Monday, February 6, 2017

Spirit Day Fun In the Classroom




As head of the school council, I get full control over the school spirit days. At first this greatly intimidated me. In the past at my school, spirit days happened once a month. I was afraid that I would pick a "bad" spirit day or one that was disliked, and with only nine spirit days a year I would be crushed if they turned out badly! I quickly realized that spirit days do NOT have to be stressful. Plus, increasing the amount per year only results in more fun and surprisingly less pressure!

WHY?
I truly think Spirit Days truly make school more fun! I organize them at our school every Friday now. I truly believe that it increases student AND teacher morale. My teammates and I have an absolute blast planning a group outfit for every Friday! Kids obviously love dressing up, but I think that adults forget how much fun that it is. It creates a dynamic and light-hearted community.

With the amount of data, deadlines, meetings, IEPs, parent emails, and school stress, spirit days help lighten the mood. So many of my coworkers pass me in the halls and say things like "It's a stressful week but I can't wait until Friday - I have my neon ready!" I love this interaction that happens through something as simple as a spirit day.

Okay - we are teachers. Some people might be thinking.... doesn't buying costumes add up? It can, but it's so easy now with Amazon to create your own or find something cheap! For example, last Friday was Super Hero Day. My teammates and I found this amazing set on Amazon that includes four capes, four bracelets, and four masks for only $20! That is only $5 each - so for the price of my favorite iced hazelnut latte at Starbucks I can participate in some spirit day fun for years to come.


ADVERTISING SPIRIT DAYS
You want to make sure that you have mass participation on spirit days. Nothing is worse than coming in to school dressed up and being the only person doing it! Here's ways that I advertise:

  • My student council representatives make posters every week and tape them around the school
  • I send out email reminders to teachers to write down the Spirit Day on their school planner so that the kids write it down in their agendas.
  • A weekly PTA email is sent out with the spirit day.
  • I remind parents on the school Facebook page
  • Every day on our morning news announcement, a reminder is made.


SPIRIT DAY IDEAS
I try hard to make sure that spirit days do not exclude anyone or cause unneeded stress. I remember always being nervous as a child about spirit days like "twin day" or "multiple day" because I was afraid that no one would want to dress as me, or that my friends would choose to do it with other people instead of me.

I like to do mostly "low-key" spirit days such as the ones listed below, but once a month do the "going all out" spirit days with costumes!

LOW KEY

  • Crazy Sock Day
  • Decades Day
  • Denim Day
  • Fandom Day
  • Hat Day
  • Jersey Day
  • Mustache Day
  • Neon Day
  • Rainbow Day
  • Wacky Hair Day
  • Ugly Sweater Day

GOING ALL OUT
  • Dr. Seuss Day (for Read Across America Day)
  • Harry Potter/Disney Day
  • Influential American Day
  • Superhero Day


Do you have spirit days at your school? What do you enjoy about them? Do you see an increase in student or teacher morale?

Monday, January 16, 2017

$10 Gift Card Giveaway!



Have you used resources from Teachers Pay Teachers? This fantastic online marketplace has been a lifesaver for me in the classroom. It allows teachers to buy other teacher-created products that have been proved and tested in the classroom. It has been so much more effective for me than using textbooks or worksheets slapped with a "Common Core" label that rarely even align with the standards.

I am having a giveaway for a $10 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers! Read below how to enter. This is a great opportunity to test out a few resources that you may have been eyeing, especially if you tend to only download the fabulous freebies on the website!


TO ENTER
Want to win the $10 gift card? To enter, there are a few choices! You can follow Glitter in Third on Instagram, "like" Glitter in Third on Facebook, follow Glitter in Third on Teachers Pay Teachers, and/or just shout out what you're eyeing on TPT and might buy if you win the gift card. You can enter up to four times!

Feel free to email me at GlitterInThird@gmail.com if you have questions concerning how to enter :-)


Winner will be announced and emailed on Monday,  January 23rd!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas in the Classroom!



Below are some of my favorite ways of spreading holiday cheer in the classroom! Most of the holiday activities relate to Christmas, but I also have a few games/read alouds for Hanukkah and Kwanzaa as well!


Classroom displays

Looking for a super easy way to make a festive display? The one outside my room took about 20 minutes total to tape/staple up to the wall. I wish I could die-cut letters and make cutesy gingerbread cookies on tinfoil pans to hang outside my room. However, I am the ultimate Pinterest FAIL. So I go a different direction.


Print out some letters and glue them up (I always make the letters purposely not line up... like in "kindness" and "shines." Then people will think I intentionally didn't make them straight! Little do they know that I like a straight-line bone in my entire body). Print off some cute clip art and glue up as well. A few of my little girls begged me to stay in a few minutes during recess to cut out the cute little kids- of course I said yes! I passed out a lightbulb to each student as morning work to decorate and cut out. 


I am an advocate for character education in the classroom, so my "our kindness shines" display hits the nail on the head! On each lightbulb, students wrote one way that they could be kind to others. My heart absolutely melts at the light on the left.... "I will help people get up when they fall." It reminds me why I love teaching so much- children are unintentionally hilarious while being so sweet and wonderful.















Language Arts

I use literacy stations in my classroom, so the holidays are the perfect time to throw in some festive cheer during a review assignment. I look to my Christmas literacy worksheets to review synonyms, fact & opinion, alphabetical order, and how to do a dictionary. 



My Christmas interactive notebook activities are super hands-on, which are perfect if your students are squirrelly right before the holidays. This noun/verb sort is perfect to get kids excited and engaged while practicing differentiating between their parts of speech!







Math


One of my favorites in my Teachers Pay Teachers store is my new freebie! It is a color-by-number game for multiplication facts. Definitely check it out, it's no-prep and keeps the kids occupied for a while as they color the picture based on the products of each times table. 















My newest math center game is a favorite in my classroom with my students - Stuck in the Chimney! It is a simple multiplication fact game, but somehow gets the kids engaged by making facts into a competition and with incorporating Santa Claus into the game.  



I also have a Kwanzaa version (You Lost the Kinora!) and a Hanukkah version (You Ate All the Latkes!)












My hands-on Christmas interactive notebook activities include math items as well. You can see here that there is a fraction activity for kids. It also includes Christmas word problems and rounding. I always do a lot of review and spiraling back before the holidays. Kids are so jumpy and excited for the holidays, that it is tough to teach anything new. Getting that vital review time in is great during this time!












Read Aloud Ideas
My favorite read alouds follow! I make sure to read each one every year to my kids (do NOT miss the Hanukkah book, it is awesome and won a Caldecott! Definitely one of my favorite books ever).
  • Hershel & the Hanukkah Goblins
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • How Santa Got His Job
  • The Polar Express
  • The Sounds of Kwanzaa


What festive things do you enjoy in the classroom before the holidays?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday thoughts


Happy Monday! I had a fun weekend- I got to see my students perform on Friday in The Nutcracker, attended a friend's Hanukkah party, visited with my mom/sister, and watched the VA Tech/Clemson with friends on Saturday.

{ Christmas preparation}


The hubby and I stopped by Home Depot this weekend to pick up a mini Christmas tree and wreath. How cute is this tree? I am channeling my inner Charlie Brown with this little guy! Since we are traveling to Iceland and Amsterdam in a couple of weeks, we thought it was in our best interest not to get a full-on Christmas tree like usual. This little guy will be much easier to decorate and say good-bye when that day comes.


{ School }

Isn't school just the best on Mondays? Monday is easily my favorite day of the school week, which sounds crazy. But the kids are calm and ready to learn, and I feel like I am on my best teaching game. 

World's longest division problem in the world....according to my eight-year-olds. I plead the fifth.

The kids rocked long division today! During the math centers station, many of them were obsessed with attempting to "break the world record for long division." I'm going to take a wild guess that the above picture does not break that record.... Nice try, third-graders :-)


Christmas coloring worksheet for math facts!

This is my newest freebie that I am OBSESSED with. My kids love anything that involves coloring, and I love anything holiday-oriented. Make sure to download this bad boy, you get two coloring sheets to practice math facts!



{ Pure Barre }

Tonight I did Pure Barre at 7:15. I have decided to start running to my class which is about six blocks away. My husband pointed out that it is such an easy way to add some cardio into my day, plus makes going to class so much more efficient. I ran to class and had to stop several times...clearly I am not in fab cardio shape. My goal is to be able to jog to class nonstop by the end of January! Wish me luck!

On another note.... I have a new outfit for Pure Barre! Beyond Yoga had a great sale during Black Friday and I ordered some sweet new leggings. They are so soft, and I swear I was more flexible wearing them! I am not crazy. If I believe it, it must be true. Right? Anyone??




Hope you had a nice Monday, teachers! The holiday break is right around the corner, we can make it! We are so much stronger than we think!

Friday, November 25, 2016

GIVEAWAY: $10 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers



Have you used resources from Teachers Pay Teachers? This fantastic online marketplace has been a lifesaver for me in the classroom. It allows teachers to buy other teacher-created products that have been proved and tested in the classroom. It has been so much more effective for me than using textbooks or worksheets slapped with a "Common Core" label that rarely even align with the standards.

I am having a giveaway for a $10 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers! Read below how to enter. This is a great opportunity to test out a few resources that you may have been eyeing, especially if you tend to only download the fabulous freebies on the website!


TO ENTER
Want to win the $10 gift card? To enter, there are a few choices! You can "like" Glitter in Third on Facebook, follow Glitter in Third on Teachers Pay Teachers, and/or just shout out how you would use the gift card for your classroom in the comments section of this post. You can enter up to three times.

Feel free to email me at GlitterInThird@gmail.com if you have questions concerning how to enter :-)


Winner will be announced and emailed on Monday, November 28th!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Ancient Egypt in the Classroom


One of my favorite things to teach in social studies are ancient civilizations! We start off our year with Ancient Egypt, since most of the kids have some background subject on the topic and therefore are very interested in it. Mummies, pyramids, King Tut - they love it all!

In third-grade in Virginia, we teach four ancient civilizations in third-grade (Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome).  Read below to learn more about some of the things that I use to teach the content to keep it informative and educational - yet boatloads of fun!



CORE CONTENT
I teach the content using my products from my TPT store, Glitter in Third. The interactive notebook is differentiated, so this is my personal favorite. I love all the flips and folds - and so do the kids! However, all three products are an easy way to teach the content in a way that the kids love and have fun with.

All three products are very similar but in different formats. Do your kids love creating hands-on foldables? Check out the interactive notebook! Do you have a tiny block of time for social studies? The worksheets are right up your alley! Are you one of the lucky schools to be 1:1 technology? Definitely take a peek at the Google Drive/Google Classroom product.






CRAFTS

  • Egyptian headdresses & collars
I found a template for the headdress and necklace online. It takes about an hour total for the kids to color and cut out. Assembly was tedious at first, but I had the first few kids that finished first be the "Experts" and helped me assemble other students' as well! These are the cutest things and the best for adorable class photo ops.












  • Making papyrus
    • The kids ADORE this project... which always leaves me confused because I personally find it rather disgusting and not very realistic. However, all you need is:
      • Brown paper towels
      • Cup of Elmers glue and water
      • Scissors
      • A plastic tray to eliminate a mess
The kids simply cut the brown paper towels into strips. The strips are dipped in the glue, then weaved together and assembled onto the tray! It shows them how the papyrus was weaved into paper by the Ancient Egyptians.

When the "papyrus" was dry (it takes about 2-3 days to dry), my kids used markers and Sharpies to draw hieroglyphics on it. My kids proclaimed this their favorite activity all year, so for whatever reason it is a big crowd-pleaser!


READ ALOUDS
Here are some of my favorite read alouds! I love to incorporate the ancient civilization into every aspect of our curriculum. These are a great way to start off the unit to engage interest.
  • Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile by Tomie DePaola
  • Cat of Bubastes by G.A. Henty
  • Croco'nile by Roy Gerrard
  • I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert by Eve Bunting
  • Pepi and the Secret Names by Jill Paton Walsh
  • The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo



VIDEOS
Y'all. There are some great videos on Ancient Egypt that students love to watch! Check them out - perfect for a rowdy Friday :-)


Do you teach Ancient Egypt? What are some of your favorite activities?

Monday, November 7, 2016



Hot topics this week: Election Day! And of course Veterans Day on Friday. We have a high military population, so parents are coming into the classroom that are either veterans or active duty to talk about their job. It's one of my favorite things all year, so I'm very excited! I love the relationship of the classroom parents and our school, it is so neat to see these parents in the classroom.

I wanted to share some things that I am teaching this week, along with some of my resources that make teaching the concepts easy and fun! Feel free to take a peek. What are you teaching this week?


Math


Reading



Writing







Social Studies







Seasonal
















Can't wait to start Quarter 2 this week!