MARCH 1st?? Can it be? This part of the school year seems to just fly by. We are in crunch time right now for the FSA (Florida Standards Assessment)...a test which we know little about. It's a very frustrating time/year and I'm just trying to maintain my teaching and not stress over the unknown. Just Teach On as they say!
I am so super excited to be participating in this awesome linky...
THANKS to Melissa from Jungle Learners for organizing this event!! She has worked very hard to make it a success!
I was lucky enough to be paired up with Kelly, a 4th grade teacher from Nevada! She is the mom of SIX boys AND she is the teacher blogger behind the adorable blog...
For the swap, we were asked to choose a product from our partner's TpT store. I choose Kelly's Dear Mrs. LaRue Reading Packet because this is one of my favorite books and I was looking for some new reading activities for my 3rd grade smarties!
As you can see, this packet is FULL of activities! It covers a wide variety of ELA standards. Kelly is very thorough! I love how she includes lesson plan ideas for the various activities. It was nice to just open this packet and get started!!
My class is made up of gifted and high achieving students. They are all very good readers. The activities met the needs of my high readers and they were able to do them independently. I choose activities from the packet that related to what we've been working on.
First, I gathered enough copies of Dear Mrs. LaRue so the kids could work in groups of 2s or 3s.
Before groups read the book, I assigned 3 of these vocabulary word cards to each group. Kelly has created an organizer based on the Frayer Model...which I love. The kids had to use a dictionary and thesaurus and do some deep thinking to complete the 4 boxes.
Look at the strong vocabulary in this book...
These were perfect for my high group of readers. They shared their definitions and synonyms with the rest of class after they completed their organizers.
Picture books are so rich in vocabulary and this one is no exception!
After reviewing vocabulary, groups put their Daily 5, Read with Someone, procedures in place. I monitored groups during the first reading.
This next activity had the kids thinking again. They had to take a close look at the letter and the illustrations associated with one particular scene in the book and then compare and contrast Ike's view and the truth. During this time, they noticed so many details they didn't catch during the first read. There was a lot of good conversation going on!
The next day, after a review of the story, the groups read the book a second time. We reviewed what it means to draw conclusions. I will say this was a challenge for my kids...and I'm glad. I like activities that make them THINK!
I think this next activity was one of my favorites. Students had to think creatively and write a letter to Mrs. LaRue telling her what she should have done instead of sending Ike to obedience school. These are so funny!
I like that the students were able to write from their own point of view and "talk" to Mrs. LaRue. They seem to have felt sorry for Ike which makes me laugh!
I really love this packet. The activities gave my kids a good challenge and got them thinking and they had FUN!
I have had this post started for the last couple of Fridays so here's 5 random things from the last few weeks...
My students completed a multigenre writing project after returning from winter break. The task was to write in three different genres about one topic. Our topic was snow/winter. First they had to write and explain some aspect of winter...how snowflakes are formed, explain the season of winter, etc. Then write a how-to piece like how to build a snowman, how to make a paper snowflake, how to bake snowflake cookies, etc. The narrative piece was a story or poem about winter/snow. They worked in groups of 2 and 3s. I liked this project and plan on using it again with a different genres.
A group research project that we have been deep into for the last couple of weeks has been our United States regions project. The students had a good time working on this and so many teachable moments came from it. I divided the class into 5 groups and assigned each a region of the U.S. Their first task was to read the pages from the social studies book about their region. Other resource they pulled from were atlases, books about the states, and the internet. The idea was for them to become "experts" on their region. They were required to learn about various aspects of their region: landmarks, climate, natural resources, vegetation, etc. They created a poster and then had to present their findings. I told them they were going to be the teacher. Once I said that then new ideas started flowing. They wanted to make Keynote presentations and even worksheets. It turned into more than I had intended, but it was great...all student lead. It was so much fun and they did a great job!!
I decided to offer a FREEBIE for my regions project because I liked how their work turned out. I think you might, too! Check it out HERE if you are interested!!
You can find more products for social studies HERE at my TpT store.
Text structure and text features have been a huge focus for us over the last month. Third graders need a lot of practice with these skills. We read lots of books that are patterned after various text structures. I use graphic organizers to model and for the students to practice. I created a text structure pack with posters along with organizers that have been very helpful for my students.
My text features posters and activities have also been very helpful this last month. Students were able to refer to these during the U.S. regions project since they had to include 3-5 text features on the poster.
And we had a little class picture fun this last week! Their faces just crack me up!! I emailed this to my parents and they loved it! How can you not smile when you look at it??
That's been my January! I CAN NOT believe it is February already!!
Stop by tomorrow and check out the Stop, Swap, and Roll linky that I am participating in! I will be showcasing a fun unit to accompany Dear Mrs. LaRue from my friend Kelly over at An Apple for the Teacher. Join the fun! Find some new products and blogger friends and enter to win some great products!!