Sunday, February 7, 2016

Calandar Math

I had the pleasure of being observed the first week back at school last month and to top it off... it was Wacky Tacky Day!
I started planning for my observation lesson over winter break. The first place I looked was my district's Third Grade Math Curriculum Framework. I found a link to a model lesson on the VDOE, Calendar Math. After reading through the lesson I knew how I wanted my observation lesson to go. I would be day two of a six day unit on Math SOL 3.12: The student will identify equivalent periods of time including relationships among days, moths and years as well as minutes and hours.

My administration is into the 4 C's, have you heard of them? When they observe us they're looking for Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication. I tried to keep that in mind as I designed my lesson for the hour.
After my students took their 9's Multiplication Quiz I had them play the Calendar Game (communication, collaboration) that is in the model lesson from the VDOE. As pairs finished the game, they transitioned into the hallway for Calendar Task Card (some people call these activities Scoot, I call them Scavenger Hunts) completion. The cards were taped on the wall and students walked up and down the hallway recording their answers on this Recording Sheet (critical thinking).
As individuals finished the scavenger hunt with the Calendar Task Cards I handed them a "Design a Calendar" sheet (creativity) which had an activity from the journal/writing prompts section of the VDOE model lesson. Students then had the remainder of the math time to work on their own calendar.

Links to Documents in this Post:
Calendar Scoot Cards
Calendar Scoot Recording Sheet
Create a Calendar Design Brief

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Top 5 Blog Posts & Winter Freebies

Happy New Year! I don't know about you but my Winter Vacation is slowly coming to an end... but it's okay... I have plenty of snow days to look forward to in February and March! I thought I do a post about my Top 5 Blog Posts of 2015.
In this post I share a blank templates of the weekly/monthly newsletters I send to parents and a set of calendar pages for the 2015-2016 school year.

#2 Parent Communication
In this post I discuss the various ways I communicate with parents in my classroom. I share examples of my weekly newsletter and classroom website.
In this post I talk about an idea I had to welcome a student teacher and this past year a new teammate.
In this post I share the Whole Brain Teaching technique of the Super Improver Wall. Goodbye behavior clip charts, this system will change your classroom for the better!
In this post I shared some cross curricular activities to celebrate the 3rd Day of 3rd Grade!
I've been playing around on my computer today and created some activities to do upon the return to school.
Click Here to Download
Click Here to Download

Friday, December 4, 2015

Guided Reading Mini Flip Books

Man oh man has it been a rough week! Does anyone else feel like they are one "something" away from a nervous breakdown? I know I feel that way... one thing that calms me is creating and crafting. I purchased Learning in Wonderland's Double Sided Mini Flip Books during the TpT sale on Monday. I spent some time Monday night creating some guided reading mini books for my students to complete in reading groups.
I created a fiction and nonfiction versions. Links to printing and copying video tutorials are included with the set. I'd say they're appropriate for 2nd-4th grade.
Click Here to download the Guided Reading Mini Flip Books

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Top Secret Snow Day Missions

Yup... this teacher here is planning on a BUNCH of snow days this year! Back in January I blogged about the Snow Day Missions I was going to send home with each child. This year I decided to switch it up.
Snow Day Missions
I've decided that I wouldn't copy all those activities from last year and send them home. I uploaded them to my classroom website instead. Parents have the option of printing them out or asking me for a hard copy. I did save all the unfinished snow work from last year so I have quite a few hard copies of several of the activities.
Just like last year I'll glue the cover (pictured on the left) on a large manila envelope. I'll also include the menu (pictured on the right) with all the various activities.  
Snow Day Mission Menu
I did include the Build a Ski Resort PBL Unit, I copied and stapled it and included it in every packet. That activity is mandatory. I have fallen in love with the Project Based Learning Units from this Digital Divide and Conquer and my students enjoy them as well. I figured this would be a great way for them to complete one at home this winter with their parents. I'll have to blog about those amazing units in another post.  

Friday, November 27, 2015

Smile File... Holiday Edition

Smile File (Holiday Edition) Cover
Back in May I blogged about an idea I had seen on Pinterest, Smile File. I decided that I want to do something like this for Christmas this year. Last year I did the Random Acts of Christmas Kindness in my class. This year I want my students to focus on each other, pointing out the positive traits in their classmates, it also gives them a chance to see themselves as others see them.
So I had the idea to do a holiday related Smile File. I envision myself copying the covers on colored paper (red/green) and gluing them on a 5x8 manila envelope. During writing for a couple of days, with Christmas music playing, students can write a compliment or nice message to each classmate. I used Blair Turner's Class Compliments for the Holiday Season to aide my students in writing positive messages.
I'll collect them all and put them in the envelopes, I'll send them home with students before break. Click here for a copy for you to use in your own classroom.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


It's been a busy start to the school year and I still don't feel grounded. The never ending list of things to do... everyone adding to your plate and no one willing take anything off your plate creates a teacher trying to be everything to everyone except themselves! Now that I got that off my chest... I hope to get back to blogging regularly. I have so many ideas to share but no time to share them #storyofmylife.
Teacher Thankful Notes
Despite being completely overwhelmed and undervalued, I am incredibly thankful for my students and for the fact that I get to do what I love on a daily basis, educate and inspire the next generation. I thought I'd write them each a note telling  why I'm thankful for them... after all they are the only thing that keeps me going when I want to give up.
Click Here to download
Here's to a two day work week and then five days of family, fellowship and many slices of sweet potato pie!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Project Baby Sprinkle

Me, posing with the Dessert Table
I found out this spring that one of my best friends was pregnant with her second child. Since I had just started working at my school when she was pregnant with her first I wasn't involved with her first round of showers but I definitely wanted to throw her one for her second child. But apparently that's rare... so I took to google and found out the name of a "second child" baby shower is affectionately called "Baby Sprinkle." Well I could do a lot with that theme and took to Pinterest for ideas but the sprinkle theme faded when I discovered the "Mod Party" shop on Etsy and decided I wanted something more chic and went with a Gold, Pastel Pink and White Shower!
Mod Party Shop on Etsy
Sign from ModParty, Cookies from ACOOKIEJAR

Sand Dollar Cookies with Gold Disco Dust from ACOOKIEJAR
Cartons from Michael's, Stickers from ModParty

Deep Dish Apple, Strawberry Field's Cupcakes from Pearl's Cupcake Shoppe
Dessert Table
Drink Table

Water Bottle Labels from Mod Party
Sign from Mod Party

Me and our Photographer... aka my Team BFF

Me and my homies, can't wait for Peanut to arrive!
If you were looking for something educational related today hop on our to the Virginia Collaborative Blog, I posted today about a Scientific Investigation!