Displaying Student Work



It is so important that students have a place to display their work for others. Command hooks and binder clips work in even the trickiest of locations! It is so important that students have a place to display their work for others. This year, I decided to jazz up those cinderblock walls outside our room and put their work on display in the hallway. I am so happy with how it turned out!

I'll admit it. I often I neglected to put student work up in the hallway because
1) it would take me forever to tape up each piece, and
2) the tape wouldn't stick and they would all be on the floor the next day.

I would fight what seemed like a never-ending battle with papers falling off the wall. So frustrating!


Enter: Command Strip hooks + binder clips


After each student created a self-portrait in the first few days of school, I hung the portraits up with a small command hooks underneath. I hung little binder clips onto the hook, and voila! An organized, tape-free way to display student work all year long. It is so easy to change out their work that I don't even think twice about it!
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Love Notes for the Teacher



I love that my students constantly draw me pictures and write me notes, but it can get cumbersome trying to keep track of all of it! I used to display it on one of my cabinets, though I secretly hated how messy and cluttered it looked.

When I saw this idea on the Clutter-Free Classroom website, I knew it would be perfect for me! I went out the next day to buy a binder and sheet protectors. Now, I never have to decide which artwork goes on display--there is enough room in the binder for all of it! The binder is on a prominent display in the room, and the kids get so excited to add to it. They love that they can look back through the pages and see something they made for me earlier in the year. They also love seeing old letters or drawings that previous students made for me.

I highly recommend this strategy for organizing all their delightful notes and drawings from my kiddos!
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Hopes and Dreams for Third Grade




During the first week of school, I had my students write about their hopes and dreams for third grade.
This served as an opportunity for me to get to know my students better. It also was a great initial writing sample.

Later, the students edited their paragraphs and re-copied them in their neatest handwriting onto lined-paper clouds. Since I can't resist incorporating art into the classroom every chance I get, they also got to paint a rectangle of paper using primary colors. I showed them how they could mix the primary colors together to make new colors, then set them loose! After the paint dried, I flipped them over, and traced each student's hand onto the back of their painting. A little cutting and some lamination... and here they are! The kids were so excited when they came in the next morning to see the display.
 


I'll have to admit... the sun makes me super happy. It will definitely find its way into our classroom once I change the bulletin board display in the hallway. :-)



Language Arts Objectives:Students will write a paragraph with 5 complete sentences, including a topic sentence that states the main idea, 3 supporting detail sentences, and a conclusion sentence.

Students will use transition words, such as first, next, and last.

Students will use correct capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and spelling.

Students will indent the beginning of the paragraph.


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Easy Mother's Day Cards

Mother's Day is just around the corner, and this card is super easy to do with your students, especially if you need something to make at the last minute. Mother's Day is just around the corner, and this card is super easy to do with your students, especially if you need a craft to make at the last minute. Give it a try!

1. Let students select their own color of paper and fold it in half.

2. Have students place their hands so that the thumb and pointer finger are overlapping the fold.

3. Trace around the hand, making sure to have the lines go to the edge of the fold for the thumb and pointer finger. (In other words, don't trace around the tips of those fingers!)  This is what holds the hands together once they are cut out. 

4. Cut out the hand, being careful not to cut off the folded tips of the thumb and pointer finger. 

5. Unfold and wah-lah! The kids will ooh and ahh that it makes a heart. Stand back and enjoy their amazement for a moment. Depending on your level of commitment to classroom crafting, you could choose to be done at this point. Let the kids write notes on their cards and call it a day.

Optional Final Steps:
Upon recalling that students will likely be stuffing these (not-so-carefully) into their bookbags to take home with them, I decided that the aforementioned hands were too fragile. Thus, I created the 2 optional final steps below.

6. Have students pick a different colored piece of paper and fold it like a card. Then they can glue the hands down, being sure to align the fold of the fingers with the fold of the card.

7.  If you have extra scrap construction paper, feel free to have them add an additional color behind the hands to make the heart a different color. This is for your over-achiever students. You know who they are.


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Quick and Easy Spiral Review


Spiral review is a great way to keep students' skills sharp. I love this idea for using pocket charts on the door for a quick review of concepts when lining up to leave the classroom. Super easy and versatile! http://www.adventuresofaschoolmarm.com/2012/04/before-you-leave-will-you-please.html

Spiral review is a great way to keep students' skills sharp. I am always trying to look for little ways to remind myself to cyclically review topics with my students. I find that the phrase "Out of sight, out of mind" is certainly true when it comes to standards and skills I have taught already, but that still need periodic, spiral review.

My solution was to attach 2 mini-pocket charts to my door right near the handle. The blue one is used by my reading students; the red one is used by my math students.


Spiral review is a great way to keep students' skills sharp. I love this idea for using pocket charts on the door for a quick review of concepts when lining up to leave the classroom. Super easy and versatile! http://www.adventuresofaschoolmarm.com/2012/04/before-you-leave-will-you-please.htmlHow I Use This:

I typically keep the activity the same for a week, but change out the index cards during the week. For example, students will say the decimal on the red math chart all week, but the actual decimals in the pockets will change.  Kids also love to help think of new index cards to add to the charts!

When I Use This:

I use this most frequently when we line up to leave the classroom for bathroom breaks, switching classes, or at the end of the day. I might select a representative or two from each line (boys and girls) to complete the activity quickly just before we walk out the door.


Why I Love It:

  • It's fast and easy to remember.
  • It motivates the kids to review concepts.
  • It helps me see very quickly if any kids need me to re-teach a concept.
  • It turns transitional times into a learning opportunity.
  • Kids can make up their own review activities for the chart. This saves me time!
  • The mini pocket charts are very inexpensive. (I found these in the Dollar section at Target at the beginning of the school year.)
  • The index cards are easily stored in an index-card box and reused for spiral review. 
What are some of your favorite ways to review concepts quickly when you have a few spare moments?

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Welcome to Our Town! (Part 2)

UntitledWhat it is:
This map will serve as an interactive, standards-based bulletin board created by my 3rd-grade students featuring an assimilation of many different standards and skills. These standards and skills will be taught through an interdisciplinary unit that addresses academic content standards in Math, Social Studies, and English/Language Arts.

Objectives
* Students will use a ruler to accurately measure and create a 1-inch by 1-inch grid covering each colored square block of the map. They will label the grid with corresponding letter-number coordinates. (Math)

* Students will create a 3-dimensional structure of their personal business using 2-dimensional plane figures drawn on grid paper. (Math)

* Students will determine which businesses will go on each block. They will design where access roads, sidewalks, parking lots, and grass will go. They will determine the area of the coordinate grid that represents each object in order to accurately measure colored paper representing access roads, sidewalks, parking lots, and grass. (Math)

* Students will use cardinal directions (north, east, south west) to write directions from one place to another on the map. (Social Studies)

* Students will use different marketing strategies to generate potential business, including writing a "jingle" or "limerick" using rhyme and iambic pentameter.  (English/Language Arts)

* Students will write a persuasive letter to the town mayor regarding a controversial social issue in the neighborhood. (English/Language Arts)
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Welcome to Our Town! (Part I)

Untitled
What is "Welcome to Our Town"?
This town map will serve as an interactive, standards-based bulletin board created by the students featuring an assimilation of many different standards and skills. These standards and skills will be taught through an interdisciplinary unit that addresses academic content standards in Math, Social Studies, and English/Language Arts.

Why is it named Fruehtown?
Under any other circumstance, I would have allowed my students to create their own name for the town. But I happen to be getting married at the end of the month, and my new last name will be Frueh. Seeing as how I'm pretty pumped about it, I decided to name the town after my future last name. 


How do you pronounce Fruehtown?
Free-town.

I know. Someone should have taught his ancestors the phonetic rules for vowel digraphs. But that is neither here nor there. ;-)

Inspiration for this Unit:

This unit was inspired by two things.
1) My students' love for maps. 
2.) My serious disdain for making bulletin boards. Especially the ones in the hallway.

I'm fairly certain that loving bulletin boards is supposed to be a prerequisite for entrance into elementary education program in college, but I seem to have slipped past the sensors. While I'm certainly not devaluing the importance of bulletin boards, I find it to be an aspect of teaching that does not excite me. Especially when they are in the hallway where we do not spend the majority of our school day.

I realize that building an entire interdisciplinary unit around my bulletin board probably seems like a contradiction. Aside from the fact that it will be a great learning tool, here's my additional motivation.  I put it up in March. The students will continue to build upon and learn from it through April and May. That's right, folks. I do not have to think of another idea for a standards-based bulletin board until next school year!

I love how this bulletin board is designed to have a maximum impact on student learning while requiring minimal effort from me to complete the board. The students designed it. They will build every part of it. And they will use it as a learning tool in multiple subject areas.

Win, win.  :-)
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