An Awesome Message…

I love to read. From children’s books to the latest on Heathers Picks I always have a book nearby. So, when I heard about this awesome book I had to check it out….

An Awesome Book By Dallas Clayton

There are so many things I love about this, it is truly awesome! I can’t wait to share this story with my class (perhaps I could get my hands on some ipads for this!) and find a way to start a new class project!

Speaking of my class…. I am in love with Gr.3! I have so many stories and successes and mistakes to celebrate and share with you but I am waiting on media release forms to be returned to school. I am getting rather impatient though so expect some posts without pictures in the near future.

Classroom Sneak Peek!

With only a few minor details to finish up, it’s safe to say my new classroom is basically ready to go. Check it out!

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I had a few unique challenges when I was setting up this space. Number one, you may have noticed there are no windows… My solution to use browns and greens to give the room an earthy feel. (Not quite as nice as a window!) This room was also an old science lab and felt a little cold. I used pillows, benches, and a lamp to make the room more welcoming.I am really pleased with how everything turned out! Some of my favorite parts…

-My behavior clip chart (free from Teachers-pay-Teachers!)
-My bookshelf/bench units (a deal from Costco, even included the storage boxes!)
-The picture fame on my desk, it holds a couple class lists. I plan to use whiteboard markers to keep track of little details on there. (ex. who as paid for a hot lunch)
-Floor pillows.. they make me want to sit down and read!
-My large bulletin board.. it may look empty now but soon the students will be in charge of their down space and it will highlight their best work!

Can’t wait for the kids to arrive after the long weekend!

A message about tomorrow..

As the school year draws to an end, I was looking for a fun way to address some social justice issues with my Gr. 3 class. This is what we came up with…
After reading a collection of poems called “My Wish for Tomorrow” we took some time to discuss and study personal wishes and wishes that are for the greater good. Students then wrote their own “My Wish” poems. As a class we worked together to create this mural (I downloaded it here) and then posted our poems around the mural. It turned out great and we have people stopping outside our classroom all the time to read and admire our work. The poems allowed my students to think about others, and doing a class mural forced them to work collaboratively to achieve the end result. We had a lot of fun and I was very proud of them!

A message about conversations…

I truly believe that in order to honour student work, assessment must be a collaboration between student and teacher. My class has been working really hard on self-evaluation and we are starting to have some great conversations. Below are two examples of students reading their work, and talking through a rubric with me.

Example 2

The rubric was a guide for our conversation. Next time I am hoping we won’t need it and we can talk more. What do you think? I would love some feedback or suggestions!

A message about changes and challenges…

Well, I have been teaching Grade 3 for a month now and I have finally found a few minutes to update my blog. What has taken me so long? I have been busy loving this bunch…

My first day in Gr. 3

With only two months left in the school year and 4 years of classroom ideas building in my mind, I had to be selective with what I would be doing with my time. The first thing I did was rearranged the classroom and tried to change the environment. Here are some highlights.

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The students have been working really hard on their writing. We are using a mini version of PWIM to enhance their writing skills and everyday we visit the “cursive corral.” I am the sherif in the cursive corral and the kids think it is hilarious if I have to give out a messy ticket! We have dove into an inquiry unit on “Pioneers” as well. We are reading Little House in the Big Woods, started a blogging project, and look forward to churning our own butter, and turning our classroom into a one room school house where we will follow their rules for one day.

One thing I have found challenging stepping into a classroom at the end of the school year is parent communication. The class was using agendas to communicate but not everyone seems to remember how important this is. I was looking for an alternative way to provide information to parents so I recently starting using remind101. This service sends the same reminders that go in agendas directly to parents cell phones. It was completely optional for parents, but I find it really useful!

A message about Grade 3…

It’s hard to believe that this time last week I was writing a post about how bored I was! The book I told you I would post about has long been abandoned… On Friday of last week, I had my first job interview! After a weekend of sitting on pins and needles to hear some news, I got a phone call late Monday afternoon. On Tuesday morning I was at school meeting my new Gr. 3 students! This is a temporary position filling in for a teacher who is on leave for the remainder of the school year. I couldn’t be more excited and honoured to be given this great opportunity to work in this community and be starting my career at the school of my dreams. It has been a busy couple of days and several late nights in my new room, but I have a great group of kids and an exciting class load. Expect some more reflection once I get my head around things and prepared for the last 2 months.
Miss. Woiden🙂

A message from one week later…

There is something missing in my life… exactly one week after the completion of my BEd here I am complaining of boredom. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s just who I am. I am happiest when I am busy, engaged in something. In an attempt to fill the void I started reading and researching, here is what happened.

1) I learned a whole lot about PWIM

The Picture Word Inductive Model (PWIM) is an instructional approach for
the teaching of reading that uses pictures containing familiar objects, actions and
scenes, to draw out familiar words from students’ listening and speaking
vocabularies. This strategy helps students add words to their sight-reading
vocabulary, as well as their writing vocabulary, and to examine and categorize
phonetic and structural principles present in those words

I was first exposed to PWIM during my pre-internship in a Kindergarten room in Regina. I think that this strategy has a lot to offer because it is cross-curricular in that the pictures can relate to a variety of topics that you are learning about and it is a fabulous tools for differentiated instruction. It lends itself so nicely to differentiated instruction because students can work at different stages and use vocabulary that is relevant and within their own reading level. The other component of PWIM that I am really impressed by is that it can be carried through from K-6, it has the potential to become a familiar tool for students to master yet always provides challenges. I didn’t have the opportunity to use PWIM during my internship but I am really interested in learning more about it in the future.

2) I started reading this book….
I picked up this book for free from the kindle store in January but I couldn’t seem to find the time to read it between my many textbooks and rushing through The Hunger Games series. I am only a couple of chapters in so far, but I think this will be a great book. (I am hoping it will help me through my #ecmp355 withdrawal!) I will keep you posted!