Saturday, October 17, 2015


Lapbooks remind me of the days when I was a stay-at-home mom. We made them during some of our homeschooling lessons. I think lapbooks are going to be useful once again, but this time in my classroom and with my students!

Next week we are beginning a science unit on Matter (Mixtures and Separating) and a Social Studies unit about South America. I have lapbooks to use with both topics.

The Matter Lapbook contains pieces from kits I purchased from TpT.
The pieces are mixed and matched from Paper Bag Matter Book from Hooty's Homesroom and States of Matter Lapbook from Amber Polk. Both of these can be found in their TpT stores.
I made some of the pieces to cover other topics that will be taught but were not included in their kits.

Here are the directions for adding an insert. I needed one so the students can keep their reading passages and notes in one place. It will be easier for them to study for a test when all the information is compact and organized.

This is the lapbook for South America. I created this lapbook and it is in my TpT store 
It includes 5 lessons with reading passages and the lapbook pieces to use as a follow-up activities.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Text Features

My third graders enjoyed learning about text features. I used textmapping with "text scrolls" to help cooperative groups of students see the entire book. I plan to use these again for other skills (they are great for allowing students to mark text). We covered this skill for three days during whole group reading. 

Here are the details:
As we discussed each feature, the students used the chart to complete notes for each feature using cloze sentences. They "filled in" the important word that was missing for that feature.

Day 2: The students had a "Scavenger Hunt" to find the text features on the text scrolls. I reduced the cards and had a set at each scroll so they could see if the book had that text feature. They used a recording sheet with all the text features listed and highlighted the ones that were in each book. We had 6 scrolls and I used books from
These cards were used at each scroll.
Some groups flipped through them as if they were a deck of cards, and some groups matched the cards to the text feature on the scroll. 
The scrolls were simple to make. Just glue the book in order on a strip of bulletin board paper.
I did go back and staple just the bottom of each book to the paper.
I kept space at the top for text marking.

They were warned about this book beforehand and instructed not to scream!

The discussions among the students were so varied-some were confirming the text feature and some were asking for clarification about the text features. The small cards were a great reference.

Day 3: The students were placed in cooperative groups and given 1 text scroll to list all the text features, the page number, and what they learned from that feature.

These were fun and engaging lessons and really had little prep except for the scrolls. I did not let them mark on these so I can use them again. The students could always take ownership of the scrolls and glue the book pages and that would save you some time. Storage is quick and easy, just fold each side over until they meet and place in a flat drawer.

For more information about text scrolls, visit this website.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Mathematics Centers-Fractions

I survived my first nine weeks of third grade. It has been the best quarter of school I have ever had in my career. No joke, third grade is the best, if given the chance you should give it a try. The curriculum is so interesting, they can do so much, and I come to school every day excited about my teaching my lessons. 

We just finished up a unit on fractions and all of the math centers were hands-on using manipulatives. I have never seen students so eager to get through the whole group lesson so they could work at the centers. For the most part, my math centers have been used as a spiral review of the math skills taught this year. I use task cards with a recording sheet for the students to complete. I decided to switch it up this week and use some of my familiar tools from kindergarten. 

Linking chains in bathroom cups
Students took the chains out and wrote the fractions for each color.

Unifix Cubes
Students wrote the fractions for each color in the stick.

Teddy Bear Counters
Students made a set of bears and wrote the fractions for each color.

Domino Fractions
Students counted the total number of dots and then recorded the 2 fractions (top, bottom) for the set of dots.
Set of counters in a cup
Students emptied the cup and wrote fractions for each color of counters in the set.

Honestly, these were the easiest centers I have created so far this school year. I did not need to print (or laminate) anything except the notes on the boards and the recording sheets. 

I organize my literacy centers this same way and I will post those tomorrow.

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