Friday, March 27, 2015

Classroom Tested Resources - Awesome Giveaway

I'm so excited to be a part of this amazing group of teachers.
We've started a new blog that will have a new post EVERY day.
One of us will share what we are doing in our classrooms 
in the hopes that it will also work for you.

Click below to check out the new blog.
As a way to welcome all of you,
we are having a BIG giveaway!

Be sure to enter for a chance to win
some fantastic prizes.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cooperative Groups Spelling Game!

Every year I play this game with my kids
and every year, they love it!

It's super easy and can be finished in about 10 minutes.

I place the kids into groups of 3 or 4.
Each group needs something to write on:
Next, I give the class a very broad category.
The kids are usually good at helping with this part.

Then, I choose a letter from the alphabet.
I usually pick the common ones: R,S, T, C, B...
Finally, the game begins!
Each team must brainstorm words that start with the letter given
and the words must fit into the category.

This part usually last about 3 minutes
and I play some fun background music.
I have the rule that no team can talk when another team shares.
You talk - you lose a point!
Each team gets a chance to share their list.
The other teams need to listen and raise their hand if 
they have the same word.

Your team only gets a point if no other team has that word.
We've played one round each day this week
and the highest score so far is 10 points.
I keep track for the week and announce the winners at the end.
Then, I'll make new groups and start over.

Please note, that I did not create this game.
I found it years ago in a Scholastic book,
so I am by no means taking credit for it.
Just wanted to share something fun!

What are some other fun games you play with your class?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Super Easy Review Activity!

So many times, we'll read something one day,
and then I want to do a quick recap the next day.
I wanted to get my kids engaged in our review from the previous day,
so I came up with this SUPER EASY review activity. 

I asked them to take out the reading from the day before.
They had to write down 4 words that they
thought were important from the reading.

Then, on the board, I made a list of all their words.
The kids came up and put a tally mark under
the four words they had written down.

Was it CRAZY up at the board?
But they loved getting up and marking their choices.
Finally, we looked at the results and circled the top 4 choices.

It was fast, easy and we were able to review what we read the day before.

What are some other ways you do quick reviews in your classroom?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

FREE Reading and Math Resource Sites

I recently found two sites that have tons of reading and math resources.  
The best part... they're free!  

The first one is 
It's one of those sites that you need to take some time to explore.  
There's lessons and ideas for all the main subjects 
we have to teach.

One section has quickly become my favorite...
I'm always looking for reading passages to use with my kids.
I need them for small groups, homework or mini-lessons.
This site has a ton to choose from and you can just print and use.

The second site is

This site only has math lessons,
but it's loaded with ideas.

My favorite part is the lessons page.
You can search for lessons by grade level
or even specific standards.

Are there other websites you use for
free reading passages or math lessons?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Compare and Contrast Literature

The past two weeks we've been working on 
Comparing and Contrasting Literature.

It was one of my favorite units so far this year.

We started by comparing and contrasting two purple pens.
Then, it was time for a pen and a pencil.

Our next activity was looking at photographs
and comparing/contrasting them.

I put the pictures around the room 
and numbered them with sticky notes.
The kids used a recording sheet
to list two things that were similar 
and two things that were different in each picture.

Then, we spent four days reading books in small groups.
Each group read two books by the same author and 
the books had the same characters.
I was able to differentiate based on reading levels.
Check out these pics of the kids reading.
I wish you could see their faces,
because they were so into the books!

Finally, each group filled in their recording sheets
to compare/contrast characters, theme, setting and endings 
of the two books.

The kids had fun and I enjoyed listening to the discussions about the books.

All the resources I used are available in my store.

I'd love to hear activities you have used for comparing and contrasting literature.
Have a great week!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Trade and Grade: Missing Numbers Multiplication PowerPoint

I'm so excited to be joining some other teachers for:

I'm going to start out by sharing my favorite part
of this event - I met another 3rd grade teacher!
I love to meet 3rd grade teachers from other states
and to share ideas with them.

I traded products with Jennifer from Laman's Terms!
My kiddos and I played her multiplication PowerPoint game:

My kids LOVED this game!
I projected it onto my whiteboard and we played students vs. teacher. 

The kids went first and picked a number off the board.

A multiplication problem with a missing factor or product was shown.

All my kids had a small dry erase board and 
had to try to find the correct answer.
If they all got it correct, they received a point.
The game is set-up so you can keep score within the PowerPoint.
Then it was my turn.
I was WAY ahead of the kids, so I offered them - All of Nothing.

They took the offer and their final problem was:
5 x ?? = 15.

They were SO excited because it was a fact everyone knew!
They won the game!
It was great to hear their positive comments
as we played the game.
It was clear they were having a good time 
practicing their multiplication facts.

Jennifer is offering a FREE SAMPLE
of this game.
Simply click on the link below.
Be sure to check out the other products that were 
Traded and Graded.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Paper Snowball Fight - Help to Get the Wiggles Out

The call just came that school is cancelled for tomorrow!
It's going to be too cold for the kids to safely get to school.
The kids haven't gone out for recess the past two days because...
it was too cold.
That's Chicago weather for you!

When the kids don't go out, 
they are nutty the rest of the day.
On "No Recess" days, I try to keep them active in the afternoon.
During math, we were doing a ton of paper cutting
for our interactive notebooks.
I told the kids to throw the scraps on the floor 
as they cut their paper.
The first time you tell them to do this,
you are going to get a ton of weird looks.
"Has my teacher gone crazy?"

When we finished cutting, 
it was time for the fight.
I reviewed the rules ahead of time:
1. No throwing paper at faces.
2.  When I say "stop" you need to stop immediately and clean up.

The snowball fight began and the kids LOVED it!
They threw the paper and kept picking more off the floor.
I gave them a minute of fun.
When I said, "Stop,"
everyone stopped.

It was a short amount of time,
but it got a few of the wiggles out.

What are some fun activities you use for "No Recess" days?