August 21, 2017

The First Week of Third Grade

Third grade! Yay!

I survived the first two weeks of third grade and finally have the time/energy to tell you a little bit about it. I won't be going into total detail, so please leave a comment if you have a question!



The first read aloud for third grade was How to Be Cool in the Third Grade. It was great and opened up the opportunity for discussions about bullying, "being cool," and friendship. The kids loved it so much that they gave it a standing ovation when we finished it on Friday!



On the first day, we read The Crayon Box That Talked. Then students completed this (very challenging) team building activity that required them to build a tower of cups without touching them. Afterwards, we discussed kind and respectful language and made an anchor chart called "Meaningful Conversations." (See below.)





One of my favorite back to school books for teaching respect and responsibility for actions is called What If Everybody Did That? I find myself referring to the book ALL YEAR LONG by asking students that question in order to redirect their behavior.

After reading the book, students write on sticky notes how they might apply our classroom rules.



Two first week traditions that I continued were All About Me Four Corners and the Me & We Book.

I updated my four corners game over the summer so that it ended with this encouraging slide. Students read it with me and I read it to them because I wanted them to know - from day 1 - that they are so loved.



The Me & We Book is a tradition that I learned from my team during my first year of teaching. Students always love it! We turn the pages into a class book that they can read all year long.



We read The Important Book and talked about how our unique qualities make us important. This discussion ended with students writing autobiographical writing samples and gave them ideas for their Me & We Books. We also used The Important Book as our first mentor text for Jivey's mentor sentences.



On the first day that we switched for math classes, I introduced myself using my interactive math about me chart. Then, students made their own using a matching freebie by Create Teach Share called Figure Me Out. I allowed them to use sticky notes to make them look like mine, and I love how they look on my math board! They'll be perfect for parents to check out during Curriculum Night.

SPOTTED: Hashtag Headings
Later in the week, I introduced each of the Daily 5 centers. Practicing independent reading s=and building stamina is so important to start right away! The kids loved listening to "The Greatest" by Sia as they picked out books and found comfy reading spots.



Towards the end of the week, we set long term goals for the school year. (Look for a product coming soon to my TPT!) We talked about growth mindset by reading Giraffes Can't Dance and watching the Class Dojo "Big Ideas" series about the power of YET.



Other than those major activities, the rest of the time was spent teaching and practicing classroom procedures, organizing our supplies, and learning how my classroom runs. It was a great, smooth week.... but I am glad it's over! This group of students has figured out the routine quickly, which has made the transition to a new grade much easier for me.



Other books I read throughout the week:

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

Chocolate Milk Por Favor

What If Everybody Did That?

The Juice Box Bully

The Important Book

Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind

My Mouth is a Volcano 

*          *          *          *          *

What are your favorite activities for the first week of school? Let me know in a comment below!





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August 15, 2017

3rd Grade Read Alouds



I was moved to third grade this year, so I needed a fresh batch of read alouds.  After all, I have some former students in my class, and I didn't want to reread any chapter books to them!

After thinking back on books I loved as a kid and asking other teachers for recommendations, I purchased the following books for my classroom:

How to Be Cool in the Third Grade

Judy Moody is in a Mood

The One and Only Ivan

Because of Winn Dixie

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

The Witches


Those may last me through this semester, but I already have some great options lined up for the spring semester! The following books were recommended to me by other 3rd grade teachers that I totally trust. (A * denotes books I have read and completely approve of!)

How to Eat Fried Worms*

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory*

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

Lemonade Wars

Lone Bean

The Wild Robot

Third Grade Angels

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing*


Did I leave any of your favorites off of my list?! Let me know in a comment below!






PIN IT FOR LATER!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through these links comes at no extra cost to you, but I do get a small percentage back that I use for the upkeep of this blog and other School and the City communications.

August 3, 2017

Sneak Peek: Welcome to Third Grade!


I am completely exhausted but my heart is so happy. I survived Meet the Teacher today and I got to squeeze all of my sweet kids from last year!

As you may or may not know, I was moved (promoted?) to third grade, so I have a few of my students that were in my class last year. All of my other former students will be right nextdoor or across the hall, so I'll still get to see their sweet faces every day. Yay! They were a wonderful class and I miss them tons.

Anyways... on to the sneak peek...

When new students and parents first walked in, they saw my math about me chart, a photo area, and instructions on the board. (I also had fun music playing... #ambiance).

The YAY balloon is from the Target Dollar Spot, but I found a similar one on Amazon, found here.


Most students bring their supplies with them, so I have them sort them for me. My bins are labeled with my supply labels, free in my TPT store.

SPOTTED: pencil nametags, expectation posters, and team jobs

On tables, students found their nametags, important forms for parents, an envelope full of information to take home, and a quick gift.


I found the fun glasses at Target in the party section. You can read more about them here.

I printed on sticky notes using a free template that I found on TPT after reading some tutorials. It's easier than I thought it would be, and I love how it looked!


Here's the area where parents turned in the forms, signed up to volunteer, and viewed my classroom wish list.

Wish list tips: Make sure parents have something to take with them so they don't forget about it, and write your name on the back of it in case they have more than one child at your school.


I bought these acrylic display signs last summer, and they have proved so useful! I use them for sneak peek, curriculum night, and even during daily lessons to label centers or differentiated activities.

Last but not least, I set up my table supply caddies with the new supplies and I LOVE how gorgeous they look!



Whew! Now I just have to get ready for Monday.... First day of third grade, here I come!








Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through these links comes at no extra cost to you, but I do get a small percentage back that I use for the upkeep of this blog and other School and the City communications.