Friday, August 31, 2012

Fun Film Friday! Fifty Nifty Song

It's Friday!  Yay!  I noticed I've only written one other post since last Friday.  That's because I was setting up and dealing with back to school craziness.  I'm not ready to post final pics of my room yet but I will next week!
 But now it's Friday and time for another fun film.  Since I posted a Science video last week, I decided to switch it up and do Social Studies this week.  This is a song that I teach my class every year.  It's called Fifty Nifty United States and the kids love it!  There are a lot of versions of the song on YouTube, but I think this is the best to start off with:

I hope you like it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New and Improved Button

You may notice that my page looks slightly different.  I decided that my old button was waaaaay too busy and I needed to simplify it.  After a little research on how to create a button (I had totally forgotten) I'm finally happy with my creation :)

First, I had to find a background image that I liked.  I found this one by searching for Royalty Free images of gems and found one that I liked on Clker.  I used PicMonkey to edit my picture.  I uploaded the picture to Photobucket.  Then I used WikiHow to create the Grab My Button box.

What do you think?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fun Film Friday!

I know that there are a lot of blog themes out there...Make it Monday, Freebie Friday, etc. I decided to do something a little different and have Fun Film Friday! Each Friday I'm going to feature a different educational video.

I'm going to start out with a bang...literally! This is one of my favorite videos to show to my students. It's from Science Bob.  He has tons of videos on his website and on You Tube.

How fun!!!  Last year my students were so cute that they started clapping at the end!  The kids begged me to play it over and over!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Homework Time! Free Homework Sheet

I am working on revamping my items on TPT. I just finished working on my homework sheet and I am offering it for FREE! I've used this sheet for years and it's a great way to communicate the weekly happenings of your class. It works for any elementary classroom. Click HERE for your free download!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fabulous in 4th Grade Froggies


Fabulous in 4th Grade Froggies is having an upper elementary linky party.  It's a great way to find some new ideas from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers!  
Fabulous in 4th Grade Link Up

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cute Finds at Lakeshore Learning

Yesterday I was driving around the town and was down near Lakeshore Learning. You might not have a Lakeshore Learning store near you, but it's kind of like teacher heaven (or around back to school time it's teacher torture). I figured, it's the middle of August...the store will be empty! School doesn't start for weeks! It will be heaven! I had my list ready and was looking forward to perusing the nice, empty store.

I walked in, and it was a zoo. Kids crying. Carts being bumped into each other. Teachers grabbing lesson plan books and things being thrown in baskets.

Not teacher heaven.

Usually I'd turn around and go home. I'd go back the minute the store opened to avoid craziness. But I figured I was already there and it is kind of a trip to get there so I'd just do my shopping.

Here are some of the things I picked up..

 I have an "Under the Sea" theme in my room so I thought this was perfect! On the first day of school we create the rules together and then I have each child sign the chart.

These are the best desk tags! There's so much information on them. The kids look at it all day while doing work and it's really helpful. Besides the shapes with names, there's the alphabet and a 100 grid.

All in all, the trip wasn't so bad. I got a bunch of things that I needed and picked up my free lesson plan book (with $20 purchase). It was only a mildly painful reminder that school is starting soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Room Organization Linky Party

I'm joining up with Rainbows Within Reach Linky Party!  I haven't started school yet this year so I have to post pics from last year.

Rainbows Within Reach Organization Linky Party

 My library and computers.  In the back are the students' cubbies with folders.
 Part of my class library.  While looking at these pictures I'm thinking I might have some kids paint the bookshelves this year!
This is next to my Smart Board.

Once school starts I will definitely add some new pics!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I Heart Target

Well I'm back from the South and the first day of school is getting closer and closer...
After getting back I went to Target to get some things and hit up the dollar aisle.  I love Target!  I found these cute little self inking stamps.  

There were so many other cute things there but I had to hold back...especially because NYC teachers are getting less than $50 this year for teaching supplies.
On another note, the blog make over contest is over.  Unfortunately I didn't win but I want to thank anyone who voted!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Award Nomination!

I couldn't believe when I opened my mailbox today and saw that Third Grade Gems was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!!!  I was so happy!  My very first blog award :)  Thank you Mrs. Kacz at Krazy Fun Teaching with Mrs. Kacz for your nomination!

To accept this award I have to:
  1. Thank the person(s) who nominated me. (check)
  2. Include a link back to who nominated me. (check)
  3. Include the award image in my blog post. (check)
  4. Tell 7 random facts about myself (see below)
  5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award. (see below) 
  6. When nominating, include a link to their page. (included below)
  7. Let the nominees know by leaving a comment on their pages. (check)
     Here are the 7 Random Facts about me:
    1.  I live in NY but I'm currently down South visiting family.  I'm thoroughly enjoying the pool as much as possible :)
    2.  I love to cook and I have just mastered this fabulous chicken pot pie recipe that I found online.  It's heavenly...

    3.  Although I live in NY and there are stores everywhere, I hate shopping there!  It's too crowded!  I love going shopping down South where you can actually move in the store without bumping into people.  There's an Ann Taylor Loft Outlet down here that I love.  If I find a shirt I love, I tend to buy it in every color.  It's a problem.

     4.  I hate the heat but love the beach.  Luckily my bf is the same way so we go in the late afternoon.

    5.  I love to travel!  It doesn't always happen, but I try to visit one new place every summer.
    6.  I love cheese.  And chocolate.  Give me anything with cheese or chocolate (or both) and I'm happy.
     7.  I recently dog sat for one of my friends.  It convinced me that I love dogs, but I'm sooo not ready to have one yet! (especially the waking up early to walk it part).

    Here are the 15 Bloggers that I am nominating for this award:


  8. And now I'm off to the pool! :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Honey Bunch Blog Design Contest!

The Honey Bunch Blog has decided to do a free blog makeover for one lucky winner.  Third Grade Gems has been selected to be part of the contest!  I like my blog but I would LOVE to have a make-over!  Click HERE and please vote for me!  Third Grade Gems is #6.  Thanks!!!

Creating a Caring Classroom: Using Morning Meetings

School is starting and as part of  Laura Candler's Creating a Caring Classroom Link Up I wanted to write a blog post about one of the ways that I try to create a harmonious classroom.  When I first started teaching I randomly came across a book called The First Six Weeks of School, by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete.  I highly recommend this book to both new and veteran teachers.  It gives clear examples of how a caring classroom should be run.  There is also a partner book called The Morning Meeting Book by Roxann Kriete which gives excellent examples of how morning meetings can influence a class

In my class I start our morning meeting with a greeting.  At first it's just a wave as the kids are usually shy the first few days.  They learn how to make eye contact and turn to their neighbor.  Then we add on to that.  They wave to each other and say, "Good morning ___________."  And their neighbor responds.  After we go around the circle I read the morning message to the students.  Sometimes we read it chorally, sometimes I'll read, or sometimes a student will read.  This is my normal morning message:

Greetings ________________________,
Good morning!  Today is Friday, August 3rd, 2012.  Our shortcut is ___/___/___.  It is our third day of learning together.  Today we will have (insert special) at 1:05pm.  I am positive that we will have a fantastic Friday together.
Ms. M

I put the morning message on our Smartboard, this way I can save a copy on the computer and I don't have to write it out everyday on the easel.  I also try to incorporate some kind of quick math review problem from the day before to refresh their memories.

Morning meetings are a great way to let students know what to expect during the day and to do a quick review!

My Button!!!

It took a looong time, but with the help of and, I was finally able to create a button!  Check it out and let me know what you think!

I'm attempting to also create some html code so that you can grab it :)