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What to teach the first week of 3rd grade
Happy Saturday guys! I just finished my first week in 3rd grade and can I just say I am in love with my kiddos!? Who knew “big” 3rd graders were really 2nd graders at heart? 😉  We had a really busy week learning how to be a part of our 3rd-grade classroom community, but in between practicing those procedures and going through fire drills, we managed to squeeze in a little bit of learning AND even a brain break or two!
Here’s a peek at what we did in our first week of 3rd grade!
We started off the week with reading my AB.SO.LUTE. Fave back to school book, First Day Jitters…
 Read First Day Jitters on your first week of school
I love how the kiddos are totally surprised to see it’s a teacher who’s nervous for her first day of school a the end. Then we did a quick write about how we felt about our first day at school. Want a whole week’s worth of lesson plans based on this book? Check them out here!
In math, we jumped right into patterns with numbers. To start as off we completed this “Numbers About Me” activity.
Then, we worked through using a 0-99 (not to be confused with a 0-100!) chart and how to use an addition chart. We glued all of these into our interactive student notebooks as reference pages.
YES! We’re doing that in math this year. I figure if I don’t have any math books to go out of, we might as well make our own! Later, we’ll work on filling out blank versions.
and a
You can grab copies of all of these activities here for FREE!

 We’ve also been working on building our classroom community. I’ve always found the more time I spend on this at the beginning of the year, the less I have to worry about it when curriculum really heats up, so I pretty much dedicated this week to learn how to be a good classroom citizen!

We started by discussing Mrs. Langton’s classroom expectations and the rewards and consequences for making good and not so good choices.

clip chart classroom expectations


Want to read more about my classroom management system? Click here!  You can grab my classroom clip chart, expectation posters and soooo much more here in my TpT store.

Once we knew what the classroom expectations were,  we got to work on how this looks (and sounds!) in our classroom!

First up, using kind words. I love this demonstration using toothpaste. To do this, you just need a travel size tube of toothpaste (enough for small groups) toothpicks and paper plates. I gave each group one tube of toothpaste and each student a toothpick. I instructed the groups to completely empty the toothpaste tube onto their paper plate. Once I made sure each tube was good and empty, I had the students work as a team to put as much of the toothpaste BACK IN the tube using only the toothpicks.

With 3 minutes on the timer, messes and giggles ensued!
teaching to use kind words
Not too shabby!
After my timer went off we assessed how well we did…most groups were able to get most of their toothpaste back into the tube, but no one could get it all.
Then, we made the comparison to how we speak to each other. Words are like that toothpaste. You can take them back (put most of it in…) but, they can never be fully retracted. That’s why it’s so important to use kind words!
This lead perfectly into my favorite activity of the week “A Bug and Wish” from Tamara Russell’s Citizenship pack.
Seriously folks! Run! Don’t walk to grab this pack!
We reviewed how important it is to use kind words, then we discussed how you can take ownership of your words to communicate to others. We practiced using “Bug and Wish” statements down on the carpet. As the kiddos practiced their statements, they held up the bug and wish cards. It was sooo cute!
I KNEW the lesson sank in when later that week, a student was about to tell me about how another student was annoying him. All I had to do was give him a “look” and he went right over to the other student and said, “It bugs me when you talk while I am trying to work. I wish you respect my learning and not talk to me”. BOOM! #teacherwin!
Of course, our community building didn’t stop there!
 We also started collaborative discussions this week using these “What Would You Do?” discussion cards from my “School Days: Back to School Centers” Pack.

(Oh! Be sure to download the preview on these! There *may be* a little something-something in there!)

I love using center activities in whole group first! Such a great way to teach the procedure for using the activity before they use it in centers!

In our table groups, I gave each table four discussion cards. Taking turns, they read the scenario and discussed how they would handle the situation. I loved hearing the kiddos talking about how they would be “responsible” and “respectful”.
 Let’s hope those words stay with us throughout the year! You can check out this activity here!
Later in the week, we did a little review of those classroom expectations and completed this great sheet on examples and non-examples!

At the end of the sheet, students had to share which classroom expectation they think is the most important and why.

We somehow had time to work on some writing this week too! Using “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” as a mentor text,
we wrote about our summer vacations and published them using this sweet craft from Amy Lemons.
Sorry guys! Amy removed this free resource from her blog. I suggest this summer writing activity instead!
They turned out so cute (and the writings sooo good!) I decided to try my hand at my fist hallway display…
It may have been a display fail… but the crafts are cute, right..? I’ll need more practice.
I’ve also been working on finishing my classroom so it can be as organized as my old one… some additions this week…


and labels for all those manipulatives…
You can grab those for free here!
I know planning for the first week back can be stressful! Click here to download my first week of third-grade lesson plans. (Watch out! They’re a Word document original!) but they can help guide you through what you can include in your first week back!
Of course, at this time of year, school seems to consume my days AND my nights…
I’ve been spending EVERY night this week combing through our curriculum and planning out our year.
So glad I have these resources to help me stay organized and on top of things! This planning sheet is part of my “Curriculum Binder”!
You can grab that here in my store!
Whew! What a week! Now it’s time to catch-up on all those things that didn’t get done this week around the house… #idratherbeteaching
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13 Responses

  1. I am thrilled that you were able to use my pack during your first week! 😉 We 'Bug and Wish' it up in my room all the time! 😉 Thanks for sharing the other wonderful ideas as well! 🙂 Great post! 😉 Love ya friend! 😉

  2. Hiya!

    Was wondering if that numbers pdf sheet is editable?? I teach in the UK and I love it but favourite is spelled without a u!! If you could let me know what you be great!!

  3. Do you have the teal cubby numbers where I can edit? I’m going to have about 25 students this year and they tie in great with my theme. Can you make more numbers or maybe email me so I can? Thanks 🙂

  4. How do you display their work in the hallway? How do you attach them?
    At my last school there was corkboard strips but at my new school I don’t have that. I’d love to display their work in the hallway again.

    1. I have a cork-board strip in my hallway, but you could use clips that have that command hook adhesive on the back.

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Hi, I'm Leigh.

The Applicious Teacher is all about creating hands-on and engaging lessons that align with the standards while still having time for your life. This is your place for ideas, tips, and resources for the REAL teacher!


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