The week of Halloween can be very stressful in the classroom but it can also be a great week to get kids engaged in their learning. I thought I would share a peek into my lesson plans for this week. I don't do this every week because many of the activities stay the same (such as centers) because I am all about constant procedures. I often get questions about how I use my products (and those that I purchase) in the classroom. I hope this peek at my week will give you an idea or two! Math: We use the Eureka curriculum and will be completing Module 3, Lessons 5, 7, 8 & 9 this week. These lessons focus on strategies  students can use to solve some of the tougher facts. We will continue to explore the commutative and distributive properties.  Guided Math Groups & Centers: In my guided math groups, we will be doing some activities from my Multiplication Interactive Notebook . I am especially looking forward to the distributive property activity. During their ...
When we were in school, we were taught to memorize algorithms, rhymes and math facts. For some people, this worked. But for most- they hated math, thought they weren't good at math, didn't understand numbers and/or forgot the rhythms and algorithms. Math education looks so different now is most classrooms. Teachers are showing kids WHY and giving them multiple strategies that focus on place value. Students are being taught to make models, or simple drawings, to show or prove their work. These drawings don't always come naturally and often require lots of concrete practice with manipulatives. But the times is well spent. Students remember what to do and, more importantly, why they are doing it.  One of the biggest skills taught in the 3rd grade is multiplication. I love teaching it using all kinds of manipulatives and models. Here are five models that I teach my 3rd graders. This is probably the most basic multiplication model. It really helps to reenforce th...
Red Ribbon week is just around the corner! With Halloween on my mind, sometimes I feel like Red Ribbon Week sneaks up on me!  In my classroom, we will be celebrating in three different ways. Classroom Door Decorating Contest: Each classroom is asked to decorate the front of their door in celebration of Red Ribbon Week. Judges will go around and choose overall winners and winners for each grade level. It is fun to see the creative ideas that teachers have! This was my door last year. Spirit Week: Every day students are a asked to show their Red Ribbon Week pride with a different theme. Students always love to dress up! You can grab my flier for free by clicking on the image. Brag Tags: After making their drug free pledge, my students will be given a Drug Free brag tag. We usually only wear our brag tags on Friday, but I want them to see just how  important Red Ribbon Week is, so I will allow them to wear the tags all week. The tags will be a sign of their co...
Every year I am shocked by my students' underdeveloped vocabulary. They struggle with reading comprehension because of their limited understanding of words. Their writing can be very drab because of their limited word choice. And when it comes time for standardized testing- they often struggle with even understanding what is being asked of them because of the tier two words that can be found in the questions. I have always known that I needed to make my vocabulary instruction more meaningful, but I struggled with how to teach it and when to squeeze it into an already packed schedule. Early in my teaching, I would assign the five words  from the weekly anthology story. I would tell them what they meant on Monday and then give them a multiple choice test on Friday. The kids passed the tests, but never truly learned the words. Also, the words from the basal rarely ever appeared in other literature that we were reading. It was terrible, but it was the only resource that the curric...
I am always looking for ways to get my students engaged and excited. As the quarter was coming to an end, I wanted a fun way to celebrate my students' writing. That was the beginning of Camp Share-a-Story. I have done camping as an end of the year activity. But why not during the year?! My son made and painted this sign for me. Pretty awesome, right?! My husband made several of these little "fires." They are just battery operated lights and foil. The kids loved them. I also created the camp atmosphere with a you tube camp fire video. You could hear the crackling an the bugs in the background. I displayed the image on my smart board. Amazing! I completed the feel with sleeping bags and lanterns on the floor. Throughout the day students shared their favorite story that they wrote during the quarter. I offered a brag tag for any student who shared. Every student shared! You can grab this brag tag for FREE by clicking on the picture below. ...