Saturday, December 5, 2015

M.I.A., Holidays, & Freebie Round Up

Firstly, I know it has been too long since I posted. I am sorry...I am a bad blogger :(  Life got in the way Life became a priority.  I have had some tragic events occur and although there is sorrow I am trying to find the joy that will come of hard as it may seem.
I had every intention of getting this up BEFORE Thanksgiving, but we see how well that worked out.  Anyways please store this easy activity away for next year!  I made these quick printables for the kids and they worked with a partner on the Scholastic website to write down some important event from the journey on the Mayflower and then compare and contrast Indians and Pilgrims.

Click on the picture and you can grab the printables!

I am not sure if it is just my class, but I can NEVER find enough time for writing.  We had a three day week during Thanksgiving so it was the perfect opportunity to get this important skill some practice.  I found this freebie that made it SO easy to let each child be successful in their writing!  I followed the ideas she suggested using the post its for brainstorming and categorizing and it worked like a charm!!

I also found some awesome freebies on TPT.  Some I used for homework, class work, work on words, and even extra credit over the short break!  All images are linked back to the TPT store where they can be found!

Verb Tenses Thanksgiving Pilgrim Edition: Past, Present anStand UPS: FREE Thanksgiving Turkey Edition Clip Art Set

FREE: Gobblin' Up Multiple Meaning Words - a Thanksgiving The first Thanksgiving Fact or Fiction Game

Thanksgiving Task Cards Fact or Opinion Thanksgiving FREE

Thanksgiving Challenge! Free Scavenger Hunt Type ActivityHappy Thanksgiving - Making Little Words

Sunday, October 11, 2015

2 Weeks of Matter Ideas and a Giveaway!

To introduce a new topic I love doing an exploratory activity where the kids really have to use their critical thinking skills.  This type of activity can also serve as a pre-assessment.  You can check out my States of Matter pack by clicking the images below!
After doing the introductory activity above, I used a variety of solid and liquid matter picture cards and we talked more about physical properties of matter.  I had each of them choose three pieces of matter and then describe them using each of their five senses.  This was not only moving forward, but also a good review!
The goal was to just see how the children sorted the cards.  They should have been solids, liquids, and gases. These cards and many other goodies can be found in Sheila Melton's store by clicking on one of the pictures.  After discussing how each group sorted the cards we read a passage from about the three states of matter.
On the back of the passage from I copied my molecules in matter page and we used dot stickers and wrote generalizations about each state of was a nice tie to the passage on the front!
The next step to studying matter was discussing mass.  I gave each child a baggie and had them bring one solid from home that would fit in the baggie.  We then weighed our items on the balance scale and wrote down how many grams were in our items.  Sorry, I didn't snap a picture of this activity....all I can say is 100% engagement!  The kids LOVED using their own items and the balance scale!  Afterwards, I mixed up the papers and passed them back out the next day and we came up with conclusions about the mass of each object.
After mass we moved on to volume!  We discussed what volume was and experimented with volume of a liquid and volume of a container. 

 I was surprised to see that many of the kids still thought the taller container was holding the most amount of water.  There were some good conversations as we decided which one may or may not have the most water.  Afterwards, we used a measuring cup and found that they all approximately 250 ML of water.  This was also a good review of liquids taking the shape of their containers.  
Anything using water is super motivating for kids of any age!!
For solid volume we incorporated solids and containers.  The learning target was for each child to understand that a container's volume is fixed.  It doesn't change no matter what product is placed inside it.  We used dirt, beans, bird seed, and grass seed.  We also took it a step further and put each container on the balance scale to see the relationship between volume and mass.  The volume can be the same, while the mass can be more or less.  These recording sheets can be found in my States of Matter pack.
 Volume of a solid was a great tie to math!  We talked about the difference between 2D and 3D measuring when you have to include the LxWxH.  There was A LOT of deep thinking going on here because they kids kept wanting to turn the boxes in all different directions.  We made sure to point out that the height meant how tall, the width meant how wide, and the length was always along the bottom.  We did not actually calculate the volumes as this was an introductory activity to finding volume.
Lastly, I had to do this soda can experiment I found on pinterest.  It was a great way to culminate mass and volume and how their relationship creates density.  Which in turn was a great review of why some small things sink and some big things float.  Once again this simple recording sheet is in my States of Matter pack.
We briefly read about mixtures and solutions in our text and then decided to make scarecrow crunch and pumpkin punch!  I made a recording booklet to go along with it!  I have added it to my States of Matter pack as well!  One thing we did to help make our graphs was take out all the broken pieces and only keep the whole pieces...if not some kids would have had WAY too many pieces.
We really didn't have near enough time for physical and chemical changes.  There were so many fun pinterest experiments learning experiences we just couldn't find time to do.  Study Jams helped us out on this one to get a lot of information in a short time.  I used this cut and paste to do a little assessment which is FREE from More Time 2 Teach.  Just click the image to grab it!

Just for making it all the way down here, enter below for a chance to win a copy of my States of Matter Pack valued at $5!
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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Getting Started with Daily Five

We are well into Fall and it is actually already October!!!  We are finally settling into our routines and are starting to build relationships.  Coming from a class with some looped kids.....if feels so weird to not know who this little children are; even though we see each other for 8 hours a day.
One staple in my classroom every year is daily five.  I have tweaked it each year for various reasons.  Some to fit the age of my kids and other times to increase effectiveness.  This year is no different.  Every teacher knows there is NEVER enough time in the day, so for 3rd grade I have switched from three 15-minute rounds to two 15-minute rounds.  In my extra time I have built in a fluency block.

The other difference is the launch time was MUCH less compared to when I taught K and 1st.  We were able to launch all five areas in less than 20 days. Due to the fact that our school uses Accelerated Reader we also have a designated 30 minutes of Read to Self everyday.  Another aspect I would never skip, no matter the grade level, is building stamina.  Start small and build their independence.  Don't assume the kids know anything.
In order to manage our Word Work area I developed these tic-tac-toe menus that my kids use each week.  The A and B sheets are different from one another, however all A sheets are the same every month and all B sheets are the same every month.  The kids are already getting the hang of picking up there papers each Monday and making a plan for what they will do that week when they choose word work.  You can click the image to take you to my TPT store and grab sheets for the entire year for only $2!
We also manage our Word Work area with Word Work notebooks.  The kids each have a designated notebook to complete all the activities in.  I do not look at them every week, but they do keep the kids accountable for the work they should be completing.

I was tempted to cut the listening to reading area for third grade and so glad I didn't!  This area is FULL every single round!  I added a writing component, which you can see sticking to the wall just above the cd player.  The kids have a writing notebook where they are responding to the books they are listening to.  The questions include reading skills such as main idea, story elements, predictions, cause/effect, and more.
Although we have our afternoon Read to Self, some kids just can't help but read all day.  Here is a book addict all comfy and cozy during our Daily Five time.  I love that Daily Five gives the students the power to choose.