Lots of 3rd grade questions!

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by Teach'em, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Jun 24, 2010

    Hi everyone!

    I just got a job as a third grade teacher! This is also my first year teaching! I don't have any experience in third, but I'm sure I'll love it!

    I have lots of questions and would appreciate any answers/advice/input you have for me!!!

    1. Do you teach cursive? If so, how?

    2. What are your favorite websites for ideas?

    3. How do you get your "bluff" in on the first day? (I'll be teaching in a pretty rough area, so this is going to be crucial to have a successful year. I don't want them to be scared of me in any way, but I don't want to be a push over either!)

    4. What are your consequences for bad behavior?

    5. What are their personalities like? (I heard to expect some attitude! :rolleyes:)

    6. Is it harder to get them motivated than younger students?

    7. I want to do a "class pet" where one student takes home a stuffed animal (the class pet) and write about what it did over the weekend at their house in a journal. Are they too old for this? Will they think it's corny?

    8. What are some of your favorite activities to do with third graders?

    9. About how long does it take for them to get into the routine of things. (I know for younger grades, many don't teach content the first few weeks of school, rather rountines. Is this also necessary in 3rd?)

    Whew!! Sorry for all of the questions! I'm so excited and would appreciate any and all input!! Also, if there's anything you would like to add that is not here, please do!! Thanks!!
     
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  3. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Jun 24, 2010

    BUMP

    Please help! Even answering one question helps me immensely!
     
  4. jupchurch441

    jupchurch441 New Member

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    Jun 24, 2010

    1. Do you teach cursive? If so, how?

    I do, but usually closer to the end of the year. My state requires standardized testing so we teach it after testing is over.

    2. What are your favorite websites for ideas?

    Yahoo has athird grade teachers group you can join. Also Beth Newingham has a great site if you google her. I

    3. How do you get your "bluff" in on the first day? (I'll be teaching in a pretty rough area, so this is going to be crucial to have a successful year. I don't want them to be scared of me in any way, but I don't want to be a push over either!)

    Be sure to set clear rules and expectations with clear consequences. Be sure you say what you mean and do as you say. If you say you give one warning and then you give them a consequence then stick to that. They will learn that you mean what you say.

    4. What are your consequences for bad behavior?

    We take time off of recess (5-10-15), note home/phone call, office referral

    5. What are their personalities like? (I heard to expect some attitude! )

    Fun! It depends on the students. Usually third graders are still young enough to "fear" and respect you as an adult. Most of them want to please you and want to help you out in the classroom. Its a great age!

    6. Is it harder to get them motivated than younger students?

    No....See above. With some you have to find the right thing to motivate them. Most of them love school.

    7. I want to do a "class pet" where one student takes home a stuffed animal (the class pet) and write about what it did over the weekend at their house in a journal. Are they too old for this? Will they think it's corny?

    No...they will like it :)

    8. What are some of your favorite activities to do with third graders?

    They are now old enough for literature circles, which I enjoy doing during reading instruction. Flat Stanley pen pals are also fun for this age.

    9. About how long does it take for them to get into the routine of things. (I know for younger grades, many don't teach content the first few weeks of school, rather rountines. Is this also necessary in 3rd?)

    Yes...You need to teach ritual and routines the first few weeks. You need to teach content too. You need to have them practice how to do everything (standing in line, walking into the lunchroom, etc) and continue to practice the first few weeks.

    Hope this helps!

    Whew!! Sorry for all of the questions! I'm so excited and would appreciate any and all input!! Also, if there's anything you would like to add that is not here, please do!! Thanks!!
     
  5. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Jun 24, 2010

    Thank you so much jupchurch441!!!
     
  6. Luv2Teach3rd

    Luv2Teach3rd Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2010

    I agree with everything jupchurch441 said. The only difference is that we start teaching Cursive the 2nd nine weeks. I think you will absolutely LOVE 3rd grade! It's a magical year... =)
     
  7. Teach'em

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    Thanks, Luv2Teach3rd! I think I will love it too! Now I can't wait til school starts!
     
  8. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jun 25, 2010

    I adored working with this age group. I am moving to a new grade next year, and I'm a little sad. Grade 3 is a great place to be! They are still little, but they have some basic skills already. Enjoy!
     
  9. Teach'em

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    Thanks MissScrimmage! I think 3rd will be a perfect fit for me!
     
  10. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jun 26, 2010

    1. Do you teach cursive? If so, how?
    Yes. My district uses the Handwriting Without Tears program. We get to set our own pace though. I usually finish the book before Christmas, and then they spend the rest of the year writing in cursive. They love it and usually do really well.

    2. What are your favorite websites for ideas?
    I don't have them at home. I know I've used EdHelper though.

    3. How do you get your "bluff" in on the first day? (I'll be teaching in a pretty rough area, so this is going to be crucial to have a successful year. I don't want them to be scared of me in any way, but I don't want to be a push over either!)
    I set my expectations right away and stick to them. Make sure you are consistent.

    4. What are your consequences for bad behavior?
    Our school has a system called Time to Teach. Students are asked to "refocus" when they are misbehaving. But a lot of times it depends on what the behavior is.

    5. What are their personalities like? (I heard to expect some attitude! )
    They are excited and love their teacher still at this age. Every once in a while I'll get one with an attitude, but I don't usually see the attitude after the first few weeks.

    6. Is it harder to get them motivated than younger students?
    No. They still get really excited about new concepts-especially cursive, multiplication, and division.

    7. I want to do a "class pet" where one student takes home a stuffed animal (the class pet) and write about what it did over the weekend at their house in a journal. Are they too old for this? Will they think it's corny?
    I think some of the boys might think they're too old for it. But the majority of the class would like it.

    8. What are some of your favorite activities to do with third graders?
    Mine love board races-reviewing whatever subject we practiced. I also love to fit in art projects whenever I can since we don't have art at my school.

    9. About how long does it take for them to get into the routine of things. (I know for younger grades, many don't teach content the first few weeks of school, rather rountines. Is this also necessary in 3rd?)
    I tell them all of procedures that first day and we start practicing. I do fun activities the first day, but after that, we start into content.
     
  11. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Jun 26, 2010

    Congrats!! You will love 3rd grade!

    Getting them into a routine is easier than with younger grades, but it is different with each group.

    They love helping around the classroom, and are quite capable.

    For discipline, just keep it simple (a few rules and simple consequences like missing recess for 5 minutes, or my personal fav: writing a paragraph to tell when happened, or why they should do x or not do x, and get parents to sign it if this is a recurring issue).

    They love games, so when reviewing for tests in sci and ss, do it in a game fashion.

    Cursive is taught in 2nd grade in my school corporation.

    Set your classroom expectations for behavior and respect and noise levels right away. In our building, it is hallway noise more than classroom misbehavior, so I nip any conversations in the hallways right away.

    I also set the homework return policy right away - if it is assigned, write it in your planner and DO IT. If not, that is okay - I will give you a chance to do it at recess. PERIOD.

    Do not accept "my mom/dad didn't pack it for me" - ever. I remind them that mom/dad has 500 other jobs and they have only a few - one of which is bringing back homework.

    Expect them to write answers in complete sentences. Train them to use the question itself to find clues for how to begin (not with so..., because...., for..., to...) I use NCS as a shortcut to tell them that the answer was written in a format that wasn't a complete sentence, and teach them right away that they will have to fix/redo it to make it a complete sentence. They learn pretty soon to do it correctly the first time. On tests, they often lose points if responses are not written in complete sentences.

    The bottom line is that 3rd grade is a big year of transitions - we do sci/ss daily, switch for math class, and have more homework. But it is equally true that 3rd graders are amazing! They can sit in their seats, tie their shoes, hold their pencils correctly, read independently (most of them) - and they still are in the teacher-pleasing mode! ENJOY!
     
  12. Teach'em

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    Jun 26, 2010

    Thanks FarFromHome and tgim! Youre tips are great!
     
  13. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Jul 2, 2010

    1. Do you teach cursive? If so, how?
    I started teaching cursive just before Christmas Break this past year. I think I could have condensed it a bit and next year I'd like to start earlier with getting the kiddos familiar with it. I like the ideas of putting it as a morning message. We have a cursive font for our SmartBoard and towards the end of the year I wrote their morning work in cursive. This year, I'll definitely start that earlier. I took just a bit of time every other day to teach students one letter. Then, as I read from our chapter read-aloud after recess, the students pulled out their practice books and worked on only the letters we had covered thus far. It was a good way to keep them quiet but let them work at their own pace.
    2. What are your favorite websites for ideas?
    I'd have to check on my school computer's favorites but I do like a lot of the ideas on here. I also look on Mailbox of course (if your school has a subscription code).
    3. How do you get your "bluff" in on the first day? (I'll be teaching in a pretty rough area, so this is going to be crucial to have a successful year. I don't want them to be scared of me in any way, but I don't want to be a push over either!)
    This was a big issue for me last year. I did alright but I hope to do better this year. I didn't give too many warnings. If a behavior was unacceptable and it's a school-wide rule (meaning the student knows they broke the rule) then there's an immediate consequence like writing a letter to the affected person or losing recess. I did a lot of natural consequences. Like if we were doing a hands-on activity and someone couldn't behave during it, they had a worksheet to do on the same skills and were often moved to another classroom to work. Say what you mean! Let them know that this isn't your first rodeo (even though it somewhat is). Don't act incredibly shocked by their behavior or have a large reaction because some students feed off of this.
    4. What are your consequences for bad behavior?
    loss of daily recess (we're only allowed to take away up to 15 out of 30 min.) or weekly reward recess (anyone with detention during the week doesn't attend). Letter writing- students write letters to those affected by their behavior. Next year I plan on having a short form for students to fill out for each detention documenting what they did, what rule it broke and why, and how they will correct it. This will also serve as documentation for their folders I keep.
    5. What are their personalities like? (I heard to expect some attitude! )
    My kiddos struggled some witht the bf/gf thing this year. I let them know that there was no place for that in our classroom and that if I heard about anything of that nature or saw anything (like notes) I would not hesitate to show them to parents. We also talked about why it could be a distraction. Unfortunately some of my boys had already given up on school and it was a constant struggle all year to get materials they were interested in.
    6. Is it harder to get them motivated than younger students?
    No, if you can find things they are excited by, you will hook them. Unfortunately your area can play a part. Many of my students had no interest in rising above the gas station that their only parent worked at. That can be a challenge but you'll definitely learn what motivates each child.
    7. I want to do a "class pet" where one student takes home a stuffed animal (the class pet) and write about what it did over the weekend at their house in a journal. Are they too old for this? Will they think it's corny?
    The 2nd grade teacher does this and it works great! I'm not sure I'll do that this year but I hope to some time.
    8. What are some of your favorite activities to do with third graders?
    We did communication notebooks. At least one day a week, students had to write a short entry to me. Then, they left these on their desks at the end of the day and I would respond. This worked really well and students wrote about issues they were having with other students or things they were excited about learning. I could also give them extension or follow up problems or questions for them to work on as needed.
    9. About how long does it take for them to get into the routine of things. (I know for younger grades, many don't teach content the first few weeks of school, rather rountines. Is this also necessary in 3rd?)
    Last year I did a lot of "fun" activities at the beginning of the year and found it hard for the kids to get into the swing of an actual schedule. This year, I plan on starting a more traditional approach from day one and teaching the routines with that. Our first week is 3 days so I won't be doing one of our basal stories but I will begin our math program and do language arts similar to our normal routines.
     
  14. 2tired2teach

    2tired2teach Companion

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    Jul 3, 2010

  15. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Jul 3, 2010

    newbie23, thank you for the great tips! Your school sounds a lot like mine will be.

    2tired2teach, that website is great! I can't wait to look at all of the resources it has to offer!
     
  16. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Jul 4, 2010

    1. Do you teach cursive? If so, how?
    WE USE A CURSIVE HANDBOOK. WE REVIEW A LETTER, SHOW HOW IT IS WRITTEN ON THE SMARTBOARD, HAVE THE CLASS BRAINSTORM WORDS THAT START WITH THAT LETTER (WHILE WE WRITE THEM ON THE BOARD), AND THEN HAVE THEM PRACTICE. WE SPEND PROBABLY ABOUT 15 MIN 3X/WEEK ON THIS, AS PART OF L/ARTS.

    2. What are your favorite websites for ideas?
    DEFINITELY WWW.BRAINPOPJR.COM!

    3. How do you get your "bluff" in on the first day? (I'll be teaching in a pretty rough area, so this is going to be crucial to have a successful year. I don't want them to be scared of me in any way, but I don't want to be a push over either!)
    WE SPELL THE RULES OUT FOR THEM AS TO WHAT IS EXPECTED. WE ALSO EXPLAIN THAT GRADE 3 IS NO LONGER CONSIDERED PART OF THE "PRIMARY" GRADES SO MORE IS EXPECTED OF THEM.

    4. What are your consequences for bad behavior?
    WE HAVE A POCKET CHART SET UP AND A CONTAINER OF CLOTHESPINS. WHEN THEY GET INTO SOME KIND OF TROUBLE, THEY HAVE TO MOVE A CLOTHESPIN INTO THEIR SPOT. USUALLY IN 5 MIN INCREMENTS.

    5. What are their personalities like? (I heard to expect some attitude! )

    I LOVE THIRD GRADE, AND I HAVE TAUGHT GRADES 2-6! THEY ARE INQUISITIVE, ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS, AND IT IS RIGHT BEFORE THEY START GETTING INTO THOSE BAD 4TH GRADE BEHAVIORS! LOL!

    6. Is it harder to get them motivated than younger students?

    YOU HAVE TO ENTERTAIN THEM MORE BECAUSE THEY ARE SO USED TO IPODS AND VIDEO GAMES AND WII, BUT ONCE YOU HOOK THEM AND GET THEM INVOLVED, YOU WILL KNOW. THEY LOVE COOPERATIVE GROUP ACTIVITIES, BUT WE DON'T LET THEM CHOOSE THEIR OWN PARTNERS. WE DRAW STICKS WITH THEIR NAMES ON THEM TO MAKE IT FAIR, SO IN THIS WAY THEY MIGHT WORK WITH CHILDREN THEY MAY NOT HAVE CHOSEN ON THEIR OWN.

    7. I want to do a "class pet" where one student takes home a stuffed animal (the class pet) and write about what it did over the weekend at their house in a journal. Are they too old for this? Will they think it's corny?

    DEPENDS ON THE PET AND HOW IT IS PRESENTED.

    8. What are some of your favorite activities to do with third graders?

    READ ALOUDS ON THE RUG - THEY SEEM TO ENJOY THESE EVEN MORE THAN THE YOUNGER STUDENTS! AT TIMES I THINK THEIR PARENTS FEEL NOW THAT THEY ARE READING ON THEIR OWN, THEY DON'T NEED TO BE READ TO. THEY LIKE TO HAVE A NEW CONCEPT INTRODUCED IN THIS WAY.

    9. About how long does it take for them to get into the routine of things. (I know for younger grades, many don't teach content the first few weeks of school, rather rountines. Is this also necessary in 3rd?)
    THINK ABOUT IT - IT IS EQUIVALENT TO EVERY YEAR YOU START A NEW JOB AND NOT ONLY HAVE TO LEARN THE JOB, BUT LEARN THE RULES, HOW EVERYBODY EXPECTS YOU TO WORK AND MEET ALL NEW PEOPLE! IT IS TOUGH. AS LONG AS WHAT IS EXPECTED IS SPELLED OUT CLEARLY IN LANGUAGE THEY CAN UNDERSTAND. WILL IT HAVE TO BE REINFORCED - OH YEAH - BUT YOU WILL FIND AS THE YEAR GOES ON, LESS AND LESS REINFORCEMENT MIGHT BE NEEDED.

    Good luck and have fun - YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT!
     
  17. Teach'em

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    Jul 4, 2010

    Thanks, Teacher333 your tips are great! I am planning to have a rug area for read-alouds! I hate the thought of kids having to stay in one spot (desks) all day long! Even I grow very tired of that!
    THANKS!!
     
  18. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Jul 10, 2010

    1. Do you teach cursive? If so, how?
    No, it is not a state standard in Washington so I don't teach it. Our schedule is too tight to fit in anything extra. We barely have time for art!

    2. What are your favorite websites for ideas?
    http://mathwire.com/
    http://swift.auburn.wednet.edu/alpac/aleverton/index.php?section=links
    http://www.creativemathematics.com/learn/

    3. How do you get your "bluff" in on the first day? (I'll be teaching in a pretty rough area, so this is going to be crucial to have a successful year. I don't want them to be scared of me in any way, but I don't want to be a push over either!)
    I discuss the classroom rules right away and we talk about the consequences too. We act out the consequences so students will know what to do when or if something happens. I talk in a very low but firm voice and make sure they understand I mean business. I do make it a point to smile, but I am quick to nip any bad behaviors right away!

    4. What are your consequences for bad behavior?
    Our school uses a program called "Think Time". Basically, a student is given a non-verbal warning (look, head shake, knock on the desk, etc). If the behavior continues, they get a verbal warning and we all say the same thing "This is your warning" although I wish we said something like "I need to see your learning skills". If they still have a problem, students are given a pass and they are to leave the classroom and go to our buddy room to fill out a think time form. The form has three things for the student to think about and answer. 1. What was your behavior? 2. What should you be doing? 3. Can you do it?

    5. What are their personalities like? (I heard to expect some attitude! )
    I only ever have one or two students who have an attitude. Third graders really want to please you and do well. They still love coming to school.

    6. Is it harder to get them motivated than younger students?

    7. I want to do a "class pet" where one student takes home a stuffed animal (the class pet) and write about what it did over the weekend at their house in a journal. Are they too old for this? Will they think it's corny?

    8. What are some of your favorite activities to do with third graders?
    We play a lot of learning games. Some of the games we play are SPARKLE, around the world, addition/subtraction/multiplication top it, math on white boards. We use a lot of Kim Sutton's materials for math and the kids REALLY enjoy it.

    9. About how long does it take for them to get into the routine of things. (I know for younger grades, many don't teach content the first few weeks of school, rather rountines. Is this also necessary in 3rd?)I'd say it takes about three weeks for them to get into ALL of our routines. They still need reminders after vacations, etc. Third graders want routine and are more successful with it. If I stray from our normal routine, I always have a handful of students who ask why/what will be happening.
     
  19. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Jul 12, 2010

    Wow, that is great you are so excited. You will love teaching 3rd grade.

    To answer question#9: I have found that the 1st 2 weeks, I teach both routines and content, but emphasis on the 1st. One I work on a lot (that pays off) is getting them to focus on me even when it gets noisy in the room. We practice focusing their attention on me with a signal or even one word. Then I see if they can talk to their partner and then when I give the signal I time them to see how quickly they can stop, look, and listen. I then challenge them to see if they can make noise and then on my signal stop, look, and listen. If you insist on them doing what you ask and you making it fun, you'll win them over. One other suggestion, get your children to LOVE reading. If you succeed with them learning to love children's literature--they will quietly take out books when they are done--without ever being asked. Not to mention how much it will help them in reading. It takes awhile, but boy is it worth it! Enjoy teaching 3rd grade--it is the best grade in the world to teach--I've done it for 12 years.
     
  20. Teach'em

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    Jul 12, 2010

    Thanks for the great tips, AndreaL!!!

    Thanks for the tips readingrules12! What are some suggestions to get students really excited about reading?

    Thanks!
     
  21. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2010

    Training the students in routines is so important those first few weeks. If you haven't checked out Whole Brain Teaching (formerly Power Teaching?) on here, please give it a look. While I am training them on the routine and schedule and classroom procedures, I use some of WBT's routines.

    Two other classroom management notes that have worked great for me:
    Number the kids (I do so alphabetically) and have them put their names and numbers on the papers (helps when there is one paper missing or for no names). It also helps in many other situations (lining up, coming up for supplies, going to restroom a few at a time), I can say, "If your number is a multiple of 3, come and get your..." In the a.m. or just before recess, I count all of the papers in the homework tray. I also check for names AND numbers. I call out the numbers of those with both name/number and those student line up for recess. If it is missing a number, they come and get it and put their number on it. If it is missing a name, I have a student or two who will take charge of this situation. They are students who didn't put their own name on papers recently, and their job is to go through the papers and sequence them numerically to figure out to whom the no-name or missing paper belongs. They give up a small part of their recess to do this, so we aren't wasting class time for no-names. I call them my No-Name Experts...and it usually only takes once or twice for them to remember their name and number.

    Also, when behavior issues arise, I give a non-verbal warning once, followed by a verbal warning if needed. I have a magnet tied to our classroom theme for each student, and three levels. (Best in the West is top corral for my horse theme.) If a verbal warning is made again, I ask the student to move his/her magnet down a level (to the OK Corral for my horse theme), and if further warnings are needed, the student moves to the bottom level (Boot Hill) AND fills out a behavior slip to tell mom/dad what happened and what their plan is for following the rules in the future...parents and students sign it and student returns it. I can't stress how valuable it is to have in the child's own handwriting what happened and how they plan to deal with this situation in the future. I pull these out for parent conferences and there can be no question about any behavior issues. I use these to help when marking the "conduct" side of the report cards, too. Their magnets get moved back up at the end of the week...so there is an incentive to be careful with behavior for the rest of the week. At times, too, I have had them fill out a form when moving just one level - depending on what the offense was (turning out the bathroom lights on everyone, for example). There is a loss of 5 minutes recess for moving to the first corral. If they end up in Boot Hill, they lose lunch recess one day, and everyday until form is returned with a parent signature. If you PM me, I will share my form - but you could easily devise one of your own, too.
     
  22. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2010

    Getting them excited about reading

    Here are what I call the "rules to get children to love reading":)

    1. Rule #1: Choose excellent children literature stories to read aloud to students and do it every day (I suggest 15 minutes).
    Here are some titles that will leave them begging for more.

    Novels:
    1. There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar
    2. The Witches by Roald Dahl
    3. The BFG by Roald Dahl
    4. My Teacher is and Alien by Bruce Coville
    5. Franny K. Stein (any book in the series)
    6. Judy Moody
    7. Shiloh (wait until 2nd semester for this one)

    Picture books

    1. Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch and any of his books.
    2. The Butter Battle book by Dr. Seuss
    3. Amelia Bedelia
    4. The Science Project that Almost at the School by Judy Sierra
    5. The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater
    6. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
    7. The Teacher From the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler

    2. Rule #2

    Have SSR (Sustainted Silent Reading) time of 20 minutes per day. Then you read silently with them. Trust me no child will do nothing for 20 minutes, but some might for 10--so try to make it 20 minutes. Let them choose any book they like. Will work if you do rules#3 and rule #4

    3. Rule #3

    Develop a great classroom library. The public librairies have the best selection in town and they are all FREE. I would also suggest hitting up some used book stores, thrift stores, garage sales, used books online, and teachers at your school. Many end up with books that they find are too old or young and might be just right for you.

    4. Rule #4

    Start reading more children's literature books yourself and you'll find lots of good books yourself. Teachers, students, and librarians are the best at knowing what books are good to read.

    5 Rule #5

    Book share. I have a chair--I call the Author's chair. It is a director's chair the school bought us years ago. I have the children sit on the carpet, and one child gets to share about a book that they read. I wait at least a month until children are good about routines and respecting one another to start this one.


    I realize your school or principal might not allow you to do all of the following. Be patient...do what you can and in time you'll be able to expand what you can do in the classroom with the children.

    Good luck. :)


     
  23. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Jul 14, 2010

    4. What are your consequences for bad behavior?

    First I use a modified card flip chart. It had 7 colors (Gold, Silver, Green, Yellow, Orange, blue, Pink.) Students started on Green (great Day) and moved their card down for misbehavior or UP for good behavior. Students can only get to silver and gold if they haven't moved down. So they have to be very good to get to those.
    This has allowed me to be very consistent in my management. Students are able to see that good behavior can bring good rewards and misbehavior has its consequences the kids become more responsible for their behavior when they see this.

    If a child has to move their card down 3 times they do a Write Out (Just send me a PM with your email if you want a copy) in which they have to write the 3 things they did wrong and the rule they broke and one way they will improve their behavior. It gets signed by student, teacher and then sent home for a parent signature to be returned the next day.

    Another great resource for Behavior Management is CHAMPS. IT is a rather hefty book but has some great ideas. Take a look at this powerpoint (which is rather long but gives a great overview of CHAMPS) Slide 16 tells you what CHAMPS stands for.
    http://www.cenmi.org/Portals/3/Docu.../2008 State Conference/CHAMPs-Coccimiglio.ppt

    An Idea I use from CHAMPS to help with procedures
    Focus on 1 thing you want the students to do better on. Mine was using a quiet voice during Work Stations.
    Have a Hundreds Chart up and 100 chips, tiles, slips of paper or whatever with the numbers 1-100 written on them.
    When you catch them following your procedure have a student pull a chip and mark that number off on the chart. (So if they pull a 7 mark off 7.) Or alternately mark a visible sign to the kids that they will be able to pull chips at a more appropriate time. (So I had a little box on my white board where I'd place a tally then erase them when we pulled chips.)
    The goal is for the students to get 10 in a row vertical, horizontal or even diagonal. When they get 10 in a row they get a prize and often you will have gotten your procedure to become a habit.
     
  24. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jul 18, 2010

    Congrats on your job!!! I'm going back to 3rd myself...this will be my 4th year teaching 3rd and I love the grade!

    1. Do you teach cursive? If so, how?

    Our second grade teachers begin teaching cursive writing. My district uses the d'nealian style. However, we are apparently moving to Handwriting without Tears this year, so I have no idea what's going on! In the past, I have reviewed a letter or two at a time using the chalkboard and overhead projector and then give them some practice pages to do.

    2. What are your favorite websites for ideas?

    I love bouncing ideas off of the teachers on this forum the most!


    3. How do you get your "bluff" in on the first day? (I'll be teaching in a pretty rough area, so this is going to be crucial to have a successful year. I don't want them to be scared of me in any way, but I don't want to be a push over either!)

    I'm firm but kind. I am consistent with the rules and consequences, and I make sure I get to know the parents whenever possible (we have low parent involvement).

    4. What are your consequences for bad behavior?

    It depends on the behavior. I contact home whenever something becomes consistent or is a major issue. The office gets involved for anything like fighting, stealing, or other major issues. We currently use a behavior modification program at my school called a platform program and the kids move platforms for doing things wrong (forgetting homework, being disrespectful, etc). If they move from Awesome to Super to Good to Debriefing in one week, they miss out on our activity and snack at the end of the week and have to have a meeting with the P.

    5. What are their personalities like? (I heard to expect some attitude! :rolleyes:)

    They have a range of personalities. Many still like school, but they start to have cliques and attitudes (at least in my school) by the end of the year!

    6. Is it harder to get them motivated than younger students?

    It depends...if you can find things that interest them and stay enthusiastic in your teaching, its not hard.

    7. I want to do a "class pet" where one student takes home a stuffed animal (the class pet) and write about what it did over the weekend at their house in a journal. Are they too old for this? Will they think it's corny?

    My kids would think they are too old for this. I did it with my 1st graders last year and they loved it! But these guys will think its too babyish.

    8. What are some of your favorite activities to do with third graders?

    Games, such as ZAP! and Jeopardy reviews for tests and quizzes.

    9. About how long does it take for them to get into the routine of things. (I know for younger grades, many don't teach content the first few weeks of school, rather rountines. Is this also necessary in 3rd?)

    It takes a bit, especially if you are changing any routines that they are used to from other classes. However, unlike others, I mix my routines and procedures in with crafts and academics over the first 2-3 weeks!


    GOOD LUCK!!
     
  25. Miss JE

    Miss JE Companion

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    Jul 20, 2010

    You will love third!!! It is a wonderful age - this will be my fourth year! I still feel like I am learning new things all the time!

    1. Do you teach cursive? If so, how?

    Yep! I start the first week of school because they are SO excited to learn it! I teach them how to write their names first which they love to do! I do one name at a time and they all practice each other's names. This takes 1-2 weeks to get through but you are able to introduce a lot of the basic letters to them then. I always write a few words on the board in cursive for them to practice writing if they get done early - the girls especially love this! We use zaner bloser. On their website you can create your own cursive pages for them to practice on!

    2. What are your favorite websites for ideas?

    I'm on a different computer then I normally use otherwise I would just list them down...

    Favorites - Mrs. Powell's website; Beth Newingham (sp???) She has the best ideas and resources! AIMS Education - hands on lessons for math and science


    3. How do you get your "bluff" in on the first day? (I'll be teaching in a pretty rough area, so this is going to be crucial to have a successful year. I don't want them to be scared of me in any way, but I don't want to be a push over either!)

    This is definitaly hard... I try to make the day fun but also reinforce rules right away. Practice, practice, practice every routine! Don't assume they will know how to do things how you want them to! We review the little things like how to use notebook paper, how to walk to your cubby... be proactive and you will save a lot on discipline!

    4. What are your consequences for bad behavior?

    I try hard not to use a lot of coercion in the classroom. Natural consequences when needed, goal setting for behavior problems - if you say you are going to do something make sure you follow through! I start the year with typical consequences - recess, note home, behavior reflection form... by the second quarter these really usually go away and I do more of a as needed approach

    5. What are their personalities like? (I heard to expect some attitude! )

    They are so unbelievably amazing! Curious, sensitive, developing a sense of humor (my favorite), they still love the silliest things but can dive right into higher level thinking/discussing! They tend to still love school and love their teacher! Some years I have had a lot of tattling and some years I don't have any. For some reason it seems like each year my boys can be very sensitive and cry easily... maybe its just my kids...

    6. Is it harder to get them motivated than younger students?

    Not at all! Find what interests them, build a relationship and it should be as easy as other grades!

    7. I want to do a "class pet" where one student takes home a stuffed animal (the class pet) and write about what it did over the weekend at their house in a journal. Are they too old for this? Will they think it's corny?

    Yes, I wanted to do that too since it was a favorite activity of mine in 2nd grade - Fuzzy the bear was our mascot! I have not done it in 3rd grade because someone told me it would be to "babyish" but I think with the right class it would be fine! I think it is all how you present it to the class. I would also check with the 2nd grade teachers - if they did it or something similar you might not have the excitement you are looking for!

    8. What are some of your favorite activities to do with third graders?

    I love our morning meeting time!!! We greet each other, go over the schedule, discuss character traits... We usually spend 15-20 minutes a day doing this! I LOVE it! I also love doing poetry with them and writing a weekly newsletter together!

    9. About how long does it take for them to get into the routine of things. (I know for younger grades, many don't teach content the first few weeks of school, rather rountines. Is this also necessary in 3rd?)

    Yes and no... it will still take them weeks to get into the routine and you should still go over procedures with them but they should catch on faster than first graders!


    Enjoy your year!
     
  26. JTeach619

    JTeach619 Companion

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    Jul 21, 2010

    I hope this helps! I taught third grade for five years and absolutely loved it! Good luck :)
     

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