Showing posts from September, 2014

In Search of the Perfect Room Arrangement

When I moved to my new room, I also inherited a teacher desk, a nice new teacher desk by the way. . . with nice drawers.  I haven't used a traditional desk for years, but it was nice to have the drawer space.  So I kept it. . .  and felt guilt about the enormous amount of space it took up.

Then one day it hit me!  So I swapped the desk with one of the computer tables.  I put the student desktop computer on top of the teacher desk and it became a shared space.  The sign-out sheet is there and students use the desktop computer when they need to.  I have a little space on the left side plus I get to keep those drawers! Problem solved.

Now what to do with that extra computer table?  I couldn't just toss it. So I moved it to the front of the room (where I had my trapezoid table). Now I have enough space for both my laptop and my document camera.  I also gained extra space to work one-on-one with students at this table. Sweet!

I have 2 couches. I love the comfy feeling they give my…

Celebrating Dot Day

We celebrated Dot Day last Friday.  This was a perfect way to introduce ourselves to our Global Read Aloud buddies. After reading The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds, we made postcards. On the back we introduced ourselves and shared a little about ourselves, without revealing any personal information of course!  Then we decorated the front using tiny dot stickers.

I will mail these to the class we have connected with in California and they will send us their postcards.  Once we receive their postcards, we will use them to help us pick our book buddies for the Global Read Aloud which begins in October. The kids are so excited!

The Dot helped us learn about theme.  The students discussed Vashti's character at the beginning of the story and then again at the end.  Some of the themes we came up with were perseverance and compassion.

We also used the ColAR app to make our dots come alive.  Students took screen shots and posted them on Edmodo to share with their classmates.  In the words of …

Arrays in the Real World

We are just beginning our multiplication unit.  The students needed to be able to relate repeated addition to multiplication.  We began by watching a great video I found on YouTube, "Real Life Arrays" By Miss DuBose.  Then the students were ready to find their own.  They went on an array hunt (in small groups) all around the school. I had a parent volunteer help with this part of the activity. Armed with their iPads, they took photos of all the different arrays they found.  And they found tons of them!

The next day, they picked their favorite photos for their project.  They used Pic Collage to show how repeated addition and multiplication are related.  They also had to include a title and of course their name.  I was able to assess some language standards ("capitalize appropriate words in a title" and "forms and uses possessives") as well as their math standard ("represents multiplication as multiple groups of the same number").  I am going to …

What I Know About Flipping 3rd Grade . . . TODAY

This is Week 6 in Third Grade and I have quickly learned that flipping does NOT look like in did in my fifth grade class!  Here's what I know about flipping 3rd grade . . . TODAY:

1.  My videos have to be short,  real short.  I mean 3-5 minutes short.  Closer to 3 minutes.

2.  My videos must be straight to the point.  I am almost taking notes for them.  I actually say "Step 1...., Step 2...." and "write this down"( Now that I think about it, I probably should have said that all along).

3.  I remind them to write the date, title, and important info. during the video a lot.

4.  I also went back to using a graphic organizer and having them glue it into their math notebooks.  and finally . . .

5.  Crystal, I revised your W-S-Q.  "S"  now stands for "list the STEPS" instead of summarize.  So they W-watch the video (write the title ), S- list the steps, and Q-write 1 question they have.

Here is an example of 1 of my student's notes from a vid…

Living Above the Line

Several years ago (and I do mean several) our school embraced "Quantum Teaching".   Does anyone remember this?  We attended training and had to incorporate the ideals in our lesson plans and ultimately change our way of teaching.  I believe this may have been the catalysts for whole brain teaching.

Anyway . . . today I actually called upon a particular aspect of Quantum Teaching known as "Living Above the Line". After having had a discussion ( for the ump-teenth time) about accepting responsibility and being kind to others, I pulled out a sheet of paper and we had a discussion about what it meant to live "Above the Line".  The students gave several suggestions of what that meant and looked like.  Then we talked about living "Below the Line". They gave more suggestions of what this would look like.  This also gave me an opportunity to talk about some common prefixes and root words.  Had to throw a little content in there.

But the real magic happe…


Whew!!  That's how I felt after screen-casting my first video for my third grade students this year.  I originally thought I would begin with handwriting videos, but it seemed so easy and natural to begin with math.  Thatis how I began flipping in fifth.

I thought I had worked out all the bugs 3 years ago but guess what. . . I had a different document camera this year (remember I moved to a new classroom) and it hadn't occurred to me that I would need to do anything different.  That is until I got ready to record.  That's when I realized I didn't know how to make what I was doing with the document camera show up on my laptop.  I told you before I am not really a techie person; I just ask a lot of questions.

So, I posted a message on Edmodo and my Area Tech Coordinator informed me that I need to put in a request to have the software for the document camera installed on my laptop. So after a phone call, our Tech Support came out and installed the software. Yea!!  I lov…