Tuesday, May 19, 2015

 Warning...You May End Up Reading a Ramble/Rant

Over the past few weeks, I have read a lot on book censorship and banned books.  It is quite interesting.  We have two groups of third graders, who are at or above grade level, reading Bridge to Terabithia.  Before we started this study, I had no idea that it is one of the most controversial and challenged books. A few parents have raised a ruckus and chose to opt their child out of the book study.  I have no problem with this and consider myself a pretty conservative book reader.  I chose not to read books that I am not comfortable with on a personal level.  I believe I do a dis-service to children by editing what they do and do not read.  Does this mean I keep Hunger Games in my third grade classroom...of course not, but if I see a student reading it, we can talk about it and I am certainly not going to tell them stop reading it.  Finding a balance between just-right and appropriate for those voracious readers in classrooms is a tricky thing.

Happy-how is it only-Tuesday,

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

 Well Hello

Just thought I would drop into the blog world and say hi.  It has only been five months since my last post!  Lots and lots and lots of things have been going on our 3rd grade world. We started state testing and book clubs today.  One awesome and one not so awesome!  Anyway are book clubs are The One and Only Ivan, The Boxcar Children, Chocolate Fever, Ranger in Time, (I LOVE Kate Messner.) The Lemonade War, and Holes.  Before we start reading, I write up a contract stating what students are expected to do in each group.  Then they come up with a book party reward idea and sign their name.  Here is what they came up with.

The One and Only Ivan:  They are have a billboard making party. (If you have read the book, this will make complete sense.)
The Lemonade War:  Making different types of lemonade to share with the class.
The Boxcar Children:  Design a house out of a shoebox (boxcar).
Ranger in Time:  Everyone in class gets to bring a stuffed puppy and the Humane Society is going to bring a golden retriever to class and talk about dog safety.
Chocolate Fever:  This group gets to make fudge...the camping kind you make in a bag.  Then share with class.
Holes:  A viewing party of the movie, of course.

The excitement is hilarious...you would think I gave them a trip to Disneyland, not assigned pages for a book club!  What are some of your favorite book club books?

Happy Tuesday,

Monday, October 6, 2014

 Themes from Lyrics

#onlytwokiddaysthisweek #icanmakeit
Every year, I make a class playlist.  Each student tells me their favorite song and I add them to a playlist.  I love it!  There are songs I hear now and I think, "oh that is _______'s song."  Many songs, I know and don't worry about content/lyrics.  This year I had a handful of girls chose Ariana Grande songs.  I read through the lyrics...no bad words and then I started thinking about the message some of the songs were sending and decided to let the class decide.  I put the lyrics on the projector and we read them...not sang them and immediately the kids were not fans of having the songs on our playlist.  It was an interesting thing to notice that when you take the tune away...you are really able to focus on what the song is saying.

The lightbulb....we are beginning our study into themes in literature...and there was clearly a message in the songs we were looking up.  SO this week we are studying the themes in some popular songs before we dive into literature.

The kids loved it.  We did are starting our study with Frozen's Let It Go. We read the lyrics and watched the sing-along video version.  Then I printed the lyrics out for everyone.
Finally we talked about needing proof for our thinking.  I gave them a sentence frame to help them get started.
Next up is The Lego Movie's Everything is Awesome.  

Happy Monday,

Monday, September 29, 2014

 Mixed Media Art Awesomeness

We finished up a mixed media art project today.  It turned out better than I expected and I always love that!  Last Friday we traced and designed our hands using lines and shape zentangles.

We did some Color Factory ala Annie Painter.  I am always amazed at how all the papers look so different with just three colors!

Then we played "musical friend adjectives"  When the music played, move around the room.  When the music stops find a friends card and write an adjective that describes them.

After finishing our "game" we chose the three words we liked best and wrote them on black pieces of paper; and finally put it all together into our masterpieces!

Happy Monday

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

 Wordless Wednesday

It is Wednesday #wishitwerealreadyfriday Check other people's Wednesdays at Second Grade Sugar and Spice.
Field Trip to the Local Library

The Return of Television
What shows are filling up your dvr this week?
Thinking blue everyone!!!! #itfdb

Happy Wednesday,

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,