Monday, October 22, 2012

Ways To Show Multiplication Lesson

I had planned this amazing lesson based on this Pinterest Idea  I had seen awhile ago. Instead of marshmallows, I planned on using Fruit Loops.
Pinned Image

Well... my third graders had completely different ideas and hijaked my lesson.  And while their ideas were not as "pretty" as the Pinterest pin - they really involved mathematical thinking on their parts.

Counting his fruit loops in his array. (Love the use of our laundry basket a.k.a. lunch basket for a work surface!)

Hard at work - they decided to draw Jenga multiplication tiles to pick out their math facts.

Close to what I had in mind -multiple ways of showing his thinking!

I love how these kiddos decided to use the Fruit Loops to make the sixes!

I love their word problem!  63 goats!  Future textbook writers for sure!  (Love the improvisation when they ran out of fruit loops.)

And one of my favorites - explaining his thinking in his Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book (this kid carries it EVERWHERE!).

Do your students ever "hijack" your lesson?
How do you get your kiddos to engage in mathematical thinking?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Our Tomato Hornworm Returns!

One of my students had brought in a tomato hornworm a few weeks ago.  It was one of the best experiences in our class so far.  Luckily, the tomato hornworm returned, but not in his original form - he had become a moth.
The student had another one that was still in the pupa form as well.

The kiddos had a blast comparing what our little "friend" looked like on his first visit and what he looked like now. They studied both the moth and the pupa and made some observations.

The students also noticed that the moth seemed very quiet and sleepy.  I said, "I wonder if that means moths are nocturnal?"  The students grabbed dictionaries and looked up the word nocturnal.  One of the students noticed that it was an adjective and asked, "Could we use that as a word for Mad Libs?" 

My students create the best lessons!  I've joked with my husband that I should invite a few of the students over each weekend and tell them, "OK this is what we need to learn next week, how should we cover it?"

Do you learn as much from your students as they learn from you?

I've Been Boo-ed!

I have been Boo-ed by the fabulous Mrs. Poultney!

If you've been booed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post.
1. Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!
2. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (yours or someone else),or freebie(s) that you love!
3. Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers- make sure you check this link to make sure you don't boo someone again:

Here are a few of my favorite Halloween Activities:

I love this Multiplication Monster from Yay Third Grade.  I will be doing this activity with my kiddos this week and will post pictures when I have them.

We have been reading the Best Worst Hallowen Ever and I have made a packet on TPT to go along with it.

Another Halloween favorite easy read is
 I have this one for some of my struggling readers and they love it!

A few of my favorite blogs right now are:

Peacocks and Penguins

Sent From My IPad

Technology Tailgate

The Teaching Thief

Cooperative Learning 365

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Being a Teacher and A Mom

Friday ended on a not so good note.  My three youngest boys come into my classroom after school each day while I finish up last minute odds and ends.  I am feeling completely swamped, and had planned on staying a little late on Friday.  My class had earned a root beer float party as a reward for Star homework, so my boys were excited to see if their were leftovers.  There were - and they made a few for themselves as I briefly spoke with a parent - I turned around to see a disaster.  While I was cleaning that up, I noticed them dragging chairs into the hallway.  They had gotten their football stuck in a tree outside, and then proceeded to get their shoes stuck up there trying to get the football down. The shoes are still in the tree as I type this!

Admist the chaos, I noticed this note on one of my desks written (thank God in dry erase marker) by my 6 year old.

It almost (*almost*) made up for the chaos!

How do you balance being a teacher and a mom?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables - Expanding Our Horizons

Our school has been blessed with a grant from the USDA that provides our students fresh fruits and vegetables two days a week.  This week we were given the opportunity to sample starfruit and grapes on Tuesday and Jicama on Thursday.  It has been really fun tasting fruits and vegetables that are unfamiliar to the students (and often the teacher!). We research items that we have never heard of.  It is funny to hear some of the comments that the students make about the various food items and what they taste like!  I am thinking that it could make a great writing assignment!

My son's first grade class uses the snacks as a graphing lesson.  They vote on the fruits and veggies they like the best! 

Here are a few lesson plan ideas for learning about various fruits and vegetables.

How do you incorporate nutrition into your weekly lessons?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Magical Product Swap - Learning About Main Idea! Giveaway!

I don't know about your class, but one thing that my class seems to really struggle with is finding the main idea of a passage.  We spent the last few weeks really working on main idea, and most of them still had difficulties on our common assessment (as did the other third grade classes on my team).  That is ONE of the many reasons that I was excited to participate in The Magical Product Swap hosted by Mrs. Stanford!
I was partnered up with the fabulous Brooke Conway from 3rd Grade Troopers! We were each allowed to choose an item from our partner's Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

I chose her Main Idea Task Cards , because as I explained, my third graders are really struggling with this concept. There are 24 task cards that ask students to read the passage and select a multiple choice answer that states the main of idea of the passage. These cards would be perfect for a learning center, an around the room game, or for morning work. They answer recording sheet is easy assess student understanding of main idea. The passage selections cover a variety of genres. A teacher answer key is included.

I printed out the packet and divided them into 6 groups of 4.  I hole punched them and clipped them together with a plastic black binder ring.  I had the students who were working independently during Daily 5 play a game of scoot with them where they moved from station to station. 

I also used them in a small group setting with some of my struggling readers who are not yet reading grade level text..

The kids really loved the owl theme on them.  They got a kick out of saying, "HOOOO! knows how to find the main idea?" I only wished I would have gotten a picture of them working on them, but I was working with a small group and ran out of time this week!

If you would like to purchase this main idea packet, head over to Brooke's teachers pay teachers store as they are very affordable and a great addition to any main idea lesson! You will also want to follow her blog 3rd Grade Troops as she has many great teaching ideas for all levels!  Head on over to read her review of one of my products as well!

And in honor of the swap, I am hosting a contest to win a $10 Starbuck's Gift Card and 3 items of your choice from my TPT store! 

I am also having a sale this weekend on all of my items in my TPT store! So head over and save!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 5, 2012

Gabbing About Giveaways October 5, 2012

Teacher Idea Factory is celebrating 1,000 followers with this great giveaway featuring a ton of great activities from a variety of teachers. 


Success in Second Grade is celebrating her birthday with a fabulous giveaway featuring six different prizes!
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