Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hanging Anchor Charts {A Bright Idea!}

Hey yall! Happy Saturday!
I'm actually in Fayetteville for a regional Jamberry conference, but I couldn't miss the opportunity to bring you another bright idea!

This month, I wanted to share how we are hanging our anchor charts this year.
If you're like me, anchor charts are happening....multiple times a week!
Where in the world are you supposed to put all those lovely charts???
Last year, I hung them up with hangers on a rolling cart.
It worked okay, but they were really in the, big time.
So this year I wanted to designate a specific spot to hang our charts, so I decided to dedicate a whole bulletin board just for our charts. But they needed to be able to be removed or added to, so I decided to use clothespins to hang them up.
However, gluing clothespins to a bulletin board?
Not an option for me.
Instead, I did this!
I hot-glued some pushpins to the back of my clothespins.

Then I just pushed them into the bulletin board and hung up my charts!


Please note:
1) I went back and added the "or" after I took this picture
2) The chart on the right was NOT drawn by me! I asked the para to make a chart about irregular plural verbs and this is what I got...the kiddos didn't seem to mind, though :)
Check out the link-up below for even MORE bright ideas!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday

Hey yall! Happy Friday!
Can I get an amen for 3 day weekends???
I sooo need to relax and recharge!
It's been awhile, so I'd thought I link up with Casey today.
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If you teach third grade Social Studies, you have to get this book! It is an adorable little book about Congress and tells a great story on how a bill becomes a law.
Squeaker of the House....ha! 
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 One of my little girls drew this for me at recess the other day.
Is it a bad thing that my kiddos have noticed my addiction to caffeine???
I'm choosing to focus on the fact that I look super skinny and have apparently have impeccable style :)
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Along with our study of the government, we've been talking about the executive branch and, of course, the president. We don't have a ton of time to do fun crafts in third grade, but I managed to sneak in these adorable Obama crafts along with their executive branch writing.
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I am so in love with the new Jamberry styles, yall! Especially the holiday-themed wraps.
Each week in October, I'll be sporting different Halloween nails.
This week....candy corn!
Want to check out all the different holiday styles?
Shop here!
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I got two sweet little gifts today.
One of my sweeties brought me this tiny pumpkin.
She knows how much I adore fall :)
Another sweetie told me she was at Wal-Mart and saw this big bin of duct tape.
"I know you already have peacock duct tape, Mrs. Lemacks, can never have enough!"
Talk about filling my bucket!
What have YOU been up to this week???

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Hey yall!
It is officially my favorite month of the year!
Hello October!!!
I'm so ready for the breezy fall weather, but apparently Georgia hasn't gotten the memo. Its still almost 90 degrees round these parts!
But that's okay, because we had nice weather yesterday at our Mini Greek Olympics.
We've been studying Ancient Greece and the influence it has had on our country for the past couple of weeks.
We talked about their government, architecture, and of course....sports!
As a culminating activity for our unit, the third grade hosted a Mini Greek Olympics.
I decided to go all out and sport a toga for the day.
A couple of my teammates dressed up, too!
We had four events.
Javelin Throw (pool noodles)
Discus Toss (Frisbees)
Foot Race (we did a relay race for this one, but I forgot to snap a picture)
and a Chariot Race (scooter boards)
Our winners received traditional olive leaf wreaths (of course!), but we also had some really cool "medals" that a parent made.
Isn't that awesome? Our mascot is the lion, so he added an emblem to the medal. So creative!
It was such a blast and really brought the Olympics to life for the kiddos!
And I've decided I'm going to wear a toga about once a week from now on...I got so many dang compliments from all the students!
Now I leave you with some pictures of adorable thirdsters in togas...
(on a side note, I am now an expert toga-tier! I tied about 234 togas yesterday :)


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lunch Choice Board

Hey yall! Happy *almost* Friday!
Has it really been almost 2 weeks since I've posted? Yikes!
The time really does get away from me lately.
I meant to post about this last weekend for the Bright Ideas link-up, but I spent the weekend in Atlanta instead :)
Better late than never, right?
So every year, I try to do attendance in a way that is easy for me, but also a huge reminder that it needs to get done. Because sometimes a girl just forgets.
I've had pretty good success making it a classroom job, because those kiddos definitely won't forget to get it done! In the past, I used a transportation board to do attendance, but I didn't feel like that would be good for 3rd grade.
I mean, they know how they get home everyday, so they don't always need that reminder.
When I went into my new coworkers classroom at the beginning of the year, I found a simple, yet genius, way to do attendance PLUS lunch count at the same time.
She had some cheap little plastic plates glued to her cabinet, alongside a bucket of clothespins.
Each plate had a lunch choice written on it and the students just move their clip to their choice for the day.
Well, this may be something you've been doing for years and years, but it was new to me!
I ran to the dearest Dollar Tree and snagged some cheapo plates.
I put all the kiddos names on some clothespins, stuck 'em in a bucket, and threw in a dry erase marker and eraser. I also put the lunch menu above the plates, so that my helper can be responsible for writing the lunch choices each afternoon.
In the mornings, after everyone has made their choice, my lunch count helper tells me who is out for the day. This reminds me to plug in my attendance online and then its DONE!
Seriously, this system is super easy and completely run by the students. They are responsible for moving their clips, writing the lunch choices, and seeing who is absent for the day. That student also writes down the number of students for each choice and takes it to the lunchroom.
Student responsibility = happy teacher :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

We Are Patriots

Hey yall! Happy Saturday!
I'm getting ready to get into football mode {go Dawgs!!!}, but I wanted to get in a quick post about how we remembered 9/11.
On Tuesday, I gave my students a homework assignment to interview an adult about their whereabouts on 9/11. We discussed how everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing the day the world stopped turning.
You can snag this simple assignment by clicking on the picture below.
My students brought these back to school on Thursday. I put them into small groups and let them share their interviews with their groups.
Then we watched the first couple minutes of the September 11th video on Brain Pop.
We very briefly discussed what happened, but didn't talk about why it happened. We only watched the first few minutes of the video, because I felt the last half was too much for my 3rd graders.
We have been studying about the Revolutionary War and Patriots, so this was a great tie in for Patriots Day.
We talked about how we could be Patriots and used this writing pack from Katharine Stewart.
Patriot Day Writing (9-11)
I took pictures of my kiddos holding an American flag, so we added those to the bottom of our writing. Then we created some American flags and added the Twin Towers.

I know 9/11 is a sensitive topic, so we really focused on the patriots and heroes from that day. I think it's important to discuss the day, though, because it's a part of our history that has really defined the true definition of a hero.
Now I'm off to show my patriotism in another way....some good ol' American football!
Go dawgs!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Plickers in the Classroom

Hey yall!
Can I get a quick AMEN that tomorrow is Friday?
These last few weeks have just been SO stinkin' busy!
All has been well-my kiddos are amazing, I'm loving my team, and our days typically go off without a hitch.
But man, I'll be happy when we can slow down just a bit!
I feel that I'm always 3 steps behind.
I know its like this every year, I think I just forget how truly BUSY the first few months of school are.
Anyways....on with the post!
Over the summer, I had attended a workshop with my new county where they told us all about Plickers. I thought they were so cool and couldn't wait to use them!
But then I know, BUSY!
So when one of my teammates mentioned that she started using them in her classroom, I just knew I had to get on board, too.
Have you heard of Plickers???
Here's the gist:
You give each student a numbered card that is assigned to them. Each card has a black something-or-other (I have no idea what you would call it!) on it with four sides: A, B, C, and D.
They look like this...

Image from Amazon

You can either order a set of laminated cards from Amazon (although they're currently out of stock!) or you can print them right out at home.
Then you add a series of multiple choice or true/false questions to the app on your phone or computer. You show these questions for the students to see and they have to hold their card with the correct answer facing up.
Now, here's the cool part!
You just stand in the middle of the room and scan all the cards with your phone!
You don't have to scan each individual card-it gets them all with one quick scan!
I tried to get some pictures of my kiddos doing this, but my phone was giving me some trouble.
Here is an image from their website so you can see what I'm talking about...
Your phone (or computer) will show you all the students answers, so you get instant feedback on how well your students have mastered the content!
And they think its the coolest thing since sliced bread (and so does their teacher!).
My kiddos were seriously SUPER into this when we did it the other day.
We have been working on subjects and predicates (BORING!), so I just gave them 10 quick multiple choice questions. They couldn't have been more excited!
Unfortunately, I realized that some reteaching will be happening this week on subjects and predicates.
But hey, that's what I love about this system! It took about 15 minutes and now I know which students need more practice and which students got it.
No paper or pencils needed.
Go check it out!
What are you waiting for?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Organize Those Supplies

Hey yall! Happy Monday!
I wanted to share some simple ways that I organize supplies and materials in my classroom.
I am ridiculously slightly OCD and need everything to have a set place. I don't like my classroom to be messy {my house, on the other hand, is a whole other story!}. I'm also a fan of clean, neat lines.
Last year, I picked up these slim rolling carts at Big Lots. They were perfect for my classroom! I used them back then to organize my math manipulatives {check out that post here}, but since I'm not teaching math this year, I thought I would use them for something else.
Cue school supplies.
I decided to use these beauties to hold all those pencils, markers, scissors, etc. that we use on a daily basis. Actually, each of my students house their own supplies-these supplies are the overflow!

The green cups on top are from Ikea and those hold more supplies: highlighters, mechanical pencils, more dry erase markers, and whiteboard erasers.

I don't keep any crayons in this area, because I decided to sort them by color this year.
Since every student has their own set, I figured this would be easiest when they just needed to borrow a specific color.

Construction paper is another supply that I sort by color. I love this 10 drawer cart that I also picked up at Big Lots. It's perfect for our construction paper.

This year, our third grade classes are departmentalized. I'm teaching Social Studies to 3 different classes, as well as ELA to my homeroom. I needed a quick and efficient way to organize papers for 65 students, so I came up with this system.
It's pretty basic, but it works for me!
Each class has their own basket for papers. I keep any copies that I will need for the 4 classes in the paper sorter below the baskets.
One of my classroom jobs is the Paper Sorter. At the end of the day, this student sorts through the turned-in papers, paperclips them for me, and adds a sticky note with the class name. That way, I can quickly grab each stack to grade.
Even though Teacher Week was last week, I'm linking this post with Blog Hoppin' :)
Go check out their Why post to see other organization ideas!
Have a blessed week, yall!