Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Importance of Paragraph of the Day

When I plan for my third graders I focus on making sure that they are engaged, making sure that they love to read, and making sure that they are learning! Although, my focus is on fun engaging content I do know that students need to pass these not so fun and engaging tests.

I know the importance of close reading, but I didn't want to spend most of my reading period going over it. I decided I would rather have the students read a SHORT paragraph each day and analyze that paragraph.

They would read the paragraph and answer text dependent questions. They would learn and practice all the standards each month while reading engaging and themed content.

Each month my students read 20 different paragraphs, 10 that are fiction and 10 that are nonfiction. They go over every single reading standard every month, sometimes more than once. They learn about different holidays and engaging topics every month. They also practice answering text dependent questions, restating their answers, and inferring each month!

I use these paragraphs for morning work, homework, and skill review.

When I teach a skill and we practice it all week I will also use the paragraphs to assess if my students got the skill!

Signup to check out Paragraph of the Day for free! Plus, tons of freebies and tips to come!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Camping Week for Upper Elementary!

Every year I LOVE doing a themed camping week! My kids love getting to experience life as a camping expert!

First I start with decorating the classroom! I do not mention camping week to my kiddos at all until they walk into the room! They get so excited to see everything all decorated.

Here is where I get my items:
Tents- I always ask parents to donate tents for the week and I have never had a problem getting one!
Table Cloths- I tend to get mine at the Dollar Tree or on Amazon! You can find the Amazon ones  here!
Lanterns- I ask parents to donate and I have bought some off Amazon here!
Finger Lights- We always buy each kid a finger light from the week off of Amazon! It is pretty inexpensive and the kids love them. Check them out here!

Everything else I get out of my house or camper. I pick up some wood and use tissue paper to make a fake fire and I pick up s'mores items to tempt my kiddos all week! ;)

We keep our camping theme up all week long and we try to incorporate it with all subjects!

For reading we participate in centers were students read camping books, listen to camping books, complete a mad-libs activity, read camping articles, and participate in a teacher lesson! I love centers and my kiddos love camping centers even more because they get to sit in tents!

We also read many camping stories! You can find my favorite camping books below! Click on the book for affiliate links!

For writing, we write campfire songs, scary stories, and we research the national parks! I love watching my kids be creative and they love sharing their work! Plus, it is great to see them learn more about the national parks!

For math, we save the bears in a super fun review game around South America! We participate in a word problem race in order to earn s'more ingredients!

We also have fun planning a camping trip by working on elapsed time and money! We plan what food we are going to take and what activities we are going to do!

In social studies we work on making our own camp ground using cardinal directions! We also make a history of camping  timeline using research!

For science, we make solar ovens to cook our s'mores and we learn all about making bubbles!

It is truly a week full of rigorous learning and FUN! We never stop laughing and creating memories all week long!

You can find all the activities that we participated in during camping week here!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Classroom Reveal 2017-2018

I am going to give you a quick look around my new room! Throughout the room there will be many freebies, products, and affiliate links for things I use in my classroom! Feel free to recreate any of the ideas!

I put my desk up against the wall in my teaching area! I always add a banner with my name (my banner is located here). I also have a weird bulletin board behind my desk, so I used my circuit to cut out "Love for Mrs. Wilde", this is where I will place all my letters and pictures from students throughout the year!

I use these easy name tags for my students! They are Velcro so students can easily move around! They have positive quotes to remind my students to be kind and positive everyday! You can find editable name tags here!
For guided reading, each of my groups has a bin. In the bin, I put the books they are using and any materials that I will need for that group. It makes it very easy for the kids to grab the materials and for me to stay organized. You can find the labels for the bins for free here!
You can also read about my reading toolbox here!

For my library I organize all of my books by genre and subjects. This is easy for my littles to find what they want! I use these labels here!

For my word wall I will color code the words based on part of speech. You can find the grammar wall here! For my future leaders board, the students will take a picture on the first day that states what they want to be when they grow up. I will put that picture on this wall to display that they are a future leader! My Be Awesome Today and all my letters are using Amy Grosbeak fonts and are cut out using my circuit which you can find here! It is so worth every penny!

I use a Turn-In board to organize the way my students turn in their assignments. I will place an extra copy of the assignment on the number of the turn-in board. My students will look at the number and go place their paper in that bin. They will highlight their name on the paper in the bin so that I know they turned it in! This makes it SO much easier for me to see who turned in the assignments and I do not have to sort through the papers anymore, I just grab the stack. You can find an article from the Peppy Zesty Teacherista about this system here! This article includes the turn-in template!

For birthdays I have the kids color a big number for the day of their birthday on the first week of school. Then, everyone who has a birthday in that month will bring their number up and take a picture together holding their numbers. Then, I print the picture and add it under the month. You can find the month labels for free here!

For classroom management I am using the spinner found below to put students on teams. The students will be on teams and earn individual and group points for their team. At the end of each week the team with the highest amount of points will earn a prize of their choosing. (It has to be a prize that does not cost me any money)
You can read more about this classroom management plan which Miss 5th Adapted from the Ron Clark Academy here!
You can find the spinner here!

For my "Throw Kindness Like Confetti" board the students will be talking each day at the end of the day about an act of kindness, tolerance, acceptance, or equality that they saw. We will write that on a piece of confetti and then add it to the board. By the end of the year we will have a wall full of confetti!

I organize all of my supplies in these bins from Walmart. I label them using these labels here! I also added these numbers below for a extra pop of color!
I organize my writing, word work, and listening centers here! I use these for my word work centers and I often switch out writing with different prompts! For listening, my students use the iPads to listen to books on EPIC! All of my centers are organized in another 10 drawer cart!

My back to school door this year was simple! I added this bulletin board set on bright paper for a easy but cute board! 


1. How do you cut your letters?
I cut all of my letters out using my Circuit. I will use vinyl or just card stock to cut them out. This was one of my best purchases! You can cut out anything and it saves you so much time! You can find what I use here! 

2. What fonts do you use for your letters?
I use Amy Grosbeck Fonts, Babbling Abby Fonts, and KG Fonts!

3. How do you put up your posters and letters?
I hot glue EVERYTHING! It comes off the wall so easy and it stays up all year!

4. Do you use flexible seating?
Yes! My students may sit where ever they want but they have a home base to return to. I have stools, pillows, different chairs, a sitting table, a standing area, and exercise balls! 

Well that is a wrap! I hope you found some of these quick tips and ideas useful in your classroom! If you have any questions you can email me at

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Day in the Life of a 3rd Grade Classroom!


Many times I get asked how I structure my day in third grade! Today I am going to go through a quick overview of how our day is structured!

A quick note: Our day does not go perfect everyday, but we work hard to keep this schedule each day!
Students start arriving at 8:50. They come in the classroom, put away all their supplies, put their notes in the turn in, mark their lunch on the smart board, and then they start their morning tubs. The Brown Bag Teacher talks about her morning tubs here. I have used this idea, but made it a little more in depth for 3rd grade. The students need to build something that solves a problem each day with the supplies provided (math supplies, popsicle sticks, spaghetti, etc). They then have to explain to the class the problem it solves. I also will put math flash cards, games, or task cards in the tubs when we are working on certain standards. I change out my morning tubs every two weeks. I have 8 tubs so each group of students should be able to visit each tub in the two week period.
In our morning meeting we start by going over the schedule for the day and week. My kiddos thrive on knowing what is going on. I love to put surprises throughout the week, but I also make sure to tell them each morning everything they need to know. We then either play a game or do a question. This switches everyday. On the question days someone asks a question and then everyone in the class gets a chance to answer. We play so many different games. Many of the games I found for free here!
I LOVE doing my writing in the morning. Students are so focused and relaxed right away in the morning. Usually on Monday I do a whole group lesson with a mentor text. We read the book and talk about the writing structure. Then, throughout the week we go through the writing process or just do creative writing. During this time, I pull kids to my desk to work on their writing one on one or in a small group! You can find my writing with mentor text lessons here!
I usually have one focus standard I work on a week, even though we teach many other standards during the week as well. On Monday, we typically do a reading skill lesson. This teaches the kids the standard in a real life context. It is hands-on and engaging and allows students to work with the difficult terms and skills in a real life applicable way. You can find all my lessons here! Then, Tuesdays we typically read our mentor text and do a whole class lesson. Wednesday and Thursdays usually revolve around group work related to the mentor text and standard. On Thursday or Friday we also do a independent activity with the standard! Although my reading block changes regularly I try to stick to this weekly schedule when planning.
Planning time for me!! Everyday during planning I have a plan on what I will be doing that day. (get it planning=plan)
Monday- I sit down and plan all of my reading plans for the following week. Sometimes I will be a few weeks ahead, but no matter where I am at I plan for a whole week on Monday. If I get extra time I will copy as well!
Tuesday- I sit down and plan all of my math plans just like I did my reading!
Wednesday- On Wednesday I plan all of my interventions, this includes small group and individual. I copy and prepare everything that I need for these interventions and I update all the files for the kiddos that I have on intervention. If I need to do anything for parent volunteers I do that here too!
Thursday- On Thursday I copy anything that needs copied and I grade anything that needs graded.
Friday- I prepare everything for the following week. This includes changing center rotations, creating anchor charts, and changing decor.
We do one 30 minute daily 5 rotation a day. I have found in my third grade classroom my students worked better doing each rotation once a week, but for an extended time. This is just what works for my classroom! So, I have five groups and I meet with them once a week! My students also do Listening to Reading, Word Work, Work on Writing, and a choice station once a week! During Teacher Time we are typically reading a novel. We will typically spend 10 minutes reading, 10 minutes working on the comprehension skill, and 10 minutes working on word work or other skills needed. Then, I assign them reading and sometimes an assignment for the next week!
Another planning time for me!
12:40-1:00- Reading & Individual RTI
I have found that after recess my students love settling down and reading a book! Each day my students come in from recess, grab the book they are reading, and cuddle up in a comfy place in the room! I grab an one student at a time during this time for a quick intervention! You can see how I structure my one on one interventions here! My students really do love this time and it is a perfect time for them to get calm after recess while reading any book that they love!
1:00-1:20- RTI small group/Enrichment
I pull my RTI group at this time. (we switch between math and reading)! This is also the time that groups would be pulled with other teachers around the school. Any student who is not being pulled at this time will work on enrichment projects!
We do math rotations for the rest of the day. I have found that my students are never at the same place when it comes to math, so I teach everything in small group. I typically will teach 20 minute rotations, but some of my lower groups will use up more time! We all will end up testing on the same unit at the same time, but my higher groups get done faster and get to move onto enrichment lessons during this time! My rotations stand for:
M- Math Facts- This is where my students get on the computer. They use Splash Math, Prodigy, or Xtra Math to practice their facts and old skills.
A- At Your Seat- This is where your typical worksheet or workbook activity would go!
T- Teacher Time- This is where the group is at my table getting their lesson for the day.
H- Hands-On- This is where students play games or work with manipulatives.
S- Spiral- I put games or activities from old chapters during this time so they continually practice skills!
We end the day with read aloud and it is the best! Students pack up and instead of acting crazy (you know it happens) they just sit quietly and listen to our read aloud while waiting for the bell. I switch with another teacher every other day. So, every other day during this time I can meet with students to catch them up on anything they need caught up on! You can find my favorite read aloud books here!
We do not do math on Friday, instead we do content rotations. We have five teachers on our team, so every five weeks we each get a new standard. We mix up all our kids and they stay in a group for five weeks. During that time, they go through all five teachers and get a lesson on five different standards. Then, on the sixth week they take an assessment on all those standards. We do six week rotations all year long and get every standard done! It simply is the best!

If you have any more questions on how I structure my day please feel free to comment below or email me at!