Linky, Test Prep, Test Prep, Test Prep, & Owl Pellets!

Finally Friday!!! Time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and Teaching Maddeness!


#1: In light of recent events, Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching, Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties, and I are getting together to host an uplifting linky!

This Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness linky party will be a place for you to link up whenever you have heartwarming stories, lessons you’ve done with your class about peace, hope, love, or kindness, or even random acts of kindness. When the world seems to be falling apart around us, we will have a webpage to visit to get a pick-me-up! We hope this linky will not only lift our spirits and remind us that there is so much good around us, but also will be an encouragement to us to be the good we want to see in the world. As teachers, we have such a powerful role in shaping the future…let’s share our ideas so we can make the world a better place TOGETHER!

So here’s our idea- how awesome would it be for us to flood all the bloggy newsfeeds with uplifting posts? Let’s all try to post for Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness this Thursday! Then, you can come back anytime after that and link up as often as you’d like. Need some ideas? You know that awesome teacher friend that you wish you could show a little more appreciation…? Surprise them with Starbucks or breakfast one morning! Or maybe you have a child in your class who went out of their way to make someone else feel special…… share that heartwarming story with us! We’re teachers- you know we eat it up! :o) Or perhaps you’ve done a lesson (or are going to do a lesson) that helps students find peace, hope, or love… or maybe a character-building activity about kindness. The options are limitless, really! We hope you’ll join us this Thursday! Come back to any one of our blogs to link up!

#2: Oh, my poor poor kids. We have our big state test next week, so we have had “BOOTCAMP” this week. I try to make test prep and test review as much fun as I can, but I mean, really… there’s only so much you can do. Providing variety is really about all you can do. So we used the student response clickers, which they think is so awesome!

We also played Math Review “Scoot”- I cut up past math assessments and took one or two from each type of question, then put them around the room on the desks (which you’ll see are already separated… and walls are bare… booooo!!). They were not allowed to sit- it was a good way to keep them up and moving AND reviewing math problems.

#3: One thing I’m excited about for my kiddos next week is their testing treats!! I got these little gems from Jessica at The Polka Dotted Teacher for FREE! If you haven’t done your testing yet, go snatch them up! 🙂 Mine got the Smarties already so they would be “ready,” and then they’ll get one each day next week to match the test we are taking!

#4: Even though we’re reviewing like CRAZY, I tried to help them destress a bit about the test. (It is very stressful- they have to pass all 5 content areas to pass 4th grade!!) I got some GREAT ideas from blogs last week and decided to do them in my room!! The first thing we did were testing tips acrostics with our name, which I stole from Sabra at Teaching With a Touch of Twang.

I hung them in the hall so any student walking by can be reminded, as well as our own class! I’m also going to make them stop and read one on their way in the classroom each morning next week.

We also did an activity that I read about from Suntan and Lesson Plans! I had the students write down all their worries about the test on a colored sheet of paper. We talked about how these are negative thoughts, and we should only think positive thoughts to do our best. I told them to cut their papers up into very small pieces. They thought that was the best thing ever!! I had them put all the pieces into this bag:

…and I told them now, they got rid of their worries, they shouldn’t think about them anymore! I will leave the bag on the board all week next week as a reminder for them to have positive thoughts… and then we just MIGHT throw it like confetti on Friday when testing is over! 🙂

#5: So, we haven’t actually been killing ourselves with test prep ALL week- we took a break yesterday to dissect owl pellets! The kids absolutely LOOOOOOVED it! It was the first time I had ever done it with my class, and I really enjoyed it, too!! All the kids got to wear “lab coats” as we dissected in our science lab. 🙂 They said they felt like real scientists!

The one holding the three rodent heads- yeah… he decided to name his “family of mice that the owl had eaten.” Boys…. (shaking my head)

All of this went right along with our ecosystems and adaptations unit perfectly, as well as our unit with Arrowhawk since they are both birds of prey. (Check that post out here if you missed it!) The company we ordered the pellets from sent a great informational book, too. I made copies of the possible animals’ skeletons from that book for the students to try to determine what animals their owl ate.

We also completed a worksheet as we went along- this is my Friday Freebie! Click the picture below, or get it here!


WHEW! Thanks for hanging with me for this super long post! Happy WEEKEND!!!

P.S. Don’t forget! Today’s the last day to enter my 300 Follower Giveaway!!!