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!

NEW Signature



Science meets Art meets Writing

I love when a creative idea comes to mind. This one was inspired by Teach Like a Pirate (read more about that here). The “P” in pirate stands for passion. Dave Burgess says that you’re not always going to be passionate about the content you are teaching and when that is the case you should include something else that you are passionate about. I am not passionate about animal adaptations, but I do love creating, crafting, painting, anything artsy. So this lesson focuses on the life science standard of animal adaptations but includes art and writing also!

Prior to the lesson we learned all about adaptations and why they are necessary for plants and animals to survive. I also took photos of all of the students’ faces, cropped them, and put them into the Sketch Master app on my iPad.

sketch master

This app can take any photo and turn it into a sketch. There are many different versions of the sketch to choose. I simply chose the one that gave each students’ face some definition without too much shading.

Before the kids started the lesson I cut just their faces out from these printed sketches.

So we started the lesson by reading two books.

animal hair animal teeth

What If You Had Animal Hair? and What If You Had Animal Teeth?

We then talked about which adaptations they would pick if they had to choose. It was a great conversation and I wish I could have recorded it (hahaha!!!). I want rattlesnake teeth so that I can bite and kill anything I want to. I want reindeer hair so that I float all the time. I then explained what was about to happen by showing them my animal hair and teeth on my photo face.


I the have each student a plain sheet of paper and their sketched face. We glued them together and then they sketched in their hair and teeth. It was a blast watching them create these little details and explain to me why they picked them. The last thing I had them do was write two sentences about why they chose the hair they did. What adaptations does that give you? They wrote two more sentences about the teeth. Some of the kids wrote more which was awesome! They turned out so cute!

Next year the same authors are putting out another book.

animal feet

This will add another great dimension to this fun school craftivity!

NEW Signature

Why is insulation inside a house?

It never fails. My students struggle to understand what insulation is and how it works. I had seen this experiment demonstrated at the Georgia science conference in 2014. I finally had the time to make the materials needed for the experiment. 

Materials needed:


  • 3 empty, clean milk jugs
  • 3 bags of cotton balls
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Box cutter

How to make it:

Cut a flap in the side of all three milk jugs.    

 One jug will be left completely alone. No cotton balls anywhere. 

One jug will have cotton balls glue all over the insides of the jug. 

One jug is covered with cotton balls on the outside.   The experiment:

You will use three thermometers to determine which “house” contains heat the best. 

  1. Using hot water, warm the thermometers up to the same temperature. 
  2. Quickly dry all the thermometers off and place one inside of each “house”. 
  3. Check the temperature every 10 minutes for thirty minutes. 
  4. Discuss what happened. 

I can’t wait to try this with my kids this year!

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

Making Measuring Cups

Do you ever find yourself in need of a class set of measuring cups? You bring in everything from home (including the glass measuring cups) and beg, borrow, and steal from every teacher on the hallway and still don’t come up with 25 measuring cups. That has been me each spring as we begin our fun extension activities. This year I am going to be smart! We are making measuring cups!!!

What you will need:

  • clear plastic 8 oz. cup for each student
  • sharpies
  • water
  • graduated cylinder

First have the students write their name on the bottom of their cup.

photo 1

Then measure 10 mL of water in the graduated cylinder. Pour into the clear plastic cup. Using the sharpie, carefully draw a line where the water rises to. Label it as 10 mL.

Next measure 10 mL of water in the graduated cylinder. Pour into the clear plastic cup. You now have 20 mL of water in the clear plastic cup. Using the sharpie, carefully draw a line where the water rises to. Label it as 20 mL.

Continue this until you reach 100 mL.

photo 2

We also needed a 1 cup measure for a different activity. So we measured 1 cup of water. Poured it into our clear plastic cup (after we emptied the 100 mL) and drew a line and labeled it.

photo 3

Some things I have learned during this activity:

  • If you do not tell the students to draw the line on the outside of the cup, they will try to draw the line on the inside of the cup. (Oh my!)
  • If you want them to fit all of the numbers and lines, you will need to tell them to write the numbersĀ beside the line. NOT on top or below the line.
  • Some students will find it more fun to play in the water than to ensure that their measurements are accurate. (humph…)
  • Some students will use an entire roll of paper towels during this activity when they probably needed 3 sheets. (head in hand, shaking…)

Needless to say, we made “measuring” cups. We shall see how the activities that need this instrument turn on.

NEW Signature

First Time For Everything

I survived the observation! Thank you for all of your kind words and prayers. It went really well and the observer was very kind. The students were their normal selves (this is good, but they were not perfect angles like I would have preferred). This first time was a great experience.

My next first time is a BIG packet posted on Teachers Pay Teachers. I am teaching magnets and have created a rather large packet of power points, assessments, and experiments for this science standard. You can find the packet here.

Picture 3

As you can see it includes:

  • 6 instructional power point presentations
  • 5 experiment power point presentations
  • Pre and Post Assessments
  • Study Guide
  • and an experiment student recording sheet

I know there are things I could add to it later, and I do plan on getting better at making more complete packets of teaching resources, but I feel like this is a good start. Please go check it out and let me know what you think about it.

Picture 2 Picture 1

I set my power point presentations up differently in science. If it is an experiment is looks like the presentation on the left. If it is an instructional presentation is looks like the one on the right. This helps me plan and it also keeps me organized.

Also with science, I like to do the experiments before I teach the information. So today we did the magnetic field experiment before we went through the magnetic field power point. This allows students to discover their learning. It also makes the 5 E’s more enjoyable to go through.


Rocks in my Head!

Our rock unit was a HUGE success and continues to be apart of our everyday science conversation (because rocks and soil are related). Our notebooks and experiments really made rocks come to life (except that rocks are not alive). Here are some images of our notebooks:

photo 09 photo 11

Our standard is the same here as it was for minerals, so I saved the stickers (and time) and did not do another standard. I also told the students that I knew each of them had some prior knowledge of rocks and I expected something on their pre post it note.

photo 10

This page is much deeper than the image appears. Each tab of purple paper opens up and shows examples, definitions, how that type of rock was formed, and where these rocks can be found most on a map for each type of rock. This requires a lot of paper, but it is worth it for the amount of information the students will get from it.

photo 12

I know the students do not NEED to know the whole rock cycle in third grade, but I like for them to see it, talk about it, and experience it (Starburst rock cycle!!!). For the SPED students, I game them a copy that was already filled in, all they had to do was glue it in their notebook.

photo 13 photo 14

This was a cute comic strip that we put in a pocket (that they still cannot seem to make on their own…argh!). I also let them color it in their spare time throughout the week (some students still do not have theirs colored…oh well!).

photo 15

Snickers plate tectonics was a HUGE success compared to last years oreo plate tectonics. Snickers is the way to go!!!

Overall, my students love rocks and have learned a lot about rocks. I am loving our notebooks as they develop and cannot wait to see the reward of a finished product at the end of the year!!!