Friday, May 29, 2015

Using a T-chart to Solve Patterns- Math Huddle

I'm loving Math Huddles these days...things have gotten a little too busy for Math Workshop, and I am sad about that. I hope to get back to it soon. But in the meantime, Math Stretches and Math Huddle marches on!

My class has been working on patterning- creating, extending, describing etc. Since it is a testing year in Grade 3, we are also working on using a T-chart to solve patterns since one of these questions seems to always end up on the test. Plus, it's a great strategy for the kids to have in their toolbox. 

Here's the kids' work samples...I love the t-chart and the picture on this one.

This group extended their t-chart waaaaaaay past what was asked in the question, which was okay because it lead to a discussion of reasonable answers. 

This group started by drawing flowers, and when I asked them why they had no we re-visited the question and that's when they realized the question was about a fence not flowers! Hmmm?

Happy Mathing!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Just making it through- behaviour management

I'm going back into the archive for this one...but it's a good one!
Every year in May and June it gets HOT in Ontario....soooooo hot.
The kids are hot, the teachers are hot...everything is hot.
(Most years…this year? Who knows!!)

What to do??
So how do I plan to make it through without losing my sanity!?


As a general rule I am not sure how I feel about Freedom Fridays as a behaviour incentive for the duration of the school year, but for the last few weeks of the school year it works wonders to keep everyone (me) happy!

This is what the Freedom Friday board looks like in my room. 
I just used those markers that can write on the board and only come off with water. 

Fancy, right?

Then I have my students work in groups to brainstorm all the ways they could earn a letter towards getting Freedom Friday (a free period for games etc) and what they might do to lose a previously earned letter. 
There are always some great conversations going on in my room during this activity! 
I hear things like, "Mrs. Lyons is always reminding us to do ______ so it must be important!" 
(That one made me giggle a little.) 
We also have a quick review on how to brainstorm- take down every idea that is given and talk about it after you have run out of ideas.

I am always impressed by how focused my students are on the task...nothing like the allure of a little free time to get students motivated! 

Try it and let me know how it goes in your room. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Thinking About Gardening, Plants and Bringing On Spring!

In the Grade 3 curriculum here in Ontario we study plants and soil, and I love it. I've had so much fun study plants, planting seeds, and digging in the soil with my students.

Here's a couple sites if you are interested in square foot gardening at home or with your students:
Square Foot Gardening

Canadian Gardening

Last year, we made a trip to the bookstore to pick up a few books to help with our learning. The first on our list was Square Foot Gardening with Kids by Mel Bartholomew. He also has a number of adult versions that provide a great deal of information about this type of gardening. What I liked best about this book was that it had a bunch of science explanations, diagrams and activities that could be used to integrate home and school gardening.

I love using picture books to help reinforce the ideas we are learning about in Science, here are some good ones.

And Then It's Spring

This book is written in verse and the illustrations are super cute. I love that it totally matches everyone's feelings right now of waiting, waiting, waiting for all the brown and yucky to finally turn to green!

This book is sooooo cute! It details the journey of a seed through the seasons until it finally lands on the ground and is able to grow. In true Eric Carle fashion the illustrations are amazing and my daughter has fallen in love with this book. We've already read it three times since yesterday!

I am in love with this book! Tom plants a seed. Then he waits, and imagines, and waits and imagines....but the tree takes so long to grow that Tom grows up first!
The ending sweet and touching. A must read.

The illustrations in this book are incredible. Beautiful! The story that goes along with it is inspiring and could be used for many activities in the classroom not just plants and science.
I highly recommend this one!

I still have a few more books on my wish list....but I didn't want to overwhelm my husband by spending so much all in one day!

I'm also looking into buying some butterfly larvae that we can watch grow, build a chrysalis, and emerge as a butterfly! This spring is going to be fun.

I'd love to hear about any experiences people have had growing food and gardening with kids or raising butterflies. The more tips the better!

Do you have a great plants, seeds or butterfly product I just have to see? Leave me a comment and I'll be sure to check it out. 

All photos are taken from the Chapters.Indigo website. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Book Study

I'm looking for some suggestions for this summer's book study!

I know I have been very MIA round here this year but I am hoping that with summer coming I can turn that around. It's been tricky going back to work with two kids, finding time to workout and get everything else I want to get done…done.

Something had to give and unfortunately it was blogging.

But the summer is just a short 5 weeks away (praise the lord!!) and I am thinking about some summer reading.

So lay it on me!

What book (or books) would you like to do for a book study?

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