Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spelling Fractions--FREEBIE!

We have been working on fractions this week. Fun, fun, fun! So, I was thinking about how I could get my kids to work with their spelling words in conjunction with something else. Well, I found it! Spelling Fractions. They had to write the a fraction for the number of vowels and the number consonants in each of their spelling words. They even get to color code their words, and nothing is more fun than getting to color during the school day ;) It took a lot of thinking. They even had to use their functional text skills on this one!

Click here to download: Spelling Fractions
Now, since I am not about to spent ten years to make boxes to around the letters on the computer, I just drew them after I printed the page. It took less than on minute.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Volcano Projects

Going to grad school doesn't make it easy to post on a regular basis, let me tell you. I am so excited that we finally finished our volcano projects! Our reading story was all about volcanoes, so why not learn as much as we can about volcanoes??

We started out with doing a K-W-L chart before ever reading our reading story and starting our research. Then the races were off! I split the students into groups, giving them all different resources to use to find as much information as possible. They were to write all their important information in their discovery journals. This took about 3 days since we do not get a lot of time for science/social studies.

They had so much fun doing their research! It was hard to make them stop. Since we did not have enough books for everyone, we rotated the groups. This insured that everyone got a change with all the resources. 

After the research was complete, the students were busy little bees constructing their posters. They needed to include a pictures of volcanoes and the information that they found. Here a couple finished products...

I knew it was then time to finish our K-W-L chart. We were going to complete a science experiment to go with our research, but it has been too rainy for the past week. May be another time.

This coming week we are starting fractions!!! I'm pretty excited about this too, because we are going to be playing some great games and learn how to cross multiply. Fun, fun, fun!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

First Steps to Division

We have been working so hard on our multiplication, now it's time to move onto division. A few years ago, my co-workers found this book that allowed the kids to divide cookies along with the characters.
You always have 12 cookies, but as more and more friends come over, everyone must figure out how to divide the cookies among everyone.

After each "problem", we discussed how figured out we know how many cookies to give each person--equal groups, multiplication. Then we made those into division problems.

We related what we were doing to division problems on our assignment.

I'm so excited  that we started our volcano projects this week! They are going great. When they are all said and done, I will post pictures and what we did to complete them with our experiments. I'm hoping that it will end with my kids being able to make a post on our class blog, which we have not done in a while. Here is the link if you want to check it out!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Miraculous Journeys of Read Alouds

My day usually starts with a cup of coffee and some great breakfast in the wee hours in the morning--getting to school around 5:20 AM. There is just no way that I could get my "goods" together without getting to school at the butt crack of dawn. It's amazing the things that one is able to get done when no one else is in the building! Grading, emailing, planning, cleaning, etc got done this morning.

Being a Christian in the teaching world isn't the easiest thing simply because the field tries to demand that you never talk about God. I've got news for them--I do anyway! Finding ways to tell the gospel story is a great pleasure of mine, and I just pray that the kids pick up on it. Living in the "Bible Belt" makes it easier since most if not all the kids go to church. Therefore, when choosing read-alouds, I have my absolute favorites that are not only wonderful pieces of literature, but they spread the gospel (take that Washington!!) in a variety of ways.

This time around, I am reading The Miraculous Journery of Edward Tulane. This book teaches the kids so many life lessons with the strongest theme being the power of love of selfishness. The rabbit, Edward, is a great representation of Christ and how he "plays in ten thousand places" (there is a book by Eugene Peterson with this title that is WONDERFUL) in order to identify with "humanity". While reading the book, my heart and spirit just swells thinking about all these amazing themes and with the hope that my students are able to pick up on these in some regard. This is part of my prayers for my students. I do believe that my kids are starting to get it with the evident of their writing. Now if they will turn about and put their learning into action, I would be so excited! One step at a time, ha ha ha.

This is what I did: There is a critical part of the story (don't worry I am not going to give it away just in case you want to read it) that gives you a different view of Edward. I asked the students if they had begun to have sympathy for Edward. Of course they had to explain with details. I was pretty impressed with their answers. I figured I would get a lot of "no"s. However, I got a lot of "yes"s. They explained to me how his character had changed, how people deserve to feel safe, everyone needs a chance to become someone special. They really put a lot of themselves into this and showed how they would treat Edward. It made me feel as if these kids were really learning something important about character.

Story of the week: I know that I have already included one, but this one was just too good in my opinion to not include. I have a noise detector that looks like a traffic light and will sound off if it flashes read. Well, one of my students asked me if the police will come if it goes off. I said that I was like the police that regard. Another one of my students comes up to me and asks me if I have a secret lab under my classroom! Ha ha ha! I said..."why...yes, I do." Oh, there are so many things that I could tell my students about the "secret lab" devious am I feeling...

Anywho....The same student asked when we were going to have the rolling computer lab so they could post on the class blog. I told them that it would be a while, but I had a plan. The child proceeds to ask me if I was going to have a "sneak attack"! I mean, what in the world?!?! I just sat there laughing. What else could I do??

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Middle Year March and Liquor Stores

I know that it's the middle of the year, and it seems a little silly to start blogging about the year now. But there have been a lot of changes going in my life with starting graduate school this year and my students have started becoming more "interesting". I will be wrapping my 5th year teaching 3rd grade this year and it's the best job that I could possible as for. There are days that I come home wanting to pull out my hair, but what teacher doesn't. There are more days where I get to bond with my students and have those special moments that no one can take away.

So, I just started my 3rd round of grad school classes and it seems that these classes are going to be the toughest round yet. Once again, I will have no life, not like I have ever had one. There will be lots of late nights reading and writing papers and researching. Although these classes are going to be the most helpful. They are about cultural change for my classroom, and how to help my "low" children due to culture.

That brings me to the story of the week....I think that I really could have 10, but I will only pick one. We are doing writing and my students were asked to create a prewriting page about their ideal job with 3 reasons why. One little "lovely" decides to say that they best job in the world...the one job that he would LOVE to have about every other job is a liquor store owner! My eyes about popped out of my head. I had to do a double take to make sure that I was reading this right. I began to read his reasons why, and I could not even get past the first one. The child wanted to make mixed drinks. The child listed various liquors and juices needed. My flabbergasted self told him that he needed to pick something else, and the kid was NOT happy! I just kept shaking my head in disbelief. Well, now the job has changed to becoming the host of "The Family Feud".

Next week we are going to make volcanoes with Diet Coke and Mentos. Am I crazy?!?! I guess so. This is going to be real interesting. My students are always interested in weather and natural disasters. This just might be a plan disaster. Hopefully I will be able to post some pictures.