Sunday, September 28, 2014

Finding Our Groove in 3rd Grade

Well, we find ourselves about five weeks in to the year.  Our third graders (and their teacher) are starting to find our groove.  We're getting the morning routine down - lunch count, fill out agenda, begin math warm up, and remind Mrs. Thompson to send the lunch count to the cafeteria.  We're starting to really dig in to our numeration unit, did some measurement with our science tools, and are having a great time learning about the solar system.

Here are some of the highlights from the last few weeks:

We headed to the lab to practice using our measurement skills and science tools.  The students really enjoyed being real scientists and putting their problem solving skills to work.

The students are really getting into our Math Workshop rotations.  Here are some of my companions thinking thorough place value in the Hands On workstation.  They are doing an activity called Build A Number.  Students roll a 3- or 4-digit number with dice, then build the number using place value blocks.  Some of the students have moved on to comparing 3-, 4-, and even 5-digit numbers with Build a Number and Compare.

We're continuing our adventures through time and space learning about the planets in our solar system.  Last week we studied the characteristics of the Sun and created artwork with coffee filters and markers, and a spray bottle of water (our hands were orange for the rest of the day!).  

We've moved on to the terrestrial planets, creating a flipbook to keep track of our research for our Interactive Notebooks- found this one on TpT that has worked really well.

We'll be spending the next week reviewing our numeration skills for our first big test, and begin planning for our solar system projects.  Can't wait to see what my students come up with!

Have a FANTASTIC day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

First Week Adventures

Even after 15 years of teaching, the first week of school is still the most exciting and the most exhausting time of the year.  I meet these new, sweet faces with their brand new supplies.  The cubbies are ready, the books are counted, and off we go!

We started off with a graphing activity looking at how the students would be getting home.  We made a frequency chart then graphed our results together both as a pictograph (using and as a bar graph which became anchor charts in my classroom:

In our next lesson, the students surveyed their classmates about their favorite things (pets, music, books, food, etc.). They had to make a frequency chart, graph it, and create three questions for other students to answer about the graph.  I modeled questioning with our class's graph using sentence stems as a guide.  I think they turned out well, and I got to break in my Pinterest-worthy bulletin board!

For our first Fun Friday, we brought out the iPads to do some Kahoot! quizzes and practice our digital literacy skills and responsibility.  We did a quick quiz on what they've learned about me, then we did some math review on addition, subtraction, and place value.  The students really loved this activity and I plan on using it for some future assignments.

Next time, we'll be getting into some science investigations to practice using our science tools, as well as more numeracy activities.  I'm still getting to know my kids, but I think I'm going to enjoy my time with them!

Have a FANTASTIC week!