Wednesday, May 2, 2012

HOT Potato!

We skipped spring and went right into summer here! The last three/four days have been in the 90's and of course that is when my air in my house decides not to work...three days without air makes for very little motivation/production from me, and LONG nights with little sleep.

My school also had Field Day these past three days! I seriously don't know what I was thinking when I chose black shirts for our class color. This is also the first school that I have been at that the students/classes still compete against other students/classes for points. Not that they win anything other than bragging rights though. I was SO proud of my class....I must admit my expectations were not extremely high for a few reasons. First, I have what I call the Mod Podge class...because I was displaced and came to this school in September I received about 3 to 4 students from other classes...they still don't work as well together as a class that would have formed in August. Secondly my observations during recess have been that my class prefers to play tag or our athletic abilities have been minimal.

BUT I am happy to say that we won FIRST place OVERALL, scoring the most points they think have ever been scored. We placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in EVERY event. I think that was the first time we have actually worked well together, as a team. So despite the heat, sunburn, and exhaustion...overall, it was a great day!

Here is a picture of our banner...the theme was Go For the Gold. I must admit, not my finest work...and the theme was a little difficult to work with, but oh well.

As things begin to end, and get crazy (my EOY folder is huge)...I began reading the book Leon and the Champion Chip aloud to my students (great read aloud for 3rd...on level for 4th or 5th...great for starting 5th!)

The idea for this unit "sprouted" from a post during St. Patrick's Day! While blog stalking I vaguely remember seeing pictures of potatoes all dressed up...and thought, "how fun would that be at the end of the year". Well not thinking I didn't bookmark the blog...ugh! So I spent about a week scrolling through old blog posts for these pictures. When I finally found it, to my surprise, it was a lower grades project. I was a little bummed but because all these ideas were already flowing through my head, I decided to "kick the activities up a notch, and add my own". The pictures and cute activities were found at The Bubblegum Tree. Make sure you also check out the follow up pictures at this link.

Well as the wheels on my brain were turning...I decided to make this an entire unit. I found a "potato themed" book (Leon and the Champion Chip) to read...of which I am making unit plans and activities to go along with it, keep an eye out. We are measuring, weighing, estimating, and so on potatoes in Math...much like The Bubblegum Tree unit. We are also taste testing potato chips and graphing results in Math....goes along with the book. For writing, much similar to The Bubblegum Tree...we will be dressing up our potatoes and writing stories featuring them as characters.

I can't wait to share a few of the activities my kids have been doing with this book, so stay tuned for a lot of potato updates!!!!


Anonymous said...

I'm looking for an end of year unit too for third grade. I will be interested in your projects: please share!! It sounds very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I was browsing through all of your amazing posts this evening and came across your Lesson Plan folder. I teacher Year 5 and 6 in Australia and the thing I struggle with most in my teaching is coming up with a user friendly lesson plan guide. Would you have templates that you would make available or could you share more photos of your folder...
Anything you are willing to share would be wonderful!

~ Danielle

Dandelions and Dragonflies said...

To Anonymous': I should be posting the first week of the unit this weekend, so stay kids are having a blast! Who knew potatoes could be so much fun!?!? As for the lesson plan pages, I can also post those soon, I just have to figure out how to make it "user friendly and adjustable" for teachers to be able to make it fit their schedules. Thanks for following!

The Bubblegum Tree said...

WOW! Thanks for the shout out! This book looks great! I will have to check that one out. Can't wait to see what you come up with for the older kids! I'm a new follower! So glad you found me so I could find you!

Jen R. @ The Teachers' Cauldron said...

I LOVE leon books!

Moriah said...

I am not sure where you are from, but we too had a very short spring in Minnesota! I cannot imagine not having air conditioning; especially when the humidity forces us to keep our windows closed at night! However, warm weather or not, I love field day, even as an adult :) Congrats on the win--how exciting!
Don't you just hate when you forget to reblog something that you want to keep in mind? I am glad you found it though because it is a cute idea!
Mmmmmh! I would be glad to taste test potato chips :) That activity sounds like a great idea; it is too bad you forgot to save the lesson!