Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Made It...Live from NYC!

Woo hoo!  It's Monday Made It time and I'm in NYC!  Holy cow!  Can't believe it!  Really.  I.  Can't.  Believe.  It.

I have the fabulous opportunity to learn from the best of the best...Lucy Teachers College.  The August Writer's Institute looks like it is going to be the bomb-diggity!  I'm looking forward to so much new head is swimming already!

(In honor of the wonderliscious time that I am sure to have in NYC , I plan on putting out a boatload of ideas that I have for mentor texts.  Do check back throughout August to see what I've posted, won't you?)

Anywho...thought I'd pull all of the stuff I've been working on together so that I don't experience the backup of projects.  I tend to feel that my posts have been a tad overwhelming being that I just shifted gears and am starting to panic about grade level, new teaching partner, new room, new Writers Workshop Units of Study...everything is just so danged bright, shiny, and new...I'm totally blinded by it all!'s what I've been working on the last few days.

The Customary Catsups and Metric Mustards for my Footlong Measurement Center/Station.  I put these together and a while back.  Click here to see the original post.  I've been asked by quite a few folks where I got this idea from.  I can tell's my idea.  I've never seen these before...they were just something that came out of my warped mind.

I put together a few extra to give to my new teaching partner and my "favoritest" teaching buddy, The Wonderful Linda!

A new "Random Facts of Weirdness" for 2013-2014.  My enthusiastic 12-year-old put this baby together for me.  He did, however, spell Weirdness incorrectly.  I took the picture and am posting it, but do rest assured that this is now spelled correctly.  You can find out more about how I use this by checking out my link to last year's volume here.

I finished up my "Pop Your Top" station with QR codes for Perimeter and Area practice.  The original link to the FREE coaster templates can be found here.

Here's something new...and either a real low point or a definite high point in my creative life, depending on how you look at things...


I know...great idea, but your kids are sure to poke their eyes out!  (I'm envisioning Christmas Story dialogue here!)

Well, I am picturing that this will need a great deal of instruction on the front-end as to expectations at a station such as this.  (Note that I am also taking the bamboo skewers and cutting the sharp ends off.)  However, you're the teacher.  It's your call.  You don't need the skewer to make great learning and potential danger happen in your classroom.  This could be done with unsharpened pencils, shoelaces or anything else really.  The sky's the limit!

It really just started with a few empty Pringles cans and these great foam blocks that have been in my stash for a couple of years.  The blocks came from Michaels and were only a couple of bucks. I covered the cans with some scrapbook paper and these funky labels.  You can access them here:  


Then I put two bamboo skewers in each can.

Using one of the skewers, I "drilled" holes into each block and used a Sharpie marker to write words on each block.  The red blocks have assorted nouns on them, the yellow blocks have assorted verbs on them and the blue blocks have a combination of adjectives and adverbs on them.  My suggestion is to build your own word list using the words you want your students to access and be accountable for.  (I'm low budget here.  I want to be able to help put an idea in your head by sharing some of my creative process, but I want you to build in what your students need.  I'm funny that way...I don't want to sell you anything...I just want to give away a little inspiration!)

By throwing a handful of these blocks into the can, my students now have a portable sentence creation station.  I want them to grab a yellow, blue, and red block and then skewer them onto the kabobs in an order that makes sense.  From there, I'd ask students what other words are necessary in order to have their "Sentence Kabob" make sense.  This would be a great opportunity to talk about pronouns, conjunctions, or any other part of speech that is appropriate to your situation.  

I see lots of possibilities here.  How about you?

I'd have the students write these down in their word play notebooks or on a whiteboard...your call.  You know what works best for you!

As always, remember that "Sharing is Caring" and that your willingness to make and give a set of these to a treasured colleague, wonderful teaching partner or "brand-new-fresh-out-of-the-box" teacher is always appreciated!

I'd love to hear what you do with any of these ideas!  

Have a terrific week!



  1. Oh my....Teachers College with Lucy Caulkins!?!!? I'm sooooo jealous! Can't wait to read all about it!

    I just finished the National Writing Project at UW-Milwaukee. I see that you are a Wisconsin blogger. Where in Wisconsin?

    Looking forward to following your blog! I teach 4th grade too. Stop by sometime! (After you finish with Lucy! :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

    1. Hi Jennifer! I'm currently living in Orfordville (between Janesville and Beloit), but I teach in Monroe. Are you a Wisconsin blogger also? I'll have to stop by your blog to check it out! We fourthies have to stick together!

  2. Wow! Have a great time with Lucy Caulkins! I'm sure you will learn a lot. I love your cute Random Acts of Weirdness. Looks fun :)

    Fun in Room 4B

    1. What an honor to have you stop by Elizabeth! I've been following your blog for some time now and love what you put out there! I'd love to have you stop by again soon!

  3. One of my Made-Its is my 13-year-old son's creations. Aren't helpful kids a blessing? Love the sentence idea -- even if the kabob part scares me a bit. :-)

    Also, I'm anxiously awaiting my Units of Study from Lucy! Yeah! My new district ordered it for me and I am so excited!

    Teaching Little Miracles

    1. I'm so excited for you Crystal! The Units of Study are really pretty great! Let me know how it goes!

  4. What a great idea! I am going to get to work making some of these for my literacy center. Thank you for sharing. Bookmarking this post, Heather

    1. Glad this could help get those wheels turnin' Heather! So pleased that you could stop by!

  5. The sentence Kabobs are the bomb! You could market that one!!!!!

    1. Glad you like these Angela! I think they have potential!

  6. LOVE the Random Acts of Weirdness! My Nerd Herd would eat that up! Great idea. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

    1. Nerd Herd? Love love love it! I'm a cowgirl at heart, and this is something I might have to lasso! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for sharing Alison!

  7. I LOVE the Random Acts of Weirdness idea! So creative and I bet the kids love it!

  8. Anne...this is one thing I could never get rid of. This is the "most favoritist" book in our classroom library! I actually auctioned off last year's book at the end of the school year! Thanks for stopping by!