Friday, October 17, 2014

Catch Up with Me with 5 For Friday- And grab a DOLLAR STEAL!

Oh dear.
How has so much time passed since the first week of school?
Third grade (and life in general!) has me moving!
It's all good...
but it's time to take a breath and share a little bit with you.

What better way to do that than link up with Doodlebugs Teaching's Five For Friday?
I thought I would break it down by curriculum area.

Here we go! Up first, MATH!
Ok, our school is on year 3 with the Investigations Math program.  I have to be honest, it was extremely uncomfortable at first.  New things are sometimes that way.  However, moving to a new grade has opened my eyes to see how much learning the children are truly doing.  True, we do use a combination of Investigations and some amazing teacher-created supplements, but whatever the formula, these kids are coming with very strong mental math abilities.  Hooray for their decomposing skills!
This year, we got right to work with building upon the addition and subtraction strategies learned in the primary years. In order to support my students (and their parents!) with Common Core Strategies, I supplied them with a packet that I created... it was featured on my collaborative blog, Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals. {Want more details? Click here or on the pics below!}
The great feedback that I got inspired me to keep going with this series.  I am almost finished with Book 2...the dreaded MISSING ADDENDS!  No worries, though, this little guide will have your mathematicians solving them like true sleuths! {Coming Soon!}

Besides that, my cuties had a BLAST with the Data Collection Unit.  I loved how it got them up and moving.  I did change it up a bit to have them create their OWN surveys and graphs.  I just think that teaching in this way solidifies learning by increasing ownership. Take a peek!  I love how focused they are! 

Social Studies
Oh how I racked my brain about how to best present Latitude and Longitude! I remember absolutely dreading this skill as a child for some reason.  Most probably because it wasn't presented in a fun  and creative way.  It took some time (and a lot of patience!!), but we were able to tie the study of Latitude and Longitude to the Columbus Day Holiday.  Ahead of time, I asked parents to send some spices into the classroom (nothing spicy!).  We used these spices to discuss the Spice Trade and collection that occurred during Columbus' travels.
After much time spent on the concept of map grids, the Equator and the Prime Meridian, the students were able to create their own map of the world.  They loved adding the continents and oceans!  In order to place the continents and oceans in the correct place, I taught them about lines of longitude and latitude by having them fold and label their maps.  

**Here's the best part: Once the continents were down, the students covered them with glue and sprinkled the spices on top!  We had the best smelling room all day long!  You can't imagine how excited they were about these maps!

To take things one step further, we used the maps to play a latitude and longitude/ Columbus Day game! At some point, I promise to refine and upload for you all to grab for next year!  Take a look!

7 Habits of Happy Kids
Oh how I love this book and how the kids do, too!  I began to see posts about this book on social media over the summer.  I knew right away that I wanted to incorporate this type of thinking into my classroom.  It reminded me of the 16 Habits of Mind (Costa & Kallick) that I used to teach my fifth graders at my former school.  For more information about the 7 Habits, click {here} or {here}.
The stories in the book are clear and engaging and get the kids thinking about effective behaviors.  We've done some cute projects to accompany the Habits so far.

As I may have mentioned, we moved to the Journeys Reading program in my school. Wow.  What a full program! It was easy enough to use one of the lessons to create our new outside bulletin board. After teaching some lessons on writing dialogue, I set up a photo booth in our classroom. I downloaded the "Simple Booth" app, grabbed some cool props and set those kids free!  Their hammy little selves could not wait to get into that photo booth, but they would just have to wait until their writing was done FIRST!  I partnered them up to create a dialogue together and then both partners had some fun in the booth.  Fun, easy, memorable and meaningful!

I think about those darn state tests every day.  The jump in text complexity from 2nd to 3rd grade is quite large.  Not only that, students need to learn how to appropriately cite their text evidence.  That was something that I decided to start ASAP with my third graders. We've been slowly incorporating this language and vocabulary into their comprehension tasks. It may seem a bit awkward at times, but I do ask that my students include these sentence starters in both oral and written responses.  I get such a kick out of these little creatures saying, "According to the text on page 3....."
To help remind my students of these sentence starters, I created some posters for the classroom.  They literally refer to them every day. Here's a peek at them from a screenshot of my computer. Yes that's me, hard at work!

*** AND THERE'S GREAT NEWS...THESE ARE NOT IN MY STORE YET, BUT THEY WILL BE LAUNCHING TOMORROW!  Even better, they will be linked to the Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals  website tomorrow where you'll find out how you can get them for ONE DOLLAR! :)

Be sure to check back!
Thanks Doodlebugs Teaching, you've once again got my blog back on track!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


  1. Wow, Tracey! You have been doing some fabulous things in your classroom! Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

    Charlene/Diamond Mom
    Diamond Mom's Treasury

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Notes For the Teacher