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Weekly Review {August 15-19}

As the third week of 3rd grade is about to start, I figured it would be a good idea to reflect on the past two weeks. This is my 9th year teaching and my first year in 3rd grade. Man, where has this grade been all of my life? They are already so independent, but they still love coming to school. They also LOVE reading. I have a variety of reading levels in my class, but no matter where they are, they love to read. I knew it was time to introduce read to self and it was a hit!

IMG_6397Every students has a book box that they keep in their desks. This is something else that I have fallen in love with. Since they are in 3rd grade, they have the side storage desks. Yes, they are huge and take up a lot of room, but that just means that I have to be creative with what they store in them. When I discovered that they could keep their book boxes in their desks, it was a game changer.

IMG_6405Since their book boxes are in their desks, they have access to them at all times. My favorite time to fit in a little extra reading time is after an assignment. We were working on nouns this week and after they were finished with their assignments, they were able to take their book boxes to read. They loved it and every time I see my kids reading, is a good thing for me too!

IMG_6354If you couldn’t tell by now, I like to get my students up and moving as much as possible. That’s why I love games like Scoot and I Spy. I spy can be used with any task cards or even something as simple as a post-it note and a recording sheet. After teaching the students about nouns, they went on a noun hunt. They had to find different nouns and determine whether or not they were a person, place, or a thing. With all of this movement around the room you would think it would be extremely loud. The opposite is actually true. The students were so quiet and engaged in this whole process and when it was over they were begging for more.

IMG_6402Not only is this my first year in 3rd grade, but it is also the district’s first year using Eureka Math. I do like it, but it moves way too quickly!! Does anyone else use it and have some tips? We’ve been slowing it down a bit and also making it fun. On Friday, we reviewed equal groups, repeated addition, arrays, and number bonds with food, paint, and yarn. The kids loved it and it was a great way for them to review their multiplication strategies.

IMG_6407What better way to end a week than with a birthday. I love sharing birthdays with my students because they are so happy and excited already, adding that little extra happiness to their day really warms my hear.

I love recapping my weeks and reading about how other people’s weeks went. I am linking up with DoodleBugs Teaching for her Five for Friday.


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Top 5 Projects

Mrs. Sheehan over at Learning in Wonderland is having an amazing link up. She is asking us to share our top 5 projects we have made this year in our classrooms. Here are my top 5 in no particular order. I will leave link to each blog post if you want more information on each activity.

Make sure to link up over at…

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contractions,Dental,linky party,measurement,St. Patrick's Day

Spring Fever

To say that my class has spring fever is an understatement. We had district benchmarks this week and we still have another long week of conferences to go until spring break. We are holding on though!! To make this week a little fun since it’s been so stressful, I made sure to add in a lot of craftivities, my, I mean my students’ favorite!!

1. Contractions
In order to get ready for our district benchmark we did a lot of review. One of the things that we reviewed was contractions.

We used these little contraction crocodiles from Cara Carrol’s Crazy for Contractions file.
We also played a cute little contraction memory game that I found over at Learning in Wonderland and you can it for free here from Caitlyn Taylor.
2. Dental Health
I’m cheating a little. I actually did these last week, but I wasn’t able to share this cute little dental health craftivity.
I also found this over at Learning in Wonderland and the best part is that it is FREE! My students need to be able to write directions. What’s better then starting with something they do every day, brushing their teeth!

3. St. Patrick’s Day
I posted earlier this week that we were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day a little early since we will be on spring break. I used, yet another FREEBIE!! This time it is from The Teacher Wife.

 These two are some of my favorite. The top one is Tony Stark. He didn’t quite understand that he was to write someone in his life that is special to him. He was extremely passionate about Tony Stark (Iron Man) that I let him have his fun. The second one is about me, but I love that she added that I make her laugh so much. I’m glad my students have as much fun as I do!!
4. Measurement
I also posted earlier this week that I was planning on doing a measurement activity that i found on Pinterest.
 5. Total Randomness
Today was a crazy crazy day, everything that could happen, did. Here is just a list of things that went on today…
  • dropped my wallet on the ground (which holds my iphone as well oh yeah, it was raining too)
  • forgot my umbrella
  • forgot my classroom key, therefore I was locked out of my room all day and I had to rely on my BFF-teacher-neighbor to let us in through the connecting door
  • got a new student (Not so annoying, but it was another boy. I have 6 girls and 15 boys!!)
  • a kid threw up at the end of the day and it even got on our new carpet 🙁
  • rainy day today so the kids came in 10 minutes early while I was still prepping 
  • clear day and then down pour while walking to the buses

I’m sure more things happened, but that’s all I’m going to write about. Despite everything that happened today, I’m surprisingly in a good mood. I’m off to enjoy, the now, sunny day. 🙂

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Anti-Bullying Day

Today was anti-bullying day at our school. I’m not sure if it’s a national day, but today all our classrooms taught a bullying lesson. Our second grade team decided on this lesson to teach. At first I didn’t think my kids were understanding it. I had them draw a picture of themselves. While they were drawing I wanted them to look at their picture and think of all the good things about themselves. What were they proud of. Then we sat on the floor a traded pictures. After trading we talked about how bullies treat people. I had each student say things that bullies tell others to their paper person. They crumppled the paper up. Then I had them apologize to the paper person while uncrinkling it.

Then I had them give the paper person back to the original creator. I asked them if their paper looked the same or different. They all said that it was different. We all went into a discussion on how bullying will affect you and even if someone says they’re sorry, we will never forget how it felt. I had them picture a crumppled up heart.
Finally we had parter time. This is when it really hit home. My students were able to talk about bullying and how it has affected them personally. Some of my kids were getting teary eyed and I realized that I should have explicitly taught about bullying earlier on in the year.
It’s never too late to talk about bullying and it is something that can be a year long discussion. I’m just glad that I had this lesson and chance to talk about an issue that our students are dealing with everyday. It makes them realize that we understand what they are going through and that we are here to help them.
What do you do in your own classrooms to help stop bullying? Please feel free to leave a comment or link to some activities that you find helpful.

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Friday Recap on Sunday

I have had a busy week, to say the least. I figured the best way to recap is to participate in

Randomness #1

Valentine’s Day was on Thursday. It was a lot of fun. I loved that it was on an early release day and the following day (Friday) there was no school for the students. Teachers had an inservice day. I want to share some of our pictures from our mustache party.

 I used A Cupcake For the Teacher’s Valentine’s Day file to write a conversation heart story. My students LOVED it and some of their stories were amazing. Here is my favorite.

 While my students were passing out their cards, we played some fun games. I make it into a rotation so every 10 minutes the students rotated to a new station. One of the stations was passing out their cards. Another was this fun little pin the mustache on a man game.
 I also made a few props for our version on a photo booth. I brought in my new Canon t4i. My students felt like celebrities.

Then came the cupcakes. These cupcakes deserved 3 pictures. They were the prettiest cupcakes I have EVER seen in my life and they tasted amazing. I saved some of the velum pieces for scrapbooking.
Randomness #2
I got a shout out of A Cupcake For the Teacher’s blog. She used my little owl bags. I was so excited when I saw her blog post!!
Randomness #3
I bought a new car! Here’s my quick little car story. Ever since I was in high school I always wanted a Black Toyota Corolla S. I had a For Thunderbird at the time so a Corolla was definitely an upgrade. During college my husband and I looked around the first dealership we went to and I spotted a Corolla. Now this was a Subaru dealership so it was the only Corolla on the lot. Of course I needed it. I was a 2006 Corolla LE. It was two years old and I loved it. We had that car for about 3-4 years until 10 months ago when we thought it was time for a bigger car because we needed more storage space. We got the Mazda 5. We loved it, but we wanted to get a car that was good on gas mileage. We were originally going to get a Prius, but when I saw the new 2013 Corolla S, I knew I had to have it. So now I do. We are lacking storage again, but I’ve never been so happy about purchasing a car. Now we will wait 5 years to get a second car, which will have storage. This Corolla will be mine FOREVER!!
Randomness #4
I went shopping for some crafty stuff and a few things for my classroom. I bought an extra blue trash can for one of my tables, Mr. Popper’s Penguins DVD, and some clear pebbles for reading that I saw either on Pinterest or one of the teaching blogs.
With all of my crafty shopping I have to start crafting. So here is a layout that I worked on in my Smashbook the other day. If you want to visit my crafting blog, you can click HERE.
So that’s about it for my week and weekend. I am so glad that tomorrow is President’s Day and I have another day off. This weekend went by so fast. Only a few more weeks until Spring Break though, how exciting!! 
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Books I Want to Read

I love reading books of all kinds. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I wanted to be a teacher. To be honest with you, I never liked to read when I was younger. I was always jealous of those people that could get lost in books. Now that I have gotten old older I appreciate books and reading a whole lot more. I think teachers are one of the few professions that you need to keep up with on a daily basis. I enjoy reading books for pleasure, but I also really love professional books. If I’m not currently in the middle of a book to push me professionally, I go crazy. I am at that point. So when I found the Books I Want to Read Link Up Party, I knew I had to join.

Professional Books

Teach Like a Champion is a book that I saw this summer over at Cara Carroll’s blog. She is one of the many teacher bloggers that I look up to, so when she says it’s amazing, I just had to get it. Unfortunately, I have yet to read it. I will make it a point to get to it though!!

The second book is a book that I’ve been wanting for a VERY long time. I read The Daily 5 almost 4 years ago and I never started it in my classroom. I always knew that if I started the Daily 5 in my room, I wanted to start it with The CAFE Book. This will most likely be my next professional read.

Personal Books

I love Netflix. I couldn’t image going a day without watching something on Netflix. A few months ago I found the show, Extreme Couponers. I completely fell in love with the idea. Now I’m not sure I would be an extreme couponer and make my entire house dedicated to a stockpile, but getting a few frequently used items for free wouldn’t be too bad. That’s why I bought myself this book, Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey. It’s all about couponing and on a teacher’s salary, that isn’t such a bad idea.

I am in love with a lot of things, if you couldn’t tell by now with this blog post. There is no amount of words that could explain my love for Harry Potter. That will be my classroom theme one day, I will make sure to that. I have seen all of the movies and read all… 4 books. Yes, that’s right, I have only read 4 of the books. They are written beautifully, but I just haven’t set aside time to finish the series. I already know what happens so reading them won’t be as exciting. I need to finish though because I’ve been borrowing the set from my sister for the past 10 years. Ooops!!!

Books to Teach

I wish I could give you a list of great books that would teach all sort of skills like how to become a better writer, but unfortunately I don’t have any sort of list like that. One day I will have one, but for now here is a book that I just heard of over vacation. It is called The Hundred Dresses. It is a great way to discuss bullying in your classroom. I plan on reading it when we get back to school and see how my students like it. I will do a whole blog post related to it I’m sure.

Wasn’t that fun? I thought so. Now it’s your turn to list your reading suggestions. Leave a comment telling me what your three, or more, books are for each category. Make sure that if you create a blog post, head on over to Pitner’s Potpourri to link up!

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Must Haves of 2012

With the New Year here and 2012 gone, I just want to look back on what was a must have in my classroom during 2012. I know that we all have those tools of the trade that we couldn’t live without. Today I will be sharing with you what my must haves of 2012 were and still will be for 2013.

Scholastic Storybook Treasures
We all have those teaching days where we can’t stop looking at the clock waiting for the day to end. This is when “stories” come into play. I love stories. They are a collection of popular children’s books put on film. Some are just narrated and others are recreated to be actual cartoons. I love being able to pop in a story and have my students watch a couple each day. It’s a great way for students to enjoy reading, they get to see their favorite characters come to life, and it’s also a great way to incorporate with current themes you are studying in class.

Thirty-One Organizing Utility Tote
I’m sure we all saw this lovely bag all over Pinterest earlier this year. I can’t believe I ever lived without this bag. I don’t have to worry about loosing anything. I carry my wallet, water bottle, keys, lesson plans, you name it, it’s in there. I even made a video describing how much I love it!!

Enough said. We all know how much Pinterest has helped make us better teachers, wives, mothers, crafters, chefs, cleaners. Pinterest in full of amazing ideas that I have used in my classroom this year.

 Teachers Pay Teachers
I’ve heard about Teachers Pay Teachers for a few years now, but I never really looked into it until this year. Man, am I glad I did that. TPT has almost everything you are looking for. Whenever I need a thematic unit, instead of having to recreate one on my own, I just hop on over to TPT and most of the time I find just what I’m looking for!

Donors Choose
 I can’t express how truly grateful I am for Donors Choose. I recently made a blog post all about DC and how I’ve received over $7000 in resources for my classroom.

I hope that you take a look into my top 5 items that I found useful in 2012. I plan on using these for many more years in the future. Now it’s your turn to share your top resources of 2012. You can write about your top 5 or your top 100, whatever you want to share. Then come back here and link up so everyone else can profit from your amazing recommendations. Make sure to link back to this blog post as well so others on your blog can join in on the fun. Just grab the code below and add to your blog post. It’s that simple!!!

Darling Little Learners

I’m linking this over at the Ultimate Linky Party!!

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

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