February 22, 2013

Remember that time?

When I didn't blog for basically a month?
Yeah, me too.
Sorry about that.
 It's just that, well, there's been a lot going on. For starters, this happened:
I really don't want to talk about it.
It hasn't been fun and it happened three weeks ago - the darn thing still hurts like crazy. I walked around with it broken for five days before I went to the doctor. Not my best moment, ha. The good news is that the cast comes off a week from today. The other good news is that the kids in my class are finally learning how to read my "new" handwriting :) The kids were honestly pretty impressed by the whole thing. The first day I walked in with a cast they all wanted to sign it. I, of course, let them because I was thinking ahead. I purposefully chose purple because I figured the kids would sign it and it wouldn't show up. Don't judge me. So, as they were signing, they all kept saying "Why did you pick purple? You should have picked a lighter color!" Darn it, why didn't I think of that :)

Then, this little angel puppy

did this to my carpet:
and I cried. Little punk :)
Another reason my blogging life has ceased to exist is that my world revolves around a third grade classroom. We've been knee-deep in test prep and projects and data and all that good stuff. I haven't even thought about blogging, to be honest. But, we had Junior Achievement all day so I had a little time on my hands today and I decided to snap a few pictures of what's been going on.
My kiddos worked really hard on writing animal reports. They researched all the information themselves and sorted the facts they found on index cards. Then, we organized the cards into paragraphs based on topic. I was really proud of how hard they worked and how into it they were!
Look at that big kid writing!
We've also spent a lot of time working on prefixes and suffixes. I made a bulletin board (based on an idea I saw on Pinterest) and the kids have really used it a lot. We've also been working on this skill during our grade level intervention.
Last week, we worked on using non-fiction text features. The kids were so into it! I decided at the spur of the moment on Friday to let them research any topic they wanted to and make an informational poster about it using the text features we talked about.
These boys chose tornadoes!
I love this one! They did such a god job.
This week, we've been tackling poetry.
We've really, really been working on reading long text. So, poetry has been just another avenue for us to break up text and explore it. I've been explicitly teaching comprehension strategies lately and I'm finally seeing my kids actively use them to understand what they're reading. It's so exciting!

We used this poster this week to help us with poetry. We've also talked about visualizing, schema, making connections and asking questions. As we talk about each one, I add a poster to our back wall for the kids to refer to.
In guided reading, we've been using the 3-Read strategy to further work on tackling long text. I think it's really been helpful for my kids. As we learn new comprehension strategies, we add them to our third read.
In math, we've been working on the properties of addition and multiplication. The commutative property and associative property are not too hard for them. They know how to recognize it and they know how to solve them. These posters have helped them a lot!
But, the distributive property? I'm sorry to tell you that it really confuses me. Ha! The first two times I tried to show it to my kids, I messed up. Whoops! Whatever, it was a teachable moment (everyone make mistakes, blah blah...). But, I somehow got it together and figured it out and discovered that my kids really enjoy it. Who knew! They literally begged me to practice the distributive property today!
We used marshmallows to make arrays and then I had the kids find different ways to split the arrays and show the distributive property.
 Sorry that's sideways, iPhones are poo sometimes.
When they found a way to show the distributive property, I told them to come write it on the big board at the front of the room. I pretty much did this just to get them excited and into it.
Look at my smart kiddos :)
On an unrelated note, I want to wish my mom a happy birthday! We had a fun weekend planned but she got sick today so we're going to have to postpone. The same thing happened on my birthday! We're jinxed this year when it comes to special days, I guess :)
It's just as well, though. Finley's pretty tired:
 Thanks for reading!


Marianna Dunn said...

yikes! Sorry about your hand! as always - I love reading about what you're doing in your classroom! it always looks so fun! kind of makes me want to teach third grade again - and have you on my team haha!

Leslie @KindergartenWorks said...

Glad to hear you're on the mend. Love the guinea pig that your students made - talented work!