Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Buckets & Teacher Gifts

My students decorated large cans (recycled from our cafeteria!) to hold their Valentines. They loved adding their own personal touch to them and lots of stickers didn't hurt either!
Our third grade team gave the students glow bracelets for Valentine's Day. I really like to trend of not always giving candy out with the cards.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Methods of Subtraction

Our district adopted Math Expressions as our math curriculum (below are pictures from my teachers' manual). This is our first year with Math Expressions and I am in LOVE with it! I previously blogged about the addition strategies the students have learned. With subtraction, the students learned three strategies: Common U.S. Method, Ungroup First Method, and Expanded Method. Again, the students use Proof Pictures to show the ungrouping in subtraction and how to "take away" from the bigger number.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Olympics Are Coming: Research A Sport

Curling? Luge? Biathlon? Nordic Combined? The Winter Olympics has some obscure sports. In order to understand the sports that will be played in the Winter Olympics, my students worked in partners to researchthe some of the non traditional sports. Each of them filled out an Olympics book and together they created a poster to present to the class. They loved watching videos about their sport and really got into the research!
 Moving onto the excellent posters for their presentations:

My students are ready for the Winter Olympics and are going to know so much about the sports as they watch!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Olympics Are Coming: Tracking Medals

My students were four and five years old the last time the Winter Olympics rolled around so they have a lot to catch up on. They are working in partners to research a Winter Olympic sport. As well, throughout the Olympics, students will track medals won by countries. I looked up the top nine winningest countries in recent Winter Olympics. Then I assigned the students to a country. They colored the flag of that country and we posted their tracking sheets at the front of our classroom. We will look up medal totals each day and update our tallies.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Staff Fun: Olympic Predictions

As head of the Social Committee at work, I wanted to have a bit of fun with the Winter Olympics. I did a little research and created on questions for our staff to answer about the Olympics. This chart is posted in our teachers' lounge for teachers to write their names under which item they vote for.

As the Winter Olympics go on, I will tally who has the most right answers/points earned. That person will be named our School Olympian. I am trying to think of fun rewards for our top three "medalists". I think this would be a fun project to do with students as well.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Colorful Penguin Art

I found this art project through Pinterest and knew my students had to do it! We used foam brushes and make stripes on color on our background. I told the students not to clean off their brushes between color changes so there would be good blending of colors.

Then, we tore a snowy hill for our penguins to stand on. Putting our color background aside, we got to work on constructing our penguins. Students used black paper and made a tombstone-like shape for the penguin body and then a second, smaller one in white for the penguin belly. Next, we used our scrapes to create eyes and wings. Finally, we added an orange beak and feet. A little rubber cement and the penguins were safely on their snowy hills with bright backgrounds.
Here is my penguin:
Student penguins:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Technical Writing: How To Build A Snowman

Each year, as we are anticipating the arrival of our snowstorm(s), we write a technical piece How To Build A Snowman. We focus on writing sequential paragraphs instead of 1., 2., 3., etc. steps. We discussed all the sequence and transition words they would be able to use in their writing. Then we drafted!

As they edited with a partner, each student read their directions aloud. Their partner used a whiteboard to draw the directions they were hearing. This really helped the students understand what they were missing from their directions. There were many drawing with three snowballs side by side because the author forgot to include the stacking step :)

After final drafts were written, students decorated their own snowman to 'hold' their writing. These snowmen looked more festive than the ones we have made in the past.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Eggs Full of Sound

Along with our other sound science experiment, we got to shake it up with some eggs. The students shook eggs and had to figure out what objects were inside. No matching this time, just hard listening. The students glued down the object pictures they thought were in the eggs. This was such a fun experiment for the students! They worked really hard to match the sounds to what the objects in the pictures were made of. The most fun was opening the eggs to see if they were correct!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Which Team Will Win? Super Bowl 2014

Who are you predicting will win the 2014 Super Bowl? I asked my third graders to make a prediction and decorate a helmet to show their vote. I think some of my students chose the Denver Broncos to win because they are neighbors to the west. Others have just heard more about the Broncos because the Chiefs play them twice a year. I have a student who moved to Kansas from Washington state, so she is definitely rooting for the Seahawks, along with a couple other classmates.
We will see who wins tomorrow!