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I Heart Grade 3 by I Heart Grade 3 - 1M ago

I find the month of May to be THE CRAZIEST teaching month of the year. Ministry/ State exams are being prepared for and written while curriculum is still be taught in the hopes that everything will be completed by the end of the school year. The weather outside is a combination of tropical heat and hurricane weather – so it is quite likely that there could be a few days when students have to stay inside because of the torrential rains. It’s May and I am tired, lacking motivation, and almost in tears when I see the amount of correcting and evaluating I have to complete in a very short period of time. And based on what I have been reading over different social media platforms, I know I am not the only teacher out there feeling this way. So, in order to help myself and help others, I have done some reading and made a short list of the 5 strategies I am now implementing in my own life to help get myself to the end of the school year without losing my mind!

1. Chunk Your Work

One of the best things I have done is learned how to “chunk” my work up. This school year, I am responsible for three math groups. When I start to see corrections or assessments from all three classes start to pile up, I begin to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the work to be done. In order to change my attitude towards the pile up, I take each assignment from each class and place them into small, neat piles. Then, I implement Tip #2 below to help me get my work done!

2. Set a Time Limit…

When it comes time to tidy up my house or doing household chores, I always set a 1 hour timer to challenge myself to get my to-do list done before the timer goes off. It has been so effective that I have taken that trick and implemented it into my daily work routine at school. Whenever I have prepping, correcting, or evaluating to do, I give myself a realistic time limit (20 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc.) to complete a pile of work that needs to be done. If I complete my work within the time frame I have given myself, I use the extra time to attack another pile. This little trick has saved me from procrastinating and leaving tons of work to be done at the last minute – and gives me a chance to breathe during the hectic end of year/ testing season.

3. Just Let It Go…

If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the pressures and work that go into the end of the school year, take a day or two and leave all unfinished business at school. DO NOT TAKE IT HOME WITH YOU. There is nothing more depressing than leaving school with a bag full of correcting, hauling it into your home, and then not touching it the entire evening. You will just spend your “me” trying to motivate yourself to crack it open and get some done. And when you don’t, your teacher guilt will creep in. Just leave it at work and start “chunking” it the next day. Your home is your sanctuary – and your mind and heart needs to be replenished with family, friends, a good book, wine, Netflix, etc…

4. Take a Brain Break

We all know the benefits that Brain Breaks have for our students – so why are we not doing them for ourselves as well? I am not saying that you need to turn on a GoNoodle video (although they are fabulous!!!) but there are many ways that you can tune out for a few moments to give your brain a break. Get up and stretch, grab a coffee, take a deep breath, listen to your favourite song… do whatever you need to do to clear your brain and reset your motivation level. Then get back to your work “chunk”.

5. Look for the Positives in all the May Chaos

For me, the month of May signifies the beginning of the end. The ending of yet another academic year. The end of my journey with a specific group of children. In all the testing, evaluating, and report card writing chaos, I tend to look for the “wins” each and every time I feel myself starting to get overwhelmed. When I am marking the same math test for the 31st time, I focus on the growth my students have made over the course of our year together. When I am repeating instructions and procedures that should have been mastered in October, I take a deep breath and remember that these students will be asking those same questions to another teacher soon enough. When I am trying to calm my students down during the field trip to the science museum, I catch myself revelling in their sheer excitement at being some place new for the first time. Focusing on the positives of these situations permits me to see the pure joy that the end of the school year really does hold for us!

For more tips, please check out this related blog post!

I hope these ideas help you as much as they have helped me! Do you have a strategy that you would like to share with the world? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great day!

The post Feeling Overwhelmed? appeared first on I Heart Grade 3.

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It’s that time of year again!

Time to celebrate all things Irish!

Traditionally, St. Patrick’s Day is known as a religious holiday marking the death of St. Patrick, a prominent bishop and missionary in Ireland near the end of the Roman empire. I am in now way a high school history teacher so I use March 17 as a way to bring all things green and all things Irish into my classroom. We use St. Patrick’s Day to focus on our creativity and imaginations to read, write, and create awesome learning experiences in our classroom.

Here are three resources that I use in my classroom throughout the week leading up to and including St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day Literacy Unit – Leprechaun Wanted

This unit transforms your students into leprechauns for the day! Students receive a welcome letter from Cheery McTavish, adopt their Leprechaun name, and choose a job that best suits their leprechaun personality. All this, plus tons of St. Patrick’s Day activities to keep your students interested and engaged in their learning.

Click on the images below to see parts of the unit closer up.

St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Wheel

This differentiated activity is a great art project or fast finisher activity. Students can use the already made template or they can write their own ideas on a blank wheel.

Click on the image below to see parts of the unit close up.

St. Patrick’s Day Cootie Catcher

Everyone loves a freebie and everyone loves cootie-catchers! You and your students will be ROTFL with these cute little Irish themed jokes.

These three resources will make your planning, preparation, and delivery of St. Patrick’s Day materials a breeze! You can find them all in my TpT store by clicking the link below.

St. Patrick’s Day Activities by I Heart Grade 3

Have a great day and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

The post St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Your Students appeared first on I Heart Grade 3.

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Many months ago, I came across a post on social media where a teacher had placed a plastic bag outside of his/ her classroom. The goal of the bag was to have the children throw away their bad thoughts before entering. The idea resonated with me and had always been in the back of my mind. I just needed the perfect time to implement it in my daily classroom routine.

Then, just a few weeks ago, a co-worker came to me with one of our students. She explained to me that our little cutie was having a hard time concentrating on school work because his brain was riddled with anxiety and worries about an issue happening at home. My co-worker asked me if I had any strategies to help our student let go of his negative thoughts so that he could just relax and focus on his studies. It was at that moment that I remembered the social media post and introduced my little darling to the Bag Vibe Bag.

I explained to my student that I would hang a garbage bag outside of my classroom. When he arrived the next day, he would be able to put all his negative thoughts and energy from the night before into his hands, stuff them into a ball, and throw them into the Bad Vibe Bag before entering our classroom. That way, he would enter on a more positive note and leave his worries outside. I explained to him that our classroom is a place where he should be able to relax, have fun, push himself to be the best he can be, and to leave his worries behind while in my room. It was important for him to know that I wanted him to feel loved, happy, and accepted when he is with me – with his attention on all the great stuff we are learning. I wanted him to realize that having a positive mindset opened him up to being more focused and calm in our classroom.

Once the bag went up, my class and I had a circle time to discuss the bag and its purpose. I explained that whenever we feel overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated, angry, or any other negative emotion, we can grab those ugly feelings in our hands, squish them up, and throw them into the Bad Vibe Bag. These thoughts could come from something happening at home, something that happened on the playground, or from a fight with a friend during lunch hour. I am an open-door policy teacher (I teach with my door open all the time) so I told the children that they can throw those negative emotions from their desks when they need to. I also explained that the Bad Vibe Bag has a “magnetic force” so no matter where they throwing their negativity from, it all winds up at the bottom of the bag. As well, I assured my students that each and every night the Bad Vibe Bag would be emptied in the hopes that the negative thoughts and feelings go away, too.

It’s amazing to see my students using this technique to help with their self-regulation. Since implementing this idea, I see students who would have given up on tasks, complain, or whine, take a moment to pull the thoughts out of their heads, throw their negativity into the bag, and continue on with their work. Children who would normally yell at classmates in frustration are now gaining muscle on their throwing arms and using their voices less! Whenever I see a child’s demeanour change for the negative, I encourage him or her to use the bag. Having the students make a conscious effort to change their mindset has made a world of difference in my class.

I use the technique, too! For example, when I have to ask my class to quiet down for the 100th time, I will take a deep breathe, close my eyes, gather my thoughts into my hands, and throw the frustration into the Bad Vibe Bag. Not only does it help me to calm down, but it lets my students know that I am struggling with a negative moment of my own. After all, teachers are human, too! Plus, using those moments of my own to model the actions I want to see in my students is a great lesson in itself.

If you would like to try this technique for yourself, please feel free to download a copy of the Bad Vibe Bag for FREE from my TpT store! Click on the photo below to get your own copy today!

Please feel free to share this post and the above link to other educators who would find this helpful!

Have a great day!

The post Why You Should Have a Bad Vibe Bag Outside Your Classroom appeared first on I Heart Grade 3.

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Oh my! It seems like I have forgotten to upload my song of the month choices for December and January! Yes, December is a crazy busy month as teachers try to get as much content covered as possible when fatigue sets in and students are dreaming of sleeping in, opening Christmas presents, and spending time anywhere except in their classrooms!

So without further ado, here was my pick for the month of December…

Main Title - Elf (Original Motion Picture Score) - YouTube

I live in a community in which not everyone celebrates Christmas. That is why is was so important for me to choose something that would not make some of my students uncomfortable by playing a traditional Christmas song each day. Plus, I am a total Elf fan! I love the movie, I love the music, and how can anyone NOT smile and hum along to this musical masterpiece?

For the month of January, I chose a song that has a little bit of a punch, is super catchy, and has a positive message about not taking shortcuts or the easy way out – a perfect lesson for our students who need to remember that perseverance is the key to their academic success.

Imagine Dragons - On Top Of The World (Official Music Video) - YouTube

I’ve tried to cut these corners
Try to take the easy way out
I kept on falling short of something

I could of gave up then but
Then again I couldn’t have ’cause
I’ve traveled all this way for something

‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world

And there you have it! Happy listening and I promise to make sure to bring February’s song of the month to you on time!

Have a great day!

The post Song of the Month for December & January appeared first on I Heart Grade 3.

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Raising an academically successful child DOES NOT MEAN prepping a child in infancy to win a Nobel prize later on in life. It means that the child participates positively and actively while at school and continues to show improvement to the best of his or her ability.

Having students reach their academic potential is not reliant on the education system alone. There are many qualities teachers see in their students that come from their home and family environments. Listed below are the 10 things, according to my 20 years of teaching experience and 24 years of parenting experience, that parents do to ensure the academic success of their children.

1. Academically Successful Kids Have Parents Who Read to Them or With Them on a Daily Basis…

There are many reasons why pediatricians, educators, and language specialists insist on parents establishing a daily reading routine – right from birth. Not only does it foster a sense of closeness between parent and child, it also opens the door to language acquisition, imagination, creativity, and numerous other skills that are essential both inside and outside of the classroom.

2.  Academically Successful Kids Have Parents Who Teach Them That Competition is Healthy…

Competing against others is a fact of life. While childrens’ sporting events and many classrooms subscribe to the “every child gets a trophy” mentality, we all know that the outside world doesn’t function that way. When it comes to entry into private prep schools, elite competitive sports, scholarships, opportunities for employment and promotions, not every person gets what he/ she wants all the time. Parents who teach their children to strive to be their best while showing them how to be good winners (and even better losers) makes for students who take their successes and struggles inside the classroom in stride. They see competition as a motivation to push themselves to be better – not as a reason to give up and pout.

3.  Academically Successful Kids Have Parents Who Show Them That the World Does Not Revolve Around Them… 

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when our children need to feel like they are the centre of the universe. That being said, children also need to be taught that the world does not revolve around them 24/7. The attention and love a parent can gives to one child at home does not translate the same way when a child enters a classroom of 25 other people. Children who are academically successful understand the importance of patience, empathy, tolerance, and humility. They are able to pick up on group social cues that allow them to be successful learners and productive members of a classroom community – a community where the needs of the group are far more diverse, challenging and numerous.

4.  Academically Successful Kids Have Parents Who Teach Them That Perfection Does Not Exist…

Children are adults in training… just like students are graduates in training. Students who have a realistic grasp of so-called “perfectionism” have been taught that every action they take, regardless of how difficult it might be, takes them one step closer to being smarter thinkers in the future. These students persevere when the going gets tough. They apply different strategies to help them understand a difficult concept. They show pride in their work because off the effort it took to complete it and they triumph in their individual progression.

5.  Academically Successful Kids Have Parents Who Teach Them How to Be Responsible…

Students who are taught how to be responsible at home, whether it is helping out with chores, walking the family dog, or learning how to save money, automatically transition that sense of responsibility into their life at school. Teachers see this daily when students keep track of their school supplies, when they admit they have done something wrong, and when they study for exams and evaluations. Responsible students understand the importance of their education and take all the necessary steps to ensure they do well.

6.  Academically Successful Kids Have Parents That Show Them How to Deal With Their Emotions…

School can be a very overwhelming place for many students and academically successful students are able to implement coping strategies that have been modelled and reinforced by their parents. From dealing with frustration, boredom, fatigue, and a plethora of feelings, students whose parents continually acknowledge the emotions of their children and provide them with coping skills have a greater academic advantage. They are able to deal with stressful situations in order to efficiently and positively continue on their academic journey.

7.  Academically Successful Kids Have Parents That Emphasize the Importance of Education…

The most important influence in a child’s life is his/ her parents. Therefore, the attitude that parents have about education, the child’s school, and his/ her teachers is the utmost important. When a child knows that his/her parents value education and have reasonable expectations in respect to academic performance, the child works as hard as possible in order to meet, and in many cases, surpass those expectations. Education is seen not only as “work” or “school” but as a journey to personal growth and personal empowerment.

8.  Academically Successful Kids Have Parents that Don’t Let Them Give Up…

Getting an education is not easy. There is a lot of practice, repetition, and memorization that goes along with learning how to read, write, and do arithmetic (among all the other things students today need to learn). There are also a lot of expectations that are put upon the shoulders of children in order to successfully meet curriculum expectations. Academically successful kids have parents who don’t allow them to quit and who hold their children accountable for their success. They are the parents that check the agendas each night to make sure that assignments are completed on time. They are the parents that make sure to review arithmetic facts until they are memorized. They are the parents who calmly deal with meltdowns, excuses, and procrastination when it comes time to do homework. They are the ones that don’t let a child just give up and quit in order to avoid a tantrum. They are the parents who put in the work now so that their children will be successful in the future.

9.  Academically Successful Kids Have Parents Who Foster Independence…

Kids need their parents to structure their environment. Without it, children could possibly be dealing with situations that they are not developmentally ready for. That being said, there is a big difference between parents who structure their children and those who “helicopter”. Academically successful students have been exposed to situations where they had to rely on their own trials and errors to solve problems. They were given opportunities to explore reasonable risks without the fear of being chastised or scolded by their parents. Children with helicopter parents usually do not get to experience these very important life skills until they arrive in school. Unfortunately, these students are afraid to try new and difficult tasks on their own because they have always had someone “swoop” in and do the problem solving for them. Their resilience is underdeveloped and they become dependent on the approval of their teachers for every aspect of their learning.

10.  Academically Successful Kids Have Parents That Have Realistic Expectations…

Academically successful students have parents who are realistic about the abilities of their children. As I noted in the beginning of this post, I consider a child to be successful at school when they meet the expectations laid out for him/ her according to program he/she follows. This also includes students who follow an IEP. When a parent fully understands the true academic potential of their child, the child flourishes. When expectations for education are clear and attainable, wonderful progress can be made.

The real education of children starts at home. Parents are the single most important influences in the lives of their children.

Is there something that you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great day!

The post Academically Successful Kids Have Parents Who Do These 10 Things appeared first on I Heart Grade 3.

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I Heart Grade 3 by I Heart Grade 3 - 7M ago

Surely you must have hear the recent news about 3 children killed while crossing a road to get to their school bus.  If not, click on the clip below.

Social media has been exploding over this incident and unfortunately it took this tragic and preventable accident to bring a huge problem into our daily consciousness.  As a teacher and a parents, I am in a unique position to see the incredible amount of stress and pressure that bus drivers go through at least twice a day in order to ensure our children get to school and back safely.  For 180 days of the year, I am witness to the good, the bad, and the super ugly when it comes to the school transportation system.  And let me tell you, a lot of it is not pretty.

I’ve decided to write this post from 2 different perspectives when it comes to the bus driver vocation.  The first is from a parent perspective and the second is from a teacher perspective.  What I have to say might shock and anger some, but someone has to start speaking up for the many men and women who BRAVELY get behind the wheel of a 23 000 pound machine and drive a load of children around… and this feels like a great place to start!

Bus Drivers from a Parent Perspective

The moment you put your children on the bus, whether it is for the very first time or their very last, you are handing your most precious cargo off to someone who might not know very well.  From the moment the door opens and your child enters the bus, you have just placed your trust into the one man or woman to make sure your greatest treasure arrives safely at his/ her destination.  You know the drivers all well trained, the busses are well maintained and inspected regularly, and you have prepared your child with information and expectations of how they should behave while a passenger.  But have you thought about the other drivers on the road?  Drivers who ignore flashing bus lights?  Drivers who blatantly fail to respect the extended stop sign meant to protect our children?   Drivers who pass school busses on solid no passing lines?

Check out this ARTICLE from my home province of Prince Edward Island where something is finally happening to drivers who disrespect the bus drivers and children.

Have we reached the point in our existence where saving a few seconds of time on our commute home is worth the risk of killing or harming a bus load of people?  Must busses now be equipped with dash cams to hold law breakers accountable?  Have we gotten to the point where sending our children to school on a school bus poses a significant threat to their well being?  Is it going to take another tragedy for people to finally get it?

If you are a driver and you come across a school bus, PLEASE SLOW DOWN!  When you see a bus with flashing lights, PLEASE COME TO A FULL AND COMPLETE STOP!  Stay off your cell phones while driving.  Wait for the flashing lights to be turned off and the extended arm to be in its retracted position before placing your foot on the gas pedal.  Wait for a safe and appropriate time to pass a slow moving bus.  And for goodness sake, please think about the children riding the bus.  They might not be yours, but they do belong to someone who would grieve terribly if you were to hurt them in any way.  Don’t be the reason those children don’t go home tonight.

Bus Drivers from a Teachers Perspective

People think that teachers have a tough job, and believe me they do.  I am a teacher and I know it is a tough job.  However, when people say that to me,  my response is always, “It’s not as hard as being a bus driver.”  That I truly believe.

Imagine that you are a bus driver.  You have 24 seats behind you and 48 children are occupying those seats.  Most of those 48 children are talking; many yelling or shouting.  Some  children have special needs.  None of the children are buckled in.  Many are turning around, walking up and down the bus aisle, some are bullying, some are eating, and some are throwing things around.  Several children are crying and one needs to go to the bathroom badly.  Someone is vandalizing a seat.

While all 48 passengers are off doing their own thing, you are buckled into your seat with 1 mirror above your head to check on the behaviour of the people behind you.  At the same time, you are checking your side mirrors for traffic behind you and your front windshield for traffic in front of you.  Simultaneously, you are following traffic rules such as speed limits, stop signs, railways crossing, and traffic lights.  With all of that and a whole lot more, you are now having to deal with a plethora of behaviour issues thrust upon you by your passengers.  And hopefully this is all happening on a day where the weather is decent… can you imagine doing all that when it is raining heavily or snowing?

On top of all that, when you try to exert some discipline over your unruly passengers, you are met with insults, swear words, and accusations that you are being mean or unfair to Mr. or Miss So & So.  Believe me, it happens.  EVERYDAY.

I don’t know about you, but there are days when just having my two children in the backseat of my car bickering amongst themselves is enough to make me lose my mind.  48?  Forget about it.  I am not even going to let my mind go there.  And the abuse they take from their passengers?  I can discipline my children rather easily by refusing to take them where they want or need to go.  Heck, I don’t even mind kicking them out of the car and making them walk home if the distance is reasonable.  If a bus driver did that?  Imagine the social media uproar that will cause… not to mention the loss of his or her job.

Anytime a child gets safely off the school bus, I think of it as a victory.  Considering all the obstacles and distractions bus drivers have to juggle each and every day, I question WHY anyone would want to take on a job with that kind of responsibility .  It takes a special kind of person to be a bus driver so the next time you see the bus coming around the corner, wave to your child’s driver.  Hand him or her a gift card to a coffee shop.  Show your appreciation by giving them a gift at Christmas or at the end of the school year, or simply show your appreciation by sending a thank you note with your child when he or she goes to the bus tomorrow morning.  It is TIME to give bus drivers the respect and recognition they deserve.

Have a great day!

The post Bus Drivers Deserve Respect appeared first on I Heart Grade 3.

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I Heart Grade 3 by I Heart Grade 3 - 8M ago

Can you believe that we have embarked on the 3rd month of school?  Where has the time gone?  Back to school is over, we all survived Halloween in our classrooms, and some of us are getting used to the daylight savings time that went into effect over the weekend.

A new month of school means a new Song of the Month!

I was lucky to be able to attend the Phil Collins concert that was held in Montreal last month – and anyone who knows me well knows that I love EVERYTHING Phil Collins has created.  I have followed his career since the early 80’s… both as a solo artist and as a member of Genesis.  So, it seems only fitting that November’s song of the month is a Phil Collins song.

Phil Collins - True Colors (Official Music Video) - YouTube

“And I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid 
To let them show your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow”

I am a big fan of the original version by Cyndi Lauper, but Phil’s voice and the melodic tempo of his version makes it a perfect tune to play for my students first thing in the morning.  And as an added bonus (and that really does depend on who you talk to!!!) my students get to hear me sing my heart out each and every morning!

If you would like to check out my other picks for Song of the Month, you can find them here:

Song of the Month Archive

Let me know what song you think would make a fantastic song of the month!  Share your ideas in the comments below!

Have a great day!

The post November’s Song of the Month appeared first on I Heart Grade 3.

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I Heart Grade 3 by I Heart Grade 3 - 9M ago

Last month, I introduced a new idea that I have been using in my classroom.  You can read all about it HERE.

With the month of October now upon us, I am very happy to introduce my new Song of the Month for my students!

How many of your students LOVE to read the Captain Underpants series?  A lot, right?  Imagine how happy they must have been when Dreamworks Studios released the official Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie movie!!!

While watching the movie, I was struck by a really catchy tune by Andy Grammer.  Once I started focussing on the lyrics of the song, I knew that it had to be included in my Song of the Month activity this year!

A Friend Like You (Lyrics) ~ "Captain Underpants The First Epic Movie Soundtrack" - YouTube

“Right from the start, couldn’t pull us apart, it just works
Nobody else ever gets me as well on this earth
Like rock and roll, Marshall’s and telly’s
Mac and cheese, PB’s and jellies
Some things are better together, and that you and me-e”

This is one of THE BEST songs I have heard about friendship ever!  If you have another that deserves to be on my Song of the Month list, please let me know by adding it to the comments below!

Have a great day!

The post October’s Song of the Month appeared first on I Heart Grade 3.

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I Heart Grade 3 by I Heart Grade 3 - 9M ago

I love listening to music. I love singing along to music.  I love the way that certain songs can make wonderful memories come flooding back into my mind.  Music, along with well crafted lyrics, is powerful!     At school, you can usually hear some sort of music coming from my iPhone at any given time of any given day.  I listen to music when I am correcting, when I am on my prep periods, when I am photocopying,  and I am sure if you were to see me driving to and from school, you would be witness to one of the greatest lip sync performances of your life!  Yes, some of my students have witnessed it… much to my embarrassment and their delight!

Over the summer, I was brainstorming ways in which I could add a little bit of music each and every morning into my classroom during homeroom time.  I didn’t want just any song or any kind of music that could be easily found on the local radio station or YouTube channel.  I wanted to expose my students to a variety of musicians and artists that come from various backgrounds and cultures, that had poetic lyrics to teach my students about their powers as individuals, as members of a family, and as an integral part of our class and school.

That is how the Song of the Month idea came to life.

After combing through my iTunes for weeks on end, I came up with a list of songs that I wanted to share with my students.  Knowing that most of my students are ESL, I decided to play 1 song per month during each and every homeroom period.  It is important for me that my students hear the song repetitively in order to learn the harmony of the song and also to learn the lyrics.  Since my students are 3rd graders, I am not expecting them to understand all the lyrics and the meaning behind.  However, it is my sincere hope that at some point in my students’ lives, as they grow and mature, they will hear these songs and remember that when these songs played, their teacher was there to say good morning, give them a smile, and was so very happy to see them.  As a double plus, I also hope that when they are old enough to understand the nuances of the lyrics, they will realize that the songs were chosen specifically because I wanted them to know just how special I think they are and just how much I care about them.

September’s song is by Jill Scott.  It is a cover of Bill Withers’ Lovely Day – a classic all in itself.  Jill has an amazingly powerful voice and she gives me all the feels!  And really, her video for it is OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Jill Scott - Lovely Day - YouTube

“When I wake up in the morning love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without wanting love
Bears heavy on my mind
Then I look at you and the world looks alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be
A lovely day”
What wonderful words for your students to hear the moment they step into your classroom!
Stay tuned for October’s song reveal!
Have a great day!

The post Song of the Month appeared first on I Heart Grade 3.

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The following pictures were taken this morning as I walked into my room for my 3rd day back.  My school board allows teachers 4 pedagogical days to prepare our classrooms and lessons for the new academic year.  This prep time is so precious and appreciated beyond belief!

If you are a follower of this blog, you are probably thinking that today’s pictures look pretty much like last year’s (you can find that post HERE) and you are totally right!  A few things have been changed but for the most part, the décor and layout of my class has remained the same.

Why?

Well, why not?

At the end of last year, I decided that I was going to keep the same décor from the year before.  During the pedagogical days at the end of the last academic year, I decided to start decorating for September.  While I took down all my anchor charts, word walls, math walls, and personal touches from the students, I kept the main components of my décor up and even set up my calendar for the students’ first day back!  Coming into my classroom this week, I had very little things that needed to be prepared as far as “setting” up my room.  Yes, I had to dust, arrange desks, put away photocopies and supplies, but that only took me about one day and a half thanks to the fact that MOST of the decorating was already done.  For the remainder of my ped. days before the students come back in, I have been able to meet with my new team members, be available to answer their questions, and most importantly, PLAN my lessons.  For the first time in a very long time, I feel that I am actually ahead of the game, I feel more relaxed, and I cannot wait for my new group of students to come in through the door!

Would I love to have a Pinterest-worthy room?  ABSO-FREAKIN’-LUTELY!  However, the extra time I have to plan my lessons properly reduces the stress I inevitably feel at this time of the year and the amount of MONEY I saved myself allowed me to pick up a few “extras” for my classroom that I have been wanting to have for awhile now (automatic doorbell, sound machines, bluetooth speaker and microphone, as well as some awesome teaching resources from TPT!).

Although it may be too late for you to “recycle” your décor for this year, give it some serious thought for next year!  You can thank me later!  lol!

Have a great day!

The post Why I Didn’t Redecorate My Classroom This Year appeared first on I Heart Grade 3.

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