Statistical Analysis with m&m’s ~ So much fun!

We just finished a math project that really caught the kids’ attention.  We did a statistical analysis of standard size bags of m&m’s candies.  The company claims that there are a certain percentage of each color of m&m’s in each standard sized bag.  We used this packet to test the claim and they turned out amazing!




We compiled all of our work into a spiral bound report.  They look great hanging up in the room.  Here is the packet on TpT if you are interested (it is $4).


The packet covers pictographs, bar graphs, circle graphs, data landmarks, converting fractions to decimals to percents, and more!  This is a great way to make a real-world connection with math!


Found Poetry Activity with Hatchet (or any other novel)


This poetry lesson turned out really amazing, and it was super simple to prep and teach.  I copied two pages from the book, Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen for each student.  We used the same two pages for all of the students.  The students then skimmed through the two pages from the book and circled about 25-30 words that they liked for any reason.  They then used the circled words to write their own poem.  They turned out really great!

We also talked about how reading poetry aloud was a type of performance art.  Students then practiced reading their own poems as well as the poems of their classmates.  They loved it!

You could do this with a selection from any novel!

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Why not try found poetry writing in your classroom?

Close Reading with Classroom Magazines (Weekly Reader, Scholastic News, etc.)

What do you do with all those great classroom magazines?  Here is one idea that turned out great for us!


Most teachers subscribe to at least one classroom magazine, like Weekly Reader, Scholastic News, national Geographic Explorer, etc.  These magazines always contain interesting topics that are engaging and fun to read, but did you know they also provide a great opportunity to practice some close reading skills?

We recently read the article, “Great White Comeback”, and made these posters that showed our thinking as we read the article.  We did six separate steps on post-it notes in this lesson and each step had to be included in the poster design.  I think they turned out amazing!

Here are the steps:

1. Before you read the article, write at least three questions about it.

2. Read it! Read the article and write 3-5 interesting facts.

3. Skim it! Write at least 3 vocabulary words.

4. Find it!  What is the main idea of the article?

5. Dig Deeper!  Write a summary of one section of the article.

6. For Future Research, ask 2-3 questions about this topic you would like to find out more about.




Each poster had its own unique style!  Here is a close-up of one!  If you have any of those classroom magazines, you may want to give this activity a try!

North American Animal Reports and Animal Track Molds


As we read the book, Hatchet, we are also working on researching skills by keeping a Nature Log on the different animals Brian (the main character) encounters as he is lost in the Canadian Wilderness.  We use several different websites and books to find information about each of the animals in the nature log.  Just click on the cover picture below, to get to this item in my TPT store (it is $3).


As we were working on the nature log, students wanted to write more in-depth reports on a specific animal from North America.  We decided to make these poster reports.  We charted all of the different heading topics for the report we could think of and then students were able to pick and choose the ones that worked best for their animal and their report.  Here are some of the poster reports:

We got the Animal Track molds from Nasco.  Click here for the link to their store.   We used Crayola model magic to make the animal track molds.  I am always looking for creative ways to showcase student writing, and the poster report is always one of their favorites!








Teaching Visualization with the Novel, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

We are currently reading the book, Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen.  We focus on several skills while reading the book.  One of these skills is visualization.  In this book, Gary Paulsen uses a ton of descriptive writing.  We reread a section of the book and then the students had to use watercolor paints to show what they saw as they read this descriptive passage.  We discussed and compared our visualizations in table groups and then displayed them in the hallway.


They turned out pretty good for our first try!

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