Honestly, it's hard for me to pick a favorite subject to teach! I love to teach reading, math, and writing equally. I even like to teach grammar, because it's so easy to incorporate games and fun activities.
I like to start the year teaching reading comprehension strategies and reviewing word attack skills. I will be spending a significant portion of the first few weeks teaching students about making inferences, creating "mind movies", asking questions, and summarizing. We'll also learn about what it means to "read closely". Once we get some serious strategies under our belt, we'll dive into our first CCSS-aligned reading unit. The unit focuses heavily on inferring character traits and supporting those inferences with text-based evidence. Last year, I created this collection of activities to use with any story. Click on the image to see it in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
My favorite page of the packet is "Character Chit-Chat Tic Tac Toe". The students LOVE this! I've used it with several different stories. They choose three squares to make a tic-tac-toe. Then, they discuss the questions they chose with a partner or in a small group.
Later in the year, we begin a unit that focuses on traditional literature. We talk about folktales, fables, and legends from various cultures. We also discuss proverbs and how they are similar to fables. When I created my Emergency Substitute Plans for Grade 3, I decided that the reading materials in those plans would be fables. So, I wrote my own versions of four different Aesop's fables. You can get two of them as freebies in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Click on the images to get them.
Last year, I created a new activity to use with my traditional literature unit. I introduced proverbs and then used this group activity. (Click on the image to grab it for FREE!)
Math is always fun to teach, because it's so easy to incorporate engaging activities. Below are some photos from last year showing how I introduced the concept of multiplying one-digit numbers by multiples of ten. Work stations were set up so that students could explore the concept. The students worked in small groups and rotated from station to station. We used beads & pipe cleaners, buttons & cups, books, base ten blocks, and links.
Once we finished with our stations, I had students complete a "solve the room" activity. I hung task cards around the room, gave students recording sheets, and let them walk around solving the problems. It always amazes me that the students don't copy each other. They are really motivated to do the work themselves. I circulate and help as needed. Students are allowed to coach one another. Everyone is usually SO engaged and eager to figure out the problems. It's amazing that simply getting them out of their seats makes such a huge difference.
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