Duck into Third Grade

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Farewell to September #10thingsmyclasstaughtme

Be Grateful 8x10 full     Six weeks we’ve learned together, shared our thoughts and our creations, along with  laughing a lot. I have a very special group of 21 third graders this year and this is what they taught me in August and September:

  1. Come to school early because some are waiting for me to open the door so they can work on their writing, these are my early birds with beautiful smiling faces and sparkling eyes so eager to begin the day. They bless the start of each day.
  2. The right to bear arms means the right to have  body parts : ) Humor is a must. We share a joke or two (sometimes 3) a day.
  3. Don’t forget STATUS OF THE CLASS…It’s a BIG deal to announce where they are in their independent reading. (Early out day I almost let this slide but they were not about to let it happen! LOL)
  4. ALWAYS have Read-to-Self time, as one student said, “I’ve been waiting for this all day.” Sweet!  Those early out days or pictures days, etc. something has to be eliminated but it won’t be this time for sure.
  5. Read-Alouds build community with laser fast speed. Benny is real. He has a pink cup, we all want a pink cup, too, LOL. (The Boxcar Children taught us to work together). Roxie was persistent and flexible, she changed the hooligans by doing the right thing and she inspired us to be change we want to see in the world. (Thank you, Roxie and the Hooligans)
  6. Ask them to explain their drawings, deep insights await me when I take time to listen.
  7. Wait, wait, wait…Give them time to figure things out. They will not disappoint. My favorite question this six weeks was how are addition and subtraction alike and how are they different? Their answers were amazing after they were given think time!
  8. Grit Grows in 3B-Thank you, Jaxon, for a great class motto! They mention grit time after time and know that it is not an easy thing. Most of them listed grit on their 6 week reflection, Ten Words I learned this six weeks and what they mean.
  9. Don’t underestimate them. Teaching the learning traits has empowered them. They are using Persistence, Optimism, Flexibility, Resilience, and Empathy in their speech daily. I’m very impressed with all the connections and applications they have made and continue to make!
  10. Brain breaks are a must, whether its a secret handshake or a rousing game of Jeopardy or a scribble turned into a masterpiece…mix it up, just don’t forget it.           I am so grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and anticipate future ones! Thank you, 3B!51endezutkl-_sx329_bo1204203200_
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Powerful Picture Books-#Somethingforeveryone

Teaching is tough. Why? Demands are many and time is limited. What makes it worth it? STUDENTS!!! I challenge myself to read a picture book a day to my class. The good thing is if time restraints press in on us the class will remind me : )Habits are so powerful!  They look forward to the class read-aloud, read-to-self time, and even status of the class (telling the class what they are reading). The sharing of these books are their favorite times of the day! We connect all of our learning to the variety of books we share.

Our learning trait this week was EMPATHY, many students had given money for those pummeled by hurricane Harvey, so we talked about how sympathy is feeling bad but empathy prompts you to act on those feelings as Wilfred does in Wilfred Gordan McDonald Partridge, Mem Fox’s adorable book. When this big-hearted little boy hears his friend, age 96, has lost her memory, he attempts to help her regain it. We had read My Fantastic Elastic Brain and one of my students said, “I guess when you get old your hippocampus gets stuck.”

I have had many students return years later and talk about a book I read to their class and how they were moved by it in a big way. No one has ever returned to talk about how much a worksheet impacted his/her life. Lessons in literature abound! Let’s embrace the challenge of sharing powerful books and growing as learners right along with our students!