Texas Teaching Fanatic

A look inside a 4th grade classroom

Homeworkopoly Cards

Homeworkopoly Cards

Click here to access the file download to the Homeworkopoly cards.

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Homeworkopoly Gameboard

Homeworkopoly Gameboard

Click on the link above to access the link to the file download to the Homeworkopoly gameboard.

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HOMEWORKOPOLY

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This is the game board as it looks in my classroom. It has been loved by my students and has some holes here and there and numbers written all over it, but this is the REAL DEAL!

Homework.  That eight letter word that students HATE!  That word that forces teachers to give countless speeches on responsibility.  That word that causes frustration on many levels when it isn’t completed.

Even though homework isn’t always fun, it is a necessary evil.  Students need to practice what they are learning in school in order to help them retain the information for the long term.

As I was browsing Pinterest, I came across “The Ladybug’s Teacher Files” and fell in love with an idea she had about a game called Homeworkopoly.  I quickly printed the pieces, laminated them, and put them together on my board.  The looks on the students’ faces were priceless as they slowly began to notice this new game that had mysteriously appeared in the back of the classroom.

The Rules:  Turn in homework all week and you get a chance to roll once to move around the board.  Students will write their assigned classroom number with a dry erase marker on the space where they land.  If a student lands on a Question Card or Computer Card, he/she will draw a card from the center of the board and receive the prize which is on the back of the card.

The results: I saw a significant increase in the amount of homework that was turned in each day, and the students who would only complete homework once or twice a week began to turn it in daily.  And, of course, they all had fun rolling the dice and crossing their fingers, hoping to land on a space and get a surprise reward.

I didn’t think that such a simple implementation would bring such desirable results.  The students have truly enjoyed their homework a little more due to this simple little game.

Click here to access the game board file –> Homeworkopoly Game Board

Click here to access the cards –> Homeworkopoly Cards

**You can also find 120 FREE rewards to give to students in the archives.**

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Text Structures Anchor Charts

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During Reading Camp this week, we created these text structure anchor charts to help students find signal words for identifying the way the author set up his/her writing.  These three are the most commonly found nonfiction structures found on state assessments.  I thought these were a great tool to use with struggling students.  Feel free to “steal” and incorporate into your own classroom!  🙂

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Belting it out Opera Style!

“Remember to rereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeead!”  I belted out my best opera voice today at our STAAR Wars Themed pep rally for our kiddos taking the STAAR test next week.  Our skit had some amazing characters, including Chewbacca, Princess Leia, Yoda, Darth Vader, and I starred as Luke Skywalker.  We all really enjoyed putting on a show for the kids…and they thought it was awesome, too.  In fact, most of the students didn’t even believe that they heard my real voice.  They all thought I was lip syncing.  I guess I’ll take that as a compliment.  🙂

We were able to have fun again today, even with “THE Test” looming over our shoulders.  It was so nice to relax a little and enjoy ourselves.  I thoroughly enjoy working with these gals.  Work is so much better when you are surrounded by such wonderful people.

Click here for the video!

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Fun during test prep? You bet!

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Amidst the frenzy of Math Camp (2 hours a day of test prep), my class managed to squeeze in some time to play some fun math games.  I haven’t taught math for the past 3 years, so these past couple of weeks have been strenuous on more than one level!  Searching through my cabinet for something “cool” for students to use for practice, I came upon some old fraction cards that were already separated into groups and in bags.  I pulled them out, thinking I could find SOME way of using them. 

As I passed them out later in the morning, I told the students to be creative and figure out a game they could play with them.  All I cared about was that they were looking at the cards and processing what they saw, so whatever wild game they thought up was fine with me.  To my surprise, they reverted back to “old school” games like Go Fish, Memory, and War.  It was fun to watch them so engaged in their learning with smiles on their faces. 

I’ve learned that test prep doesn’t have to always be boring.  Teachers don’t have to repetitively shove worksheets at them for students to be successful.  Sometimes it’s all about the students feeling success in what they are doing…even if it’s a simple game. 

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Come on in

I found it fitting to open up my blog with an open door.  No, not the “open door” policy, but my classroom door that greets my students and colleagues each time they enter and exit the room.  I wanted my students, parents, coworkers, administrators, and everyone that I work with to know that I truly love my job and that all of these people help mold me into the person that I am.

This door has become quite the conversation piece for me over the past semester.  I’ve heard all sorts of comments, from “Wow!  That’s so awesome!” to “The students are the reason I want to go home!”  All that matters to me is that it sends a message to everyone, letting them know that my door IS always open and that I appreciate ALL who enter.

So, today, April 15 (hope you did your taxes!), I invite you to come inside that door and learn and grow with us.  I’m excited to see what each new day will bring!

**Be sure to click the link to follow my blog**

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Lift off!

Day 1

Today I’m taking my teaching and learning to new levels….out into cyberspace!  Wish me luck!  🙂

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