Saturday, March 25, 2017

Five for Friday

One of my sweet students had his dad make this for me! There is a light in the wooden stand and a remote control so I can change the color of the light! It is so cool.

I sent these secret missions home for parents this week!
Parents will write a note of support and encouragement for kids. I'll put one note on their desk on day one of the ELA state test and one note on their desk for the first day of the math state test. Inside the envelope parents have a letter explaining the assessments and what they need to do, two envelopes, and two notecards for writing their child letters.

We had a secret agents day!
Since it was a half day, with an assembly, and lunch, AND a special...I wound up with only one hour of teaching time!! Soon, I decided to have some fun with it. We have a state test in ELA next week, so their secret mission was a reading passage and an extended response. After they finished writing it, they had a four point rubric to grade themselves and make changes to their final writing piece. They also got to do this rubric with invisible ink! It was a blast!

The "lasers" were made with white string and a black light shining on them.

I had our READ sign lit up for secret agents day and it looked even cooler in the dark!
The letters were from Michaels.

When I was going through my closet and gathering things to send to Goodwill, Arthur climbed inside the bag and snuggled up with my clothes! The funny thing is that he is afraid of plastic grocery bags!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Five for Friday

Our poetry unit has officially begun in third grade!
We are writing acrostics, couplets, haikus, free verse, perspective poetry, and black out poetry.
The kids are so excited!

We've also been experimenting with our sharing time during Writer's Workshop. Instead of sharing whole group and only having time for 2 kids to share what they wrote, every once in a while we have sharing partners. The partners share with each other in the final five minutes of Writer's Workshop and offer feedback. It has worked out really nicely!

They are the most engaging toy that I can convert into a learning tool, by far!
Use them for morning work, STEM/STEAM time, or incorporate them into subject areas.

It's time to prepare for our annual NAKED EGG EXPERIMENTS!
I do this every year with my class. We practice writing experiments, using an observation journal, and writing a hypothesis through this super duper engaging experiment.

If you have never done it, it is basically putting a raw egg in white vinegar for a few days. After a few days, run the egg under warm water and gently rub the shell off. It will feel like rubber and be bigger. The kids love it. From there, I let the kids design their own experiments to conduct on their naked eggs!

Be aware...sometimes eggs pop. So, I always have a few extra ready to go!

Exciting news...
I've been crazy busy lately, but I am thrilled to say that I'm in the midst of looking for a new home, and I think we've found it! Since my boyfriend and I moved in together and I sold my house, things have been a tiny bit cramped. It's hard to stay organized when you're smushed and a lot of your stuff is in storage! So, I'll cross my fingers and hope that this new house works out for us! :)

I tried cleaning Lucy's toy bin (one of THREE toy bins) out today. But she hoarded her toys. Toys she NEVER plays with until I want to clean house. Of course.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Five for Friday

Our report cards are due on Friday and I am completely done!

We basically took two potatoes and stuffed them with cheddar cheese and bacon.
No, it's not healthy. No, I probably was not supposed to put that much cheese on. BUT it was tasty!
This is the closest to a Pinterest success as I have ever had.

I became a Seesaw ambassador a few months ago and I'm putting on my first big workshop, where the entire focus is on Seesaw! I'm so excited and I've been preparing like crazy. Recently, I started using Seesaw Plus as a way to track student growth and it has been really amazing! I wish I had started this a long time ago.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Seesaw, it is a digital learning portfolio in which students track their growth and send their parents updates through an app. (Which kind of reminds me of a Facebook feed, but totally private and kid-friendly.)

I started using STEM bins from Teach Outside the Box recently as morning work and it has been SO MUCH FUN! We only have about 20 minutes for morning work, breakfast, and turning in homework before going to special each day, so instead of rushing the kids through a million things, they can pick a box and a card and start building! They can work independently or with a friend. Kids are excited to get into the classroom each day! The more we do this, eventually I will add the writing component.

How can we not end with Lucy?
It's snowing today, but earlier in the week we lost power due to high winds! I'd take snow and electricity over winds and darkness any day!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Five for Friday

I presented at the Association of Math Teachers in the Rochester Area yesterday! I talked all about how I run small group math, hands on lessons, center activities, and....LEGO!!! 

I really had a blast! I also got the opportunity to visit some other presentations. I learned about Google Classroom and Breakout EDU, which I have used in my own classroom and thoroughly enjoy. If you haven't tried Breakout EDU, check it out. I didn't realize they offer digital Breakout EDUs now, too! So cool for a 1:1 classroom or faculty meeting.

LEGO challenges are going strong in our classroom. They go along perfectly with our STEAM push, which is outlined in our district's strategic action plan for continued success academically. STEAM is huge right now! Not only are my kids receiving STEAM instruction from our math specialist, they are also immersed in literature that goes along with this concept. Rosie Revere, Iggy Peck, and Ada Twist are our favorites right now.

Lucy seriously does this herself.

They're coming.
Two weeks until my third graders are taking the NYS ELA exams.
I'm nervous for them...but I'm excited for that to be done. It's just stressful for these little ones who haven't taken a three day long test ever! They're ready, though!

Happy late Five for Friday on a Sunday! 
I'm off to respond to 20 reader response journal letters for my little kiddos, after a 45 minute walk with Lucy in 10 degree weather!!! I'm ready to snuggle up in the warmth of the house!