Friday, November 15, 2013

Five for Friday- November 14

It's Friday again, so I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the weekly Five for Friday!  Here's what happened this week in Miss Woodward's Class.

1.  Celebrating!
A good friend and coworker, Mrs. Elbert, celebrated her birthday this past weekend!  She is such a special lady, and I was excited to be able to share in her special day.  And now she is expecting her first child, so we had even more to celebrate!

Me, Mrs. Boos, Ms. Eichhorn, and Mrs. Elbert celebrating Mrs. Elber't's birthday.

2.  Pushing through the Polygons

 We started our unit on polygons in math this week.  For my ELL students, learning polygon names and characteristics is really hard.  One of the first things we did with polygons was create a foldable to help remember polygon names and qualities.

On the outside flap, we wrote the name of the polygon (triangle, square, rectangle, rhombus, parallelogram, pentagon, hexagon, octagon).  On the inside flaps, we cut out an example of the polygon, and wrote characteristics of the polygon.

The only materials we needed were large 11" by 17" paper, some shapes to cut out, scissors, glue, and a pencil!  It was a simple project to introduce polygons!

3.  You've Got Mail!

For writing this month, 3rd grade is working on writing letters.  My team and I decided to make the task into a grade-level project.  We set up each student with a pen-pal in one of the other classes.  Their job is to write a letter to their buddy and address it to the correct class.

Each classroom is going to have a mailbox outside their class.  Once students write their letters, they will give it to the "mail carrier" of the class.  The "mail carrier" will deliver the letters to the correct mailbox.  The "mail carrier" will then collect the mail from their class' mailbox and distribute it to the students.  

Here is my class' mailbox.  I made it out of a cereal box covered in paper.  I used velcro squares to attach it to the wall in the hallway.  Isn't it neat?!  Can't wait to see how this writing project turns out!

4.  Dia de los Muertos

At the end of the day, we mix up all of the 3rd graders and have an intervention time.  Some groups get extra help in reading, and some in math.  In my group, we have been reading about Dia de los Muertos lately.  A middle school teacher saw the book laying on my desk and offered to bring in some authentic sugar skulls.  The kids went nuts for them!  Lots of "oohs" and "ahhs" were heard.

5.  Best for Last… Curriculum Night!

Thursday night was Curriculum Night at our school, and I was the representative for 3rd grade.  The idea behind the event was giving students and parents ideas of reading and math activities to do together at home.

Time and time again at conferences, parents tell me that they don't have access to the public library, and don't have books at home.  In my room for curriculum night, I printed off a variety of books from Reading A-Z for parents and students to take to read together.  I made sure to have a variety of levels available.  Some parents took four or five books!

I am also a firm believer in having kids talk with their parents about what they are reading.  To get the conversation going, I had students create a "story cube".  I found it on  I printed it on card stock for durability, and had them cut and tape it together themselves.  I also showed them how their parents can roll the cube, and the students can answer the question on the cube using the book they just read together.  I printed off 50 of these cubes, and I had less than 10 left at the end of the night!  At some points, my room was so busy that I couldn't even greet everyone in there!  It was awesome!  I really hope that parents and students start to read together at home.

What happened this week in your class?

Until next time,
-Miss Woodward

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tried it Tuesday- Putting Daily 5 Together

It's time for Tried it Tuesday!  I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper to fill you in on something I tried this week.  

As you know, I am using The Daily 5 to manage my literacy block this year.  It took us over a month to build the habits and behaviors needed for independent reading and writing.  I have been really reluctant to put it all together and give students a choice in what independent work they get to do.  I was also a little slow in putting together reading groups and a reading groups schedule.  Now that I have groups and a schedule done, I decided to mesh the Daily 5 together!

Here is my new Daily 5 Check-In board.  After each "round" of group work (for me) or independent work (for kiddos), we meet on the carpet to "check-in" and see how it went.  We talk about who showed "model behavior", and also share about what they read or wrote about.

On the left, I have my list of reading groups (sorted by color).  Below it is my schedule for the week.  I see each group twice.  But, my lowest group I see every day, and my highest group I see once a week.

Each student has a magnet with their name on it.  When we check in, I first move the students who will be working with me.  The other students tell me where they want to go and I move their magnet for them (eventually, they will move their magnets on their own).  Their choices are: Read to Self, Buddy Read, Word Work, or Work on Writing.  Listening Center is currently closed for repairs.

I'm not crazy about how this board looks (it's just painter's tape and white board marker), but so far, it is functioning well.  I eventually want to make a cute title and picture for each choice.  For now, what I have will work.

The kids were super great about making a fast choice and getting started with their work right away!  AND, when I was working with students, I didn't have to micro-manage from my table!  Everyone was focused and working quietly around the room!  Daily 5 at it's finest!  :)

Tried blending the Daily 5 together… worked!  

Side note:  It is currently snowing here in the Twin Cities… We are forecasted to get 4-7 inches.  Welcome, winter weather!  I missed you so much…

What did you try in your classroom this week?

Until next time,
-Miss Woodward

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Feeling Inspired

Last week, I came across this TED Talks Education video.

In it, Rita Pierson discusses connecting with students.  The message is so powerful.  Take a peek for yourself, and enjoy!

What did you think?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

Until next time,
-Miss Woodward

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Five For Friday- November 1

Okay, okay, okay.... I promise this was typed up and ready to go on Thursday night.  And then a caught a cold.  And slept all evening on Friday.  So here I am, posting on Saturday.

It's Friday!  You know what that means.... I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!  It was quite the busy week in Miss Woodward's Class!

1.  Mix-it Up Day

Our school hosted Mix-it Up Day on Tuesday.  Students were encouraged to sit at other tables at lunch to  help to identify, question, and cross social boundaries.  The kids went through the line and got their food, then grabbed a number that told them what table to sit at.  At each table, there were conversation starters.  Many of the teachers joined in for Mix-it Up Day, and it was so fun to hear the conversations that were going on across grade-levels!

2.  This is what it's come down to...

Yep, we still have lice at our school.  Ick.  To try and prevent the lice from coming to school from home, we have resorted to keeping the students' backpacks and coats in plastic bags.  Who knows if it helps, but we can at least try to prevent kids from bringing in lice from home.

3.  New 'Do
I bought a new "bun form" for $5 at Charming Charlie, and tried it out on Tuesday!  I had a little trouble putting it in myself, but others that have used one have said that they are super easy to put in!

4.  Halloween Fun

We had so much fun on Halloween!  Read about it here!  Here's one of the highlights:

Four FAB superheroes!  :)

Yes, those are metallic spandex bodysuits.

5.  End of Quarter

Today marks the end of Quarter 1 for us... which means no kids!  It was nice to have no students today, to recover from a busy day of Halloween fun.  We did have some PD, but also had (much needed) work time to enter grades and wrap up some loose ends.

How was your week?  Link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share!

Until next time,
-Miss Woodward


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