Friday, September 6, 2013

new insights on visualizing

I discovered something I didn't know before a few hours ago from my third graders. We were talking about First Day Jitters and I asked who could see what was going on. Then a student told me he was hearing the characters voices and the kids in the hallway from the story. I couldn't hear it, I'm visual. Then we did a quick three corners including the kids whose bodies started slumping when Sarah was slumping. Only one student was left not in a corner. He didn't visualize, listen, or act out the story. He wasn't in the story with us. He said he doesn't usually like stories and he forgets them easily. Then the other kids told them they just remember what they saw, heard, or did while reading. We need a new name for visualizing because we are leaving out learners who are really experiencing the stories.

Monday, July 8, 2013

self-checking multiplication wheels

It's been a while since I've tried to share something. This may or may not work
I found these addition wheels, but my third graders needed multiplication.

I placed two wheels on each page because I plan on printing on cardstock. I have wheels 2, 10, 5, 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 8, 7, squares, and review for some of the facts the kids keep forgetting.

Get your copy here:
self-checking multiplication wheels

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Projects

I am very excited to be moving into our renovated building and my new classroom this fall. My elementary school has been two buildings for decades, and we are finally all going to be in one building. There will be many changes, new principal, some reduced staff because of double positions, new teammates. I was fortunate to be a third grade teacher with a last name starting near the beginning of the alphabet because I was assigned this room.
This space was once the health room and principal's office. We've had chances to go in and measure, and decide how we will fill the cabinets.

We've never had overhead cabinets, so that is somewhat exciting. The shelves are 12 inches deep, so I can't store the weekly posters for Treasures series up here. :(
 This is my only bookcase for the room, and it is a built in.
My SMART board will be mounted across from these cabinets, and in the back of the room under the whiteboard will be the computer stations. How many places do you see for a kidney table?
Before I used a light turquoise fadeless bulletin board cover with black and bright borders. Now that the floor is a purple blue with yellow and orange accents, I decided to switch up colors. I found a very pale blue bulletin board cover and am still pinning possible borders.
My new theme is..... sunflowers and butterflies!
I made up labels for the inside?/outside? of the cabinets so I know what should be in there.
I purchased 3 bunches of artificial sunflowers to make fancy pens that will go in a flower pot for final drafts and decorate on top of the cabinets. I also printed out pictures and placed them in matching frames. I am still considering if I want to paint the frames white.
To keep myself organized, I made labels and file folders for Common Core ELA, something we didn't spend much time on this year. We did a huge common core fraction unit and I have math resources labeled and ready, but language arts was in the back of my mind. I feel better and will share some links to materials I plan on using.

Kindergarten math

Near the end of the school year, a friend who is a TA in kindergarten was telling me that she wasn't so sure a small group was going to do so well with their upcoming assessment. They were having a hard time staying interested in their math group. So I made up some materials to help her practice counting to 5.
The 1-5 cards were for 1-1 correspondence, and the set cards were for identifying the correct number.

These cards were used to count items, and I spy ( I spy a card that shows 3 items and one of them is a tree)

Sorry this is upside down. I attached hippo heads to small socks and found the small foam balls at the Dollar Tree. Using a small shirt box, their hungry hippo hands "ate" a certain number of balls.
A little more engaging for tuned out little ones.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Let's cheer for...

Switching grades has really kicked my butt.It's only been 4 years since I was in third grade, but lots changed.
Sorry. I haven't been on blogs since September. I'll have much catching up to do.
Yesterday I was listening to the kids cheering each other on in gym and even the awws when someone missed. Can you imagine if that happened up in the classrooms? What if they cheered for every correct response for their classmates, and felt that surge of support? Just thiniking.

STEM project birds nests



 We were reading books about different types of birds making nests and the materials that are used. I designed a project that we could complete in class with a home project possible. Students used one box of toothpicks, 2 sticks of clay, and cotton balls. They had to decide the properties of their materials and their uses in the nest. Have you ever tried to build a nest just using natural materials? I was disappointed in my attempts. Good thing I'm not a bird. At home the kids had a wider list of materials available, and they look a little more interesting. All of the nests met the criteria of supporting 2 eggs and withstanding the hair dryer. Printables soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Great First Day

The Notebooks and labels paid off, everyone is organized. This year I made a check off sheet for the students as we labeled their supplies. One column said Thanks for getting my.. And the other column said I still need my...At the bottom was a message to send in a note if they would note be able to get the supplies by the end of the week.
A brand new student was crying this morning. Before her mother and grandmother left, they told me how shy she was and if she wasn't eating lunch with the other students by the end of the week to call home. Is your heart breaking? So I found her two friends to look out for her today, but two other girls took over and played with her at recess, giggling and smiling. She's in and she has friends.
If you are a parent and not a teacher and you just happened to stumble across this blog, please do your child and their teachers a huge favor: DON'T drive them to school on the first day of school unless you plan on driving them every day. The school bus had to bring two of my students back because they were on the wrong bus. 
If you have access to SMART products, make a class list in random word generator. The kids thought it was the greatest thing ever. I might still make up name sticks for substitute days or days when technology isn't working. Students were also excited about video recording book talks and having permission to try Edmodo if their parents sign their permission slips. How do you use technology to keep your students excited to show what they know?