Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Crazy Weather

In Illinois this week we have had CRAZY weather.  We started the week with 50 degrees and windy.  Then we went to 60s and rainy.  Now we have cold and a blizzard!  No wonder my students are so crazy this week.  Talk about talky!

I've decided to have another one of those wonderful teaching moments tomorrow at school.  I'm going to take advantage of this crazy weather and have my students write an opinion essay on their favorite type of weather from this week.

Here is what I'll use tomorrow.

I'll have them write information about all three types we've had this week on this paper. 
The one they have the most ideas written on they will write their essay about.

I'll have them write their essay on this paper.  They can draw a picture of
 the weather they picked in the box.

How has your weather been this week???

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bloggy Friend Giveaway

My bloggy friend Storie at Stories by Storie is having a fantastic 300 follower giveaway.  She has prizes from 10 bloggers (you can win two free items from my store...yeah)! 


Hop on over to Storie's blog to get in on this offer.  You have from now until February 2nd.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Super Bowl

Are you ready for some football???  I made these cute signs to put up in my classroom. 

I had the students write their names on index cards and write a reason why they are predicting that team to win.  They didn't think I would make them "work" (by writing a reason for their prediction) when they were graphing.  But I have to take every teaching moment I can, don't I???  And besides, they did so good with predicting when  I read them The Little Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow (posted a couple days ago).

If you are interested, in getting these posters for free, please leave me your email.  I will randomly choose 5 winners.

By the way...aren't the graphics adorable???  I got them from Mrs. Messenger on TPT.  Go check out her store...super cute stuff!

I am sending 7 sets of these posters to the lovely bloggers who left me comments on them!  Thanks everyone and I hope your class enjoys them!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Predicting Fun...with a groundhog???

Okay so I was teaching predicting to my students last week.  And one thing lead to another and the next thing I know we have groundhogs done for the bulletin board.  Let me explain how it went.

I wanted to work on predicting with my students, so for fun I read them the story The Little Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow.  Now if you are a follower of my blog, you know I LOVE these books.  So I passed out index cards and had them number their cards 1-8.  Then I showed them the cover of the book and read the first thing the lady ate.  The students had to predict what would be the next thing she ate.  We continued doing this throughout the entire story. 

Product Details

The students kinda figured out what her final object would be, but they had to predict what she ate next.  It was so much fun!  When we got to the end of the book, they drew a picture of the final item she ate.  Then we talked about predicting.  We talked about how the ideas at the beginning were a lot more random and once they started figuring things out, their predictions became closer.  It was amazing watching their little light bulbs going off about narrowing proud...

Okay so then what???  We started talking about how predicting is a part of everyday life.  Like predicting who will win a game, the groundhog, etc.  So I had them take a groundhog outline I made and make a prediction about if the groundhog will see his shadow or not.  They had to start their writing out with "I predict the groundhog will/will not see his shadow.  I predict this because---"  They turned out SO cute!

Here is my groundhog outline.

Here is the finished bulletin board.  They had to put detail into their groundhog, too...
just to give it some oomph!  I don't know if you can see it, but there are lots of scarfs.  I have some coming out of his hole, some with hair bows, and a couple are wearing tuxedos!

Who would have thought that a little lesson on predicting a picture book could turn into such an excellent life lesson?!  Next week we will be predicting the Super Bowl and they will have to give reasons to support their predictions, just like their groundhogs!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Adjective Fun

Adjective fun???  Really??? on.  When I teach adjectives, I always start out simple.  I read the story Hairy, Scary, Ordinary:  What is an Adjective?
Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What Is an Adjective? (Words Are Categorical)
Then I give them my cute webs where they have to describe the middle picture.  They sure love getting a paper with adorable colored graphics, don't they?  I have different ones that so that the children can work in a group of 2 and not have the same middle graphic.  Some of the ones I use are:  hot chocolate, cupcake, pizza, chocolate, birthday party, etc.
The next day I have them work in a group of 3.  They get a snowflake pattern and a bunch of magazines.  They have to find words that describe winter in the magazines and then cut them out and glue them to the snowflake.  It's kinda trick, especially when I don't have many magazines from the winter seasons...mostly summer, but they did it (I really have to get more magazines!).  When they are all done, they have to put their names on the paper using an adjective to describe themselves before their name.  That was fun!  Some of the adjectives they used to describe themselves were:  loud, annoying, amazing, adorable, pretty, and funny.  Too cute!

Here is a picture of the finished snowflakes on my bulletin board. 
Aren't they lovely, amazing, adorable, blue...oh okay you get the idea! 


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Love Is... A Cute Bulletin Board

Here is a cute bulletin board that I like to put on my classroom door for valentine's day.  I worked on it with my class last week.

With third graders as soon as you mention LOVE you hear EWWWW.  After that initial "stop saying that discussion" we then talk about what love really is.  Examples I use are:  a hug from mom, a high five from dad, cookies cooking when I get home, a sloppy wet kiss from my dog...  Once I start that discussion then look out - ideas just start coming.

Here is the sign I put on the door.
Here are the hearts that my students wrote on. 

It's always a lot of fun to do this activity and see what LOVE means to them.  There are always a few that touch my heart.  Here is what one student wrote:  "Love is...doing my best on something and seeing my teacher smile!"  AWWW...they are so sweet, especially around Valentine's day!
Here is a picture of the finished door...
Isn't it "LOVE"ly???

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Best Winter Activity Argument Writing

A week or so ago I blogged about my new writing set I made.  This was the first time I attempted a writing activity with my students using the common core new guidelines specifically.  What I use to call persuade is now an argument.

They had to write about their favorite winter activity and make an argument on why it is the best.  We had discussions about what an argument was vs. what an argumentative writing essay was (that was a fun discussion).

I explained it by telling them to picture someone who lives in Hawaii coming to Illinois for the first time.  They only had a short time in our cold state, so what should they do.

Here are two samples:

Since you probably can't read this, let me tell you this student's introduction.
"Have you ever gone ice skating before?  I will tell you why ice skating is the best winter activity ever!"

And here is another one: "If you're from a warm state, country, or
if you're just bored you should try ice hockey. It is the best winter fun thing to do."
Aren't they cute???  They had to continue on writing using their graphic organizer and four boxes to guide them.  Some of them wound up writing a 6 paragraph essay...and they were enjoying themselves...I don't know what has gotten into my class lately, but boy am I a happy little teacher!

If you want to see what this writing activity looks like, please click either my TPT store or my TN store.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Marble Party

If you have been following my blog, you know that my school is a PBIS school.  I have been on our PBIS committee for two years now.  We try to keep things exciting for the children.  Last year we had small little plastic jars with regular sized marbles.  Once the class earned 25 marbles and filled the jar, they received a marble party.  They didn't really seem to get into it.

This year I made a HUGE marble jar.  It really is working out well.  I used large practice golf balls for my marbles.  We have filled our marble jar 3 times already this year!  I think the visual really is helping out with their excitement.

Here is my marble jar this year.

Each time the class receives 25 marbles for showing our PBIS expectations, they can earn a marble reward.  We call it a marble party.  The class votes on what they want to do.  This was our third time this year and the class voted for the same thing...for the third time in a row!  They wanted to be in pajamas, slippers, and have a toy party.  Some of the girls made jewelry, some boys played Beyblades or Angry Birds, and I even had a remote control car driving around!

They had a ball and I had so much fun sneaking around watching!  Does your school use PBIS??? 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Leah's Pony update

A week or so ago I blogged about a story in my reader called "Leah's Pony".  I just had to share this. The story is all about a girl during the Dust Bowl who had to sell her beloved pony to help out her family's farm.  We talked about the girl, her family, the neighbors who come to the family's aid, etc...but one day I told my students that we didn't think about someone else in the story...the pony.  I had a wonderful lesson about point of view and perspective.  Then my students had to pretend they were the pony and had to write how it felt about being sold.  They had to site information from the text in their response.  Here are two examples:

This student said:  "I will feel sad and happy.  I will feel happy because she's doing it for a good cause and I will feel sad because she is leaving me and give it to Mr. B.  I don't want to leave my owner but at least I'm getting a new owner."
This student wrote:  "I would be sad if Leah sold me to Mr. B.  I would kind of be happy because she is helping her family.  She is helping her family by selling me and getting money.  She uses the money to buy papa's tractor.  Then everyone buys stuff and fives it to their family and I got my owner back."
They were so cute writing about this.  They said they never thought about what the pony would feel like when she was sold and then when she was given back to Leah.  What a fantastic discussion on point of view and perspective!  I was so proud of my third graders!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Reading the Common Core Way...I Think...

Warning...This is a long one----

Today I'm going to write about what my third grade team is starting to do for teaching reading.  We had a meeting a few weeks before Winter break with our BIG bosses.  They told us that we needed to start experimenting and try new things to get ready for common core.  They told us that we DID NOT need to teach the way we have been with our basal readers.

Well that took my team just a few minutes to let it sink in.  Then we started preparing.  This is what we came up with so far.

We are introducing our reading story on Monday like we always did.  We have them read the story for homework that night.  The next day we have them take the story quiz.  But we are not grading it like we used to.  Now the students have to use their book and write the page numbers for where the answers are.  We are using what the common core is saying by using the selection to cite information as a source.

On the third day, we have them read some other literature relating to the first story.  We are trying to find nonfiction pieces to go with each story, but man is it hard to find nonfiction for third graders!  They have to highlight facts that are similar to the original story and make a list of facts. 

The fourth day,they have to write an essay comparing the first story to the second story.  We started this out by giving them a paragraph frame to help them. 

And finally on the fifth day of the week, we are having them write some kind of answer to a question that they have to cite information from both texts we used during the week.

I have to is HARD.  The students are freaking out with all the writing.  But they are working through it.  To hear my little kiddos saying things like:  we infer what the answer is but where is it in the story...or I know I saw that information in the selection, so let's turn to that part and reread what it said...or WOW that was fun...or taking the story quiz took us longer, but it really made us think!!!

No really...those are exact quotes of things I hard my third graders say during reading class this week.  I am such a proud little teacher!!!

I have less grades throughout the week, but our BIG bosses said that grades were not as important  (yes, they did say that and we made them repeat it many times to be sure).  We take a couple vocabulary assessments, skills of the week assessments, and writing samples each week. 

So good.  We'll see how this is going a few weeks from now.  I'm sure there will be LOTS a little of tweaking!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Martin Luther King Freebie

Happy Sunday everyone!  In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr's Day coming up, I have made a freebie.  I have my students read a few stories and books on Martin Luther King, Jr.  Then I have them fill in this Venn diagram comparing themselves to Martin Luther King.  In previous years it didn't look this cute, but I had to redo it with new clip art.  Don't you just love the clip art?  It is from the wonderful Krista Wallden from Creative Clips.

If you would like this freebie, just click on the picture.  If you liked it, please leave me a kind word or two.  Thank you!  :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

January Door

Here is a quick post of what my door looks like for January.  I needed to blog about it now because I'm going to change it over to valentine's day this week.  Had to get it on here before I changed it (especially since I already have it scheduled to blog this week-heehee)!

Before we leave for Winter Break, we discuss how we can keep things going for the new year.  Since we have just finished 2nd quarter, this always falls at the right time.  We discuss things like:  study for all tests, turn in homework, don't annoy the teacher (love that one!), etc.

They get to pick partners and make themselves on a sled.  Sometimes there are two students on a sled, sometimes three, depending on their group size.  After they drew themselves, they then have to write a tip for not letting their grades go downhill.

Here is a picture of my classroom door.  I make a snow mountain out of white paper.  My sign says:  Don't let your work go "Downhill".  Whatcha think?  SNOW-tastice, right???

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bloggy Friend Giveaway

My bloggy friend Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper is having a fantastic 300 Follower Giveaway.  There are 18 bloggers who donated items (yes, I am in it too - YEAH) as well as a $20 resource.  You gotta get over there and check it out!


You have from January 9th to January 17th. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Common Core Writing

In third grade I am used to narrative, persuasive, and expository essay writing. With the common core, they have changed to Argument, Informational/Explanatory, and Narrative.

I really have to step up with doing some writing activities with my students.  I usually do 1 or 2 writing activities each month, but they are usually narrative.  My students are getting much better with writing narratives, but with argument and informational/explanatory writing...I haven't done much with these yet.

Here are some of my new writing activities that I've added to TPT store.   

This first one is an Argument type of writing activity.  The students pick one winter activity that they feel is the best.  Then they write an essay explaining their opinion on why it is the best. 

This one is a how-to or what the common core calls Informational/Explanatory.  The students pick one activity that they can write directions for.  Then they have to explain how to do it using information from their brainstorming activities.
Click on the pictures to see my sets.  How are you doing teaching writing skills to your students this year??? 
Happy Writing in 2013!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

There Was a Cold Lady FREEBIE

Hi Everyone.  I can't believe I start back to work on Monday.  Where did Winter Break go???  I've had so much fun with my buddy (my 7 1/2 year old) that it's hard to send him back to second grade!  :(  Oh well...time to start thinking ahead to the bright smiling 20 third graders I'll be seeing on Monday.  Right... positive... right????

If you are a follower of mine then you know that I LOVE the I Know an Old Lady... books.  I read them to my class all throughout the year.  Since I know we will be super busy the first week of school (end of the 2nd quarter, NWEA testing, PBIS assembly, etc...) I decided to change things up a little this time.

I made a cute partner reading center activity.  I will have the students read the book together with a partner.  Then they will choose one person to be the "guesser" and one person to be the "checker".  The guesser's job is to put the pictures from the story in sequence order from memory.  The checker's job is to use the book to check the answers.

Here is a picture of what the pages look like. 

I'm thinking the students will have fun doing the winter story together in a center format this time.  And this way, they are working together on their sequencing skills and using the text (common core... sneaking huh)???

If you would like a copy, I will email it to you.  (I will email it to the first 10 bloggy friends who leave me their email address and comment below).

For everyone starting back on Monday or who started back last week...Have a wonderful, productive, and rewarding week back with your class!  :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Font Fun

Thank you soooooo much to all the wonderful bloggers who sent me some love and helpful apps for my new IPad.  I am having so much fun playing with it.  I've downloaded and played most apps that you recommended.

One of my favorites is...ifontmaker.  Oh my goodness is that fun!  I made two fonts already and my 7 year old made one too. When you see his, please keep in mind that I gave him total creative control!  ( was so much fun watching him :)

Here are my new fonts:

What do you think??

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

IPAD HELP and Freebie

Happy New Year Everyone!!!  I need some assistance...I just got an IPAD (yeah!!)  but I don't know what I "need or should have" downloaded on it.  Does anyone have any good APPs that they use on the IPAD that I should look into??  And do you use it in the classroom???  If so, how?  I don't have a Smartboard in my classroom, but I do have an Elmo and a Projector.

Now for the freebie part...As a thank you for your help, I will give any one item of your choice in my TPT or my new TN store free to the first 10 people who give me a new APP or tool I should use on my IPAD.  I already downloaded Pandora, Facebook, Pinterest, and Xfinity.  I can't seem to download TPT as it says it's only for IPhones. 

To get a freebie, please leave me your idea and your email.  Please don't repeat ideas as I would love to have more ideas than repeated ideas.  Thanks in advance everyone!  :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover