This is a post that I wrote for iTeach Third that I thought you might enjoy. It's time to start planning for our first days back! The very first day back from winter break is a party in my classroom! We celebrate the new year together. We are a family and it seems fitting that we celebrate together. It is also a nice way to ease back into school and set the tone for the fun quarter ahead. Here are a few ways that we celebrate.... 1. Watching the Ball Drop in Time Square Each year I have a few kids who have seen the ball drop, but most of my third graders are not allowed to stay up that late. I just find a recording of the ball drop on YouTube. We count down together! 2. Hats and Horns A New Year's party is not complete without hats and horns! I grab these at the dollar store. My kids think I have lost my mind when I tell them to make lots of noise! I highly recommend having a sign to the kids that will indicate that they must stop blowing the horns. Also,...
Time to be honest- I really don't like teaching area and perimeter. I love teaching math, but area and perimeter are not very useful skills in the whole scheme of things. None the less, my students are expected to master these skills so I have to come up with fun activities to practice the tricky skills. I think I have a winner for you!!! I cut 12 pieces of holiday wrap in a variety of sizes. I labeled each piece of wrap with a letter. Students scooted around the room with their rulers and calculated to area of each piece of wrapping paper. Students loved it and barely noticed how hard they were working! I added a challenge by including both rectangles and some irregular shapes! I also included large pieces. My students had to use the distributive property in order to solve the large multiplication equation.  My class has only covered area- not perimeter. I only had them solve for area. But you could have them solve for perimeter as well! Click on the...
I am excited to be blogging again with some talented teachers! We are blogging about our favorite books to use in the classroom in January. NOW is the time to get some of these books and activities prepped for after winter break. You will kiss yourself for being so organized! I am a social studies teacher and heart and so I spend lots of time in January teaching about Martin Luther King Jr. I love to use Martin's Big Words to teach about who MLK Jr. is- but I also LOVE to read I Have a Dream (Book & CD) . It is the actual words from his famous speech. I think it is important for my students to hear his beautiful words. The thing I love most about this book is the beautiful illustrations. They are breathtaking and they help my students to make meaning of the words. The book also comes with a CD that is fun to put in a listen to reading center. It is a recording of the speech. I don't know about you- but I just don't have ne...
I wrote this post for iTeach Third and thought you might enjoy! Now, more than ever, a student's success in math is very closely tied to their mathematical vocabulary. Having a good working math vocabulary will help students to understand directions, find key words in word problems and increase their overall scores on high stakes testing. All of that is great... but I teach math vocabulary primarily because it makes my students feel more like mathematicians. It raises their overall confidence and motivation! Teaching math vocabulary is more than just telling students what a word means and having them write the definition in a journal. Here are some tips for creating a vocabulary rich math classroom that is engaging and meaningful. 1. Constant Use with Meaning or Synonym The simplest way to teach math vocabulary is to constantly use the new words in conjunction with words that they already know. For example, I will ask my students, "What is the product or the an...