Sunday, July 5, 2015

July Currently...

Whew...little late on this one. Better late than never, right?!?!
Listening:  Two of my three children are working on their basketball skills in the garage. It's so sweet to hear my oldest son "coaching" my youngest son. Melts a momma's heart!
Loving:  I love long summer evenings. 'Nuff said.
Thinking: Our first day of school isn't until Aug 31 this year (very late for us!). However, we have a huge rally that our town hosts each year. It's kind of a big deal - it takes our population from about 7,000 to an estimated 1.2 million this year. As a result, life as we know it shuts down during the last week of July/first week of August. I really need to buckle down a little now to be ready to get back in the teaching game next month.
Wanting: Each year, my kids and I brainstorm a summer fun list that hangs on our fridge all summer long. We check things off as we go - nothing fancy, not necessarily big stuff but the stuff that makes great memories. Tourist attractions, making popsicles, yard yahtzee. That kind of stuff. Anyway...we've made a pretty good dent in it so far but there's still plenty of summer fun to be had!
Needing: Blogging/work. Already covered that!
All Star:  This is a little bit nerdy but I have really nice handwriting. Backstory: we moved when I was in third grade. My new teacher ridiculed my handwriting in front of the class on my second day. I.Was.Mortified. and still remember to this day. As a result, I spent a lot of time perfecting my handwriting to make sure that never happened again.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

May Currently!

Listening:  My third child definitely fits the stereotypical profile of a "youngest child". As I'm working, I've listened to him perform several Top 40 hits on his older sister's ukulele - all while riding a zebra rocking horse.  Please tell me things like this happen in other people's homes, too...
Loving:  It's rare to say this in South Dakota, but our weather was absolutely perfect today! Near 80 degrees, no wind, completely gorgeous. Perfect for double header soccer games!
Thinking:  These report cards aren't going to do themselves - 'nuf said.
Wanting:  If summer really is going to come to So Dak this year, I need to sport some cute new shoes. Last year's sandals are questionable at best.
Needing: Thirteen days left of school and about a million things left to do. The stacks of stuff are plentiful and here I sit...thinking about shoes.
Summer:  Yes - for sure:  We've been putting off several minor home improvement projects. I want to repaint the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. We've got some backyard landscaping to do. I want to change the decor in the family room. Little things that have been bugging me but are hard to squeeze in during the school year craziness.
Hope: Nothing beats a road trip with good friends. I desperately need to laugh so hard my stomach hurts!
Dream:  Endless summer days filled with RELAXATION. Oh wait - I've got three kids. I would have to be dreaming to have days filled with endless relaxation. LOL!  I do savor the time spent with them in the summer months though!  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Area Review

Today we needed a quick, fun activity to review area before we begin our Smarter Balance testing tomorrow.  I chose to try the free new activity I downloaded from iTeach Third.  Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher included her Area and Perimeter Robot Math Craft.  My kids had a great time with this! I was able to differentiate by skill level by selecting different task cards for students based on individual needs. They turned out so well and it was just the right combination of creativity and math to keep students happy AND engaged in their learning. WIN/WIN!
Didn't they turn out cute?!?!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Gone, gone, gone

That's how I feel lately! My poor little blog has been so neglected! It has been the longest winter in South Dakota. I swear, one of my kids has been sick everyday since December! One gets better, the next one gets sick... then throw in conferences, inservices, test prep, EEEEEKKKKK!

Anyway - are you as thrilled as I am about the new blog called iTeach Third?!?!  I am super stoked to subscribe to a blog that is tailored to third grade teachers!  Better yet, I love that they're kicking it off with 11 freebies.  I rushed right over to download them all.  I've already printed/prepped the Color by Product for my third grade thinkers that go bonkers over using their markers. I'm sticking the Area/Perimeter Robot in this week for a little extra fun activity when we finish our Smarter Balance testing. I've also sent the Distributive Doctor out to our print shop.  Every resource that was offered was something that I can use right away. I love it when that happens!  

If you haven't found that blog yet - you're going to want to check it out! 


And their Freebies...


Sunday, February 8, 2015

What Went Well

Another week in the books!  This week seemed to go by very quickly. It was a great week to be in third grade...
What went well...
1.  I.LOVE.THIS!  As we wrapped up our trimester testing, I found this lovely little quote on one of my whiteboards. A sweetie in my class had left this message for her classmates. I love it because lately I've spent so much time talking to my students about how important effort is in achievement.  Apparently (at least for some of them!) it's sinking in!

2.  Multiplication Wall: A hundred years ago when I taught fourth grade, I always kicked off my multiplication unit with this multiplication wall for students to show me how much they understand about multiplication. Crazy that it's now more applicable for my third graders.  Each spot on the wall is written on a little post it note. The kids draw a post it from my basket and represent that equation on a piece of paper. I can quickly see who really understands the concept of  __# of groups x __ in each group.  Added bonus - the kids wanted to do extra ones during their free time because they liked watching the wall fill up!

3.  Jr. Achievement:  I don't know if your community has this program for third graders but I tell you what - it is fantastic! We had two sessions of Jr Achievement last week with three more sessions coming up this week. My class loved it and learned so much about income/expenses/finances.  What a learning opportunity - let's start learning about that when they're young and maybe it won't be such a challenge when they're young adults!

Here's to another great week!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Traditional Literature Quick Check

We've been hard at work learning about the various types of traditional literature. My class has absolutely loved this unit and it seems like they've really "got it" (if you know what I mean!).  This morning I had an assessment sub and I thought it would be a great time to grab some functional data. I placed a basket containing five books (all forms of traditional literature) on the tables with each group. Students were asked to examine each text and determine if it was a fairy tale, fable, legend, or tall tale. Next, I asked them to record this information on a handout and list two reasons WHY they put the text in that category. This ended up being really interesting and sparked some lively discussion among the students because a few of the texts contained features of more than one type. I loved hearing the students justifying their thinking and using what they know about traditional literature! I'm attaching the handout I quickly created if anyone else would like to use it!

     Traditional Literature Review Handout