Thursday, December 19, 2013

5 for Friday and Elf Linky!

It's finally here! The last day of school in 2013!!! Yahoo! This week has been C-R-A-Z-Y...and fun...but mostly crazy! I've been snapping photos, but haven't had a chance to share what sort of fun things we've been doing in, here it goes!


This month we've been working on multiplication and division this month, my students made these adorable little gifts to hang in our classroom. :) 


On Thursday our staff had a potluck luncheon and I volunteered to bring the decor to help put us into the holiday spirit! I loved how the 'country Christmas' theme turned out!  My favorite part of the table were the oranges with cloves...mmmmm!

In reading this week, our grade level took a break from our new reading series Wonders...which meant that I could spend the week having fun with an author study unit on Jan Brett!  I adore her stories and illustrations, exploring the lessons that can be learned with the students, her word choice, and of course the hidden Hedgie in each picture book.  I focused on three literary/ figurative language elements with my students that Jan Brett uses often: alliteration, personification, & foreshadowing.  Here is a sticky note poster filled with examples from Jan's texts my students found during partner reading! 

Deck the Halls with Division!  We've started our chapter on understanding division and have been having a blast! On Thursday, I surprised my students with these holiday themed division stations.  They had a blast using candy canes, mini presents, & ornaments to solve the word problems...and didn't even realize our math class lasted 15 minutes longer than usual! WINNING!!!!!!

Last, but certainly not least is our little elf friend Frost.  He's been busy flying around our room...I can only imagine the things he's reported to Santa- yeesh! 

First, our poor little elf friend was sick with a cold.  We had to be EXTRA quiet that day so he could catch up on his sleep.  Do you see that little sticky-note computer that was made my one of my students? He said Frost could play some computer games while he was stuck in bed being sick. 
How presh!

The next day we found Frost had made his own little fort and was reading a Llama Llama you notice what page he's on!?

Frost was spotted by our clip chart again, but this time he had a pointer pointing to a brand new mini clip! The clip was covered in frosty white glitter! My students insisted that he be awarded Super Student status immediately! 

Finally, here is our little guy munching on some mini gingerbread cookies, that look surprisingly like buttons! 

Before I go, I do want to share one more thing inspired by a Pinterest find...check out our adorable Mooseletoe pictures!

Thank you for reading and I hope you have an amazing Friday!!!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Elf in the Classroom Linky

I'm so excited to follow Mel D. from Seusstastic & Michelle from Apples & ABC's for their 3 week link series on Elf in the Classroom! This year I finally bit the bullet and purchased an elf for my classroom and my students ADORE him!

On Tuesday our elf was delivered to our classroom...because, well...mail was a little slow and Santa forgot to express him by Monday.  When he DID arrive, he came wrapped up in glittery red paper and a personal note from Santa! Now, did Ms. K remember to take a picture of this adorable package?? Oops! However, the ideas came from Maria at Kinder-Craze, she's a complete doll and is amazingly creative, I wish I could live inside of her brain just for one day!

Here is Frost our elf hiding in our decorative garland...I was praying they didn't spot him until our package arrived.  As it turns out, Frost did too good of a job hiding that day! 

One of the new favorite activities for my kiddies to do during their free time is write in their "Elf Journal" using Notes on our iPads. 

 They astound me with how much they're willing to write when they are truly motivated and excited!!!

My students love searching for Frost each morning! Some of them have even spotted him from the outside the classroom when they've gotten off the school bus! I thought Frost was so clever to hang out in our paper lanterns...and then I saw Teri's elf did this too! They must be besties! 

Here's Frost hanging out with the super student on my behavior chart...wouldn't you know I saw Teri's elf do that too???

I can't wait to see what other kinds of adventures Frost will get into within the next week! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Currently December

Hard to believe it's already December and time for another Currently! I've been enjoying my extended weekend off and am ready to settle down for another nap.  I know....what a life of luxury I lead. ;)

Listening: Rock of Ages is playing the background- LOVE IT! As much as I love the movie, the live show is even more spectacular.

Loving: Cozy pajamas and my fuzzy Ugg slippers help make it the most wonderful time of the year! Give me a cup of hot chocolate and one of those terrible Lifetime Christmas movies or ABC Family and I'm one happy camper.

Thinking: One more day off...just one more, would be amazing! I'm thankful for time I had, but am slightly dreading the next 3 chaotic weeks to Winter Break.

Wanting: Holiday preparations to be done and over with.  I don't know how those of you who are moms do it. ...I'm just going to leave it at that and bow my head in respect. 

Needing: A holiday movie...maybe I'll have to turn on Lifetime soon. My yearly must watch movies are White Christmas, Elf, The Family Stone, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  What are your favorites?

Favorite Tradition: Christmas Eve dinner with my family is a big deal.  My dad is a bit of a foodie and starts planning his menu a month in's always amazing and I always eat WAY too much. Afterwards we all walk waddle into church for the 11pm service where the service ends with the congregation singing Silent Night by candlelight at midnight.  It's beautiful and always reminds me of the magic of Christmas.  

I can't wait to check out all of the other Currentlys over at Farley's! 
Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 22, 2013

'Twas the Friday Before Thanksgiving

I cannot believe it's Friday!!!! This weekend will consist of me, some hot tea, and a comfy bed. I've been battling a nasty cold for the past few days.  Hopefully it's gone before Parent/Teacher conferences on Monday & Tuesday AND the glorious holiday weekend! So here is a small peek at what's been going on with me this week aside from pill popping Mucinex and hacking daintily coughing.

Last Saturday I headed to a local craft show with a buddy of mine and her mamma and I picked up this precious necklace! Now, I'm not usually one for the cheesy teacher jewelry...BUT I really couldn't resist. I mean, how much more Ms. Frizzle can you get, right!? Plus my inner desire to be a kindergarten teacher was thinking 'Ooooo...perfect for Rainbow Day!' 

Ice-Cream for dinner? Duh! This is from one of my favorite homemade ice-cream parlors in the Chicagoland area...folks that is one scoop. For real. It's ridiculous.  Since I'm horrible at decision making, they let me get a half scoop of two flavors, Egg Nog and Cinnamon. Yum! It totally put me in the holiday spirit!

(Please ignore the thumb that is in desperate need of a buddy Alison at Rokin' and Lovin' Learnin' is probably shuddering.  Sorry Alsion!!!

One of the reasons why I love third grade is teaching students how to become more independent learners and developing those problem-solving skills.  My students have been busy editing and revising their expository pieces this week.  Here is a student practicing being independent by checking his spelling using Pages on the iPads.

On Friday I had the opportunity to share one of my favorite read aloud stories during the month of November, Thank You Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson.  I was first introduced to this book in my children's literature class during my time at Monmouth College and fell in LOVE with it.  If you're not familiar, the story introduces the reader to a woman named Sarah Hale whose perseverance resulted in Thanksgiving becoming a national holiday.  

Afterwards, I took the time to read aloud these little notes as to why I was thankful for each and every one of my students.  They blushed when their name was called, patted one another on the back, and even shared a few hugs.  I then slipped the notes in their mailboxes to take home over their holiday vacation.  

At the beginning of the week my students created these feasts to decorate our room during those few spare moments.  Students loved using the hole-puncher to create their green peas, fluffing up cotton balls to make creamy mashed potatoes, and drizzling their brown paint gravy.  

To those of you who are already enjoying your holiday, Happy Thanksgiving! My booty will be back at school on Monday and Tuesday....only two more days! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Five for Friday...kind of!

Time for me to try another Five for Friday...although I may be a tad late! 

We've been multiplying like mad in my classroom lately, students loved creating these multiplication strategy foldables.  I was so excited to see my kiddies show-off each of their strategies (equal groups, array, repeated addition, skip counting, and number lines)!  Division here we come! Eek!

I just love having a set of iPads in my classroom! One of the perks, is no AR Test line! 

I don't know about you...but sometimes we just need a little break.  Including my third graders! This year my class loves to play around the world in small groups with their math facts or watch a School House Rock 3 minute music video.  Love it!

My kids always look forward to Friday's Trade-In at the Sweet Shoppe! Here are some of my goodies I've picked up from dollar stores as well as the coupons from Mel D! They are my kiddies favorites! I only put a few types of coupons at a time and then slowly add to the collection throughout the year.

Just a little snap shot that makes me squeal with excitement.  I picked up all of these microfiber cloths for $5 at my local grocery store! Seriously...of all places. These sit on top of the iPad cart ready to spruce up any of those grimy iPad screens.  

As always, thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mentor Math Text: Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares

Hey there! I'm linking up with the lovely ladies at Collaboration Cuties for their weekly mentor text link!  This week I shared one of my favorite social studies picture books, however the text also has a great tie into our math curriculum!  Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares has been a favorite read aloud for both myself and my third grade students while learning about my favorite founding father...Ben Franklin!

Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares not only highlights interesting information about Ben Franklin, it also connects to Ben's love of problem-solving and mathematical puzzles.  The story tells how Ben Franklin generated the idea of a magic square, which consists of nine boxes with a digit inside each box.  The numbers in rows, columns, and diagonally each added up to 15. 

At the back of the book are directions from Ben on how to create your own magic square.  My kiddies were so excited to get started on creating their own magic squares, just like Ben.

On Monday we were stuck inside for recess due to rainy weather, so a crew of third graders decided to work on creating magic squares during their inside recess!! Aren't they precious!!!

On a not so unrelated kiddies have been working hard on learning their multiplication facts, strategies, and properties! Here are some of my favorite texts I've been able to pull in:
The Best of Times by Greg Tang
Too Many Cooks! by Andrea Buckless
Too Many Kangaroo Things to Do! by Stuart Murphy
Each Orange Has 8 Slices by Paul Giganti
Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong
Hershey's Chocolate Math: From Addition to Multipication by Jerry Pallotta
Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar by Mitsumasa Anno

Two more days left for this week! Am I the only one or has this week taken FOREVER?!?

As always, thanks for reading!