Monday, March 30, 2015

National Poetry Writing Month: April 2015

Do you celebrate National Poetry Writing Month with your class?  I love reading, writing and teaching poetry.  I have a poetry blog called Poems of Silliness.  Each year I create a poetry writing challenge appropriate for elementary students.

Here is the link to the April 2015 Poetry Challenge, just in case you haven't downloaded it:

You can download the free April Poetry Challenge 2015 from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

You can also download April Poetry Challenge 2015 from my Teachers Notebook store.

If you need some lessons that are a little shorter, check out my Pinterest board:
Follow Mary Bauer's board Poetry Resources on Pinterest.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Quote of the Week -- March 29, 2015

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."

Toni Morrison

Have a good week,

Friday, March 27, 2015

Elements and Events -- A Story Map

I like using story maps for reading literature with students and helping them compose their own stories.  Today's freebie is called Elements and Events.  Here students record the elements of the story including the important events.

To download Elements and Events from my Google Drive, click here.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Captain Nobody by Dean Pitchford

Captain Nobody is an accidental hero.  Newt Newman is the younger brother in the shadows to his football star older brother, Chris.  When Chris gets a concussion during a football game, Newt's parents are distracted.  Newt dresses as Captain Nobody for Halloween and without realizing it becomes a true hero.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Rotational Symmetry: An Art Project

I've been creating several art lessons that integrate math.  For this one, I wanted my students to create a design using rotational symmetry.  First I cut a nine inch square and divided it by folding into eighths.  I traced on each line forming the guide lines for the design.
It's hard to see in the picture, but I drew small marks along each line one inch apart starting from the center.  Below you will see two finished projects.  I encouraged the students to begin their design in the center and rotate the square to make each section the same.

To see some of my other art/math projects, click either tag at the bottom of this post.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Quote of the Week -- March 22, 2015

"You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great."

Les Brown

Have a good week,

Friday, March 20, 2015

April Poetry Challenge 2015

For the last several Aprils, I have been participating personally and with my class in National Poetry Writing Month. I personally work on writing a poem a day for the thirty days.  I have my students work on poetry as well.  I am inviting other interested classes to participate.  I have attached a rubric I use to grade a project like this.

For this challenge, I chose to focus on couplets.  A couplet is a poem that has two lines that rhyme. The lines have the same meter or rhythm.  Here are two examples of couplets:

There once was a teacher so strict

Her students did not dare contradict.

That gourd looks bored.

Each day, I chose a word family to work with and I challenge your class to write a rhyme a day for the thirty days in April.  I keep a poetry blog called Poems of Silliness that you are welcome to visit for more examples of poetry forms I teach in my classroom.  During the month of April, I plan to share the poems I have written for this challenge on the blog.   I hope you enjoy this activity with your students.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Room One: A Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements

Plattsford, Nebraska is a small town that is about to lose its school.  Ted Hammond is worried that with only five students next year, the town won't be able to afford a school and the town will disappear.

One day on his paper route, Ted sees a face in the window of a house that is supposed to be abandoned.  This is just the type of mystery, he is excited to solve.

I liked that the way that Ted solved the mystery was realistic for a boy his age.  I recommend this book to students who like realistic fiction or mysteries.


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Monday, March 16, 2015

Math Spies Episode 8 -- Secret Rooms

In addition to Artistry of Education, I have a blog called Math Spies that is dedicated to math problem-solving. I post a new problem each Wednesday.

In Episode 8, students use what they know about area to determine if a building has a secret room.  Click here for "How to Find Secret Rooms."  In the building at the top, the hallway extends the length of the building.  The building underneath has a "secret room."  Students are given the dimensions of the building and the dimensions of the known rooms and they must determine if there is a secret room and how big it is.

You can find the other seven problems in the series by clicking here, and scrolling halfway down the page.

I expanded this set into a 32 task card set which you can purchase at Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Quote of the Week -- March 15, 2015

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” - Seth Godin

Have a good week,

Friday, March 13, 2015

Gomoku with Integers

To download the game board for Gomoku with Integers, click here.

This is the last in my Gomoku series.  I included integers because I always have those students who want to do something more advanced than the rest.  The rules of the game are the same: roll two dice, perform the operation, place a marker on the square.  Try to get five in a row before your opponent.  This version of the game includes negative numbers.

I would provide a number line like the one below to support my students' conceptual understanding of negative numbers.  I would explain that they could start with either number on the dice and subtract the other.  I would teach this at an exposure level to students who want a "challenge."

Gomoku Games: Five in a Row is available for free at Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Over My Dead Body by Kate Klise

If you want a not too scary ghost story, try the 43 Cemetery Road series by Kate Klise.  Over My Dead Body continues where Dying to Meet You left off.  What I think will appeal to my students is the organization The International Movement for the Safety and Protection Of Our Kids and Youth (IMSPOOKY) which creates problems for Seymour and the other occupants of 43 Cemetery Road.  The story is told by letters, newspaper articles, and other types of text.  Adults will enjoy the plays on words.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Behavior Intervention: If...Then...Charts

"If you finish math before 10:30 (p. 347 1-10), then you will have time for a math game. Mrs. Bauer"

Over the last twenty-four years, I have had a number of students who needed behavioral interventions.  I have created many charts and ways of tracking data.  I prefer to design my own plans to make them fit my teaching style and classroom.  (I try not to make the child stand out any more than he or she already does.)

This year after a pretty intense day with a student, the IEP team regrouped and decided that If...Then... charts would be an appropriate first intervention for the child.

"If you start morning work right away, then you will earn a privilege. Mrs. Bauer"
I know other teachers create laminated charts.  I use the sticky notes because I can adapt them to the assignments for the day.  (Also, if they are ripped up in a moment of rebellion, I can easily replace them.)
I'm not saying that this system has worked miracles.  It is giving a particular student some power and control in the classroom, and she is getting some work done.
To read more about my Privileges and Coupons system, read one of these previous posts:
Also, you can download the free printable forms Privileges and Coupons from my Teachers Pay Teachers and my Teachers Notebook stores.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Quote of the Week -- March 8, 2014

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. 

~Author Unknown

Have a good week,

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Good Luck Bad Luck Story

I like creating fill-in-the-blank stories almost as much as my students like using them.  This one-page freebie is designed to be used next Friday, March 13, 2015.  (If you missed this Friday the Thirteenth, the next one is November 13, 2015.)

To download "A Good Luck/Bad Luck Story" click here.

Happy Friday!

Update October 2015: I recently packaged all my superstition activities as a freebie in my Teachers Pay Teachers and my Teachers Notebook stores.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shoot-Out by Mike Lupica

Mike Lupica's Comeback Kids series for the upper elementary crowd is character driven.  In Shoot-Out, Jake is a star soccer player who gives up a winning team when he moves to a new neighborhood.  His teammates struggle on and off the field.  He is clearly the most skilled player on the team, but he needs to learn what winning is all about.


For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Are You Ready For Science Fair?

This week my students are presenting their projects at our school science fair.  We have worked hard to get ready.  Here are some resources I used this year:

Science Experiment Plan Printable

Science Project Checklist for Grading

Follow Mary Bauer's board Science ideas on Pinterest.

How do you prepare your students for science fair?

Update: I have created a freebie for my Teachers Pay Teachers Store and my Teacher's Notebook Store that contains the forms I use and some directions.

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