Thursday, December 22, 2011

Photo Gallery

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

Author's Purpose PIEs - Using 2 paper plates, we created Author's Purpose Pies.  Great idea from dandelions and dragonflies.  After creating the pie foldable, they had to sort the definition and example for P(persuade), I (inform), and E (entertain) under the correct flap. (available at dandelions and dragonflies page)

In third grade, we focus on communities.  We just finished our study of Japan.  We researched the geography and land.  We learned about the culture and festivals.  We painted cherry blossom tress and wrote haikus.  We had an art docent from a local art museum lead a lesson.  Chefs from a local Japanese steak house came.  They brought hats, chopsticks, fried rice, Japanese soda, little umbrellas - it was such a fun day!! We read lots of books - some about heroes (Manjiro and the samurai), about the past between the US and Japan (A Place Where Sunflowers Grow; Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes) and just about the culture and traditions.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ten Reasons I Know Christmas is Near

(Passed along from a colleague)
10. You find out where your colleagues family members live - "Where are you going for break?" "Are you getting out of town to visit family?"

9. Homemade cards keep appearing on my table - from students and their younger siblings, complete with Christmas trees, stars, pictures of presents, poems, and name spelled wrong (by December you would have thought we figured it out!)

8. My boys are rotating through the newly placed time out chair outside of the classroom. For the last 2 days I might have to add a couple extra chairs outside.

7. We miss more and more class for the holiday performance rehearsals.

6. I have almost memorized all the words to Justin Bieber's Mistletoe. Yes...I admit...I actually like the song.

5.  I have coffee with sugar cookie flavored creamer and mint M&M's for breakfast, Dr. Pepper and Christmas cookies for lunch, and drink a glass of wine for dinner.

4. Reading lessons are all taught using holiday stories.  (It was actually pretty great having the students ask me thick and thin questions based off of the Polar Express.  They got to play teacher AND their questions were great!)

3.  I find myself not only buying presents for my family and friends but also the few students in my class that won't be receiving much from Santa. 

2. Not only the students are decked out for the holidays in their red, green, and sequins but I actually break out my red pants and green sweater TOGETHER and add my snowman/Christmas tree/snow flake earrings that I've actually saved from when I was in elementary school.

and 1.  I keep repeating in my head...JUST....TWO....MORE...DAYS!

Happy Holidays to everyone in Bloggy World!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Wednesdays are the hump of the week.  If you finally manage your way through the day you are officially on the other side and on your way to the wonderfully, relaxing days of Saturday and Sunday.  I thought we were managing our last Hump Day before break very well.  (As of right...only 4 more school days left!)  We made elf yourself ornaments this morning (think: little elf bodies, big kid heads...similar to JibJab).  Students were coloring and cutting, we were listening to holiday music.  As students finished and I had to help others, they seamlessly moved into Read to Self, Work on Writing, or Read to Someone.  I paused and glanced around the room.  I was so impressed at how far we have come this year.  Yes, there was still one of my favorites crawling around the room occasionally stopping to suck on his finger and observe those around him.  But a redirection and a threat of consequence later, he was on task as well (at least for a short time).  We moved into our reading minilesson, went to lunch, read aloud, recess, and back to math.  Even math went well with students participating - both asking and answering questions.  We finished early and had time for an extra holiday read aloud and multiplication facts practice.  We packed up, went to specials, and came back for Enrichment block with the guidance counselor.  Sounds like a great day...right?!?  They day was moving smoothly enough that I had forgotten the 3-4 times we had to practice lining up, or the extra hallway we had to walk to practice our hallway behavior (I'm at the point where I'm done with reminders and harping on behaviors they know - so we're just practicing and practicing...and practicing).  At 3:40, announcements came on and I returned to the class to assist with dismissal.  And what did I find...a student doing his work on the carpet with obvious green marker all over the white part of the rug.  REALLY?!? 

...Just 4 more days!