Halloween Inferencing

I cannot believe it is almost October! Wow, this year is really flying by! Which is great, because I'm getting married in June and I'm so stinkin' excited! Seriously, you will get tired of hearing all about my wedding plans...or maybe you won't! :)

Today, I wanted to talk about a very engaging activity I did with my 3rd graders last year that they LOVED and so did I! Let me explain...

Last year, I decided I wanted to be Ms. Frizzle for Halloween. However, I didn't want to tell my students my surprise...so instead, every day in October, I spent about 5 minutes or so before lunch or any other time throughout the day that I needed something quick to do, having them GUESS my Halloween costume.

We talked about drawing conclusions and making inferences. I told them that their questions HAD to be answered with a yes or no...we went through some examples.

So we talked about if we discovered I was a person, it was silly to ask if I was an animal, because we already knew I was a person. We went through some of those if/this situations.

I drew about 2 kiddos each day (Popsicle sticks with names) until each student had a chance, then repeated a couple.

I would write (type) their question on the board and then type yes or no, then the student's name, so we knew who asked what question. People, the engagement when I did this was OFF THE CHART. They would (not so) patiently wait for me to type yes or no. Then they quickly started to eliminate ideas they had, or form new ones.

I told them that if they figured it out, they had to keep it a secret. On October 30, I would ask for each student to write their guess on a slip of paper, and if anyone was right, they'd get a special treat from me.

Well, no one ended up guessing right...which was a big bummer...but these are some of their questions! You can tell some kiddos weren't thinking clearly about their questions! Hmph, silly kids!




Oh, and here's me as the Frizz!

This year....can you keep a secret?!? Don't tell my kids!
I'm going to be Cindy Lou Who!
Our school wide literacy theme is Dr. Seuss, so it will be perfect! :)

So, here's a little freebie I created so my kiddos can keep track of all the questions and take it home to share with their families!

What is your Halloween costume?
Your secret is safe with me! 

Check out what I'm doing this year! :)

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Stitch Fix #5: The Perfect Box

So, I got my first Stitch Fix box back in April, and I instantly fell in love with this idea. It's become all the rage with my fellow teacher bloggy friends. I love seeing what everyone gets in their boxes, and I love it even more when I receive mine. I didn't get a box last month, because I've decided to do every other month to try to save money...ya know, for my WEDDING. {I found my dress last weekend by the way!}

So, this box was crucial, because I'm getting engagement pictures taken in late October, and I really wanted something new to wear. My box didn't disappoint. I had a $50 credit thanks to friends who have signed up for Stitch Fix through me, so I was pumped.
 It's just so beautiful.
Your box looks like this. There's a pre paid bag to send back the items that you don't want...super easy to drop off in the mailbox!
 I already know I'm going to love it!
 I love cardigans! I knew as long as this was long enough in the arms, I'd keep it. ($38)
 I was so hoping this was as beautiful on as it is right here. ($48)
 I have a very similar skirt already, but we'll see! ($54)
I hope this dress fits right! ($64)
I'm not much of a bracelet gal, but this is a great statement piece. ($34)
 Yay, the cardigan fits! I paired it with Old Navy skinny cords and brown boots.

This blouse is officially my favorite piece from a Fix. I paired it with dark jeggins and heels {I never wear heels} to get an idea of how this could look for engagement pictures.

I love lace details. My wedding dress has lace... a lot of it :)

My stylist reccomended the blouse with the skirt. I don't care for the blouse tucked it, and untucked is ick. But I do love the skirt.

This dress is perfect for school. It will work great in any season!
Paired it with a heavy knit infinity scarf and boots for a colder look.
Well, there you have it folks. I'm keeping it all! With my discount and credits, my total is just $136. By far my cheapest box! :)

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The Desk Fairy Visits 3J

So, over the weekend, my friend the desk fairy came for a visit in room 226. The desk fairy is picky people! Now, I'm not sure who the desk fairy is (or so I tell me kiddos), but man....she was only able to leave 2 students treats for nicely organized desks.

Now, to be fair, about 2 weeks ago, I had EVERY student take EVERYTHING out of their desk, and we organized and cleaned together. I checked every single desk to make sure everything was where it needed to be. I knew it wouldn't take long for my kiddos to make that LOVELY desk a disaster zone, but I was hoping for more than 2 deserving kiddos!

So, we talked about what the desk fairy looks for...
insert ANCHOR CHART!

We made a list of things they thought the desk fairy would be looking for. I wrote them down. Then I made it cutesy after school, and also made a desk organization map.

This afternoon, when students had independent time (about 40 minutes, while I do some RTI groups) about 10 of them chose to organize their desk. They think the desk fairy is coming tomorrow. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

How do you help keep your students organized...especially their desks?! I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Also, head over to my fellow Iowa blogger, Deb @ Crafting Connections, to link up your anchor chart!

AND! See this post about my giveaway for a 3 month subscription to the EBook app, FarFaria!
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Reading App Giveaway!

I'm so excited to share this awesome new app for both Apple and Android!

Displaying farfaria-logo_gold_high-res.png
I was contacted by FarFaria at the beginning of August asking if I'd like to try out their app and have the chance to do a subscription giveaway. Uhm, duh! 

FarFaria is a reading app that has over 750 illustrated books and 5 new books are added each week! You can download it for free, and read 1 book per day for FREE! Unlimited monthly access is $4.99/month. FarFaria recommends their app for ages 2-9, but I would even use it with 5th and 6th graders. Each book is leveled P, Pre Readers, 1, Beginning Reader, 2, Progressing Reader, 3, Early Fluent Reader, and 4, Fluent Reader.
This is what it looks like when you open it up.
It gives you some recommendations, but you can also go to Explore to browse the map for specific "genres".
 Once you select a book, you can choose to read by yourself, or have the app read to you! That's what I like so much. I'm a firm believer that by having texts available for students to listen to, it really improves their comprehension skills and overall reading ability. I introduced this app with my class on our iPod touch 2 weeks ago, and they absolutely LOVE it. I do Daily 5 in my classroom, and for Listen to Reading, I have computers where they can listen to Tumble Books, iPods where they can scan QR codes that take them to videos of popular picture books being read or use FarFaria, and Playaways (but I haven't gotten them from our AEA yet). I asked my class if they liked the iPod or computer better for listen to reading. They unanimously liked the iPod better. When I asked if they liked the QR codes or FarFaria better, 12/15 (not everyone has been able to use it yet!) said they preferred FarFaria, where the other 3 said they liked them equally. When I asked my kiddos about what they liked most about the app, they ALL said the pictures. Let me explain this AWESOME feature.

After a student finishes reading a book, there's an option for a "photo finish". This enables the camera, and students can take a selfie! After taking the picture, they get to choose from 3 borders, all included the cover page of the book they just read. They then save the picture, and it goes straight to the photos. I love looking through the pictures at the end of the day to see what they read and see their pictures. I print them out and give them to the students to take home and share with their families. They LOVE it!
The only thing I don't like about FarFaria is that the books are written specifically for the app, so my kiddos can't take AR tests on them. Now, I have a soapbox for Accelearated Reader that I will save for another day, but one of the VERY few things that I like about AR is that it allows for some accountability for students to actually read the book. I know you all have those kids that would go to the library every 10 minutes, and take 15 minutes while they were there if they could. AR is a buffer for most of that. However, when I asked my STUDENTS if it bothered them that they couldn't take tests on the stories they read, they all said no!

So there you have it folks! FarFaria was classroom tested and student approved! It makes me one happy happy teacher!

AND! The fabulous people at FarFaria are giving one of YOU a free 3 month subscription!

Just enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't win, that's okay! You can still try it out before buying...you get 1 free story/day!

I'd love to know your thoughts if you try it out!

*I received a free 6 month subscription to review this app, but no other compensation was given to me.
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Featured Friday {#3}

I loved that so many of you participated in my Featured Friday a couple weeks ago when I featured Sarah from Juice Boxes and Glitter! Thank you so much! You made her day by following her!

Want to get this set?

Keep reading to find out how!

If this is your first time seeing one of my Featured Friday posts, let me explain what it's all about. As a new blogger, I was THRILLED (still am) when I got new followers and made new connections with teachers, but as a new blogger, I was also intimidated, and felt like sometimes I was writing to no one...still feel that way at times. SO! This summer, I decided to make my Instagram account public and start blog designing, with that and focusing on my TpT store, I feel like I had an explosion of success come my way, and I thought about this idea to feature new(ish) bloggers on my blog to get some new traffic their way! So, without further ado, let me introduce you to...

Dawn 
My Photo
                   Grab My Button!
I met Dawn via Instagram (seriously, I love IG) and am going to working on a new blog design for her coming soon! 

Dawn started blogging this summer (PERFECT time to start) after being inspired by the ideas she was seeing on other blogs and wanted to be able to share her ideas and join a network of such incredible educators. Dawn teaches, you guessed it, 3rd grade! She has previously taught Kindergarten and Middle School English! Talk about a whole lot of difference among the 3!

Dawn is super awesome because she is a volunteer for Voices for Children in San Diego. She's a court-appointed special advocate for a foster child. She's able to spend time with her and also speak up for her in court when her educational, emotional, or any other needs are not being met. Kudos to you Dawn!

She's building up her TpT store and has these awesome I can statements for Reading {for 3rd grade} FOR FREE!



I love free!!
Dawn considers herself a new teacher since she last taught 5 years ago and everything is so new to her. The blogging! TPT! (it can get overwhelming, can't it!?) She's just looking to meet new friends in education who share her passion and weird sense of humor.

SO! Back to that whole free Halloween clip art deal I mentioned up at the top...

All you have to do is follw my dear friend Dawn on her blog via BlogLovin', then comment on this post your email and I send it you as a thank you from Dawn and myself :)

BOOM! Done, EASY!

Have a fab Friday!
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Featured Friday!

WANT THIS FOR FREE?!?! KEEP READING TO FIND OUT HOW!

Many of you are in full swing of the 2014-15 school year...some of you may have just started! I'm finishing up my 3rd week of the year! Wow! It's really flying!

Today's post is dedicated to another edition of Featured Friday!
If you didn't catch the first one, check it out here!

Today, I'm featuring a new blogger who I've gotten to know and work with and she is just as sweet as can be!
Meet Sarah from Juice boxes and Glitter
I first "met" Sarah through Instagram, and then got to work with her when she was my 2nd client for a new blog design. When she told me her blog name, I was so excited! How CUTE is it?!

Sarah started blogging this summer! She has a history with blogging, She tried two times before and was just unable to keep up with it. Blogging is a great way to network and meet other teachers with the same passion! She has found tons of great ideas and new ways of running my classroom and reading other teachers daily experiences and stories makes her feel like she's not alone if she has a stressful day or if something she is doing isn't working as well as it could! So far, she has met a lot of awesome teachers and she is really enjoying this.

That is so true, Sarah! I think having that support system is the best part about blogging. Although I have met little of my bloggy friends in person, they are my go to people for those hard days and for those celebrations {even the small ones!}

Currently, Sarah teaches 2 year olds at a preschool in Sarasota. In the past, she has taught 3 year olds and VPK 4s-5s. She really enjoy the twos because she gets to see them hit valuable developmental milestones such as learning to speak in 3-4 word sentences.

What a rewarding job seeing those little ones grow and develop! See how fitting her blog name is?!?!

Sarah really enjoys cooking. She loves finding new recipes, making up her own concoctions and recreating some of the crazy ideas her boyfriend comes up with like "Crazy Nachos"-Tortilla chips, ground beef, salsa, guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and mozzarella sticks..hey football season!

UHM, YUM! Sounds terrific to me! I love cooking too...just wish I could find more time to do so!

Sarah would really appreciate you taking the time to go check out her blog and connect with her. She can't wait to share more classroom experiences, as well as recipes, travels, and her daily crazy life!
SO! If you go to my dear friend Sarah's blog (just click her button...isn't it cute {I designed her whole blog!}) and follow her via BlogLovin' (link is right on her pennant banner), leave a comment on this post with your email. I will confirm that you follow Sarah and will email you this cute rainbow set of owl clip art as a thank you from Sarah and I! Everyone has been the new blogger, and want nothing more to have a bigger network to share and collaborate with, so go follow! We both thank you!
This clip art set will NOT be available anywhere else....exclusive for Featured Friday participants! 

Happy Friday! Remember...
Follow Featured Friday Teacher+Leave email on this post=free owl clip art!


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Classroom Reveal 2014

I've been in school for 2 weeks now, and I'm just now getting around to do a reveal! Oopsies! I still have a couple things I need to do, but that will come in time...I hope....

Here is my reveal from 2013!
Enjoy the picture overload!! :)
This was right before Open House!
I had website permission forms, contact info, team homework, conference sign up, and my business cards on my small group table. On students' desks were my parent flip books.

The following pictures are from today...after school mind you! My room was still fairly clean from my organizing and cleaning over the weekend.

 My back wall has a huge white board. This year I'm using them as focus walls, but they still need some work.


I also have a Copy, Grade, Enter Grades, and Pass Back Sterilite on the other side of my desk.
I love my revolving bookstand. It was part of my 1st Donor's Choose project!


Love my DIY dry-erase schedule and lunch menu! Perfect!

Liking this a lot! Very clear to my administrators, and also my kiddos!
The majority of those cabinets are filled with junk from previous teachers that I haven't gone through yet. Ugh. I hate cleaning up others' messes! This is my 2nd year in this room.
I had an idea for a new look for my Homework Club board, so I will be changing that out this week/weekend, hopefully!

I have community supplies in crates in front of each of my pods. I used my crates from my crate seats, as I'm trying to get 6 Hokki chairs for my small group table through my 3rd Donor's Choose Project! I'd love if you'd donate!!! :) If you donate, please email me at Thrivingin3rd@gmail.com and I will give you your choice of products in the amount you donated! Donate $10...receive your choice of $10 worth of products from my TpT store! I only need $240 more!
I hope you're off to a great start!

Check back Friday for the 2nd Featured Friday post and snag some super cute owl clipart! :)
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