Friday, September 26, 2014

Quiz Star and a Friday Flash Freebie!

I realized today that many teachers are not aware of Quiz Star (which is one of my favorite teaching tools!) 

We use Quiz Star in our classroom AT LEAST once a week, usually more!  

Quiz Star is a FREE online test site.   Create an account (super easy) and create all the tests you want.  There is a teacher login for you and a student login that you will create for each of your students.  After, you set up your students, they can go in and take the quizzes you have created.  It tells them their score immediately and you, as the teacher, will also know immediate scores. 

I will be honest, the first year was a bit time consuming.  Entering all the test questions does take time.  But I figured I was making up that time by not having to grade tests.  This year has been a breeze because the tests are already created in my account.

Give it a try!  You will become immediately addicted!

Now on to Friday Flash Freebie!!!!!!

How many times a day does a student come to your desk and ask you how to spell something?  And how many times do you swear you taught them how to spell that word just last week?  Sounds familiar to some of ya, right????

Here is my Spelling Dictionary.  I made these for the beginning of 4th grade and they get passed on to 5th grade at the end of the year.  

There is one page for each letter of the alphabet.  Students can ask me to spell any word they want, but they have to their spelling dictionary with them and opened to the correct page.  That way, if it is a word they already have asked about, it will be right there on that page.

This is free for a short time, so click on the picture and hop on over to my TpT store today! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Flash Freebie and Some Of My Fav Organizing Tips!

Organization is my ongoing epic struggle.  I am always trying new tips and tricks to keep my day running smoothly!  Here are some of my favorite tips!

Tip #1 - Every Day Answer Keys

There are certain Answer Keys that I grab on a daily basis or weekly basis that I want easily accessible.  For example, our Math Minute and our Grammar Warm Ups are exercises we do nearly every day and correct together nearly every day.

I printed off the answer keys out of the books and put in page protectors.

 I labeled them on the side and stuck them in a file folder.  Best thing ever!

Tip #2 - Supply Organization

I have seen this organizer on several Pinterest sites but decided to try it a few months ago after finding a freebie label download at  Now I think this is one of the best things I have done to stay organized.  My desk is no longer cluttered and I can always find everything I need.  Amazing how the littlest things can be the biggest help!

Tip #3 - Staying on Top of Make Up Work and Corrections

This is probably my biggest organizational struggle as a 4th grade teacher.  How do I keep track of corrections and make up work?  It's not so bad right now, but wait until cold and flu season!  So, I have been using this system for a few years and it works great for me!

Any time a paper needs correcting, I put that paper in the student's "Catch Up" File.  If a student has a make up work, that also goes in the student's "Catch Up" File.  Both students and myself can easily see at a glance who has work that needs to be done.

Click on the link below for a FREE download of the sign.

Tip #4 - Sending Papers Home to Parents
Loose papers in desks is one of my biggest pet peeves.  Each child has a mail folder and all papers that need to be taken home are put in these folders.  I also have two students whose assigned jobs for the week are "Paper Passers".  They pass back corrected papers into the mail folders.  Every Friday, students clean out their mail folders and put all papers in their Friday Folders.  Parents know to expect these folders.  After parents have seen corrected papers, they sign the Friday Folder and send back on Monday.  We actually do this as a school which is very helpful.
Here is my mail system.

Tip #5 - Keeping Track of Parent Communication and Student Info
I have tried keeping a binder (but I didn't like the extra steps of 3 hole punching everything and opening the binder - time is limited!).  I tried keeping File Folders but then I have to relabel each year.  So now I use an expandable file folder like the one below.

 I folded back the cover so the files just lay open.  I labeled the expandable file with student numbers that can be reused and I placed in my desk drawer.  Student papers and info can be slipped into it in seconds which helps me stay much more organized!

Tip #6 - Helping Students Remember Names
I think I got this idea a long time ago from somewhere but can't remember where.  However, it is the best idea EVER!

Provide students with highlighters near the turn in station.  Have them highlight their name and number before they turn in papers.  If their name isn't on their paper, they will remember to write it so they can highlight.  
(I mounted this to a book end so it will stand on its own above my Assignment Station.)

Click on the picture below for a link to a FREE download.

Tip #7 - Student Homework Helpers
I have students mark who has homework turned in right away in the morning.  They go though each assignment and check off an a pre-made student list those that turned it in on the list.  That way you know right off the bat who has late work!

Tip #8 - Supplies
I believe it is important for students to have the necessary supplies at all times.  I have a Supply Center where I keep everything the students might need throughout the day that is not necessarily something they would keep in their desk.  It makes life easier if they know to look in the same spot for everything.

This is a new product of mine that I am excited to share.  My kiddos love playing games to review and practice concepts.  Some of them were struggling with contractions, where to put the apostrophe, and what letters remain in the contraction.  This Bingo game will help!

Laminate the cards for durability!

This Contractions Bingo is my Friday Flash Freebie!  Click on any of the pictures above to download this Freebie.  But hurry, it's not free for long!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our 9/11 Projects

Last week we discussed and worked on our 9/11 projects.  Today we shared our projects and wrapped up this unit!  I was so impressed and proud of my kiddos.  Here are just a few of the projects that were shared today!

These two students chose to make a memorial of the Twin Towers before the attack.  

This student chose to make a memorial showing the New York City skyline after the attack.  Those two "sticks" are the beams of light that lit up the sky after the attack.  She used glow sticks that light up but are hard to see in the picture.

This student decided to conduct an interview.  See the interview below and the poster she displayed it on!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Flash Freebie and some Long Division Help!

Who doesn't love long division?!?!?!?
The dividing, multiplying, subtracting...we all have to agree that it is the best thing ever!!!
Well...there are some who may not agree with us. (Shocking, I know!)  And some of students may not agree with us either.   So to make division a little more fun for everyone (and easier to do) I created this exercise.

I laminated this for my classroom. 

I also made a smaller laminated version for each student to keep right on their desk as they work their division problems.

Early on in the division process, I give them sheets like this, with grid lines to really help them stay organized in dividing.

They also have a sheet like this to help them multiply to check their answer.

Ahhhh...gotta love long division!

This Monster Division Poster is my Friday Flash Freebie!  Click on any of the pictures above to download this Freebie.  But hurry, it's not free for long!

Along with my Friday Flash Freebie, I am also sharing this Freebie printable.

I found this saying at and converted into a printable poster that we are using for our school's Visitor's Day.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Classroom Quotes for Every Day of the Year!

So...I have a small obsession.  It's one I don't normally talk about, but here goes!

I love, love, love all those cute, motivational quotes that you find on Facebook and Pinterest.  I read those and am always like, "Wow...that is so powerful!"

And I want my students to find quotes like that inspiring and life changing too.  So, prior to this year, I created a handful of inspirational posters and hung them in my room.  But my kiddos seemed unimpressed.  Yeah, sure, it may have been a great quote and it may have motivated them for a short time, but I realized that if I had the same poster hung up all year, then after a while, they just looked right past it.  I decided I needed motivation all day, every day!

So I decided that each day I would hang a new quote up for the kids to read, ponder, and, best case scenario, improve their life skills!  I researched and internet surfed until I came up with 180 of my favorite motivational classroom quotes!  (I started at the beginning of summer break and just finished!  It was quite the project for me!  Whew!)

I printed off my posters on cardstock and I hung a page protector on my classroom door (I cut off the 3 ring punch holes to make it look nicer!).  Then each day I grab a new poster, slide out yesterday's poster, and slide in the new poster.  The kiddos now know that each day brings a new thought to ponder and they actually look forward to it!  

This literally takes 10 seconds a day (and if I forget, they remind me!)

Here are a few of my favs...