Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Getting Started in Third Grade!

Even thought I won't be teaching third grade again this year, I do have a TON of ideas that I didn't get to share with you last year! We'll start by sharing what I did at the beginning of the school year to get us going! 

The students and I began our first day getting to know each other. The students decorated an All About Me T-shirt!

The students and I first brainstormed some of our favorite things to get our minds going.

You can grab the T-shirt pattern and letters here.

Another get to know each other activity that we did was this one you see here:
Students used this form to fill out information about themselves.

After students filled out information about themselves, I told them that they were going to get to know a classmate by comparing and contrasting their information.

The principal stopped in for this lesson, and we modeled how to use two papers to compare and contrast ourselves with our partner.

Then, students worked with a partner to complete their own Venn Diagram

To get to know me a little bit better, I gave the students a truth and lie quiz!
I came up with 10 things about myself that were either true or false (like 5 true/5 false).
I gave the students a half sheet of paper (you can sort of see it at the top left corner of the picture below). Students wrote true or false after I told them something about myself. Then, students got to create their own quiz. They gave it to multiple partners. It was so much fun!

On the first day of school, we also came up rules that we thought were important to have in the classroom.
First, we read the book, "Grody's Not So Golden Rules."
Afterwards, the students were able to pair up with a partner and pick one rule that they felt was important to have in the classroom. Together, the students made a poster. Then, students shared their rule with the class. (sorry no picture) :-(

I do have to be honest though... my class last year really, really, really liked to talk...A LOT! lol
So, about two days after our rules lesson, I had to pull out some pre-made rules. We talked about each one (not fun, but necessary).
Then, I had my students complete little rule booklets.

This was totally a last minute idea that I had one day, and it worked like a charm.
I posted the rule posters around the room, created blank paper booklets and modeled what I expected of the students.

Before I sent the students off to actually do the activity, we 'acted' like we did each one in my own little book. Lots and lots of reinforcement.

Here are some of the student's booklets.

For our read-aloud, we read the book, "How to be Cool Third Grade."
We began putting entries in our reading response notebooks right away.
I had come up with two pre-made questions each day. One question we answered together. We worked on 'how' to answer the questions. Then, students worked on their own to answer the other question in their reading response notebooks.

On the third day of third grade, we had a huge celebration!!
We were having a tad bit too much fun for me to take a ton of pictures, but you can find all of the fun here!

***********************Academics TIME************************

If I were teaching third this year, I would be pulling these response slips out right away!
 Perfect time to start off a routine!

On day one, we also began working on our independent reading skills. This was SO EASY to do with my class. As much as they loved to talk, they loved to read even more!

We went over what independent reading looks/sounds/feels like.
 We also kept track of our time using a stamina chart.
Here are a few ideas I found on Pinterest for stamina charts.
Classroom Freebies Too: Reading Stamina Graph
This one I love because each kid can have one of their own.

Monday Randomness! New blog post at Mrs. Beattie's Classroom!

I love, love, love this one from Mrs. Beattie's Classroom!

I didn't take a picture of my chart, but I LOVE this expectation chart from, Creating Readers and Writers.
I love the without stamina side! ha ha! It's so true!
My Reading Stamina Anchor Chart (Created with the children during the second week of school.) Creating Readers and Writers Blog Post

The second week of school we finished up our first read-aloud and then we began another one called, "How Not to Start Third Grade." THE KIDS LOVED THIS BOOK!!

We began working on more comprehension focused reading tasks.
You can find the full reading workshop unit here.

The students and I worked with our read aloud to learn how to ask and answer questions about the text, and how to cite the text when answering questions. We wasted 0 time! :-)

We completed many of the activities with partners.

Here is a glimpse at some more activities that we completed that week in reading workshop!
You can find all of this here.

In reading, we also started working on literacy stations within the second week of school.
When I taught third grade, we did about 3 stations a day.
Students filled out one of these sheets each week.
Each day they had to do read to self. I told them when they had to meet with me. Then, they were able to fill in the blanks with word study, spelling or read to someone.
As you can see on the slips, they had to visit a station a certain number of times each week.
Everything they did for the week was kept in their folder.

We didn't start off with the choice board right away. We learned expectations of each station one step at a time.
Here is what I considered word study:

Lots of sorts and grammar activities.

When we began spelling words, we used these activities at the spelling station. 
Students chose a task card to complete and used their spelling words to complete the task.

Here was one of their favorite activities at the beginning of the year.

In math we used these games and activities to start our year:

These stations were used to review 2nd grade concepts.

In third grade, I used the math workshop approach and used this packet to help get us started (I'll be using it in first too-it rocks)!

When we began math stations, we did not do full blown rotations. We did whole group lessons, then I assigned pairs of students a bucket to complete.
It looked like this:

The tubs were numbers 1-13. There were really only 5-6 different activities in all 13 buckets. Students repeated the activities. 
I put in activities we did whole group in the buckets, football math stations and some freebies I found on tpt!

Once, we got math workshop really going, the board looked more like this.

I hope you stuck with me through this post! It was a long one, but I really hope it helps you get going!!

Friday, June 19, 2015

My Week & New Products Giveaway!

I just have to say this... Teaching never leaves my mind AND I love it!! At the end of the school year, I was burnt OUT! I am not ready to begin school anytime soon. I am thoroughly enjoying my summer break because I get to create, create, create!! I love having the time 'off' to prepare for the upcoming school year. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've been really busy creating activities for back to school. I've got a little nugget on the way and I am trying to get as ready as I possibly can. I know once Sept/Oct hits, my mind will be on baby and not as much on creating. Ya feel?! lol

I also haven't gotten to give any of it away! So, today there is a giveaway going on, and I'm giving away EVERYTHING I've created so far!! It's at the bottom on #5! :-)

Anywho, let's get on a roll with this Five for Friday! 

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This week, I got glasses!! AHH! I went to the Dr. two weeks ago. She asked me if I had any concerns with my sight. I said nope, each time I've gotten a check-up I've had 20/20 vision. I hadn't noticed any changes. She then asked me to read the bottom row of letters and I say, "MNIEOD." The Dr. looked at me, giggle and went, "NOPE!" Ha! So, needless to say, my eyesight has changed since my last check up. I'm secretly excited to have glasses. They really enhance that 'teacher look!"

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I've been growing very slowly in the belly area and Mr. Hursh caught a cute photo on Saturday of my little tiny bump. It's more like a bloated belly at this point! lol Anyway, we went on a date night to one of our favorite restaurants called Marcella's Italian Kitchen!

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Then, yesterday. I decided to go to the teacher store for a little shopping trip. I am being really, really good this summer. I am not spending money on teacher stuff! But wait, I just said I went shopping?! That's right! I had a gift card!!!! :-) Here is what I got!

I also stocked up on some other things a few weeks ago with another gift card to the teacher store! <3 p="">

I am really trying to stock up on things that I can see myself using throughout the year and not just once. If you have any must haves for first grade, let me know!

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I've also already been planning for the year ahead. So far, I have the first week planned- and almost the second week planned too! My district does not have a curriculum that we have to follow, so planning does take a while... that's why I'm getting a head start. I love that I don't have a curriculum to follow!!! I do a lot of reading to gather ideas! For math this year (because one person can't do it all), I am using EngageNY. I found this website at the end of 3rd grade and wished I could have used it all year. I'm going to use it as a guideline for my lessons... and of course still use my interactive math journals and math stations!

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Most of what I've been doing this week is CREATING STUFF!!! :-)
Here is what I've created this far! There are many more things to come!

Back to School Math Stations - Not out Yet!! ;-)

That is a total of 6 free products!!!

I also haven't done a giveaway yet this summer... so if you are in need of the stuff below.. enter the giveaway at the bottom and you can win it all!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday!

Hey all! Each Wednesday this summer, I am going to be participating in Wishlist Wednesday with Jenn over at Teacher by the Beach!

Basically, each Wednesday I'll peak at what you all are putting on your wishlists from my store and I'll put it on sale! It's as simple as that!

This week I am choosing my best seller because so many have you have placed this one on your wishlist. This is by far one of my favorite products that I've made! It's so useful, and can be used literally any time of the year! (Score)!!

This product covers a wide range of concepts so you can use it as an intervention tool, small group work, morning work or a whole group lesson! I've also made these activities easy enough for students to complete on their own. There aren't many fold here, fold there flipper flappers! ;-) I do love those, but sometimes, we all just need something quick and to the point!

Here is a little peek at one of the activities included. 
(Don't mind my terrible photog skills that I had 2 years ago-we all learn) ha!

All of these activities were completed by my firsties independently! No questions asked!
At the top of each activity, there is also an I can statement to keep students focused on their skill.

In the interactive math journal I also have what I call 'mini-stations.' They are a lot like the cards we teachers like to cut out for the kids, but this one the students cut out and they sort & glue! 
Perfect & easy!

If you're interested in grabbing this gem for this upcoming year, click here! I promise it'll be a lifesaver time and time again!

Also, don't forget to follow my store, because I have a set 2 in store for you!