Sunday, June 30, 2013

Diary of a Pack!

I just posted an updated Diary of a Pack! To read about how I use Diary of a Frog, check out my Frog Life Cycle post.
The pack includes:
  • Diary of a Frog
  • Diary of a Chick
  • Diary of a Butterfly (3, each with a different graphic)
  • Diary of a Ladybug (2, each with a different graphics)
  • Diary of a Hamster (included because someone asked for it :))
  • Diary of a _________
And for Narrative Writing:
  • Diary of a 1st Grader
  • Diary of a 2nd Grader
  • Diary of a 3rd Grader
  • Diary of a 4th Grader
  • Diary of a 5th Grader
There are two of each.  I made them with different lines for the older students who may not need handwriting lines.  

 I'm off to watch two guilty pleasures..
The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Big Brother. Happy Sunday!
~Colleen ❤

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pre-Reading Scavenger Hunt

After Spring Break I did novels with my third graders.  It was my first time doing novels, and the kiddos loved it.   I gave them a few choices of novels to give the kids a chance to work with different kids. Since I had a wide range of readers (F&P levels L-T), I had to make sure some didn't pick a novel that was too hard or too easy.  My L-N readers who doing LLI so they didn't get to do the novels, but we did read a Cam Jansen chapter book.  I allowed my two higher groups to pick from the same three novels: The Get-Rich Quick Club, Frindle, and Granny Torelli Makes Soup.
I loved seeing some readers working with a higher-level text and  doing a great job with them.  It was a great way to enrich.
Each student time to look at the novels and do a scavenger hunt to decide which book he/she wanted to read.  So they would  pay attention, I made a scavenger hunt for them to complete.  They hunted through all the books but I had them only fill out the paper on the book they chose.  It also helped my know who picked which book.  Some looked at the cover and immediately knew which book he/she wanted to read but I did have them at least read the blurb on the back before deciding.  It gave they students a chance to really browse the books and take time to decide.  And because of the way I called them to group that day (not by reading group), not many of them picked a book just because their friends were reading it.  :)

They had to draw the cover firat and then find: the title, author, illustrator (if there is one), blurb on back, other books by author, dedication, copyright date, # of chapters, and chapter titles.  They also had to tell if they thought the book would be interesting based ont he blurb on the back and make a  detailed prediction
Next year I'm going to modify how I did novels and Literature Circles but I definitely will use the scavenger hunt to for the kids to pick.

Hope you can use this! 

Team Gifts: M&M Rx

As a team leader, I like to do something special at the beginning of the year for my team.  My very first year as team leader I found an idea on online for a M&M Prescription (no idea where, I wish I could give credit).

I went to CVS, told them I was a teacher, asked if I could have 8 prescription bottles, and the VERY nice staff gave me them!  (I know someone who was able to get some from Walmart)

I filled each prescription bottle that folks at CVS gave me with M&Ms.  I typed the following directions and taped it as the label for the bottle.  I've seen the directions glued to construction paper and tied to the bottle with a ribbon.  (You could also type them on a large label and stick it to the bottle.)

My team loved getting a little something on the first day back to work and in December, some of them still had a few M&Ms left!

Last year I moved to third grade as team leader and wished I had started off the year with something but didn't get around to ever making anything.  This year I will be in third again, but other than our para-educator, I will have all new people on my team so I'm on the lookout for fun, inexpensive, gifts to make it start this year off.  Do you have anything you give to your teammates or that you have been given that you LOVED?  Please share!!

~Colleen ❤

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tackle It Tuesday: CCSS Math Relating Multiplication and Division

I just posted a new product on my TpT store.  My kiddos really needed help relating multiplication and division.  They could tell me how they are related; but they weren't  able to apply it to knowing facts and learning the division facts.  I loved triangle flashcards for helping them with this skill so I made some!  (bright and striped, the colors always makes the kids more interested)

I included greyscale version of the triangle flashcards as well.  I'm in the middle of making a few games to play using the cards.  Look for those to be posted in the next few weeks :)

~Colleen ❤

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How-to Writing

One of the writing units we did this year was procedural writing.  I kept it simple and had the kids writing How-to "books."  We discussed what helps readers understand how-to books and one of the recurring ideas was illustrations/pictures so students had to include a picture of each step, with labels or captions.

A cute,  funny story to read to the kids is How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan.  While it isn't a nonfiction "how-to,"  it tells how to hide and be quiet when grandpa rings the doorbell,  how to eat snack with a grandpa, and how to play with a grandpa.

We started with a how-to wash your hands as a shared writing.  In the past I've always read Germs Make Me Sick by by Melvin Berger and then the kids wrote How to Keep Germs Away or How to Stay Healthy. It isn't a true how-to but it is a good practice one.  Most of the kids wrote a list of all things to do to Keep Germs away.  When I did it with first grade I got a lot of what I told them all the time:  cough and sneeze into you elbow; wash your hands with soap and water; blow and throw instead of keeping a tissue on your desk or in your pencil box; don't chew on your hair, nails, fingers, clothes, pencils, etc.  Occasionally I'd get something random like don't chew gum you pulled off your shoe.  (eww! Really?)   I'd pull out a big box of scraps and have them make a germ to glue as a topper to their paragraph/how-to.   This year I didn't have time for this part :(

We were in the middle of a Trash to Treasure project, which required the kids to use three or more recyclable materials to create a new "treasure" that had a purpose.  To tie it all together the kids had to then write a how-to make whatever treasure they made.  It turned out fabulous!  The kids were very creative.  Some of the treasures: robots, airplanes, organizers, jewelry boxes, masks, planters, bird feeders, and even a track for a ball toss game!

Here is the final copy paper and rubric I used.  I also included some variations if you don't need/want it  to be a numbered list.
topics/ideas to have the kids write:

  • how to wash your hands
  • how to stay healthy
  • how to be (mostly) germ-free
  • how to survive _____ grade
  • how to keep Earth clean/healthy(green school idea: recycle, reuse, etc.)
  • how to grow a plant

The ideas are countless!  Please post any ideas you have !  Hopefully I can post pictures of the treasure the kids created once I can get into school. (It's being tiled so it's a construction site right now) :)

I'd love to hear feedback on how you use it!
~ Colleen ❤

Summer! Time to Make Stuff

Summer vacation started this week and I am so happy.  I loved my first year in third grade and I will miss my class but I am  ready to lounge at the pool, workout, and make some things for my classroom!  I'm also writing curriculum this year so I'll be making lots of math resources and some science resources.
First on my list was a plan book.  I had a co-worker who used an excel plan book and I thought I'd give it a try next year.  I like that it's one less thing to be carrying home and that I can link to documents, websites, and products I've bought on TpT instead of having to write it all done.
This morning I created a planbook and I've already went through it for next year and marked off all the days off and our special days like field trips, STEM days,  and celebrations.    But before I did that I made a general one that is editable and for sale at my TpT store.  And if you aren't comfortable editing it, I can edit it. :)  Click here to see it at my store. 

If you aren't on break yet, enjoy the rest of the school year.  If you are....have a GREAT summer!! 
~Colleen =>