Friday, August 8, 2014

Back to School Tidbit from Gina

Hi everyone! I'm Gina and I blog over at Third Grade Tidbits.
I am so excited to be part of this new collaborative blog with some of my favorite bloggers! Let me tell you a little about me... I taught for the past 7 years, 6 of them in third grade. My first year teaching was in middle school until I moved to Memphis and had been in third grade ever since. I recently relocated back to my hometown of Buffalo NY and because of crazy licensing issues I am not able to teach currently (long saga, no one wants to hear it, trust me...) So I am extremely grateful to these lovely ladies for including me in this blog even though I am not currently teaching. I am hoping that my experience in third for the past six years will benefit all of our readers!

One of my sanity savers for back to school time is to have books on the groups/tables for students to read when they have down time. It is inevitable that students will finish something early and since it is the first day, they won't know what to do. Having books for them to read, at all different levels and of different topics will keep them engaged and behaving. I know when I first started teaching, I thought, "first day of school, they won't dare talk... they will all be too nervous and too tired. And heck, I have lots of morning work on their desks to do, they will be plenty busy." I was wrong... by third grade, they are sure to have at least one person in the class they know and/or will talk to. And some of them will finish that huge packet of cute back to school morning work that you have on their desk. Having books for them to get into will help you and them.

And with that, I want to share one of my freebies with you. Last year, I REALLY wanted to do daily 5. However, it wasn't exactly allowed. (Another long, boring, make me mad story.) But I DID have my kids read to self almost daily. And my reading scores skyrocketed. And one of the first things I did with my kids was really teach them HOW to read to themselves. It seems like it is common knowledge in third grade, but it really isn't. And getting them to build their reading stamina is huge. So here is my read to self freebie that I created and used in my class last year (I have these for the other parts of daily 5 as well in my store.)

My kids absolutely loved this and LOVED trying to increase their reading minutes everyday. Folks, we started with 1 minute... yes you read that right ONE stinking minute... and quickly were passing 20 minutes. Time well spent in my opinion.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and joining in on our new adventure! For more ideas, stop by my blog at Third Grade Tidbits or you can follow me on facebook at Third Grade Tidbits. You can visit my TpT store here too!

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