Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tried it Tuesday-Grammar and a Recipe!

Today we are linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday!  Check out her awesome blog HERE.

To get us through the inevitable Grammar review we need to do before ERBs next week, Emily and I have been playing a lot of new games.   We made up one for those common homophones that drive us all crazy...you know which ones they are.  Those ones that are constantly getting mixed up in YOUR student's writing.  THEY'RE constantly using them incorrectly and IT'S a huge problem.  Really, we needed something to reinforce A skill that seems to be AN annoying problem for us all!  So here it goes...

We saw this cute game on Pinterest where you sort words into categories using those plates with the 3 dividers.  I can't seem to find the original post, nor do I have those kind of plates.... so just work with what yo' mama give ya!!  Enter the plastic cups and foil square plate thingys.  Emily made sentences with each type of homophone we were working on (their/they're/there, your/you're, its/it's, a/an).  We know a/an aren't homophones, just bear with us ;)
Then, sort your kiddos into groups.  They review the rule by reading a silly short story, and then they sort the sentences into the correct category.  For example, _____ ring is over there.  The answer is your so the sentence goes in the your cup.
 It's fun, easy, and a great group game.  They rotated through each of the 4 centers in about 30 minutes.  Done and done!  If you need to review this skill or just want to add to your files, click HERE.

Our second Tried It Tuesday link is for a recipe.  I swear Emily and I spend half of recess discussing the previous night's dinner.  Was it Pinterest inspired?  What blog did it come from?  Did the hubs like it?  Will my kids eat it?  We go through the whole thing.  Last week I tried THIS recipe from sweet Cara Carroll's cooking blog Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour.  It was AH-MAZE-ING.  So scrumptious that when I gobbled it up for lunch the following day, Emily rushed out to get the ingredients.  It was a homerun in both of our households!  Do yourself a favor and get involved in some of this Creamy Avocado Chicken Salad goodness!  It's awesome!

Alright y'all, tomorrow is Hump Day.  We are so close!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Five for Friday-Our Current Obsessions!

Well, hellllllo weekend!!!  We wanted to link up with our Five for Friday buddies and share our current obsessions for the classroom.

1.  Outdoor Scoot!  We love this idea!  The kids were so excited to play decimal Scoot outside.  Next week we are going to try it on the play structure on our playground.

2.  We started our Geometry unit.  We got this idea a la Pinterest and we made shapes out of Popsicle sticks.  The kids had a blast and teaching sides/vertices were a cinch!

3.  Our school is located in downtown Charleston and we partner with the Historical Preservation Society of Charleston every year.  The mission of the Preservation Society is to inspire all that live in the Lowcountry to the respect and honor its heritage.  Today we went for a walk to the St. Philip's Church and Courtyard.  It was a beautiful afternoon!

4.  We wrapped up our guided reading novels and made life size character drawings.  The kids LOVED it!

5. Pic Collage on the iPad is a really fun app!  We had a blast creating Earth Day posters on Monday.  Hoping we can all keep our resolutions and treat every day like it is Earth Day!

That's it for us.  We hope yall had a great week! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bowling for Decimals

Happy Weekend!

We wanted to share a really fun lesson for introducing decimals.  We were inspired for this idea from a freebie we saw on tpt.  If you want to see the original, click HERE.  It's so fun!

Start by relating fractions and decimals as parts of a whole.  We explained a decimal as a number with one or more digits to the right of the decimal point. I've never met a teacher that didn't multi-task...so it's a great time to review place value, too.    :)

Introduce the recording sheet and then take your kiddos outside for some bowling.  They will record the fraction, the decimal, and the word name. Click here to download it!  Oh, and hopefully you can raid the PE closet at your school because you will also need pins and a bowling ball!

And bowl away!  Your kiddos will love it! 

Of course we had to bowl, too!  Look at that form!  Maybe we missed our calling!!!


Lastly, it's Saturday and we have to end with something kinda fun.  Did anyone else hear this rumor for a hot second this week??  Adam Scott as the new Bachelor?  So sad, friends.  It's not true.  Ugh, which is sadder...he is not eligible because he has a girlfriend or we don't get to watch him on Monday nights??  Either way, you can thank us later for the eye candy!  :)

Anyone else out there forced to watch the Masters last weekend and then realized... hmmm, watching this guy isn't that bad?!  HA!

Have a great weekend.  Stay safe, Boston.  We love ya!

Friday, April 19, 2013

2 Linkys in 1

So I really wanted to link up with Flying into First Grade, because I love little games like these!!!  Plus these are the blog posts I can write, they are easy and don't have to be super crafty and cute like Kerry's are.  If you can't tell, she is the writer and I am in the crafter!  HE HE HE!!!  
These might be a few days late, but we are still getting the hang of this blogging thing!

TOPIC - Skittles Game
Here is the code:
Red- Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
Pralines and Cream from Baskin Robins.  It's a classic and if you ever got me an ice cream cake for my bday...that would win my heart!  

Orange- Favorite Memory from College
Meeting 5 roommates my freshman year.  We all pledged Sigma Kappa (One Heart, One Way) at NCSU and have been the best of friends since then.  That reminds me, I need to schedule a reunion with these girlies!!! 
OH and while I was getting a picture I found out the motto must have changed...Voices Strong Hearts United!!  Yikes, guess I'm not a SUPER SIGMA anymore!!
Yellow- Favorite Sports Team
Well if you say college team, that would be NCSU Wolfpack (ACC) and if you say professional that would be Carolina Panthers.  Neither had great seasons, football wise, but I am still a loyal fan.  
Green- Favorite Fast Food Place
I will of course say Chick-Fil-A.  However now that Big A is eating real food and I have 5 mouths to feed, including the hubby and me, I better go create and sell some more at TPT so I can afford it. We go at least once a week...there I said it!!!

Purple- Wild Card(Tell anything about yourself)
I love bright colors! (and stuff, don't judge the mess) I am so glad they are back in style for Spring and I am so glad you can mix them all together.  No more does this match...if it doesn't...then wear it!!! My classroom is a little distracting, but it makes me happy.  Kerry went fun bright pinks, blues, and greens this year, I went BRIGHT PRIMARY colors.  LOVE IT...maybe a little distracting for my ADD/ADHD friends :) 

Oh and these two make me smile!!!  

We are also linking up with A Turn to Learn for a second linky called: What did they say?!  

What Did They Say!?

Me: "Oh, (insert student name) why are you late to school today?"
Student: My mom said it was National Sleep-in Day so me and my sister slept it.

HA!  AMAZING!  Of course, I had to look it up to see if there was such a thing.  Apparently, there is...however, it's back in the fall when we turn the clocks back.  Kids say the darndest things!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Favorite Writing Mini Lesson Linky

Hi Teacher Friends!

Today we are linking up with Jivey for a little Workshop Wednesday.  Today's topic is: Our Favorite Writing Mini Lesson.  WOOHOO!

We usually teach narrative writing explicitly during the first quarter and then circle back throughout the year reviewing prior mini-lessons.  We do a Lucy Caulkins/6 + 1 Traits Combo....which has been really great.  We have a lot of freedom to teach our curriculum the way we want to teach it.  Emily and I love the flexibilty to be creative (and stalk Pinterest)!

One of our favorite mini-lessons to teach students is that writers create their "leads" using mentor texts as inspiration.  The kids get so motivated and I personally get a kick out of my students talking casually about famous authors.  There is nothing like hearing an eight year old say, "I like the way Cynthia Rylant started The Relatives Came with an action so I tried to do that, too!"  Melt my teacher heart!

The three leads we teach are action, dialogue, and setting.  We added some mentor texts below that can help inspire your children to write leads that sound like literature.  However, there are SO MANY out there. You can open any book and this mini lesson will work!

Action Leads:

Setting Leads:

Dialogue Leads:

In case you want to add a freebie to your files, click HERE for a graphic organizer on leads.  Thanks y'all!

We want to end by saying our hearts are in Boston.  Sending love and prayers to those affected by the tragedy.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five For Friday

What a great week it has been here in Charleston, 70 degrees and higher.  Every day has been pure sunshine and warm weather.  We are def. trying to get some sun at recess time.  Those pasty white legs are starting to get some color!!!  Unfortunately, our weather took a turn for the worse on Thursday evening with storms and lots of rain, causing our school to cancel field day....BIG BUMMER!  Our field day ends up being off campus, because we are located in downtown Charleston, and it is only a half day... hence the BIG BUMMER.  What was looking like an early start to a fun weekend, turned into a full day of school...BOO HOO!  Well at least we will have a half day Monday!  Now on to the point of this post....

Here a five things that made us SMILE for the week!!!

1.  We started our new Guided Reading novels this week...Super excited about this book rotation.  These are some of our favorites.

2.  We played with bubble gum and M&M cookies this week as we talked about finding part of a set with fractions...(didn't play with real bubble gum or cookies, but we imagined).  We also played a cool Mixed Number train game. 

3.  We finally got around to doing some more investigating into this Blog world and made some new friends.  It is amazing how 5 new followers will make you feel!

4.  Poetry month has been in full effect here at The Third and Goal.  We used this cute Poetry packet from Miss Decarbo's poetry unit.  Check her out www.secondgradesugarandspice.com. She is super cute and has such great ideas!!!  They have had a blast writing cute poems...and I have too. 

5. Kerry and her boyfriend adopted a new puppy.  His name is Johnny Cash Wall, but he's Cash to his friends :)  He's all kinds of sweet!  Just one big slobbery furball.  Kerry is getting a small taste of what Emily goes through each morning trying to get herself and the kids out the door.  As she says, she is a hot mess and has been late each day this week!  But nonetheless, here is the little guy.  Pretty cute!

 Happy Friday to you all.  Weather man says the weekend should have highs of 70's and lots of sun.  Enjoy!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Guided Reading 101 Linky

Hey Friends!

Today we are linking up with Jivey.  We love her and her blog!  How awesome is Workshop Wednesday?  Sorry we are late to the party.  We are still very new to the blog thing.  Check out Jivey's Tech Tips.  Boy, did we learn a lot!  Thanks, Jivey!!  I only wish we saw those sooner!

We thought we would share a few of our tips for implementing guided reading in third grade.  Disclaimer:  we are *not* experts.  We are still learning!  Most of what we do comes from watching master teachers over the years, reading books, and attending conferences.  We both love Regie Routman, The Sisters, Debbie Diller, and, of course, the ultimate gurus.... Fountas and Pinnell.  If yall haven't read their books, we highly recommend them.

Reading Workshop is my absolute favorite part of the day.  Although I fake it sometimes and say math, writing, or history...I'm telling a little white lie.  Honestly, I love gathering my kiddos around that kidney shaped table.  There is something magical about kids BEGGING to dive into a good book.  We have a few non-negotiables for how we make the most out of our time with the kiddos:

  • Guided Reading is about guiding your readers.  Let's face it, no one enjoys the formal assessment part.  I've never seen a teacher skip down the hallway saying, "Yippee, it's DRA day!"  But we do it so we can find that "sweet spot" where your reader is challenged and supported at the same time.  The text can't be too easy or too hard.
  • Plan, plan, plan, and then plan again.  Guided reading flops for me without a plan.  I just can't wing it.  Wing a read aloud?  Sure.  Wing a worksheet?  All day long.  But guided reading?  I just can't.   It is the perfect opportunity to teach reading skills explicitly.  

  • Stick to a format: review/preview, introduce vocab, set a purpose for the session, students read, circle back and discuss the purpose, and/or teach a new skill.  Done and done!  If we can get that accomplished in 25 minutes, I consider it a win for the day.  
Emily and I have made guided reading packets for all of the novels we have read this year.  If you want to check one out....download The Littles Go Exploring (HERE).  It's free :)  Who doesn't love a freebie?!

Each chapter includes re-tell questions followed by a creative reading response activity.  We like to incorporate comprehension questions using Blooms Taxonomy, but then we all need to have a little fun.  :)  Right?    

We have novel units for the Sophie Series, Ralph S. Mouse, Fudge-A-Mania, Frindle, A to Z Mysteries, Dragons of Blueland, Ramona and her Father, Cricket in Times Square, The Indian in the Cupboard, Flat Stanley, and Shiloh.  We are almost finished with Charlotte's Web, My Father's Dragon, and Bunnicula. 

That's it in a nutshell. We are still working on the right way to keep anecdotal notes on the students, so we will post later when we figure it out!!  Thank you so much for all of the tips from this linky.  Great stuff, yall!  Thanks for reading.