May 2013 - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom
Happy Friday! This was my first full week of summer break... and for those of you still in school, counting down the days, don't be too jealous of me... just think: when you're still loving your summer on July 31, I'll be back at school for PRE-PLANNING! Ugh!!

Anyway, time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and Teaching Maddeness!
My first week of summer still had teacher work in it! I presented about extended texts at a literacy conference on Tuesday, and then Thursday, my fourth grade team got together to look over some data from last school year and plan out the road map for the first nine weeks. Whew!! I will also be reading these books over the summer:
I've read Notebook Know-How before, but I've seen several bloggers talk about it recently so it makes me want to read it again! The other two books will be new reads... :o)
I know we all have our own classrooms to buy for, so I am not asking any of you to donate... but if you WANT to, I certainly won't complain! And for the next seven days, Donors Choose will match all donations dollar for dollar if you enter the code INSPIRE. :)
I started working on the Second Mentor Sentence Unit, too! I can't wait to reveal it- it's got some fun November, December, and January themed books in it! Yesterday, I offered a freebie from the new unit. Check it out if you missed it! :o) And for those of you who are new to my blog and have no idea what Mentor Sentences are... check out the tab at the top of my blog called Mastering Mentor Sentences! Collaboration Cuties and I did a series a while back on how we implement them in the classroom, and all the links are there!
So, my REAL summer break I say will start next week at the beeeeeeeeeeach!! My mom, sister, grandmother, and I will be leaving for Florida on Monday for a week!
All that is packed so far is my swimsuit........ do I really need anything else anyway?? :o)
Finally, I am WOMAN, hear me ROAR!!! :-P
I installed this ceiling fan this morning ALL BY MYSELF! Just call me Home Depot Girl! I'm pretty impressed with myself, honestly. It was not easy, and I've certainly never done anything like that before, so believe me when I say there were some inappropriate words flying and moments when I thought I was just going to quit... but I DID IT! :o)

That was my week, in a nutshell! Link up with Kacey and Amanda and let us know all about yours!

Happy Wednesday!

So glad you're here for Workshop Wednesday!
Today's topic is related to Writing Workshop- How do you teach Opinion/Persuasive/Argument Writing?

In fourth grade, the Common Core standards call it opinion writing. Fourth grade students are required to share their opinion and give details that support their opinion. They should also provide reasons for their opinion. One of my favorite books to use for their first opinion writing piece is Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose.
In the book, a little boy is about to step on an ant. The ant gives all the reasons the boy should not step on him, and the boy gives all the reasons he should just go ahead and step on him. The book ends with the question, "what do you think the boy should do?" PERFECT for the students to give their opinion!

First, we make a list as a class of the pros and cons of ants. (Of course, we talk about what those words mean...) This gives them a good list to "borrow" from in their own writing, no matter what their opinion might be.  *I wish I had a picture of the list we created... there were some good ones!!
Some of their reasons I can remember are:

  • pro- Ants pick up the crumbs we drop to help keep our Earth clean. 
  • con- There are some ants in tropical areas that eat humans alive.
  • pro- Ants are part of food chains.
  • con- Ants can ruin picnics and steal our food.

As I said, we get a pretty big list after all of the kiddos give the reasons they can think of. Then, students should narrow down their reasons for their opinion to just three, along with explanations and details of their reasons. Here is the brainstorm page I give them- click here or on the image to download it for free!
My kids really love writing this one! I can't wait to read all of your ideas for persuasive/opinion/argument writing! :)

Please make sure when you link up that you grab the button and link your post back to this post! Also, let's share the love and comment on and/or follow at least two other link-ups! :)

Linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday!
I finally jumped in and created a Donors Choose project! It has to be approved, so there is nothing to share just yet, but I'll be back as soon as it is so you can check out the project! It was super easy to set up. I really hope that this project will be funded!! :) I'm requesting class sets of three extended texts to use with my kiddos: Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, The Sign of the Beaver, and Who Is Neil Armstrong?

This Donors Choose project was created because of something I tried this year... I used the extended texts listed above as read-aloud studies this year, but with the rigor of the Common Core, students really need the books IN THEIR HANDS so they can refer to the text and provide evidence from the text.

Speaking of texts and standards...I found this chart on (which is who will be creating our STATE TEST aligned to Common Core)- I thought it was a really great overview of what the year should "look like:"
This is the 4th grade one of course. Check out the other grade levels by going to PARCC's website!

Hope to see you all tomorrow for Workshop Wednesday! We'll be sharing how we teach persuasive/opinion/argument writing!

Hi friends! I'm linking up with the sweet Sabra from Teaching with a Touch of Twang!

I blogged back in January about's what I said:
It's completely free. You can store pictures, video, documents, etc and then access them from ANYWHERE. This includes your iPads, phones, and other computers! That means no more emailing things to your home email from school to finish after dinner... just save it in your dropbox! And the great thing is- it's similar to GoogleDocs in that you can share with others with an invitation. Once you share a folder with someone, then anything they add to the folder, or you add to the folder, you both can access! It's great for collaboration! *wink wink*

At the time, I loved knowing I had the app on my phone and my iPad so I could access things like pictures, but it wasn't until this last month that I realized how PERFECT it is for us bloggers. How many times have you checked in on some blogs on your phone with a few minutes of downtime (or sitting on your iPad instead of your laptop) and see that a fellow blogger is having a flash freebie?? You might have thought you just had to go without because you weren't on your computer. NOPE!! Tonight, Joanne from Head Over Heels For Teaching posted a freebie, and I didn't miss out on it! I opened it in TPT on my phone and hit "Download." It actually opens the document- when you have the Dropbox app, you'll see this:

Press "Open in Dropbox" and it will open it in the app...

Just press "Save" and you're done! Then later, you can access it from your computer to print! :) Easy peesy!

I like to save things in my dropbox that I want to print at school (because the laser color copier/printer just looks better...) - all I have to do is go to from any computer and log in, and everything I've saved is there! (No worrying about forgetting my external hard drive...)

I hope this helps you! I'd say Dropbox on ALL electronic devices is my Must-Have! :) What are yours? Link up with Sabra and share!

Linking up with Amanda and Stacia tonight for Social Studies Mentor Texts!
The book I want to share with you is by Lynne Cherry. It's called A River Ran Wild. It's a gorgeous book, and it goes great with one of our Social Studies standards which has to do with how environment has changed over time due to human population growth (from the time of Native Americans in particular).
The book starts with Native Americans settling on the banks of the river. Then as the book progresses, you see how the river (and surrounding land) changes as colonists build mills, but then these towns turn to cities and, as time goes on, the river becomes polluted.
It's a great way to discuss major Social Studies skills as well as to look at sequence and cause and effect... hmmmmm... I feel a unit creation coming on!! :)

This Wednesday will be the last traditional Workshop Wednesday for the summer. The months of June and July will have their own link-ups which will last all month and they will be more "summer-themed." :) But THIS Wednesday, we are back to Writer's Workshop for Workshop Wednesday!
How do you teach Opinion/Persuasive/Argumentative Writing? You could share a lesson (or lessons), a book, a website... whatever! I feel like this is a harder one for my kiddos to grasp each year, so I think this topic will be a good one for us to share on and borrow from! :)

Make sure to go link up with Collaboration Cuties with your favorite Social Studies Mentor Texts! And, I hope you'll come back Wednesday to link up here! :)
Aaaaaaah. Saturday. Always wonderful. Saturday after the last week of school? Oooooooh yeeeeeah!! (Sorry, I won't rub it in anymore!)

Have you bought this bundle for Moore, OK yet? I donated to the bundle, and also bought it- there are over 500 products you'll receive for a minimum of a $20 donation! I grabbed all the 3-5 items from the bundle and it will probably take me all summer to go through them!

Ok, now for a fun linky from my BBB, Joanne!
As teachers, I'm sure you all know students working with a partner is always more fun than students working alone. But if your kiddos are anything like mine, they want to work with the same partner every single time. But they DON'T want Ms. Ivey picking their partner for them... so I found a solution. Partner Picking Cards! There are many versions on TPT, but I love these and so do the kids- and they're free! :) Here are some examples of the cards from the download-
It's a great way to randomize partners... I am happy because they are working with other kiddos, and they love finding their match, even if it's not someone they would usually choose!

What are some ways you motivate your students? Go link up with Joanne at Head Over Heels For Teaching, and check out all the other great ideas while you're there!

PS - I'm running another Daily Deal over at Teacher's Notebook- this time on my Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Unit. Go check it out! :)

Linking up with Kacey today for....
Well... as most of you know, this was my last week! We had a really GREAT last week. Check it out!
I have a painted ceiling tile from all of my classes starting 5 years ago... so I had to do one with this class too! Since my kids have been so service-oriented and helpful to each other this year, I decided to do "Ms. Ivey's Helping Hands." :) It was really simple to do, and the kiddos really enjoyed seeing it in the ceiling!

For the last six years, I've done Candy Bar Awards on the Student Awards Day. This year, honestly, I ran out of time, and since I'm at a new school, they knew nothing about my tradition... so I had them design their own awards for each other! Most were expected: best friends awards, best soccer player awards, funniest person awards... but there was one that just got me. A student in my class, who has autism, sometimes has a hard time academically and socially. My class, thankfully, is always super tolerant of him and his little quirks. Well, one of my students made an award for him. It was the "Nothing Lets You Down Award." It was all I could do to not OVER-react at how kind and thoughtful it was! I was worried he wouldn't get an award, honestly, so I was so glad that his award was so special.
 4th grade students are NOT too old to clean the desks with shaving cream!!!!! Enough said. ;-)
I made my end of the year pinspired gifts for my kids and they turned out so cute!!
Krazy Straw, pack of Kool Aid, and a Colorful Lei!

All of the students had different colored highlighters because of the multi-pack I bought! :)
We had our end of the year party on the last day of school. We had an overabundance of food, and lots of fun games. I did some Minute-To-Win-It style games and they had a blast! Check out this website for some good ideas for MTWI games for kids!

Happy Friday, Happy Weekend! :)

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