Saturday, April 20, 2013

Morning Meeting

I try very hard to do morning meeting everyday, but some days I have a difficult time getting it in. I also have stopped doing morning message, which is not good. My morning meetings are always impromptu...I have so many other things to plan, I do not have time to plan MM like I should. I also feel that my morning messages should be more than just a preview of the day. I want to use it for teaching purposes. So, to help myself, I created a Morning Meeting planner. It has all 4 parts of morning meeting.

In addition, I came up with a schedule for for LA concepts that I can teach each week that is common core related for the whole year. I also have a years worth of share ideas. I will implement this for the remainder of the year and extremely excited to start off the year with it.

Here is the link for the Morning Meeting organizer. Morning Meeting

I also have a freebie to offer.  14 Morning Meeting greetings and 13 activities, with instructions.


I hope you enjoy!  Have a great weekend!  Andrea

Thursday, April 18, 2013


So, we just finished up our geometry unit.  With the Common Core standards, our textbook does not cover what needs to be addressed for 3rd grade....Quadrilaterals.  It was difficult to find the necessary resources to teach this as I had none, but I made it through.   My students seemed to really enjoy what they were learning and they were really grasping the content.  After reflecting on the unit to see what I would do differently for next year, I really decided that I wouldn't do much of the teaching any different.  But, I did decide that I needed to create a hands on activity for them.  I created a Quadrilateral Attribute sort.  Although my students were assessed on the content yesterday, I introduced this activity to them today to see how they did with it.  They really enjoyed it.
This is a picture of the 3 of the mats featuring 6 quadrilateral attributes and their sort.
Students collaborating on the sort.

Students used this sort to determine the similarities and differences between different quadrilaterals.  This was a great visual for them.  Before today, I had just told them and explained to them that a square is a rhombus, but a rhombus is not a square. 

One of the reproducibles for them to fill out from this sort.  
I really liked the conversations that were coming from this activity, and they had already finished the unit.  As all teachers say...Next year I will...  Next year this will be an activity to help introduce the attributes and to finish it up.  If you are interested in this product, you can get it here.

What are you saying "Next Year" to?


Saturday, April 13, 2013


I recently posted a blog about how my students get credit for the vocabulary that they use.  This post goes right along with that one.

This is my vocabulary wall, where I write all the academic vocabulary words that we have learned.  I write each subject in a different color.   A wonderful co-worker of mine created this for our whole team.  I love teamwork!

I was collaborating with one of our RTI teachers and she loves my vocabulary program.  The problem is, she doesn't always know the vocabulary that I'm teaching and I don't know the vocabulary that she is teaching.  I created a "walkable" vocabulary chart.  This chart is for all students that leave the classroom and go to see another teacher.  Students could even take them to specials if you like.  This is a great way for all teachers to know what vocabulary the student should know.  For my specific vocabulary program, it's great for them to get credit for using vocabulary by other teachers.  I can also give credit to them for using vocabulary that they learned from their other teacher.  (Please look 2 posts down to see what I'm talking about.)
Walkable Vocabulary  This is another freebie that I offer in my TPT store.  If you enjoy it, please leave me feedback.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Currently April...a little late.

I linked up with Oh boy 3rd grade on this page.

**Working on my blog, as I watch TV.  Next I turn on my guilty pleasure...Dance Mom's.  I love that show!  Makes me feel like a better teacher anyway.  :)
**Our weekend was rough, but I love my family.  I have a wonderful husband, and 2 beautiful kids that teach me daily!
** I just started a fun Economics project with my 3rd graders.  We are making business plans for a service!  They are very excited about it.  Once I get it finished, and typed up, it will be available in my TPT store.
**Regular pop is my drink.  I've been on weight watchers for 2 years.  Just maintaining right now, but lost 50 pounds!  So, I have to limit my regular pop....and diet is sooo bad for you too.  :(
**I have fallen out of my routine.  I am hoping that I will be able to change that.  I need to find new motivation.
**This goes for everything.  I think about this often as a teacher.  I don't want to stay the same teacher, I want to challenge myself and change myself.

Have a great evening!

Monday, April 8, 2013

I got published!

A few years ago, I sent off a vocabulary idea to The Mailbox Magazine.  I was thrilled when I got the letter stating that they were accepting my idea!  It took almost two years, but it was published this Winter in the Intermediate version.

Here is a picture of the writeup.
That's me, Andrea Halterman

I have done this with my students for years.  As an ESL teacher, the 4 language domains are Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing.  In addition, students need many exposures to words to have complete understanding of the word.  This year, students are charting all the vocabulary words that they have learned (academic areas and reading vocabulary) this year.   In the past I have done individual incentive charts.  That turned out to be very time consuming and hard to manage, especially when they filled up a chart.  This year, I have a class sticker chart that I have hanging on my door.  Next year, it will be a much prettier chart.  Students get stickers for:  finding vocabulary words in anything that they read, hearing another person saying the word (and yes, I count), using the word in their writing, and speaking with the word in a complete sentence.  This is most useful in the academic area.  I'm finding the most success with this in math.  
Our class vocabulary sticker chart.  Each student has their own square.
Have a great evening!  It's finally starting to look like Spring!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Encouraging students to read.

I started a reading incentive program with my students a few years ago.  I noticed that they were not completing many of the books that they were reading.  They were reading.  They were reading everyday in fact.  But, once library day came, they returned their books, half finished.  So I started using goal setting and bookmarks for reading.  
1.  Students set a monthly goal for the number of books they are planning on finishing.
A copy of  our goal setting sheets.  We keep them in our data notebooks.
2.  Students fill out bookmarks.  On these bookmarks, they write a summary of the book that they have written.  Next year, they will also be writing a recommendation for the book.
A copy of this years bookmark.

What I'm going to use next year, front and back.

3.  Students get to add a sticker to our data wall chart.  To hold all students accountable, students who read over their goal, get to add a colored sticker to the top of the chart.  All other students add silver stickers to the chart.   When everyone reaches their goal, they receive a classroom award.
Our reading data wall.

4.  I have students keep their bookmarks on a ring in our classroom library.  They are very proud of their bookmarks and always count their bookmarks.  I challenged the students to try to read 40 books this year.  The picture above shows the bookmarks that 1 student has done so far this year.

5.  Next year, I'm going to have my students also keep a yearly chart on the number of books they read.

Here's a link to this product at my store.

Have a great night!