Thursday, December 20, 2012

Annotating Anchor Chart

I taught a really cool annotation lesson today using this anchor chart and a "Time For Kids" article on No Child Left Behind. The kids thought the whole concept of annotations was really cool. It warmed my heart to have one child say in small groups "Hey Ms.Dixon we can use this to help us on reading tests", I thought yes you sure can my little kemosahbee!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

News Paper Summary Rubric

During a recent professional development session at my school it was impressed upon me that I should began to utilize rubrics more often in my classroom.  At first I was like oh no more work.  I thought I am sure that it is better for the students but it will take me forever to create a rubric.  I was wrong!!!

Once you decide what a level 4 will look like for the project your baseline is set and the other requirements will just be modified from the that level 4.  I took a stab at creating a rubric for a news article summary.  If the students meet a level 3 or above for this assignment they will be showing proficiency with common core standards 4.W.2, 4.W.1, 4.W.9, and 4.RI.2

As a child doing weekly newspaper article summaries is one of the assignments that I remember.  If I remember it now at the ripe old age of 18 :)  then it must have been a fruitful activity that my class might also enjoy.

Use the link below to have your students do this assignment as well!

News Article Summary Rubric
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Persuasive Writing Grapic Organizer

I am beginning a new writing unit with my fourth graders this week.  They love the idea of writing about their opinions and trying to persuade others to believe what they believe.  I started the unit out by doing some modeled writing where I completed this graphic organizer about why fourth graders should have cell phones.  It was really fun to listen to their reasons for why they needed a new android or IPhone device.  They have some very viable arguments.  They convinced me!! 

Please feel free to use this document with your students. :)

Persuasive Writing Graphic Organizer
Thursday, October 4, 2012

Small Group Schedule Template

I did not understand the big benefits of a structured small group instruction program until last year when it was implemented by my principal.  At first I was holding very strong to my whole group with a little guided reading mentality until I saw how empowering it was to teach children math via the small group format.  It was life changing for my students and the proof was in the test scores! 

Anyways I love keeping myself on a strict schedule so that I am maximizing my time and getting to all students each day.  I teach a very quick mini lesson and then I go straight into small group work.  I even try to squeeze in a group before the bell rings in the morning.  I keep about 2 slots a day open so that I can be free to pull kids one on one that are having major issues in whole and small group instruction. 

Please feel free to make my template your own and let me know how your small groups go!

Small Group Schedule Template
Thursday, August 9, 2012

That time Again!

The sweet summer is almost over for me. It is always bitter sweet going back to school.  I am ready for new challenges in a fourth grade common core world but first I must get this room together. Once again it is August and my classroom is a hot mess.

It is not as bad as last year but it is certainly not ready for meet the teacher open house night.  I have so many ideas for my room this year and I can't wait to get started!  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Positive Behavior Sheet

My school has a adopted PBIS.  It has really increased good behavior across the board in our students.  The children are able to earn bulldog bucks for good behavior each day. They are then able to use the bucks they have earned every few weeks to buy treats and toys at our PBIS store.  I love this program but I don't love having to tally up the bucks they have earned every time we go to the store for shopping.  I created this Bucks Balance sheet to help me and the kids keep a running recorded of what they have used and earned throughout the year.  Please feel free to use this and adapt it so that it fits for your classroom. Bulldog Balance Sheet
Friday, April 20, 2012

Moon Phases Mobiles

My kids loved making this and it was lots of fun.  We used glitter for the moon and white crayon for the writing. It served as a good review project and looks great outside the door.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reading Choice Board

I am so excited to finally be integrating reader's workshop back into my reading block.  I found it to be so successful in increasing comprehension and a love for reading in my students last year and look forward to it doing the same thing this year.  I had to re-vamp my tic tac toe choice board to fit the level of my 3rd graders.

3rd Grade Blooms Tictactoe Menu
Saturday, February 18, 2012

Math Toolkit

To introduce my little ones to learning how to study and take notes I had them create a math toolkit for our unit on time and measurment. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Musical Math (teaching 3rd grade concepts through song)

I found this little treasure somewhere out in the world wide web.  I love the idea of incorporating songs into my Math instruction.  As a student I had a teacher that always taught us through song.  he had a great voice and would sometimes whip out a guitar to assist in the singing.  It has been fantasy of mine to be just like him in my room.  I have finally found some cool songs on this site but now I have to learn to play the guitar(lol).........

Here is an example of one of them below:

Come join us as we graph.  
Use your arms and maybe laugh  
As we review the twelve curves you know. 
Quadratics, and the line,
Y's a constant, and the sine, 
Y is e to the x - watch it grow, 
Here's the cube and the tangent too.  
Let's not forget all of the roots - square and cube and so on.  
Natural log and one over x,  
One on x squared is important too.

QAR Method

I have been a lazy teacher all break up until today when I got inspired to finish my small group math and guided reading lesson plans.  I came across a strategy called the QAR method that I think will really help my students that are having trouble answering and understanding the comprehension questions that they are being faced with in 3rd grade this year.  I made a nice little visual that I am going to print in color and laminate to help me as I teach this to my guided reading groups.
QAR Question Types">