Saturday, March 31, 2012

Adventurous Teachers

Today I really put the ADVENTURE in Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher!

I live about 20 minutes away from the US National Whitewater Center. It's where the USA Olympic Whitewater Team trains. Pretty cool huh?

It's not just whitewater activities though, there are trails, rope courses, zip lines, rock walls and so much more.

Well, lo and behold, they do field trips.  Teachers in the area were able to go today, listen to their spiel about field trips (which sound AWESOME) and we were able to participate in all of the activities for FREE.
Yep for free!

So we rafted (twice). Of course who was the only one who fell out? ME!  I survived though.

I conquered my fear of the zip line. Here is our little group of teachers pre-zip line.

Yep, that is Elisabeth from Twins, Teaching and Tacos! I know that you're jealous that we are real life friends! (PS She's having a giveaway right now, be sure to check it out.)

Elisabeth went rock climbing with me!
Wait, we were too scared to go on the big wall behind us. 

We went on one of the ropes course.

We can ignore the fact that we were scared to death on the "Baby" Course.  

So, needless to say I am exhausted, but it was SO much fun.  I am also incredibly sun burnt. Farmer's tan and all. 

Well, on to teachery things.  Do you guys use Google Docs in your classroom?  I know some of you bloggers use it to upload your fabulous freebies. 

Our county is "Going Google".  I am part of a pilot program of teachers that have been using Google Docs in their classroom.  I am not going to lie, life has been so busy that I haven't been able to do as much as I originally planned at the beginning of the year.  

I have used a lot of Google Forms with my kids.  I've embeded the form into our Kidblog site and had students fill out surveys.  I have also used them with Netvibes too (It's kind of like a webquest put all on one site.) It's great because the students do some research on a website and the questions are right there for you to answer. 

This past week, we started our first real project in Google Docs.  We have been working on our county writing benchmark, it's a content specific writing prompt.  Our grade level chose the one about soil since we just wrapped up the unit.  So the students started typing up their writing  and their classmates practiced editing.  It went pretty well, but we are still no where close to done.  

Anybody else have any ideas about using Google Docs in the classroom?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lapbook Winners

I hope everyone had a great week this week!

As promised, I said I would give away my Geometry Lapbook to two lucky people! After reading all of your great comments about foldables, I decided to give it away to five people! :)

I'll be emailing you guys the file shortly! 

I also wanted to let you know that I have some Spring Fever going on so I am having a sale at my TPT Store! Everything is 15% off today and tomorrow only!

I have lots I want to talk about, but I'm awfully out of it right now! will wait! Have a great Friday night! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Is that a Fact?

Spring Break, where are you?  Still a week away.

In Shared Reading this week, our focus skill has been Fact and Opinion.  Third graders should already know the difference right?  Well, my benchmark scores didn't say so.

So, I typed up different clues that can help us determine the difference in fact and opinion.  Then I put them in a paper bag and my kiddos drew out the different clues.

 We decided as a class if the clue would help us determine if it was a fact or opinion and we added them to our little anchor chart.

The students used this foldable to take notes.  

I bought this cute dinosaur clipart from KPM Doodles and I used it to create some Fact and Opinion Practice

Isn't it so cute?

Oh and guess what?  You can download all of this for free!  

It's at my TPT Store and TN Shop!  Let me know what you think and if you can use it with your kiddos! 

My kiddos definitely understand the difference between fact and opinion now, well at least I hope so!

On another note, I really needed something cute on my walls for Conferences next week.  It needed to have some sort of educational value since we are so close to the test. So we made symmetrical butterflies. 

I love how different they all look! 

Eazy Peazy to make. 

1.  Fold a large piece of white construction paper in half, cut out the outline of the butterfly half. 
2.  We used squeeze bottles to drop paint dots or draw lines on the butterfly half.  
3. Fold it in half to spread the paint. 
4. After it dries add a construction paper body, pipe cleaner antennas and googly eyes.  

I've even shared the sign that I made for the display on Google Docs. Click here to download
The graphics are by Jazzy Designs, font by Kevin and Amanda

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Folktale Update and Geometry Lapbook (Giveaway)

Man am I tired!  So this will be short and sweet!

First off, someone commented on my Folktale Booklet Freebie on TPT.  I made that thing ages ago it seems like! Well they said it would be awesome if there were posters to go along with each folktale.  Genius! So I whipped them up. So be sure to redownload the mini-unit!

Next up, you know how I love foldables and lapbooks! Well, our math journals are almost full so I didn't feel like we would have enough room to put all of our geometry foldables I wanted to make. SO MUCH VOCAB! So, I made a lapbook! We are starting it tomorrow and my kids are so excited about it!

There are Seven Foldables in all, plus a cover and a rubric.  There are color and black and white versions!  
Here are the foldables:
1. Real Life Examples Accordion Fold
2. Solid Figures Flip Book 
3. Quadrilateral 2-Flap Brochure
4. Angles Pyramid Fold
5. Triangles 6-Square Brochure
6. Polygons Pocket with Cards
7. Lines and Segments Flipbook 

Even if you don't want to make a lapbook, there are great to go in the math journals!

It's $3.00 at my TPT Store and TN Shop!

I will give it to two people! Just comment below and tell me about your experience with foldables and I'll choose two people Friday! 

Have a fabulous tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Foldable Linky Party

I love Foldables!  My kids love them too. I wanted to share one of our math journal foldables we made today. Plus, Laura Candler is having a Foldable Linky Party! How fun!

Today we started our geometry unit!  Today we talked all about congruency and transformations.  Transformations are not technically in our curriculum, but it seems like every year I see at least one problem on that big test!  So we made this fun foldable today!

Here is the outside. 

This is what the inside looks like, they used shapes to illustrate the different terms. 
My favorite part was letting them write about their thinking and learning. 

It's pretty self explanatory, but I typed up some directions for you guys!

  • Fold the sides of a piece of an 8 x 12 construction paper inward, forming the foldable. Then, cut through the middle of the two outside flaps 
  • On the outside of the foldable, attach the congruent definition, translation, reflection and rotation. 
  • On the inside of the foldable flaps, attach the corresponding words. 
  • On the middle section, use the shapes to illustrate the different transformations. 
  • On the back inside of the congruent fold, have students write about the concept in their own words. 
I have uploaded the directions, the labels and the shapes at my TPT and TN Shops for free! 

Let me know if you can use this foldable in your classroom! :)

Here are some other foldable ideas I've posted about before. 

Go and check out Laura's Linky for more foldable ideas!

Have a Happy Tomorrow!

Monday, March 26, 2012

200 Follower Giveaway WINNER!

It's time!  I have the giveaway winner!

Yay Kaleigh! I will be contacting you shortly to get all of the goodies to you!

Thanks you so much to everyone who entered my giveaway!  You guys really are awesome!  Thanks for checking out my friend's blogs! Some of them reached some great milestones, so be looking for some more giveaways. If you didn't win and you saw something from these fabulous ladies that you loved, definitely check them out at their shops. Here is the link to all of their blogs again!

Thanks to my bloggy friends who donated something! You guys are fabulous!!! :)  

Well, I have sooooooo much to do, so I can't spend all evening blogging, stalking and pinning.  That would be so much more fun! 

Have a great tomorrow! :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Last Chance and a Flash Sale!

Papers graded. Check.
Lesson plans. Check.
Apartment cleaned. Check.

What a productive Sunday! Plus, the fabulous Mark pitched in and helped clean. I love a man that cleans for me.

I found some bad news though. . I started cleaning out my wreck of a closet, I have tubs all along the bottom of my closet storing all my out of season clothes.  So when I started pulling out the tubs, there was mold on the wall. AHHHH! I flipped out. Our apartment was flooded a couple months back so I guess that is where it's from.  Our apartment is on the end, so it might be something from outside.  Who knows.  So I put in a call to the apartment people and hopefully it will be cleaned up. Let's cross our fingers it's not toxic mold.  I am still alive, I hope it stays that way.

I just wanted to remind you guys that my giveaway ends tomorrow at 5 PM! I have already gained almost 40 more followers since the start of the giveaway. You guys are so stinking awesome. I have had so many sweet comments and emails over the past couple weeks. It makes me smile every time.

Anyway, be sure to enter for your chance to win some amazing items from my blog friends!


Also, Elizabeth added some brightness to my day. She let me know that my TN Shop is listed on the front page as a Favorite Shop! How cool is that??

So in honor of that, I am having a flash sale until Midnight! Everything is 30% off at my TN Shop!


I gotta go the first new Mad Men in agggges is coming on! YAYYYY!

Have a great week! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

BBall & Nonfiction Fun

Take a little peek into our week!

In honor of March Madness, we made these super cute basketball players from Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher.

Can you guess where I live? Carolina Country!  There are a few Duke players in there as well as a few NC State Players. There is one Clemson Player.  This student just couldn't accept that they weren't even in the tournament.  

Speaking of March Madness, has any one else's Bracket been completely destroyed?  Two of my final four are already out, dangit Florida St and Michigan St.  Not to mention, I took Michigan St to the championship game. Oh and don't even get me started about Duke or Missouri. 

Disclaimer: I am not really a huge college basketball fan, but Mark talked me into having a bracket in his pool.  I think it was just to get my 10 dollars and so I wouldn't whine about watching the games. haha. 

So anyway, in Reading Workshop we have put our chapter books on the back burner (not completely away of course) and dove into the exciting world of nonfiction! My kiddos LOVE reading nonfiction, well when they get to choose the topic! 

We started by reviewing the difference between fiction and nonfiction. 
I found this chart idea from Pinterest of course!  I couldn't find the original for some reason! Poo!  It was definitely cuter than mine.  We listed the differences together.  Then, each student wrote the names of fiction genres and books on one post-it, and nonfiction genres and topics on another post-it note.  I really liked adding the post its to make it a tad more interactive. 

I am using these awesome nonfiction text feature posters that I got from the Lesson Plan SOS.  
Aren't they so cute?! I have seen some adorable nonfiction features charts on Pinterest, but I ended up just using these instead.  We learned about all of these features back in October, but I really felt we needed to spend some time reviewing.

 We spent the bulk of the week talking about ways to understand, organize and utilize the nonfiction texts that we read. I loved this Box and Bullet Strategy from Lucy Calkins.  It's a great way to organize the information that they read during workshop. 
The student used the heading from the nonfiction book and then put three important facts under the three bullets.  What a great skill that they will be able to use for a long time! 

This shows what a crazy week I had, I didn't take any pictures of our math lessons or spring activities!  Not too mention, I am starting to get a little stressed out about that big test coming up in May.  I have so much material I still need to cover.  Then I have some things I need to reteach.  I almost feel like the fun has been sucked out of my classroom.  Not completely, maybe more like a slow leak.  Hopefully I can throw some more of the fun back in there this week.  I started to write a sentence complaining about the need for Spring Break, but I stopped! :)  

Here's to hoping that next week will be a little on the calmer side.  Ha. Who am I kidding?  

Oh, be sure to stop by and check out this fun Spring Linky Party! There are som great resources already linked up!

Friday, March 23, 2012


The Hunger Games did not let me down! I thought it was great!  I thought it was pretty dang close to the book.  I'm Team Peeta. How about my bloggy friends out there?

Well, I know I kind of already posted today, but I made a freebie for you guys that I just had to share!  It's Friday, I'm 25, shouldn't I have more of a life? Don't answer that.

I loved these cute little eggs from Graphics from the Pond!  They are so stinking cute and so very perfect for math facts.  So I decided to make some games to review multiplication.  My kids love playing concentration games for some reason.  So, I obliged.  This file is huge.  Every fact from 2-12 is in there! Well, technically the 1's are in there too.  You can play each fact set seperately, or combine several fact sets together. It's up to you and your kiddos.

It's at my TPT Store and my TN Shop.  Be sure to leave a comment here or some feedback at my shops. It just makes my little heart so happy! :)

Oh and I'm linking up with Michelle at the 3AM Teacher. She is hosting a linky for all of us out there hosting giveaways.  Be sure to enter her giveaway and well mine! :) Click on the cute little pic to check out the linky!


You can check out my giveaway here...


Hopefully I'll get around to sharing some things we have been up to this week in my classroom! Have a great weekend!

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