Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fraction update & Visual Plans!

This week is all about that test. My kids are getting tested for a total of 4.5 hours this week.... that is an hour of our writing block for three days and a half hour out of math for three days. Lots of learning lost there, but-no worries! With the help of More Time 2 Teach, Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher and Inspired Owls Corner, we've got a fun week planned!!
Click on my plans for a closer look, and clickable links!!

We are going to be finishing up our Fraction unit! My kids have been having a blast with this one! You can read about the beginning of our unit here.
After we got back from spring break, we got into the knitty gritty of fractions! We sped through number lines! The kids loved them! 

I took the approach of giving students number line problems before I actually taught them about fractions on a number line. Students used what they knew to problem solve. They LOVE this kind of learning. My math coach introduced this way of teaching to me, and I don't know if I can ever go back. You basically flip your instruction. Give the kids a task, don't teach them and then teach them what they need to know. It's great for assessment and differentiation. Plus, it saves a lot of time!

Here are some student work samples from the problems they were given. The kids did two problem prompts a day with a partner. They problem solved together .... that means discussion about meaningful math topics! Then, as a class we went over what they found. This is where I address any misconceptions. I also did some direct teaching here if it was needed.

 You can really see the progression in learning through their problem solving books. It's really cool!

Lately, we've been working on equivalent fractions, and my personal favorite... comparing fractions! ;-P

When I introduced equivalent fractions, I took a similar approach. The kids came to the carpet with their white boards, and I just had the question and four fractions are the top. I asked the kids to try to solve the first one. (we did go over what equivalent meant).
They were cute when trying to solve for an equivalent fraction.
 They looked at me like I had lost my head. I had them work on 2/3 for about 2-3 minutes. Some students go it, and some were just plain lost. I modeled the first one. Then, as we went onto each fraction I helped them along less and less.
After our lovely whiteboard lesson, we played some equivalent bingo! The cards I used to call out for kids to find their bingo can be found here.

Now, we are playing games to work on equivalent fractions, and comparing fractions. We are using fraction strips to get better. I am pulling groups of 5 to complete activity sheets, and provide support to students who really need it.

We've been up to a lot more lately, and I'm backed up on blog posts for you... but, we'll get there!! ;)
Have a fantastic week!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

#iteachthird Comes to Life!

Hey all! So, I was approached to join an amazing group of third grade teachers to start a new collaborative blog called, I Teach Third! This blogs purpose is to help the other third grade teachers out there! So, be sure to follow!

We are kicking our blog off TODAY with a huge celebration! 
You can get 11 free products that are all for third grade, and from amazing tpt creators! 
Click the image below to head on over to my second home!! ;-)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Daily Schedule

Today, I am joining Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Lucky Little Learners for their monthly #2getherwearebetter linky parties! We're going to be discussing our schedules and resources we use in the classroom!

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You know how you always see those fabulous schedules on Pinterest and all over bloggy land...?
 I used to look at those and say, "How in the world do they do that everyday?" I loved looking at them, and I used to try to make my schedule mirror other schedules that I thought were 'ideal!' I cannot tell you how many schedules I have tried in my little teaching career! It's probably around the range of 20...! :-0 Good thing kids are resilient! 

This year, I finally learned... that there is no 'perfect' schedule. No matter how hard I try to set a routine to follow each day of the entire year, it just doesn't work. My schedule depends on WHAT I'm teaching at that time. 

My advice to you, don't be too hard on yourself if you are sometime who felt like I did. I honestly used to be so hard on myself.  I felt like something was wrong with me because I couldn't stick with a set schedule. Honestly, if I kept my day the same every single day, then I wouldn't be doing 'me.' I would be a little bored. This is why! --I like projects... I like active learning... I like collaboration... I love trying new things... I try to stay away from worksheety things... This stuff takes time, and yes, messes up the 'schedule.' Don't feel bad if you don't stick to your schedule each day, if you're moving away from it, then I bet you're doing something really meaningful with the kids. They'd rather do the something meaningful, than sticking to the schedule! Trust me! ;) They will thank you! 

With all that said, this is my 'ideal' schedule. Keep in mind though... it doesn't go this way everyday because classroom 'life' happens. So, sometimes... the schedule will change!

Now, onto resources I use...

As you can see, my school does not have a curriculum. I literally get to be 'me' in the classroom, and I love it! It's hard work, but I love it!

For reading, I use a lot of mentor texts. I create my own lessons to go along with the books. I haven't uploaded many of them to tpt due to lack of time. Here are a few of my reading units that I've used this year with my third graders! 

I use these for student's reading responses.



My kids also do reading stations to work on grammar & language skills.
These are the stations that my students are currently working through.

For math, I also make all of my own units. Some of them not yet uploaded, but I have quite a few.




For more, click here.

Sometimes, my students work with math stations. These can be found here.

I hope this post helped out a little bit!
If you have any questions, please comment below!! :) I'd love to help!

Make sure you link up too, or check out these other great posts!