Friday, November 11, 2016

Five for Friday

Happy Veteran's Day! Thankful for all of those who have served and serve today! I know our great country has been on everyone's mind this week. As I reflect over the week in our classroom I can't help but be thankful to have the freedom to do what I love thanks to our veterans!

It's been almost two months since my last five for friday.. or any post for that matter! Teaching has been kicking my butt and it's been a tough few months but as I reflected I realized that many of the tough things that come with our jobs are blessings and we're not alone in feeling overwhelmed. I just have to remind myself of that sometimes! I shared some of those thoughts yesterday in my post:

We've started with our multiplication facts in third grade!


We fill up this monster on the door every time they pass a fact! They get to write their name on the piece they add. This is a great motivator, but doesn't point out anyone who takes a little longer to master their facts. 

I've also turned my desk into a little muliplication station! I put command hooks on the sides and used plastic sleeves from amazon (aff link included!) to place their facts inside. Each color is a different fact, so students grab whatever they're working on and use a dry erase marker. The back has the answers so they usually hold it out to another person and read off their answers while the other person checks. I get the sheets from 

I may have posted about my joke board before, but even so, I'm having so much fun with it I can't help but revisit some of the jokes posted this year! I've put this dry erase board above the hooks in the hall where students hang their book bag. The intended purpose of this board at the beginning of the year was for reminders, updates, and since it's magnetic I figured I could put pictures of the kids up there every now and again. However, I found this board had a much higher purpose... math jokes. 

I just wrote this last one yesterday after school. I look forward to the chuckles Monday morning, but also some of my students actually solving it to show me they know the answer!

Now that our third graders are getting into the multiplication, the word problems are becoming trickier. Students in the past just had to figure out if it was addition or subtraction... now cue the multiplication and division problems that use many of the same key words! I've been exploring a few different problem solving strategies and would love other teachers' input as to which you've found to be the best!

Here's some that I've used in the past... trying to decide! Maybe you know a different one that's worked well for your class!

The 3 reads is what I used last year, that I got from Simply Skilled in Second  and I really feel this helped my students understand what was going on in the problem. Plus it's only 3 steps! Only thing is there's no acronym to remember the steps.. So that's why I shortened the description of the steps here on my anchor chart. 

A teacher I worked with last year used this strategy and it worked extremely well for her students! It sort of combines the CUBES with the thinking portion by having the "action plan". 

My current plan is to stick with the 3 Reads, but for the second read they can also circle the numbers while they think of what they mean, and the 3rd read they can underline the question. I really believe that if they can picture the situation that the math story presents and what those numbers mean to the situation, it will make it easier to formulate that action plan and solve! 

Farm update!

Well, we're working on clearing the land for the future R&R farm! We've cleared the trees, burned the brush, and are now making piles of sticks to burn before we dig up stumps and plant some grass. Next steps would be to build the barn so we can move the animals. I doubt anyone will want to buy our current house with goats in the backyard :) Well.. I would.. but not most people!

We still have to prepare for winter here in the meantime. We covered the chicken coop in greenhouse plastic to cut back on the wind and help with the convection process inside! This was great to talk with my students about while learning about heat transfer! 

Hot Mess likes to think she's being helpful.

WA-LA! It has an opening at the top peak for ventilation, but oh man, I just walked in there this morning to feed the chickens and it was considerably warmer in there! I need to get one of those outdoor thermometers to see just what the difference is. Either way, we have some happy chickens!

Thanks for catching up with me, and I hope you've had a great week! If it's been a little rough, then hey, don't forget to check out and know you're not alone!

Happy Friday!!



  1. I love that you turned your desk into a multiplication station! Your math jokes make me giggle. I think I might steal that idea. Have a wonderful weekend!
    Laughter and Consistency

  2. I agree with Jan - great use of your teacher desk! Also, I can't believe you're building a farm - wow! It seems like winter is getting closer every day. Happy weekend!

  3. I love how you are using your desk as a multiplication station! We have joke boards in the room, too. The cornier the joke, the better!

  4. I love your multiplication station on your desk and the monster on the door. Great idea to motivate kids to work on their facts.

    Team J's Second Grade Fun

  5. The desk is adorable and I love the joke board. I did a "joke a day" with my firsties and the cornier, the better!
    Outside of My Classroom