Teaching Vocabulary in Social Studies and Science Part 6

Graphic organizer anyone? I love a T-Chart, KWL, Word Diagram, Tree Map, or Bubble Map in the classroom! Graphic organizers are a powerful tool for students to extend and deepen their understanding in the classroom. Graphic organizers allow students to … Continue reading

Teaching Vocabulary in Social Studies and Science Part 4

As a former reading teacher, I am always looking for ways my students can become better readers. One of the ways they do this is become exposed to as many words as possible and look for words everywhere! Have you … Continue reading

Teaching Vocabulary in Social Studies and Science Part 1

Vocabulary is one of the most important parts of science and social studies instruction. Students who do not know the meaning of words or have the background knowledge to make connections to, struggle the most with science and social studies. … Continue reading

World War I has Begun

As I continue to share new products, especially the vocabulary packets, I want to highlight a different part of the packet each time. 

Today’s packet is over World War I and the piece out of each packet that I use no matter what is the interactive notebook pieces. 

I have used these two different ways. 1. I have students cut out the pieces with the word and definition attached. We then fold them and glue one side down. We write the word on top so that they can see the word, try to remember the definition, and then flip it open to see the actual definition. 2. I have students cut out the definition and put a post it note on top of it (like pictures). 

It helps the kids study their vocabulary. I have found many students turning back to the pages as we study, review, and discuss new standards. It’s awesome!

Check It Out!

I have added several new items to my Teachers Pay Teachers store! These items are all fifth grade mostly because of my new position in fifth grade…so if you are looking for:

  • Math Standards Posters: These simple posters are great for any classroom theme! Simply print and mount to any color paper, then laminate! Super easy and super flexible when it comes to matchy-matchy classrooms.
  • Social Studies Standards Posters
  • Science Standards Posters
  • Interactive notebook science standard, can do, and EQ: I love these interactive notebook additions! They include each standard with the achievement indicators (beginning learner, developing learner, proficient learner, and distinguished learner) so students know how to best learn the standard, and a place to write the essential question. I love to have students try to answer the EQ before I have taught anything, then draw a line (we call it the line of learning). After the standard has been taught I have students answer the EQ again under the line! This allows me and the students to see the growth of their learning, misunderstandings, and reflection of the week!
  • Interactive notebook social studies standard, can do, and EQ
  • Interactive notebook science set up kit
  • Physical science vocabulary: All of my vocabulary is interactive! Cut out the word and definition attached, then fold it into a little booklet with the information on the inside. Have the students write the word on top and quiz themselves on the definitions! It is super easy, and fun! Plus the parents always compliment this simple entry into the student notebooks.
  • Life science vocabulary
  • Earth science vocabulary
  • Characteristics of science vocabulary
  • Teach 5, 1st nine weeks: Teach 5! This was the first thing I began working on when I heard about my move to fifth grade…I cannot begin to emphasize how important Teach 5 is in my classroom! This is a spiral review of the math standards. It is leveled and easy to differentiate in the classroom. Plus I have a free Teach 5 Set Up kit that lets you know how to make your own Teach 5!

Yes, I have been busy creating, but I have also realized that with my first baby on the way I will not be able to make everything myself. I have purchased many items on TPT and found tons of FREE stuff to help me!

Teachers, what are you doing with your summer?


Spiral Review

As a third grade team we have started to discuss how we did on last year’s GMAS (If you aren’t sure what that is take a look at this). We have discussed how a great spiral review in mathematics really seemed to benefit the students and keep all of their learning in their minds.

I use Teach 5 to do this with mathematics. To learn more about Teach 5 read some of my older posts about it and take a look at these resources.

Teach 5 Sample

Teach 5 Bundle

One of my coworkers found this great resource for social studies today.

Social Studies Review is created by Ashleigh over at Ashleigh’s Education Journey.

We are still on the hunt for a great science spiral review for third grade Georgia Performance Standards. If you know of one comment with a link to the product. I am open to all things at this point. That or I am going to have to make one!

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Our students took the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (GMAS) last April. Most people would think that we would get their scores back within a month of taking the assessment, BUT that was not the case this year. After the test this past April we were told October would be when our scores would be released. October turned into January. Then, all of the sudden I receive an email in early November that my GMAS scores are in.

The results are ugly! I am used to 100% of my students passing the CRCT Mathematics portion. (the CRCT is what Georgia used to give as a standardized assessment). I knew the GMAS was going to be more difficult and I had been given a warning that the state was predicting that less than half of the students would pass the assessment the first year. Well, the state wasn’t lying.

I am not going to give my scores out because I have not been cleared to do so. I must say that although I am unhappy with the percentage of my students who passed, I had a higher percentage in my classes pass than the CES grade level average or state average.

I obviously need to make some adjustments to my teaching, start going deeper into their understand, and evaluate what I am doing as a professional. But I am proud of how hard most of my students worked on the GMAS. The next few months are going to be a lot of work as I reflect on how I teach, what I teach, and why my students did not perform as highly as I would have liked for them to.

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Teacher Survey Today

We received an email today with a link to a survey. The purpose of the survey was to see why teachers were leaving the profession in such large numbers.

Look at questions 5, 6, and 7. I copy and pasted my answers to 6 and 7 as well. They are in bold.

5. In Georgia, 47% of teachers leave the profession within five years. Rank the following statements often cited as the predominant reason a teacher leaves the profession. Ranking a statement with a 1 will indicate the most predominant reason and ranking a statement as an 8 will indicate the least predominant reason that teachers leave the profession in your opinion. (required)

Level of benefits/compensation
Level of preparation when entering the profession
Level of teacher participation in decisions related to profession
Level/quality of ongoing support, resources and professional learning
Non-teaching school responsibilities/duties
Number and emphasis of mandated tests
School level/District level leadership

Teacher evaluation method

6. Look back at Question 5 and see which statement you ranked as number one. Explain why you chose this statement. (optional)

The statement I ranked as number one was “Teacher evaluation method”. I chose this statement because evaluators are unable to identify how I could earn a higher score. They cannot tell me how I could better teach my students or improve as a professional. If they are unable to point out ways for improvement then how can they score me anything but the highest ranking? The highest ranking is almost impossible to get because of the verbs used (continually verses consistently). Evaluators cannot be in my classroom continually so they cannot see that I am continually doing these things.

The TKES score is absolutely insane and does not show whether a teacher is good at teaching. It does not show whether they should be fired or hired. It is not a reliable, valid, or just way to measure any professional’s performance.

We do not see dentist evaluated on whether their patients have cavities or not. That is up to the patient to brush their teeth, floss, and take care of themselves. Teachers should not be evaluated by student growth. We cannot force them to pay attention, do their homework, learn the material. We can present it in 17 different ways, love them with all our hearts, and beg them to learn, but we cannot force them to.

7. Please list any additional reasons why you believe 47% of the teachers in Georgia leave the profession within five years. (optional)

Many reasons could be identified for teachers leaving the profession. The reason I have stayed so far is because I love to teach! I love my students! I have been called to be a teacher and know that. When my husband asks me how my day was, many times I respond with, “The teaching was great! The other stuff was a mess.” It is sad that my job is looked down upon in society. We are no longer respected and many people ask, “Why do you put up with that?” My answer: I love the students and someone needs to teach them. Maybe one day one of my students will grow up and make some much needed changes to the way education is viewed and run. Maybe my impact on little peoples’ lives will make a difference bigger than you and me.

Some teachers lose this passion and love for teaching. And when they do they leave the profession. Why don’t you find a way to ignite that passion in the teachers that are left?

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