Saturday, May 4, 2013

End of the Year ABC book for Science and Social Studies Review

Hey there!!

We are nearing the end of our school year (only 13 days) and with the end of the year comes more assessments.  Ugh.  We just finished our state tests a week ago and then last week my students had to take county tests.  Testing, testing, testing.

I feel really bad that my students are being tested so much right here at the end of school.  They had to take a 2 hour writing "test" Friday for some grant that we got.  Plus, now they have to do another writing prompt for gifted "testing" and a different writing prompt for the end of the year for 4th to show growth.  And, they have to do problem solving for gifted testing, and a different exemplar for end of 4th grade.  Not to mention all of the running records I have to get done.  

Sounds fun, right??  Nope.

So, the big thing for me was to try to find something they could do that was fun, but quiet, while I'm doing running records for the next two weeks.  Did I mention they have that "school's out" attitude already?  So keeping them quiet has been a little more challenging lately.

I didn't really want to just give them busy work, and let's get real, do I really want to have to grade all of those papers?  No, thank you.

So, Stacia and I put our heads together and brainstormed science and social studies terms from the year.  Then, we made it into an ABC book for them. Several teachers in our school have done something similar, but they let the students pick a word for each letter.  For me, that left too many options open and I wasn't sure what we'd get.  So, we gave them the words and let them go from there. (Yes, I am a control freak.)

Unfortunately, I typed the book at school and I don't have it here, but I will add the table of contents on Monday when I get it from school.

But, here are some pictures of what we've done so far:

I know it's simple.  But, my hope is that it motivates them to think, have fun drawing, and to stay engaged while I am doing running records.  So far, I think they have done really well! (Although, I'm not really sure what  the gold rush has to do with a coal mine, but...I'll straighten that out with her on Monday.  I didn't catch it until just now.  Gotta love kids!)  :O)

So, since my sweet friend Joanne is so flexible, I am linking this up with her

Hopefully this will motivate the students to stay engaged, I'll get my running records done super fast (ummmm, fingers crossed) and then we can do something FUN.  F-U-N!!!  FUN!!  Because, I'm just not having them leave my class with testing as their last memory.  I'm just not.

Go check out the other great motivators at Joanne's blog by clicking the button above!

How do you motivate students when you are trying to get running records done?


  1. I love this idea. I am going to finish my science before the end of the year and this would be a fantastic way to fill in the end of the year! Thanks for the idea!

    Rosie's Rambles

  2. I was thinking of doing something like this, too! However, my plan was to give them a word bank so they had a little choice for each letter, like they could make "C" Christopher Columbus, Hernando Cortes, or Constitution. I'm also a control freak ;)

    Fifth in the Middle

  3. I love the ABC review book idea. You are not a control freak, you are scaffolding their learning and helping to guide them to success ; ). They are turning out great.

    I use the computer lab when doing running records - it may not be the best use of time but it is the quietest for me!

    We start our countdown in 18 days, I think to keep up with all of you I am going to start counting down to our countdown.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  4. I think that this is a great idea! Thank you for sharing it! When I subbed many years ago, I was in a 4th grade classroom where some students were working on a math ABC book which was very interesting too.
    Primary Classrooms are Oceans of Fun

  5. I love ABC books, even with my big kids. They are so flexible that you can use them at all levels. :). We are making 2 as our culminating projects for our last unit of the year. I'll be posting about them soon. :). I loved reading your post about yours. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  6. I had almost forgotten about the ABC book this year and it hit me yesterday! You must have sent a vibe. LOL I'm going to do like Diane said and give them a "little" choice by having them complete an alphaboxes organizer first. :)
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

  7. I love ABC books-great review, fun, and kids love them! This is a perfect motivator and it fits perfectly with the linky! ANYTHING that gets your kids motivated to work, listen, learn, etc. This is perfect for the end of the year! Poor kids with all that testing! They're lucky they have you!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  8. I love the ABC book idea! I think I might have to make one for first grade!

  9. This is a great idea! If I have a spare minute I'm going to make a set for June :)


  10. This looks like a great way to keep the kids meaningful engaged during running records! I would have loved doing an ABC book when I was in school.

    Compassionate Teacher

  11. I love this idea! I am one of your newest followers and am so happy that I found you!!!
    Did you ever upload the Table of Contents for the ABC book? I can't seem to find it anywhere!

    1. I have not but that is on my to-do list for the weekend!! Thank you for the reminder!

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