Five for Friday... on a Friday FINALLY!!

I know what you might be thinking... "Are my eyes deceiving me? Am I really seeing Kelli post her 5 on Friday, on a FRIDAY?!" It is true. I am here with my 5 for Friday, actually on Friday. Much thanks to Doodle Bugs for hosting!

1) Partner Sticks
We had to begin a project for our bully prevention program. I had partner cards, where students have to match their card to a similar one, but I needed larger groups. I also thought about all the times lately when I needed partnerships or groups and just resorted to the same grouping tactics (find someone who's wearing blue) or even just let them pick. I don't really like doing that, as I know it can create anxiety. So as I drove to work this morning, I brainstormed these puppies and quickly whipped them up before the kiddos came in this morning.

I made a class set of sticks, but I added 4 different partner choices:

I had 4 different colored dots if I wanted 4 groups and added 6 different animals for if I wanted 6 groups. I then also added numbers, for partners, and shapes for triads. The kids never know what I'm going to pick, but I systematically decide what type of grouping I want, tell them which "thing"to go by, and then they find their matches.

I added this little cheat sheet to the can to remind me.

2) The Color of Us
We read this great book for our Windows and Mirrors project at school, called The Color of Us. We then created our own self portraits and came up with describing words to reflect on each of our unique skin colors. Some students chose words that the book used (butterscotch, chocolate, peach), but some also got creative and came up with some interesting, yet totally appropriate words (sand, brown sugar, chocolate milk)

They absolutely LOVED it once I put them up and couldn't stop looking at it- trying to find themselves, their word, their friend, anything! I even added my example to the mix... can you find me?!

3) We continued with our opinion writing. I'm going to be real for a moment and say- it's not going as good as I'd hope. We got new units of study this year for our Writer's Workshop, and I just don't think this unit is really well suited for my students. I enjoyed last year's opinion writing piece MUCH more, but I am trying to get through it and get this thing published so we can move on.

We still use our thesis statement poster to promote opinion words.

I've looked at their writing and formed some strategy groups to try to revise some of their work. We had 5 strategy groups- one focused on cleaning up their reasons, one on writing examples that enhance our reason, one that focused on varying reasons, one on clarity, and lastly one on word choice and craft. I'm grateful for our EL teacher who co-teaches with me during this time, but I think we are in a little over our heads. Again, I'm ready for the next unit.

4) Multiplication Practice

We have finished introducing all of our fact families for 0-10. We have been building this chart of strategies to use throughout the week, but I'm also heavily pushing them to practice their facts with their flashcards. I wanted them to understand the concept of multiplication, but I also want to stress the importance of automaticity.

5) Gophers Win!!!

My Golden Gophers handed (11) Ohio State it's third loss in a row!! College basketball is my absolutely favorite sport. I even went to the Big Ten Tourney the year the Gophers made it unexpectedly to the championship. It is honestly one of my favorite memories of college. I unfortunately was SO tired, I feel asleep shortly after tip-off. Oops!

What have you been up to this week?? Link up and share!

Thanks for visiting!



  1. It is interesting that you use the phrase thesis statement. I'm in Texas and they make us say central idea, but the older grades use thesis statement. Your partner sticks are cute. I have some similar puzzle pieces.

    Literacy Spark

    1. I like the idea of central idea! Our curriculum uses thesis statement so we gave it a try... it really is a little tricky to make it accessible for 3rd graders, especially when 9 of them are ELs. But, that language is carried throughout the upper grades so I guess we'll stick with it until they tell us otherwise :) It's always interesting to me to hear how other teachers in other states present the same material! :) Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I love when an idea just pops instantly into your head and it works :)

  3. It looks like you are a week ahead of my on my lesson plans :-)
    I will be starting opinion writing next week and we just started our intro to multiplication unit today. I'm really excited for opinion writing; it is my favorite to teach!

    Your ideas are great, and I can't wait to read more!

    Seconds at the Beach

    1. That's so funny, Elizabeth! I loved our opinion writing last year... this year, not so much :( Thanks so much for your kind comment. Glad to have found your blog as well!!

  4. I am also happy the Gophers won :) I guess we will have to put our blogging friendship on hold when we play each other tomorrow! I am thinking of doing my March Madness giveaway again this year. It was so much fun!

    1. Woot Woot!! Im excited for tomorrow's game (mainly because I should be able to stay awake to watch it). It ain't going to be easy for the gophs to take on the hawkeyes at home, but I'm confident ;). I'll have to check out your March Madness giveaway from last year- anything with college basketball is right up my alley!!

  5. I love your partner sticks! I use partner cards, but I like the idea of shaking it up!

    Searching for Teacher Balance

    1. I have partner cards too, Marcy! The kids love them, but I like these sticks for when I need different size groups. Thanks for stoppin' by :)

  6. I LOVE the self-portraits your students made! They are adorable! The partner sticks are a great idea, too!

    Crafting Connections

  7. We did a similar project in kindergarten for MLK. Yours are very cute!

  8. Oh man-I love how versatile your partner sticks are! Thanks for sharing! I'm your newest follower!

    :) Ash
    The Rolly Chair


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