4.12.2014

Bright Idea: Compound Word Day!


It's time for another bright idea!  Parts of speech are definitely not my favorite topic to teach... they are very dull for students unless you find ways to spice them up!  For each part of speech, I try to find interactive ideas to engage my students.  One of my favorite parts of speech activities is Compound Word Day!


Here are the steps I follow to host Compound Word Day in my classroom:

1) Send a letter home asking students to wear as many compound words as possible on a specific date

2) Calm the storm of children when they arrive to school in crazy outfits! :)

3) Call small groups of students up to the front of the room

4) The rest of the class uses dry erase boards to write down all of the compound words they see on their peers.  Then, the students tell us all of the compound words they're wearing to see if we have missed any!

5) Repeat the process until every student has shown off their outfit

Compound Word Day is a very simple activity that really reinforces the concept in a fun way!  Here are some photos of my students' outfits this year:

Batman!

Love the sunhat and gumball shirt!

Check out the hotdog earrings!

Bathrobe, headphones, baseball hat, and earplugs!

Check out Spiderman wearing a bathrobe and shinguards! 

Here are a couple of other ideas I use for parts of speech:

1) Noun scavenger hunt: We walk around the school and hunt for nouns that we see (we write them in columns for person, place, or thing).

2) Verb charades: I have cards with verbs on them.  I show one student the card and he or she acts out the verb while students guess.

3) Adjectives: We have a taste test of red, yellow, and green apples and describe each one with adjectives.  I have also brought in unique fruits and vegetables for students to describe.

How do you make parts of speech exciting?  Add your ideas in the comments below! 

If you liked this bright idea, please consider joining me at FacebookTPT, or Pinterest.

Visit the link-up below for MANY more bright ideas!


4.01.2014

Currently April & Last Chance for Giveaway!


Happy April 1st!  Can't believe it's already April.  On one hand, this school year has flown by, but on the other hand, it seems like it has been never ending (probably due to all of our snow days!)

I'm linking up with Farley for the April Currently!  

Listening: Hillsong is a pretty popular Christian band, but have you heard of Hillsong Young and Free? They are a part of Hillsong's youth ministry.  Their music is upbeat and catchy!  Great for running and cleaning the house!  Check them out {here}.  

Loving: I can't play any April Fool's Day jokes on my students this year because we're on spring break this week!  Loving it.

Thinking: My To Do list is a mile long, but I have spent these first few days of break relaxing.  Hoping motivation strikes soon.

Wanting: Healthiness!  I have been sick for a month.  Finally went to the doctor today and I have strep.  Yuck.  I forget what it feels like to be healthy and have energy.  

Needing:  Rest and relaxation.  See above!

Hours and Last Day: Our school day goes from 8:30-3:30.  Our last day is scheduled to be June 6th, unless we miss more school!  We have had 14 snow days this year.  The state has forgiven 9, we are making up 2, and the last 3 are being made up through Blizzard Bags!  The Weather Channel ranked Toledo as the #1 worst winter this year.  I am done with snow.

Last, but not least... if you haven't had a chance to read my GoNoodle review, click on the image below!  Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a GoNoodle Plus subscription!

GoNoodle Review

3.25.2014

GoNoodle Review {Plus a giveaway!}

I am a huge advocate for giving students movement breaks in the classroom.  Research shows that short bursts of activity improve student performance.  In my classroom, I give students a "brain break" between every subject area.  Brain breaks are a great way to transition to the next subject because they not only allow students to have a few minutes of movement time, but also allow the teacher to have a few minutes to prep for the next lesson.  We have even been using brain breaks for inside recess this year!  I have written about some of my favorite brain breaks in the {past} and am so excited to share a new site with you today!  Enter: GoNoodle.

GoNoodle Review

I have been using GoNoodle with my second graders for about a month now and it's safe to say that my students are in love with the site... as am I!  Before I tell you what I love about it, I have to mention the fact that is is FREE.  As a technology-loving teacher, I know how rare it is to find a website that not only has great content, but is also student-friendly, has no advertisements, AND is free!  This is definitely a site that you will want to check out and start using with your class tomorrow!  Here is what I love about GoNoode:

1) It's free!!! (There is a premium version available... read more about that below and keep reading for your chance to win a free subscription!)

2) It's easy to use.  You can set up a classroom account in 2 minutes.  All you need is an Internet connection, computer, and a projector or interactive whiteboard.  Here is a photo of my class doing a brain break before a test.

GoNoodle Review

3) GoNoodle uses a game-like experience to engage students in brain breaks.  Before you play for the first time, your class will choose a Champ.  The Champ becomes your class mascot and appears on the main screen with funny messages for students.  Every brain break your class plays earns minutes.  For every 15 minutes you play, your class will level up and the Champ will grow.  My students love seeing how many minutes they have earned.  They get a kick out of the fact that their Champ gets bigger and grows muscles!  Here is a screenshot of my class' home page on GoNoodle.

GoNoodle Review


4) Perhaps the best thing about GoNoodle is that there is a large variety of brain breaks!  Here is a screenshot of the menu:

GoNoodle Review

The GoNoodle brain breaks incorporate dancing, Zumba, yoga, deep breathing, running, and more.  The GoNoodle site even embeds some of the most popular brain break videos from YouTube.  My class is obsessed with the minion version of Happy!  I love being able to access the YouTube videos from GoNoodle without having to go directly to YouTube.  

What makes GoNoodle unique are the videos found in "GoNoodle Games."  After our morning meeting, I have my students play Airtime, which focuses on deep breathing.  A bubble appears on the screen and students breathe in and out as the bubble rises and falls.

GoNoodle Review

After each Air Time session, a postcard appears on the screen.  My students love learning new facts about other states!

GoNoodle Review

We also enjoy playing To the Maximo, which focuses on yoga-style stretches.

GoNoodle Review

Another classroom favorite is the Run With US section, which features a variety of sports that are all introduced to students by real athletes.

GoNoodle Review

All of the brain breaks above (and a lot more!) are included in the free version of GoNoodle!  The brain breaks that are currently available on GoNoodle are free and will always be free; however, teachers may also opt to subscribe to GoNoodle Plus for $99 a year.  The Plus version of GoNoodle includes Common Core aligned brain breaks that focus on ELA and math standards!  

The folks at GoNoodle have allowed me to try out the Plus version of the site and the additional games are wonderful!  My students love Word Jam, which allows them to act out vocabulary words.  We also enjoy Freeze It.  With Freeze it, we choose a topic such as math facts, geography, or reading and students dance in between the content that is presented.  We also enjoy the Mega Math Marathon.  Students are presented with a grade-approiate math question and when they answer it correctly, they get to "turbo run!"  I love the incorporation of academics with brain breaks!  

I hope this quick review has shown you a lot of great features about GoNoodle!

If you are interested in signing up for the FREE version of GoNoodle, click on the image below!


The generous folks at GoNoodle have also offered to give away a free 1 year subscription to GoNoodle Plus!  (A $99 value!)  Enter to win via the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!!!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 

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