Sunday, October 30, 2011

Skeletal System

Here's a fun website to use when learning about the skeletal system, or for a fun activity on Halloween!

BBC Skeletal and Muscles Activity
-It's on animals, but it's interesting for students to compare and contrast with our skeletons!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fun Fall Links!

Here are some great links that my students are enjoying in the computer lab and on the promethean board!

--This is FANTASTIC!  We go through this on the promethean board and then the students make  a flip book comparing and contrasting the pilgrims life to the Wampanoag's life.  There is also a section with a timeline which is also a great skill to hit.....


--Okay, another seriously fantastic resource.  The students listen to a section about John Smith's travels and after they listen (they CAN'T just click right through---YAHOO!) they get to play a quick game.  This continues several times on different topics from John Smith's point of view. 

John Smith-1.jpg

--Students have to go through a simulation to see if they can survive.  They can ask different people for their opinions and read different material. At the end it will show their results and then give reasons why if something failed.  For example, Your health was poor because you choose to build on a swamp.  There were many mosquitos that spread diseases.   My 5th graders think this is the coolest thing ever ;)  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hello again!

Hello! Sorry for the lack (can I even say that considering they've been totally absent?!?) of posts.  I'm not sure how all of you do it!  Now that I'm back into the swing of things, my room is ready, and I have two weeks under my belt, I finally have some time to post ideas again.

Today's idea really isn't for an interactive white board, but is for a computer, and is simply AMAZING!  I feel very strongly about kids knowing their facts (but don't you worry I won't get on my soap box here!).

At  you can set up your class, they each get a four digit code (which I posted right by my classroom computer) and the can also work at home.  They start at addition, then move through subtraction, multiplication, and division, but they only move IF THEY ARE FLUENT!  YAHOO!!  You can bump some kids up if you know they are already fluent too.  You get weekly progress reports, and if the parents sign up (there are printable, easy to use flyers) they get emails too about their kid's progress.

No more mad minute correcting for this girl!  The kids each go once a day during their free time or work time.  So far, they have all been getting through the rotation.  It only takes  few minutes for each students.

Let me know if you like it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I'm officially addicted to Pinterest.  I had to go ahead and sort all my boards.  One classroom board just wasn't enough!  In case you haven't stumbled upon these great sites, here ya are!  (You'll hate me tonight after you've spent hours looking at these great resources, but I figure, once it saves you a bunch of time this school year, you might be thankful!)

Mrs. Meacham SMARTboard resources:

Harvey's Home Page:

Have fun!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Letter Writing

I think in the land of email, blogging, facebook chat, and texting the importance of letter writing has seemed to slide to the side.  I think it is so, so, SO important to still teach this skill.  Every year in my class we write many letters to friends, relatives, and businesses.  The students love getting a response back.  You should see the first time they try to write on an envelope.  YIKES!  I just loose a little bit of hair that day :)

Anyway here are two online interactives to help students learn a little about letter writing.  After doing these, they had no trouble carrying the knowledge over to using real paper.

BBC Letter Writing

Read Write Think Letter Generator

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Music, Hobbies, and Sunsets

Disclaimer:  This post has nothing to do with an education resource for your interactive white board.  That's the great thing about the blogging community, right? You can post whatever you want :)  

On the side I have a small photography business and took some pictures to promote an upcoming musician.   Check out some of his music below.  My favorites are "Dit Diddle Ditty" and "Two Coins," but I'll let you decide for yourself :)  

Another sidenote---this sunset isn't edited at all.  Isn't it beautiful?  Wisconsin has not let me down this summer.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fun Map Review Games!

Check out these fun map games, great for practicing at an interactive white board!  I like that it not only has the states and capitals, but it has different continents, countries, AND my favorite is the important city.  I know that Chicago isn't a capital, but I do think it's important students know where it is :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

BBC: Fantastic Math Interactives

BBC has some great interactives (in fact, even if you've checked them out before, they've done a major overhaul this year and made everything way more visually attractive) for math and language arts.  Today I'm going to spotlight one on Symmetry.  If you're a primary teacher it might be a bit intense, but look around their sight.  I promise you, you won't regret it!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dollar Tree Deals!

  If any of you live by a Dollar Tree, they put out a good portion of their teacher supplies this week!  Yippee!  Below are some of my sweet finds!

Side note: I realize these are not for an interactive smart board, but who doesn't like super cheap things??!

Second side note:  If anyone has fun ideas of ways to use these materials, comment below!!

Foam Book Marks (10 for $1): I'm thinking glue and glitter to decorate these on one of the first days?!?

Classroom Management Signs (4 for $1): I thought these would be something nice to use every once in awhile, or when a sore throat is starting :)

 Fun Signs: ($1 each) At our school we each have a small space outside our rooms where we hang the students names.  I thought these would be a great center piece at different times of the year.

Math Word Strips (30 for $1):  They also had Social Studies, Kindergarten Sight Words, 1st grade sight words, 2nd grade sight words, 3rd grade sight words, and science ones.  I have a math vocab word every week and I thought this would be a great and easy way to make a word wall in my classroom (and easy!)

Homework Passes: My classes FAVORITE birthday presents!

State word strips and capital word strips: ($1 each) I'm already cooking up some fun matching games to use these for!  Any ideas you'd like to share?!?

Hall Passes ($1 each for a girl one and boy one)  I just think these are nasty at the end of the year, so I get new ones every year :)

Mr. Potato Head Stickers: ($1 for a huge packet)  My class LOVES's  such an easy way to give them a little something extra sometimes.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fractured Fairy Tales

At Read, Write, Think they have some terrific interactives that would work well for students to use on individual computers or to use on your promethean board for a whole group activity.  In 5th grade we do a large unit on fractured fairy tales and end up making our own books.  I like that this interactive has them focus on essential story elements.  I think it would make a great pre-writing activity.   Look below the activity for TONS of lesson plan ideas for all grades that use this interactive!

Fractured Fairy Tale interactive from Read, Write, Think

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tagxedo: Linky Party!

***I am updating this post to join in a 100th day Linky Party.  Feel free to still add to my linky party if you'd like.  See my 100th day idea, and other ideas, below. ***

I hope everyone had a fantastic Independence Day weekend!  This is my first Linky Party, so spread the word for me please!  Have you all seen links for Tagxedo floating around?!? It's like the very popular Woordle on steroids! My mind is spinning with all the great ways to use this in a classroom! Link up your ideas below!

1.) Book Reports:  Students could insert the text of their book report
2.) Animal Reports: Students could insert the text of the animal report
***3.) 100th Day:  I used to write the parts of speech on tagboard and then have the students search for 100 of each out of newspapers and then paste them on.  (100 nouns, 100 verbs, 100 adjectives, etc.) Once all the posters were full we hung them in the hallway. This year, I'm going to try using taxedo and have each group make a taxedo (100 nouns, 100 verbs, etc.) then they'll each have their own, fun, unique poster for each part of speech!!

My example of a fruit bat report is below.  Seriously fun right?!?  I can wait to hear your ideas!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

4th of July: American Symbols

In honor of Independence Day I bring you a fun way to study or learn some of the American Symbols!

Also, I'll be on a road trip to Tennessee so I won't be back bloggin' until at least Wednesday. Enjoy your Holiday!

American Symbols

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Linky Party: Transistions

With my older students, I find that I can keep them on task better when they see how much time they have left.  They seem to work harder on math if they keep looking up to see how much time they have left.  When they finish early, it helps them pick an activity to keep them busy that will fill the required time frame, instead of picking something that takes too long or is going to be too quick.  When the time is up they know that it is time to transition to the next thing, and little time gets wasted.

I like to post the timer large, and I like to have a little fun with it so along comes the online stopwatch! (Which works great on the interactive white boards...)  They like to pick which one we use (the clock is my favorite, and of course the bomb one is their favorite)!

Check it out:

Online Time Keepers

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Smart Board Lessons Linky Party: Kerpoof

First, I'm going to say, for an almost daily supply of smart board resources I think you should look to the left of your screen and follow my blog :)  I just started it, and I'm going to do my best to keep you updated with the latest and greatest resources.....

Next, I'm going to introduce you to Kerpoof, which is seriously the coolest thing EVER!  For primary grades there is an activity where you can spell a picture, you spell a word and the picture pops up.  For upper grades my favorite is the story maker.  There are endless backgrounds, people, even little props you can add!  I can not wait to use this for one of my creative writing this year.

Below is one of my pages (kinda lame, but I did it super quick.)  I dragged the background on there, the troll, and the treasure chest.  All can be resized.  Like I said, it's the coolest thing EVER :)    You can save your story or print it off.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Math Monday Blog Hop!

Hello! Below is a super fun web site to supplement any ruler lesson plan.  My kids LOVED it!  During indoor recess this is the game they requested to have on the promethean board, which I was more than happy to do for them!  You can change the level of difficulty by switching what parts of the ruler you're working with. For primary grades you can have it be just whole inches or half inches, or for intermediate grades you can put it on sixteenth inches which are always super tricky to point out on rulers.

The Ruler Game

Friday, June 24, 2011

Virtual Manipulatives

I could scour the web and find thousands of awesome ways to use manipulatives in my classroom.  Using them makes math really hit home.  So what do you do when you don't have a certain manipulative, but you know if you could just put your hands on more geo boards or base ten blocks you'd have a more successful lesson.  Along comes the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives by the Utah State University.   I think that hands-on is of course better, but it never hurts to have some virtual manipulatives bookmarked---especially if your school is short on money for extra supplies.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Forest Layers

I was looking for ideas to reinforce our study of Ecosystems (consumers, producers, decomposers), food chains, etc.  I stumbled upon this super cool website where students get to search the forest layers and look for what inhabits each layer.  I think you could use this for so many things!  How could you incorporate it into your classroom?  I'm always game for new ideas! Check it out and then share your ideas below!

Forest Layers

Monday, June 20, 2011

Solving Equations

The Common Core Standards---did anyone read through math and start to have a mini panic attack?  (Okay, an almost major panic attack?!?)  I think they are a fantastic idea, don't get me wrong, but the 5th grade standards are WAY challenging.  They really stress algebra in 5th grade so I've been on the look out for some interactive ways to practice.  How is everyone else dealing with the incorporation of the new standards?  Are they similar to what your state already has or way different like in ND?

Here's what I found---

I like that it gives the students spots for the missing number instead of throwing an x or a y right away.  I think this would be a great starter activity...   

Saturday, June 18, 2011

did you see the Bear?

Anyone else struggle with capitalization in their classroom?  When my patience is stressed here is what our writer's workshop times sounds like:

Ms. B:  What does every sentence start with?

Student:  A capital letter.

Ms. B:  Right.  How about names?

Student:  A capital letter.

Two sentence later.....

Ms. B:  What does every sentence start with?

Student:  A capital letter.

Ms. B: (pulling on hair a bit by now...)  Can you please find your seat and capitalize all the words you know should be capitalized, then come back.

What is it about capitals?!? I'm sure my Grandma would say it's from it?  I am pretty strict when it comes to capitals.  They lose one point for every missing one on any assignment, in any subject (they are 5th grade---I figure I have to do something!)  So why can they STILL not capitalize things?

Anyway---I'll get off my soapbox and show you this fun little white board activity.  I put in on and students can do it when they finish work early.  It'll have to sink in eventually, right?  Right?!?

Magic Capitals from Sheppard Software 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Human Body Maps

This website is intended to find solutions based on symptoms; however, they have a fantastic 3-D body map resource!  Students can move the mouse (or pen) over parts of the body, move them and see 3-D views, click on them to see cross-sections and find out a little bit about them!

For example when I clicked on the stomach I saw the 3-D look, a look inside, and it told me this: The stomach is a muscular sac-like organ in the digestive system that stores and digests food via gastric juices and a specialized churning action. 

How perfect is this for the study of the different human body systems?!?  

Check it out at:   Heath Line 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fruit Shoot

Okay, this one is addicting!  I am thinking they should come out with an app for my phone....


Fruit Shoot Math!  

You can practice any basic skills (adding, subtracting, multiplication, and division).  This works great for individual student practice, small group, or whole group.  I split my students into two groups and they had to try to beat the other teams scores.  I find that if they are in a line it makes it easier to pass the pen back and forth to each other.  They loved it!

I'm also linking this up to a math stations linking party.  When I do math stations in my classroom I always have one station at the promethean board.  This keeps their attention every time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ideas Wanted!

As a teacher, I find it hard to find ideas that relate to current lesson plans and standards.  Once I find a great website, I tend to forget what the website was the next year when that lesson comes back around. On this blog I'll take ideas, find ideas, and then label them according to subject so that we can all work smarter, not harder.  :)  

Please leave website ideas in the comment section at any time!

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