Sunday, September 30, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching

     Well....I am finally doing it! My first post on Third Grade Thinkers
As I was contemplating what to post, I was thinking about all the great things the 3rd graders have been doing so far in the year--- they know: how to make inferences, tell a 5-finger retell, all about adjectives, nouns, and verbs, rhyming words, poetry, everything about multiplication, division, place value, predators and prey, habitats, pollution, parts of a plant, the transformation of a butterfly....the list goes on and on! We have even started our Boot Camp!
     Clearly, it was a tough decision trying to figure out what to post. Well, I decided on the topic that I am MOST excited about for the whole year...Whole Brain Teaching!
     General Delk and Mrs. Jackson were lucky enough to attend SIOP Training and brought back a few things regarding Whole Brain Teaching. I read a little about this topic last year, but only enough to incorporate small pieces into daily routine. Well- I was PUMPED about what they had learned and decided that I was going to go into it full force!
     I am not going to try to explain Whole Brain Teaching in one post, but I did take a picture of a small part of the idea- here is a picture of the classroom rules and classroom procedures that go along with Whole Brain Teaching.
    The top row has procedures/routines that we do throughout the day- Class? Yes!; Hands and Eyes; Teach! Okay!; Mirror; and Switch. All of these are pieces of the Whole Brain puzzle that keeps our children engaged and interested throughout the lesson. 
   The bottom row has our classroom rules: 1. Follow directions quickly, 2. Raise your hand for permission to speak, 3. Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat, 4. Make smart choices, and 5. Keep your dear teacher happy :) My kids like Rule #5.  Each day, one student will come to the front of the class and lead our classroom rules. Each rule has a body/hand motion to go along with the words.
    This is just a small part of Whole Brain Teaching, but we will continue to post about this exciting new way of teaching for the teachers of Third Grade Thinkers! 

     If you would like to find out more about Whole Brain Teaching, you can go to their website at
    Also, I am currently reading The Whole Brain Child, by Seigel and Bryson. This book is a great read for anyone who is part of a child's life- parents, teachers, aunts/uncles, grandparents, babysitters, etc. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Science chapter 3 preview

This coming week we will be looking at chapter 3 in science- Organisms of Long Ago. Classes will be working on making lapbooks, which are file folders used as mini portfolios. Here is the one I made as the example.

If you would like to see what kinds of things we will be using as resources, feel free to check out these websites!

Simply Necessary- Rocks and Minerals Lapbooks

Yee Shall Know- Magic School Bus lapbook
Some of the ones in my example were pulled from this source!

Squidoo- study on rocks

Lucy Learns- Fossil pictures and clip art

If you'd like to go through the chapter 3 vocabulary power point at home, click {HERE} to download it yourself!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Multiplication Math Chants

Third grade has been working on multiplication for weeks now. To make things easier to remember, we as a team have added motions and chants to multiplication facts!

The motions we use go along with a SIOP training that Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Delk attended a month ago. Studies show that students love and need more motions and visuals in lessons, so here you go!

Thank you, Ms. Roach! These are short and sweet!

Explaining multiplication- it's repeated addition!

x0- when you multiply by 0 the answer is 0!

x1- when you multiply by 1 the answer stays the same!

x2- when you multiply by 2 it's a doubles fact!

x10- when you multiply by 10, add a 0 on the end!

Teachers- feel free to use these in your room!

Parents- practice these at home with your student!

Boot Camp- Complete Sentences

This week in General Delk's Boot Camp room, we worked on making complete sentences. First we discussed what students though made a complete sentence, then we learned a jingle. It's singing time!

(From the Shurley Method)

Sentence Jingle:
A sentence, sentence, sentence
Is complete, complete, complete
When 5 simple rules
It meets, meets, meets.

It has a subject, subject, subject
And a verb, verb, verb
It makes sense, sense, sense
With every word, word, word.

Add a capital letter, letter
And an end mark, mark.
Now we're finished and aren't we smart?
Now our sentence has all its parts.
Alpha Team:

 Bravo Team: By far the best Team of the day!

Charlie Team:

 Delta Team:

Great job, Teams!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

TCAP Boot Camp- Plural nouns

Last year third grade held TCAP Boot Camp the 2 weeks before TCAP week. Students were placed into 4 teams and rotated to all the teachers to review important material.

Students loved it, teachers loved it, the administration loved it, an our scores proved it's worth!

This year we decided to not wait until the last minute. From now until the TCAP test, each Friday will be set aside as Boot Camp day. We still have 4 teams: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta.

There are 3 rotations in the morning, one in the afternoon, with time in the middle for related arts, lunch, and homeroom check-in in the middle. We also end in time to have Fun Friday with the rest of the school.

There are 4 teachers in the rotation; 2 teachers for math review and 2 for language arts. Teachers are encouraged to take pictures and video if possible to share with parents what their student is reviewing in order to help them better at home.

Here are videos from the Plural Nouns review lesson.

We started by reviewing nouns, using a jingle from the Shurley Method. Parents, if you'd like some extra help with the Shurley Method, click {HERE} for a printable version.

Noun Jingle:

This little noun,
floating around,
names a person, place or thing!
With a knick-knack-patty-wack,
these are English rules!
 Isn't language fun and cool?

Alpha team:



Now that we can identify nouns, now we can make them plural! We listened to one of my favorite songs from the Sound of Music: My Favorite Things. We changed it a little to My Favorite Nouns. If you'd like a copy of the song to print, click {HERE}.

Unfamiliar with the song? Check it out below!

After listening to the song, we took the nouns from the song and categorized them into their plural forms, ending with -s, -es, and -ies.

Of course we had to do one more chant to remind us what to do when our word ends with a Y.

Change the Y to I and add ES!

Great job, Team Charlie!

To finish our time together, we used an activity that I found at Queen of the First Grade Jungle's blog about sorting -s and -es nouns. Click on the link to take you to her blog!

I made copies for all the kids and they were able to take the game home for practice. Thank you, Queen!

Students end their time in each classroom with a 5 question Exit Ticket for a quick assessment and grade.

For their first day, I think  everything ran smoothly! It was a hit!