Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teachers Pay Teachers

I have just begun a TpT account in hopes to upload some of my other work. Please feel free to check it out and be sure to follow me, as more exciting and fun plans and ideas will be posted in the near future! For now, you can download Cupcake Math (from previous post) for free. Enjoy!

Market Day

During the past two weeks we have been studying Economics. Students have been earning "money" by attending school, turning in homework, participating in class discussions, and making good behavioral choices. It has been a great change of pace for them. Similarly, they also lose money for making poor behavioral choice, not being ready for class, etc.  Students will then take they money have earned and use it to spend at Market Day!

What is Market Day? Market Day is an afternoon set aside each year where students create a product based upon their talents. This product is then sold to their fellow third grade classmates. It is an excellent real life example of these skills. Students submitted a business plan and paid for a business license in order to run their business. We have studied effective means of advertising and marketing. Students have made ads for their product and have promoted the product to the class.

Pictures will be coming shortly...Market Day is one week from tomorrow! What real life simulations do you do in your classroom in order to teach concepts?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cupcake Fractions

Today I am linking up with Math Monday Blog Hop! We are currently studying fractions in third grade. On Friday, we will have a cupcake fraction day where students will decorate cupcakes and we will then analyze what fraction of the class chose similar decorations to their cupcakes. Last year the students loved this activity and I am very much looking forward to it again. Below you will find the document I use with students for this activity!

Cupcake Math Template

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Mrs. Randall's Learning Library is having a giveaway in honor of 200 followers. Head on over to her blog to check it out!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Professional Learning Communities (PLC)

Today I began a year long "course" on the implementation of professional learning communities at Xavier. I am super excited about the potential for the implementation of the PLC's within our school. Prior to today's half day session, I really had no idea what a PLC even was. I learned basically that it is a collaborative effort on the part of teachers at the school to shift their focus from teaching to learning- learning how to focus on what kids need to know, driven by formative assessment. Basically, they want us to determine an area we want to improve upon, determine what we feel are the basic skills in that area that we want the kids to develop (by collaborating with our colleagues), and then design instruction upon which we can then assess how well the kids learned the skill we wanted them to learn. I am intrigued by this concept (while not a new one, it is a shift in focus). We'll see where this leads us in this coming school year. Do PLC's exist at your school?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fraction Fun

We began our unit on fractions this week. I love this unit because not only is it a change up of skills, but it lends itself to many fun activities that demonstrate real world connections. Below are a few ideas we will be trying out in our classroom during this unit:

  • Cupcake Math- This is an activity I designed last year in which students each decorated a cupcake, and then we analyzed what fraction of the class made the same decision in regards to how they decorated their cupcakes.
  • Fraction Town- In this craft activity, students design a map of "Fraction Town". Streets are labeled according to what fraction they represent (for example, Second Street is divided into two equal parts). Students then follow a set of instructions to add details to their map such as houses, fire truck, trees, etc. This activity is always enjoyed by all.
  • Fraction Fashion Show- New this year, I will be using an idea I got from TpT (thanks to Lesson Plan SoS) where students will dress up as fractions for the day. Pictures to come next week.... :)
What are some fraction activities you have found to be helpful in teaching the skill?

My First Post

I have been inspired by fellow bloggers to begin a blog of my own. I teach third grade at a Catholic School in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. As this year is coming to a close, I can't begin to express my gratitude for the opportunity to teach and guide the 24 children with whom I have spent the last 160 days with. I hope to use this blog as a way to share ideas, network, and remind myself of the daily gift that it is to teach! What is the greatest blessing you have found in teaching?