August 31, 2015

Animals of the Amazon Assembly

One of our favorite assemblies of the year is when Mr. Bob comes with his
animals from all over the world.
I loved our set up this year because I think the kids were able to get closer to the animals.
Our kids were ready for the action!

The first animals from the Amazon lives in this terrarium Mr. Bob is holding.
Inside the terrarium were poison arrow frogs.
These would kill anyone who touched them.
I don't think you can actually see them - even with my super zoom lens!

Mr. Bob always talks to the kids about great science vocabulary words.
He had a great conversation about warm and cold-blooded animals before he brought out
the next animal.

It was a green iguana that has a third eye and is a herbivore.
He also explained what exotic was.

Mrs. Murphy was getting a little too close the iguana for her liking.

Mr. Bob also talked about what the word "invasive" meant in regards to animals.

When this next animal was brought out, Mrs. Murphy and I took off to the
opposite side of the gym from him.
It is a red tailed boa constrictor.
This animal has no eyelids or ears.

Mrs. Kim and Ms. Melodie actually got close enough to touch it.
I had to use my SUPER lens to catch ALL of these shots!

Even Ms. Lisa got closer than I did!

The next animals was the green Amazon Parrot.
This animal put on a show!
It talked, laughed, tried to fly, and carried on for the rest of the show!

Mrs. Becky's favorite was this little guy -
a white nosed coatimundi.
This animal is part of the raccoon family and is an omnivore.
It is just a baby and was just precious!

Mrs. Kim enjoyed feeding it.

The parrot was NOT happy that everyone was paying the coatimundi attention
instead of him.
This was literally the look we got!

This little guy was busy, busy, busy.
It was hard to get good pics of him!

I finally put my camera down when this little one paid me a visit.
It was just adorable and I was ready to take him home with me!
Thanks for the pic, Mrs. Shelby!

STUDENTS:  What do you remember from the assembly?  Which animal was your favorite?  Why?

August 30, 2015

August Super Hero Assembly

These kids worked SUPER hard to get ready for the first
of the year!

Their teachers thought they did a
WONDERful job!

The whole third grade teaching time was just
at how the entire third grade taught the rest of the school about the 
7 Habits of Happy Kids.

Mrs. Kim, our SUPER principal, started us off by introducing what we would be doing.

Mrs. Belinda, from Third Grade to the Edge, was our fearless leader.

We taught the school the motions to help them remember the 7 Habits of Happy Kids.

Different students took parts in briefly explaining each of the 7 Habits.

We sang songs that told everyone
We Feel Great!

We sang how we would
All Work Together

We also told everyone how we know we are 
Super Kids!

Your teachers are SO proud of you!
You are going to be
leaders this year!

STUDENTS:  What did you learn from being part of the assembly?  What was your favorite part?  Why?

August 22, 2015

Back to School Bash: Open House

First of all, I am so sorry this is late.
It has been a week!
I can't believe that this is my last post for our Back to School Bash.

This week is focused on:

Our Open House/Parent Night is the night of the first day of school.
Our kids come for a half day.
Teachers stay for the afternoon.
Parents come at night.

It makes for a long day, but, to be honest, it is nice to have our parent night the first night of school.
The parents are able to know from the get go what will be going on and what is expected
for the year.

We don't have time to do a lot of cutsy things with the kids because we only had them for a few hours.
However, one of the things we do on the first day of school is a self-portrait.
Then, we hang them up in the hall with the kids' names hidden.
When the parents come that night, they try to guess which one is their child.
I forgot to take pictures of mine, so this is my partner teacher's portraits.

This is one of the favorite things we do at the beginning of the year.
It is simple and personal.

On this night, we always serve cookies and water for the parents to enjoy as we meet.
We also usually have a giveaway for the parents that have come.
This year, someone had donated books, and we gave those away.

I wish I had more to say on this, but, to be honest, I am glad we keep it simple
and straightforward.

What do you do?
Please link up with us so we can see the great things you do in your room!

August 17, 2015

American Symbols Opinion Writing

Our testing this year is 100% different.
In February, we are going to be taking 3 tests in reading, math and social studies
on the computer.  The reading and social studies test will be a writing prompt that the students will type on the computer.
In our training from Cathy, we have been told that our social studies test will mainly be centered around primary sources and the writing will more than likely be opinion writing.
Our writing team decided we needed to see what our students knew and what they could do.
In second grade, they studied in depth the American symbols.
So, we created this packet.
This packet includes the following:
1 color clip art collage
1 black and white clip art collage
1 opinion essay rubric
1 writing scoring sheet
1 color writing page
1 black and white writing page

We had the students look at this collage and answer the prompt below it.
We gave them 15 minutes to write everything they could.
We graded it according to the rubric.
Now, we have something to talk to them about that deals with their writing and where they are right now.
We also have their first writing for their writing folders.

We used this as a prewriting assessment to see where they were and where we needed to take them.
However, this would be an easy way to also assess if they understood the symbols you had talked about in your class. 
You can get it in my TPT store here.

August 12, 2015

Back to School Bash: First Days of School Plans

I can't believe we are on our third week of the Back to School Bash!!
It has been a great way to see what others are doing in their classrooms for sure!
We had our winner of the TPT products drawn last week and she has been contacted, but the giveaway is not done yet! 
Keep scrolling to find out the new giveaway you can enter for the next 2 weeks!

This week we are talking about:

I usually was not a fan of planning the first day and week of school.
I dreaded it to be 100% honest with you.
However, a few years ago, our school decided to do 2 weeks of character education before we started anything else.  That was awesome!
It really made the difference in how I looked at and treated the first 2 weeks of school.
For 2 years we used the book The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon.
There is a book for adults and a book for kids.
This year we are using the book The Leader in Me and the 7 Habits.
With my kids being third graders, I have been able to keep the language of The Energy Bus even though we are moving on to something else.  It has really helped.

My pictures from the first day of school must be on my big camera, so I will add those later - Sorry.
However, this is what we do since our first day of school is only a half day of school.
When the kids arrive, they see their desk looking somewhat like this.

A Superhero rubber duck from me, a bag of Lucky Charms from my partner teacher, their folder for the year, a name tag, a packet of information for the parents to take home and fill out, as well as a Welcome to Third Grade note from me.  This note welcomes them to third grade and walks them through what I need them to do this morning while I meet the other parents and children.  It has worked very well.
This is an example of my note:
From there, we have DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time.
The first week I read to them.  This year, I chose to read Third Grade Angels and The Lemonade War to my class.  We finished The Third Grade Angels pretty quickly and I liked the message in the book.  The kids really liked it.  I tend to read our read aloud books MUCH faster than the other teachers on my team, so we started Lemonade Wars after they did.

After DEAR time, we spent the first of MANY moments learning procedures.
I spend many planned moments as well as spontaneous moments teaching, modeling and practicing procedures.  If these are not learned in the first week or two of school, you are in for a rough year.

The next item on our first day of school plans involved each third grade class visiting the other third grade classrooms.  We really embrace the idea that EACH third grade child is OUR child.  Our children are not just the ones in our homeroom each day.  We want all of the third graders to know the other teachers because they will have most of them as teachers at some point during the year due to our schedules.  In this 5 minute visit, we do "All About Me" bags.  The teachers each place 3-5 items that tell about them in the bag, so the kids can learn about them.  

What's in my bag?
- chocolate
- Harry Potter book
- Burts Bees chap stick
- picture of my family
-items that show my favorite sports teams - The Braves and Alabama football

We end with our own class because that is when we give them THEIR All About Me bags.
This is their homework for the night. They can fill the bag with all things about them and can decorate the bag to represent themselves.  

The last part of the day as we wait for closing announcements and calls for buses is spent making self-portraits. I will talk more about these in the next linky party next week.

That is the end of Day 1.

The next few days are spent continuing to read our read aloud books.
A favorite is also the sharing of the "All About Me" bags.  We usually choose 3-4 to share a day.
I love this because it gives me a chance to introduce speaking and listening skills from the very first day.  We also are able to talk about what are good questions to ask.
The kids LOVE this part of the day.

I always write each child a note telling them how much I enjoyed their bag and mention
something special about their bag.  They love getting these notes from me.

I mentioned how we spend the first 2 weeks teaching character education.
Third grade is the highest grade in our school and we are in charge of the first SOAR or SUPERHERO assembly of the year.
To help with all of this, we decided to have a Leadership Camp for the first 2 weeks.
We spend about 30-45 minutes each day talking to the third grade as a whole about what is expected of them.  We also work on songs we are going to sing for the assembly at the end of the second week of school.
We put each class in their school shirt for this part so we can tell the difference.
We also have name tags on each child for at least the first week of school.

After our singing part of Leadership Camp, each teacher takes a lesson to teach to each homeroom.
Our topics are:
What is a Superhero?
A Hero in Math Class
A Hero in Specials
A Hero in Reading Class
A Hero's Behavior
A Hero's Goals

My lesson was A Hero in Reading since I am the reading teacher leader for the school.
I plan on blogging about that lesson soon.

I feel like it is very important the first weeks of school to be real with the kids and to just sit back getting to know them.  This class of mine this year LOVES to color - anything. We enjoyed sitting around the desks coloring and talking with each other.

One procedure we are harping BIG time this year is hallway behavior. 
Due to our schedules, our classes will be walking in the hallway A LOT by themselves - without teacher supervision.  Each third grade teacher made a sign with the class name on the front.
On the back is the afternoon schedule so they will know where to go.
I have been emphasizing this procedure with the Brownie Point system.
I tweaked it to fit us a little bit.
Each time the class gets a compliment from another adult, they get to add a brownie to the cookie pan.  Additionally, the first 2 weeks of school we have a "Mystery Walker" every time we leave the room to go somewhere.  If the "Mystery Walker" does the right thing, a brownie is added to the pan.
When the pan is full of brownies, the class earns a brownie party!
I am proud to say, we earned a brownie party the first week of school!
Just look at that great line!

Another part of Leadership Camp is learning our Common Language of third grade.
Each teacher will teach a part of our common language:
whole brain teaching
12 Powerful Words
Line Up Chants
Attention Getters

Here is a group of my kiddos learning the 12 Powerful Words by Larry Bell.
We LOVE it!!!

The first weeks of school - 
EXHAUSTING, but oh so important!
What do you do?
Please link up with us to show your plans.

An InLinkz Link-up

On top of this, we are having ANOTHER giveaway!!!!

That's right!! You could win ONE of TWO $50 gift certificates to TPT!
Be sure to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway