Monday, March 23, 2015

 More Word Art and Camouflage Chameleons

Today I will catch on some science and BAV activities.

In science we talked about camouflage so I pulled out my favorite activity the camouflage chameleon. If you are interested in the chameleon, you can find the free copy here. The kids did a great job!

I have shown some word art on here before, but I wanted to show a few more that I thought were just terrific!

I loved this one because the little boy remembered we had learned that the Plains Indians would cause the buffalo to stampede off the side of a cliff to kill them before they had horses.

These two girls were doing the word extinct and they made the T look "ghostly" to make it look like it no longer existed.

I thought boy did a terrific job with the word reptile.

I showed it to Taleah, here is what she came up with...all I can say is WOW!

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

 Playing Catch-up!

I'm not even going to offer any excuses for my lack of posting...I have none. I do have some things that my classes have been doing that I would like to share. So I was getting ready to share a ridiculous amount of stuff and then I got smart..I'm breaking it up into three short, sweet posts. Hey, it's better for the reader and I now have two more posts waiting in the wings. Win-Win. ;)

In Oklahoma History, I found the workbook that goes with the textbook, but a lot of the pages just don't seem 3rd grade friendly. I find the textbook extremely interesting, but again most of my students are struggling with the concepts like the Trail of Tears, getting the Plains Indians mixed up with the Five Tribes and so on. I am trying to sort of follow the textbook, but find other things for the kids to do. Some of them the kids just loved. 
One came from this pin:State Stamps with Mrs. Brown
I loved this idea, it was for 4th graders and they were each doing a different state. I had my students pick out at least three things about Oklahoma to put on their stamps, then they had to write the significance of their design to the state of Oklahoma on the back of the stamps. They loved this activity!

After discussing the Trail of Tears there was a page in the workbook that put the kids in a modern day Trail of Tears type of scenario. The kids were told that soldiers came in and told their family they were being forced from their homes. Some of the answers the kids gave to the different stages of the scenario were so funny. The very first question said they had to pick out what they would grab to take with them. One little girl said her Olaf pillow pet, one boy said the toilet, I about cracked up because this boy more than any other student I have asks to go to the bathroom all the time! Hahaha. I was a little shocked by how many, mostly boys said guns! I wasn't sure what the kids would think about this assignment since it did have quite a bit of writing, but as soon as we were finished they said, "That was fun, can we do another one?" Yes!!! They had fun doing it and I had fun grading it! :)

When we studied about the cattle drives I had them design their own brand. We looked at a lot of different types of brands and learned to name them. I told them they needed to use at least one of their initials in the design. that way when they were hanging in the hallway they could try to figure out who made the designs. I decided to have them put the brand on a piece of paper sack. When they finished making the design and labeling it, I wanted to change the texture of the sack a little so I told them to wad the paper up 20 times...they look at me like I was crazy, but then enjoyed doing it. They also had to write on the back why they chose their design. 

Here are a few of the designs.

I had told the kids that it would be fun to try and figure out who had made the designs. I have a little sweetie whose initials were LD, she came up to me and told me that she only used the D because we have lots of kids with first or last names that start with D so they couldn't figure out it was hers. Good idea right??? One problem, she had put the D in a heart! I told her she might want to change it to a different shape because I didn't think any of the kids would think Darren or Donald had made that one. ;P Here's what she did instead. :)

Have a great Friday!!!

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

 My Life Just Got Easier! : )

This week I had one of those Aha moments or maybe it was really more like a "DUH" moment! I have had problems all year trying to find good material for me to use to teach Oklahoma. We do have textbooks, but they just seem a little intense for third grade, so most of the things I have used were things I made. I don't mind making things, but the problem is my principal wants me to help support the reading comprehension. I'm happy to help, but I have nothing like that to teach Oklahoma and reading comprehension together. 

I tried my hand at making one and I will admit it was much harder than I thought it would be. It was hard to get the passage to an appropriate reading level. Once I got it down where it needed to be, I had a tough time deciding on what the questions should be. I think the hardest part was choosing the wrong answers! HA I don't think writing reading comprehension pages is one of my talents.

So my Aha moment happened the other night, I was looking at the teaching guide of the Oklahoma book which I haven't done much, because we didn't have any kind of workbooks so it just seemed like a waste of time. As I am looking at it, I keep seeing these pages that say Student Edition, but I don't have one so I decided to try and google the book. I found the book and the student edition online. I was very happy when I was able to download it! There are a lot of pages in the student edition that support reading! YES! We may be doing them together since the textbook is so intense, but at least I don't have to make things, unless I want to. I kind of felt like a load had been lifted off of me.

I want to share some pictures from the Fall that I never got posted. First up is my bulletin board from Red Ribbon Week. I used the drawings the kids did as the border for the bulletin board.

You might call me lazy, I like to call it earth friendly. ;)  I made this bulletin board so I could change out the question each month and have the kids write a new answer. The mittens say, "Inquiring Minds Want to Know". Of course the kids love it because their pictures are on it.


We studied the Plains Indians in the fall. Right before Thanksgiving, I gave them paper, scissors, crayons, glue and their imaginations to make Plains Indians villages. Some worked by themselves, some chose to work in a group which was interesting when it came time to take them home. They were making plans on who was going to take it home first and then bring it back to school for the next one to take home...I never saw any of them come back to school! Hahaha

Later they worked in teams to make a Timeline of Oklahoma's State Symbol adoptions

 OK, I think that about caught me up me up, at least for now.  Have a terrific week!!! I get Monday off!

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