Thursday, June 27, 2013

Harlem Shake, Third Grade Style

What's up peeps! That's third grade talk for hi.

In our classroom, we like to dance. Our favorite brain breaks always involve music. Well, one day, as we were getting our jams on, a kiddo asked me if we could make a Harlem Shake video. Being the awesome teacher that I am, I immediately said, "No. That would be inappropriate." Okay. I didn't even know what I was talking about but it did not sound good. That weekend, I asked my children (ages 23, 22, and 18) if they knew the Harlem Shake. They took me to the land of youtube and we watched many videos. (btw, my favorite was the Supernatural Harlem Shake.) Needless to say, I went back to school and planned it out with the kiddos, after apologizing for saying no so quickly. Many of my teachery friends laughed at me (in their defense, I am kinda juvenile). Some were worried that it would be "inappropritae". But it turned out awesome. The kiddos loved it and so did their parents:)

Here is the final version. In our first take, the class was reading. But they didn't like it. They voted and we changed it to our cleanup time. I got this idea from blogland but can't find the source. I play music during cleanup at the end of our day. The kiddos clean and dance. It makes cleanup fun and the classroom is really clean. Less work for our custodians who have a very tough job and the kids know they have to take care of their own messes.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Biography Trailers and Movies

Hi y'all. Yesterday I posted about our living Wax Museum. We had so much fun that night but I was a very exhausted teacher. The students didn't really get to hear each other present. So the next day we presented for other classes and then presented to our class. They thoroughly enjoyed it. After our Awards Ceremony, we invited the parents to our classroom to watch the trailers and movies. We had popcorn and used our document camera to enjoy the movies.

Today, I want to post a few of the trailers and movies my students created.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Living Wax Museum

Hi. I'm still tying to learn how to do all of this blog thing stuff. Tonight I want to share one of the projects I did with my students this year. This class was the bestest class. I've had lots of great classes but this bunch was sweet, caring, funny, smart, etc. Of my 20 students, 12 of them are gifted.

This project was for my gifted students although I opened it up to all of the students and 2 more of them wanted to do it. In Texas, our gifted students have to complete a big project. Since my class was totally awesome, I decided to do a Living Wax Museum/ Living History Museum.

We began preparing back in January when we studied penguins. We did a shared writing of penguins. Then in February, we studied Abraham Lincoln and did a shared writing of him. The students were finally ready to choose their own person to learn about. I checked out biographies from different libraries and let them browse. We went over the expectations of the project (research, a research paper, a timeline, and preparation for the museum) and they began. They did a lot of research.

 In April, I purchased iMovie for our iPads. I learned how to make movies and trailers and taught the kids. They were all on board to add this element to their projects. They learned quickly and in no time, they were teaching me. We removed the timeline so that they would have time to finish everything. They needed to be ready to present May 29. It was tough, but they did a fantastic job. 

Here are some pics of GT night. The students posed behind a table. If the audience wanted to bring them to life, they pressed a button on the table and the person would come to life. After they spoke, they played their movies and trailers. It was so cool. I will be doing this project again and again.

Tony Hawk
Janet Jackson

Babe Ruth

Wilma Rudolph

Helen Keller

Alexander Graham Bell

Jesse James

Jane Goodall

Minnie Mouse talking about Walt Disney

Benjamin Franklin

Roberto Clemente


Albert Einstein

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Welcome to our Little Blog!

Welcome! Hi! My name is Lisa. I have a best friend and teaching buddy named Tina. 
We have been so inspired by the many WONDERFUL teachers in blog land. And by Pinterest. And by TeachersPayTeachers.
I truly think that I have become a better teacher because of all of this blog reading/stalking.
Tina and I created this blog together because we do believe that learning can be fun. We work hard and we play hard. So do our students.
By the way, I have been known to start many a sentence with, "Last night, on Pinterest...."

About Lisa

Hi! My name is Lisa. I have taught for 18 years.  I was a P.E. teacher/volleyball coach/basketball coach for my first three years of teaching. 

I loved it but realized that I wanted more as a teacher. I wanted to have a class of my own. I wanted to see a group of students grow through a school year. I wanted to bond with my students. I wanted, I wanted, I wanted.

Then, in my fourth year of teaching, I had the opportunity to make a change and move into third grade. Best. Decision. Ever. It's been a lot of hard work but I wouldn't change it for anything. Now I have been teaching third grade for 15 years.

13 years ago, a new teacher joined our third grade team. She was new to our school, not new to teaching. We clicked immediately and Tina has been my BFF ever since. Her classroom is right next door to mine. She teaches Science to my students and I teach Social Studies to her students. We get our classes together to do activities and projects. We have so much fun teaching and learning with our students.

Teaching is in my genes. My mom is a retired middle school art teacher. Her mom was a piano teacher. My other grandma was a high school science and math teacher. My two aunts were teachers. I have many cousins that are teachers. It is in our blood (whether we like it or not- I happen to love it!)

About my home life- I am a single mom. I have a daughter who will graduate from college next summer. My son just graduated from high school and will begin college in August.  My daughter's best friend lives with us too and I consider her my other daughter.  I think they are all absolutely amazing. We have a 10 year old puppy that we just adore:)