Monday, April 29, 2013

Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher is on Instagram!

So I have a new love... Instagram.

I've been using it personally for a few months and it's so much fun to keep up with my friends lives.  I love pictures, I think that's why I love Instagram so much more than Twitter!

I've seen lots of my favorite bloggers start Instagram accounts, so I had to join the fun! So Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher is now on Instagram!

I'm so excited to take snapshots throughout the day and share with you guys!  Click HERE or on the picture above to check out a few pictures I've posted so far.  You can search for me on on your phone too, @adventuresinthird! 

Tomorrow I'll be participating in 
How fun!?! So if you're a teacher, be sure to take a picture and post with the hashtag tomorrow!

Instagram is not my only new love. I am obsessed with this baby!

Like seriously, I've only had it since Saturday and I don't know how I ever lived without it.  I am hooked. 

Ok, one last thing...My Pampered Chef Giveaway ends at midnight EST!

Hope you all had a great Monday. :) 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pampered Chef Giveaway

I'm not much of a cook but I love Pampered Chef!  My friend Elisabeth, from Twins, Teaching, and Tacos (who is also my real life friend), is a new consultant for PC. So I hosted my first ever PC party! It was so much fun. We made some delicious BLT Salad and an incredible cake in the microwave. Not to mention we had some girl time and wine. :)

This Deep Covered Baker is amazing!  We baked a cake in 10 minutes in the microwave.  You can bake a whole chicken in the microwave in 30 minutes! CRAZY.

I love Pampered Chef stoneware too!

Pampered Chef gadgets are my favorite.

I love this pineapple wedger!

Trying to decide what I want is a hard decision, because I want it all!

If you are interested in buying anything, you can click here or on any of the pictures above  to visit Elisabeth's site and order from my party. (Just add me, Amber Polk, as the host!)

Since I love Pampered Chef so much and I love you guys so much...

That's right! If you win, you can have $50 worth of items delivered to your door! Enter with the Rafflecopter below.  The Giveaway ends Monday Night at Midnight. Good luck :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Visual Plans-April 22

It's Sunday again, so it's time to link up with the sweet Mrs. Wills!

At this point of the year with testing and spring fever, it's hard to focus on school.  So making these fun visual plans helps me focus a little more (and it helps a little with the Sunday Blues!)

We have to take our "Mock EOG" on Monday and Tuesday.  Then we have five weeks until the test. After testing is done, we will only have 8 days of school left.  This year has flown by!  

Anyway, on to my plans!

There is probably NO way in the world that I'm going to get through all of these activities this week!  I'll be lucky to get though half of it, but it's always better to plan too much than too little.  

Click Here or on the picture above to download the PDF File with all of the clickable links of some FABULOUS products at TPT!

This week we will be using two of my products. So, they will be on sale until Midnight EST at my TPT shop!! 

Have a great week! :) 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Magical Product Swap


Have you heard of the Magical Product Swap?  It is so much fun!  Especially when I am paired with the FABULOUS Kate from
Seriously, Love her!  I wish she lived on this side of the country, closer to me! Kate has great items at her TPT Store, so it was hard for me to decide what I wanted to use!  We are in Test Prep mode, so I was in search of some fun reading activities.  I fell in love with Kate's Reading Comprehension Mini-Bags. I just had to have her Read Between The Lines Inference Bags!

It included a whole week's worth of minilessons to teach with inferring and a really fun center/learning activity. 

First off I laminated the cute posters and hung them up in my room.

Kate made some great graphic organizers to practice making inferences about character and the world of the story!

Some of the pages had examples and the students made an inference from the text provided. 

We also used the graphic organizers during our Reading Workshop Time. The students made inferences from their independent reading. 

Now came the student's favorite part!!  The Mini-Bags! These would be awesome for literacy centers, but I usually don't do literacy centers in my classroom, so we did this activity whole group and it was so much fun!

So here are the bags.

Each bag has 4 cards.  One side is numbered 1-4 and the opposite side has a clue.

The students read the clues and create an inference about the story!  

So we did a few together with the Doc Camera on the Smartboard. 

I have four students in a group, so it worked perfectly to let them do the rest as a group! 

They made great inferences and had a great time doing it! Although they were upset when they ran out of cards!  So, that just means that I have to grab Kate's Main Idea Bags too!  

So if you're in need of literacy centers or some fun activities for shared reading (especially during test prep!), you've got to check out Kate's Store!  Be sure to check out Kate's Blog, Second Grade Sparkle,  too! She is so much fun!  

Because Kate is so cool, her product is on sale through Sunday for $3! 

Head over to Kate's Blog to read about what product of mine she used with her kiddos! 
(I'm having a little sale too!) 

Oh and be sure to check out the rest of the bloggers who participated in the Magical Product Swap!  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Realistic Fiction Anchor Charts

Yesterday I shared a little bit about how I'm doing Reading Test Prep in my room.  We finished up our Realistic Fiction last Friday.  We created several anchor charts. I know I always go to Pinterest for ideas for anchor charts, because it really helps to have a jumping off point. So, I'm sharing some of the charts we created. I wish my charts could be as cute as the ones I see on Pinterest, but mine are created with my kids while I'm usually standing in some awkward position trying to write! :)

Short and sweet! Do you have any boards on Pinterest where you pin anchor charts? I'd love to follow them! Leave a comment with your link.

Click on the pictures below to check out my Reading & Writing Workshop Boards. This is where I pin all of the fab anchor charts I find!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Reading Test Prep

Test Prep used to strike fear into my heart.  One thing I've learned from my five years in testing grades is that test prep does not have to be so boring and I don't have to teach it the way other people teach it.  Reading has not always been my strength, so I've struggled with how to make reading test prep more meaningful.

I have combined some different ideas from people much smarter than me and came up with a way that really works for me!  I base my Reading Workshop off of Lucy Calkin's Model and I love her test prep unit!  A lot  of these ideas come from her!

First off I planned out what genres I needed to review and the skills I wanted to review each day. After looking at the CCSS and the types of questions that are on our state;s released test, this is what I came up with.

I've left Fridays to either discuss a test taking strategy (QAR, Making Predictions, etc) or to review a concept I've discovered my class really needs more instruction or discussion.

Now, here's a layout of what I do everyday.

1. Minilesson-I usually create an anchor chart or pull one out from a previous unit.  We focus a lot on "signal words" that might be on the test and what that question might be asking.  Here's an example of a Main Idea  Anchor Chart.
Then the students usually copy parts of the anchor chart in their reader's notebook.

2.  Test Prep Practice- This is where the students practice answering questions from a reading selection. Each day the students are only answering 2-4 questions.  Here is how it works.

Monday- Teacher Models & Leads Discussion. We read and outline the selection together.  Then, we read the question together and discuss what the question is asking.  The students jot down what they think the answer is, citing the text if applicable, and share with their partner.  Then we look at each answer choice and discuss why each choice could or couldn't be the answer. Then we choose the best.  This day is lots of modeling and discussion!

Tuesday-Heavy Partner Work. Sometimes we even use the same selection from the day before, but sometimes we use a different. (Just depends on what I feel like my kids need!). The students read the selection with their partner and discuss and outline together.  They read the questions together, discuss, jot down their thoughts and choose the best answer. Then we come back and discuss.

Wednesday-Less Partner Work. Same drill as yesterday, but this time, the students read the selection and choose answers on their own. Then they meet with their partner and discuss.  Then we meet as a group and discuss.

Thursday-Independent Practice.  This is kind of an assessment for the week.  I make sure the selection and questions  covers the four topics we have discussed in class.  The students do this one completely on their own.

Friday- I pull strategy groups based on student's work from independent practice.

Even though the students are only answering a few questions, it takes about 20 minutes because we do a LOT of discussion.  Some days, usually on Mondays and Tuesdays,  I cut out the questions and pass them out one at a time. The students love it, because it is something different. For some reason, this makes it more game like! :)

3. Independent Reading-This is all taking place during our regular reading workshop time.  The students need to have stamina for the test, so for the rest of RW time, the students are reading independently or I'm pulling guided reading or strategy groups.

We just finished the second week and I  LOVE teaching test prep this way!  My kids have really enjoyed it too!  I can already tell a difference in their independent work.

One last thing, last year I created this Reading Test Strategy as a way for student's to road map their reading. I love it, it's easy to remember and it's really helped my kids with answering those tricky multiple choice problems! Click on the picture to download it for free!

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