Sunday, March 26, 2017

Heading into April...The Countdown Begins!

I am officially on Spring Break---whoop, whoop!  If you read my previous post, you know how crazy the last few weeks have been.  So, this break is much deserved!

So, the past few days I haven't been thinking about school at all {insert big eye roll here.}  Of course I have been planning out the month of April....and May too!  We did a countdown on Friday before leaving and we officially have 44 1/2 days of school left.

We come back to school and 3 days later start state needless to say, I want to make this month fun and as stress-free for my students, while also continuing to teach them all they need to know before leaving 5th grade.

How am I going to do this?  Well, to start out a local company is sponsoring an Arbor Day tree planting project.  20+ students form 5th grade are going to get bussed to a local park to help plan trees.  When they get back, the Zoomobile will be stopping by to talk to the entire 5th grade about some local animals and how to help them and their habitats.

My team had a hard decision ahead of us--how were we going to pick the students to go on the field trip?  We pulled together and thought of a Magazine Writing Project (PBL, yeah!)  Students are going to work in groups to create/write a magazine about conservation, Arbor Day, Earth Day, etc.  The students who create the best magazine from each classroom will get to go plant some trees!  We have a low-level, high-interest magazine from our book room to use with students as an example of what to create, as well as practicing labeling parts of a non-fiction text.  This project hits on standards in: science, social studies, writing, reading, etc. WIN-WIN!

Additionally, we just wrapped up our big City of Ember grade-level read aloud, so we needed another book to read.  I put a call out on Facebook and someone suggested Jean Craighead George's book: There's an Owl in the Shower.  I breezed through this book in one day, and decided it was the perfect fit!  It deals with conservation, is a quick/engaging read, and by an author many students know.  We looked at books too, but none seemed to fit:Hoot (too long,) When Eagles Fall (alcohol consumption by a minor,) Touching Spirit Bear (graphic scenes.)

So, naturally, I can't just leave this as a read aloud....I had to create some activities to go with it to draw students in even more!  You can find this for $3 on TpT:

Besides the Magazine PBL/Arbor Day Event, Owl in the Shower, state testing (in science, reading, and math,) my classroom also has the following things going on in April:
  • A mystery skype
  • Limo Lunch for students who fundraised A LOT for our yearly camping trip
  • Key Ceremony Lunch--a classroom management tool I use from Elementary Shenanigans
  • Finish up our Tournament of Books--Final Four are Holes vs The False Prince and Deep, Dark and Dangerous vs Pax (the Global read aloud book)
  • Counselor Lesson
  • Earth Day "stuff"--haven't quite planned it out!
  • Social Studies lessons on JA Biz Town to prepare for our May 3rd Field Trip, including applying for jobs and holding elections!
  • School wide Read-A-Thon
Whew--again, April will be a whirlwind month!  But, I can't forget to complete our monthly synonym/antonym activity...I change these out [roughly] monthly on the clothesline I have in our room.  I think they are a great reminder of word choice to use in writing!

April 6th is also my 5th graders 1000th (or so!) day of school...So we are going to celebrate by writing about what they would do with $1000 {FREEBIE}and list of 1000 words they know {$1}!

And of course, I sent students off with their Spring Break Reading/Writing Challenge, and already have their #SnapshotsOfSpringBreak printed for when they get back April 3rd!

How is your April going to be spent?! We'll just call mine "organized chaos." :o)


  1. Whew! You are busy! Sounds like a lot of great things are going to be happening in April! I know the students will love it!

  2. Spring has certainly sprung in your classroom as April approaches! I'm sure your students with love it!

  3. Enjoy your time off. The end of the year is right around the corner. Sounds like you'll have a busy April with your students.

  4. YOu have tons of fun Spring resources...Enjoy your break!

  5. You are such a good teacher. Your students are lucky to have you. Thanks for sharing this post with the resources. Enjoy your break.