Well, this week has been so much better! I posted the other day with a Debbie Downer mentality. I am still feeling a little bit not myself, but have rebounded. Today is feeling better and I had a few things go well (knock on wood!) We also had a day off yesterday because of the weather on the East Coast! Talk about a day to gather my wits!
In math, I have adapted my "Fact Clubs" to today's third graders. Ten year ago, it was not a big deal to give basic fact quizzes and post the progress of the students in the classroom in a "club" format. Today, that does not seem to be P.C., so I have revamped the idea with a race car focus. My students are taking basic facts quizzes and tracking their progress in their math folders. Each time they achieve 30/30 problems on their basic fact test, they move up to the next race, reducing their time by a minutes. If they do not get 30/30, they "race" again at the same time and they LOVE IT! I think I might actually post something on Teachers Pay Teachers!
My guided reading groups are on the rebound! I started out with 5 chapters books and was driving myself crazy! I used to know the books I used really well and after 10 years, that skill is just not there any more. I had become so used to reading shorter, focused books with students who were reading aloud or sub-vocalizing, that reading with older students was throwing me for a loop! I moved into a non-fiction text that was connected to our science unit and shorter texts. I'm still figuring out what to teach and how to teach it best with third graders!
As an aside to the reading, I have decided to go back to the Beanie Babies for reading. They were HUGE in first grade, but I was concerned they would be too babyish for third graders. I am planning to put the posters up in my classroom right next to my reading table to support the vast variety of skills my students are working on in the different groups. The source for the posters took them down a few years ago, but I had saved the files to my computer. There are many great posters inspired by those originals out there on the web. I think these will be critical to my groups this year and plan to put them up as well. A few years ago, I made posters with BBs for vocabulary and fluency. Click on the image to snag your own copies.
Have a great Halloween!