“What does the fox say?”

This is the first year that our school is doing a talent show since i have worked there.  We (my co-teacher and I) decided we wanted to do a dance with our class based on one of the Just Dance videos that we use on YouTube for brain breaks.  We had them vote:  Ghost-busters or What does the fox say?  Since it was third graders voting, you can guess which song won.

We have been practicing and today was the dress rehearsal.  Cute little ears on headbands!  Super weird song plus super adorable kids equals a terrific act.

Two acts before us, one of our students was performing a dance.  All of 3SB (our class) was standing up and dancing along with him.  It was so cute!

Then, RRIIIPP !  Gasp!  One of our friends had ripped his pants because he was so involved in the dance!  It was one of those times that you know a “good” teacher would keep a straight face, but it was just physically impossible.

Luckily, he was so good about it.  We tied his jacket around his waist and the show went on!


National Poetry Month

We have been busy in third grade with learning about poetry through reading and writing.  Check out everything we are doing.

We investigated similes and metaphors in music.  Check out this video I found on YouTube to use in your classroom.

We looked at objects through the eyes of a scientist and through the eyes of a poet.  On day one we modeled and then did guided practice.  Then, on day two students brought in their own object for independent practice.



Students wrote many different types of poems and combine them into a poetry book.  They also choose one original poem to share in our 3SB Poetry Slam!


Poem on the Pavement  Each kid choose a poem and wrote it outside on the pavement for others to read and enjoy.


Poem in Your Pocket Day On April 24th, students chose a poem to keep in their pocket and then in the afternoon we combine with the other third grade class to share our poems.  They walked around the room and read their poems to each other.  What great fluency practice!

Here is one poem that a student wrote and chose to put in his pocket.  This was a word-list poem.  Students chose three random words from a bag and then had to write a free verse poem using those three words.  His words were game, spider, and I can’t remember which was the third.  But it turned out great!


April isn’t over yet, but our study of poetry is coming to a close.  We will be working of personal responses in reading this coming week and then our study will be complete!  What an exciting and busy month!

Taco Tuesday!!!!!

If you have seen the Lego movie, you understand.  If you haven’t, you NEED to see it!  Yes, today is Tuesday AND tacos were an option for lunch.  So exciting!

Speaking of alliteration, we have been working on many different poems.  Here is a fabulous line from an alliteration alphabet poem that one of my third graders is writing. “Tiny teacher tells Tesha to taste tacos.”

Some students “wrote” a few book spine poems as well…


“It’s all about dead presidents and whales.”

While reading Reading in the Wild I came across a quote from a student about nonfiction:  “It’s all about dead presidents and whales.” (175)  It reminded me of an important conversation I had with my fourth graders last year. 

I handed my small group an article about Tiger Woods.  They read it and then they asked, “When did he die?  It doesn’t say?”

“He hasn’t died.  He is still a professional golfer.”

“But….We never read about anyone who is still alive?!?”

My bad!  (I hate this phrase, but it applies in this situation.)  In my attempt to expose them to important lives in history, I had forgotten to share important lives of the present.  They were under the impression that people only wrote biographies about people once they were dead.   And I had only added to that assumption by never sharing biographies of people making a difference today.  It was an eye opening experience for all of us!

I came to another reminder of this same idea yesterday while previewing an autobiography we may use for a read aloud. 

ImageThis was my first clue that authors were human, like the rest of us. And alive.  From time to time my publisher sends along a letter from a child inquiring how long Sid Fleischman has been dead.  There seems to be a kind of childhood folklore that all authors are dead.  Or ought to be.”  (p.1-2)

We have to show our kids that nonfiction is about more than “dead presidents and whales” and that authors are live human beings. 

Day 1 of Passion Hour

ImageStudents posted their guiding questions on a poster before our first Passion Hour.  There was such a wide range of topics.  How did the Earth begin? How do you make play dough? How does a screen sense human touch?  How do you make a website?  How do you make a video game?

All of the students were extremely engaged, although a handful decided to change their question within the first fifteen minutes.

One problem we ran into is that the students think that Google is magic.  They expect to type in their question and an automatic answer comes up, no work required.  I think it will take a few mini-lessons and some time before they realize even with Google, they must do some research and reading.

One boy is researching how to make origami.  He plans on teaching us (the class) how to make a few things including a baseball mitt.  I can’t wait!

Happy April Fool’s Day!

This morning, after getting ready, I went to the basement to retrieve my hot glue gun and googly eyes.  I pack my son’s lunch everyday, but since it was April 1st I decided to make it a special lunch.  I was looking over Pinterest last night and found a cute idea to glue googly eyes to everything.  It turned out pretty cute:


I went to school, feeling content that my son would find a surprise in his lunch box.  And then disaster struck around 7:30!  Don’t panic, it was only disaster in the life of an eight year old:  he forgot his backpack in his dad’s car when he got dropped at my grandma’s house.  His dad was already at work.  😦

7:30 a.m.  The phone call with sobbing loud enough for the other teacher in the room to hear.  He didn’t want to go to school without his homework.

“You have to go to school.  Your teacher will be o.k. with you not having your home….”

“Nooooooooo! I can’t go to school!”  followed by more sobbing.

“You are going to school.  I will email your teacher to let her know that…”


Well, you get the picture.  (If only I could have reached through the phone or teleported there to give him a hug and comfort him!) Eventually he calmed down enough to accept he was going to school without his backpack.  Whew!!!  Email to teacher to explain situation and then finish getting ready for my students to walk in.  What a start to the day.  And it wasn’t even 8:00 yet!

Thankfully Super Dad was able to leave work and get the backpack to school in the morning.  All went well and googly eyes were peeled off and passed on to friends.  Never a dull moment, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!