Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: March 2013

Sticky Note Animal Reports

I am very excited to start an Ocean unit in my classroom! I have so many fun ideas that I think the kids will have to stay in school for 1/2 the summer so we can finish!

Next week my students will be working on ocean animal reports. (The Common Core really emphasizes informational reading and writing so this a perfect activity!) I chose 6 animals that I wants my class to learn about (Stingrays, Dolphins, Humpback Whales, Sea Turtles, Lobsters and Octopuses). I put the animal names on the board and then used random Popsicle stick drawing to choose kids to pick the ocean animal they wanted to research. I only allowed 4 students per animal so that we would get some variety. They were so excited! I gave them some books to read together in groups.

Next week we will start taking notes and writing our reports. There are lots of great report writing lessons out there,  but I didn't see one that was EXACTLY what I wanted. So I made my own!
Am I alone or do all students just LOVE using sticky notes?! In this lesson students will research an animal, take notes using sticky notes, write a report from an animal's point of view, illustrate, reflect on their writing and critique a partner's report. You can also have your students create a Table of Contents and Sources page if you choose. They will love the process while learning about animals, point of view, and report writing! Plus it will work for any kind of animal report! It doesn't just have to be ocean animals!  I just can't wait to get started! You can purchase my lesson HERE.

Thanks for making my Easter Egg Hunt review such a success! I hope you and your family enjoy your Easter holiday!

Area & Perimeter Robots

Why do kids struggle so much with area and perimeter?! Even my own son is challenged by this. I knew I needed a fun activity to help kiddos practice. Plus, I had these CUTE robot graphics that were just screaming to be used!



In THIS fun activity, your students will create a robot with arms, legs, a body and a head that have specified area or perimeter. It will make a cute bulletin board display in your classroom and is a FUN way to enrich and practice area and perimeter! It could even be used as an assessment.

The lesson includes:
Teacher Instructions
Student Instructions
Area & Perimeter Posters
8 different area & perimeter robot challenge cards (It is ok to give multiple students the same card since they will still end up with different creations!)

I just can't wait to do this with my son AND my class! (Being a 3rd grader with a mom who teaches 3rd grade is a real pain blessing.)

Please check it out in my TpT store.

This is my last night of Spring Break. I have mixed feelings. I am looking forward to seeing my kiddos and hearing about all their Spring Break adventures. I am also excited to roll out my baseball test prep activities (which the whole school will be doing since they liked my idea!). But I hate strongly dislike the sound of my alarm at 5:00! I am the kind of girl who needs to take her time in the morning! But we are only 9 weeks away from summer break and I have tons of great plans for this quarter! Bring it!

Easter Egg Hunt!

I finished the last of my Easter activities! I woke up one morning with thinking, "My class NEEDS to have an egg hunt!" I love to celebrate holidays with the kiddos but I always find ways to make it educational. And I think this is an activity that is so fun that the kids won't even notice that they are doing work! It is perfect for standardized test prep too!

Here is how it works:
You print out the math and grammar questions (which cover everything from subtraction and rounding to adjectives and plural nouns) and put them in plastic eggs. I also have included a response sheet that you can copy for each student. When it is time to play, the students must HOP around the classroom until they find an egg. Then they bring it back to their desk and answer the question inside. When they are finished, they HOP back and put the egg where they found it. Then they begin looking for another egg. When time is up- you have them trade papers and go over the answers together. The person with the most correct answers is the winner! I plan to give my winner a No Homework Pass and a chocolate bunny! I am really looking forward to watching them hop around the classroom!

Dowload this game for FREE from my TpT shop!

Don't forget to check out my Easter Fraction games and my Easter Literacy Centers!


EGG-ceptional Literacy Centers!

My students do literacy centers during one of our reading rotations each day. I think they are perfect for reviewing concepts we have already learned. And I jump at any opportunity to make them holiday themed! THESE are the centers my students will be doing next week when we come back from Spring Break. They are sure to get us in the mood for Spring and Easter!
Included in this bundle is 4 different literacy centers with teacher instructions, recording sheets and labels for the bag or box you keep them in. The centers are:
  • Parts of Speech Sort
  • Syllable Sort
  • Fact & Opinion Sort
  • Plural Noun Coloring Sheet
I am especially fond of the plural noun sheet!
I put a couple similar activities in my Easter Fraction set that I shared with you yesterday! My kids may be in the 3rd grade- but they still LOVE to color! Check out both kits in my TpT store!

I am currently working on a math problem solving egg hunt! Stay tuned!

EGG-cellent Fractions!!!

I am back from my cruise (which I won from my school!) and feeling refreshed! I couldn't wait to get back to creating and I nearly fell over when I looked at the calendar and realized that Easter is only 2 weeks away! I just can't bring myself to skip a single holiday in my classroom! So I got my butt in gear!

I made THIS big bundle of Easter fraction themed activities and games! I just LOVE the cute clip art!




The games and activities cover comparing fractions, ordering fractions, equivalent fractions and a fraction of a set. (Common Core Standards 3.NF.1 and 3 NF.3)

The bundle includes:
-A fraction ordering activity and recording sheet
-Comparing fractions word problems
-Fraction War
-Equivalent Fraction Go Fish
-Equivalent Fraction Memory
-Fraction challenge problems
-Answer Keys
-Teacher Directions
-Student Directions

Please check it out in my TpT store!

I am off to enjoy some R&R with the hubby and the kids out by the pool! Gosh I LOVE Spring Break!

Fielder's Choice! Fact or Opinion?

I am technically on Spring Break but all I can think about is school! Ahhh...the life of a a teacher!

I am still working on baseball themed goodies. I NEED to stop! I am never going to have enough time to do all these cute activities with my kiddos! But once I get an idea in my head, I just can't let it go! So today I made THIS fun Fact or Opinion? kit.


The kit includes fact and opinion posters, a sort with a recording sheet and answer sheet and a game! I know that my kids will especially love the game! I love to throw games into my literacy centers!

I think I am going to go clip art shopping and maybe that will help inspire me to move onto another theme! Anyone have a theme they are hoping to see?

Dictionary Dig FREEBIE

The baseball theme continues...but today I have a FREEBIE for you!

My kids really need more practice with their dictionary skills. So I made THIS fun baseball themed dictionary dig! The kids will be working with multiple meaning words, guide words and parts of speech!
There are 8 different words that the kids will look up. And the baseball theme just makes it more fun! Plus, it's FREE! Just click HERE and download it! Please leave me some feedback!

The kiddos have a half day tomorrow and then we are off for a 2 week Spring Break! Yay! And my hubby and I are off on a cruise that we won from the school! How awesome is that?!

Play Ball Division!

I am so stuck on the baseball theme! I hope you aren't getting sick of it..because I am not done yet! If you are new to my blog, I am preparing for a baseball themed standardized test prep after spring break. Please check out my last several blog posts for more games and ideas!

Today I want to share my Play Ball Division game with you! I love finding ways to make fact practice more fun for the kids. In this game they answer division facts and the quotient determines how many bases they get to move. Every time they pass by home plate- they get to add a point to the scoreboard.
You can purchase it HERE through my TpT store. Thanks so much for helping to make my TpT store such a success right from the start! I have been amazed!

St. Patrick's Day Plans

My kiddos will be on Spring Break on St. Patrick's Day. It kind of bums me out. But that just means we have to celebrate this Friday! I thought that I would share my plans in case you haven't planned anything yet!

First, my kiddos will be learning about the legend of the holidays, leprechauns, Ireland and rainbows with THESE great free reading passages with comprehension questions. I LOVE them because the questions hit on so many of our reading standards!

On Friday, my kids will be reviewing their adjectives when we make THESE cute adjective rainbow acrostic poems!
St. Patrick's Day - rainbow adjective acrostic poems
After reading about rainbows, I just know the kids will love making these!

Then we will practice our fraction ordering and comparing with THIS fun pack that I have in my TpT store.

And then for our writing on Friday we are going to be writing about someone who means more to us than gold with THIS cute craftivity! I LOVE it!
Worth More Than Gold {A Writing Craftivity}
And then as I say goodbye to them and send them off for their 2 week Spring Break, I am going to hand them some Lucky Charms with THIS cute tag on them.
St. Patty's Day: I'm so lucky to be your teacher
I am excited! I love a holiday!

Fielding Fractions!

As Spring gets nearer- so does standardized testing! YIKES! I must remind myself to stay calm! As I blogged about earlier, I am reviewing with a fun baseball theme! I already made THIS review game for multiple math standards. However, I have noticed that my kids are really challenged with ordering and comparing fractions. And fractions are a pretty big deal in the 3rd grade Common Core standards. So we need practice!

And that is why I made THIS baseball themed fraction activity and game pack!


In the pack you will find an activity for ordering fractions, a sheet of fraction comparing word problems, a fraction war game, answer sheets, teacher and student directions! Plus, it's baseball themed! And that just makes it so much more FUN! So head over to my TpT store and check it out!