Crazy Scheduled Week

I’m a day late but I’m here to share so many different things that happened this week. This is a week that was fast but long at the same time. The week itself went by fast but the days themselves seemed like they lasted forever.

Monday and Tuesday were normal days and went by relatively fast. Wednesday was insane! On Wednesdays, teachers have to be in PLC meetings for an hour, which ends up going 15 minutes past when school starts. For those 15 minutes, students go to the gym and have a mini assembly with our school counselors. It’s a great thing in theory but students leave this assembly hyped and it usually takes another 15 minutes to get them settled in for the day. That right there takes up 30 minutes of our Wednesdays. This past Wednesday I was stressed because I was supposed to be having my 1st observation of the year with my new principal. Luckily, my class was awesome and calmed down right away (I also may have put the fear of behaving in them ahead of time but that’s beside the point.) I had this great lesson for my observation but my principal warned me he might be a little late. I waited as long as I could for him but eventually had to start teaching without him there. He ended up walking in as soon as my lesson was over and my students were doing the activity that went with the lesson.

Later that day we had our make up race that we had to postpone from last Friday due to weather. We had our races scheduled for the afternoon. The morning was beautiful but, of course, it started to rain when we went out for our race. After the running, we have a grade level tug-a-war tournament. Each class goes against every other class until we have the tug-a-war champions. This and the race take about an hour and a half. Because of this, I obviously didn’t have our afternoon planned. Because of the weather, we were only outside for the race and had to cancel the tug-a-war. That meant that when we went back inside, we had an hour to kill that wasn’t planned. We had a snack and did some cleaning. I then read to them for the remainder of our day.

**Side note: If you are a teacher, or have kiddos around the age of 10, I have the PERFECT read aloud suggestion for you!! The book series is called The Land of Stories written by Chris Colfer. It’s about these 11 year old twins who fall into their grandma’s fairy tale book (called the land of stories) and have to find their way home. They go through this crazy journey while also meeting their favorite fairy tale characters. The best part is this is a 6 book series. The past few years I’ve read the first 3 books to my classes and they have LOVED it. They get so hooked they want to read the second half of the series to themselves. Seriously, go look it up! It’s also super funny and has a lot of adult humor hidden inside so it makes it entertaining to the adult reader as well.**


Thursday was a semi-normal day. The only change was that in the afternoon we had our annual walkathon during our kids’ specialist time. Our walkathon is our fundraiser for school activities, playground equipment, app subscriptions, etc. Students are asked to ask 5 different people to donate $5.00 to help their school (we call this “Strive for 5.”) They then spend one hour on our walkathon day walking around the track at our local high school (which is the backyard of our elementary school) as their way to make the most of the money the donated. In my opinion, it’s a fun fundraiser and gives the kids a chance to do something to help their school. They aren’t required to donate any money (which I like because I hate asking anyone for money) but they all get to participate in the walk. It’s a great class bonding activity and a great way to get everyone in the school active for a day. Teachers are asked to walk for half of the hour their students are out there. I love that part. It’s so fun to just talk to your students without worrying about teaching or meeting any standards. At the very end of the grade’s time, our phy ed teachers lead them through a couple different dances to do all together. We did the Cupid Shuffle and the Hokie Pokie. It was so fun!

Friday was an early release for the students so we could have an afternoon of staff development (focusing on our individual growth plans for the year….so much fun) so it was another crazy day. I wanted to do something fun since we didn’t have as much time for things as normal. I decided that we were going to do some major multiplication facts review.

Last year in 3rd grade, they learned all about multiplication. The only problem was that after the summer, some don’t remember their facts. We needed to review these so I thought a half day would be the perfect day to do this.

I set up 4 different multiplication stations for us to do instead of our usual new math lesson. Before we did any stations we played a multiplication “I have, who has” game (I bought the game for $2.25 from TchrBrowne’s store.) I timed them so we could have a starting point on how fast they could get through the game with their basic facts. I then split them into 4 different groups to switch between 4 15 minute stations. The stations included; multiplication bingo with me, an October multiplication packet (First Tries and Sunny Skies store), a choice between 2 different multiplication games (Multiplication Squares from Flying through Fourth‘s store and Multiplication Connect 4, also from Flying through Fourth ‘s store), and 2 different multiplication IXL assignments done on their iPad.

Once we finished the stations we played “I have, “who has” again and they dropped their time by a whole minute. They did awesome! My plan is to continue this game throughout the year so they become experts at their facts.

This week was fast but slow. The crazy days Wednesday-Friday threw it all off. It’s weird because days when the schedule is different, it should seem faster, but in reality the day is so much slower.

I am exhausted and ready to sleep in tomorrow as late as possible. I honestly can’t wait, however to be back on Monday. I love this class. They are so amazing and sweet. I have had 2 hard classes (each hard in their own way) the past 2 years, so this year, compared to that, these kids are a piece of cake. Happy weekend friends!


For more day to day action, pictures, and videos, go follow my teacher instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher!

Multiplication Sundaes!!

I LOVE this idea!! As most people know, 3rd grade is prime time for learning multiplication facts. My students have been slowly learning different rules throughout the year and it is officially time to start taking some timed tests.

I always found timed tests boring, stressful, and questioned the point of taking them when I was younger. I hated sitting in my desk while the clock ticked away trying to complete a whole sheet of math problems while my teacher stared through my soul. We would turn in the sheets and be rewarded with yet ANOTHER timed test. Knowing that this was now a part of my curriculum, I needed a change.

Doing one of my practicums in college, one of my cooperating teachers in a 3rd grade classroom shared with me the idea of building a sundae. For each fact a student passes, they get to add another feature onto their paper sundae. They got to post them on their lockers for the school to see. I thought it was a great idea and so much more fun since they got something more exciting out of it. When I came to 3rd grade I searched and searched for a similar idea.

I went on TPT and found a variety of different examples to use. Most, however have facts to 12 to build a sundae and my students only need to pass facts 0-10. I eventually found 2 different sundae fact packages that I purchased and combined into one full package.

I went onto Jennifer Robinson-Preparing Lifelong Learners page and found my sundae format.

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I LOVED this!!! I also combined this sundae with the package I found on Third in Hollywood’s page. This is where I got all of my timed tests and test tracking sheets.

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What I have done is I’ve created a folder for my students that includes a multiplication table, a “track my progress” sheet, a reminder on what they can add to their sundae when they pass, and a black and white sundae to color in their folders.

Finally, my favorite part of this, is they get to make a colored paper sundae in the back of my classroom on our math bulletin board. I give them each a tile to build their sundae on and I use their “code names” so no one knows who’s passed what and who still hasn’t passed certain facts. I’ve only been doing this for the past week and my students BEG me to take another timed test so they can pass and add to their sundaes. That makes me so happy because that was NOT me when I had to take mine!!

To make it even more exciting, I have told them that when everyone passes all of the facts, we will have an actual ice cream sundae party in the classroom and I will bring in all of the features they used to build their paper ones. When I told them this one they completely lost it!!

I am SO excited to see their progress over the next few months as they work their way to earning their sundae party. We’re off to an amazing start!!