Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Kindness

Well, it seems that my life is a bit of a whirlwind lately.  I have not been able to keep up with everything, especially this blog!  But, today I am making time to get caught up on things like:  sleeping!!!!, cleaning, a little schoolwork, and updating this blog!  :)

With it being my first year in third grade, I am constantly looking for new ideas to use with my students.  One thing that I have noticed, no matter what grade level I teach, is that children can be mean to each other!  I'm sure that is no surprise to you.  Well, as I was looking on Pinterest the other day, I found a great idea to spread Christmas cheer and kindness.  So, we started it on Thursday.  The activity is called "Random Acts of Kindness."  It is super simple!  You can find it here!  In the packet, you will find a letter from the "Kind Kids Club", asking your students to join by doing random acts of kindness. You can spread the actions out, or do one a day.  We are doing one a day up until our Christmas party. There are 11 ideas in the packet, I believe, and there is a blank one also so that you can add some if you want.

Now, here's the fun part!  The letter from the "Kind Kids Club" tells the kids to open their present to find out their first assignment.  So, I wrapped a big boot box and placed all of the assignments inside, along with most of the supplies that we will need to complete them.  When my kids came back from P.E. that morning, they saw this......

Of course they were super excited and wanted to open it.  So I read them the letter, and then we opened the present, after everyone agreed to participate.  This is what was inside:

     The first act was to take cookies to the secretaries, which we went ahead and did for the whole office staff.  The kids had so much fun, and the office staff was very grateful.  It was a great experience!  Friday, we made a big banner saying Thanks to our lovely lunch staff for making us delicious food everyday.  They were also very grateful!  We can't wait to find out what we will do on Monday for our assignment!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Super Fun States of Matter

I haven't been too great at updating this thing over the past couple of weeks...I get so busy with all of the extra things in my life!  But, we have been doing some super fun things in science that I just had to share!
For the past two weeks, my class was studying the states of matter.  We had a lot of fun with it.  In fact, we had so much fun, I posted the unit on my teacher store on TeachersPayTeachers.  You can find it here:  The kids loved it!  Here are some pictures of them enjoying the centers that we did.

Oh yeah, we made crayon art!  It was a lot of fun!  :)  

In the unit that I posted, you will find lots of foldables to use to teach states of matter and three science experiments, other than the crayon art!  Please check it out.  :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Branches of Government

This past week in Social Studies, we studied government.  Every day, we discussed the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence or The Three Branches of Government.  The kids enjoyed learning about our system of government, especially when we watched BrainPop clips!  Here is a link to one of the videos we used.  If you don't have a BrainPop account, I highly recommend it!  :)

After we watched this video, we originally were going to just discuss the three branches, and then the kids would do a worksheet.  But, I decided to change it up a little....mid lesson, mind you.....and do a fun activity to help teach the three branches.  :)  The kids really enjoyed it, and they turned out cute, especially since I hadn't originally planned to do this!  (I had done a similar activity before, so it's not like it was completely out of the blue, or like I wasn't prepared.)  Here's a picture of my example of the activity:
So, here's my lesson plan for this activity....feel free to use it!  

First: Introduce the branches of government with the BrainPop video which I linked above.  Go ahead and do the Pop Quiz after the video, if you have time.  The kids always love it.  When they are doing the quiz, I sometimes let them shout out the answer letter, but that can get annoying real quick!  So, a lot of times, I have them show me A, B, C, or D, in sign language by holding up their hand in the air.  Here is the alphabet in sign language, just in case you need a reference.  

Next:  Give students one large piece of manilla or  white construction paper, one large piece of green construction paper, and one regular size piece of brown construction paper and have them draw a tree trunk and three tree branches.  Then have them cut them out, and label them:  Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.  Have them glue it all down to their large piece of manilla or white paper, and write The Branches of Government at the top.

Next:  Have students draw leaves on their large piece of green paper, and cut them out.  I had my kids make 13 leaves, but you might choose to write down other information, so the number of leaves is up to you!  :)  Have students cut out the leaves and then begin writing the information for each branch.  I had them write down information on all of the Legislative branches, and then make a stack for Legislative, then do the same for the other two.  Last, we placed them on the tree where they would fit, and then glued them all down.

The kids enjoyed this activity, and they look super cute hanging in our hallway!  Enjoy!!  :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

This week, my class will be working on Compound Sentences.  I have made a complete unit, with a test and all for my class.  You can find it here:
I am using it with my third graders, but it can definitely be used with fourth or even fifth graders.  I'm sure it can be adapted for second graders as well!  :)
Here are some pictures of what is included in the lesson.

 These cute little train cars are used to create compound sentences.  Students will write a simple sentence on a "topic train car", and pair it with another student's simple sentence using the same topic.  They will then choose the correct conjunction to put between the sentence.
This is part of the test that can be given at the end of the unit. in the unit.
There is also a PowerPoint presentation to be used at the beginning of the lesson, including a review of simple sentences, and subject and predicates; and also a fun foldable to remember the conjunctions.

And of course, who doesn't love SchoolHouse Rock?!?!?  I usually play this clip for my kids too.  :)  They always love it!  :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just want to share a super fun activity we did in class today!  :)
     We are learning all of the different body systems, so today we started with the skeletal system.  We learned about 10 of the main bones in the skeletal system, and my students will take a test over them later on this week.  But, to introduce the bones, we made a skeleton out of noodles, cheerios, and chalk!  My kids had a lot of fun making this skeleton.  I'm sure that if you try out this activity, you can find other ways to adapt it and make it your own, but here's what we came up with today!
The original version uses a wagon wheel noodle for the head, and spaghetti noodles for the fingers and toes....unfortunately, I forgot the spaghetti noodles and couldn't find wagon wheels, so we just used chalk!  :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

What is this all about?!?!?

     Well, blogging is completely new to me, but so are a lot of things in my life.  So, why not give it a try?  
     I taught fourth grade for four years and am now teaching third in my hometown and loving it.  I love being able to create new plans and ideas, and get a way from the same old routine that I was used to.  It is definitely stressful, and sometimes overwhelming, but I am still loving it.
     One thing I love about teaching third grade is the opportunity to plan new English and Writing lessons for my team and me.   A lot of third grade teachers, especially in Texas, struggle with planning English and Writing lessons that will prepare their students for the fourth grade Writing STAAR test....or at least that is what my wonderful new team has told me.  :)  So, as a former fourth grade teacher, I have taken on the responsibility of prepping our kids for next year.....I'm hoping it pays off.  
      I have made some lesson units, and put them on my teacher store at  Feel free to check that out and share it with your friends!  :)

     Here are a few pictures of my new third grade, igloo.  :)  I absolutely love it!!
                   This is the library and lockers.  That inflatable penguin is one of my favorite things in the room....there's actually two of them.  :)
            This is the view of the front of the classroom.  I have some internet safety posters up on the blank bulletin board now.
         This is "my area".  The area by my desk, with pictures of my family and friends.  I think it's important for the kids to get to know us, as well as for us to get to know them.
This is the back of the room, with my character posters.  I have glued milk jugs around the outside of the door to form an igloo entrance.

     I would love to hear ideas from other third grade teachers through this blog.  I'm always up for a new adventure!  :)