Five for Friday!!

It's Friday again! Let's try Five for Friday from Doodlebugs . It's a linky showcasing five random things from your week!

 OK Wellll... you are not going to believe this! Thursday morning we had an announcement that our school was going into a modified lock-down. We expected something, because we had been informed that a local factory had something going on that was suspicious.

 Within 10 minutes we were told to get students packed up and ready to leave---we were being evacuated since our school is within a five mile radius of the factory. Yep! In the meantime social media had gotten involved and parents were flocking to the school to get their kids- I would have done the same thing! So, our bus loading was a little delayed while the office staff (myself included, as I do not have an assigned homeroom) handled the phone calls and parents and check outs. By 10:45 we were loading buses to take the kids to a middle school. We evacuated four elementary schools and kept the kids safe until parents could arrive! I must say it went much more smoothly than you would think. It was a little scary, we had some tears, we were hungry (teachers missed their lunchtime), but in the end no one was hurt. It turned out to be drugs hidden in a railway car parked at the factory! 

See this picture:

That is NOT my kitchen at my house. That is in my CLASSROOM. And yes, I have tons of clean up and washing dishes with my science lab job. However, I have discovered that I can ask kids to do it and they LOVE IT! Bet their moms would die to see them volunteering to do a chore!

Here's another picture:

Yes, the hubs and I went to see Hunger Games, Part 2! It was really good. We did have a couple of things we noticed that made us, why does Katniss never run out of arrows? And...Peeta is a total bland guy, I'm just sayin'.....

In the meantime in the Science Lab we are near the end of two SPECTACULAR studies. And, I do mean it. Third graders are learning about earthquakes, soil composition, and geo-technical engineering. They have completed erosion experiments, tested for earthquakes by learning to anchor buildings to the ground, and this week they tested soils to determine the best place to anchor a bridge support.
We also completed a little booklet using task cards! It's all about weathering and erosion!

Fourth and fifth graders are learning about cell membranes. This included studying parts of cells and learning how to use the microscopes we have. Then they took a close look at how cell membranes work- by examining raisins. We actually dissected a raisin! (Just say the word dissect to kids and they swoon!) This week we tested materials to find the best item to build a model membrane.

Finally, it's time to get Christmas crafty.

I pinned this a while back and I think it's actually a card, but I think I will make a framed picture.

This wreath idea came from a website that has about 20 ideas for crafts and most of them can be done in your classroom. Click here to see the site!

Have a great Thanksgiving!


Tried It Tuesday!!! A Combo Pack and a Powerpoint Tip!

Thanks for the linky Fourth Grade Flipper!! I have read through these posts on Tuesday many times but not contributed. Thought I'd try today:)

 So, here's what I have tried----many, many times! Non Fiction text features! Seriously, to read text books or magazines kids have to have a handle on this skill. It's Common Core related, state courses of study related, and almost always on those end-of-year state tests.

Like you, I have tried everything
Anchor charts- here's one of my favorites from Pinterest:

I also found this on Pinterest recently:

I use these charts in my classroom:

A Page from Time for Kids with features marked
Posters I Made!
But the best thing I have ever tried was having kids make their own non fiction text features booklets. The kids have a template with two features on it- they find a sample from old textbooks or magazines, cut, and glue.

Great, right? We made these every year and used them for the whole year in so many ways. I promise it is fun and it works.

I recently decided to add the posters I made and some games, too. Take a look:

And then.......what if I combined them!  Yahoo, it's a combo of the best features of both packages and it's super and a money saver. You can't beat that!

Embedding Fonts!
Now, here's something else I tried recently. I stumbled upon this little PowerPoint hint while looking for directions to something else. It came from a great blog about technology which I forgot to bookmark and can't find now-- but anyway, the point is: Sometimes I create something in PowerPoint and need to email it from my laptop to  myself so I can print it out at school. Only when I do that the fonts change. And when the fonts change it sometimes resizes and words stick out of boxes. Very annoying! Well, did you know you can embed fonts???? I didn't! Here's how:

When you get ready to save your document click on File, Save as. Then at the bottom of the window that pops up, find the part that says Tools:
Click on Tools and then click on Save Options. A new window will pop up. At the bottom find a category that says "Embed Fonts in File".

Click on that and then OK and save. When you email that document or transfer it to another computer the fonts go with it! Try it!

Have a great Thanksgiving!
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My Truth Monday- Becoming a Teacher

What a terrific little linky I stumbled upon. It's: 

The point is---teachers respond to basic questions with words from the heart- how you feel it seems. Sadly, I missed this last week when the topic was fitness--although I do not think my truth about that would fit on the template.

This week's Topic : Why Did You Become a Teacher?
Here's my truth:

There you have it! I am constantly reminded that there are teachers out there that do not feel like this, teach like this, or have a dedication to their jobs. My daughter is currently completing her internship and tells me daily about teachers or other interns that do not behave professionally,dress professionally (leggings are not pants), or treat children with respect. Grrrrrrrr.........

Have a great week!

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