HI Friends!
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...
An Apple for the Teacher

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!

Be sure to head on over to Kelly's blog and read about the product she choose from my store, Geometry Scoot.

ALL my SCOOT GAMES are 10% off today through Monday!

And be sure to head to Jungle Learners  to catch all the other blogs and products in this swap.

Would you like to try Kelly's Dear Mrs. LaRue packet?? Enter for a chance to WIN IT!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by today!!

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.

Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears is a great mentor text for cause and effect. We went a field trip to see this play so it was perfect!
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!!

Hello everyone! Happy Sunday! Guess what time it is?? It's...

Head on over and visit the Teaching Trio and check out what everyone is up to today! This is what my Sunday is looking like...

So this weekend I have been busy helping my daughter with school projects. She currently has 3 very involved projects that she is in the midst of doing. She is more than capable of completing every bit of it on her own, it's just so time consuming that I feel like she could use some extra help and guidance. I am not a fan of homework myself. I try to consider what is going on outside of school and I want homework to be meaningful and valuable if students spend time at home doing it. I like to give projects in class so I can guide my third graders through the process. What about you? Projects at home? At school? A little of both?

On Wednesday, the 3rd grade teachers are offering a reading training to parents.  I have to get moving on my part today. I will be talking about what to do to help the advanced reader. What do you suggest to your parents?

I am VERY happy today. I've been working on weight loss since September. As of today I am 18 pounds lighter! WOOT! WOOT! My goal is to lose 25, so I'm almost there. Right now my clothes are way too big. I'll be packing those up today and getting ready for a yard sale next Saturday. I have found success with Weight Watchers Simply Filling plan. My mind was ready to change and thankfully it hasn't been a struggle. Follow my Healthy Eating Pinterest board for some yummy recipes. I just purchased one of these little gadgets. I'm going to cook up some zoodles later today. Have you ever used one of these?

I hope you are enjoying a relaxing FUN Sunday! Thanks for stopping by!
I'm joining the gals over at Teaching Trio for...

So here is the scoop on me for today...

I'm sure, like 99% of you getting ready to go back to school tomorrow, you have plans to finish (or start) tonight or maybe a little grading to wrap up. I didn't touch one thing for work over the break...well I did pin a few things and bought (and created) some TpT products, but other than that I just had fun, worked around the house, did some shopping, and hung out with family and friends.  It was a nice time!

Here is one of the activities in my plans for this week. It's a fun little freebie I created about some New Year's traditions. It was pretty interesting learning about them and I think my kids will have fun with it, too. Go take a peek at it HERE at my TpT store. 

Later on I will be preparing lunches for the family...one of my least favorite jobs EVER! Recently I've decided to make up sandwiches and salads for at least the first 3 days of the week. I pack my lunch for the week and keep it in my fridge at school and hubby does the same. The kids can pack their lunch each night since I've already made the sandwiches. It makes the job a TINY bit more bearable.

Yes...my daughter and I made a paper mache octopus today. The Week of the Ocean is coming up and doing a craft was one of the options. I'm enjoying this more than a science fair project.  I'll post pictures when we're done. So far it's pretty cute.

I've been thinking about meals for the upcoming week. Our days get pretty busy with school and sports' practice in the evening. We are always on the go. I like to have the meals planned so I don't have to think too much. The rest of my house does not eat what I eat so it is getting tricky...does that happen to you?? One thing I did make for ME was Overnight Oatmeal. Check it out here on my Pinterest page. I hope it turns out yummy. Have you ever made these? Please share any good combinations or recipes you have made.

Downton season 5 TONIGHT...super excited. I LOVE that show. The gals on my team watch it too so it's fun to chat about on Mondays!

Call me crazy...it's ok...but I'm kind of looking forward to work tomorrow. I miss my kiddos! They are super sweet and cute. I also like the routine of the day. When we left for break I was feeling quite stressed out, but I think I have been able to reenergize myself. I'm going in with a positive outlook...now who knows how long it will last, but I'm going to try...hard!!!

Thanks for stopping today! Enjoy your week back!

It's January 1st and time for Farley's Currently linky!

I think most of my current thoughts are self-explanatory, right?
I've already seen all of the Walking Dead episodes, but I like watching them again.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE winter break, this one especially. I got both kids to CLEAN out their rooms. My brother and his family were here for Christmas. And we were able to hang out with our best friends. We don't get to see them much once school is on. I really don't want this break to end!
I have to say there isn't much I want or need right now. Some new clothes would be nice though!

YES...I will stay positive at work. I PROMISE! I have to! 

I'm hoping that MAYBE our new test (the FSA) will disappear! Probably not, right? A girl can dream, can't she?! 

I'm wishing (and very hopeful) for a great 2015! I have lots to look forward to so I think the new year will be a happy one!

Thanks for stopping by, friends!
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