Thursday, January 31, 2013

So...Stinkin'...Sick!

I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired!  I don't know what it is about third graders, but I have never been so sick!  I used 2 sick days in two years of teaching and even then, it was mostly for a "mental health" break.  This year alone, I've gone through at least five and they were not relaxing days at all!  I have to take the Praxis II test tomorrow which I'm not excited about since I'm so mentally checked out.  Coughing. Hacking. Razor blades in my throat. Dizziness. YUCK!  Not to mention I have 8 interviews on Saturday from 8-2 so this is totally a whiny post, but I had to vent!  I've gone through Lysol like nobody's business.

Anywho...the reason I'm really posting is to announce that all items in my TPT store will be 20% off for the big Super Sunday Sale.  With the discount TPT adds on top of that, you'll get 28% savings which is a SUPER awesome deal so be sure to stop by!

BTW, how cute is that pic?  Lindsay over at Primary Polka Dots made it and shared it.  Too sweet!  Check out her blog if you haven't already!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Unique Talents

I had a sub one day last week and when I returned, this is what our Reading Street concept map looked like:

How do talents make someone unique?  Well, let's see....my kiddos think you can be talented at baseball, running, stunts, softball, and growing a beard.  I couldn't help but laugh.  When the kids arrived, I asked them why they thought growing a beard was a talent since most men can do it easily and the TV show "Whisker Wars" came up.
 I'm a little ashamed to say I've actually watched this show before because my brother-in-law recommended it.  He's growing his beard out, but he's got a long way to go to fit in with the guys on this show.  Anyways, I found it hilarious that a handful of my students were well-versed in a show about facial hair.  They have a huge respect for beards of all kinds now.  Maybe I should request the hubby be sportin' a beard the next time he volunteers?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Bulletin Board Update

It's been awhile since I've updated my bulletin boards on my blog, so I thought I would do that today.  My hallway bulletin board displays our "Winter is..." writing project.  The kids wrote a descriptive paragraph using all five senses to describe the season.  I got the mug templates from Amy Lemon's Winter Writing Craftivity.  The kids really enjoyed it and I think we got a great wintery bulletin board out of the deal.
We practiced our multiplication facts a few weeks ago with our multiplication monster project.  The kids rolled a die to determine the shape of their monster and then had to roll and multiply to figure out how many eyes, horns, teeth, arms, legs, etc. their monster would have.  It took a lot longer than I originally planned for, but the kids LOVED it and I think they turned out really well.  I got the idea from Yay Third Grade's Multiplication Monster Freebie on TPT.   My favorite was the green monster at the top center because he was extra creative and divided all his numbers in half to create two monsters instead of one!  So clever!
I've also made some changes to our Reading Street Centers.  I wasn't too thrilled with the provided activities, so I have created a checklist with extra activities.  The kids get to move through the centers at their own pace now (instead of structured and timed centers like before).  They have 2 centers they "must do" before they can do any others.  Each individual student has a required number of points they need to get by the end of the week based on their ability.  The additional centers I added were Boggle, Weekly Writing Prompt, Word of the Week, Cursive, Independent Reading, and Book Review/Character Sketch.  The supplies for some of these extras are all on a bulletin board in our room.
The kids are really enjoying this way of doing centers over the old way.  We still do Word Work, Word Wise, Words to Know, Read for Meaning, and Fluency as well.  This gives them more independence and buy-in because they have a say in which activities they do when.  I was really worried they'd be too noisy or have trouble staying focused, but 4 weeks in and we haven't had any problems (fingers crossed!).

I designed the Boggle letters to match our yellow and pink bulletin board.  If you'd like them, you can download the set by clicking on the picture below.  This is my first time using a Google doc for a freebie, so please let me know if it doesn't work.  I'll be the first to admit I'm not quite sure how to do this! :)
Hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Make a Wish!

The coolest thing happened at our school yesterday and I wanted to share.  A boy at our school who has a degenerative disease has been "training" to become a Jedi and wanted to go see some Star Wars thing at Disney World.  The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted that wish and we had a surprise assembly with Star Wars cast for him.  One of my former students is this boy's sister so it was fun to see him and his family receive such an awesome gift.  I'm not big into Star Wars, but even I have to admit the C3P0 and Chewy costumes were quite amazing! :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Valentine's Day Freebie

I'm sorry I haven't been up to blogging much lately.  Over the holiday break, my husband and I suffered a terrible loss.  We had to put our sweet 7 year-old Zipper kitty to sleep.  We don't have any children and she's always been our big, fluffy baby.  It's been really hard especially since it was unexpected.  I hate when people remark that "she was just a cat" because she was so much more than that to our family.  Some of you pet lovers out there will understand!  Wasn't she beautiful?
Anyways, my heart's a little tender right about now, which got me thinking about the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday.  My kids play bingo every year during our class party and I decided to redo our bingo game so it has more pizazz.  You can get this freebie from my TPT store by clicking HERE or on the picture below.

Hope you can use it!