Thursday, January 31, 2013

Recent art projects and math test prep

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that I teach in a co-teaching 3rd grade.  My co-teacher is extremely artistic.  She is always coming up with projects that I originally think will be way over their heads, BUT they always do an awesome job!!

This week my co-teacher taught about hot and cold colors using the sun and moon.  We discussed and made a chart for warm colors: red, orange, yellow and cool colors: blue, green, purple.  We modeled a sketch on the whiteboard and had the student follow along.  After sketching, the students blended their pastels. 

I am really impressed with how it came out.

I have a few new products in my store, just in time for test prep season.  I have been pushing for my students to use more math vocabulary in their extended responses.  I created some math journals for 3rd and 4th grade.

TPT is having ANOTHER SALE!!!!  I am so excited for this because I have plenty of products waiting to be bought on my wishlist!!!!!!!   I will be having 20% my store on Sunday, February 3rd.  TPT will add an additional 10% off when you add the word SUPER at checkout.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Test prep craziness and a FREEBIE!!

It's about that time.  You know...the time when we switch to test prep mode.  I hate this time of year.  I decided this year to make test prep really fun!!!  We will be using funny stories to practice skills, using great clips from the computer and maybe a mini-unit on book clubs.

I have been going crazy trying to have my students show evidence to back up their answers (in math AND ela).  We have been using the phrase...I know this because....
They have this phrase down and I am going to switch it to "for example..."

More about test prep later...

About my freebie... I have a teaching buddy who I have been with in 2 different schools now.  We used to work together in the Bronx and are now back together again in Queens.  Anyway, she has used to same borders on her bulletin boards for YEARS!!!  These borders haunt my dreams.  When I walked into her room this year in September and saw them on her boards, I almost fell over!!!

Here they are...

So in honor of this friend here is my new freebie- Recycling Fact or Opinion sort.  Grab it here!
As usual, if you download this freebie and like it, please leave feedback.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
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Sunday, January 20, 2013


My class has been so busy recently.  We had huge plans for this week, that sorta fell flat.  We were going to go on a field trip to an art museum, however, due to the bus strike in NYC we couldn't go.  We also had a half day on Friday, so I thought it would be the perfect day to celebrate math!!!

My students have been working REALLY hard on learning their multiplication facts.  I know I had posted recently about the multiplication chart in my classroom and the word wall that we use, but this post will go along with that theme.  Every day for HW my class studied and practiced their multiplication facts using a log, just like a reading log.  In class we took speed tests, quizzed each other on flashcards and used fact triangles.  I have 30 students in my class and I am SO HAPPY to say that ALL 30 passed and mastered their facts from 0-10.   In honor of this accomplishment, we had MATH DAY!!!

For math day, we started with a bagel breakfast, followed by sharing our math projects and watching a movie.

Our math project was to create and wear a t-shirt with a self-made multiplication problem on the front and the equation on the back.  The kids had a blast making these shirts and quizzing each other. 

Here is a close up of a shirt

And the back.

I am very happy to have a 3-day weekend and will be catchign up on some much needed sleep, but I am always working.  Here is sneak peak at my newest unit.  COMING SOON!

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Awesome Giveaway!!!

visit Rockin Teacher Material for this giveaway.

This is an awesome giveaway for a few lucky teachers. There are some great products on these flashdrives. I was very happy to donate my math journal for 3rd and 4th grade:

4th grade journal
3rd grade journal

I am also really excited to announce that, after many email requests, I have FINALLY finished a Part II to the 4th grade math journal.

check it out here!!!

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Guest Blogger: Out of this World Literacy

Hello Friends! I’ve linked up with some amazing bloggers for a blog hop started by Primary Possibilities. My name is Jen Bengel and I am Kristin’s guest blogger for today. My blog is called: Out of This World Literacy. I am a Literacy Collaborative Coordinator for grades 3-5. I spend the majority of my time at school teaching professional development sessions and coaching teachers in the best practices in literacy instruction. Part of my job is to push-in a teacher’s classroom for the literacy block. This helps the teacher learn to teach the format of the Literacy Collaborative. I am currently working in a fifth grade classroom. We are just beginning a poetry unit with students. One of the hardest things for teachers is getting ALL students to find their creative voice and write poetry. The first step I take is to not expect them to write at all! Yup, instead of expecting students to write poetry on day one, I ask them to ‘notice’ poetry that stands out to them. We talk as a class about what makes good poetry. Then we make a list of our ideas on an anchor chart. I then allow students time to explore poetry books of their choice. I do this by laying out several different books of poetry. Students spend time reading and once they find a poem that they really enjoy, they copy that poem into their poetry anthologies. The trick is that they have to copy the poem EXACTLY as it is written, paying special attention to punctuation, font, and line breaks.
By asking students to notice poetry before expecting them to produce poetry, they are all able to be successful. Everyone can copy a poem. There is no pressure to create some ellaborate poem, rather just enjoy the genre. This activity also forces students to notice and understand line breaks, spacing, font choices, and punctuation within poetry. After students spend several days enjoying other’s poetry, we move into thinking about writing our own poems. We make lists of things that may interest us as poets. We make a heart puzzle of objects, people, places, and thoughts that we might be able to write about. By this point, EVERY student is ready to write poetry with their own voice. They have identified, analyzed, and critiqued enough poetry to be successful at writing their own.
Thank you for reading some of my ideas about getting your students to ALL be successful at writing poetry. I wish you and your students many successful writing days ahead! Stop by and visit my blog
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