Sunday, October 6, 2019

What a Way to Begin!

This year has been amazing! Yes, I know we have only been in school for 6 weeks. But that is 16% of the school year! By now the honeymoon has worn off. Students are comfortable, the teachers are comfortable, rules have been firmly established (one would hope), and the hard work of learning has been underway for quite some time. 

Yet, this year, with this class, it doesn't feel like 6 weeks have passed. It feels like we have been together much longer than that in terms of the relationships we have built and the way our class runs. We are laughing, learning, and having fun together and it is fabulous! 

Sure, the grading is starting to stare me down, progress reports are due in a few days, and there is so much I think we should have already completed or accomplished. But it has only been 6 weeks. In many ways, it is still early in the year and we are still practicing what will be like a well-oiled machine in a few more weeks.

We are getting there. 

This is a great class. Ms. Villarreal and I have so many fun things planned. We are off to a fan-tab-u-lous start!
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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Blasting Off Into a New Year!

This year got off to a busy start! We welcomed kids back on Monday, August 26th. (Yes, it has been 3 weeks already. I can hardly believe it!) We started the year with a space theme from our room transformation, following the moonwalk on the JFK Library MoonShot app, and passing out space-related gear.  The kids were excited and so were we! 

We completed a number of STEM and team-building activities. One of my favorite being the Cheeto challenge which I found on Twitter (posted by @EducatorSanchez). The kids were given a Cheeto to analyze. Without marking or altering their Cheeto in any way they had to select their Cheeto from a number of others after they were all placed on a paper towel. We mixed in other "decoy" Cheetos but we couldn't fool these kids - no way! They took great notes and were very observant! 

We have started our persuasive writing essays and boy do they have ideas! I love the way this class just jumps right in and gets started. I can't wait to share their essays with their parents. 

We are going on our first field trip next week and we are taking public transportation. Wish us luck! 
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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Change is Good! Adding a New Partner

Life is great in third grade! Change can be good too! As you know, Mrs. Solis left our class for a class of her own and that meant getting a new partner for me. We found one - Ms. Villarreal - it helps that she has been my best friend for 15 years. I think that this will be a great fit. Now the three of us are once again at the same school and on the same grade level. This time though Mrs. Solis will be working on her own. This doesn't mean that she can't - or won't - be posting here. We decided that this collaborative blog should stay that way and rather than remove her from the blog and add Ms. Villarreal we would simply add Ms. Villarreal to our blog. So from here on out, there will be posts from the three of us about what is happening in third grade - what we are up to and things that are happening in our classes.

The parent pages on this site will remain in effect for Ms. Ryan and Ms. Villarreal's class. Mrs. Solis will let her parents know what applies to her classroom (as many of the procedures and beliefs will the same in both classes (it seemed silly to have her recreate what has already been done).

We look forward to sharing our new adventures in third grade with you all once school starts on August 26, 2019.

Stay posted for the fun to begin!
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Monday, February 18, 2019

Quick Check In

Hi! It is has been a while since we added anything to our blog and we wanted to let you take a peek into what is going on in our classroom.

We recently participated in Global Play Day. The kids had so much fun using their imagination to create forts, games, and homes for their stuffed animals. Some of the kids invented games that we will be playing in class soon.

We are working on writing informative essays. Our prompt is: What made Bell and Edison want to become inventors?  Students have been working on writing a 4 paragraph essay to answer this question. We have been using pass/revise rubrics to judge our work and help our peers make necessary improvements.

These rubrics focus on 3 - 4 points for each day's writing. Students pass if they have everything on the rubric and have to revise their work if something is missing. Peers determine this and provide appropriate feedback to help each other improve their writing.

We have been focusing on strategies to help us solve multiplication problems with factors up to 10. Many students are able to solve problems but are having difficulty relating helper facts (near facts that help you solve a problem) to help them solve more difficult multiplication problems.

By the end of the school year, students should be able to quickly solve multiplication problems with factors up to 10. Once they learn their 0-5 facts it is just a matter of recognizing the 6-10 facts are turn around facts.

There are only 69 days left in the school year. It is flying by! There is still so much to learn and we are working hard to master all of our third grade standards.
 photo Stacie sig_zpsmntqujpq.png  photo Maria sig_zpsagiiewfu.png

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Happy New Year!
In a way I am sorry to see the holidays behind us. I love the last weeks before Christmas when decorations are up and we to do some fun things at school. Everything is so festive! This year we tried something new for our parent gifts (thank you Pinterest) and they turned out amazing.

Here is the link if anyone else wants to try these:

With the holidays over, I am also excited to be get back to school. These winter months are when everything starts clicking and the students really take off. I am anxious to see what they do.
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Monday, November 19, 2018

Trimester 1 is in the Books

It is amazing to realize that we are officially done with the first trimester of the school year and that we have two more before the end of the year. It is zooming by! Maybe because of the move and the new beginning, but even if we hadn't changed schools I think we would still be shocked to realize that it is already the end of November. 

Once again this year we have been impacted by Northern California fires. We ended up having the last day before break called due to smoke. This happened last year for three days as well. We are hopeful that this isn't a new normal for us. We pray those impacted by the fires are safe and sound and we are grateful that those we know who have family affected by the fires are all safe and will be able to come back from this tragedy. 

This is a time of year for counting our blessings. We have much to be thankful for. We are grateful for the class we have (we are SO lucky to get the opportunity to get to know and work with these 21 amazing kids), the staff we are getting to know, and a supportive administration. We are grateful that the class we left has a teacher who loves them as we do, and who has welcomed us back to see the kids. 

We are grateful for our families near and far, their love, and support. We know that we would not have been able to make the shift from one school to another without their help. 

We are grateful for so much! We hope that you have a lot to be grateful for as well and that you have family and friends that you can share your holiday with! 


 photo Stacie sig_zpsmntqujpq.png  photo Maria sig_zpsagiiewfu.png

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Donors Choose Request: Eradicating Hunger One Footstep at a Time

As teachers at a Title 1 site for many years Mrs. Solis and I have participated in the UNICEF
Power Band project several times. These bands are usually free or provided for free through a grant for Title 1 students. This year we are no longer at a Title 1 site so will not receive the bands for free. We thought we would not have the opportunity to participate in this program this year due to the cost of the bands without the grant.
Then I received an email stating that for a limited time there was a donors' match for projects that request the UNICEF Power Bands. This is our chance to try to bring this project to our new school. I immediately created a project requesting funds to receive the bands for our new class. 
The UNICEF Power Band program is a worthwhile project that teaches students empathy, wellness, and community service all from wearing an activity band and exercising. Throughout the year students will earn Therapeutic Food Units (TFUs) for those who are at risk of dying from hunger. All they have to do is move! In addition to the bands, we will receive lesson plans to teach students about other cultures and about the way kids live in the countries the TFUs are helping.
We are hopeful that we will be able to have our students participate in this program and since there is a donors' match we "only" need half of what the project shows. We know that $447.50 is still a lot of money, particularly at this time of year. But...we are hopeful. All we need is 45 people to give $10. That is about the same price of a visit to Starbucks or a fast food meal. We are hopeful and we know that with your help we will be able to make this project a reality! 
So even though we know that this is a busy time of year, we are hoping that you will be able to help us fund this project and share the link with others.
Thank you so much!
 photo Stacie sig_zpsmntqujpq.png  photo Maria sig_zpsagiiewfu.png