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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

It's that time of year again! Time for Mrs. Overton to make the rounds spreading Christmas cheer! Her door is decorated and the magic mailbox is ready to deliver letters to the Jolly Ole' Elf himself!

Mrs. O visited the 1st and 3rd grade classes to read the story Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.

The story is based on real events! Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. Check out {THIS) link to see the news story!


The story is in 2 parts. Don't miss any of it!




Thanks, Mrs. O for coming to see us! I can't wait to see who will win the writing contest!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Literacy Centers- heck yeah!

I had the unique pleasure of being able to visit my fellow 3rd grade teachers' classrooms during their small group reading times. The idea is to see how everyone is doing their literacy centers and implement the things that would improve my classroom.

Well, I say I had the unique pleasure, but the truth is that all the 3rd grade teachers get to do it. Ms. Chastain had her turn yesterday, mine was today and Roach and Jackson get their turns this week as well. In fact, 3rd grade is getting pretty well known for their literacy centers. So much so that 4th and 5th grade teachers will be observing next week!

What can I say? We pretty much rock the socks off of literacy centers. :)

Since most of our centers are found online (blogs, TPT, teacher websites...) I will try to give credit where credit is due. If I overlook something, I apologize!

The 3rd grade team has agreed to follow the same center pattern. Classes are split into 4-5 groups. Each group is given a center for the day. Students will work on that center for the entire center time. (when that are not in small group reading) Students know that they are never done with their center. After completing the activity, they document their work for accountability, can put the words in a sentence, can illustrate their work, put new words into their individual word walls for future use, etc.

Let's start with Chastain's centers: Chastain uses manilla envelopes for her centers. She also makes sure that each center is labeled with the appropriate standard. She finds most of her centers on Teachers Pay Teachers- all free.


  • Students sort sentences according to the verb type (are, is, am)
  •  After sorting, students write the sentences in the proper columns 


What's That Picture?- Making inferences
  • Pictures from magazines, newspapers, etc, cut out, numbered, and laminated
  • Thinking stems (sentence starters) included
  • Students look at the pictures and create inferences based on what they see



  • Bag full of extension cards
  • Stories (leveled readers from textbook adoption)
  • Students read the story and use the story extensions   



Dress the Turkey- types of sentences
  • Students read the sentences on the feathers and sort them according to their type of sentence.





Now on to Ms. Roach's class! Ms. Roach also appreciates the free centers found on Teachers Pay Teachers. :)





These puzzles are Ms. Chastain originals! She took our science vocabulary and definitions and created puzzles to help incorporate science into our literacy time. 
  • Students put together each of the puzzles and write down the word and matching definitions. 



  • Students match the contractions with their meanings
  • Students put the words in sentences




**Tons of free centers available on the Florida Center's site!**
  • Students use the leveled reader and graphic organizer provided in the envelope to complete the activity.



Last, but not least, Mrs. Jackson's class!


  • Students read the card and decide if the sentence is a fact or opinion.
  • Students document their answers on their accountability sheet.  



  • This activity is printed on cardstock and laminated so it can be used again and again!
  • Students sort contractions and words, then write them on their accountability sheet
  • Words can be put into sentences when students have completed the activity




Inferencing-  

  • Students read the cards and match the cards to the pictures.
 







 I didn't observe my own class cause, well, it's my class! I will try to get pictures of my centers to add to this post. I know you're all wanting to see the awesomeness that is General Delk's Army!






Saturday, November 24, 2012

Landform Projects

Yes, this post is late in coming. I hope everyone had a turkey-filled Thanksgiving!

We started our landform projects on Monday. Students chose 3 landforms, looked up their definitions in the dictionary and wrote them on index cards, them molded the landforms from playdough. Everything dried overnight, and students painted their creations on Tuesday. Here are their finished products!

Not everyone was at school, so I did one and Mrs. Webb's daughter did one as well!
















They have had the rest of the week to dry, so when we get back we will staple the index cards to the plates and place them on display. Mr. Evans and Ms. Brewer come by and checked them out and were very impressed. Way to go, Soldiers!