Category Archives: Uncategorized

Creepy Crawly Crossword

I’ve been working with Education.com to post some fun school activities on my blog.

Second grade at our Core Knowledge school studies insects. This activity is great for spelling practice and science practice! Gotta love cross-curricular!

This cute bug themed crossword is a fun way to get some spelling practice. Looking for more exciting educational games that are sure to have your child asking to play again? Check out all the spelling games from Education.com!

Creepy Crawly.jpegHere are the links to download the worksheet and the answer key.

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Fold it Up!

Hey Everyone! Happy beginning of the school year!

If you’re in need of a beginning of the year activity to do with your kids, here is a great origami lesson from Education.com! You can access this activity on their website here.
Happy folding!

Origami Pinwheel

It’s a rare kid who doesn’t love a good origami project. Here’s one that takes the art a step further to blend in both writing and social studies learning. On the next patriotic holiday that comes up on the calendar, invite your child to celebrate by doing some amazing arts and crafts and help her make a festive origami whirligig.


What You Need:
Large (12”) square of origami paper in red or blue
Push pin
Plastic straw or wooden dowel
Pen

What You Do:

  1. Place the paper on a flat surface so that the plain white side is facing up, toward you. Fold the paper in half each direction: vertically, horizontally, and diagonally.   Each time you make a fold, open the paper again.
  2. Fold each of the four corners into the center (one at a time) so that the flat sides of the corner touch the middle fold, and then open again. Repeat with each corner of the square. This step will create folds that form a diamond on the square of origami paper
  3. Now flip the paper over so that the colored side is up, facing you. Fold each corner into the center, and write a “patriotic wish” on each of the four triangle flaps you have made. Have your child think about a person or issue she wishes to address. What are four good wishes she’d like to make on this special day?
  4. Open all the folds again, and turn the paper over again so that the plain, white side is facing you. Fold the top and bottom and sides so that their edges touch the center line.
  5. This next step is a little tricky so make sure you take your time! Take the top corners and pull them out and down. Fold them along the inside diagonal creases, as shown below to make square flaps Then repeat for the other side.
  6. Pull out the top right and left corners, fold each one over to the side and press flat.
  7. Your origami windmill is now completely folded.  Place your pushpin into the center, and into your dowel or straw, making sure that the pinwheel is secured, but loose enough to still spin.  The wheel should easily spin in the breeze. Take it outside and see for yourself!

Origami Directions.jpgWhen you’re done, you’ll have a homemade, patriotic whirligig that you and your child can use to celebrate the holiday!  You can make as many of these as you would like, in red and blue, so that everyone at your patriotic party has one of their own!

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Tattling vs. Telling

We have had a lot of issues of tattling in my third-grade class lately. It is very difficult to find a balance between we are a class community, like a family, and we need to help each other and work together, and everyone worry about themselves and then everyone will be taken care of. 

So today we talked about tattling vs telling. 83f659b7fe4c0f66a71474bda7a4e881.jpg

I think the biggest mindset shift for my students is going from “trying to get someone in trouble” to “keeping someone safe and helping them.”

They also can handle a lot more problems than they give themselves credit for. When a kiddo comes to me to tell me someone stole their pencil or whatever, my first question is, “well what did you say to them?” Most of the time their response is “Nothing, I came and told you!” I want to get them out of that habit, because 9 times out of 10 it was just a miscommunication or accident that can easily be fixed without my help.

Kids also have a very strong sense of justice and they want everything to be “fair.” I discuss that further in an old blog post you can read here. So we really need to switch our thinking and ponder how we can help each other and NOT just try to get each other in trouble.fair isn't equal.jpg

Tagxedo

Bone bone bone bone bone bone muscle muscle muscle muscle muscle muscle muscle tibia tibia knee knee Ribcage Ribcage Ribcage Ribcage Ribcage Ribcage movement movement skeleton skeleton skeleton skeleton skeleton skeleton skeleton calcium tissue broken-bone broken-bone patella femur bicep bicep bicep triceps joint joint joint joint ulna ulna radius tendon humerus compact-bone spongey-bone marrow medullary-cavity periosteum carpals wrist skull skull skull humerus collarbone heel fingers shoulder exercise exercise strong strong strong abs spine heads legs legs legs teeth foot hands arms arms heart elbow 

That looks like a very odd assorted blurb of words. I had my kids at the beginning of our human body unit write down any word they could think of that has to do with bones and muscled. (Some of them used their resources. I already had a few posters up on my walls.) And then I put their reponses into a word cloud using Taxgedgo. We’ll do this again at the end of the unit. This is a great visual to show how much we learned!

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There is a slight flaw in this system. It got the text from my blog post, and it included a few extra words like the title of my blog and all the months down the right side of my archives.

Conferences

Parent teacher conference day is really beneficial, but it’s a day I usually dread because it is such a long and draining day. Fall conference day this year, my seventh year teaching, was my best day of conferences I’ve had (and that’s impressive since I had a horrible cold.) I’ve tried really hard to communicate continuously with parents, especially if there are problems with their kids, so there are no surprises. Most of the parents were really pleased with how the school year was going and the progress their kids are making.

I love getting to hear from parents what the kids go home and tell them about school. Parents and teachers see very different sides of kids. And I kept hearing over and over that the kids are loving learning about astronomy. Astronomy is my favorite unit to teach and I get really excited about it, which gets my kids really excited about it!

I also heard from so many parents that their kids have really started to love reading this year. This is the ultimate reward for me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to read and I share that love of reading with my students. I really think that if I teach my kids nothing else, the year will have been a success if they leave third grade loving to read. So much of school anymore sucks the fun out of reading and that’s so awful!

Astronomy and reading are the two things that I love to teach more than anything else. It makes me wonder what kind of an impact I could have on my students if I got more excited about everything else that I teach.

Community Involvement

 

Describe your commitment to your community through service-oriented activities such as volunteer work, civic responsibilities, and other group activities.

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For the past five years, I have volunteered to mentor middle and high school students at my church. Instead of working with a different group of kids every year, I’ve been moving up through the grades with one group of girls. I’ve been with them since they were sixth graders and now they are going into their junior year of high school. They are a very diverse group of kids and they go to about 10 different schools in the area.

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It has been amazing to see all the girls grow and change over the years. We see each other on youth group night once a week, we text and message often, I go see their school plays and concerts, and I get to know their families. We go to summer and winter camp together. My girls and I also do a lot of work in our church’s community like running food drives and volunteering at food pantries. I am building them up to be leaders in our community.

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I love getting to do life with these girls and help them navigate the challenging years of middle and high school. Many of them have shaky homes and families, and I am honored to be able to be a stable influence in their lives. I love when they call me to help them with a homework project or because their parents are out of town and they spilled bacon grease and don’t know how to clean it up. They also call at two in the morning because they are having a panic attack, and I love that even more. I value dependability and consistency in every area of my life and my girls know they can count on me to be there for them.

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