Duck into Third Grade

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Barnum’s Bones


Meet the man behind T-rex…Barnum Brown! A wonderful read depicting the life of ‘Mr. Bones’…The kids were spellbound to discover how T-rex came to be known and they were also impressed by Barnum’s patience and determination. We are going to cook up a batch of play dough and make some dinosaur fossils. I am amazed at their interest my in nonfiction!
They were also curious about P.T. Barnum since he was mentioned in the book as the man Mr. Brown was named after because his family loved the circus. So I’m off to do some searching…”Isn’t he the one that said, “There’s a sucker born every minute”? I wonder what third graders think that phrase means? I’ve tried to slow down and ask them what they are thinking and it has been eye-opening. I’m so thankful curiosity is not extinct!


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Powerful Picture Book!


What a great example of a mistake that was made right! This endearing story had my class predicting with gusto. I love eavesdropping on their conversations. Their deep insight into the story amazed me! Words are indeed powerful!

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Connections Galore! Books to Adore!


I’m currently reading The One and Only Ivan to my third graders but I can’t wait to introduce them to Gooney Bird Greene (storyteller extrordinare). Ivan loves the stories told by his endearing friend, Stella, and Gooney Bird’s class loves the stories she tells. I’m hoping all this storytelling will get them ready to write stories keeping the listeners in mind. Gooney Bird says we all have stories to tell (stories that are absolutely true) like how she came from China on a flying carpet (adorable)! She even gives story prompts to her classmates that I’m going to try out for our TELPAS writing samples. Thanks, Gooney Bird!

Mastering the Mechanics provides the busy teacher with a wealth of lessons for writing! A yearlong planner (in color, WOW!) is provided along with tons of tools and actual student writing samples! I have a lot of sources with this information but it is great to have all this info in one place!

How does Opening Minds connect? Peter H. Johnson says, “…in order to have dialogue, people have to listen to one another. I mention this because really listening to a partner is less common than it might seem, and because there is listening and then there is listening. Listening because you are interested (like Gooney Bird’s classmates) is quite different from listening as a matter of vigilance or responsibility (like faculty meetings :).”

Book connections are everywhere!

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Tough Cookie

Tough CookieThis upcoming week we embark upon our second benchmark testing in third grade : (
Two days of learning… lost. Some students are a bundle of nerves while others are oblivious. A quote from Flora and Ulysses is appropriate for all the high stakes testing, “Stop the malfeasance!”

We read Wilma Unlimited last week and this week we’re going to share Tough Cookie, while different genres and totally different stories, there is a connection. When times get tough, we have to pull together. We all need a little help from our friends, Wilma had her family, Tough Cookie had his fellow cookie crumbs.  Excessive testing may leave us feeling ‘crummy’ however, we must fall in love with learning despite all obstacles!

(Remember the song, Lean On Me…I’m hoping this obsessive amount of testing will bring students and teachers together!)