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Friday, March 4, 2016

Fun in February

Yikes!  I've been a bad, bad blogger!  Buttt I have to cut myself some slack!  I am teaching 3rd grade this year and loving it!  Super exciting!  Instead of trying to play catch up on here I am just going to start from right now!

I know that February is coming to an end but I wanted to share what we have done!  First off, I set up our February book display.  I started doing this in December and my students LOVED it!  Needless to say Barnes & Noble is currently making a KILLING off of me lol.  But that's okay!  I only have to do it once and it will last a long time!  For our February stash, I wanted books for Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year, Black History Month, and Presidents Day.  I try to get all different leveled books because 1) my students are all different reading levels and 2) for displays like this I don't feel like that really matters!  I just want to get this bunch excited about reading!  Here's what our display looked like:

As you can see, I even printed off some Reading A-Z books.  There are a lot of Rosa Parks books because of the super awesome writing assignment we did about her.  Also, when I got this classroom, there really weren't many books and most were poor quality.  Luckily for me, I have already been collecting for almost TEN years now even though I this is my first official classroom!  Even with that I still manage to single handily keep Barnes & Noble in business.  WORTH EVERY PENNY.  Most of my little friends were drawn to the Rosa Parks books.  They were eager to learn more about her.

Speaking of Rosa Parks, we did a wonderful cause and effect paragraph about her life.  We then learned about George Washington Carver and did a compare and contrast paragraph about those two historically important people!  How did we do this?  I would be more than happy to share!

To start, we did the "Rosa Parks Roam the Room" from the Black History Introduction Unit by Teacher's Clubhouse.  I knew our unit in our book would be focusing on writing a cause and effect paragraph.  I wanted to incorporate an important historical figure for Black History Month.  Since we had already discussed Martin Luther King Jr., I opted for Rosa Parks.  The kids were SO excited to grab clipboards and walk around to different desks to gather information.  Students were helping each other read the sentences and figure out answers without me even prompting.  It was very student run!  Love that!
Then, once students gathered their facts, we made a large class chart with cause and effect information from our sheets.  It really helped my little friends understand how to write cause and effect sentences using our specific linking words.  Once our organizer was finished, students used it to sit and write.  I loved them so much it was our bulletin board for February!

Next on our list was to write a compare and contrast paragraph.  Since they enjoyed the Rosa Parks activity so much, we decided to do the "George Washington Carver Roam the Room" activity from the Black History Introduction Unit by Teacher's Clubhouse (side note:  this unit has SO many amazing things that I wish I had more time for!).  Of course they were excited to hear they would be doing the roam the room activity again!  Once their information was collected, we made a large class venn diagram that compared and contrasted Parks and Carver.  Loved this essay too!

That brings us to the end of February.  We had a week full of Dr. Seuss fun this week!  This included a door decoration contest based on one of his books.  We decided to go with The Sneetches and compare it to American segregation.  You know...since we worked so hard on all of our essays last month!  Stay tuned to see we did.  I will give you a hint:  I read a LOT of silly books, ate silly snacks, wore my PJs to school, made oobleck, and met a crazy cat wearing something particular on his head ;)