Thursday, June 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday- Polar Bear Paw Measurement!

This is my first time participating in a Weekly Linky!  I love learning from all of the other fantastic bloggers out there in "Blog Land", so I thought I would join in on the fun!  This Linky party is hosted by Cara at The First Grade Parade.  The theme is "Throwback Thursday".  I have learned so much from all of the fantastic posts!  Pop up on over to Cara's site to read all of the fantastic ideas for yourself. :)

Below is my Throwback post from January 24, 2013. My students love learning about Arctic animals....particularly POLAR BEARS!!  :)  I used this idea in both 1st and 3rd grade.  In 1st grade, I used this idea primarily as an estimation and measurement activity.  In 3rd grade, I added on the measurement conversion component.  The second part of this post is a fun little science experiment on blubber!!  :)  Enjoy!! Have a wonderful afternoon!!


Polar Bears and Measurement Conversions!

BRRRRR!!!! It is chilly outside here in Indiana!!  The snow outside our classroom window is the perfect backdrop to learn more about polar animals. Below is a fun activity to teach students about polar bears, measurement, and measurement conversions all at the same time!!  We talked about how large a polar bear's paw is--18"x 12"!!!  Each student made a polar bear paw drawn to scale  After looking at our polar bear paws, we estimated the distance to different places in our building.  After we measured the exact distance {by walking our polar bear paws down the hallway! :)}, we could make measurement conversions.  Each polar bear is a half yard in length.  This made it easy to convert "polar bear paws" to yards, feet, and inches.  The students did a great job!!
We confirmed that two polar bear paws measure approximately one yard.

Measuring the distance to the office from our classroom.

                                              Recording our Measurement  Conversions

After our measurement conversions, we also took a closer look at how blubber keeps polar animals warm! This is a simple, yet effective way to show students how blubber keeps animals warm in cold climates.  The first dish is empty.  The second dish is filled with cotton balls and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil.  We placed both cups in the freezer for 20 minutes.  After we took the cups out, the cup filled with cotton balls was almost 30
degrees warmer!! Amazing!!  We talked about how the cotton balls act like blubber to lock in warm air!  

Polar Bear Fact Craft!

Polar Bear Mosaics!

We have had so much fun learning about these amazing animals!! Click below to purchase more activities about polar bears and other arctic animals.   

Click Here to Purchase!! 
Click Here to Purchase! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Point of View Freebie and Finishing Up Summer School!!

Summer Reading Camp has flown by, and I have had so much fun with these kiddos!  I cannot believe that our time together is coming to a close.  Only a few days of Summer Reading Camp left.   I have to admit, I am looking forward to not setting an alarm during the month of July!!!! However, it has truly been a pleasure working with these third graders this summer!!

Our comprehension focus today was Point of View.  We read The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs to discuss this comprehension strategy.  I love reading this story!! It is written in such a clever way, and the students LOVE  listening to this funny tale!!  After the student listen to the story, we discussed how this book was written in a very different format from traditional versions of The 3 Little Pigs.  After our discussion we created Point of View Flipbooks to practice what we learned!!  We practiced retelling the story from different characters point of view.  Click below to download your FREE copy of the activities we completed in class!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Reading Camp!! and Stellaluna Freebie!!

This Summer, I have the opportunity to work at Summer School!  It has been so fun to meet all of these great students and work with them on their reading over the summer!  We started out by working on finding Characters and Setting in a story.  We used the familiar and lovable tale of Stellaluna as a starting point!  What a great way to start off!!  The students LOVE Stellaluna! They also loved sampling the mangoes that I brought for the kids to try.  They loved eating the same food that Stellaluna eats at the end of the story.  Many of the students had never tried mangoes before so it was fun to watch the expressions on their little faces!!

We used the following anchor chart below to record our knowledge. The students then got a chance to practice finding the Characters and Setting in their own Independent Reading.  Click Here to Download all of our Stellaluna activities for free!!

The mangoes were a hit!!  

Monday, June 3, 2013

Technology in the Classroom....Have you tried Symbaloo?

This year, I felt so fortunate that our school received a grant to become a STEM school.  As part of the grant that we received, our school was given a large amount of technology, which included laptops and iPads! Grades K-2 received iPads, while grades 3-6 received laptops.  What wonderful opportunities for the students of our school!!  However, as you may have experienced, it can be frustrating and time consuming to have students type in addresses of each website you use in class.  That is when a co-worker introduced me to Symbaloo!!

This website is so nice because you can quickly and easily create an icon for any website.  Once your students login to Symbaloo, they will see all of the icons you have added.  The end result is very close to an app on an iPad!!  The students click the tile and they are automatically transferred to the website!!  I have a lot of students access these programs at home as well.  Once they know the password, the students can use this site at home.  They especially love using the websites with math games!! Many students mentioned that they were planning to use them during the summer!  :)  

This site has helped me so much this year!! It cut down considerably on the time I spent helping students get to a website.  It was also a HUGE help when we were researching certain projects.  I was able to guide the students with their Internet research!  For example, when we researched insects, I was able to place several quality, kid-friendly sites on Symbaloo!  Researching is new and can be difficult for third grade, but this was a big help!  

Best of all, creating an account is FREE!!!  :)  Click here to sign up for a new account today!!  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

20,000 Pages and Summer Reading Recommendations!!

I have to tell you, I am SO PROUD of my class!!  We set a goal for our class with 11 weeks left in the school year.  Very simply put, we wanted to see if we could read 20, 000 pages as a class before we left for Summer break!!  Each student {and teacher too!! :)} signed a pledge to read 100 pages per week for ten weeks.  This would mean each student would read 1,000 pages with one week left in the school year.  Multiply that number by 19 students  and 1 teacher and you have 20,000 pages!!! I am so proud of these students....WE MADE OUR GOAL!!! Way to go students!!  As a reward, they wanted to have a "Reading Olympics". :)  Haha!!  They were so cute!  The games are "Minute to Win It" inspired, and loads of fun!

Click Here for instructions and short videos on how to play these games and MANY more!  :)

This game is called "Floatacious" and is trickier than it may seem!

"Junk in the Trunk" and the "Cheetos Shower Cap Toss" were hysterical!! This game can actually be found on Click here for the link!!  

This we seriously such a fun hour!!  The kids did a GREAT job.  As a class, we read a lot and learned a ton!! :)  Way to go students!  Below are some of the books that I could NOT keep in my library because they were so popular! They would be great summer reads.  :)

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