Monday, December 10, 2012

12-12-12 FREEBIE

Did you know that Wednesday is the last time in our lifetime that we will have the same number for the month, day and year as our date?  I don't want to let this day pass by without doing something special.  Click on the 12 for a quick morning work activity to do with your students.
 Have a great day!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

St. Nick Freebie and Flash Sale!

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there....

Click on St. Nick to grab my free St. Nick writing page and while you are there check out my St. Nick Flash Sale items.  All Christmas related products are on sale!! 

                                                       I am off to dream of sugarplums!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Griswold Family Christmas

Okay, so we have a 10 foot ceiling in our family room so I was thinking big on Sunday when we went to get our downstairs tree.  We bought this tree when it was all wrapped up, so we couldn't really judge how massive it really is!  This tree was one pain in the butt after another.  First, my husband went ahead and brought it in the house and placed it in the stand while I was grocery shopping with our youngest.  After Sunday dinner, we started to put Christmas ornaments on (luckily we have an obscene amount of ornaments!)  The tree began to tip as I was hanging an ornament.  So I had to stand there holding the tree up while we tried to come up with a solution to keep it from crashing down.  Seriously, is there a squirrel living in this thing!!
So here we have our beautiful tree tied up with string.  We tied the other side as well.  I filled the tree stand to the brim with water and we called it a night.
A lightbulb went off in our heads....maybe we need a different tree stand!  So my husband went out to get one after work today.  I don't even know how to describe the difficulty we went through pulling the tree out of the old stand, lights and all to get it in the new one.  Plus, the dang thing is almost to the ceiling which doesn't leave much room to maneuver!!
So, we got to put our ornaments on together for a second time tonight.  You can see my husband had to cut some of the bottom branches off to fit the tree in the taller tree stand.  Oh well, imperfections are what makes life worth living!  We still have some more ornaments to put up this weekend!
What is your family's Christmas tree tradition?  Click on the Griswolds for a Christmas Tree Writing Prompt!  Happy Tree Hunting!!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Santa Baby!

I love having my students write a letter to Santa.  It is a fun activity and something kids want to do every year.  Click on the picture to get my cute little Santa Stationary for your letters.  If you would like a little more direction, along with graphic organizers and a lesson plan you can go to my TPT store.  Just click on the link. 


                                                               Happy Saturday!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Identifying Numbers Freebie

Here's a fun little freebie for number identification.  It is based on Abby's Highlight- a- Letter Activity.  Go to this post if you want her incredible free!!
If you want my number version just click on the picture! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Math Facts Practice!

December is a very busy month in the classroom!  With so many fun and exciting things going on, sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the fact that you still need to tackle those basic skills!  Here's a fun way to make sure students are getting their math fact practice in during those busy December days!
Click on the picture to get your own copy of my Santa Target page.  You can write any number you want on Santa's beard and students can practice their multiplication facts.  Slip the page in a plastic pocket or laminate it so students can use it with dry erase markers in a center. 
This activity sheet is part of my Christmas Math Facts Activity pack which includes addition, subtraction and multiplication pages.  The pack also has cute little covers to transform your flash card packs into special Christmas flash cards! If you are interested in the entire activity pack with 70+ pages click on the link! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Learning about US SYMBOLS



Good evening, friends!  I just completed compiling my materials for a unit I did with my students last February.  Can you say BEE-hind!!  I am happy to say that this activity unit includes one of my best sellers on TPT “Let’s Make the Statue of Liberty”.  You can learn more about that craftivity by going to this post

If you want to check out the whole unit go to TPT.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kentucky Derby Day 2012

Derby Day Cover
I am a Kentucky girl and I don’t know if you have heard, but we have a little horse race going on here this weekend.  No biggie- just the most exciting two minutes in sports! 
If you have some free time this Friday, why not get into the Derby Day action!  I just made a quick little pack filled with three activities.  I am posting it to my TPT store, but my loyal followers can grab a copy for free!  Just leave a post telling me how you will be spending your Derby Saturday. Make sure you are a follower and don’t forget to give your email address.  I will send the pack to you ASAP!  All posts must be made by 8:00 PM tomorrow evening.   Click on the picture if you want to preview the pack.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Clubs- Week 2

Book Clubs have been going strong for two weeks now.  Two groups have already made it to their second chapter book.  The conversations I am "eavesdropping" on are so rich!  I am loving the insights that they are making about their books. 
Today I have a copy of my schedule/lesson plan for you to take a look at.  I hope you find it helpful if you are planning or thinking about starting book clubs in your classroom. 
Click here to take a look. 
Have a great Monday night!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Clubs- Week 1



We started book clubs this week!  I was so looking forward to doing something a little different to end the school year with my great group of thirdies.  They have become more and more independent- so instead of our guided reading groups I decided to tackle book clubs. 

Well, in short, we are LOVING it!  I redid all my groups based on our spring MAP reading data       ( we took the test last week).  I have 5 groups of 4 students each.  This seems to be the perfect number for our book discussions. 

  We have three rotations of 20 minutes each.  Each group meets 2 days a week. The other two days they are involved in centers. One rotation is dedicated to responding to the text and the other rotation is dedicated to reading the required text for their next meeting. 

So far, so good! I absolutely love the way my groups are working together.  One student is the facilitator (each will get a turn) for the meetings.  I dubbed them the team leader.  All five of them have done a fabulous job this week. 

If you want to know more about how I do my reading group rotations go to my previous post. 

I can’t wait to see what next week brings! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Post-it Freebie


We have been reviewing fact and opinion. This week in guided reading groups, I had my students look for facts and opinions in their leveled readers. They marked some examples with my fact and opinion post-it strips. Then we wrapped up our session with a share-out. Click on the above picture to get a copy of my fact & opinion post-it strips. If you have never printed your own post-its before it is simple! Follow these steps:

1. Print the document normally on your printer.

2. Lay a clean white sheet of paper over the printed document and lay a 3 by 3 post-it over each printed area.

3. Feed the paper through your printer upside down and top first (this works for most printers).

4. I have never had a jam! (knock on wood!!)

Don't forget to cut the post-its into strips!! Have fun!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012




  This week we are reading How My Family Lives in America by Susan Kuklin.  This story is part of a cultural unit in our reading series.  At one of my centers students are learning how to use chopsticks.  I have a printout that shows a diagram of how to hold the sticks and the steps in using them successfully.  Students are practicing by picking up left over candy hearts from our candy converstation activities in February.   Then they have to fill out a graphic organizer comparing and contrasting chopsticks and forks.  On the back they are writing the steps of how to use chopsticks. 

Mikayla and Gracee


You can snag your copy of the step-by-step chart by clicking on this link to Family Education.   If you would like your own copy of my graphic organizer and writing page click here.  


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book versus Movie



I love to read a good book!  It seems like more than ever great books are being made into even greater movies!  It is nice to take a break every now and then and reward your kiddos with some down time.  When we finish a great classic, I love to watch the film if time permits.  So that I don’t feel entirely guilty, I like to have something for them to do.  Here is a great little graphic organizer that I came up with.  We will be using this one on Friday when we watch Stone Fox. I can’t wait to finish the book tomorrow.  Only 3 more chapters to go! 

If you would like your own copy head on over to my TPT store for your free copy!  Enjoy!!


Monday, February 27, 2012


Last week we did a unit on US Symbols in conjunction with our Reading story: The Story of The Statue of Liberty by Betsy and Giulio Maestro. This is one of the activities we completed. The students made their own Statue of Liberty. Then they wrote one opinion and one fact about the statue.
If you are interested in having your students complete this fun activity click on the photo to go to my TPT store. It is $2.00 but will be on sale during the Leap Year Sale on Wednesday! Have a look!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Live Scoring

IMAG0752We have been practicing our constructed response questions to get ready for our upcoming spring testing session. A great way to do this in your class is with Live Scoring! We did a live scoring session when we were wrapping up our unit on Fractions. The students were placed in groups of 4. They were given a large sheet of chart paper, a question and one marker. The students then worked together to answer each part of the question. When they collectively thought they had a score of “2” (which is the best they can get)- they called me over to check their answer. If they had a “2” we celebrated and I marked their paper. If something was missing, then they were given a different colored marker so they could make corrections or add to their answer.

Why do they have to change their color? Each time the group thinks they have answered the question and you check their response, they should get a new marker color if they have corrections to make. This is an important step in live scoring because it helps the students see what they had to do in addition to their original answer to get a perfect score. All to often students give a minimal answer and think they are finished. This really shows them how close (or far away) their answer is to being perfect (or DISTINGUISHED).

Here is a group’s finished answer.


This group had to change their answer to Part C so you can see that they changed from their original color of purple to orange to make the changes. This gave them the “2” that they were looking for.

I hope you will consider doing a live scoring session in your classroom, too! I would love to hear about it!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Candy Converstations

Converstations 2

I can’t wait for Valentine’s Day! I have so many fun and engaging activities planned for my thirdies!! For Math we are going to do my Candy ConverSTATIONS. I love it because there is a little of everything included: measurement, estimation, fractions, subtraction, graphing and more! Plus the kiddos get to eat their manipulatives when they are finished. Yay!!

All you need is a bag of conversation hearts and your ready to go! I use Valentine’s Day cupcake baking cups to hold a generous amount of hearts for each child.

Click on the below picture to get your copy of my Candy Conversation Heart graph. If you want my complete set of “Converstations” go to my TPT store. It’s on sale for $2.50 until Vday!!


Love ya!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Really, really?

Okay- I just realized I am 1 away from having 200 FOLLOWERS!! I can't believe I am almost to this blogging milestone! Stay tuned as I will definitely have to find some way to say thank you!!

Thrilled to Pieces!!

We have been working with fractions for like the past 7 weeks in third grade. I have to say, I am not complaining, because this is one of my favorite topics to cover in Math. The reason being, my students are "thrilled to pieces!" right now with Math.
One of the very first things we do when tackling fractions is to create our very own "Fraction Kits". If you haven't done this with your students during your fraction instruction, not only are you missing out on having a powerful hands-on tool that they can use over and over, but you are missing on a key opportunity for some real honest- to -goodness direct instruction with fractions! Building these kits is almost as important as having them to use for future lessons.
Plus, it is a cheap way to get fractions into everyone's hands. Even if I did have plastic fraction pieces (which I don't ) I am pretty sure that they would be gathering dust on the bottom shelf of my Math bookcase.
So, do you want to tackle the task of making fraction kits with your students? I promise you will not be disappointed. Check out the directions and pics below. Let me know how it went. I love to hear from you all and I will be back with some more of my recent fraction escapades.
Playing Cover-Up with our fraction kits
Fraction Kit Directions:
You will need 6 different colors of construction paper. It is best to use the 12 x 18 paper. Cut each paper into 6 strips (12x3).
Each student will get 1 strip of each color.
1. Start with 1 color and have the students label it "1 whole".
2. Have them take the second color and fold the strip in half. Teach them the proper techniques for folding- making sure to line up the edges and make a good crease for accuracy. This will be important in future steps. Have the students label each side as 1/2. Then they will cut the strip on the crease. Discuss what it means to be "1/2" of the whole and let the students place each piece on "the whole".
3.With the third strip students will be making thirds. This can be quite tricky for them, so you will need to show them how to "eyeball" the strip as they fold it to make 3 equal parts. Students will label each section as 1/3 and then cut them apart on the creases. Let students explore covering the "halves" and "the whole". Continue the discussion about how many pieces it takes to cover each larger piece. You could begin to talk about equivalency at this point.
4. Continue with the last three strips making fourths, sixths and eigths. As students are exploring each new denominator- this is a good time to talk about the accumulation of fractions (1/3 + 1/3 +1/3 = 3/3).
5. Finally, have your students stack each group on top of the whole. Then fold the whole piece over and paper clip it to keep it secure. My students keep their kit in their Math folders so that they can easily get it out of their desks during Math instruction.
Stop back in for a look at some great games to play with your Fraction Kits.
This material has been adapted from, Marilyn Burns.
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