TESTS, TESTS, TESTS!! (and trying to squeeze in learning!!)

I know all of you teachers out there have felt like this at one point or another... I am SO over standardized testing!! 2nd and 4th graders in our school took the Iowa's all last week, and we are now taking the COGAT's this week. Not only are our fab fourthies worn out, but so are their fab teachers!! aaaaaaahhhh! If I have to read "Please open your test booklet to page 25. Please read the directions along with me as I read them aloud. They say:" one more timeeeee..!! I just have to keep telling myself **two more days, two more days! Now I know, sometimes testing can be nice because you have time to grade and plan, but I want time to TEACH! Our mornings have been completely taken up, and with specials in the afternoon, and lots of other extra things, that leaves us very little time with each of our groups.

Okay, thank you for letting me rant! I feel much better now :) Onto more important things... the learning we have been doing :)

I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving. I love the history behind it, the meaning, and everything that goes along with it! It ties PERFECTLY into our Ohio history curriculum, because we just wrapped up our early Native Americans unit (which I can't wait to share with you the students projects soon!) Speaking of their projects, here is a free download for a project I do with my fourthies every year! It is one of mine and their favorites! Students have to create a model of a Native American home, and complete a report with it. Click here to download the directions for this for free. Here are some pictures of past projects:

Every year they turn out grade and I LOVE seeing all of the new things students come up with!

Now back to Thanksgiving. When I was student teaching, I discovered this great interactive Scholastic website for the First Thanksgiving. Since then, I have been using this website to teach all about it, and supplementing with other books. This year, I decided to make a 4 day unit on The First Thanksgiving. I introduced the unit last Friday, and this week, since we have a 3-day short week, we are finishing the unit just in time for Thanksgiving. This unit has students predicting, inferring, researching, forumulating opinions, organizing writing and writing an opinion piece. Here is a preview of this unit:

Click on the picture to download this unit for only $1.50. Also, for being such loyal followers, the first 2 people to comment on this post will receive this unit for free :) Just leave me some love and include your email please! I LOVE reading all your comments!

Lastly, in addition to all this testing. I am up to my ears in reading chapter books! I decided to work into my Daily 5 a literature study. I grouped my students by DRA level, and we are reading a book on their level. Here are most of the books we are working with now (James and the Giant Peach not pictured)
So far this is going really well. The students LOVE their books, and I can work with students on strategies at their level. Which works SO much better than our basal! I am working on creating comprehension packs for each of these novels that covers all of the common core literature standards, and a non-fiction pack as well. I hope to have these up in a week or so! You can download my graphic organizer for main idea and summarizing non-fiction texts here.

Before I leave you I have to show you the yummy cookies I made for our staff Thanksgiving today.

Don't they look AH-mazing?! They were such a hit! Thank you, Pinterest! :)
That's all for now! Thanks for reading, folks :) Remember to comment to receive your Thanksgiving pack for free!


  1. Are you still giving away a free Thanksgiving unit? I'd love it! Also, I love your Native American houses project! I've done something similar with my 3rd graders and will definitely check out your plans for inspiration on how to make mine better! Thank you for sharing! :)

  2. I would also love the Thanksgiving unit! Your blog is amazing!


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