Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Week In Review

It's been a challenging year and this week added to the challenge. Thank goodness for fun weekends that help me escape. Yesterday I visited a friend about an hour and half away in another town and went to the zoo. Had to take a pic of this guy:

This picture doesn't do justice to his size. He was enormous! Can't wait to show my friends tomorrow. We've been working hard even though we've had some issues and interruptions. We started our Science unit on the Sun and the first thing we did was create a graphic organizer for the main vocabulary words that we will encounter throughout the first chapter in the unit. I like letting the kids be creative and add color to their work whenever possible so we created a sun graphic organizer. 


We also started our unit on Visualizing. My first lesson idea came from Lesson Plan SOS. I read the lyrics to Don't Laugh At Me while the kids closed their eyes and listened. Then I read them a second time and they had to draw the picture that stood out in their mind the most. After they drew their visualizations, I read them the book and we talked about our connections to how the characters felt. Such a great lesson. 

I love how this friend added setting
detail to her explanation.
This friend said he had to draw two
pictures because they both stood
out at him the most.

I finally bought something for my kids to use for wiping dry erase boards. I bought some cheap black felt sheets and cut them up in fourths. They are easy to keep in the supply caddies and I can just throw them away at the end of the year. They can also easily be replaced since they were only $0.29 for a sheet!

Not a big deal but I'm hoping my scissors at work will cut my other sheets a bit more neatly. So there's my week in review. I still have some work to do tonight because I need lesson plans. Have a great week!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Who reads this little blog of mine?

Before I start let me just say THANK YOU to those that respond to my blog posts. I very much appreciate it and hope you have found some good tips or ideas along the way. I love blogging about my experiences and ideas in the classroom. But I mostly love the interaction with other teachers. However, lately I’ve been feeling like maybe I shouldn’t even bother posting. I am not getting much of a response to many posts. I’m just a little frustrated because I like hearing from you all. I do completely understand that sometimes you just don’t have time to respond. Anyways, this is a test. If you read my blog, please let me know! And if you have time, stop by and check out my previous post. I’m giving away a copy of my Praise Notes Pack. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Praise Notes

Do you notice that sometimes you call the same kid's parent only to give them bad news? I do that and this year am trying to let parents know when good things happen as well. So I created 14 different praise notes. 

I will be printing them off on construction paper and organizing them in CD organizer sleeves that will be kept in a binder. Twice a week, I will be purposely trying to seek out one or two kids that will get one of the praise notes. I can quickly find which praise note to send home and fill out with the child's name and date. I also included a tracking sheet so I can keep up with which praise notes each child got and when. They also come in black and white except for the graphics. I added them here to my TPT store but would love to give away a set! Just leave a comment and tell me how you would use them. I'll pick a winner Sunday night!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Informational Text Features

My class is finally getting in a groove and then what happens? Bam! Trainings, early release day, and RTI meetings all in the next two weeks. Don’t get me wrong. I know they are all essential (well except for the early release day) but it’s just such bad timing to have it all in such a small chunk of time. Just going a little crazy in trying to figure out how I will have enough grades by interim time in a week.

Ok so lets get to the real topic of today's post. I have started teaching informational text features using our Scholastic News magazines. I love teaching with those rather than the non-fiction text from the basal because the kids are so much more engaged. They are current news articles and there are so many topics the kids love to read about. Yesterday I used one of the articles to teach main idea. While we went through the article, I pointed out some text features and explained why they are important. We discuss text features all year long and I wanted a way for them to record each time they learn a new one. So I created a graphic organizer that I am going to have them glue into their reader's notebooks. 

Every time we go over a new text feature in informational text, we'll record it on this sheet. I will probably make two copies for each student so they can glue it front and back in their notebooks. That way we'll have enough  spaces for all the features we learn in 3rd grade. If you'd like a copy you can download it here. Hope you find it useful!