Giveaway Winners Announced

I have GOOD news and BAD news to share tonight!
I usually like to start with the bad so that I can end on a high note, so I'll do the same now... 

The BAD news is that last night Georgia State lost their game to Xavier... boo hoo! It seemed as if every time I switched the channel to check the score the other team was always ahead by a few points. 

On to the GOOD NEWS now! As promised, I've emailed Becky and Greg from The Class Couple a copy of my Grammar Galore Bundle as a prize for their team (Xavier) beating us last night. Congrats!

That means I also have to giveaway the same prize to one of my followers. However, I'm actually going to be giving away prizes to 2 of my lucky followers. Congrats to...

Check your emails, ladies, because I've already emailed you your prizes!

Thanks to EVERYONE that played along!
I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and continue to enjoy our March Blogger Maddness!
Lots of love,

March Blogger Match Up

Basketball anyone? Apparently March madness is officially upon us!

I'll admit, I'm not exactly a huge basketball fan! Heck I'm not even a small basketball fan.... But given the chance to have some blogger FUN and even win some FREEBIES...

then I'm there like a bear! 

Don't worry I haven't forgotten about YOU... Of course there's some FUN in this for YOU too!

For this match up, I've gotten together with 64 other bloggers for March Blogger Match Up, hosted by Ashlyn from The Creative Classroom. Here's how everything works. 

First of all, don't worry if you don't really understand March Madness. 


So I'm going to make this easy for both of us. For starters each of us bloggers was randomly assigned a basketball team to root for. 

Looks confusing, right? That's what I thought when I first got this... No worries, it basically means that we were given ...The Panthers of Georgia State to root for! They look fierce don't they!

Sadly, that's all I know about them. But no worries, for the next few days, we are going to become one with the Panthers and we're going to cheer them on. 

Let's go Panthers!!!!! 

Let's Go!!!!

The next thing you need to know is that if our team, Georgia State, loses then I have to share an item from my TPT store with the blogger assigned to the team that beat me. I ALSO have to share that same item with one of MY FOLLOWERS!  
To sweeten the deal even more, 
I'm going to give away that same item to a follower each time Georgia State wins a round. 

Guess what I just found out?
We WON our first round against Baylor University!!!!!!

It's time to celebrate.... 
As promised I'm giving away my Grammar Flapbooks Bundle that includes 10 different flapbooks covering an array of grammar topics such as sentences nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, rules of capitalization, etc...

To win just enter the rafflecopter below and I will choose a random winner on Sunday. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and remember... Let's go Georgia State!!!!!!

Teacher's Pets Linky Party

Good morning friends! 

As you can probably already guess, todays post is not going to be about my students or my classroom.  But instead I've decided to join a group of lovely ladies for a fun linky party dedicated to OUR PETS!!!!!!  

Let me begin by introducing you to the pooch that stole my heart...

This is my dog... JETER!

... and yes he was named after this equally gorgeous NY Yankees shortstop...

Derek Jeter

Jeter, our dog and not the player :0) , came into our house about 2 1/2 years ago.

Before getting Jeter I was against having another dog in the house. Our previous pooch had died a few months before and I did not want the added responsibility of having to feed, walk, train, and pick up hair.... did I already say PICK UP DOG HAIR?
(As you can see, dog hair inside my house is a BIGGIE for me!)

You're probably wondering... Then how did she end up with a pet?

Let's just say that my hubby and the kids can be quite persistent when they want to. After about 2 months, I finally caved in but not before I gave them a list of my requirements.

MOM's Dog Requirements
1. The dog HAD to be smart or easily trainable
2. He had to have little to no shedding
3. I wanted an indoor dog
4. He had to be really friendly and have a fun loving personality

...and that's EXACTLY what we found in our Hungarian Vizsla! I can't imagine my life without him! 

He is MY shadow... he follows me EVERYWHERE... and has to be next to me, on me, or touching me at all times... I LOVE IT!!!!

Jeter LOVES to give "besitos" or kisses! He's especially fond of ears...

He LOVES to cuddle!

He does NOT like to lay on cold floors and prefers fluffy beds. This is his "place"... Whenever we tell him to go "place" he scurries off to his bed...

He is a HYPER dog that needs lots of exercise! He NEVER seems to tire out... He jumps through hoops, fetches, run's like a madman in our back yard, and is GREAT at finding hidden treats...

One of his favorite activities is to race back and forth across the yard chasing the water from the garden hose. He loves to play this game before bath time...

Vizsla's are known for their excellent hunting skills and Jeter is no exception. He likes to hunt for lizards... chase birds... track cats that taunt him by walking right through our back yard... and he's great at alerting us when people walk in front of the house...

This is THE LOOK that melts my heart! Isn't he GORGEOUS?

Do you have a pet that took you by surprise, like my Jeter, and just captured your heart more than you ever thought possible?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Area & Perimeter: A Hands on Approach

Last week we wrapped up our unit on area and perimeter. Let me just say that it was a breath of fresh air after struggling through elapsed time. I think by this point we ALL needed an easier topic to tackle. 

... I know I sure did!

Luckily enough, area and perimeter was the next concept on our pacing guides. I knew this topic tends to come easier for 3rd graders. These are also skills that kids enjoy learning about and lends itself BEAUTIFULLY to hands on learning. So that's exactly what we did!!!!!

 We started off slowly in our textbooks. 
We learned the word "perimeter" and we even practiced our measuring skills.

We then moved on to an interactive activity from Blair Turner that had us using different methods of finding perimeter. For some examples students had to simply add the sides that were given, for others they had to use "tick marks" to count the number of units around a figure. 
I used this activity as an assessment and my students LOVED it!

This student chose to use tick marks to find perimeter.

Next, I gave my students Geoboards with different shapes and asked them to determine the perimeter. That's it... I didn't give any further instruction! (For some this was hard... they wanted to know exactly how I wanted them to find the perimeter... sorry it was time for some problem solving skills to kick in!)

After an initial pause and the deer in headlights look, their math skills took over (thank God) and the class was buzzing.

This student chose to use a ruler to figure out the perimeter.
                                                        We then moved on to area... 

We began in our books and quickly transferred to manipulatives. (Much more exciting!) I gave my students pentominoes, the yellow shapes you see in the picture below, and they practiced finding the area.

Students used square tiles to place on top of the pentominoe letter T.

We ALSO found the perimeter! (I needed my students to "see" the connection between perimeter and area. Plus some extra practice never hurt, right?)   

Eventually they figured out that each square tile was an inch and no longer needed to place the tiles on top.

We then went back to our Geoboards and found both the perimeter and area of a shape. Again I let them use whatever method they felt most comfortable with. The only requirements was that I needed to "see" their thinking. (That's a biggie in my classroom!) 

Another day, I used painters tape to tape off different areas on the floor. At each station I provided students with rulers, Post-its, Expo markers and white boards. Again the only instruction I gave was to determine the perimeter and area of each shape.

Finding area with square Post-its.

Today we learned that we can use our floor tiles and Expo markers as white boards.

As you can see above, this student felt more comfortable using "tick marks" to find the perimeter and that's okay. 
This student used his ruler to find perimeter.
Both groups accomplished the task at hand even though they used different strategies to determine perimeter. YAY!!!! I was SO PROUD of my KIDDOS! 
The best part was that they thought I was the COOLEST TEACHER for letting them use soooooo many Post-its.  :0)

Minecraft-ish math lesson... (I'll do just about anything to ensure they're learning!)
 Our culminating project involved a Minecraft-ish math lesson focusing on area which we completed on Friday!

It was AMAZING to see my students math skills and creativity come together AND to see my students ENJOYING themselves. 
(Poor babies have been working so hard getting ready for the FSA... they so deserved this lesson!)

I began by giving each student a sheet of 1 cm grid paper and telling them to create an original character of their own, similar to Minecraft. It could be an animal, a robot, etc...

Then they created a setting for their characters.
 The next day they created a setting for their character. They could create anything they wanted as long as they made it out of squares. What they came up with was impressive. I told them our Art Teacher would be PROUD!

Notice the rain drops and the lightning coming from the storm clouds.
 For our final step, I gave each student an index card and asked them to find the area of EVERYTHING on their picture! 

 I'm proud to say that after ALL of our hands on learning, I think they've got it!!!!!

Next up, polygons... Stay tuned to see what we're up to!

All About Animals

Just recently, we wrapped up one of my favorite units to teach in science...
Can you guess what it might be?


I can't help myself... every year I look forward to this unit :0) 

It's a topic that ALL students are familiar with. It's also something that children LOVE to learn about. Can you blame them?

What's great is that it doesn't matter how much of an animal expert you might think you are (my boys usually think they deserve this title from day 1), with a topic as broad as animals you're bound to learn something new!

I like to break up our unit in two... vertebrates and invertebrates. We also always begin with vertebrates since students are most familiar with this group.

What I find interesting is that although students seem more familiar with vertebrates, they only make up 5% of all animals. Can you believe that? I was shocked when I first read that. 95% of all animals actually belong in the invertebrates family ... interesting, huh? 

Ok... so let's get started...

Whenever I begin a new science topic, I like to gather a few different books on the subject and have them readily available on my board for students to read on their own.

These books were HUGE HITS with my kids!

I also like to start off with a video to introduce the topic, provide students with a visual they can begin associating with, and let's not forget... to get those brain juices flowing!
(Plus- My kiddos really pay attention to Moby!)

Next, we dove right into our vertebrates book that comes from my handy dandy  Vertebrates Unit.

I've used these books for a few years now.

Each page is dedicated to a different animal group and  explains in kid friendly language important characteristics of each group of vertebrates. We focus on skin type, how their babies are born, whether they are warm blooded or cold blooded, where their primary habitats are located, and how they breathe.

Take a peak at some of our learning!

Isn't that penguin simply ADORABLE!

Turtles laying their eggs in the sand.

The frogs sticky tongue at work...

Take a look at that live baby in it's mother's belly, and the platypus laying eggs. 

The platypus was a REAL SHOCKER for my class! How could a mammal lay eggs?
This was another great example of "the exception to the rule" that we've spoken about a few times this year. 

We also created a graphic organizer to help us compare and contrast different animals.

One thing that I am VERY DISAPPOINTED about, is that we were NOT able to get to complete our Animal Craftivity project. With our state testing right around the corner we've had to make some sacrifices... (Sigh.... I'm hoping to get back to these towards the end of the year once testing has concluded... YAY!!!!)

Click the picture to download instructions for this FREEBIE!

This project is so much FUN for the kiddos, a GREAT way for them to show all the knowledge they've gained, PERFECT for those tactile/ visual learners, and an EXCELLENT assessment tool.

Patterns included

If you'd like to read more about this resource, click here Also, if you'd like to download a FREE copy, click on any of the pictures.

I hope you've enjoyed a sneak peek into our classroom!

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