Persuasive Writing and DONUTS?!

Ahhhh okay so today we did the best persuasive writing project EVER!!! I got this amazing product from the TPT store The Knitted Apple. Oh my goodness this was so fun and really encouraged my kiddos to put forth their best writing skills!

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This was a 2 day project that we spent an hour on day 1 and a couple hours on day 2.

Day 1:

We did an introduction on what it means to be persuasive. We talked about how advertisements and commercials try to persuade us all the time. We watched a series of commercials and discussed the different strategies they used. We then got into groups and created our own “commercial” to the class to promote a donate that is included in the resource that you can buy. There is a page of 9 different donuts. Each group picks one and has 1 minute to persuade the class why their donut is the best.

Once they finished (and they had so much fun presenting their donuts) I introduced the writing project. They had to create their own donut and then write a persuasive paragraph convincing a store owner why they should sell their donut in their store. We started with a planning stage.

They drew a sketch of what their donut would look like and then come up with 3 reasons on why their donut is the best. They also had to include labels on their sketch of different things that are added to their special donut. When they completed, they turned it into me and I went through and edited them all to make sure they had full sentences and were on the right track.

Day 2:

Today they started their final writing piece. They took their planning pages and used them to create a final paragraph. They added more detail to their final writings to make them more persuading and creative.

The final part of this project was them creating their final donut drawing. They were so cute and had so much fun!! They got to design their final product and then combined their writing with their pictures to post in the hall.

I told them that I will have a super secret surprised judge to pick the top 3 donuts and those 3 kiddos will get a special prize (I haven’t decided quite yet what that will be.) I also told them that as long as they worked hard, I’d bring them donuts as a class treat. (Bribery always seems to work!)

Overall, this was such a fun project and I highly recommend it!!

2 Days to Go…

I feel like this week is turning into a marathon. The past two days seemed like they were a whole week in themselves. In order to get myself in the mood to get me through the next few days (and my kids through the next few days without totally losing it) I have a handful of activities that keep them busy (and quiet) and is little work for me.

For the past 3 weeks, I’ve read a Christmas book a day. Some days we do something with it, some days we don’t. This week I decided I wasn’t going to start a new reading unit so I needed something to fill in my long hour and a half reading block each morning.

Monday we spent our whole morning making parent gifts so I could easily check that off the list and had one less day to plan. Yesterday I decided to read the book, Mooseltoe, by Margie Palatini.

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It’s such a cute book. I had to come up with some sort of lesson to do with it so I searched the trusted TPT store for something cheap and easy. I found a simple story features activity on Savvy Second Graders site that had them think of characters, the setting, and a problem and solution in the story. They then had to write me a 5 sentence summary on the book. This was the perfect review since we hit all of these topics over the past 4 months. SUPER easy and very little prep for me (and free)! 🙂 It kept them working and busy for most of the morning!

The rest of the day was spent reviewing for a math test and working on catching up on different projects and assignments. VERY calm and quiet work (which really helps get through this week!)

Today we spent our reading block reading another one of my favorite books, Christmas Trolls, by Jan Brett. I LOVE her books! My mom used to read them to my sister and me all the time growing up, so they hold a special place in my heart. I used this book to work on story features and comparing and contrasting with another one of her books we read last week, Trouble with Trolls.

Again, I searched TPT and found another FREE activity pack that relates with these two books! At All About Elementary’s store I downloaded a Jan Brett activity pack that had them compare and contrast these two different stories.

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They got a kick out of how the same character is in both books and has 2 different encounters with trolls. They worked hard. They were more chatty today but I knew it was coming.

Tomorrow we are going to have a Grinch themed day!! I found a readers theater version of the Grinch on Christy Hard’s TPT shop that we will do during reading time. We will then obviously have to watch the original Grinch movie to compare and contrast the movie to the play right!? I’m using this as a motivation tool for my kiddos to get through the next few days! We will also use the song to talk about similes and metaphors and draw our own version of a simile or metaphor in the song.

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Friday we’re watching a movie all morning to keep things as calm as possible and to help my sanity. They think they are working towards earning it but I will make them earn it if it’s the last thing I do!

ALMOST THERE!!!

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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!!