you teach in NC this is a wonderful book to read.  You can incorporate Google Earth for more perspective too.  This book highlights some of NC's finest features(our amazing mountains, BBQ, fabulous beaches, Christmas lights).  Yes, Christmas Lights! We are home to Christmastown USA.  When I read it, I couldn't believe it, so I went to good ole' Google (what did we do before google? lol).  This place truly exists, it was shocked.  Well, Mr. Hubby and I happen to have an anniversary this past week and decided (last minute) to visit Asheville (where we went on our honeymoon) and therefore we took a little detour to Christmastown.  It was fabulous! In McAdenville, NC (Christmastown) the entire Main Street is decked out for Christmas.  I am not talking cheesy blow ups and lights randomly placed.  This town plans and really decks the halls right! I am so pumped to share all my videos and pics with my kids in January.  I love any opportunity where I can bring a book to life.  This was a wonderful read aloud that my kids begged me to read everyday.  Get your copy today!

The Twelve Days of Christmas in North Carolina (Twelve Days of Christmas, State By State)
Add caption

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tis' the Season

Tis' the Season for parties, ornament making, elf sightings and Starbucks :)

Christmas break is so close I can almost taste it....anyways, this week was awesome! I kid you not, my kids were on point and focused all week.  We began our week by discussing trips that we have taken (across town, out of state, country etc).  As a class we brainstormed about what we would need to take on a trip.  Of course, once they decided what they would need for a long trip we had to get prepared for our week long "trip".  You see this week was Christmas Around the World and boy did we see the World!  Our first stamp on our passport was to Mexico where students learned about Las Posados.  Using Goggle Earth we were able to see landmarks and other cool features of Mexico.  If you are not using Goggle Earth in your classroom, start.  I highly recommend it!  It is a great tool for connecting what we are learning with a visual.  Also, you can teach parallel/perpendicular lines etc.  Anyway....We read the Legend of the Poinsettia and also made Poinsettias with our hand prints.  So much fun.  As a grade level we decided to switch classes that way students could learn about Kwanzaa and Hanukkah as well (it was a great way to collaborate without lots of planning!) Student passports were stamped when they returned to their homeroom.  For homework they completed a travel log summarizing their travels for the day.

On Wednesday we read Polar Express and talked about gift giving.  Students shared with their groups about special gifts they have been given.  It was cool to hear things that were special to them.  Most were not expensive (i.e., piggy bank).  However, the reason they were special were so meaningful.  Students wrote a short narrative about their gift.  They had to tell me why the gift was special, who gave the gift and how they used it.  To conclude our gift giving lesson and to go along with the Polar Express we made ornaments.  We mixed together apple sauce, glue, and cinnamon for an amazingly spelling mixture.  Students rolled out the mixture and used cookie cutters to create their ornament.  The room was still smelling awesome on FRIDAY!

One highlight, well really two, this week was working with our buddy classes.  My class on Thursday and then again on Friday worked with a 1st grade and a kindergarten class.  We made our elves with them, see my previous post for the patterns.  It was awesome to see my babies working patiently with these children.  When they finished several took it upon themselves to read  a book with their buddy.  It was awesome! My kids are already begging to go back.

Here are some pics I took this week.  Enjoy!

Christmas Around the World--Our Poinsettia Tree

Decorating Trees at our Christmas Party

Thank you to my AWESOME secret santa

Yummy Smelling Ornaments

Merry Christmas from my baby Bentley 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

If you given an elf hot chocolate...

I love this time of year! There are so many fun things to do with our kids.  Here is a peak at what my kids worked on last week.  They were so PROUD of their work!  I found the elf glyph instructions on mathwire.com.  The prompt was adapted from one I found on Pinterest.  Man, I am in love with that site. 

The final product....

We are going to make these Elves with our first grade buddies on Thursday...so excited!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Freebie

Wow! What a week this has been and not in a bad what.  We have had a very special guest in our room all week.  "Jay"  as my kids voted to name him made his first appearance Tuesday.  On Monday we discussed the Holland Christmas of Sinterklaas.  On December 6, children in Holland place 1 shoe by the fireplace in hopes of  Sinterklaas leaving goodies insde.  Well, Tuesday was December 6! Don't you just love when a plan falls into place?  Anyways after encore they each placed a shoe outside our door.  Well we got to work reading Snowflake Bentley and then came the knock.  I asked the kids if I should go check, they unanimously agreed.  There in their shoes were candy and a special package.  Let's just say, they slightly freaked out.  It was precious.   (Oh, I forgot to mention all of 4th grade was doing this-Fabulous!)  We read our note from Sinterklaas and check our our package--Elf on a Shelf :) That is how our adventure with Jay started.

Next week is our last full week before break.  I did not want to start any new math topics knowing they would be our for 2 weeks.  Anyways, I have come up with some amazing (if I do not say so myself) math centers. These games review subtraction, division, fact families, multiplication and more :) Enjoy!

Math Review Games

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gobble Gobble

Wow! Its hard to believe that Thanksgiving is THURSDAY! Where has this year gone? My husband and I just celebrated our 11 month anniversary...its crazy to think its almost been a year!  This year we are headed North for Turkey day.  I love my inlaws...but I do not like the 10 hour trip there.  On the bright side it will give me a great chance to catch up on my reading (and no teachers editions allowed on this trip;) ).  I plan on eating, spending time with family, eating, shopping, eating, stopping by Starbucks and oh did I mention, eating?  I am looking forward to a much needed break and time of relaxation.

We have been super busy the last month in 4th grade. So busy that I have not had time to post anything.  Here are some of the things we have been working on.

We have been working on multiplication and division fact families...we ended our study by making a turkey! Each "feather" has a students own fact family creation.  Super cute and fun! Definitely kept them nice and quiet for a while.  

 My practicum student started this project.  Students had to write down 3 things they were thankful for.  I took it a step further and had them create an essay based on Laura Candlers I am Thankful Template.  You can find her awesome activities at lauracandler.com

Gobble Gobble!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Multiplication Unit

Hey blogger buddies,

My babies and I are finally coming to an end of our multiplication unit.  We have sung, drawn arrays, made thinking maps and create foldables to MASTER multiplication.  Also, we have test our facts and retested and for some of my friends tested a third time.  I have posted all of my multiplication Smart Board lessons on the Smart Exchange Website.  If you would like to check them out see the link below.  ENJOY!

Links to My Smart Boards

Sunday, October 30, 2011

There is a first for everything


Where did my nice 70 degree temps go?  They need to come back, I miss them.  If it is this cold NOW what is it going to be by Thanksgiving?!?!?!  Ok, enough of my complaining. Last night was truly a first time experience for me.  I attended my FIRST Haunted Woods Ride (yes, you may insert laughing now...) This was no ordinary Haunted Woods Ride.  This particular event took place at the home of Ron Clark's parents.  Yes, the Ron Clark ! To top it off, he was in town with several of his kids for ECU's homecoming festivities.

My wonderful friend Marina and I decided to be good sports and brave the ride.  We were in the first group.  Oh my word, I screamed like a little girl, jumped into the floor a few times and shed a tear or two.  To say the least I was scared!  When we ended the ride, Marina and I were pure shaking! Well not long after we got off our ride we were asked to be part of the Haunted Woods cast.  Like, put a costume on, act all scary and jump out a people.  Of course, being the good sports/crazy teachers we are we said YES.  It was so much fun.  I cannot wait to share with my babies on Monday.  Here is a picture of our lovely outfits.  I am considering it as a choice for Monday, lol.

 My sweet friend, Marina! So glad we did this together. P.S.-Hope I didn't squeeze your hand too hard, lol
Thank you to the Clark Family for this opportunity.  Mr. Clark, you are truly an inspiration to us all.  I enjoyed speaking with you and your wonderful students.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Top 5 Pinterest Pins

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Wonderful way to incorporate notebooking techniques into Social Studies--trying this Monday!

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I cannot wait to teach area and perimeter--plus EAT!

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Using this next week for multiplication

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This prevents the dice from FLYING across the room....

Pinned Image

Summer Project

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Multiplication Intro :)

We are getting ready to start multiplication next week in 4th grade.  I wrote this song and think it would be a great way to (hopefully) activiate their prior knowledge.  Enjoy!

I Can Multiply (Katy Perry’s California Dreams)

Verse 1 :  I can multiply
Its repeat addition
3 times 11
There must be 3 groups of 11
Draw in an array
It must have 3 columns of 11
Factor times factor
Tryna’ find the product (answer)

You could add it the long way
But it’s not as easy
As multiplication
Once you learn your facts
You’ll be falling in love
Ooohh oh Ooooohh

Chorus: Multiplication
We Master You
Practice Facts
We won’t stop
It is so easy
Will knock our socks off
Oooooh oh ooooh

We’re determine
Factor, times, factor
We got our product
SGE represent
Now put your hands up
Oooooh oh Oooohh

Verse 2: 11 x 3
All I did was switch my factors
We freak
It’s the same
As 3 groups of 11

You can search your brain
But I have the same product
Once you learn this
You’ll be falling in love

Repeat Chorus

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Going to the Birds

This nine weeks we have been studying Animal Adaptations.  We have been working on NC Animal project mostly.  However, a couple of weeks ago we took time from our project to complete a science notebooking activity comparing bird beaks.  We used various materials such as clothespins, tweezers, spoons, straws and chopsticks to simulate different bird beaks.  The first day of this activity we recorded the procedures our hypothesis and materials into our science journals.  On day two we got down to work.  Here are some pictures I snapped during our notebooking adventure.

Students had to use their "tools" to pick up various things, such as gummy worms, water, fish (their fav) 

Great shot of their awesome results!

What we tested!

Man, being in fourth grade is tough!

They learned quick how to gather their data.

We had a blast learning and discussing why birds eat certain foods.  One of my kids prior to the activity asked why humming birds sip nectar.  This was an awesome way to discuss hypothesis and how we go about figuring/testing to see its results.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall into Word Problems

I love this time of the year.  This season filled with football, pumpkin spice lattes, colorful leaves and yummy pumpkin Scentsy candles.  Alright, as you can tell I LOVE fall.  Now back to the educational reason for this blog.  My students and I recently starting studying word problems.  Let me tell you, they LOVED the new song. Definitely a hit!

At my school every classroom is equipped with a Smart Board.  I use to utilize pre-made lessons that Smart Board provides.  This year I began creating my own.  Here is my one for Word Problems.  If you would like an actually copy to download yourself.  Please email me at justick.sge@pitt.k12.nc.us

Fall Into Word Problems

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Word Problems on my brain

Hello blogging buddies.  I hope all of you are having fantastic fall day!  I am currently planning MATH for my grade level and LOVE it.  I could teach math all day, and I am not kidding.  After battling strep throat, yes I know its only October and I am already sick, I decided to work on some SmartBoard activities.  I love my SmartBoard, it is such an awesome way for students to stay active and engaged during a lesson.  Anyways, as I was planning and creating my lesson another idea for a song popped into my head.  I have attached the song and Smart Board lessons.

Fall Into Word Problems

I Whip My Word Problem

I see a word problem
I see a word problem
(Just read it)

I see a word problem
I see a word problem
(Read it real good)

I see a word problem
I see a word problem
I see a word problem
I see a word problem

Hop into my test, turn my ears on
Pay no attention , gotta underline the question
And we ain’t doing nothing wrong
So don’t tell me nothing, I’m just boxing my words
Key ones are jumping

So what’s up?
And I’ll be doing what to do, circle key numbers
What’s left just shake them off
Shake them off, shake them off, shake them off

Don’t let haters keep me off my work
Keep my head up I’ll solve my problem
Keep solving until I get there
I show all of my work but don’t give up

I see a word problem
I see a word problem
I see a word problem
I see a word problem
I see a word problem
I see a word problem
I see a word problem
I see a word problem
I see a word problem
I see a word problem

Note: I did use resources from several websites and blogs so some of the ideas are not mine alone.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Obsession

Hello blogger friends!

I have been super busy the last week so I have not had a chance to really blog.  Lately my nights have been filled with making SmartBoard lessons, read alouds, math lessons and lots of paper work.  What little free time I have has been filled with my new obsession, Pinterest!  If you are not familiar with Pinterest, it is a virtual cork board for all of your favorite things.  You can create your own board(s) (for example, school, dinner, fall, fashions etc.) It is wonderful.  I have found so many wonderful activities there.

Visit my boards and have fun with your pins! http://pinterest.com/kds0425/

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Songs, Songs and More Songs

Yesterday my babies shared their "I gotta Value" song with another 4th grade class. As that class was leaving my room one student pulled me aside and said, "can you create a song to Katy Perry's California Girl?". Being the crazy teacher I am I agreed to the challenge. Fast forward to this evening as I was walking my dogs through the "hurricane" (its funny how they just NEED to go outside during a rain storm?!!?) I was thinking about the need to begin reading test strategies. Then all of a sudden "California Girls" popped into my head. I immediately took the pups inside and set out to work on my latest creation. Hope you enjoy!

Comprehension Dreams
I gotta passage
And I have to comprehend it
Words, bold terms and pictures
There must be something I can do here
Teacher says listen
First you have to underline (underline)
The title
It is first
Predict what this passage is all about (about)
You can read the passage
Use a thinking map
To see it in your head
Once you read the passage
You’ll mark the key words
Oooooh oh ooooooh
Reading Passage
Your unforgettable
Fourth grade fresh
We got it going on
Reading til
Were done
We’ll get those 3’s
Ooooooh oh oooooh
What do I do?
We have marked our key words
We find
In the reading passage (ooooh oh)
You can travel the passage
But nothing comes close
Until you support
You’ll be finding the answers
Oooooh oh oooooh

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Happy Weekend! Who knew a four day work week could be so exhausting. I have to share an activity my babies did today involving Facebook. Who knew that our beloved social networking site could be useful for reading! I was searching blogs Thursday, go figure, and came across one that sparked my interest. This particular blog discussed using Facebook to teach character sketches. I began to think of how I could use this to conclude talking about making text-to-self connections. After some thought, I finally had it!

Yesterday, I read my students Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. We have already read aloud and made connections with Chrysanthemum (Lilly's) sister so this was a wonderful extension. Afterwards we made Lilly's Facebook profile. TOO Cute! We discussed what would Lilly want on her information section, listed friends (from the text of course) and even listed her likes. Then we decided on her wall post. One of which was "I am a diva". I then had our class "comment" on Lilly's wall post. For example "my sister thinks she is all that too". They had a blast. It was a wonderful way to end a week full of learning. I will post pictures next week.

Here is the template I used for this activity:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rounding Sparks!

For those of you who know me, this will not come as a surprise. I LOVE to sing and it has been my mission since I began teaching to be able to use songs with my instruction. Now, I have used raps and such in the past to teach different concepts but they have been pretty basic and not really songs the students could make a connection to. Well, this summer I began writing a place value song to the tune of I gotta feeling. My kids learned it last week and LOVE it. They request to sing it, well maybe I encourage this a little :) One even told me he sang the song while getting ready for school this morning. As I began to plan our grade level math lessons for next week I new it was time for a NEW song. We are beginning to teach rounding next Thursday so I have created a rounding song to Katy Perry's Firework.


Rounding Sparks!
(Sing to the tune of Katy Perry’s Firework)

First you have to read, the question given
It says you have to round, but where do you begin?
Does it say to round, round the nearest what?
Or does it say, round to the 10s?

Well, how do you round? Let’s do it know
Start with circling; the place value given is a simple thing
Underline number right tells you what to do
Causes there’s a rounding spark !

You gotta ignite the steps and work it right
Just own the problem and round it right

Place Value, I will circle you
Underline tells me what to do
5 plus, circle goes up, up, up
1-4, circle stays the same

By: Kristin Justice

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Hello blogger buddies!!! I hope you are enjoying your LONG weekend. I know I am. Mr. Husband and I took a much needed nap this afternoon. We spent the weekend in Charlotte cheering on our beloved pirates :) needless to say that after church we were exhausted!

This past week we only had 3 days of school. Oh my word, my babies and I had a blast learning and working hard to make up for lost time. We are beginning guided math groups on Tuesday so this past Friday I took some time to explain why we need groups and how they help everyone in the classroom. I found the following idea on a blog, however I cannot find it now to give credit to whoever came up with this AWESOME idea!

First, I called all of my kids over to the carpet. I asked them to each think about what may be hurting right now. For example, head ache, wrist, foot etc. I then asked for volunteers to share what was hurting and one by one they told their classmates and I what their pain was. After they told me where their pain was I would place a band aid on the top of their hand. Now, you have to picture this--the first child told me his ankle hurt. I said, okay let me put a band aid on you to make it feel better. After I put it on the top of his hand, he looked at me like I was nuts and so did the rest of the class. This went on for about 10 or so students. Pains ranged from knee scrapes to neck pains. All received the same treatment. Then after the band aids were distributed and applied to their "pain" we reflected. I asked the class, did Mrs. J fix your pain? The collective response was "NO". I agree, then tied it into why we have guided groups. I explained to the class that there would be times when each of them needed to have extra help with a certain topic and that it was my job to apply the band aid to their hurt. If I taught everyone the same way, it would be like applying a band aid where they didn't need it.

Like I said, I found this wonderful lesson on a blog and cannot find it. I really enjoyed showing my students a visual representation of why we need small group instruction. My babies seemed to really make the connection (which just so happened to be our focus of reading for the week too).

Happy Weekend friends!

Mrs. J

Monday, August 29, 2011

Our Rockin Room

Hello blogger friends! I have been busy planning that I have not had time to blog lately. Today was an impromptu workday due to a little thing called Hurricane Irene. She left behind lots of water, debris and destruction due to wind. We begun the cleanup yesterday and it will go on for weeks. Please keep the families affected by this storm in your thoughts and prayers.

While I was filing, organizing and planning away today I realized I had not shared any pics of my classroom. I was so excited to decorate it with my tropical theme. Little did I know that my entire grade level was going to do the same, I love those girls! Without further ado here is room 110!

View from door number one! Yes, I have two and LOVE it :)

Awesome bulletin board set..looks great right beside our reading nook.

Oh my...I do love me some math centers. I have even MORE just for Place Value

Awesome manipulatives for math...did I mention how much I love math?

Love me some www.teachersclubhouse.com--check it out!

All about the theme sista!

Love this nook!

Teachers Clubhouse Rocks!

Our meeting place

It's all within the theme ;)

Door number 2!

Awesome and so easy for keeping up with attendance! My babies were already following their procedure on day 2

My job is...

The star of the room!

I am going nuts without my babies for 2 impromptu workdays. I am thankful for the extra time to prepare and I know my babies are safe! Can't wait for them to come back and get rolling again.

Until next time friends!

Mrs. J!