Sunday, December 15, 2013

Reading To Learn Freebie

The holidays are upon us and our students are very aware of that. So instead of fighting all the talk of presents, parties, and vacation we decided to use it to our teaching advantage. Wendie and I want to share two of the activities we created for the final week of school before winter break and hope it will help you. Please visit our TPT store and download the two freebies.

Here is a sneak peek... Just click on the pic and it will direct you to our teacher store.
for the Christmas Shopping Budget activity you will need some store ads" Toys R Us, Target, Walmart, and such. We wanted to create a "real world" experience.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Indian Corn Freebie

We are in the middle of district assessments and report cards. Poor kids - what a burn out, so... we thought a nice break was in order.

Of course we connected it to learning :)  I do enjoy taking a step back and watching how my students put concepts together and find joy in our activities. If you are in need of some fall fun we wanted to share this activity with you.

There is an Indian corn nonfiction passage, art, and math.

Then, comes creating our own Indian corn.

We are not quite finished, but I though you might like to get started too.
Just click on the pic to download.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Currently in November

We made it through October, Woo Hoo! Now, I just need to start preparing for report cards and parent conferences.

I love Farley's November currently. You can get the template from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade and start posting your very own currently.

How to choose from all the yummy treats. I am a BIG sucker for anything peanut butter and chocolate. I know, who isn't? Just looking at the pic makes my mouth water. Yummo!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Carving

It's that time of year when teachers brave it and have their students carve pumpkins. Their are lots of educational, creative, and fun ways to make carving pumpkins meaningful to our students learning.

We thought one way is to give our students some background about pumpkins. We have included information about the history of pumpkins, pumpkin varieties, pumpkin science, and more in our Reading to Learn Pumpkins booklet.

Reading about pumpkins will hopefully allow our students to appreciate and marvel at how truly amazing pumpkins are.

You can check it out at our TPT store.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Freebie- Math Jumbles

Our students love Math Jumbles! Math Jumbles are math riddles that can be used as a math warm-up activity to start a math lesson or as a closing activity.We use Math Jumbles and Critical Crumbs in our classrooms as warm up activities.

There are 2 Math Jumbles per page. This packet contains 24 pages. (total of 48 Math Jumbles) Each page has 2 different types of Math Jumbles.The first Jumble is a set of multiple instructions that provides practice in:
  • addition
  • subtraction
  • multiplication
  • division
The second Jumble is a riddle that requires higher level thinking in:
  • deduction
  • comparing number
  • place value
Since this is our second packet the problems have increased in difficulty :)
Here is a freebie for you to try with your class. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Monster Symmetry

We were so delighted to be guest bloggers at Kids Math Teacher. We just completed this activity with our students this week and are excited to share it with you.

There are many variations that can be done with this activity to soot your grade level. Wendie and I teach third grade and the students did an amazing job.

First, we began by discussing what a line of symmetry is and completing half of a symmetrical monster.

Then, students created their own symmetrical monsters using construction paper (monster colors). Here are some examples created by our kiddos.

Now for the real fun part. Students added symmetrical details and googly eyes to their monsters.

Finally, they used descriptive words and action words to write a descriptive paragraph about their monster. 

Possible variations could be having students add specific geometric shapes and/or fractions like 3/5  of the shapes need to be squares.

Look how cool it all comes together. The students were very creative in their monster symmetry creations and their paragraphs. We hope your students will enjoy as much as ours did.

For your free monster symmetry lesson just click on the pic.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Surviving October

October can seem like a such a long month.  Often, when I leave home to go to work it's dark out and when I return home the evenings seem to fly by. I have found that the newness of back to school has worn off (for me and my students).

So, I have decided that one way I can muster up some energy and enthusiasm is to teach some creative and fun subject matter. What can be more fun that October themed activities? See, just thinking about all the fun October can bring gives me energy and enthusiasm.

Wendie and I worked on these products with the October "blues" in mind. Our hope is that it provides you and your students with some variety, fun learning, and time to re-energize.

 You can view our products at our TPT store- just click on the pics.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Opinion Writing- Freebie

I have to admit, I had my reservations on how my students would manage opinion writing, but I have been greatly surprised by their enthusiasm and effort.

This summer, Wendie and I worked on providing our students with nonfiction passages that would help them compare two similar concepts. Then we worked on scaffolding the writing process to make it meaningful and engaging for our students. The results have been amazing!

We started with the "The Coolest of the Pioneer World" where students read about Johnny Appleseed and then Daniel Boone. Once they find similarities and differences they are able to choose who they believe is the coolest pioneer. They loved this! Then, they moved on to the writing piece where they used their passages to provide evidence to why they believe their choice is the "coolest."

We are still in the final stages of publishing. But I wanted to share our little successes and remind you that it is one of our freebies on our TPT store.

As students finish their writing we will place it under the pioneer of their choice. Click on the pic if you would like the posters for your opinion writing board. Enjoy and Happy Fall!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Teacher Discount

I just saw this ad...

I did not know teachers could save every day at Michael's. What a great surprise!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Currently in September

This is the first time I'm posting a Currently- Woo hoo! Thank you Megan from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade I think they are a great way to share what's new and connect with others.

Can you believe it's September?!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Reciprocal Teaching

I recently have been thinking about reciprocal reading and how to incorporate it into my primary classroom. I am thrilled with the progress my students have been making working collaboratively. I had to explicitly teach/show them what that looks like and it has taken some time for it to start looking like a collaborative group. I still have some ways to go with a few of my students, but I am hopeful that we will make some great improvements this year.

So, this leads me to Reciprocal Reading. Reciprocal Reading has been around since the 80's and is an instructional activity that uses four comprehension strategies (predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing). Reciprocal Reading also allows the students to take on the role of teacher.   Students are actively involved in monitoring their own comprehension and thinking about their own thought process.

This past week I started by teaching each individual strategy and doing more think alouds than I have ever done in my life. My goal is for them to have a firm grasp of each strategy - at the same time I realize that much of the true learning will be done by trial and error. I guess this is where I have to let go and know there will be some bumps.

Through my researching and thinking about Reciprocal Reading I put together a guide that I hope will keep me focused and may help anyone wanting to try Reciprocal Reading with their primary class. The information I gathered has been taken from a variety of teacher resources I have collected over the years and online freebies.

If you decide to use, let me know what you think. Click on pic to download.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale!!!

If you haven't already heard we and tons of other stores are having a sale on TeachersPayTeachers (TPT). The sale starts tomorrow so start your shopping early and save to your wishlist. Visit our store to save up to 28%. Happy shopping!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Teacher Tips and Tricks

What a week! Our first week back and I have a cold. A couple of my little guys had the sniffles the first day of school and I was so determined not to get sick, but no such luck.

I really wanted to do such a great job with this tip. It is such a good one- it has completely increased my students motivation during math. So, I promise to clean it up and have some pics of my class and this tip in practice.

Our tip is a "Math Genius" chart. You can make this as simple as writing Math Genius on the board or create some really cute chart. Here is my prototype (last year I just wrote on the board)
This "Math Genius" chart is used to motivate students to try their best when working on independent work during math. Since I try to pull small groups during this time- I had occasionally been disappointed by my students lack of effort. Even if they knew how to solve the problems they weren't always actively engaged in the problem solving. So out came "Math Genius!"

Once I am finished with my math group I will walk the room and check students work. If they have five problems (You can adjust how many problems) correct they can write their name on the math genius chart. I made name plates so they can just adhere it to the chart.

My students are now so eager to problem solve and get help from me or other students in order to have their name on the chart.  There reward is their name on the "Math Genius" chart. It has made a world of difference.
Click below so you can check out all this weeks amazing teacher stuff.