polka dots

Monday, July 18, 2011

Favorite Picture Book

The Clutter Free Classroom is having a great linky party, all about our favorite picture books. I love this!
How about one without (almost) any words at all?!?!

Based on pictures alone, one of my favorites was introduced to me by our old librarian who retired last year (also my librarian when I was in school J) ANYWAY,  the book is called The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, and it is by Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji, Polar Express, etc).  This book has almost no words at all, just a series of strange, thought provoking pictures. Kids LOVE them, as they are all fantasy like. This is a great book to prompt your students to write stories. They can all use the same picture and get such different stories out of it! I use this book in my 2nd grade classroom each year, for that very reason! I will definitely use it again this year in 3rd grade.



Calling all 3rd grade teachers – I need your help!
Some of you may know that this fall will be my first time teaching 3rd grade. I have been teaching 2nd grade for 4 years now. Back when I started, we all went to a Harcourt Trophies inservice. While there, I got a chart that was specific for my 2nd grade curriculum (it came right from Harcourt). It listed the skills for each story (like decoding, strategy, writing, grammar, and spelling). I tried to link the picture I scanned of it, but it won't work.

I used it all the time! Problem is, now that I am changing grade levels, I do not have a chart for my new 3rd grade curriculum.

My question is: do any of you 3rd grade teachers use Harcourt Trophies??? If you do, did you ever receive the chart that looks like this? I would LOVE if someone would be able to share this with me, to help me get started this summer!


Classroom Library

After reading through so many posts on different blogs on how classroom libraries are set up, I am anxious to set up my own! However, I have a slight problem – my classroom is being cleaned this week, and I can’t get in! each summer, all the classrooms in our building get a floor to ceiling scrub-down as well as a new coat of wax on the floor. This just happens to be my week, so all of my classroom is now out in the hallway! This is killing me! I want to be in there right now, and now I am sitting here twiddling my thumbs! J Add to that the stress of knowing I will be teaching a new grade level in the fall (looping from 2nd to 3rd) and I am a bit restless!

By next week I will be back in my room organizing my novels for my kids. I am thinking of using small plastic boxes to sort the books by either series or author. If this works for me, I also want to move to my picture books.  I will post pics when I finally have something set up!

~ Laura

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My teacher always says....

Mrs. Bainbridge is having a linky party for our quirky sayings (we all have them!). Read on for mine:

“She went home!”

On those extra whiney days when all the kids are whining and calling my name for every little thing, I get sick of hearing my name! when someone calls me, I am bound to yell out “She went home!”

In the beginning they are truly confused when I say this, but soon after they giggle every time I say it, and get the point that I am sick of it, and stop doing it.

“Go tell Tattles, because I don’t want to hear it!”

This one is saved for those classes that ALWAYS tattle! I have a poster I made at a work shop, and I named him Tattles the Clown. When they just need to tell someone, they grab a Tattles paper, write the complaint, and stick it in Tattle’s mailbox. At the end of the day I can check the papers and take care of any situations that need my attention. Otherwise I throw the papers out, and never have to worry about them! This saves me the time from having to hear about every little thing when I could be teaching.

Share your words for your little ones here: http://bainbridgeclass.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-first-linky-party_14.html

~ Laura

Teaching Tips

Belinda from I Love 2 Teach is having a linky party for teaching tips. 

I have a lot of time-saving things that I do in the classroom. One thing I do (some of you might do this already) is assign each of the kids a number in the beginning of the year (I do it alphabetically by last name). I write this on their nameplates on their desk, so they remember, and when it is time to collect papers for grading (like after a test) I call everyone’s number. It’s quick and easy, and when I go to grade, they are already in ABC order, which is nice when recording in the grade book! One of my friends takes it a step further and has them write their number on all papers. When the papers are handed in to a bin, she can quickly put them in number order, and see who hasn’t turned in their work!

Another tip: in the beginning of the year I send home a wish list. Two things I ask for are baby wipes and shaving cream. Both are wonderful ways to clean grubby little desks! J The shaving cream takes a bit longer, but they LOVE it (even last year’s 2nd graders – we did this the last week to all desks and center tables – saved me from doing it, and they had fun!). During the year you can practice math facts or cursive in the shaving cream while they play, then when it’s time to clean up, just wipe with a wet paper towel!

 Anyone else have any fun tips to share? Link up here: http://ilove2teach.blogspot.com/2011/07/too-cool-for-school-linky-party.html
~ Laura

Makes me laugh....

Mel D. over at Oh the Places We Will Go is hosting a fun linky part – Out of the Mouths of Babes. She wants us all to share our great stories, so here’s one of mine:

I was in the middle of my small groups / centers block for the day. The students have a rotation of centers, working with the teacher, and STAR time (Stop, Take a book, And Read, read, read!). When I called my yellow group to the table, one of my lovely 2nd graders came over with black smudges all over her face. I looked at her and go “Were you coloring with markers again when you should have been doing your work?” She denied coloring, even though her face had the proof right on it! “Well, I think you need to go into the bathroom and clean those marker smudges off your face, and then come back and tell me the truth.”

She sighed as she walked off to the bathroom, and returned only a few seconds later. She stomped back with an angry face and looks at me and goes “That wasn’t funny! I have a mustache on my face. My mom says it’s ok, that some girls do. I can’t wash off my ‘girlstache’!”

I was too shocked at first to say anything (this poor girl does in fact have a dark mustache growing, which made it even harder)! I had to cover my smile with a piece of paper, as I calmly said to her “Honey, I’m sorry you think I was talking about your mustache. However, I was talking about the marker that is on your CHEEK!”

We have all had those moments where one of the kids will say something that is just so funny, and you NEED to pass it on! And sometimes, only a teacher can understand the humor! When I first started teaching 2nd grade 4 years ago, one of my mentor teachers was actually my former 2nd grade teacher. She said one of the most important things she could tell me was to take the time to enjoy my time in the classroom, as it passes too quickly. She said she loves to record the little fun things that happen on certain days right in her plan book – so as she looks back, she can also remember fun times from past classes. I thought this was a wonderful way to remember, but took it a step further. I have a file on my school computer where I type in the funny things kids have said to me over the past few years. Anytime I need a pick-me-up, I just open this file and let the fun start all over again!

~ Laura

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daily Schedule

In order to get my blog out there, I am taking part in any of the linky parties I hear about!
Head on over to Simply 2nd Resources to check out everyone's schedule!


Below, you will see my schedule from last year. I will be trying to keep about the same schedule this year, even though I am moving up from 2nd grade to 3rd grade.

7:55 – 8:15 Arrival / Morning Work
8:15 – 9:00 Math (on days 2, 4, 6, the AIS math teacher would pull her math kids for ½ of this time, leaving us both with smaller groups to work with)
9:00 – 9:15 Spelling / Word Work
9:15 – 10:00 AIS Reading / Enrichment Block (most of my students would leave with the various AIS Reading teachers, leaving me with a group of 5 for enrichment – I loved this period!)
10:00 - 10:15 Snack 
10:15 – 11:00  ELA Centers / Small groups (students were on a rotation of going to centers with a buddy or working with me at the reading table)
11:00 – 11:30 ELA Whole Group (this is where I had to do my work with the basal, focus skill, focus strategy, etc)
11:31 – 12:11 Special (Day 1 Music, Day 2 PE, Day 3 Computers, Day 4 PE, Day 5 Art, Day 6 PE)
12:15 – 12:40 Lunch
12:40 – 1:00 Recess
1:00 – 1:10 Text Talk (this is my read-aloud; I would read a chapter book – the Clementine series was our favorite – and we would add interesting word to the text talk wall, and talk about them. These were posted all year for us to use and discuss – it really helps increase vocabulary!)
1:10 - 1:20 Penmanship / Cursive (another favorite time of the day – they felt like “big kids” learning cursive!)
1:20 – 1:45 Writing or Grammar (Monday - process wtg, Tuesday - weekly grammar skill, Wednesday - process wtg, Thursday -weekly grammar skill, Friday - journal wtg)
1:45 – 2:15 Science or Social Studies (we rotated just about every-other month teaching a science chapter or social studies unit)

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Laura

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bulletin Boards

I just found out about an awesome bulletin board linky party!

http://reallyroper.blogspot.com/ is asking for suggestions for bulletin board sayings.

This is my first time participating in a linky party, since I just started up my blog! Here are some of the bulletin boards I did with last year’s 2nd graders. Each month I tried to come up with some kind of crafty idea for my students to help me decorate the classroom. I hope to do this again this year, although I will have to come up with new ideas so the students I’m looping with get something new and exciting - hopefully this party will give me some new ideas!

Here are the ones I have pictures of!

~ Laura

My First Post!

Hey everyone!

Welcome to my new blog! I am a 3rd grade teacher from New York. This will actually be my first year teaching 3rd grade, which is a big change for me! I spent the last four years teaching 2nd. Before that I spent 5 months as a long-term substitute in AIS reading (grade 2) and math (grades 2-4).

I have been following many wonderful blogs this summer, and decided to give my own a try. I feel like I have too much time on my hands!

Again, thanks for visiting, and I will post more soon!

~ Laura