Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A New Year with New Goals 2015

And that's a wrap 2014! It sure has been an amazing year for me and my students. So much has happened this year, and I am so excited to embark into the new year of 2015! I am super excited to link up with Stephanie at Mrs. D's Corner to share my upcoming goals for 2015! Here we go!

Personal: Well, as many of you may have found out through my excessive pictures and posts on Instagram, I am now engaged to the love of my life. We are planning to get married this June! Josh is finishing up pharmacy school this April and will start medical school this summer. We are so excited to start this new chapter of our lives together, and I feel SO blessed that God gave me Josh. 

Professional: I am super lucky to have the privilege to attend monthly assessment literacy trainings that are really digging into the true reason/process of developing and creating assessments. I am learning A TON, and I am even able to bring this knowledge back to my colleagues at my school. I am excited to continue to attend these meetings and try out my own units using the WHOLE assessment process taking into consideration high quality summative and formative assessments. 

Planning: I want to get ahead! This year is going to be so crazy busy with wedding planning, showers, teaching, and oh yeah.... getting married. As a result, I want to make sure I plan ahead and have all my hands on centers ready for my kiddos so they are ready to go when my personal life gets super busy. I am going to try to dedicate one weekend to this and get all of this printing an laminating done!

Organizing: This has already begun, but I want to continue to organize all of our wedding receipts, invites, RSVPs, etc. I have started a few excel spreadsheets to keep track of addresses, emails, RSVPS, budget concerns, etc. But, I want to make sure I stay on top of this so Josh and I stay true to our budget and have everything organized and ready for the best day of our lives! 

Students: I am so proud of my students. Right before Christmas break, my third graders took their multiplication test! They did SO well. I am so proud and convinced that about 95% of my students understand the true meaning of multiplication. I really think this is because my third grade team taught our Everyday Math multiplication unit intertwined with what we call an "ILC." What this means is we picked three strategies, and we targeted them hard core with our kiddies, and we developed activities to reinforces these strategies. This targeted, specific instruction seemed so crucial and powerful! With this deep understanding mastered, it feels like the right time to switch our fact practice from addition/subtraction to multiplication and division. They are going to be so excited:-) 

Motto: "These are your shoes, enjoy every minute you are in them!" This past year, I have witnessed so many people get bogged down in the everyday shenanigans in life, and I really think we all need to take a step back to enjoy our lives. God has given us so much, and these blessings are something we need to be aware of. Personally, I want to do a better job of recognizing these blessings and being thankful despite challenges that of course will arise! 

Merry Christmas Friends! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Festivities!

Hi friends!
I am back to share some of our third grade fun that has been going on in Room 24! With the holidays quickly approaching, we have been doing many hands on activities to keep the students engaged in their learning! I will be back soon to share our Christmas happenings, but this week I am going to share with you our Thanksgiving activities.

It all started with an activity that I absolutely love. Our classroom motto is "when you walk into our classroom, you are part of a family." We did an adorable community building activity in which each student was given a leaf to write his or her Thanksgiving family tradition on. Then, each student got to come up to the front of the class and share his/her tradition with the class. Together, we created our own turkey with our different leaves! The kids loved it, and it was a great opportunity to discuss how each of our families and traditions are unique, but that we still can come together as one big family! It also was really fun to watch the students strut their stuff to the front of the classroom and share their traditions. They loved telling the class, and it was so interesting to hear all the different traditions. We sure are an amazingly diverse group!

The kids also loved our Thanksgiving ELA activities. I absolutely love the story Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving. We studied this book in great detail through sequencing, comparing and contrasting, describing characters, and through describing cause and effect representations. Check out these adorable 3rd grade Common Core aligned activities that go along with the book. You can find them here! 

 And of course, we had to do some fun pumpkin pie tasting during the Thanksgiving season! We practiced the steps of the scientific method through answering the investigation question "Can you tell the difference between tasting a homemade and store bought pumpkin pie?"

And the verdict was... yes. Yes, you can tell the difference! At least, my kiddos could! I love of all the Not so Wimpy's activities. You can find this one here!

And last but not least, we reviewed our multiplication models with these adorable turkeys! The kids absolutely adored this activity!

It's almost Christmas!!
Have a great rest of your week!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Little Bit of Science and ELA at the Same Time

Oh my!! I have been so absent my friends, and I apologize. I have to admit I have been completely consumed with school for the past couple months. I thought that my second year would be MUCH easier, but it is not.... I certainly have many more resources ready to go, but I am much busier this year with after school meetings and committees. I think I can already see my new year'so resolution.... finding a balance!!

But anyways, we have been doing some fun things in third grade. I wanted to share one activity that we did this past week that integrated ELA and science. We have been working on the scientific method, and we have done many experiments to practice our understanding of these steps. This week, we specifically practiced the first step of the scientific method: observing. I gave the kids each about 10 little pieces of macaroni noodles uncooked. They were asked to observe these and record their descriptions using the five senses. It was really fun reminding the students to use sensory details because they have been working extra hard on writing with sensory details in their personal narratives.
Here are some of my kiddos busy observing!

Then, we had a short mini lesson to review writing with quotation marks with dialogue. This is
another skill that my students have been working on. They have been working on adding dialogue in
their personal narratives to make their writing come alive for the reader!

And then it was time to create! The students used their macaroni noodles that they observed to create dialogue sentences!! They loved it!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Made it for October!

Hi there!!
     Wow, like all of us, things have been crazy with beginning of the year shenanigans, but I am linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics to share one of my huge time savers!
     Since last year was my first year of teaching, I quickly became obsessed with stocking up with new math centers and games for math workshop. I quickly became an addict of TPT, and I found myself printing, laminating, and cutting every weekend. I was purchasing activity after activity, and I was quickly amazed how TPT was transforming my teaching. My kids were so engaged in their learning through of all these hands on experiences. However, as a result, I printed and bought A TON of resources!!!! And the question became.... where and how am I going to organize all of these creations? 
     At first I thought I would just keep a master copy of each printable and store the centers in my big brown closet! However, that became very cluttered and disorganized as I continued to create more activities for math workshop. The closet became full, and it was nearly impossible to quickly pull out the correct center when needed promptly. So then, I began to research.... I came across this and thought it was a cool idea....
But, I HAD WAY TOO MANY to fit into this organizer. So, I decided to purchase larger sterilite boxes to store all my seasonal and math centers. This way, I would be able to sort and organize them by topic! These are the boxes that I ended up using.

I got a great deal on Amazon when I bought them in bulk. I then found these amazing Common Core Math labels from Ashely over at That's So Elementary. She has these fabulous labels that I thought would work perfectly for all my math centers. Instead of organizing them in boxes by EveryDay math unit, I chose to organize them by Common Core standard/topic! I love this because they are so easy to find for small group instruction! Here are what the labels look like.

And here are what my boxes look like inside my closet after all of the organizing!! 

You can find the Common Core labels here  and the editable labels here!
Happy organizing and happy October bloggers!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Classroom Reveal 2014!

Hey there sweet friends,
I am linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for a not to typical Monday made it!
I am so excited to share with you my newly updated classroom. I have survived the first two weeks with my 26 new kiddos, and I am having a ball! We have had tons of fun getting to know each other, and I am already seeing the trust and love that we are continuing to build in our classroom community. So here are a few pictures of our learning space. 

Here is a view from outside our classroom! Our new third grade family:-)

Here we are right at the inside of our door where you can see our clock and hallway procedure. Loving the 4s  management piece this year. 

Oh, I am just in love with this adorable new job chart from the fabulous Hope King. I just love the students' names attached with velcro. They look adoralble!

Sorry friends, not the best picture, but this will be our birthday wall. I just got a chance to place pictures up today of the students, but it is not the best picture. My apologies for the glare. 

Ahh, I just think this clip/magnet chart is so adorable. And, I was even able to make student number magnets to utilize the side of my file cabinet! In love:-) You can't see it very well, but above our clip chart holds our unsharpened and sharpened pencils bins as well as our birthday balloons! 

And our little math wall... the banner reads math, and the cabinet holds our Every Day Math journals, math manipulatives, math boxes ( which are seasonal math games by concept), and our math student activities. The sterilite pull out drawer holds student print outs that they use during math rotations. This year we will be using M A T H rotations so these drawers will hold Time to write about math print outs, at your seat hand outs, and math playing cards for addition and subtraction battle. More info to come on my new organization for math rotations using the acronym MATH!

I love our library this year! My kind friend found me this rug at Ikea for just 20 dollars! Seriously, go get one... such a great deal! I used Kinder Craze's black label series to level and label our library. I really love the updated look, very fresh and organized! And, the kids are doing a great job keeping our library clean and organized. Thanks Maria! 

Our cute word wall... words to be added as introduced. Above you can see our genre posters which are absolutely adorable! 

One of our writing bulletin boards which explains and models ideas to write about during our literacy stations/ Daily 5. The kids love this display and the cute little bow! Thanks Nicole for the adorable bow and Seusstastic for the printables for the board. 

Here is our second writing bulletin boards that holds the writing process and transition words for the kiddos to reference during literacy stations and writing workshop. 

BOOK BOXES!!!! And now, they are full and the kids have decorated them!

Here is our supply station that holds all our community supplies: scissors, highlighters, dry erase boards and markers, glue, writing
journals and math journals, and early finisher activities. 

Here is our calendar area where we hold a 15 min calendar session each day that emphasizes place value and number sense.

Here is our reminder board that reminds the kinds of the 3 ways to read a book, finding a good fit book, our schedule, and our voice level chart! Isn't the little arrow just too adorable? I found it at a local teacher store called Lakeshore Learning. 

 This is where we meet for our whole group lessons with this adorable stool that my mom found for me!

And here is where I hold our reading strategy graphic organizers ( file chart from Mardel) and word work activities (sterilite drawer). This kidney table is available for students to use during work time as long as following class norms and routines.

Student mailboxes with brain breaks and flash cards available above when students finish work early! 
Here is a view of the smart board, calendar, reminder board, and class rules.... but I was so mad today because my blue class rule fell off today! My crafty friend will be helping me drill screws into the wall tomorrow so they stay up permanently! Updated picture soon to come! 

 Here is a view of my newly updated teacher area which is different than last year. Can you guess how? NO TEACHER DESK and I am loving it!

 Here is where I hold all my weekly copies as well as small group activities.
And of course, you can't forget all my printables organized in binders! New this year!

Here is a view from the door!

Thanks for stopping by to see our space! Don't forget to link up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics with your Monday Made it!