Monday, October 13, 2014

Visual Plans 10/13–10/17

peek at my week 2014I

I’m a little late to the visual plans party this week.  We had the day off of school today…..which means that I ran errands and did hours of school work in an effort to get caught up!  We also have an incredibly short crazy week this week.  We have two full days on Tuesday and Wednesday and then 10:00 dismissal on Thursday and Friday for Parent Teacher Conferences.  Oh, and it’s spirit week with dress up days and the high school is celebrating their homecoming and is bringing their parade by our school on Friday morning!  CRAZY!!! 

Remember to download the plans to have clickable links to the products I will be using this week!


This week is going to be all about review in ELA.  We will be using my new ELA Scoots to review spelling rules and compound sentences.


We started learning about determining the main idea and key details in a passage last week.  I feel like they need more targeted practice with this skill before we go back dive back into longer text.  So, this week we will be using one of my favorite resources. 
main idea passages

I haven’t quite decided how I am going to be using them yet.  I’m learning towards copying them on colored paper, making a recording sheet and using them as a scoot activity.  My class is in LOVE with scoot! 


I will only have time to teach math this week on Tuesday and Wednesday and can’t afford to fall behind on the pacing guide!  I found this amazing Subtraction resource from Jessica at The Teacher Talk.  Click on the link in my plans to go to her TpT store and check it out.  I just know it is going to be worth every penny!


Unfortunately, science and social studies will be taking a hit this week as well with the short days.  We will not have time for both so we will spend our content area time learning about the layers of the Earth and then eating them!!! This activity is a HUGE hit every year.  Who doesn’t love combining learning with yummy snacks!

Earth's Layers

Click on the pic to check it out in my store.  It’s one of my Top 10 best sellers and it’s on sale this week!

I’m off to do some more conference prep!  Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, October 5, 2014


We just finished up our Social Studies unit on maps and landforms.  This fun project was created out of my desire to have my kiddos show me what they know in a fun and hands on way.  Our kiddos are tested. to. death….especially in third grade, and as often as I can I like to do things the “fun,” way.  So, Create-A-Country was born. 

Picture for Blog

The project required my students to use everything they had learned about the parts of a map and what they knew about landforms.  They got to be creative, which they love, and use salt dough!  It was definitely a hit! 

The letter went home on a Friday and I also sent a text reminder to parents through the Remind app (if you don’t use Remind, you should….it’s amazing!).  The salt dough came in on Monday, most of it in great condition!  There were a few bags of something that looked more like goop than dough, but a little more flour and some kneading took care of that.  I modified the directions for making the dough and clarified that it should come to school looking like dough and you should be able to form it into a ball! 

 We decided that it would be much easier for the kids to bring the dough already made than to try and make enough for a class of 31 (yes, 31) kids.  Not one parent seemed to mind.  Most kiddos said it took them about 5 minutes to make, and it’s only 3 cheap ingredients! 
On Monday we started off by discussing the project requirements, going over the checklist and brainstorming our ideas for our imaginary countries! 

Tuesday, we began making our 3D salt dough maps!  I taped a piece of wax paper to cover about 3/4 of a piece of long tagboard.  The part of the paper not covered by wax paper is where they would write their map title, map key, and compass rose.

photo 1

We let the dough dry overnight and got to work painting and labeling our maps with our symbols on Wednesday.

photo 2

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photo 5

They were so proud of how their maps were coming out that they asked if I would call and invite our principal down to see them.  He came down to our room and took a tour of our countries.  My favorite moment was when he asked one of my cuties why they were doing this project.  The student replied, “Well, you see, Mrs. Wood likes to do things the fun way if she can instead of giving us a test.  So, we are showing her what we learned about maps and londforms by making these salt dough maps.”  Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Thursday we finished any labeling or drawing that we needed to and then wrote an encyclopedia entry about our imaginary country.  They had so much fun getting creative about facts about their country and what their country is famous for.

Finally, on Friday it was time for a gallery walk to learn more about our classmate’s countries and then maps went home at the end of the day. 
It was at times a bit messy, but they did an amazing job cleaning up.  But, it was totally worth it all to see how excited they were about showing off their learning in a fun and hands on way!
If you would like to check out the Create-A-Country Salt Dough Map project it is now uploaded to TpT and on sale for 20% off through tomorrow!

Don’t forget to take advantage of my Sunday Funday Buy 2 Get One FREE sale!  Buy 2 products from my store and get a free product (of equal or lesser value)!  Just email me at with your TpT username, the products you purchased today and which item you would like free!