Sunday, November 8, 2015

Multiplication Stories

Okay, let's see if I can get to blogging again? I swear I was going to start this post much earlier, but then my dog decided to take a nap on my lap. If you don't know yet, once your dog takes over your lap, any level of productivity just goes down. 

We are started our multiplication unit two weeks ago. Started with talking about the different ways multiplication could be represented: equal groups, arrays, skip counting, and repeated addition. Last week, we talked about different types of multiplication stories.

[Sidenote: "Times as many" is no longer part of the third grade standards and is now part of the fourth grade CCSS. However, this was part of the math curriculum we're using which claims to be CCSS-aligned so I went with it until my colleague told me otherwise later.]

To make the lesson a bit more interesting (rather than read and solve multiple word problems), I had the students work with their table groups to create multiplication story posters. Each group was assigned a multiplication equation and had to come up with two different multiplication stories to go with the multiplication sentence.

The students also had to label each story and solve it by showing their work and giving a complete answer.

Once everyone was done, each group brought their poster to the front of the room and gave a quick presentation of their stories.

To wrap the lesson up, I asked students to independently write a multiplication story for the equation 3x6 as their exit ticket out to recess. Great way to assess each student's understanding of multiplication stories. 

I love how this lesson not only covered math, it also touched upon group work and speaking skills. The best part...I came up with the idea for the lesson the morning of the lesson! Don't you love when that happens??

Here's to hoping I go back to blogging more! :D

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Currently

How did it become November already? I swear I was only exclaiming how it was October only like  week ago! least a new month means a new Currently from Farley!

I think you can see a theme here.... body is finally given up on me and the first cold of the school year is on it's way! I'm actually very surprised I've made it through sick-free this far. I was expecting to get sick during our two week Fall break but I guess not! Hoping for a fast recovery. We shall see!

It was also really hard to choose my favorite Thanksgiving food because I love just about everything Thanksgiving food related. However, pumpkin pie is only something one can get during this season (unless you make it yourself, of course) so pumpkin pie it is!

I'm hoping to get back to some regular blogging. I know I say this every time...but I'm going to try! :)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Five for Friday

I'm back for another Five for Friday post! :D

We started our Legends unit this week. The kiddos are currently "researching" legends by reading various legends and looking for certain components in the legends.

Can you see where this research is leading us to?

If you guessed, writing our own legends then you are correct!
We are going to be publishing our legends into a hardcover book, just like the Cinderella stories I did when I taught second grade! So exciting!

We've already brainstormed ideas for our legends....

...chosen our topics...

...and brainstormed characters and their traits.

 Next week will be all about the writing of the story itself! I'm excited to see what the kids come up with!

This week was my favorite week of teaching math so far...because I was teaching strategies for adding three-digit numbers!

I also absolutely LOVE interactive notebooks! If you haven't tried it out yet, you should definitely give it a go! We have Math and ELA notebooks. Interestingly enough, I use the two notebooks very differently. Maybe I should write about it some time! :)

Just FYI, I use Blair Turner's 3rd Grade Interactive Math Notebook for my class. It's great! Check it out!

Is anybody else tired of benchmark assessments yet??

This is my first year of doing DRAs (I used Fountas & Pinnell at my last school). Deadline for scores are next Wednesday. I have two English classes so I have 47 students to test. I only have 2 hours and 40 mins of instruction time with each class every day. Where do you fit in the testing?? I have no idea...

This Sunday is the Mid-Autumn Festival that's celebrated in Asia. My school is Mandarin-immersion, plus the third grade classes have been learning about the moon with their Mandarin teachers. Of course, that means we should be celebrating the festival! Got some mooncakes and other treats from a parent as a result. :)

Okay, I'm EXHAUSTED. Two more weeks until Fall Break! I cannot wait!!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Five for Friday

Friends...I'm EXHAUSTED! Aren't short weeks supposed to be a breeze??

Guess not when there's a whole bunch of learning happening every day! Which means it's time for...

Omg...I can't tell you what a great feeling it was to know that I had extra day to sleep in! Especially since my body apparently needs a day to realize that sleeping in is okay so I typically only get to sleep in on Sundays. My body naturally wakes up around alarm time on Saturdays. Makes me so sad...

Anyways, Monday was spent having lunch with my colleagues from my first school back in Oakland. Also meant I got to go back and visit college stomping grounds. We've been getting some intense heat this week in California so that only meant I had to go get me some froyo!

Orange creamiscle, yum yum!

Speaking of my school in Oakland...look what I found in my current teaching neighbor's room. 

See that name..."Thornhill"?? That's the name of my school in Oakland!!! Of course, I had to ask my colleague where the box came from. Turns out she got the box from a coworker in her previous district whose husband worked as a music teacher in Oakland. I didn't recognize the name but still...such a small world! Also a sign that this school was meant to be.

So after hearing all these bloggers rave about Stitch Fix, I finally decided to give it a try. I am SO not a fashionista, let alone clothes shopping. I basically buy all my clothes at Old Navy so I was very interested to see what I would end up with. 

Here is the style card that I got with my package.

After trying everything on, I ended up keeping two of the clothing articles, the cropped pants and the cardigan.

Fun experience overall, but way out of my budget to continue on a monthly basis. But I am definitely up to get another fix maybe like six months later! Haha.

Okay, I suppose I should talk some school now. We had our first "Art in Action" session this week. This whole program is new to me, but it looks like a great program, especially because the parents do the teaching! 

Our first lesson was on Van Gogh's "Starry Night". The students look at the brush strokes, talked about depth and perspective, and then recreated their own version of the masterpiece.

 Pretty cool! Looking forward to all other future art sessions!

Math this week has been all about mental math strategies. Practicing mental math means I get to do my favorite math activity...number talks!

I absolutely LOVE number talks because I love to see the different ways students visual the problem. I learn so much from them this way! I told my students that I was not taught to think out of the box when I was learning math in elementary school. That just wasn't the focus then. They are so lucky that the focus has changed now and that they are given more freedom to look at numbers in different ways without being told to stick to one specific method. It's not about the answer, my friends. What's important is the journey to the answer!

After looking over homework writing from the last two weeks, I quickly realized that we need a refresher on paragraph writing. Never was quite sure how to approach it but thank goodness I stumbled upon Mrs. Prince and Co's entry on stoplight paragraphs!

First we talked about the different features of a paragraph and relating each part to a light on the stoplight.

We recently compared two different articles on creating acorn food products in our Ohlone unit. It only made sense in my head for us to write a class paragraph about it. What a difficult task to complete but the students all felt SO accomplished when we were done!

Since I teacher ELA to two classes, I decided that one class would come up with a comparing paragraph while the other class came up with a contrasting paragraph!

After creating our paragraphs I rewrote the sentences on color coordinated sentence strips (didn't have red so substituted with pink). Then we pieced all the sentence strips together, making sure all the words fit on our "paper".

Next week, the kids are going to write their own paragraphs using the colored strips. Can't wait to see their stoplight paragraph puzzles! 

So way more happened in the classroom than what was mentioned, but I forgot to take pictures! I have even remembered to bring my camera to school, but never actually take it out! I need to remind myself to start taking more pics so I also make myself blog more often!

But for now, I will end with a picture of my new staff id. Officially a staff member of College Park Elementary! But, oh, my hair! @@

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Blog Hoppin Teacher Week: Classroom Tour

Time for Wednesday's post!

I actually already have a classroom reveal post since school started three weeks ago for me. But now that some time has passed, some things have been added to the classroom so why not update the pictures? :)

I brought my camera to school today so I could take higher quality photos, of course...the batteries were dead! So unfortunately, that means the photos are from my phone (which aren't too shabby!)

Here we go!

Starting with some overall classroom pictures from my desk...

Some of the different signs/posters near my front door.

Here's the parent volunteer corner. I put things that I need copied/laminated or cut up and put together in the bins. Parents will just drop by whenever they are free and check the bins for things to do.

The "front" of the classroom with my attendance pocket charts, agenda, and math word wall.

My students' mailboxes and book bins. Also used the extra mailbox slots to store construction paper.


My two bulletin boards. Owls for my homeroom class. Birds for my PM class. 

The classroom library!!!

As you can tell, I'm all about using post-its as labels...

And new desk arrangement! I saw this on pinterest and decided to try it out and I really love it! I'm glad I made this investment!

And that's my classroom!
Forgot to take a picture of my desk but there isn't much to see there except for a small mess. xP
I'm off to go see what other people's classrooms look like!