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.

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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?

5-Star Blogger