A New Day of Learning: April 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Brain Breaks

Have you registered at Go Noodle yet? It is a FREE website that gives you many choices for brain breaks during the day.  One of my favorite features is that they have each video broken down into categories for you! There are some games that are made to calm the students and others that are designed to energize or enhance focus.  It is also very helpful that they have categories by grade level as well.  You can check out a picture of their menu below.

One of the brain breaks my students have been LOVING is the sing along of "Let it Go" from Frozen.  It is amazing how many of them just belt it out without a care in the world.  I love that about them! They are also really digging "Happy" from Despicable Me. 

This is what the videos look like on www.gonoodle.com.
My 4th graders are also very engaged by the home screen that features a silly monsters and the bar that moves up every time you complete a game.  After they reach their goal, the monster transforms and becomes a little bigger. Then they are on a new level and start trying to reach their new goal.   Also, I quite enjoy the funny little jokes that each monster says! 

I am loving that even the kids that I thought would be "too cool" or resistant to standing up and dancing or singing are joining in on the fun! It has been bringing lots of extra smiles to our classroom lately! Give it a try and let me know how it goes in your classroom!

What brain breaks do your students enjoy the most?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Elements of a Mystery

Today we started our unit on Mysteries.  I created a fun interactive notebook page to introduce the elements of a mystery to my students.  To start the lesson, we talked about what they already know about mysteries and what other mystery books they have already read.

I showed them the interactive notebook and they were so excited to get started cutting and learning about the parts of a mystery.  Check out how cute and informative our interactive notebook entry was!

After the students read and we reviewed the elements of mystery using the interactive journal we continued on  with some more mystery vocabulary highlighted on the anchor chart.  The children had a great time with the words Sleuth and Red Herring.  

Finally, I introduced the book Swindle by Gordon Korman as our mystery.  This book is a great hook for reluctant readers.  Most of my class, especially the boys, was hooked after a few pages! They are super excited to read more tomorrow! 

Update: So many of you have reached out looking for the "Elements of a Mystery Interactive Notebook", I have made them available here or by click on the picture below. 

What is your favorite mystery to share with your students?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Earth Day Freebie

Has anyone else been crazy busy this week?  I haven't had time in a few weeks to post anything on my blog other than a weekly freebie! After you download this week's freebie, keep scrolling to see what I have been up to!

Our Earth Day / Arbor Day celebration is coming up quick at my school.  I decided to whip up some cute writing paper for my students to use to do a reflection on a close reading we will do that day.  I haven't always been the greatest about doing the writing portion of Close Reading, but I figure if I have some cute paper to hand out, it will help me remember!

If you would like a copy of the papers, click on the picture below.  Be sure to be logged into your Google Account.  If you don't have a Google account, you can download it from my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

So, now that you have your Freebie, I will share some of my other "adventures" with you! My little guy turned 5 a few weeks ago, but we just had his party the other day.  My friend and I made the cakes.  It was over first adventure in cake decorating! I think they turned out pretty good for our first try! Take a look!

For the writing on the cake, I printed the words using a font from Hello Literacy and then traced them using frosting!

My nieces came over for a few hours and we colored some eggs! It is amazing how fast 3 kids can color 18 eggs! I think the whole process lasted less than 7 minutes! 

In my classroom, my students have been working so hard on learning about rocks, minerals, landforms and fossil fuels.  My students had a take home project to make a diorama of a landform.  Here are a couple examples of what they brought in! I was so proud of all of them!

We also had a HUGE snowstorm AGAIN, which caused us to have leave school early one day this week and have school cancelled the next day! Check out the picture below! We didn't have any snow on April 15.  The picture below was taken on April 16!

Hope all is well with you! Thanks for stopping by and and hanging with me during this long post! If you haven't already picked up your fan freebie on my Facebook fan page, you can get it here!  Just click on the tab labeled Birthday Freebie! Have a great week!

I am linked up this week at
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Freebie Fridays
What special things do you do for 
Earth Day in your classroom?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Tweets

It is finally SPRING here in Northwest Wisconsin! We have had winter for so long, I almost don't believe that I can see grass! It's not green, BUT I can see it!! The other morning, I woke up to the sound of birds outside my window! This morning I woke up to the sound of rain!  All of these things inspired this week's FREEBIE!

This week's FREEBIE is a set of cute little birds with speech bubbles that you can give to your students to document their thinking while they read, to use as an exit ticket, to write nice notes to each other, or for any other creative idea you have!

If you would like a copy, click on the picture below.  Be sure to be logged into your Google Account.  If you don't have a Google account, you can download it from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Also, Facebook is really limiting the amount of posts that people can see from their favorite teacher bloggers and other fan pages.  If you don't already follow me on Facebook, click here! (You want to be a follower because I LOVE to give away products!) (Also, there is a special FREEBIE just for FANS! Go get yours!) 

To make sure that you can see all of my posts, follow the directions in the picture below!

Thanks for all of your support and going the extra step to make sure you get the notifications!

I am linked up this week at
Freebie Fridays

Classroom freebies
What is your favorite thing about Spring?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Making Change Freebie

Well, the weather here is frightful! It is April 4th, and we are home because of another snowstorm! We already have 10-12 inches and it is still coming down hard! Since the weather won't change to Spring, I thought I would give you a different kind of making change FREEBIE.

This math center practices making change from different bills. It comes with two different menus for differentiation and 8 practice problems. The practice problems can be done with both menus for a total of 16 different problems.  

If you would like a copy, click on the picture below.  (Be sure to be logged into your Google account.)  If you don't have a Google account, you can download it from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

I am linked up this week at

Classroom Freebies Manic MondayFreebie Fridays

Hopefully we see a change in the weather soon!
 What kind of change are you hoping for?

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