Please take a peek at this lovely blog~~The Robin's Nest. She has made the cutest 12 Days of Christmas banner using Melonheadz clip art!  I can not wait to make it and hang it in my home! She is currently having a giveaway for a $25 Etsy Gift Certificate!!! Check it out!!

It's the end of October! Halloween is right around the corner! (I just can't believe that!)

Enjoy some spooky savings over at my TpT store

Some other bloggy friends are throwing a sale, too!  Go to Teaching with Love  and The Teacher's Cauldron to check out links to other sales!


Head on over to The Tattooed Teacher for a haunted giveaway...ALL of her spooky files! How generous!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays...not a fan of dressing up in costume, but I do adore the decorations, trick-or-treating, the feel of fall in the air--which I'm still waiting for  here in South Florida...maybe after Tropical Storm Sandy passes this weekend we'll get some cool dry weather! Keeping my fingers crossed.

While we wait my kids are working on this Autumn Brain Booster...great for morning work, early finishers, or just for fun!!

Click here to download your freebie!

Happy Hauntings!

A HUGE shout out to Nikki over at Melonheadz Illustrations for my MOST awesome Melonhead! She captured every detail about me! I love that she incorporated Beach Sand and Lesson clever! Please stop by her blog and see her incredible clip art.

More bloggy friend that create beautiful graphics are:
Talented people!! Thanks girls!!

Happy Friday everyone!

Here is  a wonderful writing and community building activity--The Class Journal. This simple notebook serves as a tool for writing practice and a way for students to share their ideas with their classmates. I ask that one student take the notebook home, write an entry, and return it the next day. I try to respond to each one and other students can respond (positively, of course) when it's their night to take it home. It could be equated to Facebook...students post thoughts and ideas and other students comment. Maybe I should call it Class Book!! ⎨I think I really like that idea!! Comment please with your thoughts!!⎬ 

Back to the can use a composition book or spiral or any other "fancy" notebook you like. Simply glue the Class Journal note to the inside cover and you're ready to go! I write the first post (and others now and then) and then ask for volunteers to take it home each night. You could certainly assign nights to each student, too. I like the voluntary aspect, though, because I feel there is more buy into the project. I suggest having a "sign out" method. You don't want it to get lost! A space on my board marked "Class Journal" works well for me. Kids just sign their name if they decide to take it home. I'll post pics of mine as it gets going. I'm starting Monday!

Hope you and your students enjoy!!
Click {here} to download a copy♥ 

What a great Halloween Idea Linky! I've been booed by Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade! Her blog ROCKS!

If you've been booed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post. 
1.  Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!

2. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (yours or someone else),
or freebie(s) that you love!

3.  Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers. Make sure you check this link to make sure you don't boo someone again:

And don't forget to tell them that they have been BOOED!

Here I go! My first BOO!

This is a fun culminating activity to a unit on maps. My kids just love to use their imaginations when they create their own SPOOKY ISLAND! Perfect for October!

Here is a FANTASTIC idea from Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade! There is a Currently activity for every month! Perfect for writing (expanding sentences, show not tell, etc) It's perfect for the kids to practice reflecting. Such an original idea!

Now this looks cool! I have never "celebrated" Day of the Dead with my students, but what fun! Thanks to Rachel at the Tattooed Teacher!


Who doesn't love Stellaluna? I know I do! This is a perfect reading graphic organizer. Use it after Stellaluna or any October read aloud.  Jen at the Teacher's Cauldron has an adorable blog and fantastic ideas! Check this one out there!

I'm BOOing some of my favorite bloggy friends!  Check them out for more treats!

I FINALLY finished my 3rd grade CCSS Math Vocabulary Pack. There are 83 words with visual representations for each term. I also included 5 header signs. I think this pack fully covers 3rd grade terms and then SOME! You can use these on a word wall, pocket chart, or math center. I like to use them in student's interactive math notebooks. The header signs can be the cover page for each section and students can glue the words on the pages. Students can also write the definition with the word if you want them to! This makes a great resource for them all year! So here it is! Enjoy!

Click {here} to go to my TpT store!

I love the read aloud! It's my favorite part of the day. I sit in my rocking chair or on my author's chair or sometimes right on the carpet with the kids. No need for a book walk or prereading activity....just read and enjoy! So turn down the lights....get your spooky voice on for five of my favorite Halloween read alouds...not in any particular order:

I would love to hear about some of your favorite Halloween read alouds!

I have to start out by saying that I did not come up with this idea....but I wish I had! For the past several years I have had my kids keep a Family Message Journal. The idea of the journal is for the student to reflect (difficult concept for most!) on their week at school. Every Thursday my kids write, in a friendly letter format, to a member of their household (mom, dad, sibling, pet, etc.). That evening I ask that the family member read over the child's letter with them  and ask questions....basically have a conversation. The family member then responds to the child's letter, again, having a conversation about what they wrote.

This activity is so meaningful because it not only opens up communication and makes students reflect, but the journal ends up as a beautiful keepsake. I have read entries from families that actually make me cry! Just this past week I had a little boy write to his dad. As it turned out the dad was out of town and the mom called him and the dad dictated his letter over the phone. I thought that was so special.
My own son kept a Family Message Journal when he was in 3rd grade and it is one of my most precious possessions today.

Here are some of the journals written this year. These are 3rd graders who have never been asked to reflect. I've included some parent responses, too! Not too bad!

I guide them through the first letter in order to teach the friendly letter format and reflecting. The forms below get stapled into the front of their notebook so they have a letter format example (and it doubles as the directions) and they have a reference sheet for reflecting (that one is half sheet...sorry about the screen shot). I do tell them they need to write about school & academics.

It really is a meaningful homework assignment. Be flexible if their family member can not respond that night....I assign on Thursday, but they have the weekend.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

I can't believe it's October! I LOVE fall! Even though I live in South Florida and the leaves don't change (it's our "dry" season-how boring), it's the feeling of the season....the colors, Halloween, Thanksgiving! It's my favorite time of year! I joined my first Linky Party today from...
I'm loving this CURRENTLY activity! Can't wait to use it with my students!! 
Check out my writing activity for The Widow's Broom mentioned on Farley's blog. I, too, love this book and I use it every year!
I'm new to the blog world so I hope some of you will check out my posts (only 2 so far) and become a follower! I can't wait to jump around to some new blogs today! THANKS!

Teaching reading is, by far, my favorite part of the day! I am currently implementing the Daily 5 (I use Daily 4 in my room) and CAFE into my literacy block and I LOVE it! This is my 3rd year using it and I finally feel like it is all coming together. Change always takes time! This is my CAFE board. I use a section of my white board. I needed a place the kids could reach to post their goals (see the different shaped post-its?) and I wanted it to be a focal point in the room.

My students have book boxes for their "just right" books and a binder for all their record keeping and assignments. This box stays with them all during the literacy time. The kids love "shopping" for books and filling those boxes!

It took several days for me to organize my classroom library into genres. I bought most of the baskets from Target, but some I already had. Some are hand-me-downs (love those).  I labeled the baskets, too. I had to round up some extra book shelves to house them all! I think my book collection is pretty extensive and I'm always adding to it. The public library sells used books, my students donate their gently read books.  I'm lucky enough to get books from my wish list at the book fair, free books from Scholastic Book orders, etc. Of course, I can't resist a good book if I see one at Barnes & Noble!  My room is not that big, but I make it work. I have bean bags (don't tell the fire marshall!), a rocking chair, cushions, a couple of folding camp chairs, and a tall bar chair. I want the kids to have some fun, comfy places to sit while they read and write. 

This is one of my MOST prized possessions! My Author's Chair! My media specialist shared this idea with me a few years back.  I take the canvas sections with me to reading and writing conferences, local book signings, etc.  The kids LOVE this chair. I tell them they are sitting with the best when they use it.  Whenever I share a read aloud, I point out the author's signature. I have Jeff Kinney, Henry Cole, Walter Dean Myers, Patricia Polacco, Ralph Fletcher, Lois Lowry, and tons more. I have actually started a second chair because this one is quite full.

The following four books are my "bibles" for my reading program: CAFE, The Daily Five, The Book Whisperer, and Guiding Readers and Writers in Grades 3-6. The last book is more of a resource, but it is the basis of my reader's workshop.

One of the goals for my 3rd graders is to read 40 books (got this challenge idea from the Book Whisperer). One simple way to keep track of that is a checklist. This is one of the record keeping sheets I use. Even if students don't get to 40 I feel like if they read more then the year before then they have made progress!

That is my literacy time in a very small nutshell! I will share more about my readers' notebooks in my next post! Thanks for stopping by!

Back to Top