Rock, Tree, House

We tried out a new brain break the other day when we needed to move our bodies. I think kiddos enjoyed it. See if you can figure out the directions. 🙂

Did you figure it out? (Or did I repeat them in the video? LOL) In case you didn’t, it’s an easy “game” where you just walk around until I say “Rock, Tree, House” and then you find a small group and you have to represent each part with your bodies. Easy peasy, fun to do, and got us moving!

Which would you choose? Rock, tree or house? 🙂

“Find Some Who”…with Weather Vocabulary

I have shared a video of our protocol of “Stand up, Hand up, Pair up” before, and also shared an example of how we got to know each other with a Find Someone Who activity.

Here’s an example of how we used it in a different way: in Science with weather vocabulary.

We have already done some reading, writing and talking about these words, and so much of today was a review and check-in to see what they remembered. There was one word that was new–climate–and we were going to talk about how that new word was connected to what they already knew.

As we did with the previous Find Someone Who, kiddos had a sheet with words and they were tasked to find someone who knew what the words meant and could tell them. I reminded them that “whoever does the writing does the thinking” as we reviewed the directions and then they got to work. I love how again kiddos showed up and did the work in just the way they were asked to. These kids are awesome, y’all! Check it out in action:

I am sure I mentioned it in a previous post, but these are new-to-me Kagan cooperative learning protocols I learned this year from my superstar colleague, Dr. Grayson. It’s so good to have a refresh on how to get kids thinking and talking together and I LOVE how it’s working out so far! More to come, so stay tuned! 🙂

3rd Grade Phonics

I am sure by now you know that we practice phonics every day in 3rd grade. Last year we began an official program to help all grades K-5 standardize and tighten up their phonics instruction. The program we are now using is called Sunday, and it has five basic parts. Every day kiddos read sounds, write sounds, read words, write words and then learn some new material. Every 5th lesson we have a Mastery Check and kiddos show how they can transfer the lessons they are learning into new situations. Are you ready to see what it looks and sounds like? Here we go!

First we read sounds and write sounds. These are review as well as new ones we’ve learned so far in 3rd grade.

Reading and writing sounds

Next we read words (and a few sentences).

Reading words
Reading Sentences

Next we write words. These words include sounds we’ve learned together as well as sight words that we have practiced.

Writing words

After we review, then we learn something new. In this lesson, students are introduced to two new sets of sounds that come after a short vowel at the end of a word. I know it sounds funny, but I do not remember learning this as a child! At least not the “why” of them and/or how to use them. That’s one of the things I love about what we’re doing here: talking to kiddos about what to do as well as the reason why they should do it! Makes it so much easier to apply a “rule” if you know why!

New material: ff, ss, zz, ll

We learned how ff, ss, zz, and ll are double letters after a short vowel!

More new material: -ck

Did you know that -ck is the /k/ at the end of a word after a short vowel? We do now!

I love this hard thinking and work we do every day with phonics! I love that we start with it, as it allows us so many opportunities to practice and apply the new learning throughout the day as readers and writers!

We are learning so many new things about how sounds and words work. What do you remember about phonics?

#classroombookaday2022

We are readers in Rm. 204! One of the ways that I encourage and foster a strong love of reading is by doing lots of it myself! Many years ago I learned about #classroombookaday on Twitter and knew it was for me and my students. Check out some past stories I’ve written about it here, here, and here. It’s such a fun and visual way for kids to see all the books that they have enjoyed together as a class, and allows us an easy way to make connections to math and other topics. I LOVE participating in #classroombookaday and after a few hiccups during COVID years, it’s back up and running.

The concept is simple: we read a book and post it on the bulletin board. Then we watch as it fills up! I realized that this picture I’m sharing is even a little bit old now, as the board changes every day! Here’s a picture of it from a week or so ago, in case you haven’t seen it.

Our bulletin board as of September 6. Since then we’ve added at least 11 new titles. We’re up to 31 books–which is more than a book-a-day! So cool!

I purposefully put this display outside of our room, so that anyone who walks by can see it, interact with it and hopefully be inspired to read something new! When I taught 1st grade in past years and had a room downstairs, our display was right in one of the main hallways where EVERYONE at Robinson walked on a daily basis and it was such a great conversation starter. That year we got to 561 books on our display and it was A.MAZ.ING to look at. Who knows if we’ll get to that number this year, but no matter what, we are committed to reading and learning together with a ton of good books in Rm. 204.

Do you have a suggestion for a book we should read? Leave us a comment and we’ll check it out. Maybe you’ll see it in a #classroombookaday update soon!