Scroll down to take a look at *some* of what is included in this 180 page third grade Inheritance and Variations of Traits unit.  This unit aligns to NGSS* standards 3-LS1-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2 and 3-LS4-2.

Here is the table of contents. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

3-LS1-1 Plant and Animal Life Cycles
This topic focuses on understanding plant and animal life cycles. Students will learn how all living organisms follow a pattern of birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

Posters come in color and black and white. These support the main idea of the topic.

 Photo posters to visually support learning.
Non-fiction mini books are also included throughout all four topics of the Inheritance and Variations of Traits unit. Each topic also includes some type of interactive notebook piece as well as a practice page

3-LS3-1 Inherited Traits
This topic focuses on learning about how traits are inherited by offspring from parents.

3-LS3-2 Environmental Influences of Traits
This topic focuses on how the environment can influence traits.

3-LS4-2 Advantages for Survival
This topic focuses on advantages plants or animals may have that will help them survive in their environment.

This was just a preview. For a FULL list of resources included in this 180 page Inheritance and Variations of Traits Unit, please see the Table of Contents or check out the 45 page preview by following the link to my TPT store.

*NGSS and Next Generation Science Standards are a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards was involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

Indoor Recess can be a great time for students and teachers. Learn some ideas and activities so students can still burn off energy, and build social skills.

When you look out your classroom window and see rain, your heart might sink! Two dreaded words flash through your mind:

Indoor Recess

Some teachers dread indoor recess, for good reasons too. The room gets messy, the students get loud, and they don't get to run around outside and burn off energy.

But today I am going to tell you a few reasons why indoor recess isn't so bad!

Indoor Recess can be a great time for students and teachers. Learn some ideas and activities so students can still burn off energy, and build social skills.

1. You can still get your students to burn off energy! If you have a computer screen, a projector, or a smart board, you can display GoNoodle and let your students exercise. The videos guide your students through yoga exercises, dancing, and singing. It's a great way for them to burn off energy! If you have access to YouTube, you can display some kids zumba videos.

2. It doesn't HAVE to be loud! Have you ever played Four Corners with your students? (Designate four corners of your classroom. Close your eyes. Students quietly walk to one of the corners. You call out a corner to eliminate. Everyone in that corner has to sit down. Repeat.) Students need to be very quiet so the person guessing corners can't hear where they are! It gets them up and moving but still keeps them quiet. After you model how to play the game, you can choose a student to be the guesser. I have found that my class can run this game by themselves!

3. It allows for teamwork and problem solving skills to develop! When you have indoor recess, you can break out board games, toys, puzzles, word searches, and other activities. When students work together to play games it allows them to develop their social skills. I encourage my students to problem solve on their own and only get me if they really need me. Sometimes I intentionally keep my class inside so we can practice these skills!

4. YOU can get a lot done! At the beginning of the year, indoor recess takes some modeling while you set expectations. But, once you have, indoor recess can give you some valuable work time in your classroom. While my students are having indoor recess, I am busy getting things done and organized in my classroom. Sometimes I am finishing up typing a lesson plan. Sometimes I am filing away some papers. Other times I am organizing things. All of this can help eliminate the amount of work I have to do outside of school.

5. You can teach your students responsibility. Over the years I have collected some pretty awesome indoor recess toys and activities. However, students must be responsible to get to use them. At the beginning of the year I model how I expect these things to be put away. I explain to my students that I have purchased these items with my own money. If they are not taken care of, I will not bring them out anymore. Students are so appreciative of the activities I let them play with, that they take really good care of them.

Here are some suggestions for indoor recess games and activities:
Word Search Books
Tic Tac Toe Books
Yahtzee (Replace the regular dice with some foam dice and the game is silent!)
Scrabble Junior
Guess Who
Rock Me Archimedes
Connect Four
Markers/Foamies/Construction Paper
Watercolor paint sets

What types of activities do you like to do during indoor recess? Leave a comment below!

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If you are like many teachers, weekends have become the catch all days. It is the time of the week to get everything done that you didn't finish Monday through Friday. But, when this happens, the weekend no longer feels like true days off. When you don't get that time to unwind and recharge, you can become burned out! With a little extra effort during the week, you can truly have a weekend.

5 tips for teachers to help you get the most out of your weekend. With a little extra work during the week, you can save yourself a lot of time on the weekend! 5 tips to get you started!

1. Do your laundry during the week
I mean it! Keep up with laundry during the week. Don't fall behind! I know you are extra tired after a long day of work, but the point of these tips are to free up your weekend! Wouldn't it be nice if you could truly have some time off?

2. Finish your lesson plans (or other work for the following week) by Thursday!
Don't work on school work over the weekend! Well, try not to anyway. I know, I know, easier said than done. But, if you work really hard during the week and stay focused on being prepared for the following week, you can do it! Trust me, I've done it! Don't leave it for the weekend! Why by Thursday? Because then Friday can become your catch all instead of Saturday! If you need to run a few copies for the following week, you can get it done on Friday instead of running up to the school over the weekend. Make it your goal to have everything prepared by Thursday.

3. Clean up every night
It is easy to just let the house get messy, let the dishes pile up in the sink, and think to yourself, I'll catch up over the weekend. But don't fall into that habit! Spend a little bit of time every night, tidying up and making sure your house is picked up. Don't leave dishes in the sink. I try to load my dishwasher every night. When I get home from work the next afternoon, I turn on some of my tv shows, empty the dishwasher, and cook dinner. Here's another tip--vacuum your house Friday evenings. You will wake up Saturday to an already clean house and will feel refreshed!

4. Work on lists during the week
All week long, keep a running list on your phone of what you need when you go out this weekend. (You know how things randomly pop in your mind during the day? Shoot, we are almost out of ketchup. I need to remember to get some. Or...I have to pick up a birthday card for my sister this weekend.) I keep two lists on my phone--a grocery list, and an errand list. That way, when I go out on the weekend to run my errands, I know exactly what I need, and don't have to waste time making my list. I always have my phone with me, so its easy to keep working on the list.

5. Eat out or pick up food
Take a day off every week! I prefer to do this on the weekend, so I truly feel like I have a day off of work and cooking! However, if you enjoy cooking, spend your weekend doing that, and pick a day during the week to pick up food. There are so many restaurants that allow you to order online and do curbside pick up! I have found that simply having dinner taken care of one night a week can really help me manage everything else I need to do.

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5 tips for teachers to help you get the most out of your weekend. With a little extra work during the week, you can save yourself a lot of time on the weekend! 5 tips to get you started!

Here are some easy ways to bring fun to your classroom. It can be hard to find time for this with all of the demands put on teachers. But it's important to enjoy your students!

With all of the demands and stresses put on teachers, students are bound to feel it. Sometimes, school becomes such a serious and stressful place. Teachers can barely catch their breath and students are working hard to prepare for the end of year tests.

When you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, and you see the serious looks on your students' faces, you might be in need of some fun.

Now, I know what you're thinking. I don't have time for fun! When could I possibly fit it in? But I am going to give you 25 suggestions and hopefully you can incorporate some of them into your week. After all, is there anything better than the sound of children laughing, or the smiles on their faces?

1. Tell a joke
It only takes a minute! Kids love to hear jokes. Do a quick search on your computer and you can find tons of websites with kid jokes. Some can really get your students thinking!

2. Do an experiment
For FUN! I am not talking about a formal science experiment where students have to write and do work. I am talking about a quick experiment to make your students go "Ooooooooh" or "Woooww!!" Need an idea? Drop a mentos in a diet coke bottle! (Outside of course) Add vinegar to baking soda. Pour oil on top of water. Make butter! There are lots of little experiments you can do.

3. Take your lesson outside
Have students grab their materials and sit outside for the lesson. Sometimes we all need some fresh air and a change of scenery.

4. Read a short story--for fun!
You can also read a chapter book during your transitions. I love to ready Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with my students during transitions. I don't even make them do work...I just let them enjoy the story.

5. Tell an interesting fact
This is an easy one! There are so many shocking and interesting facts out there. Here's one: A snail can sleep for 3 years.  (Just search: interesting animal facts, kids trivia, interesting facts for kids, shocking facts for kids, etc...)

6. Watch an interesting video
SciShow Kids on YouTube has TONS of interesting and brief videos. Here are just a few topics: Why do we laugh? Why does ice cream hurt my head?  

7. Talk about your weekend
YOUR weekend! Students love learning about their teacher. Tell them what you did!

8. Share photos from home
Give students a peek into your life. Show them your house, your pet, your family, etc...

9. Allow for show and tell
This one can be a little more time consuming, but you can fix that by only allowing two or three students to share each day.

10. Do an estimation jar
Is there a holiday approaching? Dump some holiday themed candy in a jar and have students guess how many are in the jar. Closest guess wins the jar. Or, closest guess wins a cheer and everyone gets some candy.

11. Play a game during your lesson
Create a game to go along with your lesson. BINGO, Around the World, SCOOT, etc...

12. Tell a story together
Sit in a circle. You start the story, then the student beside you continues it. (Only for a sentence or two) See how long you can keep the story going. Does it get silly?

13. Check the forecast and see if its accurate
Students are naturally curious about weather. Show them how the weather forecast can be checked. You can turn on the TV (if you have one) and watch the local news forecast. Or, you can check online! Then, have students determine if the meteorologists were right each day.

14. Get a class pet
Beta fish are super easy to care for.

15. Decorate the classroom
Put up a fun or silly new poster. Hang some Christmas lights. Put some hearts around the room for Valentine's day. You don't have to go crazy and create a perfect pinterest classroom!

16. Get a class plant
Believe it or not, some students love caring for these just as much as a pet. I recommend some type of cactus.

17. Genius hour
I never had time to do this in class, but I let students research any topic they wanted outside of class. They were allowed to bring in a poster and present the topic.

18. Have indoor recess
Students love being able to play games with their classmates. You can let them use legos, color, or even play teacher on the whiteboard. Guess what else? You can get a lot of work done in your classroom during this time!

19. Take a brain break
GoNoodle is my favorite for this.

20. Call someone's parent and brag on them
Right in the middle of the day! Let the whole class hear you praise the student to their parent.

21. Paint
I feel like kids never get to paint anymore. I used to love painting in elementary school. You can get water colors or jars of paint really cheap at Target or Walmart. Students can share! Have them paint about something you are learning so you can tie it into your curriculum. (Ex: Learning about plants? Have students paint the life cycle or the structure of a plant.)

22. Get physical!
Take a quick break from your lessons and do push ups, jumping jacks, or hop on one foot!

23. Play a game of telephone
Students stand in a circle. Whisper a sentence to the first student. Have them whisper it to the person beside them. And so on... Does the same sentence make it back to you?

24. Dance or Stretch
Put on a silly song and have students get their energy out by dancing! Direct students through some stretches! (GoNoodle is also good for this!)

25. Have a fun snack
Bring in a snack for the students to try. My school was part of the fresh fruits and vegetables program and we got one to share with students every day. It's really fun. Students get to try so many fruits and veggies they may have never even heard of! Kiwi, jicama, grape tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, spinach, grapes, strawberries, bananas, oranges, etc...

I hope you can find a way to incorporate SOME of these ideas into your classroom! Don't forget to have fun with your students! Life is short! :)

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Here are some easy ways to bring fun to your classroom. It can be hard to find time for this with all of the demands put on teachers. But it's important to enjoy your students!

Activities for making butter in the classroom! Learn the steps, practice states of matter, and even make a mini book and spinning wheel to share what you have learned. This resource includes lots of activities for making butter in the classroom!

Making butter is such a fun classroom activity! If you have never done it before, you'll be surprised just how easy it is! This resource walks you through it--step by step--with photo directions. All you need is heavy cream and mason jars. (You can also add a pinch of salt to the cream if you want to make salted butter!)

Making butter is a fun way to teach the states of matter! This resource even includes labeling the states of matter activity pages. You can also make butter when you want to teach your students about the Colonial time period, or (my favorite) to get everyone excited for Thanksgiving!

Follow the link to learn about all the additional activities included in this resource!

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