Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

A place dedicated to learning for ALL students!

What we’re learning this week

on March 19, 2013

Okay so wow!  Look at me!  Posting 2 days in a row!  Feeling great!  So I had a very good first day back with my kiddos.  They were excited about the room arrangement and I really worked to use my whole group area on the floor as much as possible.  I used it for math and reading.  I would have done science there too but they needed to write on a paper.  The goal is when they don’t need to write or use supplies, we’re on the floor.  Otherwise it’s the desks.  I like being closer to them when I teach and it breaks things up.  But all this can (and probably will) be elaborated in a later post.  🙂

So this week we’ve got a jam-packed week of learning.  In math, we’re doing graphs and data.  In Texas, state tests start in 3rd grade.  But a while back, my school was part of the Reading First grant.  While the 3rd grade team had their state test to help measure the grant’s effectiveness, the lower grades needed something.  Enter the Iowa Test of Basic Skills- or ITBS.  We do this test in April and it lasts for a couple of hours a day for a week.  Not fun.  Just to let you know.  So anyways, there’s always lots of graphing questions so we have to specifically make sure that we teach this particular unit before that test.  But it’s actually really fun and easy on the kiddos.  We’ll be hitting addition and subtraction hard again after this so that will throw them for a loop.  For our math program, we use Scott Foresman Envision.  We’re on Topic 20.  I’m going to be changing up math stations starting Wednesday and I’ll be sharing what my kiddos will be up to in that post.

In reading we use Houghton Mifflin Texas Journeys.  There is a version of Journeys that are used by other states, but Houghton Mifflin had to make a Texas version to fit our state standards.  So we’re on Unit 5 Lesson 22.  The big focus with this lesson is r-controlled vowels- particularly er, ir, ur.  Ouch!  And they have a spelling list with a mixture of these words.  It’s not easy trying to help these kiddos just know when to use er, or ir, or ur.  Did I tie your tongue up?  😉  So anyways, I decided to troll through the many great products from the fabulous teacher authors out on the net to see what I could use in stations.  I printed several things but one really stands out for me and that is this one:

Click on the picture to go to Vicky Moore’s store at TPT.  This is not a free product, but I got it free some time during the last school year.  I believe I got it from Teaching Blog Addict’s big teacher appreciation event where a bunch of authors gave a free item worth a certain amount.  I just remember clicking like crazy that night trying to get everything I could.  I got most of it!  🙂  So anyways, this was an awesome packet to have and the best part was, I had it printed, laminated, and cut (this part thanks to my amazing hubby) BEFORE today!!  Go me!!  I got to use it in my small groups.  Woohoo!  (Just so you know, I don’t always get that far ahead to be able to do that.)

So anyways, the packet includes poems, some practice sheets, and these word strips missing the r-controlled vowel.  You print the strips and these cute little Super Kidz that are labeled with either er, ir, or ur.  Vicky suggested putting them on popsicle sticks but I didn’t get that far.  But the kiddos are supposed to put the needed Super Kid in the blank to complete the word.  Awesome!  Since I knew that just constant practice was going to be the only way a lot of my kiddos figure this out, I just pulled this out and started using it.  They loved it!  Here’s pictures of what I did:

Aren’t they cute?!  If they got something wrong, I would go over the word, especially if it was one I know the student has seen before, to see if the student could correct on his/her own.  I would give more guidance as needed.  An example below:

It’s hard to see but she put er in first.  I had her read the word and asked her to really look at it.  Did it look right?  She immediately saw it wasn’t and picked the correct one.  If she had not been able to do that, I would have guided her to the right answer.  Once they selected the right Super Kid, I had them read the word to me and write the word on dry-erase boards for extra practice.  See below:

(She fixed her word!  🙂 )

Sorry!  I went a little picture crazy.  But they really loved it!  Big shout out to Vicky Moore at Traditions, Laughter, and Happily Ever After for creating it and giving me the opportunity to get a hold of it!

In science we are studying the 3 states of matter.  We started yesterday by looking at ice cubes and a crayon, recording their physical properties on a chart, and then discussing ways we could change them and what would happen if we added heat.  We’ll continue looking at solids, liquids, and gases the rest of this week.  If we do anything spectacular I’ll be sure to share.  🙂  This lesson came from C-Scope, which is our new district curriculum.  We just bought it in January and right now we’re just using it where we need/want to while the district completely maps out how we’ll use the full curriculum next year.  Joy.

So anyways, this is my week!  Like I said earlier, I’ll sharing my new math stations later this week and I’ll do a post on reading stations once those are changed (if I can ever get my word wall up).  🙂

Happy Teaching!

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