Five For Friday: Clocks, Apps, and Math Games, OH MY!

Hi, Teachers!

Today I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a 5 For Friday post!


I'll be posting about 5 things that happened this week. Want to join? Click the above link and you can participate in the linky party!


We've been studying time in our classroom this week. The kids have been doing a phenomenal job. I'm really proud of them. I am attributing our success to two things: the manipulatives we're using and how I introduced time. I find that the hour hand tends to be the most difficult concept for the kiddos. At 9:55, the hour hand is pretty much in the center of the 10. So isn't it 10:55? I IMMEDIATELY use the clock in a mini-inquiry and ask the kids to notice what happens to each hand as the clock hands turn. That's why I LOVE the Judy Clocks--the hour hand moves along with the minute hand because of how it's built. I then talk about how certain times do not "exist" on a clock if the hour hand is in the wrong position. I make a whole big deal about it. When the minute hand is half-way through the hour, so is the hour hand.

You can see Judy clocks being moved in this short video:

I really recommend you check them out if you teach kids how to tell time. What a different it makes to get these amazing manipulatives in the hands of your kids! My kids love picking them up and using them. They are regularly getting these bad boys out of our math manipulative station.

A Word On Third: Using judy clocks to teach telling time


I am a firm believer that technology should be used in a way which actually transforms your classroom. I don't think putting a boring worksheet on an iPad makes it exciting just because it's on an iPad. That being said, I do like for my kids to practice fact fluency. Since we're telling time, I want them to be able to see an analogue clock (will those even exist in 50 years??) and know right away what time they are looking it. I have been using the app Clock Master and my kids have been enjoying it. 

A Word On Third: apps to support math instruction in the classroom

My kids like that they get immediate feedback so they know if they're correct or not, but they also can choose the difficulty of the problems they get on this app. It's been really interesting to see what my kids have chosen to do on the app. They will rise to the challenge if it's presented to them, but I find that my students also challenge themselves at an appropriate level. We have built such a respect for learning in our room. It's nice to see!


I've shared how much I love the book Smarter Charts. It has COMPLETELY, and I mean COMPLETELY!!!!, changed the way charts are used and created in my room. Our class created this anchor chart today. We are just starting our study of nonfiction writing, so obviously we will be adding more strategies to this chart. The students are totally pumped! I've shared how nonfiction writing is relevant in my life and how these lessons are meaningful, and they bought in immediately. The kids decided on the chart title, and you can see that they also wrote many of the "expert" phrases to our list. In fact, they generated all of the ideas on this list except for two phrases. I wrote the first bunch of ideas on the chart to save time.

A Word On Third: student-created anchor charts

I told the kids to pay attention to their writing today and see if they found themselves using any phrases that helped them to elaborate. It's interesting how posing a question can be so powerful with kids. The second half of the list was generated during the share portion of our lesson. There were tons of ideas that could still be added to our chart. I was so proud!


Of course, I'm really excited about my new bingo boards too! I made these this week. I created a paid version and a free version of this product. My kids absolutely love this activity. I love how genuinely enthusiastic they are about learning about each other.

A Word On Third: building a classroom community through active games

Click on the picture (or here) for the paid version and click here for the freebie! I hope you like them. I shared how to use these on this blog post.


Finally, I'm really proud of the fluency work my students have been doing. In third grade in my school, most teachers do not have students partner read anymore. I was really surprised about this coming from first grade. However, our teachers recently participated in a book club centered around building reading fluency skills. I am SO excited, because we talked about the simple act of incorporating partner reading into instruction and how important it is!

A Word On Third: supporting fluency instruction

I spent a lot of time teaching my kids to sit with their books in the middle so both partners can see, to coach each other, and to pay close attention to the words whether they are reading out loud or listening to their partners. Kids also get a chance to TALK about their books EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I do this as a little warm up for the first 5 minutes of my reading period. Then I do my shared reading lessons (read more about that here), a brain break (something in which they move around the room and get energized), and move into my Reader's Workshop mini-lesson. I really love teaching reading to third graders. They are capable of making such thoughtful contributions to discussion, but they're still so sweet and amazed by everything.

Anyway, that was a highlight of my week! What did you do this week that was exciting to you?? Comment below!


  1. I'm going to have to check out that book! I love using charts, and it sounds useful!
    Very Perry Classroom

  2. Judy Clocks are the best. I use them all the time, too. That app looks great. Our unit just got some new iPads, so I'll need to try that out. Thanks for sharing!
    Laughter and Consistency