Monday, February 24, 2014

Gearing up for the BIG Sale!

Wow!  TpT is a strong network of 3 million teachers!  To celebrate, they are throwing a sale, and I decided to participate!  I'm super pumped to be throwing my first sale in my TpT store!

The sale runs Thursday, February 27 - Friday, February 28.  Save 20% on everything in my store!  :)  Be sure to enter promo code TPT3 at checkout!

Here are a few of my favorite items that I've created.  Click the images to bring you to my store.
Be sure you put them on your wishlist before the sale starts on Thursday!

Happy TpT-ing!  :)

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Falling in LOVE with books!

Have you ever come across a well-loved book?  You know, the ones where the covers are wrinkled, and the spines are barely holding the pages together?  While it makes me sad that some of my books are falling apart, it is encouraging to know that my students are loving certain books.  :)  I like to think of those wrinkled books as "well-loved".  

I recently had to repair our "Dinosaur Encyclopedia".  It's a class favorite-  a large hardcover book with amazing illustrations.  It has been read so many times, its spine could no longer support it.  :(

With a short visit to the book hospital, this favorite was back on the shelf in no time.  We did discuss how the injured book had to be treated with more care from now on.

Speaking of loving books, Miss Woodward's Class celebrated Valentine's Day by writing about books they LOVE.  It was a really easy project that you can do to spice up your walls ANY time of year!

How cute are my little bookworms?

I gave each student a piece of white card stock and had them think about their favorite book that they've recently read.  They folded it in half (if they do it carefully, they can make two folds in the center to resemble a book spine!)  Then they illustrated the front cover on the right side of the card stock and wrote about why they love the book on the left side of the card stock.

While they were working, I took their pictures.  All they had to do was look down like they were reading a book.  Then I got busy printing and cutting each one out.

Lovely little head shots.

I added two pieces of clear packing tape to each of their armpits and then secured their folded book cover.  I attached it while it was slightly folded, so it would be 3-dimensional.

See what I mean?

To attach them to the walls, I used a piece of tape on their heads, and one on each corner of the book.  I just love how the books pop out of the wall!

Some of their cover illustrations were amazing!  I could barely tell which was the drawing and which was the actual book!   :)

I love doing simple, but eye-catching displays like this!

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward

Thursday, February 20, 2014

All About the Human Body!

The 3rd graders have been learning about the human body!  It's one of their favorite units.  We focus primarily on the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems.  Be sure to read to the bottom of this post to see the cool project we used to tie it all together!

We read a selection of articles relating to each system, along with many demonstrations of how our bodies can move.

After reading some articles about the basics of bones, I brought this new student in to our class to hang out.  We called him Mr. Skeleton.  :)

We used index cards to label the main bones of our new friend.  The kids had a diagram of the skeleton to look at while we were labeling.

A chiropractor also let me borrow this awesome model of the spine.  The kids loved counting the vertebrae and looking at the discs between the vertebrae.

We had a little science lab going on at the same time, too!  We soaked some turkey bones in vinegar.  The vinegar breaks down the calcium carbonate in the bones and makes them become bendy!  See for yourself-- it worked!

BEFORE putting them in vinegar, I washed them really well to remove any bits and pieces from the bones.  The bones had to soak in vinegar overnight (or longer) to see the effects.

The larger, wider bones did not become flexible.  The only one that worked was the wishbone, and only the bottom ends became bendy.  I would suggest using chicken bones (they're thinner, so they'll work better).

Look at that bendy bone!  We also talked about WHY we need calcium and what foods we can eat that have calcium.

After learning about specific bones and seeing a skeleton, we tried to assemble our own.  I downloaded a life-size printable skeleton from this website.  Each skeleton required around 20 pages.  I made 6 packets, so the kids could work in groups.

Once they had the skeleton glued together, they could cut around it and glue it onto butcher paper.

Our next step was to label the skeleton using the same diagram we used to label Mr. Skeleton.

To tie the whole unit together, and to review before the test, we created these AWESOME human body lap books (courtesy of yours truly).  It's very interactive, so students could read, fold, and flip through facts to review for the test.  :)

Each student will need a file folder and the lap book pages.  I copied each page on a different color paper, to differentiate between the body systems.  We spent a long time cutting, organizing, and gluing the pieces into the folder.

The inside of the lap book.
Students can read facts about the muscular system, and store the little fact booklet in a pocket.

Students can open and close flaps to read facts about the nervous system.

To get the lap book pages, AND other great resources for teaching about the human body, check out the NEWEST product in my TpT store!  Just click the picture to see the unit!

The kids LOVED learning about the human body!  What science topic do your kids just eat up?

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Teeth!

Did you know that February is the National Children's Dental Health Month?  According to the American Dental Association, it is!  Their website has lots of resources for teachers and parents to teach their kids about keeping their teeth happy.  Check it out!

Speaking of teeth, remember this post from when some Dental Hygiene students from the U of M came to teach our students how to keep our teeth healthy?  It was such a fun experience for the kids!

In honor of National Dental Health Month, I've posted a new item in my TpT store!  Check out my new "Taking Care of Our Teeth" unit!

Just click the image to purchase!

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward

Sunday, February 9, 2014

In the Olympic Spirit!

Our school has monthly staff meetings, and usually they are kind of a drag.  I'd rather be up in my classroom getting ready for the day.

BUT our most current meeting was anything but boring!

To get in the spirit of the Opening Ceremonies, our staff meeting held the first annual BOBSLED RACES! We had teams from grades K-2, 3-5, Middle School, and Administration.  It was AWESOME!

Take a look!

We had a bracket-system to declare a winning team.

For the medal ceremony, our music teacher led us in singing the national anthem to honor the winning athletes.  It was quite the emotional moment.   :)

Does your school's staff do anything fun to make meetings or professional development days just a little brighter?  I want to hear about it!

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mathematical Monday! February 3

Hello everyone!  Long time, no see!  
I have been busy taking some "me" time, as well as creating some fun things for my TpT store.  But today I'm linking up with I {heart} Recess for Mathematical Monday!

In math for the past few weeks, the third graders have been working on Input/Output tables.  As an introductory activity, we created Input/Output Monsters!

The two white squares in either corner and the rectangle in the middle are laminated, creating a dry-erase surface that is perfect for practicing input/output!

For example, I told the students the rule was subtract 7, which they wrote in the center.  I also told them the input, which was 49.  They had to use the rule to figure out the output.  

Occasionally, I would give them the output, and they would have to find the input using the rule.  Some of my students even chose to grab their Monster when they had an input/output table, using it as a tool to complete each part of the table.

Here's how we got started:

1)  BEFORE doing the project, we cut out the squares (2.5 inch), and rectangles (4 inch by 2 inch).  Each student will need 2 squares and 1 rectangle.  Then we laminated all of the pieces and cut them out so they were ready to go for the project.

2)  We also cut out some card stock "templates" for the kids to use to trace and cut out a body.  We had circles, squares, and rectangles available for body shapes.  If you prefer, you can have students "freeform" a body shape.

Materials students will need:  

- A 9x12 piece of construction paper for the background
- 2 laminated squares
- 1 laminated rectangle
- assorted construction paper to create head, arms, legs, and body
- scissors and glue
- stapler

The process:

1) Have students cut out their body shape and staple the laminated rectangle to the body.  (Trust me, it is much easier to staple the rectangle to the body first before gluing… I learned this the hard way.)

2)  Staple the squares to the corners of their background paper.

3)  Begin to lay out the body, arms, legs, and head.  I made sure my students had their Monster exactly how they liked it before gluing.  They need to keep in mind that the top square is the IN, and one arm should be pointing up, and the bottom square is the OUT, so one arm should be pointing down.

4)  Once their Monster is cut and created, they can glue it all together.  Check out some of the creative monsters my students made!

Once they are all done, they can use a dry-erase marker on the laminated sections to practice Input/Output tables!  I showed my Monster on the document camera, and had a large blank input/output table on the board to fill in the inputs/outputs as we solved.

It's also a clear way for the visual learners to see that the input + the rule = output.

What have you been learning about in math?

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward


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