Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Science and Math Tools lesson

As part of the state requirements, third graders must know
when to use certain tools in science and math.  What 
better way to learn than to do a little experiment with 
each one.  So that's exactly what we did.

They tried out a balance scale, goggles, thermometer,
microscope, and magnets.

Using a balance scale to weigh.

Finding out what part of your body goggles protect.

Testing the temperature of water with a thermometer.

Looking at things with a microscope.

December 5 - Ornament Day

Thanks to the parents who volunteered their time
to come to the classroom one day and help us out
with Christmas ornaments.  The kids made 4 ornaments
and one adorable reindeer pin that afternoon.

Thanks to Nicole Vaughn, Amanda Maples,
and Jill Grisham!  You ladies were a huge help.

The students rotated through stations and completed
each ornament. 
1.  beaded candy cane - these looked great on our class tree
2.  reindeer pin - made from puzzle pieces and a pin attached to back
3.  Christmas wishlist ornaments - super cute!
4.  glittered personalized ornament
5.  quilled wreath - also looked great on our class tree

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Shoe Math

The students and I read a poem about
shoes one day for math.  We talked about
poetry, rhyming words, and adjectives before
we started our actual math lesson.

We then all took one shoe off and put them in the
middle of the floor.  Students then had to determine
the best way to sort these "stinky shoes".  

They came up with color, brand, type, and size.
We ended up with brand and then created a 
tally chart and bar graph for each.

Pretty neat and stinky!  LOL

Believe it or not - my shoe is in there too.
I had to really search for it because it's about
the same size as theirs!

Elapsed Time

The students have been using a T chart to solve
word problems with elapsed time.  It has proven to 
be very helpful and helps them organize their work.

Veteran's Day

We were honored to have Mr. Lee Aldridge speak to
us on Veteran's Day.  He did an excellent job and it
was extra special to speak to 2 of his grandchildren.
Caroline and Catherine Vaughn

Monday, November 28, 2011


We've been studying 2D and 3D shapes.
We brought this lesson to life with marshmallows
and toothpicks.  The students were able to construct
a cube, rectangular prism (that one took a little creativity),
and a pyramid.  Students then had to count faces, edges,
and vertices.  What a fun lesson and wow! a turn of 
learning and engaged kiddos in room 105 @ WES.

Love days like this one!

MIA...missing in action

I've been "in action", but not in blogger land.  So sorry for no posts
about your wonderful kiddos and my amazing students.

We (hubs and I....and Alora too) have been frantically spending spare
moments at our new home cleaning and wrapping up loose ends.  We are
ready to move, but continually find more to do.

We also took a short, much needed vacation to DISNEYWORLD.
Mickey and Minnie missed us and we missed "Fantasyland."  It was
wonderful, but I am also glad to be back.  It was so sweet to see the kids'
smiling faces after being gone.  They are all just so sweet.
They wanted to know if we had fun.....of course.

But anyway.......let's get back to school.  The next few posts will be
playing "catch up" from before Thanksgiving.  Enjoy

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Coordinate grid lesson....

We headed outside to practice coordinates on a life size version
 of a coordinate grid.  Students took turns choosing a pumpkin
and plotting them on our graph.  Once plotted a large E appeared.
EXCELLENT job kiddos.  We then had a quick mini lesson on
synonyms for the word excellent and using a thesaurus.

Afterwards, partner worked together to create a 
Mad Monster coordinate grid of their own.



I totally saw this idea somewhere on the net, but have
no idea who or where it originated.  Kuddos to whomever
created it in its original form.

We popped popcorn and used our 5 senses to describe
that yummy, buttery goodness.  SOOOOO guess what -
the kids learned about adjectives in a fun way.

We of course made a cute art project to tag along.

Field Trip #2

We headed on a cool, crisp autumn morning to Montgomery
Bell State Park in Dickson.  The kiddos were excited to hear
a "bird" program about birds of prey and enjoy the warm sun.

Ranger Tim talked and discussed birds of prey, adaptations,
habitats, and more.  At one point, the students were asked to
create an imaginary bird and make special adaptations to fit
in a particular environment.   

Scott and Case were in the group that created the "Christmas bird."
They then had to present their bird to the group.
Good Job guys :)

Ranger Tim with the owl during his talk.
It was a beautiful bird.  We were lucky enough to
see it turn it's head and hoot.

We ended the day with a game called Duck Migration.
The kids were the ducks and the teachers were the hunters.
The kiddos had to run to hula hoops "habitats" and a
avoid the hunters.  If they didn't make it - DEAD DUCK!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Halloween - thankfully we cut down on the madness a few
years ago and the students no longer wear costumes!

We still try to make the day a "little" more entertaining than
other days.  We read Halloween stories (Monster Goose), did a
little Halloween math (Shapely Witch-covered patterns and 2d
shapes), and then of course the big Halloween party.

My parties ALWAYS have 3/4 stations.  I learned this great idea
from a PREK teacher in our building a few years back.

PRE-stations:  parties were loud, annoying, and soooo stressful
POST-stations:  parties are calm, educational, and a lot less stressful

I actually get to enjoy the kiddos enjoy the party.

Because of low numbers in 3rd grade this year (oh my...it's amazing),
I had 3 stations.  The stations were:
1.  EATING - simple.....they just eat and talk
2.  PUMPKIN ESTIMATING - estimate number of seeds in a pumpkin,
empty the guts, and group by 10s to count
3.  SPOOKY HAND - use a plastic glove, candy corn, and popped
popcorn (we discussed bones and adjectives)

What a smorgosboard we had on Halloween!
Oh yeah and an entire fruit tray that the kiddos devoured.

Thanks Room 105 parents.  YOU ROCK at parties!


A quick impromptu lesson one day in October.
We had been studying patterns and students created
a color pattern on the leaf, then we wrote a quick topic
sentence about fall.  It was followed with 5 details.

Anchor Charts

An example of anchor charts used in the classroom to 
help students "anchor" their learning.  Makes a great
reference tool and super quick mini review from time
to time.

My poor tree was bare.  Thankfully the kiddos made these
adorable owls in Art and now my tree is perfect!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Animal Reports

Again, my kiddos have uuuuumazed me!
I asked each student to choose one animal book
from the library.  They then followed the same 
sequence of events used in our penguin study. 

Step 1:  Read the book and harvest facts.
Step 2:  Write a topic sentence and 5 sentences about your animal.
Step 3:  Revise your writing with your teacher's help.
Step 4:  Rewrite (this time type) your report.
Step 5:  Draw an illustration.

I wasn't sure if they could handle the typing part of this
project, but they accomplished it with flying colors!

Tops and Bottoms retold by:  Janet Stevens

Love, love, love this story!  One of the first I bought for
my classroom during college.  There are so many great ideas
and lessons that work so well with this story.  We focused
most of the week on cause and effect.  Our final lesson
consisted of a quick SmartBoard mini lesson, quick partner
match up of cause/effect, and then wrapped up with a 
vegetable activity.  I ran out of time and ended up doing it 
whole group, but each veggie has a cause listed on it.  Students
helped me identify an effect to go with each.  

They did awesome!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Friday Morning Fun!

We love Friday mornings in our room.
That's the time we break out Alan Katz's crazy
and hysterically funny songs.  He's written several
books in which he takes familiar tunes and rewrites
the words that make you laugh!

My personal favorite is Stinky, Stinky Diaper Change.
(sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
It goes a little like this:

Stinky, stinky diaper change.
Boy my brother smells so strange.
He made something in his pants.
I sure hope it won't attract ants.
Stinky, stinky diaper change
Boy my brother smells so strange!

But guess what everyone this is a great teaching
tool.  I've used these songs to cover new vocabulary,
contractions, rhyming, rhythm, beat, stanzas, 
compound words, and many other language skills.
IT'S been a great reading fluency tool and the kids
don't even realize it.....that's even better.

Now, for anyone who knows me, knows I don't sing
well and can't carry a tune in a bucket.  However, Alora
and Alan (hubs) know that I love to sing loud in the car.

Thank goodness my kiddos don't care if I can sing or not.
We have a blast trying to make these silly songs turn out
right.  It's a HOOT!

Check out this book and more for some laughs!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Our journey with penguins began with a great non-fiction
story in our Reading Street Basal for 3rd grade, Penguin Chick.


Like any good 3rd grader, we first made a KWL chart of
our schema about penguins together.  Wow, we actually
knew quite a bit about this flightless bird, but still had plenty
of questions!

After reading our story and learning so much we embarked
upon our first, but not last "research" project this year.  
Mrs. Scholes took us to the computer lab where we were
assigned a particular breed of penguin.  After a quick lesson
on using google and how to search for "good information" we
were on our own.  We needed to find 8 facts about our penguin.

This was certainly not a one day project.  It was completed over
a 2 week period with lots of work.  Once we collected all of our
facts about penguins, it was time to get busy writing.  OHMYWORD
Mrs. Scholes made us write about these birds, and you won't believe
it, but they had to be in complete sentences with correct 
capitalization and punctuation!

The pictures below demonstrate our 4 step process:

Step 1:  Research about penguins and write them down.
Step 2:  Write a short paragraph with a topic sentence and
5 supporting details. (correct capitalization and punctuation)
Step 3:  Bring to Mrs. Scholes and she will correct any mistakes.
Step 4:  Rewrite the paragraph with changes and create an 
illustration of your particular penguin.

WHEW!  That was a lot of work Mrs. Scholes.

A note from Mrs. Scholes:
I was so very proud of the students' focus and attention
to this "BIG" project.  I hope you learned about patience
and how a project is one step at a time.  I was truly amazed
at your writing abilities and can't wait to do more with you
in the future!  GOOD JOB!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Owl's Hill Sanctuary Field Trip

A fun time was had by all today.
Ms. Helen was a great tour guide and talked to 
us a lot about sooooo many of our Science standards.

We discussed habitats, seeds, roots, plants, 
wildlife, predators, dwellings, food, natural resources,
and even more.  We also hike a good little hike.

Enjoy the pictures!

We even spotted 2 turtles along the path!

 Monkey Brains.....there's an official name, but
I wouldn't even begin to try to say it, much less spell it.

How many 3rd graders does it take to wrap
around a 400 year old oak tree?  13 plus the teacher.
Very large tree......

We even got a sneak peek at one of the
owls they are rehabilitating at Owl's Hill.

 The kids were great and very well behaved.
Also, the parents were a huge help too!  Thanks.

 We had to do a goofy pic!

Almost forgot, Hunter, our class mascot, made the
trip with us as well!  What fun!