Tuesday, February 28, 2012


There is a growing awareness of copyright issues and Pinterest. Corkboard Connections has a great post on it here.
To be clear on my site and the images I post: Permission to Pin is Granted!
You have my permission to pin any image from The Inspired Classroom!

Monday, February 13, 2012

I Am Poem

I am an idea junkie and thief. I seriously adore looking at ideas other teachers are using, and when I can, I 'borrow' them. So when someone pinned something from One Extra Degree's blog, I pinned it too, and then, I went on an all-day blog reading fest. I came across her "I Am Poem" freebie and adapted it for my needs, which happened to be quite pressing. My hallway bulletin board was blank, and conferences were the next week. I had the students complete the poem, and they framed them in a way that was quick but wonderful once they were all hanging. My BFF (and co-fourth-grade teacher) and I used our Cricut to cut the title (using two cartridges and a mix mash of papers). Considering how little time we gave to this particular board and writing assignment, I am thrilled with how it turned out. When I do it next year, I’d like to add black and white photos of the kids, framed the same way, and put the title at the top instead of the middle of the board.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine Monster

I cannot take credit for this idea at all. I pinned it on my Pinterest board the minute I saw it. It comes from Giggles Galore, and I am so thankful she developed this idea and shared it. By 4th grade, the boys are grateful when they can do something that isn't hearts and pink. I thought these were perfect and really capture the personalities of 4th graders! LOL

This one will be mine. I primed the box with spray primer. I painted it with acrylic paint. The original had painted spots, but I used a 1 inch punch to cut spots for mine. The original had egg carton eyes, but I just punched 1 3/4 inch circles for the whites of the eyes and 1 inch black circles for the pupils. I adore it and can't wait for our monster of a Valentine's Day party!

I do want to add that my husband and son were not as enamored with it as I am. They tell me it looks like Cookie Monster with chicken pox! Lesson learned: think about your monster’s color!!!

Verb Tense Review and Irregular Verbs

Due to an in-service day, the coming week will be missing a day of language arts. My grade level thought it would be a good week to cover something we don't feel we've done enough on so far. Although we've had mini-lessons throughout daily language, we have not given a lot of critical input for irregular verbs. So, irregular verbs became our topic of choice.

Additionally, a huge initiative in our district, currently, is unpacking the topics and ensuring that students already have the necessary background knowledge or teach it.

I offered to take on creating foldables for this week. I originally figured I’d find something on the web that I could just steal or slightly modify, but I couldn’t find anything that worked for us. I had to make my own. The first foldable is mostly review for the students that have the background knowledge they are supposed to possess, but it serves to teach it to those that don’t too. Before we can discuss how irregular verbs differ from regular ones, students have to know that verbs have tenses, what this means, and the rules that govern regular verbs in each tense. (This is all kept to a 4th grade level, which means we didn’t need to get into perfect or progressive. Nor did we try to discuss aspect or mood or distinctions of tense, such as immediate past or distant past.) The second foldable attempts to create groupings that will help students remember and recall irregular verbs. It is not all encompassing, as that would have been one HUGE foldable. There are more than 180 irregular verbs, but some are more common than others. The ones that elementary students will come across with regularity were my main focus. I also tried to bring some light-hearted fun-poking at the issues of our English language (and why it can be hard to master) with some of my headings. My high-school-aged son laughed at the one called “At least you can tell they are related,” and suggested something rather funny (though inappropriate, even with the less offensive curse word substitute) for the “Unclassified” section. I think sometimes you have to have a sense of humor when it comes to teaching and discussing English and all its rules and exceptions, and I want to pass that along to my students too.

Anyhow, the first foldable is just a half sheet (length-wise) of paper that is folded in half and then cut at 1 ½ inch intervals from the bottom, which leaves a larger title/general info area. The other foldable is 2 sheets of paper cut in half length-wise. I removed one half of one of the sheets, using just 3 ½ sheets. They were staggered and folded. I then took the middle one out, cut along the fold, and returned just one of the cut sections. (I hope this makes sense. If you don’t cut it and remove half, you end up with an extra page.)

A good list of irregular verbs, which we will be looking at and talking about in class as we fill the second foldable out, is from a free, downloadable power point at: teachers pay teachers.

I hope this helps with irregular verbs in your classroom.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Helping Temperature Make Sense

Not much to say about this one; making it is pretty self explanatory. I made it, though, to try and help my students make sense of temperatures. Using it, they can see which degrees are warm, cool, cold, or hot. I used to be amazed that I’d tell them recess temps were in the 40’s/30’s/50’s… and might require a jacket/would require a jacket/ probably would not need a jacket…, and they’d stare at me like I spoke a different language. “Cool, cold, warm” they can wrap their minds around. 30 degrees F is a bit less familiar, and thus, this poster helps.

Wanted Posters

I‘ve been meaning to post this since Sept, but since I needed to blur the faces and names, I kept putting it off. For Christmas, one of my gifts was Photoshop, and since I am playing with it to learn how to use it, I figured now was a good time to do some blurring.

This was my beginning of the year board. I took photos of the students in which they were wearing a bandana, hat, and holding up a mustache. They had to complete the wanted poster by writing about why they were wanted in 4th grade--the awesome traits and abilities they brought to our class. I covered the bulletin board with a western scene setter backdrop from a party store. (I think it cost around $4, and I could have covered way more than one board.)