July 18, 2013

Throwback Thursday

It's that time again, Throwback Thursday. Today, I'm thinking about Building Community. Community has always been an important aspect of my teaching philosophy. When we support and care for one another, we can excel. I'm a huge proponent of Responsive Classroom. As a first grade teacher, we would begin every day with Morning Meeting. I'm exploring what Responsive Classroom and community looks like in a departmentalized grade level. We are very close in third grade. Though we each have a homeroom, every third grader is OUR student. Mrs. Oppenheim, Mrs. Holt-Taylor, and I take an active interest in the "whole child." Two years ago, our class motto was "Room 105 C.A.R.E.S." I will be implementing a similar idea this year. Stay tuned for more!

 September 23, 2011 

I wanted to share about our introduction to CARES. CARES stands for Cooperation, Accountability, Respect, Empathy, and Self-Control. We focused on one word a day this past week. I read a children's book each day, showcasing the character trait and then led a discussion. Students are beginning to develop an understanding of these "big" words, but we have much more planned! Next week, we will be participating in roll plays. Students will also will be creating a page for our book "Room 105 CARES!"

Below you can check out the books used in introducing CARES.






July 17, 2013

Word Work Wednesday

Yesterday, I recommended that parents download the app Spelling City.
Spelling City is a fantastic resource for teachers and students. I have used the site for several years both in first and third grade. As a teacher, I enter our weekly word wall words under my account. Students then can play games and take practice tests to prepare for our weekly assessment.

Well, our very generous PTO has awarded me a grant to purchase a Premium Membership for EACH third grader! Woo Whoo! What does this mean? More games, synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, interactive and printable flashcards, and individual student log ins! And for me...time. Yes, time! Our weekly assessments give a lot of great data, but are very time consuming with several lists. The assessments took up over half of our block time each Friday. Now, students will take the weekly assessments online. I get automatic test results and record keeping. So I can see progress throughout the year. In addition, I can group lists and students. I'm ecstatic! Parents, much more information will be given as we begin the new school year, but if you have a mobile device, please download the app. Happy Wednesday! some_text

July 16, 2013

Tech Tuesday

We just returned from Hilton Head and it was fabulous! We were blessed with gorgeous weather and a beautiful view from our condo. As Trent headed back to work, I decided it was time to think about the new year. I cannot wait to welcome in the new third graders. I know most of the students from when they were firsties.
This year I want to improve upon my use of technology in the classroom. I...do...not...have...a...SmartBoard! Let's just say I missed it a little more than I thought I would. I am lucky to have a projector in the classroom and it was used on a daily basis.  From a grant, we did receive Kindles. We have six for third grade and they are loaded with books! They are the basic model, but the kids LOVE to use them.

From the same grant, we also received 2 iPods. These are used during stations. We have several apps and I will be adding more prior to the start of school. Families, here is one app I recommend you download before school begins.

 I will be talking more about Spelling City tomorrow, but we used this app weekly in our classroom and will be using it much more this year. It is a free download.

I'm off to explore more technology! Stay cool!


July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I'm linking up again with Cara from The First Grade Parade for another blast from the past. Mrs. Oppenheim told me at the beginning of last year that I would be blown away with what the students write in Third Grade. Wow! My students did in fact "blow me away." At first I was a little disappointed that we did not use "books" to write in during Writing Workshop. Instead the students had Composition Notebooks (and we did get to publish). My disappointment quickly faded after the first week of Writing Workshop. I kept bringing stories over to Mrs. Oppenheim to read. Well, let's flashback to October 2011. These now Third Graders are sharing their Pattern Books. Can't wait for what they have in store for me this year!

 October 28, 2011

Today we completed our Pattern Unit in Writing Workshop. The students chose one book to keep in the writing portfolio. We enjoyed sharing our books with friends. This opportunity not only allowed students to share their book, but also gave students practice on partner reading and helped build community.

I modeled how the student is to listen to their partner. We also gave each other compliments. After the sharing, we met together and discussed the compliments. Students noticed that others used punctuation. Others were impressed with the pattern in the book. Detailed illustrations was another compliment.

Here are a few other things we did this week...

We worked with short i.

We used the iPad during Guided Reading!

We worked on Quilt Squares.


July 10, 2013

Work Work Wednesday

Here's a fun little game you can play at home with the family. It comes from Kindergarten and Mooneyisms. Though it is from a Kindergarten blog, the game can be done with any age group. It's called "Slap Words." You could play this with any list of words: Prefixes, Suffixes, Math Vocabulary, Science Vocabulary, High Frequency Words, etc.. Please click on her photo to read more.

July 4, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Cara, from The First Grade Parade, began Throwback Thursday a few weeks ago. This motivated me to look back at my old blog and inspired me to begin again. I am planning on deleting Langston's Learners, but not...quite...yet. As she stated, blogging is an "online scrapbook." I've enjoyed looking back at my little scrapbook. I decided share one from Sept. 2011 because I will be having these little cuties again in class this fall. Our "What's Alive?" unit was always one of my favorites when I taught first grade.

Originally Posted September 22, 2011

We began our first science unit this week...Our World and Us. We begin this unit by learning about scientists. We read one of my favorite scientist books, What is a Scientist?, and began investigating what scientists do. This is what we learned...

One thing that scientists do, is use their senses. After several rainy days, we were able to become scientists and use our senses to explore the world around us. With a recording sheet and magnifying glass in hand students explored the area around our school. Students recorded something that they saw, heard, smelled, and felt.


And we had fun too!!!


July 3, 2013

Word Work Wednesday

We will be exploring quite a bit with words in the coming year. One activity I enjoy is the Word Collection Jar. Last year, our first interactive read aloud was Donavan's Word Jar, by Monalisa DeGross. The story is about a boy who collects words. As he tries to find a solution to store his growing collection, Donavan learns about the power of words.
As we read other books, students would add "wow words" to our own word collection. I'm looking forward to expanding this activity in the coming year. However, your family can begin their own word collection at home. Click on the photo below to learn how from Imagination Soup.