January 6, 2016

Do you like winning money or hearing jokes?

Do you like winning money to your favorite website?  If you are a teacher reading this, you're probably thinking...

TPT

TPT  

TPT!!!!


I'm so thrilled to be joining up with my buddy, Kelly Malloy and 9 other awesome teachers to give you $75!  To win, just click on a few follow links- each one will give you entries!  Exciting!  Oh, and did you know that my buddy does this every month?! SAY WHAT?!

 Click Here!

Take care friends!

Jess

ps.  Here are the jokes from my scope today!

What’s the fastest way to screw up a knock knock joke?
Say It’s Open!

Why did the scarecrow win an award?
Because he was outstanding in his field

What do you call a black lab that becomes a magician?
Lab-bra-ca-da-bra-dor

Why don’t you see giraffes in elementary school?
They’re in High School!

What’s the longest piece of furniture in school?
The Multiplication Table

One time a computer beat me at chess, but it’s okay, I beat it at kickboxing!

What do bulls do when they go shopping?
THE CHAAAAAAARGE

Why didn’t the 11 year old go to the pirate movie?
It was rated ARRRRRRRRRR

What do you call a snowman with a 6 pack?
An Abdominable Snowman!

What do snowmen call their offspring?
Chillllll   dren 


January 3, 2016

5 ways to rock your New Year's Back to School Week!!



Dear Teachers,

I have 5 things I'm doing this week to REJUVENATE my class for this new year!  First of all, keep in mind that your students probably missed you and the cozy environment you have provided them. They also may have witnessed stressful times which could effect their behavior on these first days back!  It is so important to love them and cherish them during this time all while reminding them of classroom rules and procedures.   It's always an interesting week, but it can be a great NEW START for you to redirect the overall vibe in your classroom!

Here are FIVE things I'm going to try this week to bring the SPARK back to my class in a BIG way!

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Jess



    I watched Kim Bearden's scope last week on Creativity.  Here is the link to that amazing scope! She talked a lot about being a mom who lets her children explore their creative sides.  In one story, she talked about how she had a wall in her house that her daughter could paint on anytime she liked.  Over the years, friends would add to her painting.  Kim figured the worst thing that could happen was that the wall would be hard to paint white again.  This creativity wall allowed her daughter to express herself in a controlled and responsible way!

   Classroom notes:  I would like to have a creativity wall in my classroom.  I will hang up white butcher paper, and I will supply a variety of art supplies.  It's probably just going to be 3 foot by 3 foot space to start!  Sudents will need to earn the right to decorate the wall.  I'm hoping this may motivate my more obstinate students to get on track with their responsibilities.  



     I'm going to have my students choose their "word of the year" from this FREE positive character trait's list!  Click here for an easy printable!  Then, I'm going to steal Literary Vomit's art lesson: where she printed out her word, made a pencil lead transfer, and painted around it!

Classroom Notes:  I had no idea that you could make a paper transfer with pencil lead!  This is going to CHANGE my art lessons!

   I'm going to try a new teaching strategy called the true false reflect chant.  Here are the directions.  For a new lesson- think of 5 true or false questions for that lesson.  These should be questions that the students will learn the answers to by the end of the lesson.  For the opening of the lesson, you will stand in front of the room and tell your students you want them to nicely shout out the answer (true or false) to each of your questions.  It's really fun seeing which way the students will swing and how "peers" will tend to influence them to change their answer.  It's also enjoyable to include a hand or arm movement with each answer (one for true and one for false).

    After your lesson, you will have the students reflect on their original answers and explain on paper or to a partner why they were right or wrong. I think this will be a fun way to induce energy to the start of a new topic!  

     As many of you know I tried out Donor's Choose for the first time last month, and I had great success!  I funded two projects- one for 3 new ipads (my school as zero), and another for 2 class sets of books along with basketballs to help me stamp out bullying!   I'm going to now start learning new apps that I can use on my ipads.   A new teacher to the social media scene is Kami Butterfield also known as Teaching with Apptitude, so this month I'm going to zoom in on her zany and fun ideas for APPs in the classroom.  Please check out her blog here: Teaching with Apptitude and her tpt store here: Fun APP inspired products: click here!


     I have #2getherwearebetter written on my board, and I have printed a sign of it for my other board!  Knowing we have ipads coming to our room, I want to teach my students about #happyclassrooms and #2getherwearebetter!  They need to learn that the world is a much easier place when we work together to accomplish our goals.  That is a difficult idea to master in the upper grades/tween years.  I am going to show them this video of collaboration.  It's beautiful.  Every voice counts in making the music come to life.  Every year this is a huge hit and kids BEG me to play it everyday.  


Classroom Notes:  I always make the students guess before hand what will be missing from the video.  Many of them don't even realize that there is not a single instrument playing in the video.  I explain to them that this is the kind of magic we want happening in our groups.  No instruments (arguments lol) interrupting our music!  

Thanks again readers!  Happy Teaching!!!

January 2, 2016

Whimsical Goals for 2016 #2getherwearebetter

This month I am so honored to be a part of Ashley and Angie's #2getherwearebetter linky party!!!



This month's theme is:




Read and then reread ALL of Ron Clark's Books!
Read Kim Bearden's Book- Crash Course.
Participate in the Crash Course Book Club on SheilaJaneTeaching.com
Go to the Ron Clark Academy!

     Notes:  I am completely obsessed and enamored with all things Ron Clark Academy.  If you do not know, The Ron Clark Academy (RCA) is a 5th-8th grade private school in Atlanta Georgia.  The school was started by Ron Clark and Kim Bearden- two phenomenal educators of our modern age.  RCA is known as the best school in the world because every second of every day is spent on the engagement of its students.  Teachers sing, dance, and stand on desks.  Students are pushed to complete extraordinary tasks while learning about the world that they will travel with the school.  The school is indescribable, and I cannot wait to visit it THIS YEAR!   Eeeek!


I want to do everything it takes to:
make sure every student exceeds all academic expectations 
use the latest teaching ideas in strategies in my practice
add technology and high quality books to my school through Donor's Choose
help my students become more empathetic to the world around them
continue genius hour
attempt a social awareness genius hour
ENJOY MY EVERY MINUTE WITH MY CLASS!

Notes: Thanks to my involvement on social media, I have tried so many fun things this year with my class.  They are truly a great set of kids.  I'm going to come back from winter break with more gusto than ever before and hopefully I will push them to exceed their own potential by the end of this glorious school year!  I really want every single one of my students to know that I care about their success in life even after they leave my classroom.

I'm extremely creative, and I'm always working on something
My goal this year is to finish more and start less. 
I would like to develop a thicker skin in the business world.
I want to try out videos for my blog and youtube.
I want to learn how to do a podcast.
I just want to share my zealous energy for learning, children and teaching with the world!

Notes:  Last year, I learned about social media, and I learned how to speak my true voice on social media.   This year, I want to take that a step further and speak my true voice in the business world.  I want to invigorate and excite educators and I want to encourage teachers to enter the business world through teachers pay teachers or wherever else they may feel the *urge* to explore.   I'm going to take all these goals day by day and journal my progress in a 5 year- one line daily goals and progression diary!   

A big thank you to Angie and Ashley for putting together this amazing linky party!  You can go check out their blogs by clicking their icons below (they are the first two icons!), and please check out the other amazing educators in this #2getherwearebetter  #2016goals submission!




May you be inspired and blessed throughout this new year!!

November 15, 2015

Hot Off the Presses! Fifth Grade Tip!

Hello and Welcome to Focused on Fifth's First Annual Cornucopia of Teacher Tips Blog Hop!



I'm so happy you've joined me as I have 10 hot ideas for your November Celebrations!

Here are 10 things I do in my classroom every year for this holiday season:

1.  I have the students make a "what I'm thankful for quilt".  This quilt we make out of old jean scraps, and kids write one thing they are thankful for on each square.  I hang the quilt in the hallway or in my classroom.  At the end of the year, kids write essays to win the quilt.

2. Kids write parents a thoughtful "Thank you" book.  I usually have 10 writing prompts over 10 days where kids analyse things they are thankful for (from mom's cooking to their favorite color making the world more beautiful).

3. We give parents these thank you books during our Thanksgiving Day celebration in my classroom.  On the last day of school before T-Day break, I invite all the parents to a pot luck dinner.   I ask kids to bring one "culture filled family favorite to share with the class. I decorate the tables with nice table cloths and set the "stage" for a real family style dinner.  It's always a classroom favorite!

4. I ask kids to write cards to staff members in the school.  The janitors usually get pretty emotional as not many people thank them for their hard work!

5. Kids go out and pick up litter for 10 minutes each day of the week to say "thank you" to the Earth for providing us with beautiful land!

6.  Kids write thank you letters to their favorite authors for writing their favorite books.  It's really exciting when kids get letters back!

7. Kids write thank you letters to veterans and active duty soldiers (we usually do this around Veterans day).

8.  Kids make turkeys out of left over trash.  We call them "found turkeys".

9.  We write acrostic poems out of the word "Thanksgiving".

10.  I use these freebies on TPT:

Thanksgiving Writing Paper:

Free Thanksgiving Reading Comprehension (4th-6th grades)

Multiplication and Division Turkey Trot Game:

I hope you have a great holiday!

Please hop over to another great 5th grade teacher's blog:

Angela from The Organized Planbook!!!
 Orga


October 28, 2015

Products for Payday


Hello and Welcome Whimsical Teachers!!!

So I partnered with my fabulous 5th grade cohorts to post our favorite product for payday in our shops!!

Recently, I made a cool Halloween product with 75 writing prompts that will go perfectly with a Lucy Calkins unit of study!! I'm using them in my own class to cover each important writing style.   I made 25 prompts for each style of writing, so I could give one to each kid depending on the focus that week.

  They love getting unique prompts!  I use these prompts to inspire a "story" for them to tell.  The prompts seem to "dig" out the stories that lay deep in the writer!

Here's the cover:



Here's a sample from the opinion essay section:

 writing

All in all, I wrote 25 opinion essay prompts, 25 narrative prompts, and 25 informational essay prompts!!!

Each style of prompt comes with an easy to use self editting checklist!

Thanks for checking out my newest product!
Please go check out the other fabulous 5th grade teachers I know here:

 Clicky!

October 24, 2015

Grants for Teachers

Are you interested in applying for some FREE money this fall or winter!!  Here's a comprehensive list of some awesome opportunities available for teachers!!


October 18, 2015

Support a Teacher Sunday!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Every Sunday, I look forward to supporting my favorite teachers on teachers pay teachers by buying some rocking fun products!  Today I bought from these amazing stores!!

School Days Simplified



The Creative Classroom - Ashlyn Ellsworth

Teaching in the Tongass

Mikey D Teach


Powerpoint Gaming

Glitter Meets Glue Designs


I can't wait to periscope today, and show you all the amazing deals I got from these incredible stores!!!

There are other ways of course to support teachers!!

The best way besides TPT purchases is by joining 

Teach Happy Membership!

For 7.99 a month you can connect with other teachers, learn new teaching tricks, learn the ins and outs of being a teacherpreneur, and have hundreds of new friends help you on your daily teaching journey!!


Lastly, I wanted to tell you about a teacher friend that you can help out!

Her name is Allie, and she goes by The Gypsy Teacher

Allie is a volunteer missionary teacher in Tanzania Africa.  That means she works for free.  She receives housing and a tiny food stipend, but that is it!  Donating just $5.00 to this girl goes a long way on her teaching journey.  I'm sure she spends a lot of money helping her Kindergarten classroom out!



Click this link to Donate to Allie today!


Find HOPE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
and type in:
ALLIE ELLIOTT in the comments

Well, I'm off to have a fabulous Sunday, I hope you find a way to help a teacher today as well!