Thursday, December 29, 2011!

Does anyone out there use!?
I have one link I've made for my 5th graders since we're studying early colonial settlements.

1.  Guess I'm looking for suggestions on using this web site.
2.  Anyone have files?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


1. Drink more water...which should be easy to do, since I don't drink much now.
2. Don't sweat the small stuff.
3. Organize and de-clutter my classroom.
4. Become an expert in the area of.... (I'll get back to you when I decide)
Happy New Year,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fa La's Christmas Break

To do list...
1.  quizes on quia .com for both 4 grade reading & my 5th graders in social studies
2.  Prepare writing lessons for every day...our state assessment is the end of January
3.  Prepare reading passages every day... to get ready for the state testing at the end of April

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the midwest...the picture is Pinterest inspired :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Book Report...the powerpoint way

If I were more organized...I'd keep project directions from previous years.  BUT I find each class different and thus when I have kept projects from previous years they don't seem to be exactly what I want.  My class loves to make powerpoint projects (thank you microsoft for this program).

Merry Christmas

No, I'm not too early.  My husband's family celebrated Christmas on the farm...(HERE) this weekend....and we had 6" of snow for the event.  Then next weekend I'll be celebrating with my children, so on Christmas day they will be able to stay home instead of coming to the farm.  So after next weekend all my Christmas shopping will be done (big smile) , and I'll be able to be serious about blogging.   SO
Merry Christmas to all...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tis the Season

I've found it very hard in the past to give my students something they will really enjoy without breaking my checkbook. 

My students are not to use mechanical pencils until second of course they're going to get one from me plus a homework pass--good only for the month of January. I make the passes using PrintShop and use the business card format.

What are some other ideas for students during this time?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Word Work

Beginning next week there will be a rotation to either work on spelling words or vocabulary words.  We've been keeping spelling words in a composition notebook...but vocabulary words are now going onto a ring instead of in the reading journal.  I've made a beginning card for the ring and then the vocabulary words will be added.  The cards will have the word, either a definition or sentence, and a simple drawing.  They may use their ring of words while working at the work with word tubs.

Loving my time away from school...I'm feeling creative and relaxed.  With only one Thanksgiving guest that means there will be a lot of leftovers for the rest of the extra cooking YEA!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Three Day Week

Even though it sounds great...I do not like 3 day weeks.  It's really hard to get anything accomplished with regards to a story/vocabulary/focus here's what we're doing for technology...thank you Jennifer for the suggestion of the wallwisher.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Skill builder

 Academic Skill Builders has some great games for all areas of academics.  I need a lot of practice with parts of speech...or I guess it's really using the arrows to move to the correct answer.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekend Time

My 4th grader grandson needed to take pictures of a historical site not far from we spent an hour snapping pictures and then time composing and creating a ppt (here's a snapshot of the first slide).  'It's a good thing'. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Just went to a google docs workshop.  Isn't it amazing what you can do and then share?  How is everyone out there using google docs? 

Monday, October 31, 2011


With Halloween over, it's now time to move on...seems like there's a lot of holidays in the next 2 months.  We're reading a great booklet from on Veterans' Day.  It gives background information about why we celebrate the day.  We have a school program for veterans, so this is very helpful and I'm hoping it makes the day more meaningful.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Fact/Opinion

This past week we read a narrative nonfiction selection from our reading series.  Since Halloween is tomorrow...and I'm not sure how much learning will take place (we are having a Halloween party in the pm...and we can wear costumes), we're going to google and blog Halloween facts and opinions.

oops!  I scanned the sheet, but it was upside I put it in a word document and rotated it...then just took a screenshot! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mad as a wet hen

This coming week....there will be no computer class because we
are assessing (MAP), and they will be no math (since I teach 6th grade English/spelling) and the 6th grade teacher teaches math...and the 6th grade will be assessing...

SO the 4th grade is going to study idioms.  We'll partner complete the idiom sheet as seen.  The top part is for the idiom, the middle is a drawing of what it says, and the bottom is for the definition/use it in a sentence. I have a few books I'll share...the Chocolate Mousse & The king Who Reigned.

Now I can be as made as a wet hen, on those days that homework is not returned!

Conferences Monday and Thursday evenings...but I'm off Friday.  With a day off you'd think I'd stay home. But, NO, I'm going to school with the grandsons & 'enjoying' a school lunch!

Enjoy the weekend.  It's suppose to be lovely here in Nebraska.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Poetry Day

Thursday will be poetry day in my room.
1.  this week- everyone will read a poem to the class
2.  next week- everyone will have a poem memorized
3.  following week- (or so- I hate to have a rigid schedule because with 24 students it's tough to give everyone an equal chance on the same day) choose a poem...illustrate it...record it for an imovie...check back in 3 weeks and see how my schedule is unfolding.  I've found my camera takes ok videos.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Homecoming Banner

The second graders and 4th graders worked very hard on coloring and cutting sport graphics for the homecoming parade and skits.  The freshman were the lucky class that ran through the banner.

Friday, October 14, 2011


WHEW!!! is my only comment for this was homecoming at the high school and we also showed our spirit.

Today was a pep rally.  Each class and their buddies made a banner...we marched in the parade...yelled a cheer, & had a good time.

PLEASE...PLEASE, let next week be normal.  OH! I forgot, we're MAPS testing!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Took the Plunge

Ordered  an ipad2.  Love the one I have...but I'm excited about icloud and the camera included in the upgrade...

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Anyone know how to post an imovie to a blog?? My imovies are better quality than animoto (too cheap to upgrade).

OH yea!!that's me...Mrs. Baker (ha ha)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fitness Day

Kids' Fitness Day was today...boy am I tired!!! I must not be fit.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Genre Study

Our first project was realistic fiction...find my monthly projects here.  Students bring a bag full of items found at home that remind them of the's a sample for a Fancy Nancy book.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Grandson called 5 times during our religion class after school.  Needless to say I was concerned when I saw the missed calls that there was a family emergency.  Turns out my grandson, 2.5 hours away, wants me to chat with him online.  He asked about my ipad...sadly I informed him it's the an ipad2 without a camera...BUT I can use my laptop.  (I think this is a good excuse to upgrade to an ipad2)

Now we just need to find a time when we're both on the computer. 

Happy chatting

Monday, September 26, 2011

Snappy Words

Snappy Words is a visual online's a vocabulary word for the week- sassy.  Blue circles are nouns, peach circles are adjectives...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It changes everything

It changes everything   great video about technology and great teachers.
David Warlick, who is featured in this blog post (w/video) will be speaking at the Educational Admin Tech Conference in Kearney in October.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


One of my favorite Disney movie is...

SO get excited when we ready Horned Toad Prince in our Scott Foresman series...
It's such a great chance to compare themes/characters/resolutions...

Monday, September 19, 2011


I have a treat basket for times when I want to say thanks to my students for doing a great job.  I keep candy, pencils, notepads, and special tickets like the picture.  This is something I pinned over a  Thank you bloggers for letting me use your great creations.  You're making my year so enjoyable with your creativeness.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy, Sunny Day

Rowdy in First   
is spreading sunshine...and we need it here...cloudy & cooler than normal.

Happy Day
1.  thank you cloudy day...I can show a movie in my room and we can see it.  I have glass blocks along my south wall so the cloudy day helped...
2. I wasn't blocked from Netflix at school  (BIG SMILE). I have a Netflix account online and there was a great Lewis and Clark movie from National Geographic that went really well with this week's reading story.
3.  First day we've had work on writing & we've all 'started working right away'--another BIG SMILE
4.  I teach religion class after school and Wednesday...and the other teachers said there quite a few students who were really excited about coming--our first meeting since last spring and we had pizza & pop!!
5.  Our room won the golden dustpan award for being the cleanest room in the building for the week! We were served sherbert ice cream by the janitor the last 30 minutes of the day.

All in was a very good day!   (even without the sunshine)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Girls' Weekend!!

My weekend involved attending the musical...Jersey Boys.  What a treat.  It was so good, I'd see it again. Now back to reality and work tomorrow :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

SF Reading Street '08 -- 4th Grade

Looking for any 4th grades that use SF reading street.  I have a few ppts that I've downloaded and or made but missing a few.  Has anyone done the same to help review for selection tests?

Here's a link to the ones I've completed and borrowed.

WOW!  I seem to be busy, busy busy this year.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Window Decal

I have a lot of windows in my here's my latest discovery.  There are three 8x11 sheets for about $8. When printing you need to make sure you mirror print.  If you try or have tried this printing project I'd like to know about it. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Diigo in Education

Are you aware that Diigo has a resource for teachers that lists current websites that deal with education?  This past week there was a site that showed how to speak basic mandarin Chinese.  My 6th graders loved it...and my point was that it's a lot easier to learn English (correctly) than a language like Chinese.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Picture Day

I can't believe that tomorrow is September.  School has been going on since Aug. 17!!  The class is beginning to realize there's a rhyme and reason for all the procedures...although I do think some behaviors will be impossible to break.

Today was picture day.  WOW! that must mean we're really in school.   Do you get your photos free?  I get 4 small pics and one 5x7.  This year it won't be enough to share with grandkids...but I guess I could copy (shhh-don't tell anyone).

It's been in the high 90's this week and uncomfortable, if you're not in a classroom (only the rooms are air conditioned)...come on 80's.

I'm having a hard time fitting any read aloud time into my day.  I guess it might have to come at the end of the day.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Free Choice Writing

I've made composition notebooks into various topic...Fun in the Rain...Summer Fun...Best Day Ever...My Family.  (Thank you blogger friends for this idea)

In order to keep my 4th graders on task there is a checklist on the inside to help make this a pleasant experience for them and me.

Not only is there the checklist...there is also the rules for Work with Writing from The Daily Five.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just Right Book choice

I know there's a lot of pros and cons for accelerated reader and the quizzes, but I've found their STAR reading assessment helps students find their independent reading level and helps  curb a constant trip to the library (& wasting time precious reading time).  We've been in school 7 days, so after administering the new STAR reading test , I've come up with the picture, to the right, to help students when they head to the library.  If they know their reading level, the 'I know all the words', portion of 'I PICK' should be met.

What do other teachers do when attempting to help students who always want to read books that are too hard?

Sorry I can't remember which blogger had the 'read to self' poster as a freebie...but THANKS, I love the polka-dots!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I'm wondering if there are any 4th grade teachers who group their students into different spelling lists?  I just completed an elementary upper level spelling inventory and out of 25 words...22 was the most spelled correctly and least was 5.  Quite a wide gap.  If you do group...what words do you use?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Week

I don't consider the first days (Wednesday-Friday) as the first week...these are just the first days!  What do you do to start your first week?  I'm not ready to start full-throttle with the assigned curriculum, so I'm sharing the site I love for text that's best for the beginning of the year before everyone is assessed and assigned...

I realize this is a subscription site, but for me it's well worth it.  There nonfiction selection has a wealth of choices.  I uses many of their stories for my 5th grade social studies units (we study American History).

I hope everyone's school year is off to a great start.  This year I have permission from EVERYONE to use their pictures and watch out...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

First Read-Aloud

What do you do when your new best buddy has been designated a scourge by the community and marked for imminent extermination? Just ask Kenny Rabbit. When the simple folks in the sleepy little village of Roundbrook catch wind that there's a dragon running loose in the countryside, they get the wrong idea and the stage is set for a fight to the death. So it's up to Kenny to give his neighbors front-row seats to one of the best-known battles in history -- the legendary showdown between St. George and the dragon -- without losing a friend in the fray.(from Amazon)

This is a golden sower nominee for 2011-2012 school year.

Rules & Contracts

First full day of school in the books.  Our school is a PBSI school so there are a few specific rules for the building...but I choose just to have 5 rules.  I'm not sure where I 'borrowed' these rules, but they work for me.  The contract is signed by the students when they draw their faces and attach it near the rules that are posted in the hall. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lunch Time

Here's a question for all my blogger friends...
1.  How long do your students have for lunch...some days my students will have as long a 40 minutes...yikes!
2.  How many of you rotate noon recess supervision?  In my 20+ years of teaching this is the first year I've had the extra assignment of noon recess supervision. 

This lovely bombshell was presented to us today...1 day before students arrive.  For some reason the aides,that usually cover noon recess, are now in charge of the salad bar in the cafeteria and checking names for least I don't have to eat with my this may be a good trade-off.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Teacher Day--First Day

Some teachers are ready and excited about the beginning of school...others...need I say more? I ran across this poster and thought I need to post it in our teachers' lounge.  If you'd like a copy it's from:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Why I Love Blogging

Background...I've been teaching for 20+ ( I could probably tell you exactly, but I don't want you to think I'm old!).  I've always taught in a district where I'm the only grade level teacher.  Having been in this situation I've become very self-sufficient.  But along comes's like having a grade level teacher to bounce ideas, besides soaking up & using ideas.

Blogging teachers are willing to share not only their creations (& I know this takes a lot of time-I've tried) but resources.

Thank You blogging friends.  My only hope is that I have the 'stamina' (first vocabulary word 4th graders will encounter on Wednesday-1st day of school) to keep all my followers following.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Narrative Format

In Nebraska, the 4th grade writing assessment is narrative.  I have as yet to find a 'program' that addresses the needs of my students.  So in my years of teaching I've come upon the following format, which lucky for me, Really Good Stuff now has posters that I use for the majority of teaching. 

I start the year out by reading narratives...being sure to point out that narratives are in first person.  We make anchor charts of such characteristics...AND in Nebraska, using dialogue is a biggy along with 'bold beginnings'.

Books I read at the beginning of the year:
Enemy Pie
Red Light, Green Light
Many Cynthia Rylant books...
and there are more, but I'm at home and my books are at school.

Hope this post is helpful.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fancy File

Accordion Files (8 pockets) are on sale at Hobby Lobby ( $7.99 now $4.79).  I plan on using mine to story lettering for bulletin boards.  Seems I spend more time sorting and looking when I do decide to use letters for a bulletin board.  I have been known to quickly print a title... Also, paper packs are 1/2 price.  I'm working on a READ sign...will post when done.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Teacher

This year there is just one new teacher in my building.  In the past I've given baskets with markers, post-it notes, etc.  BUT the other day I was in the local Hallmark store and ran across this cute polka dot bag  plus a note pad & post-it notes.  I also decided to throw in a bag of misc. jelly-belly beans.  I think a little 'welcome' gift is always a nice and considerate thought. When I saw the polka dots, I thought of my blogging friends who are creative and colorful!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Supplies checkin list

On the first day of school I have a check-off list to see who needs supplies from the office.  Here's a screen shot of the list.  7 days and students.  My room is ready but the rest of the week I need to think about first day procedures, etc.  this year we're just starting with a 1/2 day, and then two full days. 

Calling all 4th Grade Teachers

Educational Leadership has a wonderful article about teaching 4th grade.