3rd Grade Lesson Plans – Brain Explosions!

How many times have I gotten an idea on the fly, about 2 minutes before the children enter the classroom? Those are the best lessons, for some reason. It doesn’t matter how long I spent planning those 3rd grade lesson plans, or that I had all the effective strategies of teaching in it. My brain explosion ideas are the best!!!!

How about you? Would you care to share some of those brain explosions?


Here are some of my 3rd grade lesson plans after a brain explosion.

Multiplication Baseball– can substitute addition or subtraction.

Set the 4 bases. Show students flash cards. I usually set a time limit to help with their fast facts. If the student answers correctly within the time they advance to first base. If they do not answer correctly or run out of time they get an out. It plays just like baseball. As the students move from base to base, when they get to home base they put a tally mark. Count the tallys at the end of each inning.


Candy Bar Graphs– using the children’s take from Halloween, have the children collect data about the most popular candy. They should tally chocolate, chewy, hard candy, etc. The next day the students can make a graph using MS Exel, or Google Sheets.





Has anyone ever used lap books in the classroom?

I believe they started with homeschoolers. I was surfing the web one day in August, just before school started, and saw a reference to lapbooks. I had never heard of them before. I had a very good friend homeschool her two children, but the subject of homeschooling lapbooks never came up. Of course, being so very curious, I clicked on the link, and was instantly hooked.

I loved the way the children were able to customize and make the lap books their own. The way they color the mini books, to the placement of the mini books on the base folder, the children are able to design and make the learning their own. I also loved the way the students could respond in their own words. After doing research on a topic, the students can respond to the topics in their own way.

lapbooks example

Ways to use lapbooks

There isn’t only one way to do lap books, and that is the beauty of them. Since the lapbooks started in homeschool situations, the students used them as they completed units of study. The students would identify a topic or unit they wanted to study. They would then do research to find out more about the topic. These units would either be in their curriculum, or a topic that they had much interest in. In my classroom, I use them as an assessment tool after we do a unit of study using our science and/or social studies books.

When my children were younger, I would have them do school work during the summer so they could keep their skills in tip top shape. We did lap books that summer. My youngest daughter chose to do a 4th of July lap book, and my oldest daughter chose to do note booking about mythology. They were able to do research online to complete their books. They end products were beautiful.

So I began putting together my own lap books for my second grade classroom. I tried a science unit first. I first searched for worksheets that may parallel the objectives in the Teachers’ Edition. If I couldn’t find one, I designed my own mini books. It was a fabulous learning experience for my students and children. That was 9 years ago.

What is your experience using lap books? Please share…..

Oh, Nooooooo! Not another blog!

Welcome to my corner of the Web!

I am in my 28th year of teaching! Wow!

My experience has been in elementary:

  • 11 years teaching first grade.
  • 7 years teaching second grade.
  • 6 years teaching technology.
  • 4 years teaching third grade.

I just wanted to begin sharing, along with my many colleagues on the World Wide Web. I have been searching and snagging for many years and have decided to give back. What could be more rewarding than to share, laugh, cry, exchange funny stories, etc., with colleagues all over the world. I truly am a newbie to the blog world, except to visit other blogs. I hope mine is as informative as others!

I invite your comments. I hope this can be very interactive.