Friday, September 23, 2011

Power of the Pod

Happy Friday! This week I wasn't able to figure out what each day "felt" like, so today I am just confused.

During my student teaching year, I observed classrooms K-5. In a first grade classroom that I observed, a teacher named her pods after things she wanted the students to memorize. At the time, her pods were named after the coins. Then, she was constantly referring to the "quarters", "nickels" and the kids were using the names frequently as well. BRILLIANT!

Last year, I had my kiddos in pods that were the 7 continents. In 2nd grade, students are required to name the 7 continents and 4 oceans, so I gave it a whirl! It was quite humorous at the beginning of the year when they were trying to figure out what group they were in. I only had five pods, so I made my desk North America and our safe seat was Antarctica.. a place to "chill out".

By the end of the year, we were practically professionals at the continents.

This year, I wanted to apply the same theory in my 5th grade room. One of our first units this year was science tools. I found a neato-skeeto bulletin board set with pictures of science tools. I glued them onto cricut made puzzle pieces and viola! I had new pods made into science tools.

Microscopes.. Line up!
Maybe it's "new-teacheritus", but I love decorating my classroom and changing out bulletin boards and whatnot frequently. It's a disease! So naturally, when a new unit (with intense vocab) was on the horizon... I knew it was time for a change.

Next up: weather! Woo hoo! I'm so excited to be teaching the who kit and kaboodle of weather. One of the many aspects of this unit are CLOUDS and types of clouds. YIKES! Do I know the types of clouds? Nadda.  Then a lightbulb went off! I knew what my new pods should be.

Inspired by The Inspired Apple's cutesy clouds, I decided to recreate my own!

The Inspired Apple
When my students return on Monday, they will find schnazzy-new cloud pods! It will be tongue twister lining them up.. but by golly! We will be learning the types of clouds in NO TIME.

Since clouds are taking over my brain, here are some fun cloudy things I've found on the web:

Good Reads

First Grade Alacarte

How strange, it was sunny on my drive home and now the clouds have rolled in. Eesh! I'll post about sunshine next time.


  1. This is so awesome! I love both the pod idea and the flip charts!!

  2. What FUN to be in your room - thanks for sharing your excitement for this unit!!! Do you know about the book Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld? He's a WI author and this one is C.U.T.E!!!

    Here's the trailer address:

    EnJOY! Barbara

  3. what a great idea for the group names!!! I gotta try this... ;) Thanks for sharing!

  4. I just found your blog. I LOVE your clouds! I'm also your newest follower.

    :) Happy Weekend!

  5. LOVING the clouds :) Makes me with I taught science! Thanks for sharing that neat book!

  6. I did the cloud flip chart last year and my kids LOVED it!!! It was great hands on activity and it made them think critically about what each cloud looked like and what weather it predicted. One piece of advice though... along with cotton balls, get some filament (the stuff you put in pillows) for the cumulonimbus and stratus clouds, it's easier for the kids to see the difference in their appearance that way! :)

  7. I think that you're really onto something with naming table groups after things that you want the students to know. I saw a teacher video on Pinterest/YouTube and in order to signal transitions, she uses a "word of the day." It goes along nicely with your idea. I may try and name by table groups after higher-level vocab (I teach all Reading).

  8. Funny story- I got on my Pinterest to start pulling ideas for our water cycle unit and one of my pins lead me here! We will be adding your cloud foldable into our water cycle lap books. I will have to show you the final results! Thanks for all the awesome info.!!!


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