Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Bucket List- Linking Up!

Hi friends! I apologize for not being able to link up properly...my brain is mush and I couldn't remember/figure out what I was supposed to do to grab the button and have it link back to the blog...so I just added a link. Hopefully you will forgive me! ;)

I linked up last year and made a Summer Bucket List but unfortunately I didn't get to many of the things on my list. I seem to blink and summer is over!! I am going to keep my list short and sweet in hopes that I will accomplish at least half of it! (I'm quite the over achiever)

1) Pool, pool, and more pool! I will be spending much of my summer laying my scarily pale body by the pool in hopes of getting a tan! I am an Irish red head so what will really happen is I will be sitting under an umbrella covered in SPF 50 :)

2) Reading, this school year has been exceptionally exhausting and I haven't read nearly as many books as I usually do. The only thing I have read lately is children's literature...which don't get me wrong, I love...but I am ready for something new!! So if you guys have any suggestions ;)

3) Get organized in my classroom. This is the first year I haven't moved classrooms in my 5 years of teaching...yep, you heard me. 5 years of teaching and 5 classrooms! I will be starting my 6th year of teaching next year and I FINALLY get to stay in the same room. I am absurdly excited about not having to pack up all of my things and lug them to a new room. This year instead of moving I am going to spend my time organizing my cabinets and drawers. In the midst of my moves I had given up on any sort of organization in those areas, but this year (with hopes that I won't be moving again for awhile) I am going to make myself at home and get organized.

4) Run- I love, love, love to run and I am hoping to be ready for a half marathon this fall!

5) A few pinterest projects (I have TONS pinned, but I am going to shoot for finishing at least 3)
I'm not 100% positive that I will do it exactly this way...but all I know is I want a spot for my kids to write their thoughts and ideas during small group. I am hoping this keeps me more organized...becuase I NEVER forget to remind my kiddos to bring their Reader Response Journals back with them :)

Binder clips and label makers are my two favorite things...hence this perfect project :)

I get asked daily...no scratch that HOURLY "what are we doing tomorrow" "when is this happening" etc...I am hoping that a little contraption like this might help cut down on all of the questions-wishful thinking! Also, I have already bought the picture frame so I am halfway there!

Finally...and most importantly I am going to kick back, relax, and enjoy the life of a teacher in the summer! Making all of my friends jealous along the way :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The best ideas I never had {LINKY PARTY!!}

Long time no see! It has been awhile since I have had a chance to sit down and play around with my blog. I must say I have REALLY missed it! Not only have I not been posting, but I also haven't had the chance to sit down and read all of your lovely blogs. I'm hoping with school winding down and summer quickly approaching (10 days...but who's counting?) I will hopefully have more time to spend on here. This school year has definitely been a challengin one...we implemented a new reading program, my team piloted a math program, AND I had 3 new team members. Learning new curriculum is always challenging at first, but the good news is the reading program we are using (LEAD 21) is wonderful, and the math program we piloted (EnVision) was chosen by the district for next year (which means I won't have to learn a whole new textbook!!) Also, having new teammates has been amazing...I have learned SO much from them, and stolen so many great ideas from them as well :) My excessive stealing of great ideas was my inspiration for this fun little linky party! We all know as teachers, that we have stolen MANY great ideas from colleagues, pinterest, blogs etc. and I thought it might be fun to share our favorite "steals" with everyone! I am leaving the linky up for a month because I know everyone is busy wrapping up the end of the years...so you have plenty of time to join in!!

Here are the rules:
1) Link back to this post in your blog (grab the button below)
2) Blog about your favorite "steals" (Please make sure to link back the original place where you found the idea- another blog, pinterest, TPT store, etc)
3) Make sure to visit at least 3 other blogs who have linked up and leave a comment.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I have a dream...

I love Martin Luther King!!! A) What a fabulous man with such a fabulous dream! He is such an amazing historical figure to talk about in class! and B) We get Monday off of school in his honor (for a teacher this makes him even more amazing!)

With Martin Luther King Day approaching and Pride Night (like an open house) I wanted something fun, yet personal for the kids to do to hang in the hall for the parents to see. I searched pinterest and didn't find anything I was crazy about, but I did find a few different ideas that helped me put together something of my own.

I knew I wanted the kids to write their "dream" because who doesn't love reading what a 3rd grader has to say? I also knew I wanted to incorporate the handprints because most of the activities I saw incorporated them and they all looked so cute!

I then turned to TPT and found the best FREE clip art...and not only did I find some clip art I found one of my new favorite sellers. He has amazing clip art and I can't wait until I get a few minutes to sit down and look through everything he has. I highly recommend checking out his store: ATLTEACHER

In the end this was my creation!! I think it turned out pretty cute and I can't wait to do it with my kids. In the center I will have the kids write their dream and on their hands I will have them write words that describe MLK.
If you would like a copy of the "My dream is" piece for the center you can get it from my TPT store HERE 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Year's Poster

Hi all! I know it has been awhile...I just can't seem to get a handle on this school year! I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off most days! However, I cannot complain...I have an amazing group of sweet, loving kiddos.

However, things are about to get a little bit crazier in my neck of the woods because one of the 3rd grade teachers I work with is moving after winter break...which means ANOTHER new teacher in 3rd grade. I will now be the veteran 3rd grade teacher at my school and this is only my 2nd year at this grade level!!! The good news is my team is fabulous and they have all taught before, so I know things will be just great :)

Tomorrow is our last day of school before winter break so I have been racking my brain for cute wintery (not Christmasy) activity to do with my kids. I couldn't find anything I liked on Pinterest (which is rare) so I decided I wanted to come up with something on my own. I wanted something simple and still slightly educational so I decided I would create a template for the kids to create a poster reflecting on the past year and looking into 2013.

I am having the kids answer the questions on the template, color, cut out, and glue to construction paper to create their very own New Year's poster. I have left this project pretty open by letting them construct their poster any way they want. We will be finishing up tomorrow so I don't have any finished products to show you now (except for my thrown together non-colored sample) so use your imagination!!

If you would like a copy of this you can get it from TPT HERE or if you are one of the first 5 to comment on this post I will send you a free copy! (Just make sure to add your email address to your comment)

Hope everyone is enjoying their last few days before break! Happy Holidays :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November Currently and TPT SALE!!!

I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for her November currently today. I haven't been posting much because it has been BUSY BUSY in my classroom! I thought after conferences all would go back to normal, but unfortunately I got sick and then COMPLETELY lost my voice...which as teachers we all know is a death wish! I even had to miss a few days of school because I couldn't talk at all!

Also, if you get a chance go take a look at my TPT store...I decided to throw a 20% off sale. I don't have a lot of items which is why I haven't ever thrown a sale before...but then I realized a sale is a sale, it doesn't matter! Hope you enjoy!!

I hope everyone is doing well, and the next few evenings for me are pretty low key so I am hoping get back to my favorite activity...blog stalking all of you wonderful teachers :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Series Book Reports

I love my librarian...I mean seriously LOVE her. I don't know how my class or even our school would function without her. I can send her an e-mail first thing in the morning requesting books and she will have a cart (yes a whole cart) of books pulled for me on a specific topic by that afternoon. If she doesn't have the books in our library she requests them from other schools and is always willing to do this.

So, now that I have professed my love for our school librarian I want to share a book report that she so graciously helped the 3rd grade teachers come up with last year. Last year was my first year in 3rd grade and coming from 5th grade I was used to book reports. When I brought this idea up to my team to use with 3rd grade they were happy to give it a try. The only bad thing was we had to come up with all new book reports (I couldn't steal from 5th grade) and make sure they were age appropriate. Now this is where my amazing librarian comes in. She expressed an interest in helping us come up with ideas, teach lessons, and help out in any way possible. After a few conversations and a little time to think on it she came to me with a fabulous idea...reading a book in a series. There are seriously a million different series books (and with a wide range of reading abilities) and she thought if we could get the kids interested in a specific series it would get them to read more of those books and possibly share their favorites with their classmates. I of course LOVED the idea...especially being an avid fan of series books myself.

We have done this project for the last 2 years and it has been very successful. The kids love reading the books and I always have a handful of kids who "can't wait" to read the rest of the books in the series!!

The first thing we have the kids do is read their book at home. After reading the book they write a letter to our librarian. (And here we insert our friendly letter lesson) In the letter they write 3 paragraphs. Paragraph 1 is a summary of their book (again...summary lesson inserted here) paragraph 2 is their opinion of the book, whether they liked it or not and specific reasons why, and finally paragraph 3 they have to tell the librarian whether or not they think she should order more books in this series. (one of the lessons she does with the kids teaches them to search for books in that series on our library catalog...and then she teaches them to look up all the books that are in the series on THIS webpage)

This book report is done MOSTLY at school (since we do it at the beginning of the year it gives us a chance to set expectations and see their abilities), however they do one part at home. I send home a book cover (printed on cardstock) where they redesign the cover of the book. On the cover of the book I ask them to include a quote that summarizes their book or makes others want to read the book. These book covers then become our big bulletin board display for conference week.

I have included some examples of the covers my kids did this year:

This one has my favorite quote...and it totally fits the kiddo who did it:
Here is our third grade bulletin board display:
If you would like a copy of the rubric/directions and book cover template I use you can get them here:
Book Cover Template
Letter Rubric
Book Cover Rubric

Monday, October 8, 2012

An apology and October Currently :)

First of all...WOW...I cannot believe it has been over 2 months since my last post. I suppose you can say life just got in the way and unfortunately blogging had to take a back seat. We started back to school in early August...and addition the normal beginning of the year stress/workload...my district adopted a new reading and writing program, I am piloting a new math program and working with 2 new teammates.

I'm hoping that since I have gotten life under control (as much as one can) that I will be a much better blogger and I will get a chance to get back to stalking all of your wonderful blogs as well!!!

For today, I am just going to start by linking up with Farley for her October Currently. I can't make any promises but I am hoping to get my act together and start posting more. I have a great class this year and we have been hard at work and I can't wait to share all the fun stuff we have been doing!