Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Third Grade Was a Picnic

One day last week, I told the class that we were going to do our last bulletin board.  I can't believe the screams I got.  And of course my principal happened to be walking down the hallway at the time and came in to see what was going on.  I told him what happened and he once again said, "Only in your classroom!"  I wish I had a nickel for every time he said that to me this year, I could probably retire early!

Well, back to the bulletin board.  I made this cute lined paper that has a plate, picnic blanket, and a fork on it.  The kiddos had to write what they liked about third grade on the lines and then draw a picture of it.  I stapled them to the bulletin board.

The little pictures on the sticks I found in the Target dollar section.  Aren't they super cute???

Here is the completed bulletin board.
Here are some of the student's papers.
This is me...don't I look cute??

This student couldn't pick just one so he picked three things and split his plate.

This student couldn't choose 1 so she picked four and split her plate!

This one isn't the cutest, but the kiddo said that he met his best friend in third grade...so sweet! 
Well that's my last bulletin board...kinda sad.  This group of kiddos was very trying, exhausting, funny, lovable, and I'm going to miss them so! 
Now I have to start thinking about packing things up.  If you are interested, this activity including some of the pictures I have on the board will be in my end of the year set on TPT.  I haven't had time to post it yet, so sorry...but it's on my to do list!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fractured Tales - The End

This week we read our final story The Three Hawaiian Pigs and the Magic Shark.  I'm sad to say it is over.   The kids had so much fun with this theme (which is why we always do it at the end of the school year).

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This story is about three pigs that live in Hawaii.  The wolf is replaced by a shark.  They make houses out of things like:  pili grass, driftwood, and lava rocks.  Some of the fun disguises the shark used were:  a shave ice man, a beach boy, and a lei salesmen. 

Since we live in Illinois, it was so fun exploring Hawaii with the class.  We researched Hawaii.  They worked on a fun book report that used cut outs of Hawaiian objects (like a pineapple for the problem, a palm tree for characters, etc).  The kiddos had a ball making their posters.

For our Fun Friday, we greeted each child with an "Aloha" and gave them a different color lei.  Later in the day we showed the students a instructional video on hula dancing.  We all got together and had  a luau.  We hula danced and played the limbo.  We even ate Popsicles while we pretended to be in Hawaii! 

Here they are reviewing the hula and then performing it with the video.

Too cute! 


    Check out the boy with the orange shirt and flower hat. 
He was ready to board the plane and fly out to Hawaii!  :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Help for Moore, Oklahoma

Please click on the image above to help Moore, Oklahoma.  It is beyond belief what has happened there.  I donated two of my TN items.  It was a tiny thing for me to do, but at least I feel like I helped...
 There are more than $1,900 worth of TN products in this bundle!  And so far in just one day, TN has collected over $18,000 to help those people who really need it in Moore, Oklahoma.
Please donate and also please help spread the word! 

Once again we are showing that teachers really can make a difference!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tried It Tuesday

It's Tuesday, so I'm linking up with my bloggy buddy Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper.  She has so many great ideas and is always willing to share....gotta love wonderful people like her.
Today I'm going to share how I handle using a clip chart in my classroom.  I know that a lot of you use clip charts and I have to say that I've tried it and just never seemed to keep up with it.  I mean it was on my chalkboard for the entire room to see and I just didn't like that part. 
So since I moved to my current smaller room last summer, I knew that I wanted to use a clip chart but I had to tweak it.  How did I tweak it???  Well...
Number 1
I didn't put it on my chalkboard (I didn't have the room on my chalkboard and I didn't want it front and center).  I glued ribbon on to the back of it and hung it on a wall using a 3M hanger in what was dead space on the wall.
Here is a picture of it hanging on the wall...before the numbers went up.  Since my theme was mystery this year, it matched that theme.
Number 2
I used cute polka dot numbers, not names, that I sticky tacked to the wall.  The numbers are assigned by their class number.  I can still see who has moved up and who has moved down, but people coming into our classroom don't know who is where. 
I used calendar days that were polka dotted to match my classroom.  Super cute, huh?
Number 3
 I move more students up on my chart than down.  I find that if the majority of the class is behaving nicely, all it takes is to move everyone up and instantly the whole class is being good.  Then if I have to move someone down it isn't too far down.  I also put a "special jewel" on their number when they go up on the chart and stay there all day long.  They LOVE these jewels, even the boys.  I am going to let them take home their numbers at the end of the year.
I have all different colors that I use all year long.
Number 4
On the advice of my 7 year old son, he has convinced me to add another color going up.  He said it will make my students go up more often than going down.  I took his advice, so we will have to see what happens next year.  And if you follow my blog, you know that I change my class theme EVERY year, so instead of the mystery theme it will be a fruit theme.
This is what the header will look like.  I'm still working on the chart itself.  I will post about that when I have finished it. 
Number 5
I have my students color in what color they ended up on in their student planners every day.  This way the parents know each day how their child is behaving.  This has been a great addition to my behavior management.  Now if a parent acts surprised by their child's behavior all I have to say is, have you seen their behavior calendar? 
 Behavior Charts for each Month     Behavior Charts for each Month
Here are the ones I made for his year.  I'll be updating them for next school year over the summer.
And that is how I have tweaked the typical clip chart behavior to fit my classroom's needs.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I LOVE Weekends!

A few neighborhoods around me had a community wide garage sale day Saturday.  We were supposed to do it as well, but the time just slipped away from me and I couldn't get everything ready in time.  We ARE having one in a few weeks AFTER I we get out of school.  We were supposed to have one last year, so you can imagine all the crap good treasures we have ready to sell.  I can't wait to clean out!

So my mom, dad, and son go out garage sale-ing all morning Saturday.  I was very disappointed with not getting anything for my classroom, except a few chapter books.  My parents scored a new coffee table and end tables for $50.  Great price as they were in perfect condition!  My son scored a couple new toys (like the Magic 8 ball-I love the questions he asked that thing!) and a stuffed banana.  I was getting the banana for my fruit themed classroom next year, but I think he has stolen it!Outlook is Good For Magic 8 Ball Movie

If he lets me have it back, it will go in my class library
for when the kiddos are reading independently.

While we were out, my mom and I were talking about pedicures.  I WAS one of those weird people who don't like people touching my feet.  Last year my mom talked me into getting a pedicure right before our yearly Disney trip just to try it.  O...M...G...was it nice. 

We have been wanting to go again, so we went yesterday.  I enjoyed it again this year.  I had my toes painted red, because that is my son's favorite color (never had red, but I thought I'd try it).  And since we will be going back to Disney in less than a month, I had them draw two Mickeys on the big toes. 

Different yummy smelling goop they used!
It was a beachy manicure, so it had sea salt scrubs and sea cucumber lotion...

The nail guy really had a hard time with drawing the head, but hey...it's the
thought of looking at my toes and thinking ---
7 more days with the kiddos and closer to Mickey!

Once I'm done with school, and most importantly packing up my classroom for summer, I'm thinking of getting a manicure.  I've only had a couple of those my entire life as well! 

We even got to swim in our pool Sunday.  I think it's kinda funny because we've have 80s and 90s all week and my husband finally gets the pool ready on Sunday.  We swim and now the temperature is supposed to go to 60s for Memorial Day weekend!  Gotta love crazy Chicago spring weather! 

And how was your weekend???

Saturday, May 18, 2013

On the Road to 4th Grade

Here is my last hallway decoration for the year.  Oh my goodness....last???  Where did the year go?

The students had to write what they are really looking forward to in fourth grade.  They wrote it on the car, wrote their name on the door handle, and drew a picture of themselves driving the car.  I told them how the fourth grade teachers will be looking at these VERY closely to see what they have coming next year (aren't we awful doing that to our students!  :)

I taped them on a road on the wall outside our classroom and point them going down to the fourth grade classrooms.  I have a sign saying "On the Road to Fourth Grade".

Here is our road.  You can't see all 20 cars, but you can get the idea of how it looks.

Here is a close up of the road.  Didn't it turn out cute???
I can't believe the end is coming...so quickly!  I have 9 days left!!!  How many do you have left?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fractured Tales - Week 3

The next story in our fractured tale unit is called The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.

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This story is told from the point of view of the wolf.  He is in jail and talks about what "really happened".  It is so cute.  The wolf talks about that he was only trying to get some sugar to make a cake for his dear sweet granny.  The kiddos loved this story!

I have the children choose whose side of the story they believe:  the wolf's or the pig's.  They must pick only one side.  Then they write an essay giving details about why they chose that side.  They get to color either a pig or a wolf to color, cut out, and glue holding their essay.

Sorry...I couldn't get the darn thing to rotate!

Another activity I do is to assign different parts for the kiddos to act out in a court activity where we put the wolf and the pigs on trial.  I have lawyers, a jury, attorneys, etc.  They have to write out what they would say and why.  Then we perform the trial and I act as judge.  I get to pick which side of the story was better explained in details.  The winners get a small treat.  Okay, so each student gets a small treat because they did an awesome job!

Our Fun Friday was to eat cereal, since it seems like an opposite like the story.  We also watched a fun fractured tale movie called "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears Show".

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This is a super cute movie that has a lot of famous stars as the voices.  And the best part is....it is G rated (we can't show any movies in our district that is not a G rated movie...try and find movies that the kiddos will like that are G rated...NOT FUN!!!)  Oh well...a great time was had by all.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May Door

I can't believe that this is my last door decoration for the school year!  Can you believe the year is almost over?  I have 10 days left (okay 8 full days, 1 half day, and 1 hour to be exact)!
I have the kiddos draw a picture of themselves in third grade on the left side of the sunglasses and then in the other they draw themselves as an adult in a profession.  I have a sign that says "Our futures are so bright, we have to wear shades." 

They had so much fun doing this.  Although when I told them it was the last door decoration the kiddos all screamed "Noooooooooo!!!!!"  Gotta love them!  :)

By the way...did you see my nice watermark on my pictures???  I FINALLY figured out how to do it.  Why does it take so long to process some of these bloggy things???

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tried It Tuesday

I'm linking up with my good bloggy friend Holly again from Fourth Grade Flipper for her weekly Tried It Tuesday linky. 

This time I'm going to share something that is working in my class for classroom job rotation.  I made this super cute chart for my mystery themed classroom this year. 

I used to be in a different classroom where I could use a bulletin board to staple my jobs and their names onto.  But since I moved to a smaller classroom with less bulletin board space, I had to switch how I could display it.  So...here is what I came up with.

If you click on the picture, it will take you to my original
blog post showing it up on my wall.

I made little magnifying glasses with the student's names on them.  I have Velcro on the backs of the magnifying glasses and on the chart.  I glued ribbon on the back and used a 3M hanger on the wall.  It is the easiest job board I've ever used.  And it took up some wall space that I probably wouldn't have used before.

I change jobs every two weeks, so I just pull off the old names on the magnifying glasses and stick on the new ones.  I have a cute black polka dot bag that matches the ribbon on the chart where I keep the extra magnifying glasses.  It is so easy to change and keep up with, and no staples!
I am doing a fruit theme next school year and I am already working on stuff for my classroom.  I saw this adorable trimmer that was being discontinued from Creative Teaching Press and I thought ..oh my goodness is this adorable.  So...my new classroom theme was picked. 

I have it made already, but I don't have it laminated and put together yet.   I will post pictures when I have it cut out.
What do you think, crazy with the fruit, huh???  What theme are you doing next school year?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What a Wonderful Week

I hope you all had a wonderful Teachers' Appreciation Week last week.  I know I enjoyed both the week and the sale on TPT!

I just wanted to share my wonderful week.  Our parent organization kept everything secret from us.  They sent us a questionnaire a week before to find out some of our favorites.  Then they compiled that all together and sent that information home to the parents a few days before to let them know what was going on.  We didn't find out until each morning.  Here is what they did-

On Monday, the parent organization treated us to a wonderful brunch.  It was A-mazing!

On Tuesday, they told the parents what our favorite flower was.  The students came in that morning handing their teacher a flower.  Some of my darlings gave me more than one.  One student gave me a dozen.  Of course one of my girls had to count them all.  Guess how many...38!  The students kept saying I looked like Miss America!  I told them they made me feel like Miss America!


That same morning the parent organization came in with the pencil vase that is all over Pinterest (and which I've been wanting to make all year long).  I had so many flowers I had to use their vase and a huge pencil bucket!




On Wednesday, the students came in wearing their teacher's favorite color.  My favorite color is purple.  It was so cute seeing my class wearing purple, even the boys!  One of my boys said he didn't have anything purple, so he made this shirt...

After giving him a huge hug, he said..."Smell my shirt."  I said, "Excuse me???"
  He said, "No, really."  So what did I do????   I smelled his shirt. 
He used smelly markers so it smelled like grape!  Funny moment!

On Thursday, we had a basket (in our favorite color again) full of new school supplies!  I forgot to take a picture of this.  And they refilled our work room with new supplies too, even a new electronic stapler!

On Friday, we had a new geranium to plant (since we plant the seeds with our students).

We had all this done AND we had a special luncheon EVERY DAY!  We didn't need to pack a lunch for the entire week! 

I have to say....what a wonderful feeling to know that you are truly appreciated!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fractured Tales - Week 2

It's time for week number 2 in my fractured tale unit.  This week we read the story The 3 Little Javelinas.

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This tale is fractured because it has the hairy pigs (javelinas) that live in the southwest and a coyote instead of a wolf.  They make houses out of tumbleweeds, cactus ribs, and adobe bricks.  Another fun story!

One activity we did was to have the students draw the three different types of houses the javelinas used in this story.  It was very interesting...living in Illinois, the students had no idea what tumbleweeds, cactus ribs, and adobe were.  This was a great time to do some computer work and look up these things on our computer.  The students really enjoyed seeing these things come to life on the computer screen.  They had some knowledge then to really illustrate their pictures more realistically than the book showed.

The next thing we did was to discuss the Southwest area.  Once again...computers to the rescue.  After seeing different things from the Southwest, the students had to compare that setting to our own area here in Illinois.  The students made cute travel brochures of the southwest, using details from the story, our discussions, and their research.

This week's Fun Friday was to eat chips and salsa.  We wore sombreros and Southwest clothing.  Some of the students wore cowboy hats because it was the West (heehee- gotta love third graders). 

We borrowed maracas, tambourines, and shakers from our music teacher.  The children watched a YouTube video showing some high school students performing the Mexican Hat Dance.  We then got together with the other 2 third grade classes and performed the dance for each other, using the instruments and modeling the video.  I should have video taped it, but didn't think about it.  Oh my goodness was that fun!

Next week's story will be...The Three Hawaiian Pigs and the Magic Shark.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bloggy Friend Giveaway and TPT Sale

Hi everybody!  Have you been to Holly's fantastic 500 Follower Giveaway??? 

You gotta go and check it out.  She has a bunch of different contests with over 50 prizes.  I was lucky enough to be one of the prizes (yeah).  So go and check it out so you can try and win!

And one more thing...my store will be a part of TPT's Teacher Appreciation sale on May 7-8.  I will have 20% off and you can get another 8% off by using the code TAD13.  That is 28% off!!! 

Two day sale

I don't know about you, but my cart is full and ready for me to buy, buy, buy!  :)  Happy Shopping everyone!  And I hope you all have a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week!


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