Monday, September 30, 2013

Bic Brite Liner Highlighter Tape Winners Announced

Thank you to all who entered my giveaway to win a pack of Bic Brite Liner Highlighter Tape.


Here are the winners:

Diana Hutchens
Ursula Gamler
Eilidh Husby
Karen Ganon
Yashika Slaughter


I have passed along your mailing address and a Bic representative will be mailing out your sample of Bic Brite Liner Highlighter Tape shortly!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Constructing Support with Scholastic News & Bic Brite Liner Highlighter Tape

I was contacted by a Bic representative a few weeks back and was asked to review one of their new products:  Brite Liner Highlighter Tape.  I graciously said yes and they sent a whole class set of highlighters for our class to try out for free!   

We have been working on constructing support.  We have been highlighting supporting details from within a text, using the lovely constructing support graphic organizer mentioned in the Common Core, and forming detailed responses to text-based questions.

Since we are still spending a good chunk of our time modeling and practicing reading center procedures, I've been trying to keep the text we use during guided reading short and sweet. 

I LOVE Scholastic News.  One of their most recent articles is about eating bugs?  How cool is that?  I can't think of a better way to spark student engagement than looking at the cover of Scholastic News with a real life photo of a bug covered candy apple.

So, together, with our Scholastic News and constructing support diagram in one hand, Bic Highlighter Tape and pen in the other, we dug in deep to this fascinating text on bug eating.

We previewed the article and discussed our initial thoughts, reactions, predictions, and questions we had.

Then we read the whole article through once to understand the flow and overall tone of the passage.

We looked at the question/task that accompanied our constructing support diagram:  "Will eating bugs benefit you and the planet?"  

After taking a few moments to discuss our opinions, students determined that, "Yes, eating bugs would benefit people and the planet."  

Our next task was to find details in the article to support our answer.

Students reread the article and highlighted the evidence within the text.

We took some time to discuss the supporting evidence students highlighted and used it to fill out our graphic organizer.

These innovative highlighters add vibrant highlights in either yellow or pink and provide the ability to erase after use.

Students were extremely motivated to highlight with these fun highlighters.

Want to know the best part?  They didn't bleed through to the next page.  So tomorrow, when we read our next article, students won't be distracted by today's highlighting.

Want a free sample?

Bic has offered to give away 5 of their Brite Highlighter Tape packs, one to each winner!

Enter with Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a package of Bic Brite Highlighter Tape

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five for Friday - September 20th

Just popping in real fast to show you a few photos from the week while linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday link-up!

Here are 5 reasons why this week has been fabulous:

1.  We are now halfway through the first Engage New York Math Module!

2.  Math centers have finally begun.

3.  Our new t-shirts came in this week.

4.  The amazing staff at my school held a baby shower for me this morning.

5.  Bic donated Bic Brite Liner Highlighting Tape for our class to try out. 

I'll be posting how we used these amazing highlighters, along with Scholastic News, to construct support when writing about our reading.  Stay tuned!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

2013-2014 Classroom Photo Tour

I've been hesitant this summer to publish my classroom photo tour.  Although I've probably spent more time in the classroom these past few weeks than any other summer, I still feel like it is not even close to done.  I finally had to remind myself that a teacher's job is never done.  The to-do list always gets longer, not shorter.  At some point, you have to stop and reward yourself for what you have accomplished rather than constantly worrying about what you still need to do.

So here is is.  A photo tour of my 4th grade classroom.  A work in progress.

We'll start with my classroom library.....

Books are organized by genre and series.  Fiction chapter books are organized by reading level.

Students each have a book bin that will contain the books they are currently reading, their reading folder, notebook, and reading log.

Our class jobs are posted for all to see.  Every Monday I rotate the jobs.  Student names appear on fish.  Behind each fish is a piece of Velcro that easily sticks to the fish bowl.  Descriptions of each job are posted to the left and right.

When students sign out to use the restroom they place a stuffed fish on their desk.  Orange is for girls and blue is for boys.  This helps me quickly account for all students.

Our classroom door has a fish theme.  It says, "Swimming into 4th Grade," and student names are located on the fish.

Our reading and math center rotation board is made up of 2 wheels.  Each day I spin each wheel once to the right.  Students names are on fish, which are Velcroed on to colorful fish aquariums representing their group's color.  If there is work to turn in they place it in the color bin that matches their group's color.

Student desks are in groups of 4-5 students. Black crates are placed at each group to hold their pencil boxes, folders, and other supplies.

My teacher desk houses my computer, toolbox and drawers full of photocopies for the week.  To the right of my desk is a mini-fridge, microwave, and more drawers for important documents and information.

We have 4 additional computers that students use throughout the day.

Our horseshoe table is perfect for small group meetings, needs groups, guided reading groups, etc...

Our class meets on our world carpet in front of the Smart Board for whole group instruction.

That's all for now.  Like I said, it's still a work in progress but I wanted to post what the room looks like so far.  Our first week of school was fantastic.  My students are absolutely amazing and I can't wait to get to know each of them better and learn alongside them throughout the year.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My 7th 1st Day of 4th Grade

Tomorrow is the big day!  My 7th first day of teaching 4th grade.....and I'm still just as nervous and excited to meet my new students as I was the first year.

Tomorrow morning, when my students arrive, they will dive in to a fish fun filled room.  The top of my door says, "Swimming into 4th Grade" and I have all my students names written on the fish swimming in the water.

This year I have organized student desks into groups of 4 or 5.  I purchased some black crates from Walmart that I plan to use as storage for their red pencil bins (purchased by my school), their folders and other supplies.  I'm hoping they will help cut down on the clutter that usually forms inside their desk.

Each students desk contains a Bic Mechanical Pencil, water bottle, pencil box (with labels on top to use for their folders) their planner, and morning work.

On a personal note, last Saturday I had my family baby shower!  Baby Natalie made out great!  I am completely overwhelmed by my family's generosity!  Next Monday I will be 30 weeks!  10 more to go (or less)!!!

(Notice the red and green Christmas wrapping paper on one of the back presents....compliments of my wonderful husband who snagged a package delivered to the house and wrapped it before I got home to sneak a peak.)

Cheers to a great first day tomorrow New York teachers!

Monday, September 2, 2013


Oh my, I can't believe yesterday was the first day of September.  September is by far my FAVORITE month.  I love the cool, crisp fall air as it starts to blow in.  I love seeing the leaves changes colors.  And, I love the back to school rush!

With the first of the month, comes Farley's Currently!

Tomorrow we have a conference day and Wednesday is our first day with students.  The back to school butterflies have been fluttering in my belly at full force and my nights have been full of wacky first day dreams.  Fingers crossed that this will be the best year yet!