Thursday, April 26, 2012

Daily 5 Series: Read With A Teacher Resources

  1. Read to Self
  2. Read with Someone
  3. Word Work
  4. Listen to Reading
  5. Read with a Teacher/Teacher Time
What resources do you use during Read with a Teacher/Teacher Time?

I love meeting with my groups during Read with a Teacher! I typically have 5-6 kids in a group and it's wonderful reading through a chapter book with them and experiencing the story through their eyes.

We just finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and even though I have read it hundreds of times, I still love reading it during Teacher Time because it never ceases to be exciting and wondrous for my third graders :)

I love using chapter books for this time, so because of that, my resources have to be flexible to adapt to the variety of books, genres, and levels we read throughout the course of the school year.

EdHelper's Literature Units
 
One great resources I have just discovered is EdHelper's Literature Units. Elizabeth from Fun in Room 4B first blogged about this and I immediately had to know more! It's a members-only option, but for only abour $20 a year, it's well worth it for me because they have questions, vocabulary, quizzes, and activity on HUNDREDS of books! The time it saves me is HUGE!

I organize them inside of a blue folder (blue=reading in my organizational system):
I do not use them with the kids as worksheets, I rather will use them for discussion questions, partnership activity focus questions and sometimes as a formative assessment along the way to check for comprehension.

We use Accelerated Reader for end-of-book comprehension quizzes, but I like how these units allow me to check in along the way to make sure their AR quiz will be as successful as possible.

Prompt Cards & Cubes
I love these {free!} Guided Reading Prompt Cards (thank you Shelley Gray!):

These cards have been super-helpful because they are so quick and easy. I sorted through them and don't use every one, but most of them are fitting. I just printed them and laminated them so they can stand up to lots of use. I keep them in a bucket and kids use them as a focus question as they read or an Exit Slip question before they leave group. They are very general, so it's a nice break and super easy to use, even for short stories or nonfiction articles.

I bought several different sets of these cubes from Really Good Stuff. I love these the most because they are a bit more complex than the card and one even focuses on vocabulary, prefixes/suffixes, and finding meaning through context clues- yay! Kids love to roll them and then focus on finding the answer to the cube as we read together.

As you can see, none of these are too complicated or heavy on the prep time. The choices serve the wide variety of abilities in my room as well as all of the books we read as a group. I really like how this has turned out and it's been fun to see kids grab a card and/or cube and have a specific goal to attain in our Read with a Teacher time. It has also made teaching a chapter book more enjoyable for me since the questions and vocab are all ready to go, so I am not having to tear my hair out the night before a new book thinking of them myself!

Do you use any of these resources or others during Teacher Time? I'd love to hear about it :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pinterest Project: Ruler Holder

I saw this project on Pinterest and I knew I had to make it for my class:


One thing I did change was that I used fabric instead of scrapbook paper. I only had Mod Podge and it works way better on fabric than paper- plus, now my rulers match the mini-curtains in my room!

Here are my supplies:
  • Pringles can
  • Mod Podge (I like the glossy finish type)
  • Sponge brush
  • Enough fabric to wrap around the can (I used a scrap I had- you don't need much!)

I began by passing off the Pringles to my husband and cleaning out the inside.
I then covered the entire can with Mod Podge:

I spread the fabric all of the way around and made sure it was lined up with the top. I cut off the excess on the bottom and put on lots of Mod Podge along the seam. After that, I began covering the can and fabric with lots of Mod Podge, letting it dry in between layers:

After a bit, it was dry and ready to go. I put the rulers inside this morning and it looks fantastic, if I do say so myself ;)

The finished product:


Thanks, Pinterest, for another great project :)

I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics: Monday Made It Linky Party!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Exit Slips & Freebie

One thing I like to do to check for understanding and see where we need to go next as a class is use Exit Slips.
There are SO many ways to use these! I love the flexibility and the quick opportunity to take a snapshot of your students' learning. I also like how their questions guide future lessons and help me reinforce concepts or introduce new concepts based upon what they're wondering.

Here's how I use them:

At the end of a lesson, I will have them show (using words, pictures and/or numbers, especially in math) one thing they learned. I typically do not have a class example, they will need to tell/show me what they learned all on their own.

Under that, I have them write one thing they want to know/still wonder about/want to learn/etc. This can be related to the lesson or it could be a tangent that was sparked during our class discussion.

Before they can transition to the next activity, I have them turn these in to me as their ticket out.

I always remind them that they will not be graded on this, it is just the opportunity to help "take the temperature" of our class- did we learn the important concepts or just skim the surface? What do we want to learn next? What did we think was the most important part? etc.

I also like to encourage them to write something in both sections- this takes a while to develop, but kids do write sentences in both after a few tries.

Here are a few examples after a lesson we recently completed after skimming Daily Life in a Covered Wagon to start our Pioneers Unit:

While I do not do these after every lesson, I do like to incorporate them here and there, especially if we are introducing some pretty complex concepts. Plus, I find it keeps kids more accountable to their own learning.

Do you use Exit Slips in your class? If you like my slip, feel free to download it here from Google Docs!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Using Student Photos to Teach Conventions

I love love love my fellow teacher friends- they help me become a better teacher on a daily basis :)

One of my besties teaches 2nd grade at my school and I was chatting with her after school the other day- about nothing school-related, I'm sure ;)- and saw the CUTEST idea on her language study anchor chart:
 

Isn't this amazing! She doesn't blog, so I am sharing it with the blogosphere on her behalf :)

Love this idea- she takes pics of the kids the first week of school and prints out several copies of each (using either a printer or the super-cheap photo deals that come around for pennies per print), and viola!

She said that each rule becomes that child's rule and they never ever forget it!

PS- We use Daily Language Instruction at our school to teach proofreading and conventions and really like it!

I saw another super-cute picture idea floating around Pinterest:

Do you use photos in creative ways in your classroom? I would love to have some new ideas to add to my stockpile for next year :)

Fun Find: Divided Trays

While at Walmart with my daughter this weekend, I came across a great find: divided trays!
Not only is the color my favorite, I have a ton of ideas for these little guys :)

First off was the Pin that inspired the purchase:


I found mine for just $1 and it looks smaller and is stackable, so it's perfect for class and storing without taking up too much room.

I also thought of several other uses:
  • In math, a space to roll dice so they stay in one spot and not all over the table and floor
  • In math, it can hold number cards they are discarding (my kids always have a hard time keeping them separate)
  • In Daily 5, it can hold the iPods to make a mini-listening center (while keeping them safe!)
  • It can hold any craft supplies for projects we are working on
  • and more!
Check out your local Walmart in the Summer eatery section to see these in LOTS of fun colors!

Happy Monday :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

iPads in the Classroom

Does anyone use an iPad in your classroom?

I have a loverly iPad 2 that I hold near and dear to my heart, but I need to start taking the leap into some of the cool teacher-features it offers.
I love you iPad & pretty purple case <3
I have tried out some freebies here and there, but it seems like the truly useful apps are not free (figures), so I am needing to take the financial plunge and purchase some good apps for class.

I have a Pinterest board specifically dedicated to iPads & Technology, and I have included some of my favorite pins below:

1. The Teacher's iPad Spectrum- I love how this organizes and describes apps by degree of difficulty. Some of the apps are very common and free, but the ideas provided for use in the classroom makes this chart extra-helpful


2. 1,000 Education Apps Organized by Subject & Price- What's not to love about this list? It's run by the Texas Computer Education Association and comes as a HUGE Google Doc, so there's something for everyone. Plus, they regularly update and list a vast amount of free apps :)


3. 103 Interesting Ways to Use an iPad in the Classroom- this Google slideshow takes you through a variety of apps, from well-known to new, from free to expensive, and gives a tiny summary of how you could incorporate it into your day as a teacher. Very handy and a good reference for the wide range of needs we have as teachers throughout the day!


Ok, so clearly I have a long list of apps from which to choose.

Any recommendations? What iPad app(s) do you use and love for your classroom?

Thanks for your advice :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Guest Blogging @ Think, Wonder & Teach: Smile File!

I am so excited to be guest blogging over on Think, Wonder & Teach today!

I am offering a description and freebie in my TpT Store about a fun end-of-year activity~ The Smile File!
Thanks for having me, Misty!
Freebie Fridays

Have a great weekend, everyone :)
3rd Grade Thoughts - Widget
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