Teaching Vocabulary in Social Studies and Science Part 2

Using new vocabulary words in our daily lingo is a fast track way to making these new words a permanent part of our personal dictionary. So how do we help students use their new vocabulary on a daily basis? The … Continue reading

More Math

Teaching fifth grade this year means I am creating a TON of stuff…it is exhausting! I just finished the second nine weeks worth of Teach 5s last week and you can find them here. If you are not sure what … Continue reading

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?


Answer Keys

Do you do interactive notebooks? Do you grade them? If you do, isn’t it the biggest pain?

I love my interactive notebooks! I like that their is accountability for them. I don’t like grading them for accuracy though.

One thing that I hope will help me are answer keys.

My teacher notebook will have post it notes with the answers underneath. I hope this will make my life better and that I will be able to grade journals faster. 

Line of Learning

What is the Line of Learning?  you may be wondering. The Line of Learning is many things. It is a time and money saver. It is a line. It marks growth in student knowledge. 

Okay. I should probably clarify.

This is the Line of Learning


Now please allow me to clarify.

  • It is a time saver: I used to use post it notes as before and after informal assessments in journals. Counting out two for each student and passing them out took class time and left many students waiting on me. Drawing a line is all students will have to do now and they won’t have to wait for me to draw their line. 
  • It is a money saver: Post-it notes are expensive. My students were using about 300 a year to do vocabulary and pre/post post-it notes. 300 per kid when you teach 50 kids is a lot! Drawing a line is FREE!!!
  •  It is a line: Look at it. It is simply a line that says “Libe of Learning” above or below it. 
  • It marks growth in student knowledge: my students put the standards we are learning in their notebooks. They also write the Essential Question down. Then, before I teach anything, they answer the EQ. They can put I don’t know, ?, or write what they think the answer is. After I am done teaching they draw THE Line of Learning. This symbolizes the time we have spent learning over that week and practicing the standard. Below the Line of Learning they answer the EQ again. This time they should have way more to write. Maybe they draw a picture with it or give an example. Who knows?

The Line of Learning is simple and complex. Here are some example pages of my Lines of Learning.




As you can see I use the Line of Learning can be used in any subject, for EQs or science probes. 

Super simple! Super cheap! Super useful!

New Way to Organize My Interactive Notebooks

I use three interactive notebooks in my classroom each year. In years past I have had three composition notebooks just like my students. But this year I will be organizing my notebooks, not my students, in a three ring binder. This will allow me to lay each page flat under the document camera. I can change the order of the pages that I prep this summer as I am teaching them. 

The materials I have at home this summer to help prep and reorganize my interactive notebooks are:


  • 3″ three ring binder
  • 3 packs of notebook paper
  • Colored paper
  • 3 dividers 
  • Markers
  • Color pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Post it notes
  • Tape

The notebook is divided into three sections:


  • Math
  • Science
  • Social studies

To ensure that I include all of my favorite notebook activities in my new notebook I have my interactive notebooks from the past two years to guide me. 

I have started prepping many units in my new notebook. Here is a little preview of posts to come!

Standard, EQ, and the Line of Learning

Math Practice and Answer Keys

Must Haves for Interactive Notebooks in Third Grade

Do you teach third grade?

Do you have a friend who teaches third grade?

If your answer is yes to either of these questions keep reading.

I purchased and USE these two interactive notebook products from Teachers Pay Teachers CONSTANTLY!


This amazing interactive notebook product can be found here. No, it is not one of my own, but I use it like it is! Man it is GOOD!


This product can be found here. This product has tons of material for third, fourth, and fifth grade social studies. It was a GREAT buy and I use it constantly!

Just wanted to share some AMAZING resources!

NEW Signature

Math Journals-Picture Graphs, Missing Numbers, 2 Step Word Problems

Man am I bad at keeping you all up to date on our math journals.

A few weeks ago we went over picture graphs. The students had several great entries for this standard and we have some of our graphs from the week displayed in the hallway. Here are our notebook entries:

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3  photo 5 photophoto 4

Then we spent a week on missing numbers in math sentences. We talked about variables and inverse operations to solve these problems. Here are our notebook entries for this standard:

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

Now we are working on two-step word problems. We have spent time working through each problem using the Singapore (or model drawing) method. Here are our notebook entries:

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

Here is the link to a FREE smartboard noteboook for openings.

Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3

Here is the link to the Georgia Frameworks lessons that I used for some of the openings and closings. I used Hooked on Solutions which is similar to BINGO. I also used Armadillo Stories (which has been removed from this year’s GA frameworks). In this lesson the students write their own word problems using facts about armadillos. I then pick the best word problems they wrote and make a test out of them! It is a great lesson and I highly recommend trying it.

I hope these are helpful. I know that I truly enjoy teaching math and have seen a great improvement in my students’ understanding with the use of journals this year!


Mapping Our Way Through a Great Question

I got an e-mail with a great question today.

What do you do with the pre and post post it notes in your journals?

At the beginning of each unit the students are given the standard on a sticker and the essential question to write in their journal. Then they put two post it notes in their journals. They label one “pre” and the other “post”.

photo 2 01

I ask the students to try to answer the essential question on the “pre” post it note on the first day of the unit. When it is something I know they have prior knowledge of I do not let them write “I don’t know”, but if it is a brand new concept “I don’t know” is acceptable.

After the unit it taught I ask for the students to go back and answer the the EQ again on the “post” post it note. Many times students will fill up their post it note and use the space below the post it note also. The parents (and I) love to read the growth that takes place within the unit by looking at the Post post it notes.

Great question and thanks for asking!

Here are some images from our second map unit:

photo 1 01 photo 5 photo 2 photo 1

The students were taught how to make their own map scale on a separate piece of paper to use on the map activity above. We then stuck the map scale into our journal for later use (that is what the pink post it is in the picture).

photo 4 photo 3photo

Multiplying by Multiples of Ten…Eeek!

I love this standard, but it scares the kids. They always feel so overwhelmed at first, but once they get it, They GET It!

Our Notebooks looked something like this:

photo 1

Our standard was put in and the EQ was written

photo 2

We added some notes on the different strategies

photo 3

photo 4

And we did some good practice

By the end of our three day week (we had fall break) the kids got it pretty well and have seemed to continue to do well with this standard. We are getting their…it just takes some time.