Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Peek At My Week!

It's Sunday night so it's time to look out over the horizon at the week ahead with Jennifer at
http://mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com/





1.  Progress reports will be going home on Friday so I'll be getting those ready.  It's hard to believe that the first term is half over.

2.  In Reading, we will be reading a play by Suzy Kline about Herbie and Annabelle.  In the play, Annabelle has the chicken pox, and Herbie has to deliver get well cards to her house.  Isn't it amazing that kids don't really know what chicken pox are any more?  One of my students reported that her older sister had the chicken pox last week, but I hadn't heard of any other cases IN YEARS! 

3.  In Math, we are starting subtraction which can be challenging.  Last week, several students voiced their concern that the work in third grade was "too easy."  Well, I am predicting that the work will challenge all of them next week.

4.  In Social Studies, we'll be wrapping up our first chapter and having a test.



5.  We'll also be writing our final copies about our best friends, and the kids will start sharing their paragraphs on the rug.




Also, Laura Candler has so many followers on Facebook that she has compiled a $450 gift package for one lucky teacher who could be YOU!  So head on over and check it out:

http://corkboardconnections.blogspot.com/







 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Time for a Book Link-Up!

Today I am doing two posts because now I am linking up with Paula for her Storybook Saturday Link Up!


 
I got the idea to read this book from Debbie Miller's Reading With Meaning.  In this book, she recommends reading:
 
 
 
Hazel's Amazing Mother by Rosemary Wells to encourage kids to make connections between themselves and the text. 
 
Well, this book definitely did the trick!  In the story, Hazel gets lost, bullied and rescued by her mother.  The kids made so many connections to the story that we were on the rug for much longer than I imagined - which is a good thing because I love to hear the kids' connections.  I heard a lot of stories about getting lost - I guess this happens fairly often - luckily with happy endings, too.
 
Also, here's a question.  In Debbie Miller's book she uses the word "schema" in her writing and in her anchor charts.  (just in case, schema means prior knowledge).  Any way, I have never used the word "schema", and I was wondering if any of you use this word.  Also, if you don't use this word, do you use another term? 
 
I love to hear all the book recommendations.  I think Paula recommended this book in her blog:  Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose.  I read that book last week, and the kids really liked it!  Many of them compared it to Brown Bear, Brown Bear.
 
 

Friday and Saturdays are some of my favorite days!

fiveforfriday2



 It's that time of the week  to link up with:  http://www.doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.com/

1.  The most exciting news of all is that my older son, Derek, who graduated from college last May, got a JOB!  He has been working so hard to find a job, and his diligence finally paid off.  He'll be working for a congressman from Massachusetts as a constituent service representative.  Any way, Derek is delighted because he wants to work for the government, and this is a great entry-level job.  Here's my dog, Gabi, congratulating Derek on getting his first job:


2.  We did math centers this week, and the kids loved them!  We had four centers:

*graphing         *equation station         *roll the highest number      *race to 100

Equation station is like a word search with numbers - the kids need to find all the equations in the number puzzle.  I bought this product on TPT.  If you want to check it out, here's the link:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Equation-Station-Boggle-for-Math-Set-1-630428

The graphing activity I won in a raffle, but you can check it out on TPT:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-To-School-Line-Plot-and-Pictograph-Activity-764634

It's easy enough to set up Race to 100.  You need a hundred chart and 2 dice for each pair of students who roll the dice, add them up, color in the sum, and keep adding until someone reaches 100.

For Roll the Highest Number, you need one die for each student and a chart divided into 3 or 4 columns.  The columns are labeled Hundreds, Tens, Ones.  When you roll the die, you write the number in pen or marker under the correct column to make the highest number.



3.  We worked on our four types of sentences Powerpoints.  Here are the directions as well as some work samples:

On the first day, I have the kids make a title page and save that in the U-drive so that they can access their presentation the next time we go to the Computer Lab. 





When the presentations are all edited and complete, the kids share them on the big screen in the classroom.  It's a really fun and engaging project that gives us purpose in the Computer Lab.

4.  On the first day of school, I asked each student to bring in a baby picture so we could do a project.  However, the baby pictures are still hanging up because the kids LOVE to look at the pictures, and so do I.  Here's what they look like:


5.  Here's a picture of the first bulletin board of the year because I'll be taking it down on Monday.  It has our pencil and apple books which are quick, easy and ready to put up for Back to School night:



Wow, we really had a very busy week last week.

Happy Weekend!












 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

End The Week Off Right With Some Healthy Eating Tips

I'm late, but I really wanted to join this link-up about healthy eating ideas.  Of course, if you wait long enough, you end up being on time after all. (I meant to do this post a week ago.)

Last week, I saw a link-up with  http://dontlettheteacher.blogspot.com/ 






about healthy eating so I thought I'd share some tips I've learned from Weight Watchers:

1.  Know/plan what you're having for lunch.  This way you can make sure to prepare something healthy.

2.  Get a good night's sleep - this way you can make good food choices during the day.

3.  Be careful of eating in restaurants.  A lot of the food is very high in calories and fat.

4.  Oatmeal is a great breakfast choice!

5.  Instead of "real" hamburgers, try out:

     *Weight Watchers Chicken patties

     *Butterball turkey burgers
     

     Both of these choices are surprisingly good and much lower in fat and calories.

Here's a tip from my doctor:

6.  Get your calcium from food rather than supplements.  Research has shown that supplements can cause calcium build-up in your body, and this build-up can lead to health problems.

Here's something I learned at Dunkin Donuts this morning:

7.  There is only one kind of brewed coffee.  All of those delicious flavored coffees are made with flavored syrups which means extra calories and sugar. 

My goal for this week:

8.  Don't use food as a reward.  I do this all the time.  For example, last week was Back to School night, and I gave blood - that meant I could have pizza for dinner and then leftover pizza for lunch the next day.  Of course, some times, you just need a treat.

What treat would you prefer:  pizza or a cupcake or both?


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcome to my wonderful week ahead!

It's time for a brand new week - that means it's time to link up with Jennifer at
http://mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com/


 
 
1.  This week we'll be reading Born to Rope in our reading books.  This story tells about Anthony and how hard he works at school and at roping.  I like this story because the author uses pictures rather than illustrations.  Plus, it's non-fiction which you can never read enough.
 
 
 
2.  In our notebooks, we'll be describing Anthony and supporting our adjectives with examples from the story.  I've been using Nicole Shelby's interactive reading notebook activities which are excellent.  You can check them out here:
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/3rd-Grade-Reading-Interactive-Notebook-aligned-with-the-Common-Core-747538
 
 
3.  In Math, we'll be doing more addition and word problems.  We'll also be working on memorizing our math facts.  Several students have already memorized their math facts, and this makes math much more manageable for them. 
 
4.  In computer lab, we'll continue on with our Powerpoint presentations on the 4 types of sentences.  I love being able to use the computer lab in a meaningful and constructive way.
 
5.  The weather looks fabulous so we'll be able to go outside for recess which is so important because the kids really need the fresh air and exercise.
 
Happy Fall!
 
 

Fabulous Five For Friday!!!! Isn't today Sunday? I guess I'm a bit late.

Today I am once again linking up with:  http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.com/  for:



 
fiveforfriday2
 
 
1.  Back to School Night was on Thursday, and I had a tremendous turnout - 14 students' parents came in!  The parents were quite happy to sit on chairs in a circle on the rug.  They loved hearing about the books we've been reading; the writing we've been doing; the class meetings we have, etc.  One Mom even wrote a sentence on the interactive whiteboard!  It was really fun to meet the parents.
 
2.  We completed an organizer on our best friends.  I found this activity on another blog so you can check out those kids' finished assignments here:
 
Click on creative writing on the right to find this class' work samples.
 
 
 I've really been encouraging the kids to add interesting details to their writing, and they are starting to make their sentences more lengthy.
 
 
3.  I gave blood tonight (Friday), and I was very happy to do so after seeing/hearing a transit police officer speak at our back to school staff assembly.  This police officer was shot right after the Boston Marathon while trying to track down the suspects.  Due to his injury, he lost almost all of his blood supply.  Amazingly, he is alive and recovering, but it makes me realize how important it is for me to give blood which I do every 3 months or so.  I'm lucky to be able to donate.
 
 
4.  Here are two pages from our class Probably book:
 
"I am probably the only one in third grade who loves sushi, animals, readings, going in pools, gems, and money."
 
 
The bottom one says:  "I'm probably the only one in third grade who has 7 people in my family." 
 
 
These class Probably books are actually quite insightful.
 
5.  Last, but not least, we had a very big, beautiful, full moon at the end of last week.  Do you think that the full moon has any effect on how we behave on Earth? 
 
Until next week, ......
 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Chapter Book Worth Checking Out!

I am linking up with Paula for her Storybook Saturday Link Up!





 
 
When the kids eat snack, I read a chapter book.  Since school started (we've been in school for 12 days now), I have been reading a Judy Blume book from her series about the Pain and the Great One.  The first book in the series is titled:  Soupy Saturdays with the Pain & the Great One. 
 
 
The Great One is the older sister who is in third grade; and the Pain is the little brother who is in first grade.  The chapters are told by either the Great One or the Pain, and each chapter deals with relevant issues to children in this age bracket.
 
Right now, I am reading Cool Zone with the Pain & the Great One because most of the chapters take place in school.  In one chapter, the Great One decides to change her name because she doesn't like her real name which is Abigail.  I asked my students if they would want to change their names, and if so, what would their new name be.  Needless to say, the majority of the kids wanted to change their names. 
 
Overall, the stories are very realistic and can be used to discuss issues that everyone deals with.  I enjoy reading these stories out loud because there is a lot of dialogue, but these books would be great additions to your library or guided reading program.
 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It's a brand new week already!

It's time for a brand new week - that means it's time to link up with Jennifer at
http://mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com/


 
 
 
1.  This week we'll be reading Goldilocks and the 3 Bears by James Marshall in our reading books.  Additionally, I have a lot of the George and Martha books to share, too.  I LOVE George and Martha because they're funny, and the author uses so few words to tell each story. 
 
2.  Back to School Night is Thursday evening.  I'm looking forward to meeting the students' parents.  These last few years, I've set up chairs in a circle on my rug, and we have a "class meeting"  in which I talk about what we do in class; the parents can ask questions, etc.  I just feel much more comfortable talking when we're in a circle.
 
3.  In Math, it's onward and upward with place value, addition and word problems. 
 
4.  In computer lab, we'll make more slides for our Sentence powerpoint presentations.  This week the kids will make slides for a statement and a question.  They were so excited about their first slides.
 
5.  We'll be starting the first chapter in our Social Studies book, too.  I LOVE our Massachusetts books - there are great pictures as well as interesting information.
 
Here's to a wonderful week!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Picture Book Recommendation Link-Up

Today I'm linking up for a tremendous weekly link-up sponsored by Paula's Place:

 
 
Last week I read a terrific, new book - Clark the Shark - by Bruce Hale.  I did try to get the book from my local library, but since it's so new, I had to buy it.  I will say, however, that this book is worth the price because it's funny, and most importantly, it teaches a worthwhile lesson.

As you can tell from the cover, Clark is a big shark. He causes problems at school due to his large size and appetite.  The other students in class try to give him advice so he'll stop eating their lunches or pushing them too high in the swings, but Clark can't help himself.  Additionally, Clark has a very kind teacher who tries to advise him on how to change his behavior.  Eventually, the students in the class meet up with a group of bullies, and Clark comes to the rescue and becomes a hero. 

My students LOVED this book! 

As a follow-up activity, we made a class book called - We Follow The Rules.  I found this activity on TPT, and you can check it out here:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Lets-Learn-the-Rules-with-Clark-the-Shark-A-Class-Book-841887

I highly recommend this book as a read-aloud for any time when kids need a reminder/review of rules.  Enjoy!

p.s. To check out more amazing books, please check out Paula's very pleasant blog at:

http://shawpaula.blogspot.com/
 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fabulous Five For Friday - First Full Week of School!

Wow - the first full week of school went by very quickly, and I am going to bed early tonight.

Today I am linking up with:  http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.com/  for:



fiveforfriday2
 
1.  We started learning about place value in Math.  In our city, we use the Math Expressions series, and the first chapter is about place value.  We're also reviewing our basic math facts.  Today I gave a quick quiz on facts to 10 - I haven't corrected them yet, but I'm hoping that all the kids did well.
 
2.  Today in Computer Lab, I taught the kids how to make Powerpoints.  Of course, we only made and saved the first page of our presentations which will be about the 4 types of sentences.  The kids LOVED experimenting with the different backgrounds, clipart and word art.  It was very exciting!
 
3.  We had a benchmark writing assessment on Monday.  The prompt was to write about yourself. 
 
4.  We made 2 class books this week.  The first one was titled:  We Follow Rules.  After reading Clark the Shark, we each wrote a page about an important rule to follow in school.  The other class book was titled:  Probably.  Each page starts with:  "I'm probably the only one in third grade who...."  I have been doing these probably books for years now, and I love sharing them with my new students.  It's really fun when an older brother or sister has written a page. 
 
More will follow on both of these books as I would like to share some of the student-made pages as well as give more information on Clark the Shark.
 
5.  We had a class meeting today because the kids were concerned about lunch recess and cafeteria behavior.  The main concern is the cheese touch (this is why I am not a fan of the Wimpy Kid books).  It seems that students are taking pieces of cheese and putting them on lunch tables, in other people's lunchboxes, on others' shoulders and heads,.....  We'll definitely be addressing this issue next week to try to make lunch a more pleasant experience.
 
I must say though - I LOVE THIRD GRADE, AND I LOVE MY CLASS!  Now that school has started, I'm enjoying being back at school.
 
 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Weight Watchers Has Marvelous Messages!

I go to Weights Watchers every Sunday morning in Stoneham for a weekly meeting.  First, I get weighed in, and then we discuss our ups and downs with the Meeting Leader.  Every week we discuss a different topic, and I like to share the messages because I think that they apply to everyone.

Here's a few of the messages (I haven't been posting every week so there will be a few of them this week):

I bring my lunch to school every day, and I usually have the same, old lunch - hummus on a deli flat, an orange and some almonds.  Last week was the first week back to school so I treated myself to some homemade chocolate chip cookies (2 points each).  Of course, the scale did not reward me for eating the cookies, but I did enjoy every bite, and they were DELICIOUS!

One important message that I have learned is focus on eating HEALTHIER food rather than the number of the scale.  I have noticed that I am making better food choices, thanks to Weight Watchers.

Here's message number 2:


Getting enough sleep is so important - I LOVE to get a good night's sleep.  I have been going to bed earlier these days - by 9:00 pm - because I'm exhausted, but I am loving my class so it's a good kind of tired.

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New and exciting web page to check out!

Thanks to my friend and colleague, Cheryl F., I am so excited to tell you about an amazing and useful web site:
http://learnzillion.com/lessons

This site has so many opportunities and options that it's going to take me a while to explore, but I can tell just from the few minutes I spent on the site, IT IS AMAZING! 

Please check it out if you can, and if you do use the site, I'd love to hear from you.


 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Taking a Peek Ahead at the First Full Week of School

This is the third week that Jennifer at
http://mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com/

is having her link up so I hope you'll consider joining up, too.


 
1.  This week we'll be reading How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague.  It's the first story in our reading book, and it's a perfect story to start the year.
 
We'll also be reading several other books by the same author.
 
2.  We'll be beginning work in our workbooks for Spelling, Math and Phonics.  For the first 2 days, we did fun work; now it's time to really get to work.
 
3.  On Wednesday afternoon, I'll be going to training for the 6 Traits Writing Program.  We had a brief training last year so I'm looking forward to learning more.  In the meantime, we'll be forging ahead with the program.
 
4.  This week our reading skill is sequencing.  One of our writing activities will include:  "How I Brush My Teeth." 
 
This should be a fun and interesting week!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday -= Super Saturday



Now I can understand why the blogging world is quieter during the week - we're all back to school so time is at a premium.  I still wanted to make sure to be grateful to a fellow blogger.

Today, I'm linking up with:  http://www.peacocksandpenguins.blogspot.com/
so that I can thank Hollie Griffith whose blog is:The Razzle Dazzle Classroom
 
Here's just a small example from Hollie's blog:

Making Connections
We read Wemberly Worried and learned that good readers make connections when reading. We completed this connections sheet and made a cute little Wemberly.

The anchor chart and the Making Connections worksheet are from Hollie's blog.


Hollie is very creative and shares many of her ideas on her blog as well as offering many free items in her TPT store.  I bought the Watermelon Day package from Hollie's store, and it is absolutely adorable, colorful and fun. 

Here are some ways to check out Hollie's creativity and inspirational ideas:
 
 
 
I think you'll agree that Hollie is a blogger worth checking out!













 

Storybook Link Up

 
 
I love the blogger who is starting this link up!  Paula's from Australia, and she has really fun and engaging ideas.  I also LOVE to hear about the books that she is reading because they are often books that are totally new to me, and I am always looking for a new book to read. 
Yesterday, I read a tremendously funny and insightful book:  I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen:
 
 



The story is quite simple.  The bear on the cover has lost his hat and is looking for it.  Eventually, he realizes that the rabbit has taken it.  My students were totally mystified by what happened to the rabbit after the bear gets his hat back, and in the book, you can't tell if the rabbit simply ran away, got sat on by the bear or the bear ate the rabbit.  The kids kept making predictions, but none of them could PROVE what happened to the rabbit.  It was a very lively discussion, and on the second day of school, no less.  Plus the illustrations are adorable!

Thanks, Paula for starting the link up; I'm excited to get more book ideas, too!

If you want to check out the original posting, click on the Storybook Saturday Link Up graphic at the top of this post, and you'll be delivered right to Paula's blog.
 
 
 
                             

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five For Friday!

Today I have the great honor of linking up with:  http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.com/  for:



fiveforfriday2



It's Friday, and the end of my 2nd day of school with my new students who are very wonderful, by the way!  We're off to a great start! 

Here are 5 random facts about my week:

1.  I managed to get most of my classroom library organized and labeled with colorful polka-dotted labels.  Here's an example of my science book bins:
 
I tried to use different colored labels for the different sections. 
 
2.  On the first day of school, my students had Art and Health.  Consequently, we had a terrific first day of school!
 
3.  Here is my first day of school outfit which I managed to find at the last minute in Marshall's.  I thought the dress reminded me of Claude Monet's painting, and the added bonus was the price - $25.
 
 
 
 
 4.  This year the district is implementing a new writing program - Six Traits.  We did the first lesson which involved pairs of students thinking of 4 food items that they would include in a bagged lunch - this process was compared to prewriting.  Then they drew the items (drafting); changed the items to make the lunch healthier (editing).  At the end, each pair of students shared their lunches, and we learned that even though each group had the same lunch assignment, each lunch turned out differently because we each have different ideas.
 
5.  This afternoon we did the Saving Fred experiment.  Fred is a gummy worm who sails around in his boat (a bathroom paper cup) without wearing his life preserver (a gummy lifesaver).  One day Fred's boat capsizes, and he finds himself under his boat while his life preserver is on top of the boat.  Each group of students had to figure out how to save Fred by using only 4 paperclips. 
 
I actually was wondering how the kids could get the gummy lifesaver to be wide enough to get around Fred, but they figured it out.  One group used the paper clips to squish Fred's head so it would fit inside the lifesaver; another group used their paper clips to stretch open the lifesaver so Fred could fit; and the other groups used a combination of these 2 strategies.  It was very exciting - especially when each group figured out how to save Fred. 
 
Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Currently, it's the first day of SEPTEMBER!

It's September FOR REAL so it's time to link up for Currently with:

http://ohboy3rdgrade.blogspot.com.au/








It's the last day of summer vacation, and I have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed every day of my vacation.  The last few days I have been working on school preparations like writing out name tags, typing out book bin labels for my library, doing some planning,.....

Today I'm going out for lunch at Portland Pizza which is a new restaurant in Reading, MA.  The Portland part of the name is from Portland, Maine.  I LOVE pizza so I'm excited to go for lunch.  Since I've been on Weight Watchers, I have realized how much I LOVE and LOOK FORWARD TO EATING!  Now I understand how my dog feels - she could eat nonstop.  I'm starting to feel that way, too. 

Have a great week!

 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Take a Sneak Peek at my Week!

This is the second week that Jennifer at
http://mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com/

is having her link up so I hope you'll consider joining up, too.


 
1.  The first thing I'm doing this week is entering a raffle at:
 
 
 
Quiet & pink = a winning combination!
 
 
I would LOVE to win one of these quiet pencil sharpeners, and it's PINK!  I hope you'll head over and try to win the sharpener, too.  Plus this blogger is a special education teacher from Massachusetts, and she is in a panic over her new school, etc. 
 
2.  On Tuesday, I'll be going to my school for final preparations and meetings.
 
3.  On Wednesday, all the teachers in Woburn go to the high school for a town-wide teachers' meeting and professional development.
 
4.  On Thursday, IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!  It seems like everyone is back to school already so it seems like I should be back at school, too.
 
That's it for my week - pretty eventful overall, that's for sure.
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