Duck into Third Grade

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Math & Reading Add Up

40336554_614Great book for teachers of math or reading! Just a quick tidbit that my students really utilized this year whenever they read non-fiction. Thieves…what do thieves get when they break in? The most important things. What should we as readers extract from the text? See the connection? Here is a brief explanation for the acrostic:

T-title is vital

H-headings and subheadings


E-every first sentence, or for math-examples

V-visuals and vocabulary

E-essential questions


This school year flew by! What a blessing it is was (sniff, sniff) to teach such eager learners! It seems like just yesterday I was learning their names and in a flash we’re saying fond farewells. My prayer is that I’ve ignited a passion for learning that will follow them throughout their lives. It is not about a score on a test or a label. It is about determination and drive to make their dreams come true and make the world a better place!


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Connections Abound!

Book Cover - The One and Only Ivan



Make the merry month of May memorable! Teaching with passion all the way to the very last day of school makes for a fast month however this goal is about as challenging as dieting during December. After the colossal state testing frenzy subsides the trend is to wind everything down. The kids sense this too and they begin their vacation a month early, mediocrity is as infectious as the flu, talk about a summer slide in reading progress! We must forge ahead and utilize and savor each teaching moment. Kids are naturally curious, so when people say, “The kids are through, they’re ready for a break…” I have to wonder if their teaching to the kids’ interests. Literature can pave the road to keeping kids engaged.
This is a real life example, my class had read The One and Only Ivan earlier and now we were reading an oldie but a goodie, Charlotte’s Web, when suddenly one of my struggling readers made a great connection out of the blue and with mush gusto, “Mrs. Barnes, Mrs. Barnes, Ivan made a promise to Stella and Charlotte made one to Wilbur!” She was as excited as a 49er finding gold. Her excitement was contagious. Everyone was making connections like crazy, “Gooney Bird Greene told great stories and Charlotte tells stories” and “Brad in Fig Pudding was gullible and Wilbur is gullible…” They were focused like laser beams. I think the read-aloud gallery really has helped them to remember all the books we’ve shared and make great connections that deepen their understanding. My students amaze me daily! Their love of literature has engulfed them. I asked one girl, who made 3 years growth in one year, how she improved so much and she gave me a one word answer with a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face,”Read”.
In reading Steven Layne’s book, In Defense of Read-Aloud, I must mention a treasure he shared in the picture book. More Than Anything Else introduces us to the world right after the Civil War, where we meet a young boy that must work shoveling salt all day but deep inside he has a powerful yearning to learn to read, more than anything else. He is young Booker T. Washington. Powerful! There are so many books and so little time, we will be reading up until the very last day, even with schedule changes and interruptions and kids being taken out to go visit Aunt Josey. Challenging, yes…but so worth the extra effort to ignite a love of learning that will last a lifetime!