Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Help! =)


Because I am a young, first year teacher, I will have TONS of time this summer.
I have no kiddos or a husband tying me down. =)
I would love to make use of this time I will have by doing some different things to improve my teaching.
This is where YOU come in.
I would love for all of you to veteran teachers to answer the two questions below! Please?! 

Number 1:  
What Professional Development conferences 
and workshops do you recommend?
I would LOVE to either attend some conferences or do some PD online this summer. 
What conferences/workshops have you been to that you recommend?
I just really want to be productive this summer
and come back a better teacher then I have been this year. =)

Number 2:
What teaching related books do you 
recommend I read this summer?
What is your go-to teaching related book?
What new ideas have changed the way you teach?
Let me know! I would LOVE to check them out this summer.

Don't forget to comment & thanks in advance for your feedback! 
You guys all ROCK! 

-Ms. Smith

Monday, April 16, 2012

Testing Motivation: Airheads!

Standardized Testing Motivation Day #2!

On Wednesday before standardized testing, I plan to give my students each an Airhead with a notecard attached. Below you will find the link to notecards if you would like to download for your students!
Graphics: From the Pond (Love their stuff!!)

Thanks so much for reading! =) 
As always, I love it when you guys leave some love! 

-Ms. Smith

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Testing Motivation: Smarties!

Hello Hello!!

I know a lot of you guys are done with testing, but we are not. =( 
We have two more days this week of math testing.
Last week on our first test day I gave each of my students a note from his/her parents. They LOVED their notes and I almost cried some of them were so sweet. I will definitely do this before testing from now on. 

I was trying to think of something else to do for my kiddos this week, so I made a little notecard to give to them along with a pack of Smarties. I know EVERYONE is making these testing motivation cards and they are all SUPER cute, but I wanted to make my own because I feel like I use other peoples stuff way to much. =) My cards don't rhyme or anything, but I wrote them a short note to go along with the candy. I left the name spot blank so if you wanted to use it you could simply sign your name. Hopefully someone will find a use for these if not this year, maybe next year! =) (There are two cards per sheet. Simply copy in color or in black and white on colored paper and cut out!)

A HUGE thanks to From the Pond for their great borders I used. =)

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL week!
ANYONE else out there STILL testing?! What are you doing to keep your kiddos motivated?
Good luck if you are still testing like I am!
Like always, I love it when you guys leave me some love. =)

-Ms. Smith

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Simile Fun! (with a FREEBIE!)

Our standardized testing starts TOMORROW. ahh! 

Last night I was looking through the practice test and decided my kiddos needed some more work on similes. We don't really cover figurative language very much in 3rd grade, but it is on THE test. (I did my internship in 4th grade and that is when figurative language is covered in depth.) So, I decided that we needed to take some time to go over it today.

Simile Lesson:

First, I gave my student 5 minutes to color a "simile person". I didn't tell them what this was for, but I told them to use a lot of colors and to make it as detailed as possible. (Using color and detail will make it easier to come up with similes later, but I didn't tell them this.) This could also have been done as morning work. I wanted them to color their person before the lesson so that they weren't coloring based on similes they had created. I wanted them to use their brains to create similes based on the picture they already had colored. Does that make sense? hah!

Then, I began the actual lesson by reading "Quick as a Cricket" a book with TONS of similes. (Any book on similes would work. We discussed the similes on each page and talked about what two unlike things were being compared using like or as. Afterwards, as a class we came up with our own similes. My students caught on quickly!

Finally, I had them look at the person they had colored on their worksheet. I told them they had to come up with five similes describing/comparing their "simile person" to something else. They did a GREAT job. They really caught on quickly and I feel confident that they will all get any question they come across that discusses similes on THE test correct tomorrow.

"Simile People" Worksheet:

This is a quick, easy, and fun lesson! I hope some of you will be able to use it!
Let me know what you think! And leave some love if you might be able to use it!
Happy Tuesday! =)

ALSO: I did NOT come up with the idea of simile people. I saw this idea on the internet, but could not find any kind of worksheet or activity to go with it so I created my own. If the idea of simile people is your own original idea, let me know and I would love to give you credit! =)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Life is CRAZY + Fun Fraction Lesson

WHEW! These past two weeks have been CRAZY.

1) Testing starts NEXT week. We have reading next week, and math the next week. This means we have been reviewing (and reviewing some more) nonstop. I am so ready for these tests to be over so we can do some fun spring activities. I am also SUPER nervous about administering all of these tests! So much pressure! HAH!

2) Life has been crazy busy... and to top it off, last week I had the flu! Yuck. I haven't felt that miserable in a long time! This weekend (and all last week) all I did was sleep. I had so many other things I needed to get done, but I didn't even feel like moving! ... Oh the joys of being a first year teacher and catching every sickness possible! =)

3) Being a first year teacher I have not had a chance to breathe the past two months. I haven't had any time to create new lessons and stay up to date on this blog, its CRAZY. I am currently attempting to work on a short unit on the solar system. I am hoping to get it done so we have something fun and new to do after testing is complete... fingers crossed! =)

I haven't posted a lesson idea in a LONG time, 
so I thought I would share a fraction mini-lesson I used last year! 

Adding Fractions (Trail Mix) Lesson Idea and Worksheet:

Tonight I decided to share with you guys a short math fraction lesson I did last year during my internship in  fourth grade. We were working on adding fractions with same denominators, so in order to review I decided to add some food and make the math lesson hands-on. I also LOVE making lessons relate to real life situations. So, making a recipe and doubling it works on both adding fractions, cooking and using measuring cups. My kiddos enjoyed the lesson and loved eating the yummy trail mix afterwards. I hope this handout and lesson is something you can use in your classroom sometime! =)