Saturday, August 30, 2014

Character Traits with Horrible Harry and the Scientific Method

We've finished our second week of school! The best part? We're finally settling into a nice routine. It's been stressful to say  the least... 

To take off the edge, I've started running again...

But, I'm excited to see how far I can take my big third graders! 

We've dived right into our curriculum! This week, we used "Horrible Harry in Room 2B" as a mentor text for character traits. 

Now, I know this book is a *little* young for my kiddos. But, I wanted to use it as an "introduction" to the series. We HAD to start with the first book to introduce the kiddos to the ever horrible but likable Harry. He is such a great character! #slightOCD 

Before diving into the text, we discussed what a character is and how their actions tell us more about them. 

We used these pages from Nicole Shelby's 3rd Grade Interactive Notebook to take a few notes in our RRJ's...

character traits interactive notebook

Then we got to reading. The kiddos LOVED the scene when Harry makes Song Lee scream. It sets the scene perfectly for conversation on why Harry is sooooo horrible.

After reading the second chapter, we worked a little on sequencing and retelling in our own words. We used our RRJ again for a quick retell. 

retell of Horrible Harry in interactive notebook

On Thursday, we finished the book and filled out a character traits and action bubble map. 

character traits bubble map Horrible Harry
You can grab this Character traits graphic organizer as part of my Reading Graphic Organizer pack for FREE here...

character traits bubble map freebie

We glued it into our RRJ's for safe keeping.

On Friday, we used what we had read about Harry for a little character writing project.  I loved this idea from Amy Lemons! 
Horrible Harry writing activity

Students decided if they thought Harry was really horrible or not. We used the evidence they collected from the character bubble map to help support our answers. 

horrible harry writing activity

horrible harry writing activity

I didn't get a chance to use Amy's tracers because of time, but you can check out her post here.

In addition to becoming HUGE Horrible Harry fans (don't you just LOVE it when that happens!) , we also worked on the Scientific Method this week. After reading and discussing the steps scientists take to find answers to their questions, we watched this fun video.

(How funny are these two teachers?!)

Then, we created a reference page in our Science notebooks. 

Under each tab, we wrote a little bit more about each step and what scientists are doing when they work through the process. 

You can grab this science notebook FREEBIE here. There's a few other science goodies in there too for you! :) 

Now, I'm off to clean the house! Boo! ;) 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BTS Rewind- Meet the Teacher

Ok, so we may *technically* be in our second week of school, but I wanted to share my "Meet the Teacher" day with you! So we'll just call this little post a "Back to School Rewind". ;)

Setting up for Meet the Teacher

Now, I don't know about you, but I just absolutely <3 Meet the Teacher day!  I love meeting my kiddos for the first time and meeting their parents. You just learn so much about them in such a short span! In my district, Meet the Teacher usually occurs the the Friday day before school starts and it's just a time for kids (and parents!) to see their new classroom, find their desk, and of course meet the teacher they'll have that year!

This year was a wee bit different and scary for me... (to see why, you can check out this post!) But I got through it successfully!

On the table towards the back of my classroom, I placed a few piles of papers for parents that they could fill out as they came in. 

Setting up for Meet the Teacher

On the clip boards I have places for parents to sign in, sign up, and papers for them to fill out.

Here's a closer look:
1.  A sign in sheet for parents. This was provided by my school and had to be turned back in. 
Meet the Teacher Sign in sheet for parents
Here's a peek at a similar one! 

2.  A sign up form for parent volunteers

volunteer sign up form
3.  A general sign up sheet for conferences. These are not actual dates of conferences, but general days and times for when parents are available to conference so I can use it as a reference through out the year. This spares me the several conference requests because parents are unavailable.  

parent teacher conference sign up form

4. This is a sign up for using the app, Remind (formally Remind 101) Parent communication is so important to me. I love the idea of being able to send quick messages to my parents through text! 

remind 101 sign up

5. Student Information Sheet- I have parents fill this out and I keep it in each student's personal folder for quick reference through out the year. 

student information sheet

It seems like a lot... but I promise it's not and it helps keep me organized and in touch with parents for the rest of the year. This table also acts as a buffer so I can easily mingle with students and parents as they move in.  You can find ALL those forms and soooo much more in my School Forms and Checklist pack! 

On the desk for the kiddos, I put out a classroom scavenger hunt that they can work on
to help familiarize themselves with our classroom. 

Meet the Teacher gifts for students
You can grab a similar one here in my School Forms and Check lists pack! 

Once they've finished their scavenger hunt, they can have their little treat from me! I love this gift idea! So easy: just fill a treat bags with Star-burst and attach the sweet "Bursting" Tag. 

bursting student gift tags

You can grab this for FREE here

On the middle table, I put out an area for parents to fill out an envelope with their address so I can send a good note home through out the year.  

My parents loved this idea and I can't wait to start sending home a few every week! You can grab the sign I used here

and that's how I got through my "Meet the Teacher"... Oh and LOTS of smiling and shaking of hands! ;) 


Saturday, August 23, 2014

BTS- Week One Done!

Happy Saturday guys! I just finished my first week in 3rd grade and can I just say I am in love with my kiddos!?Who knew "big" 3rd graders were really 2nd graders at heart? ;)

We had a really busy week learning how to be a part of our classroom community, but in between practicing those procedures and going through fire drills, we managed to squeeze in a little bit of learning AND even a brain break or two!

Here's a peak at what we did.

We started off the week with reading my AB.SO.LUTE. Fave back to school book, First Day Jitters...

I love how the kiddos are totally surprised to see it's a teacher who's nervous for her first day of school a the end. Then we did a quick write about how we felt about our first day at school.
In math we jumped right into patterns with numbers. To start as off we completed this "Numbers About Me" activity.
Then, we worked through using a 0-99 (not to be confused with a 0-100!) chart and how to use an addition chart. We glued all of these into our interactive student notebooks as reference pages. 

YES! We're doing that in math this year. I figure if I don't have any math books to go out of, we might as well make our own! Later, we'll work on filling out blank versions.

and a 
You can grab copies of all of these activities here for FREE!

 We've also been working on building our classroom community. I've always found the more time I spend on this at the beginning of the year, the less I have to worry about it when curriculum really heats up, so I pretty much dedicated this week to learning how to be a good classroom citizen!

We started by discussing Mrs. Langton's classroom expectations and the rewards and consequences for making good and not so good choices.

clip chart classroom expectations

Want to read more about my classroom mangement system? Click here! You can grab my classroom clip chart, expectation posters and soooo much more here in my TpT store.

Once we knew what the classroom expectations were,  we got to work on how this looks (and sounds!) in our classroom!

First up, using kind words.

I love this demonstration using toothpaste. To do this, you just need a travel size tube of toothpaste (enough for small groups) toothpicks, and paper plates.

I gave each group one tube of toothpaste and each student a toothpick. I instructed the groups to completely empty the toothpaste tube onto their paper plate. Once I made sure each tube was good and empty, I had the students work as a team to put as much of the toothpaste BACK IN the tube using only the toothpicks.
With 3 minutes on the timer, messes and giggles ensued!  
teaching to use kind words
Not too shabby!
After my timer went off we assessed how well we did...most groups were able to get most of their toothpaste back into the tube, but no one could get it all.
Then, we made the comparison to how we speak to each other. Words are like that toothpaste. You can take them back (put most of it in...) but, they can never be fully retracted. That's why it's so important to use kind words!
This lead perfectly into my favorite activity of the week "A Bug and Wish" from Tamara Russell's Citizenship pack.
Seriously folks! Run! Don't walk to grab this pack!
We reviewed how important it is to use kind words, then we discussed how you can take ownership of your words to communicate to others. We practiced using "Bug and Wish" statements down on carpet. As the kiddos practiced their statements, they held up the bug and wish cards. It was sooo cute!
I KNEW the lesson sank in when later that week, a student was about to tell me about how another student was annoying him. All I had to do was give him a "look" and he went right over to the other student and said, "It bugs me when you talk while I am trying to work. I wish you respect my learning and not talk to me". BOOM! #teacherwin!
Of course our community building didn't stop there!
 We also started collaborative discussions this week using these "What Would You Do?" discussion cards from my "School Days: Back to School Centers" Pack.

(Oh! Be sure to download the preview on theses! There *may be* a little something something in there!)

I love using center activities in whole group first! Such a great way to teach the procedure for using the activity before they use it in centers!
In our table groups, I gave each table a four discussion cards. Taking turns, they read the scenario and discussed how they would handle the situation. I loved hearing the kiddos talking about how they would be "responsible" and "respectful".
 Let's hope those words stay with us throughout the year! You can check out this activity here!
Later in the week, we did a little review of those classroom expectations and completed this great sheet on examples and non-examples!

This is part of my "How's My Day" Classroom Management pack.

At the end of the sheet, students had to share which classroom expectation they think is the most important  and why...  You can tell what really resonated with this little guy...
LOL! Don't make Mrs. Langton move that clip! ;) 

We somehow had time to work on some writing this week too! Using "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" as a mentor text, 

we wrote about our summer vacations and published them using this sweet craft from Amy Lemons. 

They turned out so cute (and the writings sooo good!) I decided to try my hand at my fist hallway display... 

It may have been a display fail... but the crafts are cute, right..? I'll need more practice. 

I've also been working on finishing my classroom so it can be as organized as my old one... some additions this week...

and labels for all those manipulatives...

You can grab those for free here

Of course at this time of year, school seems to consume my days AND my nights... 

I've been spending EVERY night this week combing through our curriculum and planning out our year. 

So glad I have these resources to help me stay organized and on top of things! This planning sheet is part of my "Curriculum Binder"

You can grab that here in my store. 

Whew! What a week! Now it's time to catch-up on all those things that didn't get done this week around the house... #idratherbeteaching