Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We SURVIVED and a Pinterest Pinning Party!

     You know that day, the day on which you KNOW you are actually teaching the grade you teach?  When I taught first grade, the first day, no make that month, I had that realization that those kiddos I had trained all year were gone and I had a new crop of kiddos that seemed SO young!  
     Well this year, my first year in third grade, the first day of school was the easiest first day I had ever had!  The kids were so much more independent and mature. They knew basic "school" vocabulary.  It made the beginning of the year a lot easier.  BUT...TODAY was my day in third grade where I KNEW I was a third grade teacher.  
     My kiddos took part in Ohio's standardized testing called the Fall OAA.  It was the first official standardized test I had to administer and I could just sense their nervousness. I tried pumping them up yesterday and reminding them that this was more to tell us what to continue to work on this year, than a summative assessment, but it was still stressful for them!  I will keep hoping for the best! 
Anyway...WE SURVIVED the day!

     Also, I joined in the fun with the Pinterest Pinning Party over at 123 Teach With Me! It is a linky where you can share some of the products you are creating and selling on TpT. I have not created anything since this summer because I have been too busy, but I did post a few items that I created for the beginning of the year.  Check out the linky because you can find some amazing products!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday...I Have Missed You!


      Anyone else ready for Friday?!  Oh my, the kids were wild Wednesday and Thursday this week!  It felt like a LONG week, but I can say that it was a successful week. I am linking up again with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Here are a few highlights from my week. 

1. I Started my week out with a few hours at the beach/lake.  What an amazing way to start a week!  It was beautiful last weekend and I needed this time to relax.  I don't know about you, but I have not had much time for that this year.  It was needed! Also, knowing the warmth won't last too much longer, I wanted to get out and enjoy it while I could!

2. Trying to get back on the running/working out track.  Still not back to normal or even close, but one day after school I went to run/walk and climb some stairs.  It was a BEAUTIFUL afternoon!  I know these are not school related, but they made my week go so much smoother!

3. We are working on a life cycle, adaptation, offspring unit for science.  One of the teachers on my team has a friend, who just happens to work with PetsMart as an community educator.  He came to our classrooms today and talked to the kiddos for a little over an hour!  They LOVED it!  He brought a tarantula, snake (python maybe?), a ferret, a tortoise (not a turtle as I put above!), furs, skins, skulls, and a bearded dragon.  The presenter was SO understanding and worked great with the kids.  We had two classes together at a time and I was amazed at how well it went.  What better way to learn about animals then actually having animals in the classroom! Plus...it was FREE!!

4. So we had this presentation because we are in the first week of a four week integrated unit.  Do you use integrated units to teach content and ELA?  We started this week with a nonfiction reading/writing unit that we integrated with our science unit on life cycles  adaptations, and offspring.  So far, we have focused on the nonfiction text structures that allow students to better understand text: description, sequence, comparing/contrasting, cause/effect, and problem/solution.  There was a TON of work that had to be done to get started, but since we have begun, planning is much easier.  Everything just seems to flow!  We flex group for reading and I have our struggling readers.  I am loving working with them and I can see what an impact the integrated unit is having on their ability to continually practice the skills being taught.  I am really enjoying our first unit!

5. Fortune Tellers/Cutie Catchers!  For our unit, we are using the model of I do, We do, You do for each text structure.  I model how to use the text structure, we do one together, and then the students complete a graphic organizer for that text structure, using their own nonfiction animal text.  The last few days we were focusing on sequencing.  We had the kiddos make fortune tellers as a way to model following directions and using sequential order to complete a task.  They had SOOOO much fun!  

Happy Friday!
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