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FAB VOCAB & more

when I moved up to 4th grade I knew writing would be our focus
because it is one of those marvelous *sarcasm* state tests 4th graders must take
BUT  also because it is important....
can you believe that our "NEW" state test is now called the STAAR test
why? I am not even sure what it stands for... and frankly I DO NOT CARE
I am pretty sure the T stands for Texas and an A probably assessment
but honestly who cares
I just know it is going to be another STATE TEST that takes up too much of my valuable teaching time and it determines my kiddos worth
BECAUSE we all know these tests show growth and are completely data driven and comparable to other states

and since I am being FRANK... WHY couldn't they come up with a different name
STAAR sound so sparkly and pretty...it just ruins it for me.... maybe because we are the LONE star state... whatever... I think it should be like the T-NAS-T...which stands for Texas Needed Another State Test!!!

OK back to writing
I wanted my kiddos to be more aware of fabulous words they come across while reading....sooooooo

I made this Word Choice board...
and nomination slips for them to nominate FAB VOCAB from their reading.

ignore the dirt in the corner..
I'm keep-n it real and frankly
our substitute custodian just kinda mops in a circle
(my room is a square)
bless her heart she is like 100 years old
hard of hearing
and doesn't speak much English and I speak un piquito espanol
which I am pretty sure translates to very little spanish
so I basically used hand signals to ask her to dust and sweep first then mop
as NICELY as I could
I looked more like I was auditioning for the Chim Chimney routine in Mary Poppins
so my floor is somewhat shiny now
but still I have dust bunnies the size of tumble weeds
in the corners of EVERYTHING
I have now hired students to attack the bunnies
and I think one of them lost the fight
(I kid...maybe)

alright back to my FAB VOCAB
( i think i might have ADD...seriously I am not even half way through this BLOG and I have bird walked twice...
hand in the air... I promise to try to stay on track for the rest of this blog post)

I also made a model of what I want their nomination slips to look like... we did it together on the big screen :) so they got it

I use their nominations to pick our word of the week... OK sometimes I forget and so we might do a word every other week... whatever don't judge
when they come in from PE and they see this on the screen they know to get their FAB VOCAB folders out
and the kiddo that picked this word gets a GOLDEN BRAIN... with the word written on the bottom!!!
if you have no idea what the golden brain is GO HERE :)

They can work in groups or not to complete this paper...

found the source and it from one of my BFFs (blogger friend forever) Rojas

dictionary skills are important :)


after completing their paper they put it in their FAB VOCAB folder

and after we discuss the word and I hand out the GOLDEN BRAIN
I hang up our framed word on our FAB VOCAB board :)
and why are they framed???
because all FABULOUSNESS NEEDS FRAMING (or pinning tee hee hee)
 this is just a pic so you can see how the 2 boards are close to each other and yes I could have taken a far away shot but must I remind you of my Chim Chimney routine again? OK THANKS

I am working on a way to make my nomination forms cuter and will post that soon... bub has his first soccer game today and so I need to get everything ready for that...

so if you read this early
CHECK back because instead of posting twice I am going to just edit this one and add it in... I'll post on my FB page that I added it in...

ok here it is.... and by the way soccer game with a 3 year old NOT what I thought... I needed a nap... imagine herding cats high on catnip... and that sums it up!!!

Fab Vocab Nomination Forms

ONE more thing before I am outta here...
I am so so so so so so so so EXCITED to be awarded with this

and you should read the review they gave me...
SUMS me up perfectly... really you should head on over there and read it
here is my review...

Mrs. Farley is the creative word inventor and onetime Disney worker graduating to 4th grade after a decade teaching in 3rd; her photogenic 3-year-old co-stars on Oh’ Boy Fourth Grade, a blog overflowing with freebies, story problem strategies, carnival-themed classroom highlights, and regrets about the constraints of a robotic curriculum with no room for glitter.

pretty sure that is a perfect review...
and you really need to head on over there because
they have a great list of bloggers to check out!!!


  1. I teach 4th grade in TX too. I printed out the STAAR sample questions from TEA. I was sick! Do they not realize that our kids are only 9-10? TX is setting up their state assessments so EVERY child is left behind!

    Any who, Thanks for sharing this idea! I love it!


  2. I am so stealing your vocal idea. I was so inspired and have now searched all over to find the word of the week sheet and ...Voila.... http://mrsrojasteaches.blogspot.com/2011/08/word-of-week-freebie.html

  3. Congratulations!!!

    Love your ideas!

    ❤Mrs. McKown
    Little Literacy Learners

  4. Love your idea...will be stealing (thanks for sharing) it to use in my room.


    A Time to Share & Create


    Fabulous 4th Grade

  5. Love your website! Wonderful idea about the vocabulary bulletin board. Would you mind sharing your words?

  6. Megan, Don't know if you remember me but I taught with your Mom at Fort Sam. Congratulatons! I read dozens of blogs weekly and yours certainly is at the top. I can see you make learning fun and that is the way it should be! It is obvious you are passionate about learning and kids. Hats off to you!!

  7. Thank you for sharing your creative vocabulary ideas! I had found and copied the Word of the Wekk sheet but now I know what to do with it starting this week!Thanks Again!

  8. thanks every single one of you guys!!! and yes Mr. Cantrell I remember you :) from Ft. Sam... I lots of fond memories of that school

    Mrs. Wells I can give you my words BUT the kiddos should be searching their own reading to find FAB VOCAB...it gives them ownership of the board and then they are more likely to use the words in their writing.... the words so far are

    energetic, melancholy, imperilous, and empathy

    I introduced the activity to them and did a read aloud...we decided on immortal...so together we made an anchor chart on how to fill out the nomination forms... then it was their turn... all the other words on the wall are their nominated words :)

  9. Have you heard of the book Weighty Words? It's PERFECT to start this activity with. Also, can you share how you made the frames for your Words of the Week?


  10. I love this vocab idea!! I will try anything to spice up my kiddos' vocabulary and writing. I think they will love this!!! So glad to see you using the "word of the week". I was so proud when our 5th grade teachers asked to use it in their classrooms. It's so neat to see it in use in your classroom too!

  11. well, personally, i'm just glad i'm not the only one who has no clue what STAAR stands for. granted i moved to 2nd grade, but i'm pretty sure i'm looping next year. oh well, jingle bells. i figure it's all the same. ;)


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