MIA: Playing Catch Up

Hey everyone, I'm very sorry for my absence from blogging. I am right in the middle of finishing up 9 weeks of maternity sub plans!! (I only get 6 weeks of maternity, but because my 1st baby surprised us 3 weeks early, I have to be ready just in case.)

I have a bunch of stuff I want to share with you, so please accept my apology for being gone for so long.  Follow along as I play a game of "Blogging Catch Up!"

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Rachelle just shared her awesome Substitute Survival Kit (which I love and am totally using a couple of her pages!). I wish I had a substitute pack of sorts to share with you too, but everything I've made for my maternity plans is so specific to my class/school that I'm afraid nothing will be applicable to anyone else.

I do have a cute binder cover that I can share with you, if you'd like. :)
(Clip art by Thistlegirl Designs)

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We just had our BIG state writing assessment.  Let me tell you, my life for the past 2 months has revolved around persuasive writing. It is so nice to have the assesment over!  I won't know my students' scores for a little while, but I am pretty confident that they ROCKED it!

I do want to share some Persuasive Writing stuff with you all, but I'm still putting some finishing touches on everything. In the meantime, have you ever heard of a TAP F? I never had until my new team member (thanks Kathy!) introduced me to it this year. It's basically a way to brainstorm your persuasive writing. You teach your kids how to make a TAP F and you train them to do it all on their own. After weeks of practice, your students can do ALL of this all by themselves.

This is just an example of what one of my struggling writers produced. I was blown away!

Here's the quick explanation of a TAP F:

Have your students fold a blank piece of paper into thirds. They write the letters TAP F down the left hand side (T=Topic, A=Audience, P=Purpose and F=Format), they make a T chart for pros and cons on the right side, and the middle is for a mini outline of their paper.

For the state assessment, I read the testing instructions, said they could begin, and my students got busy working on their TAP F's. It was amazing to see. The quality of the essays they produced was outstanding. I can't wait to see the results!!

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For fun (and to reinforce synonyms) my class has been playing the Hink Pink game. They LOVE it! If you have a subscription to Super Teacher Worksheets, they have a bunch of different worksheets you can download.
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As always, I'm behind in my social studies teaching. I am now just barely finishing the Revolutionary War. My students did this cute project where they wrote about the differences between the American and the British soldiers and drew a picture of each. Their work turned out so cute! 
Oops... sorry the above picture is so blurry... 

Here is a copy of this download for you. Since I'm sure you're all much farther along in your history teaching, I have also included a similar project where they compare Union and Conferderate soldiers from the Civil War. 

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In math, we just finished up our BIG fraction unit and are now moving on to Geometry. Since Geometry is so rich in vocabulary, I always give my students a blank vocabulary sheet that they can glue into their math journals to help keep track of all the new words we learn.

Here's a copy, if you want one.
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Well... We've been doing tons of other things in class too, but I have about a million things on my baby to-do list that need to get done. I promise to try to blog more in the near future.

Oh, and please expect some darling pictures of my little cutie when she gets here! :)
She should be here in 3-6 weeks! SO EXCITING!!
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