Let the games begin…

We are off and running! I don’t know about you, but after the past 4 days I feel as if I have smoke coming from my shoes. Between collecting supplies, labeling supplies, going over class rules, reviewing school rules, discussing fire safety, code red, code yellow, setting up notebooks, and working out all the kinks, this week has flown by. On Monday, I welcomed 23 well groomed and nervous third graders with these snazzy welcome bags. They were a HUGE hit! DSCN1466 As the day continued, I collected student supplies. This year, however, I decided to try something new. I began by giving each student a supply checklist listing all of the supplies they needed to leave in their desks and those supplies that I would be collecting. Next, students were responsible for placing supplies into different baskets and buckets located around the room labeled with different supplies. DSCN1482DSCN1484 While I worked with one table at a time to correctly sort their supplies, the other 3 tables worked on animal puzzles I had purchased from the dollar store. Not only did this activity encourage team building, but it also gave me a glimpse into the various personalities present in my classroom. It’s amazing how much information you can learn about your students just by watching them work on a puzzle. What I found shocking was that a large part of my students had never put a puzzle together before. I found myself teaching them how to sort puzzle pieces by color first and then separating all the edges into another pile. Once I had given my class a “puzzle 101” lesson they quickly began to catch on. At the end of the day, each of the puzzles were raffled off to 1 lucky student. Later on in the day, we read the book First Day Jitters and made some Jitter Juice from Babbling Abby’s Fun with Firsties. DSCN1480 We also colored in our superhero faces for our FACE of a Super Reader board. (As you can see, I’m missing a few faces… it seems as if a few of the superheroes were busy at the moment fighting crime.) DSCN1498 Another activity the students seemed to enjoy this week was learning about the Parts of a Friendly Letter. We began by simply reviewing the different parts. Then as we reviewed each part of a friendly letter the students used a different color crayon to circle the name of the different parts. They were then to use that same color to circle the corresponding part on the example of a friendly letter. (What a great idea from one of my coworkers!) DSCN1500 DSCN1501 We then finished our Friendly Letter lesson with a little kinesthetic activity. I had all of my students stand behind their chair and we began by tapping our heads and chanting “heading, heading, date, date”. Next, we pointed at our lips chanting “greeting, greeting, Dear John”. We moved on to the body. The students would then wiggle their body and simultaneously move their hands down their body while chanting “body, body, the meat and potatoes”. (This was one of their favorite parts in the chant) Next they pointed with both hands at their feet while chanting “closing, closing, sincerely, love”. For the signature students used one leg to pretend they were signing using their foot. (This was their 2nd favorite part of the chant) Lastly, they bobbed their heads left then right while saying “PS”. We’ve done this chant for the past 3 days, and every day my students ask me to do the “Friendly Letter Dance” one more time. Finally, we’ve been working on improving our  Silent Reading (S.R.) Time. Every morning I have my students take out a book to read. Once everyone is ready I give them the signal… on your mark, get set, and go! I then begin my stopwatch as they begin reading quietly. I time how long the class can read silently without talking. Once I see/hear a student talk, I stop the watch and record our time on the board. The first day we tried this we were able to read for 4min. and 13 sec. DSCN1497 … and I’m proud to say that today we were able to read for 6 min. and 58 sec. My goal is to get to 10 min. by next week! What is your goal? So as you can see, we have been one busy class of SUPER HEROES. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I’ll share what we’ve been doing in our Math Notebooks as well as a Super Kid activity we have been working on that is just perfect for OPEN HOUSE! XOXO, Melissa Signature

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  • Reply
    Kelly Teaching Fourth
    August 24, 2012 at 3:48 am

    I really like your idea of timing the silent reading time!

    Teaching Fourth

  • Reply
    Melissa Yalesias
    November 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    It has worked wonders for my students! And the best part is that THEY love beating their record time.
    :0) Melissa

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