Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Free Planner and BaCk to ScHoOl Goodies

Hello darlings!  As much I as LOVE the summer, I know that it has to come to an end and we have to get back to our AMAZING jobs!  I do adore teaching, so it isn't a terrible thing and I am sure you all feel the same way.  To make the return a little sweeter, we brought back our FREE planner from last year.  We had a lot of requests to make a 2014-2015 version and we are excited to tell you that it is READY!  Thanks Jamie for changing all the dates!  You can also download my lesson plan pages, grade book, and dividers for free.  Sorry they are not editable!     I just ask that you pin it to share with others!    Click each pic to download.

This is a pic of last year's planner.  This year's calendar is purple.

 Download lesson plan pages for free!

Grade Book                                                    and                               Dividers

Also check out my Teal and Green Classroom Decor Megapack!
and my Safari Classroom Decor Mega Pack!

I also updated my Year Long Word Study Unit for third grade.  Check it out here!

You can also get a head start on the year with this Best Selling Bundle from Educents!  It has 15 units geared for grades 2-3!  The sale ends in three days!

Stay tuned for an AWESOME bloghop starting August 1st!


Monday, June 30, 2014

Keep Your Students Learning this Summer

Hello darlings!  I apologize to all my wonderful followers for being missing for a while.  I had quite a challenging class this year and I needed a little break. =)  Boy did I get it!  I just came back from a two week tour of Europe!  I can't even describe to you how amazing it was!  I really want to go back!  I went with a tour group for 18-35 year olds called Contiki.  We were in a new country basically everyday!  We started in London then went to Amsterdam, St. Goar (Germany), Munich,  Austria, Venice, Rome, Florence, Switzerland, and then Paris.  I got to take a bike ride through Munich, go white water rafting in Austria, climb a Mountain in Switzerland, ride a gondola in Venice, sight-see off the top of the Eiffel Tower and so much more.  I met AMAZING people on my trip whom I know will be life long friends.  I will most definitely be doing another tour next summer!

So... what can I share with you for your classroom?  Well, it is a little late for this year, but maybe you can use it for your kiddos next year.  I am always so worried about my kiddos losing their learning over the summer.  Research shows that students can regress as much as two reading levels if they do not read over the summer.  Yikes!   I am sure that like me, you bust your bottom to get those reading levels up during the year.  I decided to make a fun activity suitcase that my kiddos can take with them where ever they go this summer.    Check it out here.
Detailed directions with pictures
Reading Journal with suggested activities and sentence starters
Writing Journal with optional prompts
Camp Workout Game: incorporation multiplication and physical activity
Hike the Hills Game: multiplication strategy game "spotting animals"
Spinner Game: includes 3 different multiplication/division game options

I did this on the last day of school with my kiddos.  The key to these activities is that students take ownership in creating the journals and games themselves.  Students simply color each page, cut out, and staple the journals together.  They also put together the spinner and the other games.  Once completed, they put each game or journal in its own sandwich bag and then place everything inside the suitcase.  We play the games in partners and start off one of the journal entries for reading and writing.   I offer a prize or treat to the students who bring back their suitcase the next year with completed journals.  They also get to sign my stellar student wall.

I hope you check this out and find it useful.  I would love to give two lucky winners this resource for free.  Just tell me your favorite vacation spot and leave your email.  You may find this in your in box tomorrow!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Five For Friday*Linky Party*May 9th

I just love these linky parties. As a matter of fact, one of my blogging goals is to try to link up at least once every week, if not every two weeks. So I decided to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five For Friday linky party. I love this simple idea for showing 5 pictures from your day or week.

So this past Tuesday was the beginning of our state testing for us 3rd grade teachers in our district. The 4th graders don't start testing till next week, so they decided to visit us with some MAP tip booklets that they created. Since this is the 3rd graders first time taking the test, they don't really know what to expect. This is a great way to give the kiddos opportunities to talk to 4th graders about their questions and nerves for the test.

On Monday, after meeting with the 4th graders, we went out to recess. Two of my girls came running up to me and said, "Look what we found Mrs. Day!" Both of the girls came across a 4 leaf clover. They had mentioned that they were looking for one so they could have good luck on the MAP test. I told them that it was meant to be and was a great reminder that they were going to do great. It actually gave me goose bumps when they showed me them because to me, that was a sign from God that everything was going to be ok this week. :)

Every morning during MAP testing, I put a note with a treat on each one of my kiddos desk. They cannot wait to come into to see what it says each day. This is just an example of one of the notes that I created for my kiddos. Grab these by visiting Fun Test Taking Strategies post from April.

As mentioned within my MORE Testing Strategies post, my kiddos donated either money or items for the "I Rock" table. This has been a BIG hit throughout the week. I allow kiddos, who were focused, persevered, and checked over their work while taking the MAP test, choose an item from the table. This is what our "I Rock" table looked like at the beginning of the week.

I couldn't resist posting this pic as well. So on Wednesday, our team had a 1/2 release day in the afternoon. This just comes to show what state testing can do to teachers. To give you a little insight about what is happening within this James (the only guy within our building...poor guy) and I were being too loud for Amy. She couldn't hear the video and concentrate, so she decided to open up her umbrella to block out the distractions and sound. I just had to take a picture of this. It gave us some laughs, which we needed in the midst of a stressful time/day.
Happy Friday to you! Hope you have a splendid weekend! Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!
By the way, I apologize for this. However, I made a mistake on the answer key on my Perimeter & Area Scoot. If you downloaded it yesterday, you need to redownload it as I fixed my answer key. I apologize again for the inconvenience!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

End of the Year Ideas & Geometry Freebie

So I have been MIA for the past few weeks. It has been crazy on my end here lately. Between preparing for the wonderful MAP test (which we started yesterday) and some personal things, I have barely had enough time to myself. However, I couldn't neglect you guys any longer. You guys help me so the least I could do is try to share some insight that maybe one person (teacher, parent, reader) could use. :)

I don't know about you but we still have 4 1/2 weeks left until summer starts. Thanks to the many snow days we had! It seems so far away, yet I feel like I still have some much content to cover in Social Studies/Science and DRA's have be done as well. We will be busy, busy until the last day of school, as we have a lot planned. We had a 1/2 release day yesterday afternoon, a full day next week, a field trip the week after, Memorial Day off, 3rd grade carnival, and then it's camp week during the last week of school. So much fun stuff coming up. It gets to be my favorite time of the year!
Since I cannot seem to not think about it being the end of the year, I figured I would share my End of the Year Ideas that my kiddos loved last year. (Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics while doing these as I wasn't in the blogging sense then).

 These are Common Core aligned, which makes it more meaningful for the end of the year. Some of these ideas correlate with our camp week. However, they could be used, even though you don't do camp.

Friendly Letter Ideas

Memory Book

Order of Events (Chronological Order)

Tips for Next Year Brochure, End of the Year Charades, & Classroom Library Hunt

These ideas could be used if you have some free time or implemented within reading and writing. You can grab these ideas by clicking here. In addition to using my own ideas, I purchased Hope King's The Ultimate End of Year Writing Bundle to use as well. I plan on using this again this year as well.

Now, in midst of preparing for the MAP test, we just finished up with our geometry unit. We reviewed angles, triangles, solid shapes, plane shapes, congruent shapes, and many other topics within geometry. Unfortunately, our Singapore program doesn't have a lot of resources for all of these various topics. Therefore, I used a lot of outside resources. Unfortunately, I didn't use a lot of website resources, rather than Brainpop and BrainpopJr. These are my two top "go to" websites for any concept that I am reviewing/implementing.

Area and perimeter seems to create some confusion with my kiddos. Anytime my kiddos are trying to learn something that could be challenging, I try to think about implementing a song whenever I can. My teammates shared this song with me and thought it was great. My kiddos love it and it is a great way to remember the difference between perimeter and area.

You could also do the same tune with area as well with the following lyrics:

Area's inside, Area's inside,
Oh, Oh, don't you know,
Area's inside.
Multiply length by width, multiply length by width,
Oh, oh, don't you know,
Multiply length by width.

I created this Perimeter & Area Scoot-Tetris Style to use as a review. You can use it as a scoot, a read the room activity, or a center. Kiddos will look at each Tetris shape and determine its perimeter and area. To create a challenge, I didn't put the measurements for each side. Instead, I included a key that states how much each square is worth.


To thank you for stopping by, click on the link and download this for FREE! :)

What are some end of the year ideas you plan on implementing at the end of the year? I would love any feedback you may have.

Also, follow us on Bloglovin' to stay up-to-date with us! :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Writing Prompt Resources: State Test Prep

      Hello darlings!  Our state testing starts Tuesday. (MAP Test for our Missouri friends)  One of the requirements for our third graders is to respond to a prompt.  They have to brainstorm, complete a rough draft, edit and revise, and then write the final draft all in one sitting.  Yikes!  My poor babies!  But they can do it!  

      Before I taught them anything about prompts, I gave them a pretest.  They received the rainy day prompt below and had 45 mins to complete it.  I told them we would be using the pretest to measure their growth.  They love to see their progress!    We spent about a week and a half really digging into prompts.  I broke it down into steps for them.  We started with a pretty easy prompt and then I modeled for them.

      I find that kiddos always get hung up on just reading the prompt. Some prompts kiddos really do not have any experience with the activity given.  I have seen prompts such as, Tell about a time you went on vacation.  Describe a problem you had to overcome.  or  Write a letter to your librarian about your favorite book.  Explain why that book should be on display.    I often hear, "But I've never done that," or "I haven't been on vacation." or "I don't have a favorite book."    Well, great.... they are stuck before they even start.  It is important to explain that they can use their IMAGINATIONS.  They can make it up.  Of course we talk about it being realistic, as we wouldn't take a vacation to the moon or something like that.

    After each step, I model for them exactly what I am looking for.  This is a very basic example above, but the outline helps them remember what to include.  We talk about the thesis being our roadmap to the entire essay.

    Lots of kiddos slack off when it come to the conclusion.  They just want to say, "And that is what I would do on a rainy day."  BORING!  Yawn, snore!  We talk about the reader having memory loss and they have no idea what you just talked about.  You must repeat it.  

Once my kiddos completed each step, (we did one paragraph a day)  they put it all together in the form of a book so we could take a look at their progress.  We took a piece of large construction paper and folded it in half.  

On the front, they designed a title page.
 On the left, they stapled or glued the brainstorm with the rough draft underneath.

On the right, they stapled in their final copy.  We used final copy paper from our MAP Prep books.  You can use any lined paper.  (You can see the rough draft on the right-they labeled each section with a sticky note so they could PROVE they had each piece.)

On the very back, they stapled their pretest.  It was so funny to hear them talking to each other.  Some of them were like, "Wow, look at how much more I wrote in my final copy!"

Here is another kiddo's example.

 Another pretest.

If you have never heard of Learn Zillion, you need to check it out!  They have an interactive lesson for writing prompts as well as many others!

Do you have any fun ideas for writing prompts?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Elapsed Time Freebies

Hello darlings!  If you read Jamie's last post, you know that we just finished our Time Unit in third grade.  Jamie has some FABULOUS resources so make sure you check out her post!  I just wanted to share with you a few quick ideas to make your time unit more interesting.

Below you will see my Time placemats.  They are simply one clock outline copied onto a large piece of construction paper and then laminated.  These were created by my good friend Kelly when she taught with me over 7 years ago, so yes, they last!   I made you a new one here since I don't have her original.   These mats are awesome because I can quickly move around and see who gets it and who is still confused.    We also used them for "leap frogging" the elapsed time.  Kiddos could draw on the clock itself.  I LOVE the handheld clocks that some companies sell, but I feel that kiddos rely too much on physically moving the hands and when we ask them to do it on paper it doesn't transfer over.  I use the handheld clocks for my struggling kiddos who need that concrete example.  Most of my third graders are cool with the pictorial representation.

These kiddos are working on telling time with the "Time Code"- quarter after, half past, and quarter til.  We divide the clock into fourths and I show them that 1/4 of 60 minutes is 15 minutes.  (60 divided by 4=15)  We talk about how 15 minutes is a quarter of an hour.  I make the distinction that this is NOT like a quarter of a dollar or 25 cents.  That would be 1/4 of 100.  Click here for the Time Code Freebie and Brochure.

After I am confident that my kiddos can tell time, we move onto Elapsed Time (which of course I spelled wrong on the anchor chart...)  We start off with the leap frogs  and then we move onto timelines.  In our Singapore Math Program, kiddos also have to convert minutes to hours.  We do this by subtracting out 60 minutes until we can't subtract it any more.  Of course my advanced kiddos can divide by 60.  

TO apply this to real life, I bring in a bunch of DVD's and set them around the room.  Kiddos then go around and convert the run time into hours and minutes.

A fun review game my students play involves Cell Phones.  Each kiddo gets his/her own cell phone for the day.  They were WAY TOO excited about this, considering it was just paper!  But hey, whatever works!  I have seen those adorable games that involve making wrist watches and then having kiddos walk around and tell the time on each person's wrist.  I took that concept and updated it.  

I don't know about you, but I don't wear a watch.  I always look at my cell phone to tell the time.  Click here to download the FREE game.  

Give each student a cell phone and a recording sheet. Students must walk around and exchange cell phones. They record the time on their recording sheet, but they can’t move on until the person who owns the cell phone agrees that the time is correct. 

This game can also be played as SCOOT. Place one phone on each student desk. Students SCOOT from one desk to another, recording the answers on their sheet.

Do you see anything weird about the picture above?  I am glad my kiddos have learned to work cooperatively with everyone.  Go Cards!!!!

I hope this post proves to be useful to you.  We always love to hear about people who use our stuff or got a great idea from a post.  Comments are ALWAYS welcome! It helps us to know we are not just writing a bunch of stuff for nothing.  =)


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