Teaching rounding can be tricky. Before you teach it, it is important to make sure your students have a solid understanding of place value. (Learn more here!) In third grade, students are required to round numbers to the nearest ten and hundred.
 It is important to think about how you introduce third graders to rounding. In this post, I explain which skill I begin with. I have also included a freebie that you can use with your students as you teach third grade rounding!

When I first teach this standard, I begin with two digit numbers and rounding them to the nearest ten. I use a blank number line that shows ten numbers (i.e., numbers 30 through 40). We plot the given number (i.e. 34) on the number line. We spend a lot of time discussing the tens the number falls between. Depending on your students' foundation from previous grades, you may need to spend time reviewing a hundred chart.

Once we have determined the tens the number falls between, we discuss the number's position on the number line. From there we can round (or determine which ten it is closer to).

You can use this freebie to practice this introductory skill with your students. Be sure to save a copy to your computer!

It is imperative to begin with two digit numbers before moving on to the third grade standard of rounding three digit numbers. In my two week rounding unit, I gradually increase my students' understanding of rounding by using specific daily objectives that increase in difficulty each day. The objectives build upon each other. My students complete daily practice pages along with extension activities that deepen their understanding. For more resources to teach third grade rounding, check out this unit!


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Spring allergies are the worst! Not only can they make you sneeze and itch, but they can really make you feel crummy! This time of year can be hard for students who suffer from seasonal allergies. The weather is finally warming up and everyone is excited to play outside during recess. But if you come back inside and your students are sneezing, running to the tissue box, and rubbing their eyes--are they really learning? Here are some tips to help your students who suffer from seasonal allergies.

1. Keep your classroom windows closed
It can be really tempting to let that nice spring breeze into your classroom, but it can reek havoc on your students' sinuses! Pollen gets on everything! Keep your windows closed during this time of year!

2. Take a classroom trip to the bathroom after recess
Have everyone wash their hands, and even up their arms. I know this can be a bit time consuming, but it is really worth it. Would you rather your students spend the next hour getting up for tissue, rubbing their eyes, or being miserable? They aren't learning if they are suffering. If necessary, bring them in a few minutes early to ensure there is time for everyone to use the bathroom. If you are not allowed to do classroom bathroom breaks, consider asking your administrator for special permission. Explain that your students suffer after recess due to allergies, and you think being able to stop a the bathroom to clean up will help them.

3. Teach students to wash their face
Encourage your students to get a wet paper towel and wipe down their entire face after time outside. Forehead, cheeks, nose, mouth, chin, and even the neck!

4. Remind students not to rub their eyes
Sometimes they do this without even realizing it and it usually just makes matters worse! Any pollen from their hand gets into their eyes. Their eyes turn red and even become sore from the rubbing.

5. Let students get water
Take your students to the water fountain and let them get a long chance to get water. This can help rise pollen from their mouth and throat.

6. Leave jacket inside
Does your student have a jacket that they wear in the classroom when the air conditioning makes them feel cold? Don't bring it outside! It will become full of pollen and chances are, the student will be wearing the exact same jacket in class tomorrow.

7. Don't go outside in the morning
Pollen counts are the highest between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Try to avoid having morning recess. If that is your scheduled time, talk to your administrator about adjusting it during the Spring. Keep in mind that dry, windy days usually have the highest pollen counts. Consider taking your students to the gym if you have open gym time. Or, do Go Noodle in the classroom. Sometimes its best to stay inside.

8. Wash surfaces in your classroom regularly
You can give your students a baby wipe at the end of the day and have them wipe down any surfaces in the classroom. Students are tracking pollen in all day, and a quick wipe down can really help. I would usually give students a wipe during our dismissal time and they would wipe off their desks, their chairs, and their backpack area.

9. Don't forget inhalers
Your students who suffer from asthma might have major difficulty with spring allergies. Be sure to bring their inhalers with you when you are outside. Even if you are not outside for recess.

10. Talk to the parents
If students have a pair of sunglasses at home, encourage parents to send them. This can act as a bit of protection over their eyes. If the situation is very bad, explain to parents how their child is suffering during the day. Encourage nightly baths, and regularly washing their jackets and sheets. If you don't feel comfortable having this conversation, you can ask your school nurse to give them a call. You can also send this free letter home! (You can even edit it to make it work for your classroom! Just make sure you save a copy to your computer before you attempt to edit it.)


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Today I'm bringing you some tips for parent teacher conferences. If you are a new teacher, you may be intimidated by the thought of having these first conferences. What should you cover? How long should you meet?

1. Know how long to meet

Parent-Teacher conferences vary in length of time. Some conferences can be as brief as 15 minutes, other conferences can be as long as an hour. If it is conference season, and I am meeting with ALL of my students' parents or guardians, I try to keep conferences between fifteen and twenty minutes. Because I use a variety of parent communication methods, this is not the first time I am communicating with my students' parents. They have heard from me many times already, and what we discuss during the conference is mostly a formality. There will be no shocks or surprises delivered during these conferences.

When I send home a parent-teacher conference sign up sheet, I include a schedule. The schedule has various days of the week, and different times. I have parents mark their top three choices of availability, and I also have an "other" line if none of the times work for them. As students bring back their parent's requests on the schedule, I create a master schedule with everyone's times. Occasionally there will be issues where I have to reach back out to a parents because none of the times they requested are available, but more often than that, I am able to fit everyone in! All I do is send home a thank you sheet, and a note letting parents know which time I scheduled their conference for. One of the reasons why this is so helpful is because parents can see that the conference times are brief. They know we are not having a super long formal (and stressful) meeting. If you have parents who are more reluctant to come to school, this may ease some of their concern! It also prevents extremely long conferences which are not always productive. Get a free (editable) copy here!

This Parent Conference Sign up sheet is free and editable!

2. Be prepared

When I have parent-teacher conferences, I am always prepared for what we will review. I have their child's test scores, reading levels, math scores, writing samples, and any other artifacts I want to show them. We review each of these as I talk about grade level expectations.  Being prepared can help the meeting run smoothly, gives you plenty to talk about, and helps avoid awkward gaps in conversation!

3. Be positive and constructive

While we are reviewing a child's artifacts, I am always careful to be positive as well as constructive. Sometimes we fill out a conference sheet that includes "Areas of Strength" and "Areas to Improve." For younger students, you can have a "Glows" and "Grows" sheet to show areas of the student's strengths and weaknesses.

4. Ask questions

Ask the parent questions about the child and give the parent the opportunity to tell you things about them. A great question I like to ask is, "Is there anything you think I should know about ____?" If you have a child who is new to your school, it is important to ask about their experiences before they came to your classroom. Did the previous teacher have any concerns? What concerns does the parent have? You can also ask parents if there is anything else YOU could do to help them with their child.

5. Have a takeaway

Give parents something to work on with their child when they leave the meeting. No, I don't mean give them a stack of worksheets to practice. But, give them some valuable information that they can take home to help their child improve in any area! If a child is struggling with a certain standard, you may consider sending home a Parent Helper. (These are standards-aligned parent resources that I carry in my TpT store.) You can also ask a parent to help their child with a specific skill. (Math facts, reading aloud to improve speed and accuracy.) Finally, you can also have parents work on behavior with their child at home. Whenever behavior is an issue, be sure to have specific skill you want the parent to address. (Keeping hands to self, sharing, speaking kindly, following directions the first time, etc...)

I hope these tips help you out! For more parent resources, head on over to my TpT store! I've got a free editable montly newsletter, the schedule letter, and Parent Helpers that I mentioned in this post!

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Tips and free resources to help you with your parent teacher conference! The free letter will help you easily plan your conferences around your schedule.

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