Peek at my Peek + Anchors Away = Great Way to Start the Week!

Is time flying?  We're so busy at school, and I'm so busy at home, too!  I'm not complaining at all because I like to be busy; I just want to fit everything in that needs to be done.  Of course, I always find time to link up with Jennifer for:

http://mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-peek-at-my-week-9-28-14.html


I'm very excited to start Science.  We'll be learning about matter and the different types of matter.  Today we started by doing an activity with different objects to observe such as a coin, a piece of pasta, a piece of gimp, a pom pom, an old key, a mint, and thanks to Mrs. Brown, a pickle.  The kids had very strong reactions to the pickle, and most of them were not happy about it.  Maybe that's how they got the expression that someone's "in a pickle."

In Math, we're starting our nine times facts.  I reviewed several strategies to learn these facts.  The kids seemed pretty eager to dig in, and I love their enthusiasm.  We also learned about solving for an unknown variable in a multiplication equation like this:  5 x y = 25, y = ___.  Some of the kids were really thrown for a loop when they saw the "y" while others found it "easy" and "fun."  Either way, we'll be working on this concept this week, too.

I love doing these link-ups together because my anchor charts and Morning Messages go right along with what we're doing this week.  Plus, I look forward to Deb's:

http://crafting-connections.blogspot.com/2014/09/anchors-away-monday-92914-prefixes-and.html
(Deb's also offering a bonus to anyone who links up this week:  a $3.00 craftivity from her TPT shop.  Her craftivities are great so try to link up.)

Here's my Monday Morning Message:


Some of the kids like to read pretty "grown-up" books like the Hunger Games and Twilight.  Of course, there were some who chose A to Z mysteries and the Polk Street School books.  This afternoon we all sat on the rug for about ten minutes and read silently.  I'm reading a Polk Street School book where the students go to New York City.

Here are two new anchor charts:



Tomorrow we're having our Social Studies test.  During Morning Meeting, our "game" is an I have/who has game with questions about the Social Studies material.

Happy Hump Day!
 





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Five For Friday FINALLY!

I keep promising myself that I'll be on time for these link-ups, but going Back to School takes up A LOT of time so I'm always trying to catch up.  At least I'm finally linking up with Doodle Bugs for:

http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.com/2014/09/five-for-friday-linky-party-september_26.html


We had our first visit from Change Is Simple which is a wonderful non-profit group who teaches our third to fifth graders about the environment.  On Friday, Hannah and Danielle from Change Is Simple visited and taught us about trees.  Here are the kids as "seeds:"





Then the kids grew into trees:




Finally, the kids got to make homemade paper:


If you would like to learn more about Change Is Simple, press here.


On Friday we also shared our Me Museums with the other third grade classes.  Here are some samples:





If you want to learn more about the Me Museum project, please check out Third Grade Thinkers Blog here.
 Friday was an exceptionally busy day because we also had Book Buddies for the first time with our friends in Mrs. Murphy's kindergarden class.


 
During our Morning Meeting, the kids have been thinking of some questions for us to share.  Tayla suggested, "What is your favorite thing to do with your family?" while Liam asked, "What is your favorite sport?"  I love when the kids help out like this!

 


We also reviewed a book as a class:


We watched and read the book together on the interactive whiteboard, and the kids took very detailed notes as well as noted every detail on every page.  They took their jobs very seriously.  I'll be doing an entire post on our book review of this book shortly.

It's time for me to finish the "rest" of my laundry, cleaning, correcting, preparing,...This afternoon I'm going to a pet painting party to raise money for Paws 4 a Cure.  

Thanks for checking in today!

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Positive Thinking Thursday!


Hello there!  I'm excited to link-up with Jennifer for:

http://mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com/2014/09/positive-thinking-thursday-9-25-14.html

Here's my insight for the week:



Learning how to prioritize is such an important skill, especially when the expectations are so demanding and extensive.  I've often felt that there should be a class in high school for life skills, like how to change a tire, sew on a button or unclog a toilet,...  When you need these skills, it's nice to know you can take care of yourself.

Of course, it's Friday night now so I'm hoping to get a good night's sleep - now that really counts a lot.

Have a wonderful weekend!


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Peek at my Week & Anchors Away = Perfect for Monday!

It's Monday again which means only one thing:  time to link up with Jennifer for:

http://mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-peek-at-my-week-9-21-14.html

In Reading, we'll be working on How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague:


I love this book because it's both fun and funny!  Plus I even made an interactive whiteboard flipchart to go along with it (you can check it out here:  http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en/Resources/Item/153088/how-i-spent-my-summer-vacation .)

In addition, we'll be writing about one special event of our summer vacation.

On Friday, the kids will be bringing in their "Me Museums" which will include 3 objects - each object will have an index card that describes the importance of the object - as well as a sign.  I got this amazing idea from Third Grade Thinkers.   I LOVE the whole idea, especially since we are learning about museums in Social Studies.  Here's my "Me Museum:"

 
Now I want to share today's Morning Message so I'm linking up with Deb for:


I love my Responsive Classroom Morning Message book:


I used a sample from the book to write today's message:


This is a great book to have in your collection if you need Morning Meeting ideas.

Have a wonderful week!
 
 

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Five For Friday (and only ONE day late this week!)

Happy Saturday!  I'm happy to link up with Doodle Bugs for:

http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.com/2014/09/five-for-friday-linky-party-september_19.html


I was extraordinarily lucky to win a Melonhead of myself in Nikki's Birthday Giveaway.  Check me out on the right.  How amazingly talented is Nikki!  Here's the picture she used to make my Melonhead:





I LOVE my Melonhead!  Thank you, Nikki!


 We had Back to School night on Thursday.  Our Assistant Superintendent made a presentation so the teachers could explain to the parents about our new Common Core report card which will use trimesters.  It's a brand new experience for all of us.  Now that the parents know, I can tell the kids about this new development.




We had a Morning Meeting every day last week.  For our activity, we played an "I have, who has?" game to review math:  sums, differences and expanded form. The kids really loved playing the game, and it really is a great review and helps to develop listening skills.




 In Social Studies, we learned more about Massachusetts.  I used our Morning Message to review some of the vocabulary:


I'm saving all the Morning Messages so that we can look at all of them at the end of the year.  I got this idea in my Responsive Classroom course, and I think it's a GREAT idea!  The teacher said she puts her messages in the gym, and the kids walk around and reread them.

We've been reading George and Martha, The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends by James Marshall on the rug.  The stories are really priceless and fun!


Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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Positive Thinking Thursday On Friday!

I'm really trying to be on time with my link-ups, but life just gets in the way lately.  I look forward to linking up every week with Jennifer for:

http://mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com/2014/09/positive-thinking-thursday-9-18-14.html


We had Back to School night last night so I'm getting ready for bed as soon as I'm done sharing my positive thought:


When I was talking to the parents last night at Back to School night, I was telling them how important it is to me that their kids feel safe and happy in school.  It brings so much happiness to me when I make my students feel happy within themselves.

Happy Friday!


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Peek at my Week & Anchors Away = Two Great Link-Ups!

This is the second full week of school, and we're still working on finding a routine.  That goes for me, too!  I'm always happy to link up with Jennifer for:

http://mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-peek-at-my-week-9-14-14.html


This week in Math we are learning about division.  We started yesterday (Monday), and many of the kids seemed overwhelmed.  Today (Tuesday) we reviewed again using the Promethean Board (our interactive whiteboard), and more kids seemed to "get it."  I'm finding that drawing a picture to match the problem is the best strategy right now because multiplication and now division are both so new to the kids, and the picture allows them to visualize the problem.  This is the first year we've taught multiplication and division right off the bat so I'm really proud of the kids for plowing ahead with me and tackling these concepts.

In Reading, we read the fable The Fox and the Grapes in our new Vocabulary workbooks.  That fox was pretty determined to get those plum-sized, red grapes.  We reviewed synonyms and antonyms.

In Social Studies, we started Chapter 1 in the Massachusetts book which leads right into Deb's link up:

http://crafting-connections.blogspot.com/2014/09/anchors-away-monday-91514-quotation.html

I want to show my Morning Message and how I incorporated the Social Studies vocabulary:


I always try to connect our Morning Message to what we are doing in class.  Plus, it's a great way to review and hear/see the vocabulary in action.

Our Back to School night is Thursday so we'll also be preparing for that.  We're changing to trimesters with a Common Core based report card that we have to explain to the parents.  There's always something new to learn, that's for sure!

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Five For Friday For the First Full Week of School!


Going back to school is so time consuming!  We've been so busy in class which means it's a perfect time to link up with Doodle Bugs for:


http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.com/2014/09/five-for-friday-linky-party-september_12.html





We've done a Morning Meeting every day!  The kids and I really enjoy this time.  Every morning we sit in a circle; do a greeting; share; play Zoom or count by 5; read the Morning Message.  Here's my first Morning Message that asked a question:



For Morning Work on September 11th, the kids wrote letters to the Fire or Police Departments. 


The kids had an amazing time doing the "Saving Fred" activity.  The kids needed to rescue Fred, the Gummy Worm, and put him in his life preserve - a Gummy Lifesaver - with a very small hole.  The kids needed to do this using 4 paper clips:


At first, the kids all say that it's impossible, but eventually they figure out how to stretch the Gummy Lifesaver using the paper clips.




We worked A LOT on multiplication!  This is the first year we have jumped right in with learning multiplication, and the kids are catching on!  Last week we worked on the five times facts, and they did really well.




We also thoroughly enjoyed reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall.  I modeled reading slowly and carefully to ensure that we understand.  We also paid close attention to the vocabulary.  For example, the author describes the Bear's house as "charming."  We discussed what this means and seeing if the pictures help us understand.




On a personal note, we skyped with my son, Andrew, who is having the time of his life in Malta where he is doing a pharmacy co-op.


Of course, we tried to include Gabi, the Dog, but she only agreed to check out the computer when we put a treat on the table.  

Well, it's already Sunday night so have a wonderful week!

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