Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's That In The Sky?? A Weather Project!

For the month of August, we studied all different kinds of weather in our 3rd grade class. I think our favorite project and discussion was all about clouds! Yeah, clouds! Those fluffy, pretty things in the sky.

My kids loved identifying different types of clouds when we walked to and from classes, when we were at recess, and when we were walking to the bus or carpool line. Seeing their enthusiasm and drive for the study of clouds, I just HAD to capitalize on it.

We first read the book It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw.
While this book was a bit easy for my 3rd graders, it still captivated them! They loved seeing what the different shapes would be, but they also loved the repetition.

After we read the story, we completed a simple art/writing/science activity. They created their own "cloud" and then wrote about what it was. The creativity that flowed from these kids was AMAZING. They worked hard to make something unique and some even chose to create something that was near and dear to their hearts.
Above was our cloud wall - it's still hanging up and the kiddos look at them EVERY morning, as they hang above where the backpacks hang up.

Back to the conversation on near and dear to their hearts, one of my student's mothers just had a baby. So, that student created a baby carriage out of their "clouds" and wrote about it. It was great!
There were ALL kinds of good ideas that my students came up with and they made my heart happy when I was walking around the room, looking at their different ideas and THEN it made my heart happy again when I was putting them up on the wall.

One of my favorites was the BEAR one.
Although it just looks like a mass of cotton balls, THIS student saw a bear in the clouds. Then, she also added a sun. Never do you just get the status quo of work from this child… she always goes above and beyond! I love love love it!

So what types of projects do you complete in your classroom for weather? Share in the comments below!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Another Bright Idea: Post It Notes!

So, you're back for another monthly installment of BRIGHT IDEAS!
One of my very, very favorite link ups out there.

So, here goes!
Let me start with what truly inspired this post. I was on Facebook one day and someone posted a picture of a treasure box. And I thought, well, wonder what's in it? The next day, they posted what was in it and I'll just say… it was TEACHER HEAVEN. A box full of different kinds and colors of post it notes. Oh my goodness. Perfection in a box.

So what did I do? OF COURSE. I ordered myself one of those beauties.
When it arrived, I was as giddy as could be. I was so excited to delve right into it to see what different kinds I had received. I'm not going to lie… some of the ones I received, I was like, "How in the WORLD am I supposed to use these? What would they be used for??" but, I figured that I'll find a place for them - duh! 
So, we found out that we could use the post it notes for many things. The list below is NOT all that you can do with them, but some ideas:
-Exit tickets
-Use during guided reading to write about parts you liked/didn't like
-Bookmarks (oh yeah… my kids love that they stick to their pages!)
-Labels for your classroom items
-Notes to other teachers/educators
-Quick games (I Have, Who Has?, Guess the Person, Guess the Word, etc)
-Short running-records or conference notes
-Think Math! responses
-Sticky-note graphic organizers

I want to elaborate a little more on the last one… if you type in sticky-note education on Pinterest alone, you'll pull up HUNDREDS of ideas. Now, type in sticky-note education on Google, and you'll pull up THOUSANDS more! Well, I wanted my students to individually choose a book that they wanted me to purchase (with Scholastic points) so what's the best way for them to write up on a GIANT piece of paper their responses without everyone going up at once? Oh yeah, sticky notes!
Right now, my lonely little sticky note that I used as an example is the only one up there… because we ran out of time, BUT needless to say, my students will be choosing a book that they'd like to be added to our classroom library so that they can no longer say, "I can't find anything to read, Mrs. Unroe!"

I love the endless possibilities that you could have with sticky notes. They provide your students an interactive way to continue learning instead of focusing solely on paper and pencil activities… what better way to learn than manipulate a tiny, fun piece of paper that sticks anywhere?!

What do YOU do or would you do in your classroom with sticky notes?? Share in the comments!

Next, head over to Pinterest to follow me for more ideas to use in your classroom.

Once you've done all that, check out the blogs below for THEIR bright ideas. Us teachers have to stick together, y'all!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Sunday Scoop: A Linky Party {September 14th Edition}

Linking up with the gals from Teaching Trio for their weekly linky, The Sunday Scoop!
I have GOT to get my grades in the grade book… I hold off until the end of the week if I can and well, this week, it piled up on me! But, it'll be good to look through the papers to see what my kiddos did this week. I also have to go to the grocery store to get meals for this week's lunches and do the laundry so I have clothes to wear! Finally, prep for this week - it's going to be a BUSY, busy week in 3rd grade, but we can do it :)

I would like to write some blog posts - I've got MANY ideas in my mind to write about… it's just about getting to sit down and do it! I also would LOVE to finish my plans early for next week so during planning this week, I can get set up for next week and have a free weekend!

Finally, I am SUPER happy to have the time to spend with my babies and then my love. We don't get much time during the week together with opposite schedules, so I look forward to the weekends!

Now it's your turn to head on over and link up, too :)
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