Friday, January 11, 2013

Five for Friday and a Friday Freebie

Happy Friday!  We are linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Friday linky of five random things that happened Friday or during the week. 

We are going to share 5 random things that happened this wacky week at school.  We'll save the best for last.  NOPE!! Don't do it!  Don't skip down to the end.  Wait for it.  It'll be worth it!  :O)

1)  I FINALLY used the pencil sharpener I had ordered.  Well, I used it a few times and then my students were dying to try it so I handed it over.  They were amazed that the pencils came out so pointy (hmmm, that may be dangerous).  They said that it had a long lead and it wasn't even "wiggly".  Then they tried it out to see if it would break right away, and it didn't.  It's quieter than an electric pencil sharpener but you can still hear it.  But, the quality of sharpening makes me happy so far.  We shall see how it holds up!

2)  We've been learning about light this week and we did some experiments with flashlights to see if they were opaque, transparent, or translucent.  Here they are experimenting with different materials:

3)  We had a Living American History presentation from the Sons and Daughters of the Revolution since we are starting our unit on the American Revolution.  They brought all kinds artifacts to share with us.  One of the facts shared that stuck out was that they made toothbrushes from hog hair.  I'm thinking my teeth wouldn't feel so clean after using a hog hair toothbrush, but maybe I'm wrong...What do you think?

4)  Plus, we had the science fair this week where we got to learn about osmosis and what happens when you mix Mentos with diet coke.  I'll just say, you probably shouldn't eat Mentos and then drink a Diet Coke!!

5)  Finally, we had a nice guy from the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center come out to share some animals with our students.  We got to see an alligator, an indigo snake (I am NOT a snake person- they give me the heebie geebies!!), and a bald eagle.  The best part of THAT presentation was when the bald eagle PROJECTILE pooped (that's really what it's called) all over the floor in front of the students!  My advice to you- if you ever see a bald eagle, cover your head and pray for no projectile poop because that stuff is NASTY!!

I'd say we had a pretty entertaining week!!

NOW- onto our freebie!!

Our schoolwide policy is for students in all grade levels to read 20 minutes each night as part of their homework.  Parents are supposed to sign a reading log or at least encourage this.  Some students love to read, some don't.  We've been brainstorming ways that we can hold our 4th graders accountable for reading at night, because, simply said, practice makes perfect (well, maybe not perfect, but at least better).  So, this is one of our winter reading response sheets. We are hoping this will keep them reading and writing!!  :O)

Click the picture to download.

Here are the directions on how to use these (they are also in the download):

Give students a copy (front and back) of the 2 sheets. They should choose one prompt from the head, one prompt from the middle, and one prompt from the bottom to respond to on the snowman. They write their responses on the snowman. Then, they can decorate their snowman (as long as you can still read their writing!). Use this over and over for a variety of books! It can be used as morning work, homework, or during reading workshop. 

If you teach lower grades, you could use the same idea, just different questions.  :O)

If you download it, please let us know what you think by commenting!!  :O)  We'd love to get feedback!!

Check out this giveaway that we donated to!  It looks awesome!  You can win a flashdrive full of goodies for your grade level!!


  1. This is adorable! I can definitely use this with my second and third graders! They will love it!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  2. Thanks for the freebie! I can use this for my first and second graders. I can also use it for my 5th grade daughter that hates to read:( Have a great weekend! I really enjoy your blog.

    1. Thank you! It's so hard sometimes to get them to read. I hope you have a great weekend too and thank you so much for reading our blog and for commenting! It means a lot! :O)

  3. It's awesome that the pencils can have a sharp point without breaking! Thanks for the freebie :)

    The Brown Bag Teacher

    1. Yes, the pencil sharpener works great and the kids love to use it! You are so welcome!!

  4. Loving this for my fourth graders next week. Thanks for the freebie

  5. The snowman is such a cute idea! I will try to adapt it for my first graders. Thanks!

    Have a great weekend!

    Compassionate Teacher

    1. You are so welcome! I hope you have a great weekend too!!

  6. I love my pencil sharpeners...yes I said sharpeners! We have two to keep up with the pencils that firsties "eat" up! Thanks so much for your freebie!
    ❀Beth Ann❀
    Taming My Flock of Firsties

    1. I always joke that my kids are eating their pencils! As soon as we sharpen some, then they are gone!!

  7. You two are simply adorable and so is your blog! I can't wait to start using my pencil sharpener with my kiddos next week. I am so glad to hear that the points don't break easily. Thank you for the freebie as well! Finding new ways to encourage kids to read is always a challenge. This will help!
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

  8. Hello there! I found you guys through Doodle Bugs - and am so glad that I did!
    I LOVE the fact that you had guests come into the classroom - that makes learning so fun, engaging, and real-world applicable for the students. My husband comes in when we do WW2 with his reinacting gear and artifacts - it's always my students' favorite day of the year.

    Thanks for the freebie - wonderful idea! I'm putting it on my to-be-implemented ASAP list! :)

    Joy in the Journey

    1. Yay! I'm so glad you found us and now we can find you! That's so neat that your husband comes in for a reenactment! I bet the DO love it!! I'm so glad you like our freebie!!

  9. Too cute! Love the snowman response, thank you! I bet the Projectile poop got everyone's attention! That's a lesson that they will never forget! I am a new follower!
    Second Grade is Out of This World!

    1. The projectile poop definitely made an impact!! ;O) You are so welcome!!

  10. LOVE my sharpeners! Don't sharpen colored pencils. We did in the beginning and the leads would break off. Other than that they are awesome! The freebie is adorable. I'm thinking it would be fun, using the same prompts, having groups cut out large circles and build the snowman. They could collaborate on the writing. It would make a cute winter display. Can't wait to try! Thanks!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  11. I need to get that pencil sharpener!! It seems like everyone has one and they LOVE it!

    It is great that you have so many guests come into your classroom. I love that fact about the toothbrush:) Thank you for the freebie too! I am always looking for ways to motivate the students to read at home. It is so important!!

    To answer your question about my motion and design vehicles, they are "knex" pieces from a kit we get and the students put the vehicles together. Students love the hands on aspect and the kit comes with many great activities.
    I loved all your comments and I tend to write long ones too!! It is so exciting to connect with other fourth grade teachers:)
    Talk to you soon!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  12. I really need to invest in these pencil sharpeners you all blog about. I have literally four electric pencil sharpeners in my room and don't like any of them! I love your snowman response! It would work well for my 2nd graders as well. We struggle holding them accountable for reading too and try not to turn it into a chore as well because we don't want them to hate it either.
    Literacy Spark


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