My name is Kari Shutts, I am a teacher, mother and wife. I have been teaching for 10 years, have been married for 8, and a mother for almost 6. I have three beautiful children, two boys and a baby girl and well as my two dogs. I am a teacher in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. I enjoy the adventures that come from all parts of my life and look forward to sharing them with you.
Yesterday I was able to do a fun activity in my math class. I wanted students to relate what we had learned about arrays and multiplication to division. So we made some awesome mosaic patterns. Students cut stripes of paper to equal pieces and then arranged their total pieces to create a mosaic. They used the same number of pieces in each row creating a mosaic array. Since they had their total number of pieces already, students were able to practice division. The entire project went really well. I then had students write the fact family for their drawing.
We have started our history and government unit in third grade. I am excited, it is something different for our students. I teach at a school that tries to tie instruction into environment sciences, so a history unit is always fun. This year we are creating lapbooks to go along with the unit. I have been having so much fun thinking of creative ways of displaying what we are learning. One of our first activities is learning about the Symbols of the USA and how the representing the ideals that our country was founded on. We began by doing a little research on the symbols and creating them out of playdoh. Students did this as rotations.
Students then used their research and created sticks. I copied their information form for each onto cardstock. These became sticks, with pictures of the symbol and placed in a pocket in their lapbooks.
This was really fun. My students really enjoyed the rotations and making the stakes. You can find that activity along with using the symbols to teach main idea at my TPT store.
For years I have been trying to create a classroom economy and reward system. As I have continued my teaching I have struggled with the concept of intrinsic motivation and rewards and punishments. We live in a society we are rewarded for doing well. I love teaching, but if I didn't get a salary I wouldn't be intrinsically motivated to come to work. I think my own children would win out.
In my classroom I have modified my classroom economy to reflect students' classroom jobs, and my thoughts on intrinsic motivation.
At the beginning of each quarter, students get to view a PowerPoint that explains the jobs, and the qualities that a person with that job would need. Students then fill out an application for their job choice. Also choosing their second and third choices. I then choose each student or the pair of students for that job. They hold that job for the entire quarter.
As a class we determine what a pay would be determining on how much work the job has to complete. Two students have the job of banker. At the end of each day they go around and pay students for completing their classroom job. Each student has a credit and debit log sheet that they attach to their name tags. I got the credit and debit log off of Beth Newingham's blog posts for scholastic.
Each week students total up their earnings and get pay check for that they have earned. During our lunch time (my students eat in our room), students can turn in their pay check and for our classroom cash. Students can turn in their cash for a coupon for an item that is for sale in our classroom store. I store the coupons in a coupon holder
There is a sign below our jobs poster that lists what is available in the classroom store.
Here is a copy of the coupons. The coupons can be found on my TPT store.
Each year when it is time to begin our space unit I get so excited and can't wait to begin. This year was no different. I went out in search for new and improved ideas for teaching about the order of the planets. This year I found this amazing book for students to create in ordering the planets and recording some of the important facts we discussed in class. Students also were able to create their own mnemonic devices for the planets. Both activities were really fun.
The students really enjoyed making their own mnemonic devices. They are really allowed to be creative in their devices.
The booklet is an amazing long foldable that I found over at Lesons Plan SOS. My students loved creating the booklet and really learned the facts about the different planets.
Here are some pictures of my students booklets.
I have been pretty bad at keeping up to date on my blog so I am making it a resolution to write more posts. I found this Linky party at Swimming into Second and wanted to add to the conversation. This has been a real passion of mine. My first 5 years of teaching I taught at an inner city school without a library and many of my students didn't have a large selection of books at home as well. I made it my mission to get all of my students into reading and finding books that they would all love.
The first series that I found that the boys really loved was the Geronimo Stilton Series of books. This year as in many other years my boys have read all of the books I have and are looking for new one.
I also try to keep nonfiction text around that deals with what we are talking about in class. The boys seem to gravitate to the nonfiction text.
I am always looking for new books for the boys in my class. This is a great Linky Party! Sorry have to cut this short, my two year old is on my lap looking for attention.
On Pinterest recently I saw a neat activite that a teacher did in teaching author's purpose. She had her students cut out the pictures from a Scholastic Book Club order form and determine if they were to entertain the reader or inform. I wanted to do the same thing in my classroom with my students who were studying author's purpose.
I wanted to create a nice display for their work. Since it is winter time, I was able to find a mitten pattern. I labeled each mitten entertain or inform.
Then students went through the book order and cut out and glued the pictures of the books to the correct mitten. I then hole punched the mittens and strung them together. I hung them over a line in my classroom as a display. The students really enjoyed doing this activity.
It is crazy for me to think that Thanksgiving has passed already and December is right around the corner. With children of my own this time of year is so exciting. This year has brought as many blessing as well as some tradegy. I have been so busy that I can only pay attention to the good things in life as this is also the end of my trimester at school. Leaving more planning and report cards on my plate.
I wanted to share with everyone my first winter center creation. This is a pronoun center that reviews what pronoun should be used in place of nouns.
You can get it at my Tpt store.
I will also be participating in the TpT Cyber Monday sale!