December #NoOfficeDay - 3rd Grade

Each month I look forward to my scheduled #NoOfficeDay. It is my time to get out of the office, step away from (most of) my principal duties and return to the classroom as a teacher. This past Friday, my #NoOfficeDay experience was spent with the students and teachers in our 3rd grade at Sigler Elementary. Before I share how I spent my day, I want to thank the students and teachers in 3rd grade for their flexibility as the day posed one or two hiccups that called me away briefly and caused me to show up just a smidgen late. However, as they say...better late than never!

As you read, please take a minute to use the links to follow our staff members our Twitter! We have been working hard to become connected educators and we would love to connect with you!

My day started with @sdas2100 and a game of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire! Ms. Das allowed me to be the game show host and I was able to lead the students through the variety of questions, which they answered individually then agreed as a class with the most popular response. The ultimate game of collaboration!

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
After making millionaires out of this class of 3rd graders, we broke the students into groups as they rotated through stations. Students at my station played a fun game practicing the skill of Inferring. I would read a clue and students had to determine whether they had the answer to clue I was reading. Students performed beautifully getting many of them correct and of course, loved playing with the principal. (As you can see below)

A panoramic view of The Inference Game

After time in Ms. Das' room, it was time to rotate to the next 3rd grade classroom. For those new to the #NoOfficeDay experience, the grade level prepares a schedule for me, which allows me to spend time in each room throughout the day. My next rotation led into another collaborative effort between @MKRomeo10 and Mr. Mateos' class. Students in 3rd grade have been studying the solar system and today, Mr. Mateos prepared an interactive lesson that led students on a journey through the solar system that would make Buzz Aldrin jealous. Mr. Mateos shared numerous online, interactive tools with the students so they could see first hand, all of the beauty of outer space and some of the important details of each planet.

Journey through the Solar System
After a very detailed review of each of the planets, including the Dwarf planet, Pluto, students had a brain break. In other words, it was time for lunch and recess. I love recess time and seeing how our students interact with one another on the pitch. I say pitch, because our 3rd graders moonlight as a professional soccer team. (If they don't, they should) They are really good.

I do my best to tweet some photos during my #NoOfficeDay and was honored to have @kristinransom from the @ChristieCubs share a fun +YouTube clip about space. I immediately shared it with the teachers and they loved it. We were able to share it with the students upon our return to the classroom after lunch. Check it out: 

The lunch room can be a busy place as multiple grade levels eat at once. For some reason, I feel my presence in the cafeteria always increases the noise level, but I promise I do not do it on purpose. 

3rd graders enjoying lunch

After lunch we, launched back into outer space to continue our exploration of the solar system. After a brief review of what we discovered prior to recess and lunch, we set course for Pluto, trying to stop at each of the planets along the way, starting at the sun. (Or as close as we could get to it)

Each student had their own personalized rocket and for each question they answered correctly, they journeyed to the next planet and if they answered the question incorrectly, they had to go back to the previous planet or be stranded at the sun. (Or as close as we could get to it, because we know it is waaaaay to hot to get that close) 

Student are designing their own personalized rocket for our journey through the solar system

The planets have aligned for our journey to begin
You will be happy to know I survived the journey through the solar system and landed safely back on planet Earth, just in time to rotate to Mrs. Davis' room for some math. She and her students were working hard to create some of their very own Input and Output Machines. 

Students were given Input and Output examples and had to determine the relationship between the given numbers
As students accurately discovered the relationship of their Input/Output Machine, they were able to draw their next one
Mrs. Davis and I were staying busy, making sure students were answering some of the most difficult Input/Output problems that ranged from using addition and subtraction to multiplication and division. As students were successful, they were able to spend some time on the computers playing a game titled, "Lanza la Oveja" or so I was told. It was like playing Angry Birds, but students were given and Input/Output answer and had to find the right answer.

Lanza la Oveja 
This is about the time of day where I get totally off schedule because it is so hard for me to just walk away when my time is up. I feel like I need to give each student the same amount of time, but in doing so I am tardy to the next classroom.

My final stop was back with Mrs. Romeo's class for some math. Again, the students were ready for me and Mrs. Romeo had prepared a station for me to oversee, helping students practice their multiplication. I was blown away by the students in Mrs. Romeo's class as they solved the multiplication problems, without error, over and over again. Did I mention the students were working in partners? Just another example of collaboration in the 3rd grade! Each classroom I was in, collaboration was taking place! 

Students solved multiplication problems to cover up 4 squares

First one to cover up 4 wins
3rd grade has a full day of learning before their specials rotation at the end of the day. For those interested in preparing for a #NoOfficeDay, the specials rotation is the most difficult part for me. I try to decide how to best split my time between three different classes, but 15-20 minutes per class (Music, Art & PE) is just not enough, so lately I have been spending the entire period in one class. In November I spent the time in the Art Studio with @TNewsome1 so this time I spent the day in PE with @TRoberts3233 and @SolowBob. I mentioned the students in this grade level played professional soccer right? So guess what we played during PE?


It was another successful #NoOfficeDay! I have said it before and I will say it again...each #NoOfficeDay provides a vivid reminder of just how hard our teachers work, just how much our students want to learn and how great it is to be the principal of a school where teachers love the students and students love the teachers!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in 2015!