Sunday, September 21, 2014

 Story Sunday

One of my favorite stories to read aloud is Martina, the Beautiful Cockroach.  It is a Cuban folktale about a cockroach on her 21st day has to choose to give her leg  in marriage:-)  Martina's grandmother tells her to use the coffee test on any potential suitor to see their true colors.
After we finished reading it, we started to think about how we choose who our closest friends are.  I had students come up with a test that they could use to see how people would react to them.
This one is about asking someone to play. 
This test involves, "accidentally" forgetting to give one person candy when passing it out.
This boy is going to "accidentally" step on someones foot and see how they react.

Many are still working on creating their test.  Interesting conversations came up about what would be requirements for a friend.  Some students wanted to make a test that was about whether or not someone else was just like them.  So we talked about how maybe our friends don't have to be just like us or like the exact same things.

Anyway my class loved it and my Spanish speakers were so glad to help me read the Spanish words interspersed into the story.  If possible, find a copy that comes with a CD audio version...also fun to listen to.

Happy Sunday,

Saturday, September 20, 2014

 Classroom Organization With Tables

This is my 12th year of teaching.  I made it through about 3 months before the mess of desks drove me crazy.   In my district class size just goes up and up; tables have saved some of my sanity with the 30+ kids.  Shinguards would be required for moving around.  So I thought I would share some of how I organize all the stuff my chickadees use on a daily basis.
This is where students store projects and papers they are not finished with.  They also have mile marker cards (a track walking/running recess thing) and other personal items.  Many of my glasses wearing students keep their cases in this space.
Bookbags and Reader's Studio items are kept here.   That is all.
All supplies, besides pencils, are stored on the counter.  Students grab what they need and take it back to their table.  I also have three tubs of extras if they can't find the color they need or if someone else in the group is already using it.
Binders, Folders, and Spirals-
This summer my roommate was getting rid of the two binder holding shelves....and I think they have found a perfect new home.  Each student has a binder with dividers for each subject.  (This is a new thing for me this year....I will let you know how I feel about it at the end of the year.)  They also keep their folders for math work on these shelves and spirals for their writing journals.  One side has the girls' stuff and the others has the boys'.
Happy Saturday,

Friday, September 19, 2014

 Five for Friday..Reading, Writing, and Math

Welcome to 3rd grade this happy #stillhoteventhoughitisseptember Friday!
We did my favorite lesson about three types of readers....pretender, dutiful, or engaged.  You can read more about it here, here, and here.  The kids LOVE and ask to "practice" again.  I tell them they get to "practice" everyday!

We started some math workshop this week.  We have "math around the room."  It is ridiculous how much kids love this!
 Math Reading
We practiced making and then drawing our mental images.
We have been looking at authors who can help us be better writers.  Obviously we need and anchor chart to keep track of all the great ideas we can refer to.
We read one of my all time favorite books, Martina the Beautiful Cockroach.  It's a folktale about a cockroach who has suitors and she has to choose the right one.  Such a fun read!  
Happy Friday,

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 September

One of my favorite lessons during the beginning of the year is about treating books carefully like your favorite Christmas ornament.  I start off by telling kids about the "Baby's 1st Christmas" ornaments my brother and I had.  Then share the horrific story of how we were playing I-Spy and the hidden object was hidden in the tree.  During the fight over who found the toy first, my brother's "Baby's 1st Christmas" ornament fell off the tree and shattered.  No matter how hard my mom tried that ornament wasn't going back together.  I then give kids time to talk with a partner about what their favorite Christmas tree ornament is and then tie the whole story to our classroom books.  We want them to last for lots of people to read, not just this class but many classes to come.  This week students have been designing a Christmas ornament that has a tip for readers who want to keep their books as nice as their favorite ornament!

Happy Tuesday,

Monday, September 15, 2014


Our school's theme is perseverance....again a word I do not like because of its missing r.  We have been having lots of fun learning about what it is and what it looks like.  Last week we read The Most Mignificent Thing and watched a video about the creator of Lego.  You can read about that here.  Today we did a great lesson from a blog that pinterest helped me find.  Check her original idea here.  We started off by eating a Warhead...that candy that starts out super sour, but after 30 seconds is actually sweet.  Almost everyone persevered through the first 30 second.  The faces were hilarious.  Then we described the experience and the two students who spit the candy out thought they should try again.  Then we pulled out Horton Hatches an Egg and students shared how the the book and the activity were similar.  My last question was why are we spending so much time thinking and learning about perseverance?  And then we went on to there were far less groans....maybe they are learning to persevere...a little:-)

Happy Monday,

Sunday, September 14, 2014

 Sunday Scoop

I stumbled across Teaching Trio, a fun and adorable blog should stop by and visit.  They have a countdown linky party each Sunday.  
Have to---In my summer move, I somehow unpacked and misplaced all my scentsys.  I have the burners found, but the wax melts are being elusive.  Have you heard of refrigerator oatmeal.  My aunt introduced me to it and I sort of love it.   
You can find a great recipe here.

Hope to--My next scheduled book club meeting is next Friday and I haven't started the book yet.  Today may be a great day to break that open!  My year long plan is almost done, I just am having a difficult time planning out the year of reading.  Anyone have 3rd grade suggestions.....?

Happy to--now that the Dodger's can't be swept and can only be tied for first in their division, the stress level from today's game is far improved so I can watch the game in peace.  Hoping for the bubble machine to get lots of use and Kershaw to have an amazing game...he is a pretty awesome human being!  #freethebubbles

Happy Sunday,

Friday, September 12, 2014

 Five for Friday Finally

It is Five for Friday.  Here is what happened in the land of some 3rd grade chickadees this week-
Our Donor's Choose project was delivered.  It was like Christmas!  Hokki Stools are such a great piece of classroom furniture.
We started some Engage NY math....I took pages home and circled incorrect answers.  Then students worked in groups to correct their work.  They did such a great job teaching...not just copying!

Our school theme is perseverance.  (I can't tell you how much it bothers me that the spelling of the word seems to be missing the letter r!)  Anyway we read The Most Magnificent Thing and watched The Lego Story and then had a great discussion about perseverance and how the book and video showed that trait.  

I love anchor charts!  Today we made a chart for stamina.  Like this one from Creating Readers and Writers.  
But I wanted kids more involved in the creating it.  So I split the class into 2 groups and had each group work on half the chart.  Then we came back together and added any other ideas that we might have missed.  It was great....although a bit a girl drama had us have a mini session about how to work together and lead vs. boss.
My aunt is in town this weekend!  Which means we will be going to Papa Haydn's for dessert.  The place is a.m.a.z.i.n.g!  If you ever visit Portland, you must stop there.  They have real food also, but I have never tried it:-)
 This is the display case of deliciousness! 
And then they make your choice all beautiful on the plate!

Happy Friday...and GO DODGERS!!!!