Winter Olympics, Visual Lesson Plans, and Fraction Timed Tests

Somehow I lost track of time and didn’t realize how quickly the Winter Olympics were sneaking up on me, so I’ve been working hard on my Winter Olympics Close Reading packet.  I had to do a lot of research for this one, because I didn’t know nearly as much about winter sports as I do summer sports (which still isn’t a lot).  One thing I did learn, is that there is no way I would ever participate in the Luge.  No thank you!  Now that I’ve written the passages, I feel like I know a lot more about the sports, and I’m getting excited for them to start!  I had intended to wait on using these passages until the Olympic Games began, but now I think I’m going to start next week!

Just like the other versions, there is three leveled nonfiction reading passages for each of the topics.  I found the lexile level for each of the passages using the lexile analyzer.  There is also a correlation chart that compares DRA, guided reading, and lexile levels.  I’m still fairly new to lexile levels myself, so I have to refer the chart all of the time.


All three versions essentially have the same content, so any passage can be used to answer the three pages of questions.  I’ll continue focusing on one topic a week, because that’s what works best with my schedule.

I also have my visual lesson plans ready for the week.  The only major change is that I’m putting my conventions unit on hold for the next few weeks, so that I can have time for my I Heart Common Core activities.  I really like these center activities and didn’t want my students to miss out this year.

I bought several of the Susan B. Anthony and Mary McLeod Bethune lessons from 3rd Grade Gridiron, who has units for all of the historical figures in the GA third grade social studies standards. I’ve added a link to the individual packets to my visual plans.  However, I bought her large bundle here, which will help you save a little money if you intend to buy a packet for each person in the standards. If you’re a Georgia third grade teacher, you’ll love it!

I have a huge group of students who love taking timed tests.  I know that in some districts timed tests are frowned upon, but I like them.  I think that with the right approach they can be useful and fun for students.  I try very hard to get my students to see timed tests as an opportunity to grow, rather than something to be stressed with.  To the point, my students love them, and I have the great problem of having about half of my class already finished with their multiplication and division facts. After they finished those facts, I had them work on a combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts, but they wanted more.  They asked me everyday if I had a new timed test for them.  I’ve been thinking of all kinds of things they can do, and last week we tried these fraction timed tests, and my students enjoyed the challenge.  It has students convert fractions into whole numbers, and I’ll eventually make a new set where students convert improper fractions into mixed numbers.  I didn’t give these to my students until after I hand introduced the concept conceptually through manipulatives.  I always like to introduce the concept before skill.  I tried so hard to find these already made, but I never did find a set, so I made my own.  You can grab a copy by clicking on the picture below!



  1. says

    I love, love, love your close reading passages. My 8th graders love them too. We are going to be getting ready for our state wide writing test for the next 6 weeks and this will be a great way to give them a break from writing. I am sure they will be grateful! Thank you! :)

  2. says

    Holy cow! All I can say is WOW! I absolutely LOVE your Cloze reading packet. I cannot even imagine how much time it took you to create that! I am definitely going to be purchasing it! How on earth do you find the time to create all of these awesome materials? I also blog and have a TPT account and I feel overwhelmed with just the little that I do. Do you have a certain time each week that you sit down and just create? I am very curious what your secret is. You are an inspiration. =) (not to sound like a creeper…)
    3 Teacher Chicks

  3. says


    Thank you so much! Time is definitely the hardest thing for me. I try hard to not work too much, but it's difficult to find a good balance. My main working time is from 8-11 after I get my kids in bed. I also work a lot over the weekends. Send me an email anytime if you have any questions!

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