Sunday, October 26, 2014

The first week of school is always an adjustment for everyone! Several activities we engage in are drawing self portraits, telling about ourselves, and going over our 4 principles that govern our school. ( Kindness, Respect, Responsibility, and Positive Attitude)
 Working together on a seek and find gets the morning off to a good start!

 Third graders really do love to draw themselves  - self portraits
 We do a cooperative small group activity of our 4 principles. I write each principle on a separate sheet of chart paper. Students are divided into 4 table groups. I ring a bell and they collaborate on words that describe the principle on their sheet. Example: Kindness - looks like: helping someone with a math problem, sharing on the playground... When the bell rings again (3 -4 min.), each group moves to a different table and the process continues. I ask then not to repeat what has already been written down.
 This activity really makes them think and take ownership of each principle.
After all rotations are complete, we get back together as a group and discuss each one. It never ceases to amaze me how right on they are with their comments.
All 4 sheets are posted in the room for us to reflect and add to as the year progresses. Another beginning of the year activity is celebrating our summer reading. Each year our media specialist chooses a theme for summer reading. This year it was Surf into Summer. We celebrated with a Beach Party Celebration.
 All third graders brought beach towels to school and the teachers got leis and popsicles for the celebration. We went outside under our campus center and spread out the towels, sat with friends, and told each other about the books we read over the summer.

It was one big book talk, let me tell you! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Getting Ready!

I love the thrill, and yes, even the pressure of getting ready for a new school year. Here are a few pics of my classroom right before students come. 
These are our 4 code of conduct rules. I also have clocks showing times across the world just so we are more globally aware.

I have a really small whiteboard so it looks really crowded but it works for us. We are changing our handwriting program to Handwriting Without Tears hence the new alphabet. We will change it to the cursive one in January.

Our cubbies with book boxes, notebooks, and writing tubs
Door pockets (really a shoe bag) for homework and notes home
Here is a shot of our room library - my favorite spot!
My hubs made this cool magazine rack for me:)
Computer corner
Future iPad station- we are going one to one this year. Saw this storage idea on, where else, Pintrest!
Welcome class:)
A shot across the room
Another angle
Nature trays and puzzle table
That about covers it. Next post will have my precious class!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Super Summer!

I spent most of the summer "teaching" summer camps at my school. I use the word" teaching" loosely as I had as much fun as the kids! The science teacher and I did several one week camps together. Our first one was a Make it Take it  - a creative invent your own project thing. Let me just say that lots of duct tape was involved it that one! We even may have done a few Rube Goldberg contraptions.

Then there was Myth Busters Camp. We either confirmed or busted a bunch of myths like can you really use toilet paper to break out of jail?
Uh, nope! But it was fun trying! The old egg drop was a favorite too.
There really is an egg in that thing he's holding! The next camp was Critter Camp - my personal favorite. We had birds of prey day, insects and worms day, rescue animal day, and reptile day.

Here's my favorite: I had never seen a flying squirrel up close and personal. Sable is her name and her two back legs were paralyzed. She lives at our local Wildlife Center.
Here is Miss Slither - a beautifully patterned corn snake - I stood on a chair to get this shot - I was NOT getting any closer!!! And yes, she is eating a frozen mouse!!! All the kids thought it was the coolest thing they had ever seen. I guess it really was- where else would they ever get to experience that?
Moving on! We did get to go to the beach for a week this summer for some get down R&R time. I must have read 10 books! Love, love. We also got to see this scene every morning. I do love me some beach time.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Snow fun

Last week we had Snowflake Day to celebrate actual SNOW here in South Carolina! We made these snow globes and imagined what it would be like to live in a snow globe.

We tried growing crystals in Science as we were studying Matter and solutions. They took longer to grow this year but still turned out pretty cool.

We practiced symmetry as we cut out snowflakes from paper and coffee filters. Most snowflakes ended up in our windows, but this goofball (I actually love this kid!) made a snowflake headband and wore it all day!

Here we are playing multiplication snowball toss. For every 5 multiplication facts answered correctly, you get to toss a "snowball" into a cup. This is a great partner review game.

After reading a non fiction book on how snowflakes are formed, we wrote snowflake sensory poems.

My next post will show a few Winter activities we have done:)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Native American Celebration

This past November we celebrated Native Americans by devoting a whole day to learning about their history and culture. Second, Third and Fifth graders all study Native Americans in some form, so we all got together to do some cross divisional learning. We contacted several known sources to help us out. We decided to rotate 6 hands on stations. Some of our activities included: pottery, tools, stories, cave art, archery, and lacrosse. All students and teachers were treated to a big native foods lunch buffet and an authentic pow-wow after lunch.

It was an outdoor event and the kids all loved every station we visited. I highly recommend planning and implementing a day like this! It was worth every minute (hours) we spent getting it ready.