Friday, February 22, 2013

Five for Friday!

Hi Sweet Teacher Friends!

Happy Weekend. :)  Today we are linking up with Doodle Bugs for a little Five for Friday linky party.

Post 5 things about our week? This is going to be all sorts of random, but that's how my brain works.  It's perfect.  :)  I can't tell you how many times I tell Emily something and she looks at me like I'm crazy.  You see....I don't actually say half of the things I am thinking.  Or I change the subject mid-sentence.  Or I'll say something like..."You know the thing?  I need that."

My poor boyfriend. But I digress....on to our fun week at school!

We have been studying the Civil War in history.  It's pretty awesome that we learned about the Hunley (a secret submarine mission for the Confederacy) and then we were able to go see it.  It was only found in 1995! It is being restored in Charleston, South Carolina.

Hunley Preservation 

For our persuasive writing unit, we teach how to write a business letter.  The kids can write to request something, complain (in a friendly manner), or express a concern.  This little lovely is writing Taylor Swift.

We had a hilarious coversation about what it means to "never, ever get back together."  No one in the class had a clue.  Aw.  Taylor Swift, write these children back.  They sing your songs, and have no clue about your issues.  ;)

We started a non-fiction unit to celebrate Black History Month.  Our kids are very excited!

We also started a measurement unit in math.  We ended the week by making Metric Monsters.  We adapted the lesson from Mary Carr's store on tpt.  It's a freebie, check it out (here).  Our kids LOVED it.

And finally....Boyfriend Cookies.

I know this isn't school related, but I couldn't resist.  Have yall seen these on pinterest?  Oh my goodness, they are good!  Like...insanely good. Like...I'll do an extra yoga class good.  Do yourself a favor...if you're into elastic waistband pants....find this recipe.  They are ridic!

Thanks for reading.  Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

Hi everyone!  We hope you all had a nice LONG weekend.  We thought we would attempt to start up a weekly post called the Weekend Wrap Up.  Each Monday (or Tuesday), you'll either get me (Emily) or Kerry, updating you on what has been going on in our world.  Today you get ME!!!  This long weekend I packed the kiddos and headed to Charlotte to visit my family.  This was part of my hubby's Valentine's gift, a few days of peace and quiet (lucky him).  The trip was planning to be quiet, simple, relaxing, and full of family and old friends.  However, the excitement of "snowy" weather made the trip a little bit more "wild" then I had planned.  First of all we had to skip Super G's last flag football game and get on the road a bit early to beat the bad weather.  Luckily, Peanut slept most of the way and Super G and Big Sister were EXCELLENT car riders.  We hit some rain and lots of wind, but otherwise it was an uneventful drive. We made it to Charlotte in about 3 hours and arrived to my parent's house to find my sister, nephew and my mom and dad.  After about an hour of all 4 kiddos wondering where the snow started to pour snow.  Now remember we are from South Carolina, the coast, so we don't see much snow...ever!  This was what Charlotte called a quick 1 hour "blizzard!"  The kids loved it. 

We were, of course, so unprepared for snowy weather, I mean we had warm clothes, but waterproof was another story.  Poor Super G was so cold and wet, but he wouldn't dare come in unless his BIG cousin came in too.

There was sledding, snow(dirt)man making, snowball fights and snow angels.  It was maybe 2 inches of snow, but to us that is like 1 ft.  I stayed inside with sweet Peanut and watched the crazies run around, freezing cold.  Fun stuff!

I was able to visit with 3 old friends and their families and even meet one new precious little baby.  Sunday night, my mom, (know as the ultimate hostess...seriously) decided to host a birthday party for 8 out of the 11 February family birthdays that live in Charlotte.  Peanut and I were included in that group, so we were excited.  We had grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins all packed into my mom and dad's house. There were 14 adults and 7 children.  Now when I say she is the hostess with the mostess, I mean it.  She had silver, white table cloths, fancy appetizers, and a homemade carrot cake.  We had a blast, 8 birthdays to celebrate = tons of candles!! There were lots of laughs, and fun times had by all.  6 out of the 7 kids are under the age of 4, so it was wild.  To top it all off, mom made her famous spaghetti.  Now just imagine a kitchen table with 6 little kiddos all eating spaghetti...yikes!  I think there was more spaghetti on the floor and on the kiddos than in their mouths.  Next year I think mom decided maybe just cake and ice cream, ha ha ha!!!

Finally we ended our trip with a morning donut at Krispy Kreme.  We love donuts and don't have a KK near us, so it was a treat to see them being made.  Here are my munchins enjoying watching them make donuts.

I did however manage to do a little work.  After Kerry worked so hard on updating and editing our latest guided reading group novels, I was able to add a few more graphics and tweak them a bit and post them to TPT.  I hope you will read our next post on how we use these novel studies and check them out on TPT. 

Thanks for reading about my weekend! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hi Friends!

Today we are linking up with Denise from Sunny Days in Second Grade for Show & Tell Tuesday....on a Wednesday!  Oops, sorry we are late to the party.  :)
In our little third grade world, we do a combination of traditional Reading Workshop and Daily Five.  We have 2.5 hours each morning for Language Arts.  This includes Morning Meeting, Morning Work, Phonics/Spelling, Reading & Writing Workshop, Grammar, & Cursive.  It's a major time crunch.  We try to pack as much "bang for our buck" during Reading Workshop.

Here is how it works:

Our students rotate through 3 stations: Guided Reading with a Teacher, Assignment/Activity/Craftivity about the day's guided reading lesson, Centers/Free Choice.  We rotate every 25 minutes.

We use novel packets for each guided reading group that coincide with our basal series, Open Court.  Typically, we have comprehension questions for each chapter followed by a reading response activity like cause and effect or main idea/details.  On a good day during Guided Reading we can collect some data (running record or informal assessment) and teach a new skill.  Now, that's on a good day!  Not every day, but we try.

After Guided Reading, the students return to their seats and complete the activity.  Usually, they will finish the comprehension questions and reading response activity.

This is an example of a guided reading assignment.

Then, they move to the last rotation.  The kids LOVE free choice and centers.  Usually, we have a game ready for them to play.  You can download the one we used today here for free!  It's contraction memory.

Here is a picture of another one we did yesterday.  We had been talking about main idea and details in guided reading, so we had the kids read a Cupid article and complete a main idea and details activity guessed it... HEARTS!

Thanks for reading!  We got a few ideas for our next novel from this linky.  Thanks!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Better Than a Box of Chocolates!

Happy Valentine's Week!  Celebrating Heart Day is one of our favorite parts of teaching.  Not only do we get showered with hugs, love notes, and chocolates...but it's always sweet to watch the kids exchange, too!

If you're looking for some fun math centers to try this week, check out our pack HERE.  It's on sale for $3.20.  There are 5 multiplication/division games and a homework pass.  The games are common core aligned and tons of fun!  We also score some major brownie points each year when we give a homework pass as our Valentine.  We attach a piece of candy and the kids act as if they have struck gold!

Below are some pics of the pack in action.  You can also download our Fill Your Hearts With Arrays bingo game for free when you click HERE.  Enjoy!  We'd appreciate some love in the comment section if you liked it.  Thanks!

Division Memory to review basic facts under 100

Sweetheart Spin to practice multiplication facts under 100.

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Friday, February 8, 2013


We are participating in our first (ever) CURRENTLY with Oh' Boy 4th Grade!  We are so excited and had lots of fun doing it.  Soooo...
We need to explain our "Currently" since it might be confusing!  There are two of us and typically we think as one.  However, since this was done on a Thursday night (dreaming of the weekend).... Kerry was enjoying her "country music" and I was running around with my two wild boys + one larger than life husband...needless to say....our CURRENTLYS are quite different. 

We are both truly excited to have our blog up and running.  We have been dreaming of this since last year as we stalked others blogs.  The weekends are by far our favorite, we will both be busy running around.  Me with kids in tow, and lucky for Kerry, her Besties!  Let's just say she might have a little bit more fun than I will.  But, who knows, those family trips to Costco are always a thriller!!  I will have a little quiet time this weekend, as my husband and kids gave me a gift certificate for a facial for my birthday.  I might just have to accidentally get a massage and stay for 2 hours.  :)

If you feel so inclined to comment on our CURRENTLY, just know you will go down in history as our FIRST EVER commenter!  We wish we could send you a sparkly crown and throw you a big celebration, but that will have to come later.  Until then, thanks for stopping by!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Inferencing a la Rachael Ray

We've been having a lot of fun practicing our inference skills in third grade.  Inferencing has always been tricky, so we decided to switch things up a little.  We started by using The Inspired Apple's activity called, What's in My Teacher's Bag.  It was SO CUTE!  Check it out HERE  if you want to try it.  Our kiddos loved it and came up with some really strong inferences.  Our personal favorite is below:

Um, my teacher makes herself beautiful with lipstick.  Aw!
A+ for him!

This week we tried another inference investigation.  We got the idea from Rachael Ray's talk show.  Have yall ever seen her guess the Mystery Taster?   Check one out here!

Here is how we did our version of The Mystery Guest.  Each day our class received a letter from a faculty member.  They were given 3 clues in the letter.  Using schema and the clues, the class narrowed down the mystery guest's identity.  Then, we came up with five yes or no questions for the guest.  After receiving the answers to the questions, we made a final guess.  Each afternoon at 2:45 there was a knock at the door and the mystery guest's identity was revealed!  Our kiddos were bouncing out of their seats each day!  Some of them were squealing!  It has been a ton of fun to listen to them discuss the clues and narrow down the choices.

Here is an anchor chart that Emily made for our little unit.

How do you teach inferencing?

Thanks for reading!  Have a great week!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Math Mania

Happy Monday!

We thought we'd share how we teach traditional long division when you use a good ol' paper and pencil.  First things first, teaching is all about "borrowing."   We have to give credit where credit is due.  We got this idea from a 4th grade teacher at our school and it's been a life saver.  We swear by this little acronym!

We introduce to you E.D.M.S.B.A  or Every Dirty Monkey Should Bathe Always or Estimate, Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Bring Down, Again.  We might as well stamp it to our foreheads for the week because we have said it 1,000 (and counting!) times.  Learn it, live it, love it.  That's what we tell our kids.  Those 5 words make all the difference! 

Here is a pic that we use to introduce this messy little guy to our kiddos.  Over the years, students have named him/her and made up stories about how he got in the bath.  Regardless, year after year they crave the consistency and reliability of this saying.

We practice long division on grid paper ONLY.  If we were stranded on a desert island with 20 third graders, forced to teach long division, and could only bring one would be grid paper!  And pencils.  Oops, so two things!

The grid paper keeps things nice and neat.  Let's be honest, every teacher has a little "control freak" in them.  There will be no shouting, "Line up the digits!"  when you use grid paper.  We have blackline masters in the back of our teaching manual, but you can find it pretty easily on the internet.  We photocopy the grid paper WITH the practice problems for almost a week before we let them loose on notebook paper.  It makes a huge difference!

Check out this little FREEBIE if you are starting long division.  The scaffolding of the picture and the grid paper will help your kiddos feel confident.  We modeled it on the SMART board and our kids were really into it!!  

So, that's what we do in our little third grade world!  Eventually we move on to three digit dividends.  Then the real fun starts when we get into problem solving and interpreting the remainder!  :)

Enjoy the week, friends!  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Not much Educatin', but lots of Tailgatin'

It has been a super busy weekend here in my (Emily's) house. I have been creating... but not necessarily school stuff.  It was my Peanut's 1st birthday on Friday and we celebrated with an Alligator themed party on Saturday. My middle son, Super G, always told everyone that the baby in my tummy was an alligator, so we only saw fit to have a little Gator party for his first birthday.  I get a little carried away with birthday cakes, so here is the enormous alligator cake I made. It just kept getting larger and larger by the minute.  Four box cakes and six tubs of icing later, I got this!

Then the hubby and I had a blacktie event on Saturday night! It was nice to have the Grandparents in town.  We just left the party mess/kids and said, "nighty nighty!!"  I must say we clean up nicely!

Now off to get ready for the Superbowl...more "tailgatin!"
We are having a SUPER sale at TPT, so check it out.
Sunday super sale

I'll get back to educatin' tomorrow!    No real "dog" in the fight, but GO 49ers!!!