September 19, 2016

Into the Book: A Website to Help Support Teaching Reading Strategies


Find out about Into the Book to help support teaching reading strategies and grab a FREEBIE!  Great resources for teachers and students!Head over to All About 3rd Grade where I'm going to be telling you about a little website that can provide some great support for teaching those reading strategies.  It's called Into the Book.  This site is FREE and it features a lot of cool stuff to help you with planning and teaching eight learning strategies: using prior knowledge, making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, summarizing, evaluating and synthesizing.  (The only strategy it's missing that I also liked to teach is determining the importance.)  It also provides some great student resources to practice these strategies too!
Plus, grab a FREEBIE from me too!


August 19, 2016

Indoor Recess Ideas for Teachers

This is a great list of ideas for indoor recess time in your classroom!

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of questions about what everyone does for indoor recess in the teacher FB groups I'm in. I thought it'd be a good idea to share some the things I liked to do when it was too rainy, too hot (in Florida I've been told by my administration some days that it was too hot for us to go outside to play at least a few times each year!) or too cold- for all you snowbirds!
Come check out my post on All About 3rd Grade!


August 11, 2016

Name Activities for Back to School

These back to school name activities are fun for students and help you and your students learn each other's names!

Every new year comes with a lot of new names to learn! Well, why not make it fun for you and your kiddos? Here are a few name activities that I have used throughout the years at the beginning of the school year that I though I'd share. Hopefully you'll get an idea or two. :)

This is super simple. Kids get a sheet of paper. Fold it into 8 squares (or more). Then, they go around the room and fill in the boxes with different names from friends in the class. I have them walk around so they can get some movement in and look at each other's name tags on desks to spell them correctly. Then, I handout some Skittles (because...Skittles, duh!) to use as place holders and we play name bingo. Depending on how many squares we've used we'll play different ways- a row, the whole card, etc. I liked to use this as a fun little transition activity the first day or two of school. You know how so much of those first few days are lots of talking about and practicing procedures and it can get a tad boring at times- this game just spices things up for a few minutes.

These back to school name activities are fun for students and help you and your students learn each other's names!

I've done this one two ways: One- I just gave the kids a regular size 8x11 piece of white construction paper and they had to write and decorate their name BIG (cover the paper). I always showed an example that I had made where I used a lot of color and details to design and decorate as a model, so they knew I really meant BIG and detailed. Two- I made and printed their name (great tutorial on how to do this) on the page and they had to decorate it.  I usually used this activity the first day or two of school. While the kids worked on this I was able to do some DRA's, running records or other beginning of the year conferencing or testing that I had to do one-on-one. Then, I displayed their name art around the classroom for Open House later that month.

These back to school name activities are fun for students and help you and your students learn each other's names!

I always started out the year with all of my students names on the Word Wall in my classroom. In 2nd grade, I did word work with our word wall words daily. One thing we did was a physical activity with the word. We would snap it, clap it, stomp it or cheer it. This went something like this- we would say the word, then clap (snap, stomp or cheer) each letter, then say the word again while we clapped the syllables. Then, the kiddos would write and box around the letters of the word in their word work notebooks. We did this with everyone's name the first week or two of school. Each student would pick what movement they wanted to do with their name, so they liked that. Plus, they learned how to pronounce and spell each person's name as well.

I love this idea for the first day of school. I would make a name card (similar to how I did it for the decorating names paper, but smaller) and put a little can of Playdoh on everyone's desk. They could manipulate the Playdoh to spell their names. Super easy, all ages love this and keeps them busy while you are dealing with all the "first day of school stuff" we always have to do.

Still looking for some Back to School ideas? Definitely check out my other Back to School resources!!

These back to school name activities are fun for students and help you and your students learn each other's names!


These back to school name activities are fun for students and help you and your students learn each other's names!

July 27, 2016

3 Games for Practicing Rounding {Freebies}

Find out three easy, hands on games for practicing rounding numbers. These games will work for rounding to the nearest ten and hundred (and even thousands or ten thousands)!

Rounding and estimating was always a harder concept for my new 3rd graders.  We usually started off the year with place value and rounding was part of that.  I used the "rounding rhyme" and that helped some kiddos.  I used number lines and helped more of them.  We did it over and over.  But, let's face it, it's a little on the boring side.  So here are 3 games that will hopefully spice up rounding practice for your students!  

When I used math games in my classroom I almost always modeled the game as a fish bowl activity (played it with everyone watching/participating) or taught it in a small group first.  Then, we usually had a work time dedicated to playing it while I circulated and helped students as needed.  Eventually, the game could go into a center or rotation, or be used for early finishers.

Find out three easy, hands on games for practicing rounding numbers. These games will work for rounding to the nearest ten and hundred (and even thousands or ten thousands)!

You'll need number cards (grab my number card freebie) or regular playing cards with the face cards out for this game.  Split the deck into two piles (one for each player).  Each player will turn over 2 cards (or 3 for a 3-digit number, etc.).  Each student rounds their number to the nearest ten (or hundred, thousand...).  Whoever has the biggest rounded number wins- just like in real war! (If there is tie, they play again.) The winner takes all of the cards for that round and they keep playing.  The player with the most cards at the end wins the game.

I like my kiddos to record something when they are playing a math game (especially at the beginning), so I made a Rounding Wars recording sheet that they can use.  They can always just record on a sheet of notebook paper or in a math journal, etc.


Give two players each 8-16 index cards (or cut up cardstock- anything works) each.  You can decide how many cards based on ability/time/etc.  Have them write a number of their choice (2, 3 or 4 digit) on one card.  On the next card they will write the number rounded to the nearest ten, hundred or thousand depending on what you want them to practice.  Have each partner check each card for correctness.  Do this until all cards are done. Mix up all the cards and lay face down in equal rows.  Now, play the game like memory.  One player will pick a card and then try to pick the matching rounding card.  When they get a match they keep the cards and go again.  Not a match, they turn them back over and their turn is over.  The game is over when all the cards are gone.  Whoever has the most cards wins!  This would be a great game to play in a small group where you can really hone in and help round those numbers when the kids are making the cards.




In this game, your students use a spinner to spin a 2, 3 or 4 digit number.  They record it and then round it.  This can just be a hands-on practice they can do independently or it can be done with a partner.  If they are working with a partner, it can be more of a game- where they record the number, round it and whoever has the biggest (or lowest- if you want to change things up) number wins that round.  They can put a little star or check mark next to that round on their recording sheet and the person with the most stars on their sheet at the end wins.  I also would have their partners be checking them as they played that they are rounding correctly.  I like them to be recording something too, because I can always look at this and see if they get it or I need to stop and sit and play with them for a bit.  Grab this Spin Me Round freebie and use it as a center or small group practice with your kiddos.


If you need some more ideas for practicing rounding in your classroom you might like my Rounding Pack which has a variety of worksheets for practice and task cards that would be another great math center!



Find out three easy, hands on games for practicing rounding numbers. These games will work for rounding to the nearest ten and hundred (and even thousands or ten thousands)!