Party Animals

Hey everyone!

We partied it up in my class on the 19th and I just had to share how much fun I had with my first official Christmas party (err...winter party) with my kids!

We are obsessed with writing by the fireplace. So calm and cozy!

We got a new class pet, Spot. He's big, but I don't have to feed or clean up after him!

We had a pajama day. Note, this is at the end of the day. I am POOPED!

Our one of 2 junk food parties for the year. We're a healthy school and they did not skimp on this opportunity! That was not my plate, but one of my kids! 

Pajama day in the morning, before all the craziness. So cute and calm.

I gave them a cocoa bar and they loved it! That hot water thing is the best ever! I've used it for boiling water for science (the crystals) and now for hot cocoa. The parents thought it was genius!

I'm glad I have 2 weeks to recover from this crazy day!


Getting Cultured Up In Here

Hey everyone!

I honestly don't know how full time teachers create, blog, teach, and take care of their families all at the same time! I'm struggling with just my cat and myself hahaha! I'm hoping that with my break, I'll be able to create products (or finish some) and do a few blog posts.

Our social studies unit right now is world cultures and traditions and my kids are eating it up! I had to set the mood right from the start. All my kids made passports and suitcases and got boarding passes. I played a video of a take off from in an airplane (many of mine haven't flown before) and we were off! Our first stop was India. We read a book about India one day, watched a video about two families in India, made a box and T-chart to compare and contrast the US and India, and wrapped up our stay with Henna art.

Each kid got a stamp to put on their suitcase.

We celebrated by creating Henna (Mehndi) art.

I was amazed that my boys were so into it too!
And their suitcases? Manila envelopes with brown construction paper handles and green construction paper straps on front! Easy and cute!

We then got our passports stamped on departure (I have a book stamper) and we traveled to Brazil next. I only nabbed one picture since it was the day before our crazy, wild, assembly/pajama/party day.

We made mask for Carnival and I played music while we shook our groove things. I love his mask!

We are headed to Russia next, then Australia, and ending in Kenya, with perhaps a trip to Germany in between there. I also start the week with music playing from the country, for my students to guess. It sets the mood and gets them hooked! Safe travels!


Array City

Hey everyone!

I know I've said something on my IG account that I use Engage NY now for math, but I didn't know if I said it here. My school decided that Investigations doesn't fulfill our needs to meet CCSS. Engage NY fits it much better and my third grade team was onboard to use it. This unit we are doing now is our first full Engage NY unit. Module. Whatever lol. They have their modules in a different order than what the third grade team teaches math currently, but that's ok. We re-arranged and I think we're good and on goal.

So currently we are doing multiplication and division. My kiddos were both excited and anxious. The way Engage NY has it set up for multiplication is easy to teach and they were getting it! Now between meetings, professional development, and all that fabulous stuff, my lessons were getting shuffled around. The kids had many pre and post tests the week before for reading and math, so I thought we'd have a fun math day. Plus we had an assembly that cut into our math time. Hence, array city math/art time!

They got a black paper for their building and could choose roof and window colors.

Cutting out arrays.

They also had to put their equation on top of the roof.

Nicely done! And excuse the 70's countertop. Yuck!

It was fun, easy, and you bet they'll remember what an array is!

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Multiplication, computers, oh my!

Hey everyone!

I have to work Monday and Tuesday Thanksgiving week, but we will still have fun. Even if I'm subbed out for 1/2 of Monday. And my kids will be crazy. Yep, we'll still have fun #justkeeptellingmyselfthat

Since we are working on persuasive writing, they will be writing to persuade others to not eat turkey. I can't wait to see how these turn out!

We're on our last two days of rocks and minerals and will be moving on to a new unit after Thanksgiving. I can't wait!

Multiplication has started and I'm loving Engage NY (this will be my first full unit of Engage NY) and the kids are getting it!

I made this clip chart to be displayed in their backpack closet (it's a long wall with hooks).  Then as they pass a times level, they will get a certificate. They all earned their 0's and on Monday they'll get their 1's. They love them so much!

 It's from my Multiplication Masters pack.

I finally got some sort of technology in the class for kids! I was supposed to get 10, but I am NOT complaining. I had 3 broken laptops and two computer screens with no towers attached. Yeah. Just got rid of them last week finally.

We call them clam shells, but I'm just thrilled to have them! My kids will be able to go on IXL and Khan Academy during math time now.

Do you have any favorite math websites?

Poetry Binders

Hey everyone!

My kids had binders on their school supply list but until this month, I hadn't  handed it out to them, because honestly, I didn't know what I was going to have them use it for. Then I decided, poetry/song binders!

Though right now they're piled up in the corner, they'll soon be put to great use!

One of our CCSS for third grade is reading poetry. I've already written songs for the rock cycle and I have fall poems that I wrote myself.

While I'm at it, I am going to toss in some Thanksgiving poems too! I know my kiddos will enjoy them.


Rockin' With Crystals

Hey everyone!

As we are starting to go towards the end of our rocks and minerals unit (and I somehow got a week ahead of my 2 cohorts because they've been subbed out and other stuff), I took this week slow and had some fun.

Thursday was the most exciting day (well for me personally haha!)  We did two experiments to make crystals. I even heard "This is the best day ever!"

I referred to my kids the whole day as "my scientists" and they ate it up! They couldn't wait to come back from specials so we could get started. I had 2 mason jars per table (I have 5 table groups). This allowed for some team work time (plus I didn't have enough jars for each kid).

Materials used: mason jars, food coloring, water, borax, straw (or pencil), string, and pipe cleaner (or chenille stem, fuzzy stick or whatever your store now calls it).

I bought a hot water pot and heats the water up super fast. I mixed 3 TBS borax per cup of boiling water and then added food coloring. I did blue for fun. While I was doing this, the kids were cutting the white pipe cleaners and making snow flakes, tying string to them, and then the string to straws. I poured the mixture over their snowflakes that were now hanging from the straw that was resting on the mouth of the jar.

This will have to sit overnight before crystals form on the snowflake. The next day, the kids rushed to hang up their backpacks and crowded the windowsills to see their crystals. I cut their snowflakes apart at the end of the day so they could each have 2 pieces to take home. They were so thrilled.

This one was mine!

The second crystal experiment needed black construction paper, epsom salt, water, and pie plates. Now I don't know if it's because the epsom salt I had was smelly like eucalyptus and peppermint or because it was old, but it only worked 1/2 the time for the kids.

You mix 1 TBS to 1/4 cup warm water and pour it over the black construction paper that's on the bottom of the pie plate (I only had paper plates). When the water evaporates, the salt should bind together to make patterns. I told the kids whose experiments failed, that is what happens to scientists and they have to figure out how to fix the problem.

They loved the patterns and that the crystals formed on the plate too.

Friday was epic. Well for me anyway. We did Jeopardy on a powerpoint with the music and everything! I even gave an intro like we were on a show and introduced the contestants (aka the table groups). They had so much fun and before we knew it, lunch time had rolled around.

Won't they be surprised Monday when they see a jar with red crystals and a jar of green crystals. Maybe because their teacher had a lot of fun making them too. I also just ordered rock candy to give to them to end the unit. They'll love it! I thought about making it, but buying will be less messy and a time saver!

Rockin' The Rock Cycle

Hey everyone!

This week we started our rocks and minerals unit. The first few days were just observing and writing down properties of the rocks. Friday we spent talking about the rock cycle. The book that I follow was, well, I'll be blunt. Boring. Blah.  I knew I needed to spice it up.

First I wrote a few songs about the rock cycle. It was a hit last time with rounding, that I know I am going to have to do it for every unit!

I started off my lesson having the kids draw the rock life cycle with me and I used my Rocks and Minerals Nonfiction pack to help too, with pictures.

Then I told my kids I was going to give a live demonstration of the rock cycle. They looked around, puzzled. One even raised his hand and said, "But Ms. T, you don't have a volcano in here to do igneous rocks!"

I turned on my doc cam and pulled out three different colored Starburst. Well then they were all asking if they get to eat candy lol.

I took the three "rocks" and cut them into sediment pieces. I stacked them on top of each other as best I could and smushed them. I asked the kids what just happened. They responded that the sediment had pressure and they were layered, making it sedimentary rock.

Here is a piece of sediment.

Moving on, I picked up the sedimentary rock and rolled it in my hands, giving it heat. Then I stuck it in a ziploc bag and then dropped a dictionary on it and pushed. The class gasped and giggled. I told them I gave it heat by rubbing it and then pressure with the dictionary. "Metamorphic rock!", they yelled out.

Knowing igneous rock was left, they were excited. I pulled out my candle warmer had on during their specials, which is right before science, and I had put a piece of foil with a previously made metamorphic starburst rock. It was now liquidy.  I told them that once it cools, it'll be a rock. "Igneous rock!" they yelled.

It was just starting to harden here. The kids liked the cracks in the "rock".

To finish off my lesson, I pulled out my white sunglasses (used in the rounding rap) and they started cheering. Quite honestly, I felt like a rockstar at that moment, performing for an audience of 27 lol. #teacherbydayrockstarbynight

I busted out rapping my rock cycle rap. With cheers of encore, I rapped again, with the assistance of my class. They even came up with some hand motions too! Little do they know, I have two more rock songs coming their way next week!

If you guys are interested this rap, don't you love  KG Fonts by the way?, well I edited it to show 1-5th grades in this pdf. Sorry kindergarten, you're probably not learning this anyway and it wouldn't rhyme!  

Here you go

"You're famous Ms. T and a little dorky," one student said, with a grin on his face. If being dorky helps at least one kiddo get the concept, I've done my job. #prouddork


Classroom Reveal 2014!

Hey everyone!

It feels like a long time coming to say this, but here is my classroom reveal!!!!!!

I am most likely the last person on Earth to be doing this, but when you get your class just a few weeks ago and it was already the third week of school, and you had 1 afternoon to get the room ready to teach (and not be pretty), I just didn't want to show you!  Parts of my walls are still bare, but I'm ok with it. Word wall will get up eventually.

So without further ado, here is my room. MY ROOM!!!

My name is in Braille under the room number for one of my students.

The view as you enter my room.

As you enter my room, my IB wall is to your left in a little alcove. 

I am in love with my ruffle math bulletin board!

My desks. Yes, the teacher left two, but I am barely there anyway.

I had this itty bulletin board next to my sink, I decided it would be fun to put wow work there.  The text to self connection is from my Reading Activities For Bigger Kids pack.

Supplies are organized. The labels didn't print in color and I didn't care at that point haha. From my supply label pack.

My library that is a work in progress. I need more books!  Tubs with handles are from Wal-Mart and labels are from my library label pack.

This is my reading/writing wall.  I try to switch things out as we learn it.
Topic/sequence posters from Rachel.  Hook your readers in are from my writing leads pack and the writing process posters are 1 of 3 choices in my writing process pack.

 I just had to show my border better. I also made the banners and attached with some ribbon I have.

My social studies wall, which will soon become my science wall! Government is coming to and this week.

Citizenship poster from Dollar Tree and American Symbols from Robin Sellers.

And the last picture of the post!

The front of the room so pretty!  The left board is basically my I can statements and posters of what we are working on and my voice chart. The blue paper has important events of the week.
The right side is where I write. I write student helper of the day in the little box and my schedule is on the other side of the washi tape on the far right. I don't use that screen above the alphabet, I project on one of walls.

Alphabet from Gladys and reading posters from Rachel. 

I lucked out on the borders on my bulletin boards, they were on sale at Target for $2 and I bought 3, but ran out of one side, so went back and they were $0.88!

I tried to stick with black and pops of color, but chevron also made a major appearance. I love it so much!

I hope you guys enjoyed my  tour and I can't wait to show you more!


Round It!

Hey everyone!

I've settled in to my class nicely. Love my kiddos! I am not enjoying the 4-5 meetings I have every week, but I know it comes with the territory.

Last week I introduced rounding to my kids. It's not in our math text book, but it is part of the CCSS, so we had to incorporate it.

My kids like movement and songs (I've known them since they were in kinder) and I knew I had to introduce some rounding songs.

First was the simple phrase: "Five or more, add one more. Four or less, give it a rest."  Then I wrote examples on the board ( we started rounding with 10s) and they used that phrase to help them.

Then I moved on to the Rounding Rap. Add a pair of sunglasses and I became a rap artist and they thought I was the coolest thing ever. I had a few encores and every time was a round of applause (pun not intended!) I may have looked crazy, but if helped one kid, then I have done my job. They did a worksheet right after and blew me away with how they nailed it!!!

Next I did " We Will Round You".  I had a teacher ask what we were singing as it sounded so fun. You see, I have a lot of pressure as these teachers all know I do TpT and they expect my room to be "pinteresty". But with only having moved in such a short time, I was more focused on curriculum than "Pinteresty".

Then my buddy Megan told me about Blair's rounding product. It was very helpful for the hundreds with my kids.

Rounding was only a few days, but I think they've got it!  I also used this resource from Ashleigh and the kids did really well. It was a great way for them to practice and for me to see who needed more help.


Bright Idea: Laminated Paper

Hey everyone!

I am excited about my bright idea this month. I'm sure it's been done before, but I became a little obsessed with....

All I did was take a paper (well three papers for my three classes at the time) and run it through the laminator. Yes, they are too big so there was a little overhang on each end I trimmed off, but not too much, so I'm happy. Excuse the poor pics, I used my iPhone and not my pretty camera lol. #donttrustthekids

Even the kids noticed that I was using "plastic" paper and thought it was fun. Why use it? I had limited white board use and in that space, I just had an easel at the carpet. I could hang up the chart, write on it and then clip it to a pocket chart for display.

Yes there is a wrinkle, but it's ok.

With my crazy schedule, I often started the anchor chart with just the basics since I wanted the kids to help me fill in the charts.

Some charts I used all week and some were just that day. I didn't want to waste a bunch of paper, so I thought this would be a good route to go.

To clean, I used a baby wipe. Easy peasy (lemon squeazy).

And then I got struck one day with another idea of how to use these laminated papers. Group time!

Just divide the paper  into sections (hopefully a cleaner paper than this hahaha) and then you could tell each person to solve a certain equation or each show a different way to get a product. You could then easily display these for the lesson on the board.

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook or Instagram for more great ideas!

Check out the other people linked up for even more ideas.

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