Saturday, September 24, 2011

Third Grade Emergency Sub Plans

I am so sorry it has taken me so long to get these going, and I promise the wait will not be as long for the fourth grade set. Getting settled into my long-term subbing position has been challenging, but I think I am falling into a nice routine.

Here are my third grade emergency sub plans. I based them on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. Just like the other sets of plans, these have a warm-up, reading, language arts, social studies, science, and math lesson. Although intended to be used as one day's worth of lessons for third grade, they can be used on their own or modified for other grade levels.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Antonym Charades

Need a new, fun way to learn about antonyms and get those kinesthetic learners on their feet? Try antonym charades. I used it today with my third graders with a good deal of success. All it took to prepare was writing some words like first, take, sitting, raise, etc. on scraps of paper. I folded them and put them in a cup. Next I chose two students (I used my stick drawing system to randomly pick them). The students came up and drew a word from the cup. One student pantomimed the word until the class guessed it. And then the other student pantomimed the antonym. I recorded the results on chart paper. We continued until all the words and their antonyms had been pantomimed. It was great fun, and we created a whole list of words with their antonyms.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's in a Name?

What an amazingly long week this has been! Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday... and early release for my district. I wanted to share a reading lesson that worked really well for me today with my third graders. All week long we have been working on drawing conclusion, making inferences and making predictions as well as being able to figure things out about a character. So I modified a lesson that I had heard about being used for writing.

First I wrote four "signatures" on the board. Then I asked the students to look at the signatures and use what they already know to draw conclusions, make inferences, and make predictions about who these characters are. I asked for three ideas about each character, and then they could draw what they thought one character looked like.

I got some great responses like Sandy being a girly girl, pretty, and friendly. I also had some students who concluded she was popular, stuck-up, and mean. I was able to point out that because of knowledge we already have, sometimes our conclusions are different even if we have the same clues.

The students were able to predict age of the characters and even infer some interests. Most concluded that Sandy and Rex were somewhere between 10 and 15; Mary was a grown-up; and David was a child. And many thought Rex was into dinosaurs because of his name and the Jurassic Park-like font I used.

It was a really fun activity that brought home using clues and your own knowledge to draw conclusions, make inferences, and make predictions.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Scheduling with Scaredy Squirrel

I am so sorry it's been so long since I have posted. I have been long-term subbing in a third grade classroom and coming home dog tired every evening. Then this weekend my brother, who just returned from an air force deployment in United Arab Emirates, came to visit so I was spending as much time as possible with him. I promise more emergency sub plans are coming, but until then I thought I'd share one of my favorite literature-based math activities.

The activity is based on Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt. I absolutely this book (and all the subsequent Scaredy Squirrel stories). It can be used to spark interest in a number of topics from patterning to telling time to health and safety. What I most like to teach out of this book is scheduling. Every time unit I have seen has schedules incorporated, and this activity is perfect for the students to demonstrate learning. I have used this activity in first, second, and third grades. It is easy to modify by adding or taking away events and the level of detail expected.

I start off by reading the book (dramatically... the story lends itself well to that). And I just ordered a Scaredy Squirrel puppet off of Amazon. I can't wait to incorporate the puppet into the reading of the story. In the book is Scaredy Squirrel's daily routine and (a little later in the story) his new and improved daily routine.

After reading the book, I explain about schedules, making sure to touch on the time-ordered sequence and a.m./p.m. notation meaning. Then I have the students create their own schedule display. Each student gets 3-5 index cards (depending on how many events you'd like them to include). I ask the students to write a sentence explaining what they do in each part of their day. The sentence must include the time with a.m./p.m. notation and the event. And they may illustrate each event as well. Each event goes on a separate card.

Once the cards are done, I give each student a length of yarn, and the events are taped in sequence order vertically on the piece of yarn. The schedules can then be hung as a great classroom work display.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Easy Classroom Birthday "Presents"

In the third grade class where I am now long-term subbing, there were no "presents" for the students with birthdays. Now, I love to give little goodies to students so I started looking for a quick, easy idea I could use in this classroom. I found several variations of this idea pinned and repinned on Pinterest. I was unable to trace the idea back to its original source, but I ran with my version of it.

I used a balloon design I created and you can download here. I printed it out on colored card stock. I cut out the balloons and stapled a birthday homework pass to the back. I used this one. Then I taped the whole thing to a colorful pencil and tied it with a curled ribbon. I found a bucket and cut a piece of styrofoam to fit into the bottom. Finally, I stuck the pencils in the styrofoam for a festive display. Now, when it is a student's birthday, they can have a little something from me.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Won an Award!

Top 10 TBA

Thank you to Rachel Lynette at Minds In Bloom for naming me one of her Top 10 blogs. I have so much respect for her and the work she does. It really means a lot that she would put me in her top ten.

So here are my Top 10 in no particular order:



Substitute Teacher

The OC Blog Button

Joy of Teaching

Visit Sunny Days

2nd Grade Emergency Sub Plans!

OK, you asked for it, and you got it. Here is the next set of emergency lesson plans... these are targeted at second grade. Although, in my district many of the same topics are taught at different grade levels, so many of these lessons (and the ones posted last week for first grade) could be modified for other grades.

Second Grade Doreen Cronin Lesson Plans

These plans I wrote with a Doreen Cronin theme since 1) I love to teach from picture books, and 2) I love all Doreen Cronin's books. If you are not familiar with her, she has written such fabulous books as Click Clack Moo Cows That Type, Diary of a Worm, and Duck for President. Her books are funny and appeal to students of many ages and levels.

So keep these lesson plans handy and don't get stuck without plans again.
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