Sunday, January 29, 2012

More Dominos!

So my students love the perfect place domino game...but I think it's getting a little easy for them. So I gave them a challenge....MULTIPLY! Well they were even more excited, I think they enjoy the competition and even my lower students feel they can compete and win at this game! So I made a little title and direction page with examples to go with the game. I will post pictures soon on how I organize my games...even the simple ones. I hope you had a restful weekend and are gearing up for another week! Me...I am headed to bed!

Click the picture to be directed to my new TeachersNotebook page (I am trying this site..I feel TPT takes WAY too much, but that's my opinion...if I buy something from a teacher I want that money to go to the teacher...that's why I like those sites...okay I'm off my soap box)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh MY! 400!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe it!!!! I have 400 followers. In the words of my husband, "I can't believe 400 people care about what you have to say!"

It was less than a year ago that I started blogging, and I remember getting excited as I saw 20 followers and now I am sitting at 400.

This week has been pretty crazy (already). We had Math night at the school (late night), then another meeting today, and tomorrow I have people observing in my room..whew! So I have nothing fancy for a 400 give-a-way or anything.

BUT I can put my TPT stuff on sale....everything will be .50 for the next 24hours ONLY! I don't have TONS of stuff, but it's my small way of saying THANKS for following! ENJOY!

OOOPS!!! Click here for the link to my store, guess that would be helpful....I told you it was a crazy week!

Sale ends 9PM 1/26/12

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Soggy Sunday Crafting

I have only been working on this craft for probably a month. I don't know why it was taking me so long, but I have finally got it done. Like one of my fellow bloggers I had seen these on Pinterest (can't find the original pin right now), but I too thought what a great idea! This way the students don't stick the pass in their mouth (okay they may still do that), but it doesn't shouldn't get left places and, well it was not expensive. So we will see how they will "do" with these. My husband seems to think they won't last long. I will say painting clothes pins is not very easy! And having a long last name was a little challenging

But I like how they came out. I'll post another picture of them actually in my classroom later. The other pictures are crafts that were done at a Cricut LOVE crafting afternoon that I put together...I think it was pretty successful (I didn't take pictures of our first, we called it a warm up).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Teaching Text Structure

Next week for my reading mini lessons I am going to be working on identifiying text structure. I have compiled my lesson plans, interactive notes, picture book list, a few organizers, and a worksheet...visit my TPT site to preview and purchase. (click picture below)

Now time to relax!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quick Lesson: Fraction Word Problems

My students really grasp fractions and decimals, but when it comes to factions and decimals in word problems...forget it! Especially if it is multiple steps! So I spent an entire lesson and small group review how we solve word problems and how to solve fraction word problems.

So here is my lesson and how we solve word problems:

1. We reviewed the steps in solving word problems and the students wrote them down.
    Step One: What is the problem asking?
                        a. underline important information
                        b. circle key words
    Step Two: Decide what key words mean: make notes!
    Step Three: Solve: write and show equations, draw pictures

2. I then gave each student a copy of this word problem (click to retrieve printable)

3. We proceded to go through each step using our notes and the word problem in the interactive note taking way: for each step the students used a different colored pencil. They would box the step with that colored pencil, then using the same color follow that step.

4. I then gave each student their own word problem (got them from TPT, click here to see), and card stock

5. They had specific directions as to how to complete their word problem.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Elements of Text Interactive Notes (with pictures)

As promised I finished my interactive notes packet for the lessons and free worksheet I posted yesterday. If you are interested visit my TPT store. I promise it is worth it!

I am also working on a Point of View and Thurgood Marshall packet, so stay tuned. Now, because it is Wenesday and I am abnormally tired...I am off to be lazy. I know I will regret it later, but for some reason I can't keep my eyes open!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Elements of Text Lessons (with printables)

Last week I reviewed and taught my students different elements of text. I am pretty fortunate to work for a county that provides good lesson plans for us to some of you work for the same county and may feel/think differently. I do like having them as a spring board. By having a good outline and given some ideas as to what I should be addressing/teaching it makes it a little easier to plan and teach. I usually take the plans, look through them, tweek/add/adjust, look at the plans again, compare them to last year's county plans, compare them to my plans from last year, make a worksheet, look up picture books to use, make a mimio...and DONE! I'm sure most if not all of that sounds familar.

Okay back on topic...last week my mini lessons were Elements of Text, narrowed down to four genres.

Here is the basic outline of my lessons:

Day One: Review the features of fiction and nonfiction
  • Review the definition of genre
  • I had spent most of last nine weeks discussing nonfiction in both reading and writing, so this was pretty quick. But the five main features we discussed for nonfiction were: facts (information, bolded/highlighted words, charts/diagrams, glossary, index)
  • I read a few exerpts from different books or passages and they had to decide if they were fiction or nonfiction.
  • Don't forget...especially in our county...they want the students to know that even though it could possibly happen (a trip to the ball game) it is realistic fiction!
Picture books used (due to the genre...I used mentor texts...books we had already read)

my kids can't get enough of this book!

great illustrations!

Day Two: Text features and elements of poetry
  • I only spent one day on this because later in the year I do a whole unit of types of poems, writing poetry, and so on.
  • We looked at a few examples of poems, both in books and online
  • I then gave each student the three elements and the definitions for poetry (for interactive notes)
  • I then gave them a copy of a poem and we underlined the different part of the poem
they were so excited to see a WHOLE book that was a poem


Day Three: Text features and elements of drama
  • If you use/have the Otter Book  Anthology textbook...I had the students dust it off and open it up to the story Herbbie and Annabelle (this is a drama)
  • They told me the things they noticed about the text features (not the story itself)
  • We discussed the three features: character names (who is speaking and when), dialogue (conversation)...I did blow their minds a little excellerate a little when I mentioned and defined what a monologue was (it may have stuck with a few), stage directions
  • I then gave each student a copy of a portion of a drama and again using the ineractive note taking idea...had them underline and circle these features.
  • My media center did have a few books about dramas/plays, and I think one that actually contained reader's I used the internet and displayed a few reader's theater pieces.
Day Four: Review
  • We reviewed each genre and the elements
  • Made a chart in our journals
  • Read/discussed different examples
Guided Reading
      I keep a tub in the front of the room with different picture books that are examples of the topic I am working on for that week. So this week I had books of poetry, drama, and a few fiction/nonfiction picture books. For Work on Writing they had to write a journal entry using one of those books. In their entry they had to identify the genre, explain how they knew and describing the elements of that text/genre.

So here is the good the picture below to download the printable I am using as a worksheet/assessment on the Elements of Text. Stay tuned and tomorrow I should have a few pictures of my students notes and an interactive note bundle that goes with these lessons. ENJOY!

Okay so blogger isn't letting me download a picture, just click the link below:

Monday, January 9, 2012


As I gear up to make a elements of different genre's worksheet for my kiddos I noticed a post....Super Teacher Worksheets is no longer free!

My first thought was WHAT! That was my go-to site. If I needed remediation or a quick homework sheet I would always turn to them and quickly hit print. So like many others and probably you as well....I hit up the site to see their reasoning. I get it, I do...well okay sort of I'm still pretty upset.

On the one hand I understand that it does take time, effort, and a little bit of creativity to make worksheets. If I could I would do it as a job. I really enjoy it, I love technology, and I think I am okay at it. But I just don't seem to have time...there is this thing called teaching that I need to do, behavior control management, cook, clean, grade papers, and raise a child. So I turn to websites especially Super Teacher Worksheets for some help.

I read their little letter and yes I get it, but part of me wonders...seriously wonders if they are just trying to make a buck? I am skeptical, I guess. Unfortunately I will probably pay for the membership...especially with the enticing "new graphics, new worksheets daily/weekly" part of the letter...wait! I should let my students read it because I think they are trying to persuade me to buy the membership!

I am pretty torn on this one...what are your thoughts????

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Just a little craft...

Of course the week we go back to fact the FIRST day back (with students), day care calls and my daughter has a fever. Two weeks off and she waits until we go back to school (of course). After a 104 fever the next morning the hubby took her to the doctor and ear infection (she does have tubes), and possibly flu/croup. AWESOME. So my week was a little out of wack! 

I keep trying to think of some fun games and such to make you guys, but I tell you what just head over to 3rd Grade Gridiron...she does it ALL, I don't know how she does it...and so quickly! She is AMAZING!

I am also procrastinating and not wanting to look at my school stuff either, so last night I decided to craft a little instead. Who knows I may even go take a quick nap. Enjoy the pictures and if your interested in some of the products just visit my FB page: Quite a Pear

was going to fill it with Reece's Pieces

Thought of this when I was home over the break and the UPS guys would come, lay the package on the porch, ring the bell and run!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Interactive Notes

In a few posts I have mentioned that my class "does" interactive note taking. For those of you that are not sure what interactive note taking is a quick definition.

The purpose of the interactive notebook is to enable students to be creative, independent thinkers and writers. Interactive notebooks are used for class notes as well as for other activities where the students will be asked to express his own ideas and process the information presented in class. The set up of interactive notebooks and note taking can vary from teacher to teacher and school to school.  

Okay so now that I got the technical definition out of the way let me give you a brief overview of how I use interactive note taking in my classroom. *Small disclaimer...due to the fact that I was displaced and moved to a new school in September my students came with the supplies of their previous teachers. Therefore some students in my class have three prong folders, some have composition notebooks, some have spiral notebooks...I find for interactive notes a spiral notebook is the easiest to use. Don't get me wrong I LOVE composition notebooks for guided Math and Reading, but it makes it very difficult to squeeze things onto the smaller pages when interactive note taking. I also have a HUGE dislike for three prong folders...I hate having the papers EVERYWHERE and they fill up really quickly!

I found it easier for me to start using interactive notes with Science and Social Studies. This is where my students usually take the most notes. The students seem to grasp the concept easier in these subjects as least they do, in third grade....well at least to me.

So here are a few pictures of interactive notes in my classroom.

Okay so I always use this student's journal as my example because he is possibly the most organized, neatest students I have ever had. Again my students came to me with various notebooks, he has a prong folder. I usually have the students glue the notes on the left and they write/draw on the right side of one sheet of paper. Well this student LOVES to draw and again is very meticulous therefore he usually uses two sheets of paper.

Here are a few close ups:

Okay so the student chooses a colored pencil. They box around the paragraph using that color. Within that paragraph they will underline the main idea, bubble important words, and box words they may not know (these can vary from teacher to teacher)...again using the same colored pencil they boxed the paragraph with. On the right side the student will then draw pictures, maybe write words, diagrams, word splashes, etc. of anything that will help them to remember what was in the paragraph, once again using the same color that they picked to box the paragraph with (this way they know that everything they did in that color goes together.

This is the very edited, quick version of interactive note taking. I had a few readers ask what it looked like in my classroom. I do have plans on sharing in more detail, possibly even a video on how this is and can be done in your own classroom. For now enjoy the pictures!

Math can sometimes lend itself to interactive notes as well.

This is not exactly interactive note taking but it was a whole group experiment we did in class. As you can see it can be done in various ways.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Root Of It All

Okay so my planning day was not too bad. I did manage to get a few things done, but of course there is always more. I can't complain too much after reading everyone's comments. Our first day of break was the 19th and we went back today for a teacher workday. I think the complaint was more that everyone else was off while we were at work today. Some people still had company in town, the GA game was on, spouses were off, no day care, and so on. It just didn't make much sense to us. And seeing that the post was one of my highest "commented on" I think a lot of you have thoughts and feelings on the top as well. On the bright side there was absolutely no traffic.

A few of you have asked about my trees I drew for my Greek/Latin Roots board. I finally managed to get it scanned for you guys. YEA!!! I copied the master on to brown Art Paper (I use Art paper because I find it easier to fold, cut, and copy on's not as "furry")

How my board it set up:

On the top row we have our prefixes. On a notecard I write the prefix/suffix/root that we are studying, what it is, and the meaning. On each leaf (simply a di-cut) I write the words that we found, use, and are studying.

Here is the suffix row (second)

We even used a tree for our math words during geometry.

So here is what you all have been waiting for...the TREE! Click to picture below to download.