Thursday, December 17, 2015

Appointment Clock Partners

Link to PowerPoint:

Hand-held Devices in the Classroom

Handheld Devices for web

More presentations from Cheryl Dick

Standards-Based Grading

Standards-Based Grading and Reporting Website

More presentations from Cheryl Dick

Data-licious Graphing

Data licious Graphing for Website

More presentations from Cheryl Dick

Monday, December 14, 2015

Anchor Activities Handout

Anchor Activities Handout 2015

Common Core Checklist Downloads for First Grade

Let me know if you have trouble downloading the checklists. If you want to modify the checklists for Illinois, be sure to download the Word version.


Math Handout

First Grade Math Handout for IL

Writing Session Downloads

Let me know if you have trouble downloading these rubrics or Parts of Speech PowerPoints. Thanks for coming to my session. 

SMART Notebook Downloads

Let me know if you have trouble downloading these SMART Notebook files or have any questions. Thanks for coming to my session. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Conversation Starters for Reading Comprehension


Tech Finds and Favorites

Check back! I'll keep updating, but this is a start.

First Grade TN

Check back later today for lessons, PowerPoints, and links to websites. Thanks for being so welcoming! I loved my time with you.

Link to SMART Notebook math lessons:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hand-Held Devices

Info coming soon! This post is to save a link for a future workshop. Check back soon. :)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Twitter and Pinterest in Education

If you follow my blog, please know I recently made new Pinterest and Twitter accounts. If you followed me before, you may not be now. Links to my new accounts are to the right. Have a wonderful weekend!

Teaching Young Children to Have Opinions

Below is a parent e-mail I sent yesterday to help parents understand how opinions are taught in the classroom. It'll give you and overview of the lesson as well. :) 



I’m hopeful students come home talking about basing opinions on facts.

Today, we read about the macaque monkey that took a selfie and discussed whether the animal owns the rights to the picture or the photographer that set up the camera owns those rights (   Most of the students sided with the monkey. J Then, we talked about how anyone taking a selfie would own the rights based on the court’s decision (should they side with PETA). I was impressed with their discussion and how willing they were to share opinions.

As the students get older, they may start debating about real-world issues in class. They need to know how to read unbiased information and form opinions based on facts. Plus, someday they’ll get to vote for candidates that will make decisions for our country. Life is about forming opinions, and I feel most real-world opinions should be talked about at home when they are at an appropriate age which should be determined by their parents. J

Speaking of images, our discussion went to copyright and who owns the rights to the pictures they use in presentations. They are not allowed to Google Search images in my classroom but many said they do at home so they can add photos to presentations. I searched dogs (while the SMARTBoard was frozen) and then showed them the cute choices that popped up. Then, I clicked the settings button and went to Advanced Search. Then, I scrolled down to click on usage rights:  free to use or share. I froze the SMARTBoard again to make sure images were appropriate which they were. Then, we compared the photos and talked about how if they used the first photos we saw, they might owe money because they were protected by copyright.

Of course, many started worrying right away because kids want to do the right thing – which I appreciate. I thought I’d share this with you because they’ll be looking for pictures to add to presentations throughout their school career. I will be happy to show you how to search for pictures that can be used in presentations. I also highly recommend having the computer your child uses in a supervised area and not allowing kids to Google Search images without parental assistance, a good filter, and settings to try to protect them from images they should not see. They also need to run key words by you before searching. I probably wouldn’t let my 4th grader Google search images at all, but that’s just my opinion. J At school, I search, keep the main screen frozen, approve images, and then show them.

Let me know if you have questions, and I hope you get to talk about the monkey’s selfie tonight.

Have a great night!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

4th Grade Writing Samples

What does free writing look like in 4th grade? Below are snapshots of three different students' writing pieces:

Check out the advanced sentence structure and vocabulary in Hunted. After conferring with this student, I taught the class how to use dashes in writing. JC keeps me on my toes!

Check out how CD uses dialogue in Chapter One of The Lost Sword. I was impressed by his advanced sentence structure at the beginning of Chapter One! 

This student, AH, is writing Cats in Clans. Her idea is modified from Erin Hunter's Warriors' books. Take time to read this. I watched her write it all alone. It's hard to believe she's only 10 years old! We'll work on formatting tomorrow. Stay tuned for her next revision.

Word Work is Important -- Scavenger Hunt Ideas

My students love using their independent reading books to find words to add to our scavenger hunt charts. We are still learning how to write the words on the prefix/suffix charts. Next time, we won't put a dash after the prefix. I love Rich Allen's quote, "If you're not modeling, you're teaching something else." Well . . . I did model a dash after the re- on the heading. You can see that I have some reteaching to do. Did you notice the prefix re- in the word reteaching?

Shout out to Mrs. Brittany Risenhoover for making these nonlinguistic representations for our word wall. The oven symbolizes the prefix. The carrots symbolize the "root" words. The carrot cake symbolizes the suffix or ending. I can't wait to add words to our wall!

Using NewsELA in Differentiated Reading Groups (FREE Resource)

Show assigned NewsELA article to class (
(3-5 minutes)
Read headings, subheadings, captions, first sentence, last sentence before predicting the main idea.
(5-7 minutes)
Choose 5  key vocabulary from the NewsELA article and play Rivet. It looks similar to Hangman, but students guess words instead of letters. The teacher begins adding one letter at a time from left to right until a student guesses the right word. Be sure to pick words related to the article that students are able to guess that are not in the headings or captions. After students have correctly guessed the five words, have them predict how those words will be used in the article with a partner.
*If this is the first time teaching main idea this way or playing Rivet, you may want to teach one mini-lesson one day and one the next. It always takes longer the first time. :)

Reading Groups:
(5-10 minutes)
Reading groups meet in four corners. The "teacher" for the group will be the student with the most minutes on his/her home reading log. These students lead groups to read questions written on charts around the room and predict possible answers to three or four questions.

(15-20 minutes)
Students find a partner from their group to read the teacher-selected article on that is closest to their reading Lexile. If you don't have computers, you can print the articles for the students. There are generally four or five reading level choices for each title. Once they find an answer to a question written on a chart, they stop reading and write it on a sticky note. They immediately post it on the appropriate chart. Then, students continue reading to answer as many questions as they can in the appointed time.

Possible questions:

  • What is the purpose of this text? Use information in the article to support your answer.
  • What are some questions you have after reading the article?
  • What is the main idea of the text? Use details to support your answer.
  • Create another title for the text. Use details to support your answer.
  • How does the text structure contribute to your understanding? Use details to support your answer.
  • How could someone reading the article use the information in this text? Use details to support your answer.
  • What other nonfiction text features could the author have added to help you better understand the information?
  • How does the author’s word choice help the reader create a visual image? Use details to support your answer.

Students work with their reading partner to answer as many questions as possible in 20 minutes.

Literature/Text Discussion Groups:
(10-15 minutes)
Students go back to the appropriate corner to meet with their reading groups to discuss the answers to the questions. The teacher monitors the groups and reads answers on the charts throughout the lesson -- clarifying as needed.

Google's Virtual Field Trips

This looks neat!

Digital Teaching Resource Available 10/15

I'm looking forward to reading this!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Links to Some Handouts from Vegas

Click the link on the original handout. What you're looking for may be on that link. You can also search the blog with the title of the session on the right of this page. If you can't find what you're looking for, let me know.

Project-Based Learning

2015 ASCD Project-Based Learning Book:  Order yours today.

Project-Based Learning Links :

Playground WebQuest Example

 I designed this 4th Grade WebQuest for my eMINTS certification. 
If you use it, I'd love to hear your feedback.
Skills:  Data collection, area, perimeter, addition/subtraction computation to $250,000.

Student Examples:

Playground presentation K and...

More PowerPoint presentations from Cheryl Dick

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Making 10s Card Trick

Directions:  This works with real playing cards. Simply remove the face cards and the 10s. This modification is for younger students that might get confused when an Ace equals one. The ten frames also give them a visual to help build number sense.

    • You need two players. 
    • Player one chooses two cards that DO NOT equal 10. He/She does not show these cards to the other player.
    • Player two begins placing cards face up -- one at a time on a table/desk.
    • When two cards on the table make 10, he/she covers those cards with two other cards that are face up also. He/She can only cover two cards that make ten, not three. For example:  8,2. 9,1. 6,4. NOT 7, 2, 1.
    • The second player continues to cover cards that make ten until he/she runs out of cards. 
    • Then, he/she begins picking up stacks of cards that make 10. For example, he/she will pick up a stack with a 4 and a stack with a 6. Then, the child will pick up a stack with a 7 and a stack with a 3. Eventually, only two stacks of cards will be left. 
    • The second player is holding two cards. There should be two stacks left. If the cards left are a 7 and a 1, the second player should be holding a 3 and a 9. Basically, the cards will make 10. Thus, the student "guesses" the cards in the other player's hands.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    Brain Breaks with Go Noodle!

    I love the energy and excitement in this class! They make coming to school so much fun. :-)

    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    Testing Tip

    Emalie Lindsey came up with a super cute song about adding details to ELA constructed responses, so my class followed her lead and made one of our own. We used the GoNoodle song, "Get Your Body Moving," and changed the words to, "Get those details written."  Cami White coined the phrase, "IKTBTTS" which means, "I know this because the text says." That's what the kids are saying at the end of this short clip. Thought I'd share the fun with all of you. :)

    Thursday, February 19, 2015

    February Assessment Class

    The February session just started, so it's not too late to join. Enrollment for February is open through the end of the month. Click the picture below to access the link. I'd love to have you in class. 

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Idea for Principal's Day or Mother's Day

    Mrs. Lindsey had her class write poems for their parents for Valentine's Day which turned into Animoto videos for parents and our principal. Good times!

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    Plickers --- Turn Your Phone into a Clicker System

    Turn your phone into a clicker system by simply creating a FREE account in Plicker. You'll have to print every-pupil-response papers for students for your phone to scan. They are individualized and your phone will determine your students' multiple choice answers based on the way they hold their papers. It's simple to use! My student teacher, Brittni Smith, shared this site with me! :)

    Louisiana Purchase in Song

    Research into Song

    Vocabulary in Motion or Song

    Thursday, February 5, 2015

    Scavenger Hunt and Word Sort for Un- Words

    Differentiate English/Language Arts WITHOUT Centers

    At the beginning of the year, I was hopeful the scores were not indicative of their end-of-the-year test. Now, I hope they are. Regardless, I am really proud of my students and their parents. I have an amazing group of parents that encourage and support reading at home. It makes a difference!

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    Example of Math Stations

    Whole-Class Mini-lesson: Review how to use a protractor to measure angles with Brain Pop video: Stop the video to discuss important review points.

    Create an anchor chart with new information:  complementary and supplementary angles. I don't believe these terms are in the 4th grade standards, but this lesson allows students to create number sentences equaling 90 and 180.

    To reinforce the concept after the lesson, students form a straight line. Create a ray in the middle to split the line in two. Give each student a tortilla chip to "supplement" their breakfast.  Discuss definition of supplementary angles. Next, students form a 90-degree angle with their bodies. Form a ray from the vertex to split the angle. Then, students simultaneously give teachers compliments. I had a few eye rolls, but it was worth it. Discuss complementary angles. :)

    9:00-9:15 Computation Station:  Students play Making 10s card game to practice fact fluency. They also create their own addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. After working the problems, they check their work with a calculator.
    9:15-9:30 SMARTBoard Station with Miss Smith:
    9:30-9:45 Problem-Solving Station: Students work model-drawing bean cards. They choose Level 1, 2, 3, or 4 based on their readiness levels. They know which one to do. 
    9:45-10:00 Review Station: Students choose a site that they need more practice in to work alone or with a partner.

    Math Anecdotal Record Form by CherylDick

    Thursday, January 29, 2015

    Opinion Writing

    Graphic Organizer

    First Draft:  Unedited

    Graphic Organizer


    First Draft:  Unedited

    Meet Remington and Annie, my two dogs. I agree with my students that life is better with sweet, lovable dogs. Don't let their sweet faces fool you  though -- they are puppies and LOVE to get into mischief. A lick, tail wag, and puppy dog eyes usually get them right back out. :)

    Graphic Organizer

    First Draft:  Unedited 

    Favorite Fourth-Grade Read Alouds

    My students love all of these books, but The Man Who Loved Clowns. is our favorite so far. It'll make you cry -- TWICE!, so be sure to read it first before you read it to your class. 

    Go Noodle Brain Breaks

    Go Noodle is our favorite FREE brain-break site. 
    My students' favorites are:  Kitty High Five and Hans van Greedy.They love Zumba too. 


    Anchor Chart
    Created by:  Miss Brittni Smith