Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Fun! {Freebie, Flashback, and Five for Friday}

Happy Friday!!  We're back with a look at the week!  (Can you tell we love these Linkies!!)

We are linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for 


and with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness for 

So, let's get to it!!  :O)

1.  We've been working on light energy in science and Stacia's class got to "play" with prisms this week.  Here they are learning about how prisms separate light.  They used a flashlight and the sun and compared the differences.  (This pretty prism was loaned to us by our assistant principal!)

2.  In math, we are still working on fractions.  This week we focused on equivalent fractions.  It would seem like fractions would be easy because they can use fraction strips or fraction circles, but it's still really abstract for them when they have to know how to make an equivalent fraction and why it's equivalent, especially without a picture.  Here is a notes sheet that we pasted in our math journals (composition notebook).  The notes on the left are already filled in for a quick paste and explanation.  The notes on the right can be pasted in and filled out in small group or whole class.  If you can use them, feel free to click on the picture and download it to use in your classroom.  :O)
3.  In Language Arts, we have been immersed in poetry and figurative language.  My students are obsessed with similes, but metaphors are much harder (for me too!).  We read the book Hailstones and Halibut Bones which are poems full of metaphors about colors.  We worked on analyzing the poem about the color black together.  Since I don't think I can type part of the book here, I'll just generalize what we talked about.  One line talks about black as a feeling so we analyzed what that might be (loneliness, sadness, anger), but it also talked about how black is kind and covers up a run-down street.  This was a hard one because they took it so LITERALLY and said that the pavement was laid over everything.  I had to explain that we had to look at it metaphorically and that the night is black and covers the ugliness outside.  So...all of the colors are in the book.  Once we analyzed black together, I paired the students up to analyze a different color in partners by taking it apart and really THINKING about what it could mean and what it means to them.  It challenged them, but they liked it, which makes me happy!!

4.  We are learning about the causes of the American Revolution.  After learning about all of the unfair taxes that were levied on the colonists (Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Tea Tax, etc.) we played a "game".  It's called The King's M&M's.  I have no idea where it originated from- a teacher that I work with shared it with me.  Basically, a student is chosen to be king (I picked a student that I knew wouldn't be afraid to make everyone mad), 3-4 students are chosen as Parliament, and 2-3 tax collectors.  The "king" and his parliament make up "laws" (example- if you are in 4th grade, you have to pay 3 M&M's- which would be every kid) and the tax collectors go around and collect the M&M's.  (Don't worry, they used a cup to hold their candy and a spoon to count them out so they weren't actually touching the M&M's.)  :O)  I let them pass enough unfair laws/taxes to get the "colonists" feeling pretty upset.  Then, the king had to pay his parliament and tax collectors (any amount of his choosing) and he got to keep the rest of the candy.  From there, they reflected on the activity and then related it to how the colonists must have felt.  It's obviously an exaggerated version of what happened, but it gets down on the level of the students and they couldn't believe that the king got to keep all of the candy (and yes, he really decided to keep it all!).  Even though they were pretty upset and adamant about how unfair it was, they still had fun!

Here, we have the happy king with his parliament (who were also happy because they didn't have to pay any taxes, plus got paid more!)!  Then, we have our sad colonists showing how they were "robbed" (I wish you could see their faces!!).  I think they got the point!!

5)  Last, but not least, Stacia updated the Arthur's Valentine unit that she created last year.  Here is a freebie from the unit.  If you like it, head to our Teacher's Pay Teacher store and grab a copy!  

Stacia made the clipart of Arthur!  Isn't he cute?!?

We hope you have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!  Let us know how your week went and if you download the freebie, let us know what you think!


  1. Stacia is quite the artist!! I love it!! :) :)

    ideas by jivey

  2. Does Stacia sell the Arthur clipart by itself as well?

  3. I love your American Revolution activity - so much fun! The Arthur clipart is adorable :)

  4. We are starting fractions and our Revolution unit next week, thanks for sharing!


  5. I start fractions next week. Love the printable. Thank you!

  6. We are *about* to start our 13 colonies unit where we will teach them the causes of the American Revolution. I like your idea of the M&M game!

    The past two years, I give my students a few "dollars" and I wear my Queen crown. After teaching them about taxes, we begin our normal school day. As the day progresses, I mark a certain item as taxed. It's always entertaining/educational to tax the tissues, lunch milk, and papers. A bit of an exaggeration, but they get the point.

    I am going to try to play your M&M game next week! Thanks for sharing!

    The Frizz

    The Frizz in First Grade

  7. Wow you guys had a busy week. I am your newest follower.

    The First Grade Princess

  8. Thanks for the equivalent fractions notes! I love that King's M&M's game too and play it every year with my class too. We haven't made it to the Revolution yet this year...I think I can, I think I can!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  9. You're blog is always full of such good ideas!!! I am definetly using the M&M game this year and I know excatly which student I will choose to be king. ;) Lattes and Laughter

  10. LOVE the M&M activity! Almost makes me wish we taught that unit in 2nd....almost! :) Great looking Arthur, Stacia!

    Thanks so much for linking up to share your wonderful week with us!

    Teaching Maddeness

  11. I love the Arthur's Unit. SO cute. I am your newest follower. Drop by. =)

    Just Wild About Teaching


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