Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snowmen Multiplication Tents

Bored?  Not hardly! 
Ready to go back to school?  Maybe just a little. 
Still want to stay around the house in my comfy pjs all day?  Absolutely!

I've been thinking about the posttests we gave in December.  Why do kids always miss 6x7 and 7x8?  What makes those facts so hard?

So, I put together a couple of activities that have little prep, will take little class time, (which seems to FLY by after Christmas rolls around) and will hopefully make an impact on our children.

AND they are FREE!!

Yes, I'm still in the Christmas spirit.  My tree is still up.  A Christmas snowflake tablecloth is still on my dining table and I'm still watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas!  Love the holidays!!!

Now on to the free stuff!

This Snowman Set is a fun twist to traditional flash cards!

I've used these multiplication tents before and the kids love them!  The trick- make sure both kids are reading from the same column!  This is great for utilizing transitional times!

One student sits on each side of the tent.  Student A will have the multiplication facts and Student B will see the answers.  Student A will call out the answers and Student B will stop her if she gets one wrong!  Add more competition by using stop watches to see who is the fastest or tracking their progress over a few days!  You'll notice the easier facts are only represented a couple of times, while those stubborn facts are piled in there!

This next FREEBIE is a simple print, clip and sharpen some pencils freebie!  Stick these pennants on their pencils for the first few days back from our break!  They will see their stubborn math facts all day, enjoy drawing their own art on the back (don't they always love drawing), and want to write more in their journal, at least until the new wears off!  :)
Bring a little holiday cheer back to school with you!
Happy writing!

REVISED 1/1/13

So excited to have 25 followers on TpT!  Check out my latest blog for your chance to grab your favorite product from my store for FREE!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Reindeer adaptations!

When we get back from Christmas and the winter weather gets cold in Georgia, my students and I will work on animal adaptations. Since they like reindeer so much, we're going to google reindeer images and discover the features that help reindeer to thrive. Head over to my TpT store and print a reindeer template and a set of adaptation cards to summarize their adaptations!
Such a fun way to get the kiddos back into that learning groove! Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

More for them...

Finally out for Christmas break! Polar Express party on Friday and I cooked for the kids. Bacon, sausage, homemade waffles...they loved it! This morning, what does my own kid get? Eggo waffles!!

Love it! I'm just glad she's too little to complain!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Come Back Quick Linky Party!

Linky Party!

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Christmas Jealousy!

So Jealous of Janet from Making Waves in 2nd Grade!  She gets out for break on Thursday at 2pm.  That's a super long 25 hours BEFORE me!!!! 

When we FINALLY get out for the break...

I'm going to
Spend lots of money on last minute Christmas shopping
Lay on the couch with my 1 yr old little girl (translate-wishful thinking!)
Eat too many of my Grandma's sausage balls
Enjoy a brand new book written by my school's media specialist, Natalie Wilson
Poke around the woods a little.  I'm a hunter.

What I'll probably be too busy to do... sleep

Merry Christmas!!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pollution websties


If you ever teach pollution, I have two must visit websites.
When you ask your students what effect pollution has on animals, I bet you get the same response I get. "They die."  wow..... shocker!  This 1st website helps kids to see that death is not the only effect.

This 1st one REALLY hooks the kids' interest.  After introducing air, land, and water pollution, I show the kids the following website that contains pictures of deformed frogs.  Allow them time to deduce what is likely causing the abnormalities.  They won't forget this lesson.  Even in April and May, the kids readily recollect these frogs and how their habitat was changed by pollution.  Basically, in 1995, some students in Minnesota began to find deformed frogs in the local wetland areas, and that's when a small research project began.  It grew very large, even getting funding from their state legislature.  The scientist took water samples and frog eggs and began to try to grow the eggs with the water samples.  This led to the conclusion that the water was polluted; however, their state cut the funding in 2001 and the website reports no official pollutant as the cause.

The 2nd is all about composting.  Vermi the Worm is an animated earthworm who walks the students through a recycling skit, a performance about what makes a good comport bin, an experiment using compost and a few sorting games for composting, recycling, reducing and reusing.  Interactive and highly engaging!


Leapin' Lizards!!!

It all started when I FORGOT to bring an old rotting log...

I introduced decomposing today as part of my pollution/conservation unit, and I wanted to bring in an old, rotting log to hook the kids' attention.  Great idea!  Until I forgot to go out back and get a stinky, old stick.  So there has to be some at school... This is what went through my brain until I got there and saw that of course the grounds crew had just visited our elementary school.  Just my luck! 
We have a small garden area, so I settled for some rotting leaves and a couple of rotting root stalks. 
Jack pot!!!!

Five minutes til class and I am set!  So excited.  The kids will be eager to find out why I have this (even got the old brown banana from last week's lunch), and I put it all on one of my blue science trays. 
My science lesson doesn't start until 9, so I just left it on the table.

No problem.

me-  "Y'all look at this!"
class- they look... at my hands holding the decaying leaves


side note:  kids are now standing on their chairs, a few shrieking girls, "I'll get it, I'll get it" from the boys, complete NOW WHAT?  in my brain, and I decide we will let it stay.

me- "Let's keep the lizard.  He can eat all the bugs we've been seeing.  The bugs are probably from the candy you keep bringing in."
class-  "KEEP IT?!?!?"
me- "Sure.  Lizards don't bite."

hmm---I want them to watch part of Magic School Bus Meets the Rot the dark...this won't work.

Plan B-
me- "Morris, please catch the lizard."
Morris- "OK!!!!!!!"

COMPLETE CHAOS for 2 minutes

He hands me the lizard.  I, of course, drop it.

Second round of chaos...

He hands it to me AGAIN.

They all sit down in shock that I'm holding a lizard. 
me-"What are some adaptations of a lizard?"  - got to keep it standards based, lol
class-"EWWW!    Can we touch it?   I don't want to.  I do.  You're scared of lizards!"  and the taunting begins.
me-  "I'll put him outside, or you can tell me some adaptations and I'll bring him around."
class- "They camouflage.  They have sticky feet.  They fly!" ????  We'll need to work on this.

And this is the moment the door opens... and in walks the... PRINCIPAL!!!!

principal-  "Are you holding a leaf?"
class- spontaneous laughter
me- "No, it's a lizard.  We're just talking about animal adaptations.  Conner, can you tell Mrs. C. about how a lizard can....."


End of the day.... A sweet, little girl comes to me and says, "You know, Mrs. Purvis, you're just like Ms. Frizzle."  :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The door.

My brain works best in one gear--and that gear is called Last Minute.  Not that I'm complaining.  I rather like being in the middle of a lesson, usually mid pose for whatever I'm trying to describe when it hits me.  Its always an idea that motivates me to do a little more for these children.  My latest impromptu plan:

The sets are pairs of synonyms.  We took words from our story, and they used a thesaurus to find "better" words.  We might just spin this into a journal writing for tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It WILL be CC based...

So my kids are still doing that Let Me Outta Here dance, which is a shame because we still have another EIGHT days!  Oh my.  Trying to reteach from our magnets assessment and keep them entertained has been a monumental task this week.  But no fear, I have a plan.  A common core based plan.  ELACC3W7 says the kiddos need to do short research projects.  So, yesterday I taught them how to create an outline using our magnets knowledge.  It was a HUGE hit!  Who knew third graders were fascinated with Roman numerals?  We created one together, reviewing our content on magnets as we went.  Then over to the side, I did a quick impromptu outline on reindeer to tie into the holiday spirit and these kids were hooked!  

Next, I sat at my computer and they gathered around me (we projected it on the smartboard), and we typed a paragraph from the outline.  One of my boys said, "So that's the secret you grown ups have been keeping!  No wonder y'all can write so much!".....  :) 

So my next unit is pollution... I think I'll start with an outline!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas A.R.

I don't know about your kids, but mine are super excited about the holidays!  Me too, by the way!  Each morning I check AR and it seems like fewer and fewer students are testing.  Well that's no surprise... with all of the band concerts and Christmas tree lightings and family celebrations and last minute shopping trips... I get it, but hmm....  Should I be a Grinch and fuss and mandate reading A.R? ....Or could there be another way? 
I've got it!  :)  I cut out an ornament from bulletin board paper ( I know it has a better name, but I can never remember it).  I stuck a sign in the middle and taped it to the wall.  Told the kids my plan and WhaLaa!!  18 of 24 tested the next day.  No Grinching required!  It worked all last week and they came in the room on yesterday- a MONDAY--- wanting to test and sign it.  So, I made another!  Too easy!  They sign when they make an 80, 90, or 100. 

My super secret covert operation is to hand some Christmas pencils to my Assistant Principal and ask her to wander by and congratulate everyone whose name is on it for this week.  So excited! 
Merry Christmas!!!  Happy reading!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tricks of the Season

So the Christmas Craziness has hit room 403!  The kids are singing while parading up the hallways, and all 24 want to tell me what they're getting for Christmas.  Two kids now regularly wear a Santa hat and I do believe I saw a candy cane being split among 8 girls.  (Just glad it was broken and not passed lick for lick)  ...I love this time of year!  It seems like everyone is in a good mood...stressed in the 5 foot world... but good mood just the same!  I try to be a little more lax in the talking department and a little more firm in the R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  You know how it goes!  Get them to the 3:00 bell!  We go until what feels like Christmas Eve.  Really its the Friday before but that sounds way less dramatic.  It'll be interesting.  We'll wear pajamas that last day, enjoy some hot cocoa and review our math facts.  I think I'll have to come up with a game or two before then.  Working on Jeopardy for magnets and heat right now.  Anywho.  Here's how I keep my sanity and standards running neck and neck.

First, tape this to every one's desk.  If you switch classes, put it on their notebook.  When you catch someone doing something good, initial a light bulb.  I tell mine they have to have all 9 in order to get to eat at our Christmas party.  Shhh... they'll all get to eat, but they sure are proud to think they worked for it!  I guess you could cross one off each time they were bad, but that's not something I want to keep up with.  :)

Second,  the fastest game you'll ever make.  I wanted to review thermal energy and magnets today so I wiped the dust off the textbooks and turned to page 122.  Those practice CRCT questions came in handy!  Type up and clip apart A-D and stuff in an envelope.  They got "toe to toe"--that's how I pair them...they always get so preoccupied with looking for empty feet that they don't fuss about who they work with.  Each pair got a set of letter cards and would read the question and then hold their answer covered up in their hand.  I checked, they tossed a ball through a basketball goal from Dollar Tree and all was right with the world.  I spend 3.5 hours working on thermal energy Jeopardy and they want to throw a wad of paper at the trash can.  Go figure!  I wasn't knocking it because they were focused and reviewing/extending concepts and it was smooth sailing!
What tricks do you have up your sleeve for these final few days of 2012?



Download a print friendly version of my Christmas lights countdown for FREE at my TpT Store!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How does thermal energy move? EXPERIMENT!

Wow!  My kids are loving the unit on magnets!  I'm starting to mix in a few thermal energy experiments as well.  I've got a super easy one!  This teaches the kids that there are smaller particles within the water and their movement correlates to their temperature.

First,  put a clear glass (I use my science beakers) of water in the refrigerator or add some ice and let it melt.
Second, boil some water and put in another glass that is the same shape/size.

When you slip a drop of food coloring in each one, they will disperse at different speeds.  The students can visually recognize that the hot water's particles are zooming around, while the colder particles are slowly drifting to the bottom- or as one student said today, "cold is like old people!".  I bet she'll never forget which moves fast and which moves slow!  Try it!

Monday, December 3, 2012

How to make a temporary magnet

I love teaching science!  This week my third graders are working on magnetic fields and temporary magnets.  Temporary magnets make a low budget and easy experiment that just amazes the students.
First, I put the following vocabulary words on the board so that we can reference them throughout the lesson.  I like to be able to point to the word as I'm saying it to catch those visual learners.  :)
temporary magnet, permanent magnet, stroke, pole, nail, magnetize
Second, I show them this picture:

We discuss how the magnetic domains would turn when they get heated and cooled (linking it to their prior knowledge).
I extend this to discuss how we want the poles to be lined up in an orderly fashion, like those inside a magnet.
Third, I show them a nail and we discuss how it is attracted to a magnet, but it is not a magnet.

On to the experiment!
I model first and have them do it on their own at the end.
Hold the nail in one hand and pull the magnet down it with the other.
Repeat this several times.

The more strokes you make, the better the poles will align and the better the temporary magnet will work.
I click the stapler a few times to get some used staples out, and then I place my nail on the staples and TADAAA!

It's easy to get a clump of them to attract.  I challenge my students to try to link the staples end to end and see how strong they've made their temporary magnet.  In a few short seconds, they realize that more strokes will make their magnet stronger and a they will be busy stroking for awhile!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rudolph's Multiplication Challenge

Rudolph needs your help to save Christmas!  Blitzen is trying to hijack the job of leading the sleigh...yes, THE sleigh!  How will Santa choose?  Check out my Rudolph's Multiplication Challenge at my TpT store to find out!  This is an activity the kids will love! 
Just a simple click and print away from having a festive way to keep those kids busy and their behavior under control as the holidays draw near! 


Christmas FREEBIE!!!

Hit up my store to print out your FREE Rudolph multiplicaton flash cards!  Get those kids to practice their facts!

Freebie Fridays


Happy Holidays!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Floating Paperclip

What a fun day!
I wanted a quick and fun activity to do with my magnets lesson today.  Yesterday, I introduced the term magnetic field by having the students feel the force of magnetic poles repelling.  They enjoyed it, but I wasn't confident with their mastery of the term magnetic field.  So, I tried a super easy experiment that the kids loved. 
Take paperclips and tie a piece of yarn to each one. 
Tape the yarn to the desk and give the kids a magnet.

The quietest bus call all year!  This was all they wanted to do!

It literally took minutes to set up and I plan to leave the clips taped to the desks for the rest of the week.  The kids were fascinated with trying to make the magnet float.  I even told them that they could talk while they worked as long as I heard them using the term magnetic field.  Bonus! They figured out the poles are where the magnet has the greatest pull!  It was awesome!  I am a genius!  I can't wait to see how they perform on their assessment.  :)  Try it!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Teach animal adaptations?

I love to teach the unit on animal adaptations!  The kids love it even more.  Last Thursday, I pulled up this website to see a live shot of two polar bears wrestling in the snow!  Talk about a lesson activator.  You can't always count on such good action, but they have the "Best of" playlist and I'll play it while the kids are writing in their journals.  It has been fantastic!  Let me know how you use this link!  I'd love to hear of other ways!    

What am I doing?!?

Three weeks ago I got this idea to start a teacher's blog.  So I did.  I look back at what I posted and I'm wondering what I was thinking.  I thought I could just open an account, type a little and TADA!!!!!  Hmmm.... guess it doesn't work that way!  Kuddos to all my fellow teacher bloggers for the hours of work it takes to figure out what you are doing!  I don't live with regrets, so I'm not erasing those crazy first few posts, but I will certainly laugh at my mistakes!  Thanks to Teaching Blog Addict for ALL thier helpful advice. 

I can't believe how many teaching blogs are out there!  I feel like I've discovered a hidden world, and I'm totally addicted.  Reading other blogs gives me such inspiration.  I'm excited to build my followers and to share some of the teaching practices that I have!  SO excited to be a part of this teacher community!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Teachers work way to hard!  Check out my blog to get your FREEBIE from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

This week, I've been thinking about multiplication and division.  Some of my kids have it down while others think it is Greek!  I whipped up this little poster to keep up with who is ready for something harder.  I plan to have one for division and one for multiplication.

Hope it helps as you work on your mid year assessments after this wonderful Thanksgiving break!

Click here for my store:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mr. Popper's Penguins!

For all of you who are teaching the new Common Core ELA this year....may God give you some rest this week for Thanksgiving!!

I've posted my Mr. Popper's Penguins Complete Teaching Unit to my Teachers Pay Teachers site.  Check it out if you need a break or you feel like you are a first year teacher all over again!

It is aligned to the 3rd grade Common Core and the kids will love the chaotic adventures of Mr. Popper and his acting crew!

Tab Purvis at Teachers Pay Teachers

:)  Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

They know.

Wake up to baby puke on the floor.  It's not going to be a good day.

I believe in leaving that personal business at the door when I enter the classroom, but I guess I either had a bit of an edge in my step or not the same smile on my face.  By 9:00, one of my sweet girls handed me this and then walked away. . .

Priceless!  Brightened my day!  Who wouldn't want a letter like this?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Real Skeletons for Halloween


Take a look at this!  8:03... In walks an outstreched arm attached to one very excited 8 year old.  Once I moved past the fact that there are dirty, rotten remains of some unnamed animal staring at me, all I could think was AWESOME!  This kid loves some science!  Hmmm... now what to do with my new display...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 1

So.... I've been wanting to share my classroom for quite a while.  It seems there's always some commotion in 403!  Stay tuned for the next crazy moment.  With Halloween this week, it's sure to be soon!  :)

Love the crazy times!