Back to School!

It's that time of year - back to school! One of my favorite things about each year is the chance to start fresh (both with students and a classroom makeover!) I have been working the last month or so to get my classroom ready for the new year.  My room was painted grey over the summer (yay!) and so I tried to work to match that color scheme.  Many of the items in the pictures below come from my Rustic Brights Bundle.

So, without further ado: here it is!


We just finished up open house a few days ago (the kids come on Monday...eek!)
I tried to keep it super simple this year - three clipboards with the information that I needed, the students picked out a pencil pouch to leave on their desk, and all their forms/handbook were on their desk with a little gift for each kiddo.


Organization, organization, and organization! My three favorite words :)
Every year I buy these pencil boxes at Michaels and label them with my Cricut.  I love that they're all the same size and shape and therefore can stack neatly in these cube organizers.  My kiddos leave their pencil box here unless we're using them.  It really helps cut down on the clutter in their desks.

I organize myself with subject mailbox bins for my weekly copies and a toolbox organizer (from Lowes) for all those little things I need daily.

I am trying a new system with my iPads this year by storing them in this drawer organizer.  I attached the charging ports onto the back of the organizer and fed each cord through to the drawer.  The bottom two drawers will hold their headphones.'


And here are my beloved bulletin boards! I have tried splitting my back bulletin board (which is the length of my classroom) into anywhere from 2-5 smaller boards.  This year I kept it simple and went with two - one for displaying student work and the other for anchor charts and posters that go along with what we're learning.  My plan is to change out the student work board with seasonal scrapbook paper throughout the year.  My front board will be used for pictures of students throughout the year.  I loved this idea with the #firstday heading that I've seen all over Pinterest.


I organized my classroom library a little differently this year - I labeled all of the picture book bins with alphabet letters and the chapter book bins with numbers.  This way, when students check out books all they have to record is the basket number or letter that the book came from - I am hoping this helps with continued organization of the library throughout the year!


For classroom behavior, I plan to use the clip chart again this year.  I used it last year and LOVED IT.  My kiddos responded very well to it and it was easy to keep track of as the teacher.  I am also going to accompany that with a try at BRAG tags.  I've seen them all over and I'm anxious to try them out in my classroom!  Here is a picture of my BRAG tags display board and clip chart.


I am ready for another great year of teaching third grade kiddos!

This week in reading we've been working on comparing fiction and non-fiction when reading.  My kiddos still get the two confused (I think when they hear non- they think "not" and then automatically say not real) - we've been working on this plus much more!

This week during guided reading, we read two articles - one fiction and one non-fiction - both about soccer.  We talked about how pictures can give us clues (i.e. - cartoon pictures are usually for fiction stories and real photographs are for non-fiction) before reading.  We made predictions based on the pictures and then read both stories.  I have several kids this year that are into soccer and play on teams so it was high-interest for them (even the non-fiction!)

We read and answered five questions together about each story and almost all of the questions required students to look back in the passages - they like using different colored highlighters to find evidence for their answers.

The third day we laid both stories side by side and used four different graphic organizers that show up on our end of the year state tests.  We completed each one together by using the stories we read.

We compared both of the stories using a Venn Diagram.  We filled in events on a timeline that went with the non-fiction story (which was about the history of soccer and used many dates).  Then we used a sequencing flowchart and I had the kids go through and highlight the five events and showed them how easy it was to put them in order once they highlighted them all.  We didn't get to do the cause and effect chart because we ran out of time!  Oh how I wish there were more hours in the day sometimes!

You can get this high-interest fiction/non-fiction set in my TPT store by clicking on the link below.  Be sure to check out my other set on Sharks as well!

Fiction & Nonfiction Test Prep - Soccer

Happy Friday!
Hello everyone, and welcome! One of my recent goals has been to start a blog and so here we go!

I thought for my first post that I would show a freebie I recently posted in my store, so you can get your copy here:


Our state standards require the kids to take so many tests and learn so much information, that sometimes I forget that they are still only 8 years old and need to have fun!  While I can't always do all of the FUN things I want to do, I still strive to make learning exciting for them.  One way I do this is by making some of our day-to-day "worksheets" a little more engaging.  This freebie includes three math worksheets, but they are cute and my kiddos really like when things are seasonal.

I hope everyone has a great Monday and start to your week!