Thursday, December 22, 2011

Message in a Bottle project

I have mentioned in previous posts that we have several children whose fathers are serving our country and currently deployed with our military. I had an awesome email from one of these mothers the other day, asking if she could come in and do a "project" with my class.

A Jacksonville man had a wonderful idea to create a blog with 5 words that represent how we feel about our military. The process is very simple- collect a water bottle, write 5 words on a slip of paper that come to mind when you think of our military, and then put the slip of paper in the water bottle and seal it. Each water bottle that is collected is added to a "wall" of water bottles being formed in downtown Jacksonville. The words are tabulated as well, and the most common words are listed on a blog of thanks to our military, so that they may see from wherever they may be.

It was such a cool experience for our students to be involved in something that let their voices be heard! If you would like more information on the Message in a Bottle project, you can find it at the following link:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Our kids have BIG hearts!! :)

This year, our class participated in a school wide project to collect toys and personal products to fill stockings for the Salvation Army to distribute to less fortunate children. Boy, did my students make me PROUD!! We discussed the purpose of the stockings and why we should give to others. Each child in my class was very touched and many asked if they could donate their own toys. We collected enough toys and products to not only fill the 2 stockings- 1 for a boy and 1 for a girl- but 4 stockings!! My heart was SO filled with joy as they asked questions and brought in things daily! I know that the students were so proud of what they gave by the huge smiles on their faces. I am so touched and extremely proud of our kids!! Thank you to everyone who helped with this project! What a success and a great learning experience for our students!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

HELLO Persuasion!

We are beginning one of my FAVORITE units of writing this week! Persuasive writing is so much fun for the students, as they research and become aware of all of the persuasion that is around them everyday! They use the persuasive tool all of the time and many don't even realize it! Some of them are masters of persuasion, so it is always fun for them to write pieces trying to convince someone to think their way. :)

We began our unit by discovering just how many things around us are used to try and persuade us! This is something I didn't even think much about until I began teaching persuasive writing a few years ago! Persuasion is ALL around us! There are so many tools used to persuade us, from the obvious, like commercials on TV and ads in the not so obvious- that really cool "free" toy in our cereal boxes! The students job was to find a persuasive example, write a response deciding if this was a good persuasion piece or not, and bring it into class. The students found some great examples! :)

I am looking forward to exploring this genre more with my students, and hearing their own "arguments"!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

As Promised....Websites for skills and reading interactive practice...!

As I spoke about at Open House and have mentioned to several of you in emails and conferences, I am including a list of fun, interactive websites for your students to practice skills/word work and reading strategies at home! Log in and have fun!
Visit the Game Goo website to play games to practice letter recognition, phonics, synonym, antonym, and spelling concepts. The fast-action games are divided into three levels of difficulty.
Check this mega-website with links to alphabet, phonics, and spelling games at other websites. Although hundreds of literacy- related games can be accessed through this site, Gamequarium is only a portal, so the quality of the games and computer requirements vary.
Join the Reading Planet Club at the Reading Is Fundamental website to play a variety of phonics, word-study, and spelling games at the Game Station, and be sure to check out the Book Zone and Express Yourself to read about featured authors and books and learn more about writing.
Check Scholastic’s Learning Arcade to play concentration, make a word, word scrabble, and word find games featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog and other book characters. Also, visit the Homework Hub to create spelling scrambles and word searches using students’ spelling words (up to 10 words).

 These websites will get the kiddos started! I will keep researching for others and post as I find quality sites! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Word Study for week of Sept. 12th

Our word study patterns this week focus on the short vowels e, i, and u, and also consist of the beginning blends cr, dr, gr, cl, fl, str, spr, tw, and tr.
Our pattern words for this week are:
1. flick
2. crest
3. grip
4. dress
5. crept
6. strict
7. clip
8. sprinkle
9. twinkle
10. trek

Reflection of 9/11....10 years since that day...

As the 10 year anniversary of September 11, 2001, a day that changed America, approached, it was a real time of reflection for myself as well as many others. Something that I really noticed was the interest that my students had about that day. Most of my students were not born yet or only babies on September 11, 2001. I was really excited that my kids were so interested and excited to learn and embrace that very important day in history...I think it is a mystery to them since they did not experience it first hand, and they are ready to peel back the layers to uncover it.

I was able to share with my class where I was and what I was doing on this day 10 years ago. Not only was that a special time for my kids to hear about my personal experiences, but it was a great time of reflection for me. It warmed my heart to see how engaged my students were, sitting on the edge of their seats, taking in every bit of information I put before them. We were able to watch a kid-friendly cartoon video explaining the happenings of that day, and WHY that day took place in our history. We also explored several front pages from September 12th newspapers around the country. This really brought the day alive for the students. There was not a sense of fear as the events of the day unfolded, but more a sense of community and pride in our country, and what that means.

As we discussed the pride that we were feeling, something that really touched my heart emerged from our group. I knew that Jacksonville was a military town, but never have I realized so much until this day. As we discussed and expressed our thanks for the military, the discussion turned personal. In our class this year, we have four different people whose immediate family members (fathers) are deployed, protecting our freedom, including myself (fiance). What a way for us to bond together!! We ARE proud of our freedom. We ARE thankful for the people who protect us. We WILL NEVER be held down and we WILL ALWAYS be PROUD to be Americans!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Word Study for week of Sept. 5th

Word pattern:

S-blend words: sp, st, sw, sn, sc, sk, sm
Tr blend words
Vowel: short a and short o

Example word list:
1. spot
2. stop
3. swam
4. snack
5. smock
6. scab
7. mask
8. tropical
9. trap
10. trolley

Vocabulary words:
1. ledge
2. descent
3. trekked
4. bracing
5. plunging
6. void
7. eased
8. concentration

**Please help your child become familiar with these words and spelling patterns as we will have a quiz on Friday! :)


Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bon a petit! Welcome 2011-2012 Students!

It's time for another school year to begin! I have been cooking up some great ideas for this year to help my students grasp the "Recipe for Learning Success"! This is our theme this 2011-2012 school year. I am looking forward to meeting all of you on Friday, August 19th at 2:00 in Room 20! Welcome to 3rd grade! Let's get ready for a great year!