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Moving to third

Classroom Management 


New Member
Hi Everyone...

So I got reassigned to 3rd grade next year. I'm so excited. We are starting the year out with an astronomy unit. (according to the partner I will have.) Does anyone have any good ideas for that?

I'm curious opinions on a prize box and any good procedures you have. Thanks in advance.


Senior Member
Welcome to the third grade board

We read two books at the same time while studying space. They are both Magic Treehouse books. One is Midnight on the Moon. This is a fiction book. Students read this one independently. Then our guided read is a MTH Research Guide. It is nonfiction and is titled SPACE. We compare and contrast the two books. We can also make text to text connections easily. Plus there is the added bonus of teaching the difference between fiction and nonfiction.

We create colored pictures of the planets and the sun. Sorry, I do not have an electronic copy. Then they cut them out and glue them in the correct order from the sun on a long, thin strip of black paper. The students label the sun and the planets. This is used to study and memorize the planet order. We also require students to learn the correct spelling of the planets.

Students research planets in pairs and create powerpoint presentations.
Each contains
1. where the planet got its name
2. its distance from the sun
3. its atmosphere's composition
4. its size
5. if it has a moon or moons and how many
6. the length of its day
7. the length of its year
8. if it is an inner planet or outer planet
9. interesting fact

I think I have forgotten one, sorry.

I read Zathura by Chris Van Allsburg aloud as a science fiction connection.
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Senior Member

I have my students in groups to become mission specialists to each planet. They research them and decide what their planet needs to sustain life. We also do mini reports and then make paper Mache planets using balloons,newspaper, and glue water. We spray paint them and hang them The Mission specialists present their reports on each planet. Always a great unit of study!!!


New Member
Thanks for all the great ideas everyone... Unfortunately I found out this last week that I will have to start with social studies and communities.. blah... I'd much rather start off with astronomy..

So how about procedures?? Any good ideas for third? I teach first grade now..


Senior Member

I assign numbers to my students. I collect all assignments in number order. If they do not have the assignment they have to write an excuse sheet to turn in instead. If someone is absent I write their name on a piece of paper, the name of the assignment and the word, "absent". Then I staple the papers together. This way no one can accuse me of losing their paper. Also I had bullies take papers out of bins that belonged to other students in the past. That is one reason I started doing it this way.

I only allow students to sharpen pencils in the electric sharpener first thing in the morning for the first 15 minutes. I just don't want all the noise while we are working. Each child has there own personal sharpener at their desk if they need to sharpen a pencil later in the day.

I have a morning assignment on the board each morning to keep them busy as soon as they arrive.

I give my students a riddle a day. We choral read it from the board each morning after saying the pledges. They are to ponder the answer all day. At the end of the day they are allowed to guess the answer only after our classroom is clean. They really like the riddle so they almost always get the classroom in good order. Plus I love riddles because they make you think in a different way. I have attached some of the riddles I use in third grade.

We say the U.S. pledge, the Texas pledge and a class pledge each morning. The class pledge really helps to remind them of their purpose in school. Here is our pledge.

I pledge today to do my best, in reading, math , and all the rest. I promise to obey the rules, in my class and in the school. I’ll respect myself and others too, I’ll expect the best in all I do. I am here to learn all I can, to try my best and be all I am!

I allow my students to go to the bathroom without asking permission. We have two restrooms between each pair of classrooms, so they do not have to go down the hall. My rule is that they should go during independent work time, not while I am giving instruction, unless it is an emergency.

We also have a water fountain in our classroom. The rule is the same they can get drinks as needed as long as I am not giving instructions. I also allow water bottles so there is rarely a wait at the fountain.

We have a school procedure for lines. We call it the SSS rule. It is for short, straight and silent lines. Short means to stay an arm's length from the person in front of you so the line does not get too long. If they are not SSS I turn them around, we return to our classroom and try again.

Our behavior program is called SHARP. Be SHARP!
S = acting safely
H= honesty
R= to be respectful
P= being productive

The kids have a behavior sheet on the back of the reading log. If a child is not paying attention during instruction I mark the log on that day's date with a "P" for not being productive. Parents can see how their behavior was for the day. I require that it be initialed each night. Then I check these logs each morning with the reading log as well. It really keeps parents informed.

My students sit in groups facing one another. This encourages discussion which is usually a good thing. However, there are times when I want them to work silently. I have cardboard study carrels for these occasions. I bought the tallest ones I could. When the pupils can't
see each other they are reminded not to talk. It works well for me. I use them more with classes who want to talk all the time.

Hope some of this information is helpful.
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Senior Member

Mine are similar to 1956BC:

*Still practice them just like you did with 1st graders. Don't assume they know how to do any of them - practicing shows them what you expect.
*I have a poster on the wall to tell them what to do when they arrive. I have another poster to tell them what to do when packing up. They used them all year! They have to unpack and pack quietly so they don't forget anything.
AM - unpack bookbag, hand teacher any dr. or bus notes, put homework on desk, put folder in desk, sharpen 2 pencils, have AR book on desk to read.
PM - color behavior chart, make sure homework is in folder, put folder in book bag, organize desk, clean floor under desk, bathroom break
*They may keep a water bottle in their book bag to sip as needed throughout the day, during independent work. Same thing with sharpening a pencil.
*Everyone is in numerical order lining up, so there's never a rush to get in line and worry about "cutting". I collect papers the same way - so I know if someone didn't finish (I jot down their number).
*We do AR in the mornings for the first 20 minutes. Kids may take AR tests at that time, also. Then we go over homework together. I walk around and check for accuracy while we're going over answers. It takes about 15 minutes and is like another lesson in itself, but it's a great review to see what I need to reteach before moving on.
*I have jobs for the kids, and a few are done in the mornings (like checking homework, turning on computer monitors, straightening library, …). I give those jobs based on the child's ability to still meet AR goal without having the full 20 min. to read like the others.

Communities is what we teach first in the fall too, because it's a great way to convey being a "good classroom citizen" - which includes rules, procedures, attitude, helping, etc...


Junior Member
Super Ideas!!!!

Thank you so much for sharing. I love the classroom pledge, and the riddles. I plan to incorporate this in my classroom management this year. I love PT. I have learn so much when it comes to teaching from visiting this site. Thanks again for the wonderful ideas.:)