November 25, 2012

Tessellation Angle Measures Challenge! & Sale

Hey everyone! I'm stopping by to share a new product and some sale news. What sale, you may ask? I'm joking of course, you know all about that. But first things first!

My 5th graders have been working away at measuring angles. Those protractors can be tricky, can't they? One of our upcoming lessons is centered around tessellations. Typically, we will complete one of those fun tessellation art projects and the kids do love it. 

This year, however, I wanted something a bit more challenging for my group. A way to learn about tessellations, while focusing on angle measures as we have been throughout this unit. 

So I made a new project...

Tessellation Angle Measures Challenge!! And it is challenging...I've been tessellating and calculating all weekend!

Here's an overview of the activity...

Using regular polygons, students cut out a shape to tessellate:

 They trace and arrange the polygons to form their tessellation shape.
Students trace this shape, then identify all known interior angle measures...

...using two reference sheets to help them:
Then comes the tricky part.

The students must use what they know about the regular polygons they used, plus other geometric knowledge (like three angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees) to help solve the rest of the angle measures for their tessellation shape:

Of course, they will still complete the fun art aspect at the end :)

But in the meantime, they will be using these resources to think critically about angle measures--and reflect on the strategies they used at the end of the activity.
This pack also includes 16 pages of photos, with step-by-step instructions, to lead your students through the activity...

Tessellation Angle Measures Challenge! is now listed for $4.50 in my TpT store. It will be on sale very soon, thanks to the...
!!!!!

My new file, plus my other items will all be 20% off. For additional savings, you will be able to use the promo code shown above--for 28% off!


Season's Readings will be on sale...
...as well as all the classroom decor in my store. 

I bundled two of the Bright & Clear Decor files into larger packets for additional savings:
These packs have all of the bright decor in one huge file, ready to print and decorate! There is a Zaner-Bloser Alphabet version and a D'Nealian Alphabet version.

Ok...thank you for stopping by and reading through all of that! I can't wait to go shopping tomorrow!!! 

Are you shopping before school or after? I'm not much of a morning person, so it'll be tomorrow evening for me.  :)

Some fonts and all graphics in tessellation file by Miss Tiina at www.misstiina.com
P.S. Thank you E, for all of your help! :)
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November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I wanted to take a moment to say thank you, to so many people who have touched my life through the blogs.

I am so very thankful for each and every one of you, my lovely readers. Thank you for always being there, reading and commenting on my blog. I appreciate your words of support and I really cannot say this enough.

To my sweet bloggy friends, thank you for everything...for your constant inspiration, for your advice, and for making me a better teacher today. I am continually grateful for this blogging community and it is because of you.

Happy Thanksgiving!!! :)
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November 18, 2012

Virtual Owl Pellets (file to share)

Hi!! I want to wish a happy vacation to everyone who is out for the holiday this week! And to the others still in school, I hope you have a lot of fun with your students this week! 

We're in until Wednesday and I'm expecting the holiday excitement to be picking up steam quickly. So. What best to do with a roomful of 5th graders anxiously anticipating a four day weekend?? Dissect owl pellets!!! (At least I hope that's the answer).

I just adore science (you guys know I love raising salmon each year and I'm nuts about our ecosystem bottles). But owl pellets? I have to admit, I've always thought "ew". But the opportunity came up and I didn't want my students to miss the chance.

So, on Tuesday, we will all be dissecting owl pellets for the first time!

In preparation for the dissection, I headed to my trusty MacBook to learn out everything I could...and find something to help my students build some background.

Well, turns out there is a very cool site where you can dissect an owl pellet virtually (ah, the cleanliness of the Internet!). I knew it would be PERFECT for students who were already feeling squeamish...not to mention my newcomer ELL students, who would need some great visuals to know what to expect.

The website? 
It's called KidWings and it is excellent! There's a page to dissect a pellet virtually (this was a HIT with my 5th graders). As the students place the bones on the chart, a computer voice reads the name of each bone...I had a blast watching my students dissect, sort, and repeat those bone names!

But of course, being the mean teacher I am, I made them do some reading and discussion before virtually dissecting.

Because this website also has some nice reading about owl pellets...how they form, what they are made of, why they are important...
I whipped up a quick paper to accompany this reading...
...so my students would be armed with the basic info. before dissecting. Virtually. Which they loved!

We are now very excited and ready for the real dissection on Tuesday! And I will have some more files to share after we finish.

For now, if you'd like to grab the sheet feature above, please click here for the direct download.

Have you ever dissected owl pellets before? Or do you have a favorite science project to share? Perhaps you are on break and not really feeling all dissect-y! No worries, I understand! :)

Font and Graphics by Miss Tiina at www.misstiina.com
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November 16, 2012

A Recipe for a Great Friendship (files to share)

Happy Friday!! I'm here to share a new file this evening. Well, it's actually a spinoff of an old file from last year.

So. Our school reads a book of month and, this month, the book is Enemy Pie. The whole school reads the book and completes a writing piece in relation to the book--it's a lot of fun! 

As for Enemy Pie, the students just LOVE it! Even though most of my 5th graders remember it from last year, they were anxious to hear the story again, which I loved :)

Last year, I shared some different writing options for Enemy Pie (please click here to see the old files). I decided to tweak them a bit, to share here on the blog. There's a basic planning sheet for a Recipe for a Great Friendship...
Along with some lined papers for the writing piece itself (there are two different lined papers...the second page has some larger space between the lines)...
(I bought that clipart specifically for my 5th graders...they love that kind of cartoony, quirky stuff this year!)

I thought this might be a file some could use...either with Enemy Pie or for different units you might cover. If you would like to grab this free file, please click on the image below (it's in my TpT store):
For my class, I decided to do something a bit different from last year's recipe idea.

In Reader's and Writer's Workshop, our focus has been on memoirs. By the end of our study, our students will have written a memoir of their own and all of the mini-lessons in our workshops are tied into this genre right now. 

So I thought I would use Enemy Pie as a springboard for a little memoir writing piece...to keep everything consistent.

The memoirs our students are working on are all focused on a moment in time, not an entire day or series of events. And it can be very challenging for our students to narrow down a moment...it takes a lot of work to get there!

Luckily, our fabulous reading specialist shared some great resources to help in doing so! They are from the book Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children's Literature, K-6, by Lynne R. Dorfman and Rose Cappelli. One I love in particular is the "inverted triangle" (the one I made for my class looks like this):
This graphic organizer helps the students reflect on the main idea/theme of the book, make a text-to-self connection, then narrow that connection down to a specific memory/moment. 

After reading and discussing Enemy Pie, our inverted triangles took form, from broad themes to a focused writing topic...

making friends/friendship
friends we have or remember
a time/event with this friend
a specific moment with this friend

(Ok, I realize this doesn't look like a triangle and I WISH SO MUCH I could show what my students' work came out like, but we're not allowed to blog their work).

Anyhow, once we narrowed down to those moments, the writing pieces were easy to get going! We've been revising them and I can't wait to see the final results.

What are some of your favorite kinds of graphic organizers to use in writing?? :)

Border, Font, and Graphics by Miss Tiina at www.misstiina.com
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November 14, 2012

Giveaway Winners!!

A huge thank you to everyone for entering the giveaway, your kind words, and support! The winning names are featured above...each of these ladies received an email with the file last evening :)

I will be back soon, thanks for reading!
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November 12, 2012

Last day for Season's Readings giveway!


Good morning bloggy friends! I wanted to stop by and say today is the last day for the Season's Readings giveaway (I think I forgot to say when the contest ended yesterday, I'm sorry!).

Anyhow, here are a few more preview pics...
You can see these previews and the file itself in either of my shops...
And the Rafflecopter is here if you would like to enter...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for visiting! I will be back with the winning names soon, plus some new files to share :)

Fonts, Borders, Graphics by Miss Tiina at www.misstiina.com
Graphics by Maree Truelove
Font by Kimberly Geswein Fonts 
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November 11, 2012

Season's Readings...Reader's Responses!

Hi everyone! I'm beyond excited to share something I've been working on for a long time now!!! I've been wanting to celebrate the holiday season with my 5th graders because, well, it's a top priority in their world! Of course, I'd like to keep any holiday fanfare tied into our normal routine as much as possible.

So I made a series of Reader's Response questions, with a holiday twist...

Introducing...

Season's Readings: 15 Festive Reader's Responses for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's!

This set of reader's responses is focused on the holidays, but in a way to get students really thinking about the stories they are reading...especially about those characters and their traits. Most importantly, these response questions and graphic organizers require students to refer back to the text, to find details to support their thinking.

This packet includes the following...

  • 15 Colorful Prompt Posters (to print for bulletin boards or display digitally while writing)
  • Miniature Grayscale Prompt Posters (to print for students)
  • Graphic Organizers to Help Students Find Details from the Text (fun designs that can be displayed along with the final writing pieces)

  •  Decorative Lined Paper (for the final writing pieces)
  • Grading Rubric
My class has already started the Thanksgiving Reader's Responses and it has been a great way to anticipate the holiday, while delving into those details from the text!
This file is listed for $8.50 in my shops...you can hop right over to it by clicking on either of the buttons below:

And I would love to share a few copies this weekend, if you would like to try this out for your class! For a chance to win one of three copies, please enter the Rafflecopter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway Thanks so much for stopping by! :)
Fonts, Borders, Graphics by Miss Tiina at www.misstiina.com
Graphics by Maree Truelove
Font by Kimberly Geswein Fonts 
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November 5, 2012

Author's Technique Board (printables)

Hi everyone! I'm excited to share a new file with you this evening! And I'm linking up with my very creative friend Tara, over at 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It...
So. This is not my original idea, just something we are using during our study of memoirs in Reader's and Writer's Workshop. 

In my class, we are calling this our Author's Technique Board...
(I used some different phrasing on each poster than the original board I learned about...I wanted to incorporate the word "technique" as we studied various elements).

How does it work?

As we read a book, we make observations of techniques used by the author (for instance, similes in Owl Moon). 

We then name the technique and discussed why it is used. 
We record the current book under "Used in These Books", leaving space for future titles that have this same technique.

The last category is "Try This Technique"...
This part is left open for students' names to be added (on sticky notes) when they have tried the technique. Again, not my original idea, but I know this is going to be so helpful for my class during our Writer's Workshop!

On a final note, I did make the cards small enough to fit on a foam board...

(black to set off the bright, but of course!). I decided to go with this board because, besides the fact I am running out of display space with all of our charts, I love how it's portable and can be moved to the carpet during mini-lessons, or to groups of students when needed.

If you would like to download a copy of this free file, please click on the image below. Please Note: This file is for personal use only...the posters are not meant to be recolored or altered in any way--thanks!
What kinds of displays do you like to use when studying authors' techniques? Thanks so much for visiting!! :)
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