Two Weeks and Counting

It's Sunday night.  You have two weeks left.  How will you ever make it?

Wow.  It's like I just read your mind, right?

Here's a little Christmas blog flashback for you--a few of the ways I know to just make it until the Christmas holidays.

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I have a give a little, get a little philosophy at this time of year.  Meaning, I'll slow down the pace some academically if you can mostly keep it under control.  One of the things I switch up are our stations.  We do one a day for the last 15-20 minutes of class.  Sort of a Weekly 5 thing instead of the Daily 5.

Independent Reading & Buddy Reading

I put out a big ole basket of holiday books for these.  Love their squeals of delight!

Word Work

Finding smaller words in holiday words for the first week, and building words from scrambled holiday words the second week.  You can download the activities here.  Both activities are two sided.


Normally, we use whole class journals for this, but we set them aside for these last two weeks.  The first week, we do a holiday traditions writing.  The second week, we write about a gift.  You can download the activities here.


Shannon over at Technology Rocks. Seriously. has a seriously rocking post with a million holiday games together on one Google Doc.  You can read the post here.

We also do my most favorite writing activity of the year during this time.   I read the class the book How Santa Got His Job.

Then, we brainstorm together what a Santa help wanted ad would need to include-the requirements, the duties, and the benefits.  After we brainstorm as a class, they brainstorm on their own for an elf help wanted ad.

The next day, they write their ad.  Although this is a really fun activity, it's also a great chance to talk about commas in a series and varying sentence beginnings.

On the third day, they create their final copies.

Five on the Fifth

Hold the presses! I’ve already posted twice this week.  That’s because it’s time for . . .
I’m mixing it up a little bit by bringing a little Instagram style to Five on the Fifth.  I was an Instagram hold out for quite a while.  I guess it seemed like a redundant Facebook, but I was oh so wrong.  Imagine getting little peaks into other teachers’ days.  I hope this post convinces you to take the Instagram leap if you haven’t done it yet!  

Five on the Fifth even has its very own Pinterest board.  You can follow it here.

First off, an Instagram find from Joy in the Journey.  You can find her here on Instagram.  What a fun way to get kids excited!

I pray you never have to teach the distributive property for multiplication.  However, if you must, More Time 2 Teach shared a fabulous idea called Distributive Doctor.

Collaboration Cuties has one of the most helpful linkies around.  The Mentor Text linkies create a collection of lessons that begin the way all good things in elementary school should--with a book.  Missed out on these?  Don’t worry.  The have a Mentor Text Page.  You can find all of their linkies in one convenient location.  Lucky you.  

Swoon, swoon, and double swoon.  I am in LOVE with Ladybug’s Teacher Files’ Grammar Morphology posters.  You math teachers feeling left out?  Don’t worry.  She has some for you, too.

Technology Rocks. Seriously. was the first teaching blog I ever found.  I didn’t even know there were such things.  Just though she was a cool lady to have her own website.  Flash forward a couple of years and she’s still super cool.  One of the cool lady things she does is create Google sites with collections of themed games.  You’ve got two and a half weeks to go people.  Let these sites help you make it.

Do You Turtlehead?

I've been working with several fourth grade groups for math, and we recently hit 2 digit multiplication. I asked my sweet friend Diane from Teaching with Moxie for some tips, and she showed me Turtlehead. Say what?  Maybe you’ve seen it before, but I’ve lived in language arts land for the past 4 years and hadn’t seen it.
First you draw your turtlehead.  This is to help them focus on the first round of multiplying.

After you complete the first round of multiplying, your turtle lays an egg and you give it a collar.  This is to help them to now NOT focus on the first number they were using to multiply.
**If you have to regroup, once you add the number in, you can turn it into eyelashes, so you don't accidentally add it again.  The eyelashes part was for fun.  My boys did not participate in that step.  ; )

Then finish up your multiplication problem.

I just want to know where turtlehead was when I was in 4th grade????

p.s. How cute is that little turtle? It's from My Cute Graphics.