ACT Aspire. . .Let it Flow!

logoThis is it. We have one more school day before our ACT Aspire!

There are no more words to say. The students have worked hard all year. This is their moment to shine!

This video is for all of my 5th graders who need a little inspiration:





Get a clue! A context clue!

logoAll year long we have focused on finding the meaning of complex vocabulary by using context clues. This is a key skill for students as they prepare for the ACT Aspire. Students will be expected to read a passage and determine the meaning of complex vocabulary words. Students will often have to choose a word that is synonymous with the given word to demonstrate their understanding.

This video lesson is a good one. It walks the student through what it means to use context clues.

The following link takes you to a number of other context clue resources:

Our ACT Aspire at DES starts Tuesday, April 29th. Good luck to all of you!


Keep Calm and Cite Text Evidence

logoWe are now only 8 days away from the ACT Aspire. Alabama’s students have worked hard all year. This is their moment!

One important thing for students to remember is to cite the text when answering open response questions.

What does that mean?

The ACT Aspire will emphasize “text-based answers,” which means that students need to carefully read and cite specific evidence to support their answers / responses to the text. Students must cite specific evidence to support their points and opinions about a text.

This video gives a few pointers (it is sooooo cute):

Here are a few sentence starters to help:


This evidence poster came from a great blog I found:

HW this week:

Read for AR Points & Work on Research Project



5th Grade WIG: ASPIRE to greatness!

calmThe 5th grade has worked hard all year long. We are now in the final stretch. We are entering those last weeks before taking the new ACT Aspire test. As a class, we have chosen not to look toward testing with dread, but to “Keep Calm and ASPIRE!”

Last week, we started the process of redecorating our hall in celebration of the ACT Aspire. That’s right. . .in celebration of it. Our goal is to have students believe that they can succeed!

This first year of testing will serve to give educators a good look at where our students are academically and help to recognize areas we need to work harder in. This year’s testing will set a  new “starting line” for all of us.

The following links can help students ASPIRE!

Here is a cute video / song about finding the main idea:

Here is a link to online language / reading games:


This week’s HW:

EVERY NIGHT:  Study Academic Vocabulary & Strategies / Read for AR Points / Work on Research Project


Kennedy’s WIG? It was a classroom VICTORY!

WeChooseToGoToTheMoonThere are moments in a teacher’s life when he or she feels like a superhero. We have those moments to make up for all of the others. . .LOL! I had that moment this week. I wanted to share because I am proud of my students!

The 5th grade read excerpts from Kennedy’s speech “We Choose to Go to the Moon.” Students were mesmerized. It was amazing to watch as Kennedy’s words echoed through history inspiring a new generation. The “WOW” moment was when students connected this text selection with the 7 Habits without my prompting. Each and every 5th grade class recognized that Kennedy had set a WIG (Wildly Important Goal) for our nation!

We grabbed on to that the next day and discussed how we had to “Begin with the End in Mind” to reach that goal. We discussed that it took “Synergizing” and a “Win-Win” attitude to achieve that goal. We discussed the impacts of the speech and the goal that was set for America. We watched the first moon landing. We read about our American hero, Neil Armstrong. We brainstormed adjectives to describe what characteristics those first astronauts had to have.

We also wrote down our own “Moon Missions.” We wrote down our goals that are hard to do, but we CHOOSE to do them anyway. We choose to meet our goals because we can! This is a sampling of those “Moon Missions”:

Get a scholarship

Play softball at the University of Alabama

Do well on the ASPIRE test

Become a Marine Biologist

Open my own hair salon

Compete in the Olympics (gymnastics)

Be the first in my family to graduate from college

Today’s children still have dreams! They need us to help them set their goals and figure out a way to achieve it! They need someone to tell them that they can. . .not because it is easy, but because it is hard!

This week’s HW:

EVERY NIGHT: Study Academic Vocabulary, Work on Research Project, and Read for AR Points