Monday, October 21, 2013

Multiplication, Boggle and Ipads oh my!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! That's how we started our multiplication unit.  Students earn a scoop for each table mastered. When the whole class gets all twelve tables completed we'll have an ice cream sundae party!

We take a table a week with the assessment on Friday. Some students are at comfort level with this approach. Other students are ready to move forward so they can! That's the beauty of this approach. The coolest thing is that everyone encourages everyone else no matter which table they are on. 

It's fun for everyone to see the scoops grow until that final whipped cream and cherry on top appear. I love the way the students that are ahead help those that may be struggling. Win -Win!! (The pumpkins above are a little glyph craftivity we did last week.)

I had this up on the wall the whole month of September to garner curiosity.  It's also mind boggling to introduce too much too soon even though teachers have SO many great ideas. 

I revealed our Boggle Board this month! What fun my students have had making words. They beg for time to work on Boggle.  Whoo- hoo! 

We are SO happy to have 10 ipads to share in our class. Here is an idea I saw on Pinterest and loved it so I'm sharing it. What a perfect storage unit for the ipads! The chargers fit perfectly and there is a slot for each ipad - and room for more if we should be so lucky! I have 2 students who are in charge of the ipads. They wrote the rules of use and will charging them when needed. I numbered each ipad using the app Pic Collage (with pictures of South Carolina) and setting it as the wallpaper. Each student is assigned an ipad (yes, some  have to share) so they can keep their work and pictures. More on how we are using them on a future post:)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Characters

We just completed a project that involved the whole family. Pumpkin Characters! I had of course seen this idea on several Pinterest sites and loved the idea. Each student choose a book to read with their family. Then they were to pick a character from the book and turn a pumpkin into that character with the help of the whole family. Students also wrote a short book report. Take a look at these adorable pumpkins:

We displayed them in the  library for all the other classes to see when they visit. I should add that this was a whole third grade team project but the pics are just my class.
           One more thing - Nikki from Melonheadz, who has adopted my class for the year sent us another care package. We wrote her friendly letters after the first package arrived and asked lots of questions about where she lives ( Utah!). My class is fascinated about somewhere so far away from us here in good ol' S.C. Here we are with our goodies. Thank you Nikki!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Space, Space and more Space

Everybody has been loving our Space Unit. We finished up learning about the Sun with this little project. We painted paper plates then researched and wrote sun facts to make this sun which are hanging from our ceiling and on our windows.
We explored rotation and revolution using the globe and a beach ball! Next, we demonstrated day and night with the flashlight and globe. This is an assessment to show knowledge of day and night.
We are just beginning planets and learning the order with My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos! Here is a craftivity we did to reinforce this.
Last week we went on the most fantastic field trip. We have a Challenger Learning Center right here in Columbia! Who knew?? Now we do and it will be on our list to do again next year. We learned that there are 43 of these centers across the country built in honor of the astronauts on the Challenger. Boy, do I remember the exact time and place when it exploded! We were having a snow day work day at my school in NC. I remember all of us teachers gathering in the library to watch the horrific event. My class got to experience a Mission Control room and learned about the animals that have gone into space. We also saw a mini Imax type movie in an e-planetarium which was way cool. The best part was getting to experience flying an airplane on a flight simulator. Check it out:

We are currently working on recycled alien projects and researching planets to make acrostic poems. I'll post about those soon. Come back tomorrow for some math and social studies:)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Estimating BIG numbers

I am just now catching up on posting - Yikes! It's been weeks. We have been SO busy but I'm ready to show what we have been up to. First, we have been learning to round greater numbers. We did a "cake walk" activity where we practiced rounding to the nearest 10 and then to the nearest 100. I don't have any pictures of that but here is the gist - Outside on the concrete, I marked numbers in a circle with sidewalk chalk. Then each student stood on a number. I played music and they walked around the circle. When the music stopped, they found a unoccupied number and stood on it. I called out a number like  " 83". Whoever was standing on 80 would come get a popsicle stick and then we would keep on playing. Whoever had the most popsicle sticks at the end got to go to the Treasure Box! They begged to play again and again  - was it because we were outside --hmmm - let me think??
         Next we tackled estimating LARGE numbers. I divided the class into 2 groups and I took one and my assistant took the other. Each student had a clipboard and recording sheet.After a discussion of how to train our brain to group in groups of 10 or 100, we went outside and estimated how many parking spaces were in the parking lot!
We also went to the auditorium to estimate the number of seats.
Then we went to the library to estimate the number of books on a shelf.
Even though we don't know the exact number of objects we estimated, I think they came pretty close using the methods we discussed!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thanks Nikki!

Yesterday my class got a super surprise in the mail.  The super talented Nikki over at Melonheads ) adopted our class this fall. She sent this:

It sat on our table all day! My students were guessing all day!

My principal brought it to us and she was curious too! So we had her come back to help with the great reveal. She opened it s - l- o -w - l - y  as excitement mounted.

And here we all are with individual gift bags with all kinds of goodies AND specialty popcorn from the great state of Utah, Nikki's home.

Thank you Nikki!!!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

I'm baaaaaaccccckkkk!

Wow, the first few weeks of school have been a whirlwind. I love my new group of students and this year is off to a fantastic start. We have started Daily 5 (actually daily2 at the moment) and our reading stamina is already up to 25 min.!

 So glad to have students who beg me to have Read to Self time. We started reading strategies in CAFE, wrote Bio Poems and are starting Friendly Letters this week. We've hit larger (huge) numbers with place value and are comparing and ordering. In Science we are studying Space this quarter. Here are some of our galaxies:

In Social Studies we are reviewing geography starting with continents and oceans. Here is an example of an assessment:

I also used an old map I had and added velcro dots to make a hands on activity. Wow, they loved this. Several students got a timer and started to time themselves on how fast they could place all the labels. Got it down to 15 seconds. Now, tell me they don't know locations now!

For back to school night, students displayed their work as well as writing about themselves and drawing a self portrait.