Friday, April 25, 2014

Five for Friday 4/25/14

I made it to FRIDAY! This week was a full five day I the only one, or has it felt like ages since we've had one of these?? 

We've continued to work on our skills measuring area and perimeter this week in math.  My kiddos LOVED creating pens for this little perimeter puppy from AMC Looking from Third to Fourth! I love how this student added a chaise lounge and umbrella to provide some shade for his pup! I highly recommend this freebie if you're introducing perimeter and area to your class.  You can pick up your freebie HERE

To celebrate Secretary's Day on Wednesday my class created this heart shaped Post-It note poster for our school secretary because she always keeps ups 'posted' on all of the important events at school.  I loved all sweet little messages and doodles my thirdsters created for her! So precious!

Did this make you say, "HUH?!?!?" because that's exactly what I said when I walked into my classroom this morning and found it on my table! We're in the midst of our animal unit and just read about extinction and fossils, so one of my student's brought in this model of a Saber-Toothed Tiger she had at home. At home??? I mean doesn't EVERYONE have a Saber-Toothed Tiger skull just laying around...let's see...where did I store mine?

The kids loved it, of course! It was the talk of the town and a lot of fun to closely examine!

This week we were working on determining character traits through reading stories in the fairy tale genre. I was SO excited to share some of my favorite stories! I decided to use only Cinderella stories for my read alouds this week.  Here's a snapshot of some of my favorite titles! 

This picture makes me SO happy! I'm part of my district's math committee and we've been working hard to get a CCSS aligned math curriculum for our schools for the past two years.  On Tuesday we made our presentation to the school board on our recommendation of the Go Math! series published by Houghton-Mifflin.  I was shaking in my boots before we presented...okay I was really shaking in my strappy sandals, but you get the picture. I was ecstatic to find out that the board voted YES! 
I can't wait to see all of the great gains our students will make over the next few years! 

Now, I'm off to enjoy the weekend and celebrate one of my besties's birthdays! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Camo Critters

Hi Y'all!
I'm in an especially cheery mood because Chicagoland has finally decided to change seasons and become SPRING! Yahoo! Goodbye winter coats, boots, and sweaters...hopefully I won't be needing you until November!

I wanted to share a fun little activity we did today that goes along with our Animal Unit.  The idea actually comes from our ancient vintage Science textbook!  This activity was used as an introduction into the second portion of our chapter on animal behaviors and survival techniques.

First, my kiddies were given a quarter piece of computer paper and asked to draw an insect that could be camouflage with the surroundings of our classroom.

Next, my students cut out their little buggies trying not to leave any traces of the white paper.

Then, they each got a small pieces of tape and placed their bug around the room.  I love to see how creative they all get! 

I didn't even spot this one until the end of the day!!!

Finally, when all was said and done we played what we called 'Birds of Prey'.  My students were given one minute to 'fly' around the room to try and spot as many camo critters as they could find.

It's a simple and engaging activity that led us into a great discussion on camouflage and how animals use that to survive in the wild, which means that this teacher is happy, happy, happy! 

What are some of your favorite engaging (and simple) activities to incorporate in your classroom?? I'd love to know!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five for Friday 4/18/14

It's been a doozy of a week! 

I'm loving these cute frames and the adorable little girl in glasses! She's fabulous!

One of my students asked if she could organize my sticky-note drawer during inside recess! Her Type A teacher couldn't be more proud! Ha!

Okay...I'm cheating on this one. Technically my kids made these a few weeks ago, but they turned out SO cute! I adore this gumball craft from Amy Lemons, you can purchase yours HERE!

We had all sorts of fun learning about area and perimeter this week, you can check out my post and pick up a few freebies HERE

We've started our Animal Classification Unit in Science, here's a shot of some of the books we've been reading.  The kids always love learning about animals, but I'm looking for some ways to liven up my unit.  I'd love to know if anyone has a must read text or fun activity I could incorporate! 

Happy Easter!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Area Awesomeness and Partying with Perimeter

Is this not a great visual?? I found the idea on Pinterest, but it wanted to lead me to No Man's Land...if you know who's idea it belongs to I'd love to give them credit! 

I've really grown to love teaching third grade really love it! Area and perimeter is one of my favorite chapters, the kids just 'get it' and really start making some connections between math they already know! Now if only we can make some better connections in our writing....hmph! 

I'm excited to share a few things I've been doing with my class this year during our Area/Perimeter chapter, and if you're patient with me, you'll find some freebies at the end. :)

First up is GeoBoard App! It's so simple, easy to use, and free! I LOVE not having to waste time passing out my other manipulatives and dodging rubber band sling shots! WINNING!

Next up is Area and Perimeter Word Work, it's another simple activity I typed up and put in my Word Work station.  I love to have the kids reviewing math skills while practicing their spelling words and they love finding anything new in the Word Work bin! 

Here's a picture of one in action, I printed mine double sided and slipped it into a dry erase sleeve.  Make sure your students write their word on the middle row, this way your letters that dip below the line and your tall letters have space.  Students then draw a box around the entire word and determine the area and perimeter.  How simple is that??

My final share are these adorable Perimeter Pets! I gave the kids some graph paper to draw the best type of pet, they then determined the area and perimeter of the pet. I also had them do a bit of opinion writing where they had to include their reasoning for picking the animal they drew.  

It was a simple activity that the kids LOVED.  

I promised you freebies, and you can find both the Area and Perimeter visual and Word Work 
HERE and HERE, or by clicking on their images above. 


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pairs of Pears: Having Fun with Homophones

My kiddies have been working on homophones, which I have to admit was trickier for some of my ELL students than I had anticipated.  So, I just HAD to share with you two great resources that helped in my classroom while teaching homophones!

First up is Gene Barretta's Dear Deer picture book.  This was not a new addition to my classroom library, but I was reminded by how helpful and fun it is for my class to read.  The illustrations help my students connect the two different meanings.  I read this story underneath my document camera, so all of my third graders could read the text and spot the two different spellings.  They LOVED it!  Click on the picture to find the book being sold on Amazon...I ordered mine through Scholastic. Hello Bonus Points! 

My second find is new to my classroom this year...Pingo! It's from Sarah Cooley's great Homophone Activity Pack and my kids LOVE it.  They're literally begging me to play Pingo any chance they get.  What is Pingo you ask? Well, it's a homophone Bingo and a whole lot of fun! Follow Sarah's name to pick up your Pair of Pear pack say that three times fast!!! 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Real Life Direction Reading and Problem-Solving

As teachers we always are looking to give our kids real-world experiences. I try to stress to my students how what we're learning in class is important and influences our success in the real world.  School is SO much more than tests and quizzes. I know this, you know this, but sometimes our kiddies get so hung up on performing well on those assessments!  

That's why I was really impressed with this direction reading activity in our district's newly adopted ELA Program, Wonders!!!

The activity came in one of our guided reading books and included step-by-step directions on how to create a paper weaving project.  

My kids and I were eager to begin working! I sat with my camera and note pad to document my students' problem-solving skills and how well they read the directions.

This poor guy had a rough start! He started cutting his paper without reading the directions and had to start over immediately.  From then on he kept his book close at hand!

I really liked sitting back and watching a few of my kids at a time working through the process and they of course LOVED making a project! 
What kind of real-life experiences do you try to give your students?

I'm off to WI for the Outdoor Education Trip! Wish me luck!!!
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Made It- April Egg-dition

Hey There! The crafting and creating bug has been humming in my ear lately, but I haven't had a lot of time to get anything done.  Hopefully I'll find some spare moments soon and get some projects underway.  
A few things I was able to create were a math and literacy center for my kiddies and they have been loving them! 

First up is Springtime Synonyms.  I filled a shoebox with some Easter grass and wrote a word on each half of a plastic eggs. 

Super simple and a nice review for my third graders on synonyms and helped to build some vocabulary for my ELL students! 

Next I created a math station called Egg-Citing Multiplication.  I used my cheap Easter Eggs again to display two factors...I just did this with my Sharpie...because I'm fancy like that. 

My students liked matching two factors to their product and their teacher loves anything that reviews multiplication and division facts! 

If you'd like to use my same little chickies you can download them HERE from my TPT store.  

I'm getting excited because here in Chicagoland we're finally experiencing some spring weather! Perhaps I will be able to pack away my winter clothes before summer vacation after all! 

Don't forget to check out Tara's terrific blog and all of the other Monday Made Its!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

SUBlime Read Alouds for the Substitute Teacher

Hi All!  I'm relaxing and enjoying the last night of Spring Break.  I'm sad to wake up early again tomorrow, but happy I had time to spend time with some people I love!!!  

Currently I'm a busy, busy girl working on report cards, a presentation for the school board, writing a grant, and preparing 3 days worth of sub plans.  No, I'm not going on vacation or having surgery.  I'm chaperoning my school's Fifth Grade Outdoor Education Trip.  

I'll give you a moment to take that in.

Yep, me.....little miss I like to craft, bake, read, and shop.  I'm outdoorsy now.
That's what I keep telling everyone anyways!
I even bought my first piece of camo clothing to celebrate the occasion!

So, anyways back to that little picture above...
Back in my babysitting days I used to carry with me a few picture books that included babysitters in the storyline.  It was something fun and special for those little kiddos and I! 
 I decided why not have a collection of books on substitute teachers to leave with my sub!?
I leave this little pile on my desk with a small note saying to read one of these if the mood strikes 
(or if you need a time filler)!

Here's what I've collected so far:
Substitute Creacher by Chris Gall
The Substitute Teacher from the Black Lagoon
The Berenstain Bears and the Substitute Teacher

I'd love to know if you know of any other titles for my collection! 
Do you leave anything special on the days when you have a substitute? 

I'm off to do outdoorsy chop some firewood or cure my own meat...NBD

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