Saturday, August 18, 2012

We Are Important

The first week of school we focused on our names and how we are each unique and special.

Name Perimeter
One story that we  read was The Name Jar. We then put our names on grid paper and found the perimeter of our names. After we determined the perimeter we sorted ourselves into groups with people with the same perimeter. We were able to make a human graph with the data. In our class we noticed that majority of our students had names with 6 letters.

Decorated Names
One of my students' favorite activities of the beginning of the year is to decorate their names. I trace one for each student. After they decorate it with patterns and bright colors, I laminate it and display it in the room for the entire year! Some of my former 3rd graders come back to me and tell me that they still have their names displayed in their bedrooms.

Proud Wall
Instead of having a student of the week, our 3rd grade classes, are recognizing each student each month. They will be able to display their pictures on our class "Proud Wall". There will be a theme for the month. The month of August is "Fun in the Sun", my summer vacation!

All About Me Bags
On Meet the Teacher night the students were given their first homework assignment. They were to bring in 5 items to share with the class about themselves. The students were able to make connections with new friends. I had one of my young ladies share with one of my boys, "This reminds me of when I hunt with my dad." He was shocked that she liked to hunt too! :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

We Are Caring Kids

To focus on being kids of character we have done a couple of activities.

Fish Bowl of Compliments:

The Rainbow Fish is a story that teaches kids that sharing with others is a wonderful thing. We made fishbowls out of plastic bottles, coffee filters, tissue paper and Mod Podge. We have displayed the fish bowls in our classroom. The kids may write compliments/thank yous and place them in the bowls throughout the year! They love writing the notes and receiving them.

Peacebreakers & Peacemakers:

We read the story No! David. Even in 3rd grade the kids love this story. After the story we brainstormed "Peacebreakers are people who..." and "Peacemakers are people who..." Kids then wrote about things they would do to be "Peacemakers" and we made "Yes Davids".

Miss Rumphius:

We read a wonderful story, Miss Rumphius, about a lady who made the world a wonderful place by planting lupine flowers. As a class we brainstormed ways we could make Moonlight Elementary a beautiful place. The kids then made lupine bookmarks out of chalk and paint. On the back of the bookmarks is their list of ways they can help the school.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dare to CARE

This year I am using the theme "Dare to Care". I am encouraging my students to focus on five principals of caring.

1.) Help people in need
2.) Think about people's feelings
3.) Never be mean or hurtful
4.) Think about how your actions will affect others
5.) Do caring things

Today the kids brainstormed class/school rules on a graphic organizer. They did this individually. We then took their rules and sorted them into the 5 Dare to Care categories. The students did this with a team and then we completed a class chart. I was amazed at how well they did with this activity. After we completed the Dare to Care chart my class did their first act of kindness "Mission Possible". We made welcome back cards for the staff. We then did a school tour to deliver the cards. We even talked about how to deliver the cards and use kind words such as, "Welcome back to Moonlight. Have a great year!"

This is the individual brainstorms they did on class rules.

This is the graphic organizer they used in teams to sort their rules

Our Class Chart

I created one to hang in our classroom so we can use it all year.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Meet the Teacher Night

Thursday night was meet the teacher night at our school. Students may come to their classrooms and meet their teacher and bring in their supplies. I could feel all of the excitement in the air! The classrooms were all set up and the desks were awaiting students. On each desk was a "Third Grade Survival Kit"  and an "All About Me Bag". I was able to meet 18 of my 23 students. This is my favorite time of the school year!

I am very fortunate because my kids go to the same school I teach. I was able to take Wyatt to meet his preschool teacher (Miss Kristie) and Kaylee to meet her second grade teacher (Mrs. Yokley)! I did a great job not crying as we dropped off their supplies I will not be able to make the same promise on the first day of school.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

More Help

I always like to try out projects on my own kids before I have my students do them in class. It allows me to see what things I need to consider while I am teaching the lesson. Plus my kids love it!!! I have been on Pintrest and found a few must tries.

Walker got to paint too...his was pudding!

Getting the Kids Involved

The best way I have learned to manage my time is to have my kids help out with my things for school. They love collecting cicada shells at their grandma's house. I now have them collect over 100 of them so that we can give them to all the 3rd graders at my school. Since we study insects the cicada shell is an excellent way to teach the kids about exoskeletons. Plus they think it is pretty cool to have them stick to their clothes!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

This summer was all about spending time with my kids! Our summers are very special and it is important for me to create memories for my children!

We started the summer by celebrating Walker's 1st birthday. We had it at my mom's!
Birthday Boy!

Kaylee broke her arm at the beginning of the summer. At least it was after her dance recital. She loves performing for an audience!

We had to find new things to do since the usual summer activities (swimming, Monkey Bizness, bike riding, etc.) were not an option for at least 6 weeks. We were amazed at the many wonderful activities that Kansas City had to offer! Here are 20 field trips/activities that we enjoyed during our summer vacation!

1.) Swimming at Grandma's pool: We figured out how to use duct tape, a trash bag, and an inner tube for Kaylee to swim. Wyatt is now swimming without wings! You have to watch Walker at all time because he will jump in!

2.) Moon Marble: This was a free activity. The kids were able to watch the making of marbles and then they could buy a couple to enjoy at home. My friend/colleague, Erin, went with us on the field trip! (I also watched 2 other kiddos for the summer!)

3.) Overland Park Arboretum: This was another free activity. I printed off a scavenger hunt and the kids loved searching for the many things in the nature park. It took us forever to find the owl! :)

4.) Deanna Rose: We went to the farmstead a few times. It is free Monday-Thursdays. My kids enjoy feeding the baby goats with milk bottles. TIP-Remember to take plastic cups so that they don't have to touch the goat food.

5.) McCracken's Swim Lessons: This is a great place to take swim lessons. The pool is HEATED!

6.) Kaleidoscope: We spent a day at Crown Center. We went to Kaleidoscope which was another free activity. Then we visited the Dinosaur exhibit at Crown Center and ended our time watching them make fudge. Of course, we had to enjoy some fudge before we could leave! :)

7.) Color Run Kansas City: This was the best time ever! Kaylee used Saran Wrap to keep her cast clean!

8.) Fan Fest: We were lucky that our neighbor gave us tickets so that we could go! The blue fountains for the Royals was incredible.

9.) Theater in the Park: Thanks to Sure West we were able to get free tickets and enjoy a night of entertainment. They provided face painting, spray paint for their hair, and balloon animals!

10.) Blackhoof Park: This is an amazing park in Lenexa, KS. It had 3 play areas and a stream to wade through. I look forward to visiting this park again in the fall!

11.) Wonderscope: We hadn't seen my great niece in over a year since they moved to South Bend. We were able to celebrate her 2nd birthday with her and we went to Wonderscope! The kids had a great time!

12.) Bowling: We were able to get free tickets for bowling. We only had to pay for our shoes...not a bad deal! We did this a few times this summer

13.) Kids Movies: This was the summer movie program through Dickenson Theater. We paid a dollar for the movies (of course we snuck in our candy, drinks, and popcorn). We went to this at least once a week, especially with the hot weather!

14.) Cedar Cove: This is a feline rehabilitation center. This was a social event with teachers from my school. I love it that I work with so many teachers that have kids close in age to my children.

15.) Toy & Miniature Museum: This was one of my kids' favorite activities. There were 38 rooms filled with different types of toys and miniatures! The entertainment book usually has a buy one get one free coupon.

16.) Money Museum: This is another free field trip that we took. The kids were able to see the history of money and watch them clean money in the vault. They loved it that they got a bag of shredded money at the end! My mom, went on most outings with us this summer!

17.) Natural History Museum in Lawrence: Since I am a K-Stater, I know this is a shocker! It was an excellent museum and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it. They loved the bee hive inside the building and the big collection of fossils.

We got some looks when the boys gave the
Jayhawk the thumbs down!

18.) Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: This museum is also free to the public. We were only able to get through some of the exhibits because of how large it is. I would say that this outing made me the most nervous with 5 children. There was security in every room. The quote of the day was, "Hands behind your back!".

19.) The Coterie Theater:  This is an excellent theater for children. It is located in Crown Center. You can buy one ticket and get another one free for their Saturday plays. Not a bad deal! :)

20.) Gardner Aquatic Center: We were able to do this in the beginning of the summer and hopefully again in 2 weeks (when the cast is off). This is one of the best attractions of our local area!

I had a wonderful summer with my children and learned that Kansas City has so much to offer. I can't wait to revisit some of these locations and find new ones for summer 2013. Now it is time to start thinking about a new school year!