Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy Fall Y'all! It's a SALE!

I'm marking everything in my store down 20% for this weekend only!

A special thanks to my sweet friend Mandy for making this graphic!

Happy Shopping!



PS - I PROMISE I haven't forgotten about the Macy's gift card giveaway. I'm waiting to hear back from them! :)

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Will. I. Am, "What I Am" and a {Freebie!}

Have you seen this?


The fabulous Reagan at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits and Holly from Crisscross Applesauce In First Grade shared it with me and I am in LOVE with it!




I am so in love with it that I created a freebie to share with you!

My kids and I sing this three or four times a week in the morning and yes, even my 3rd grades love it! It puts everyone in such a good mood. I project this freebie and play the video in the background. I think that's part of what makes this work too - They don't know it's from Sesame Street! HA! :)




Several of my kids have asked for their own copies of the lyrics and I gladly copied and printed it out for them. I hope your kids will love it too! Click below to grab it from my TpT store for
{FREE!}



Note: TpT was not behaving and made me ZIP the file in order to upload it. Let me know if you have any questions! 

I know this is short and sweet, but I wanted to share this with you! Enjoy!

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Monday, September 24, 2012

How Do You "Corral" Your Kiddos? Clip Charts, Incentive Stickers and "Retired" Clips

I know. I'm late to the party. I'm so late the party is closed. Oh well - I've been working on this post for a WEEK and I am sharing it!. :) 

I've mentioned before how wonderful life has been in Room 3 since we started using the clip chart system. Our clip charts are mobile and have started traveling to Specials this year - which our Specials teachers LOVE. The kids like having the visual reminder and the opportunity to shine outside of our classrooms as well.


What is extra-wonderful about this new bunch is that they are really internalizing the language that my teaching partner and I use:

 - "A clip down is just a reminder. It just means I need to change my choices."

 - "I can always turn my day around."

The kids also know they can clip up or down right up until dismissal. We really mean it when we tell them, "You can always turn your day around."

Now if something super-serious happens, we certainly phone home or send a note home. However, that child still needs to be given every opportunity to change their choices.

One of my new favorite "clip-up" tricks is using Quiet Critters during different portions of our day.

Idea from here.

Now, we don't use these all day. We don't use them every day either. Otherwise, they would lose their magic.

I do use them during assessments.

And on "those days" when I reallyjustwantsomepeaceandquiet. 

Here is my rule for Quiet Critters: If you still have your critter at the end of our task, you can clip up. If you don't have yours, you don't have to clip down - but you're not clipping up. And, if I have to take it, that's it. The critter doesn't come back. They don't like noise. :) In all the times I have used them so far, I have only had to take ONE Quiet Critter. And the noisy child was devastated.

I didn't even give mine feet! Just googly eyes and some pom-poms. And a cute jar. With sticky letters.

If a kid makes it all the way to pink by the end of the day, they earn a sticker for their clip and they get one of these:


I ordered these from Vistaprint. I *think* I uploaded my own design. We always put their name and date on the back so they can celebrate their awesomeness with their families.

Last year, we "retired" clips after 10 pink days. We hung up their clips in the room and they were able to pick something out of the treasure box. We learned that 10 pink days is an eternity for 3rd graders. Also, hanging them up in the room didn't seem like enough of a celebration. So this year, we spiced it up a bit.

A clip is "retired" after 5 pink days. Much more attainable. This year, we don't hang them up in the room. We hang them up in the hall - for the whole school to see.





You can see that Giselle and Jose B. are superstars. They have already retired a clip. In fact, Jose B. has already retired 2 clips - he is practically perfect - but we haven't put it out in the hall yet. I also like that the retired clips are on top of the display piece, out of any other student's reach. Unless we get some insanely tall 5th graders this year.

This is our year-round display for showing off student work. We chose the pieces to hang for Open House, but we recently had a conversation with our kids about how they will choose what to display. We want them to choose tasks, assessments, writing pieces, responses, word problems - whatever! As long as it's something they are proud of, it can go up. They are so excited.

To keep up with how everyone ended their day, I use Christina Bainbridge's Classroom Behavior Log. It's FREE and fabulous. I really love that you can save and edit it, so I can add or drop students each time we need a new sheet without having to type in everything.

One of our classroom leadership jobs is Color Coordinator. This person is responsible for carrying the clip chart where ever it needs to go, bringing back to the correct homeroom at the end of the day and "coding" the clip chart log before they leave OR first thing in the morning before we need to "reset" it. 


I will leave you with one LAST idea that we tie into our clip charts: Classroom Incentive Stickers.

Whenever we have a "big event" coming up (Field Trip, Field Day, etc.) we create a sticker *about* 2 weeks in advance that spells out the event or reward.

For example:




We were getting ready to start EIGHT CONSECUTIVE DAYS of ITBS TESTING after being in school just a little more than a month. We knew the kids would need a "light at the end of the tunnel" so we brainstormed a few rewards and they decided they would like a popsicle party. As long as the student has at least ONE letter in the reward sticker left, they get the reward with the rest of the class.

There are only a few ways to "lose a letter" -

1. No Homework
2. If  your clip was is yellow, orange or red at the end of the day.
3. If you lose your mind and do something crazy. (fighting, cursing, etc.)

While we stress always being able to turn your day around, once a letter was gone it was gone. No earning it back.

They are m-a-g-i-c, people! Especially for field trips and Field Day. A-mazing!

I hope you've gotten some good ideas. Be sure to let me know if you have any questions!

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Good News, Bad News, an Apology and a Giveaway!

I spent the weekend at a Living Proof Live simulcast with Beth Moore and Travis Cottrell. It was amazing. I learned so much, had an incredible time with my sweet sister Jennie and my cup was overflowing with the incredible worship experience we had. She is coming to Atlanta in May and I'm not sure I can wait that long! :)

I am renewed and ready to take on a new week.

And then, this guy happened.

Meet Charlie. In a book tub.
Charlie loves to sit with me while I work at our dining room table. Loves it. But he doesn't love it when I move papers around. Tonight, he got a little spooked and knocked my school laptop off the table. The casing is cracked pretty badly, but it is working (obviously - I'm using it right now) for the moment. I've already emailed our media specialist and asked her to put in a work order. Sad face.

And then, I heard Beth's voice in my head - "Shalom, girl!" And so I will shalom. :)

I do want to take a minute and apologize to anyone who tried to download the Procedures freebie I posted last week. Somehow, I managed to upload the wrong file to TpT. As soon as I finish writing this post, I am going to replace the file with the right one. I had no idea until someone left a snarky comment.

Sweet friends, if you have a problem downloading something or the file doesn't look quite right, please let the seller know via the questions section for that product. We make mistakes. We are human. We want you to be happy with your purchase or freebie. Let us know in a question that you have a concern before you mark someone's product down. Give us the chance to make it right. Shalom, right?

How about some random shopping fun and a giveaway?

Kohl's recently contacted me and asked me to tell you about their new back to school section. It's designed to help you get more for less! Love it!

Click the picture to go directly to Kohl's BTS section!
They are also offering my readers an exclusive 10% off code that you can use in addition to one other department specific code so you can stack your savings! Use the code UBLOGTEN until October 24th to snag your savings. 

Now for a giveaway!

Many of you know I love, love, love working with the Drama Club at my school. We spent nine months last year putting together a 90 minute production of Charlotte's Web and this year we'll be working on Snow White and the 7 Dwarves of the Black Forest.

Another one of my favorite places, Macy's, wrote to me last week to let me know about a new program they are providing to schools and teachers - for FREE!

"Yes, Virginia: The Musical" is based on the true story of Virginia O'Hanlon who wrote to the New York Sun in 1897 asking if Santa was real. The editor's famous response began, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," and has continued to inspire people since its publication.

If you visit  YesVirginiaMusical.com you'll be able to download the script and select songs for your production. You'll also be able to view videos featuring celebrities and theater experts to spark ideas of your own and access everything else you need for a spectacular show.

As part of its commitment to arts education, Macy’s will award $1,000 grants to 100 eligible schools nationwide to support their productions of the show! AND, in connection to the musical, they are offering one of my readers a $20 gift card! 

Here are the rules:

1. Follow Third Grade Bookworm (easy peasy)

2. Visit YesVirginiaMusical.com and read over the script. Tell me how you would use the $1000 grant to make this come to life in your school. Leave your ideas in the comment section below WITH your email address so I can connect it to the Rafflecopter. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

That's it peeps! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Don't forget to go back to the Procedures Freebie and re-download it if it's something you want. So sorry for the mix-up! :) 

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Mother's Cure - Fundraiser

My sweet bloggy friend Alisha at The Bubbly Blonde Teacher has a heart of gold. She found out that her childhood friend Tiffany was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Tiffany lost her father just a few years ago to the same cancer.

Tiffany and her daughter, Emma
She is a young mother fighting a long battle and Alisha has come up with a great way for us to help her.

By making a $20 donation to a PayPal account Alisha set up, you will receive a PLETHORA of SUPER-FAB products donated by a TON of incredible bloggers. For more information, please click on the picture below and consider donating.


This is a fantastic way for us to love on someone who needs us AND grab some fabulous products for our classrooms!

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Procedures Problem Solving {FREEBIE!} UPDATED!!

One of the things I struggle with the most is helping my students transition from 2nd grade to 3rd grade.

The Good Lord did not make me to teach K, 1st or 2nd grade. I tried 4th. Too many hormones - after Christmas. Before Christmas, I loved 4th grade. I am terrified to go anywhere near 5th. So you see, I am perfectly and wonderfully made to teach 3rd grade.

So this time of year can be a little, um.... well... painful.

When they come up to me and showing me every little thing they put on your paper? That makes me nuts.

When I'm in the middle of a mini-lesson and they want to tell a story about how their baby brother/sister/cousin fell off the bed? That drives me crazy.

When I give directions THREE times and they come up to me and say, "I forgot what to do." Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.

I know that sometime in mid-October, my 3rd graders will come to school. It happens every year. I know this because my husband laughs at me and reminds me of this.

So, until then, I have to have some "saving my sanity" measures in place.

I created this next resource as a strategy to help my inclusion students last year, but I've found it's also worked really well for my "3rd" graders this year as well. I can see this being a tool I use all year long.







I project this picture onto my ActivBoard and use the "Annotate over the Desktop" option to write out what they need to do step-by-step.

You can grab the PowerPoint version from my TpT store and type (or write using the annotate option via ActivBoard) right on top of the boxes.

At the bottom, I cross out the materials they do not need so they can see what should be out and on their table.

You can use the sample above as a reference for how it would look if you typed everything out. I find it easier to write them out using the "annotate" option with my ActivBoard. This makes it easier to "reset" after each activity or lesson. 

Grab it from my TpT store by clicking on the banner below. I hope it's something you can use!



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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Common and Proper Noun Goodness!

I am finally finished with this unit.

Thank. the. Lord. :)





This has been "in the works" for a long time, but I can assure that each of these activities have been classroom tested, tweaked and approved! My 3rd grade team ROCKS for letting me plan our language arts lessons and being completely honest with me when it comes to what works and what doesn't.

I also have to thank The Teacher's Cauldron, Teaching With Style, Fabulous Firsties and Fancy Free in Fourth for looking it over and giving me feedback as well. Thanks girls!

There are 15+ pages of anchor charts, activities and assessments for you to use with your students. Lots of choices for practice, reinforcement and extensions.

- Anchor Chart
- Whole Group Sorting Activity
-  Original “Selfish” Poem
- Poetry Response and Answer Key
- 2 Partner Tic-Tac-Toe Games
- Proper Noun Performance Task
- Personal Proper Nouns Acrostic Activity
- 2 Common-Proper Memory Match-Ups
- 3 Printables and Assessment Options

I do want to note that while I'm "tagging" 1st grade in my grade levels, some of the activities may be a little challenging for your little learners. Feel free to email me and ask me about any of the activities.

Click below to find it in my TpT store. I'll add it to my Teacher's Notebook store as soon as their uploader decides to behave! :)



Happy Hump Day!

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Currently September!


I missed August's Currently, so I'm really excited to jump back on the Farley train! :) 

Anybody else enjoying a Labor Day on their own? My sweet boy is out peddling wine and I am enjoying a rare day at home on my own. DVR, oh how I've missed you! Law and Order:SVU, Weeds, NY Med... we're catching up today!

And Mr. Adam Levine. Sigh. I love my husband. I do. But that man? (Fans self.) This album is a lot of fun.



Anyone else starting ITBS and COGat this early? I totally forgot to cover up/turn around charts/etc. before I left on Friday. Blaaaaaaaaah. These poor kiddos. They are not ready for 8 days of testing. We've barely gotten 5 minutes of reading stamina down. HA!

I, however, have been a reading FOOL. I'm pretty sure my sweet boy is going to stop being so sweet if I don't stop buying new books. Here are a few of my (non-teaching related) recent faves:



Just a few notes about the titles: 
 
Gone Girl: Super suspenseful, dark and twisted. I could not put it down. This is my "must read" recommendation for all of my friends. 
Lone Wolf: The newest Jodi Picoult novel. I love, love, love Jodi Picoult. You should love her too. She creates characters and story lines that make you question where you stand on current issues. I love books that make me reexamine my own outlook on the world. 
Come Home:Lisa Scottoline manages to interweave families, mystery and suspense. It's like super-hyped up chick lit. Love it. 

Defending Jacob: A district attorney's 14-year-old son is charged with murder and he has to become a defense attorney in order to save his son. Again, a few dark twists and turns along the way... are you sensing a pattern? :) 

The Light Between Oceans: After years of trying to start a family, a lighthouse keeper and his wife find a boat washed up on their shore. The man inside the boat is dead, but a newborn baby is alive. I'm only a few chapters into this one, but it's really really good!

Bared to You: If you, um, like the 50 Shades books then you should, um, read this one. Seriously. ;-) 


Fantasy football!!! I've always had to play with my sweet boy and a bunch of other guys. I'm so excited that some of my blogger peeps had the bright idea to start a league of our own. The draft is today and I can't wait! 

We also have a new Book of the Month at school, One Smile

Since we are a Leader in Me and 7 Habits school, we dedicate each month to a different habit. One Smile supports Habit 1: Be Proactive. Be on the lookout for some lessons on how I'm bringing this into my classroom!

Go link up! It's fun to peek through everyone's lists. Most importantly... remember the RULE of 3!! :)




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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Beginning of the Year Writing Prompts {FREEBIE!}

Every year, we fill out "data cards" on each of our students every 9 weeks to track their progress in reading, writing and math. We also include their scores for "mock" versions of our annual state test and any other standardized test scores. We keep them on tiny binder rings and add to them year after year.

As an ELA teacher, these cards are my "go-to" resources for creating guided reading groups at the beginning of each year. It's really fascinating (to me) to look back and see their progress from kindergarten to the current year (or however long they've been at our school). However, a DNM (does not meet), M (meets) or E (exceeds) doesn't tell me everything I need to know about my students' writing abilities. 

We are also required to have a beginning of the year writing sample on every student, so I created the following resource to help me gather information on my students as writers.


I don't use this on the first day of school. I usually have this ready for the 4th and 5th day, once we've had a few days to "warm up" to each other. :) I always, always, always read each prompt aloud to the kids. I think this is really important. I don't want reading the prompt to get in the way of their ability to connect and write. I also let the kids choose which prompt they want to use. I give them around 20-30 minutes to write depending on how focused the majority of the class is. Remember, this is a beginning of the year activity and their writing stamina is still a work in progress. The first day is strictly for brainstorming and drafting.

On day two, I reread the prompts and pass back their papers. I remind them to reread what they've written so far and add any details they may have missed or need to finish up their story. Then I let them use dictionaries to find any words they may need to fix. If they are "finished" early, I let them have an extra piece of paper to illustrate their story. I don't tell them this ahead of time or no one will add anything else to their story. They will all just want to draw. :)

(Note: I pay close attention to who knows how to use a dictionary and who does not. This lets me know if this is a needed mini-lesson or not.)

I always tell the kids this is NOT for a grade. It shouldn't be - it's the 4th day of school! :) However, these writing samples give me incredible amounts of information. By looking through them, I can determine who needs to be pulled in a strategy group for end punctuation. I can tell if I need to begin my noun lessons with proper nouns, plurals or possessives. I know which elements of narrative writing the majority of the class understands and which elements I'll need to focus on the most. I can immediately create editing partners with "equal" writing abilities. I can also pull out these samples during future mini-lessons when I'm looking for examples of particular elements or when we need to edit a particular skill. Do you see the possibilities?? :)

I hope you'll be able to use this freebie. I also hope you'll come back and share the things you learn about your students. I'm always looking for new ways to use this teaching tool!

Do you have a way to determine your students' writing abilities at the beginning of a new school year? I'd love to hear about it!



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