Friday, January 31, 2014

Compare & Contrast...Common Core Edition

Well… its been a while! From a mission trip to the WARM side of the world to getting snowed in (at someone else's house for TWO days…with no technology, clothes…toothbrush… it was SAD!)… life has been BUSY! Today I thought I'd share some compare and contrast resources I have found useful in my classroom!

This year has been very challenging as we make the change from state standards to the Common Core standards. Although a lot of the material we have used in the past can be used to "supplement"... most of the new standards require much more in-depth resources. I have really noticed this when preparing to teach standard RL 3.9
Although I ALWAYS teach the skill compare and contrast, I have never taught it as in-depth as I am required to for the Common Core. By third grade students should already know how to compare and contrast. Now we are supposed to expand on that skill and teach students to compare and contrast two stories written by the same author. Whoa!

I plan on spending a few days introducing the very basic skill of comparing and contrasting because I don't know where my students stand. I feel like through these first few years of Common Core it will be VERY important to retrace second grade skills that students might not have gotten due to the change in standards.

After students have a good grasp on simply comparing and contrasting two things, two places, two characters, etc. I will move on to our new third grade standard. I plan on introducing this new standard by reading two Arthur books. As we read them we will first fill out two story element charts and then we will complete a Venn Diagram comparing the two books (using the information we recorded on the story element charts). This new standard asks us to compare and contrast two stories, written by the same author… with the same characters. Whew!

After we have practiced together as a class (several times and in several different ways) I plan on breaking students into pairs. In partners students will read two stories and do the same thing we completed as a class on their own worksheets. They will first fill out the story elements and then complete the Venn Diagram. I love that using a story elements chart and a Venn Diagram has students working on a new standard and reinforcing old ones at the same time. 

For partner work I plan on giving my students two different Berenstain Bears books because I have tons of them AND they are at a good reading level for my students. I believe they will be able to appropriately read and comprehend the texts. 
You can find the graphic organizer and Venn Diagram my students will be using for free on my Teachers Pay Teachers site. I hope that other 3rd grade teachers trying to gather resources for RL 3.9 will be able to find these graphic organizers useful.  Also, if you have created or found any resources for this standard... please share them! 

Well, that post wore me out! 
That's the longest I have written in a while... Hah! Hope you all have having a terrific week and STAYING WARM! =) 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

(High) Five for Friday

It's Friday, Friday...
Gotta get down on Friday...
Everybody's lookin' forward to the weekend...
(Hah! Anyone remember that wonderful song?)
I just started reading Divergent and I am HOOKED.
I know what I'll be doing all weekend! =)
I cooked! 
I try to cook but life just gets so busy sometimes.
Checkout this cheeseburger casserole I made.
It is delish. I think it's the mustard that really sets it off.
Wednesday was our first day back with students.
The first day back after Christmas break calls for Starbucks.
8 degrees? Feels like -5 degrees?
I know that is much warmer then what some of yall have been feeling but this southern girl did not know what a negative temp. felt like until just a few days ago. I also learned that I would NOT survive up north.
Everyones at the gym right now... including me.
Once New Years happens every single treadmill at the gym is always full. Although I went pretty regularly before Christmas I am trying to get recommitted and refocused on my fitness.

Linking up with:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cheeseburger Casserole = Delish.

Although I LOVE creating teaching resources and sharing blog posts related to them, I also have a life OUTSIDE of teaching (at least I try to hah!) so I thought it might be fun to start incorporating some non-teaching related posts into this little ole blog of mine. I have recently become addicted to reading non-teaching blogs such as fashion blogs, lifestyle blogs, cooking blogs...etc. so I decided to try to start throwing those types of posts into this blog as well. I figured if I enjoy reading them so much I will probably also enjoy writing them. It's worth a try AND I can always abandon ship if its a bust.

Today I thought it would be fun to share a YUMMY recipe with you guys. If you are like me, you are attempting to eat healthier in 2014. I found a fab.ul.ous food blog and I can't wait recipe after recipe.
Skinnytaste Blog

The first recipe I decided to to tackle was the:
Cheeseburger Casserole.
One word... Yum!
(Each serving is only 261 calories...WHAT? I am lovin' that!)
For more appealing pictures click on over to Skinnytaste...hah!
This recipe was not only yummy but super simple! It took maybe 20 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook.  The best part is that you can probably find most of these ingredients in your kitchen!
*Skinnytaste includes garlic and dill pickles but I chose to omit those two ingredients and it still tasted fantastic!

Click on over to Skinnytaste for the full recipe...
you won't be sorry you did!
Do you have a favorite recipe? I'd love to hear it!

Friday, January 3, 2014

BLAST off into 2014! (Giveaway!)

Today is my LAST day of winter break. =(
School starts Monday for me and then the kiddos return on Wednesday.
I have soaked up every minute of winter break and even though I am sad for it to end, I am excited to go back and see my sweet kiddos!

I thought now would be a good time to share my New Years creativity with you guys! This is one of the very first items I made and I continue to make it every year because it is:
A) Simple
B) A HUGE hit with my boys (hah!)

BLAST off into 2014!
This is very similar to my Blast Off into a New School Year download that I posted back at the beginning of the year. It was a popular download, so I thought it would be fun to change it around into a New Year craft and writing activity. I did this craft at the beginning of the year so unfortunately I can't do it now. =( Hopefully some of you will be able to find this resource useful as you return to school in just a few short days! 

(Template/Journal Examples)

In this download you will find spaceship templates and journal sheets. On the journal sheets students will be able to write about why they think 2014 will be a blast! The journal sheets included fit on top of the space ship so they are small. Students can expand on their writing and write more then just a couple sentences on a regular piece of paper…back it with construction paper and hang their writing below the space ship instead of "on" the spaceship.

I love sharing things that I use in my classroom with you guys! Leave a comment telling me what you are looking forward to in 2014. I will pick one random comment to send this New Years craft to free! =)