Saturday, January 25, 2014

Goods and Services- Our In Depth Study and Simulation!

Over the past 2 weeks, my class has been studying needs, wants, goods, services, and the free enterprise system.

First, we took a close look at creating goods. We decided to evaluate how effective assembly lines are by comparing quality and speed when using an assembly line compared to each person completing all the jobs alone. We created a very simple birthday card.

Of course, they found that assembly lines were more effective, and some were quite surprised by that!

Next, we took a look at services. After determining how services were different than goods, we held a pretend market. Students had $15 in fake money to spend at our market. Each student created a service that they thought 1st and 2nd graders would be interested in. Here are some of the things they came up with:

Afterwards, they realized that some did an excellent job targeting our class' interests, and others could improve. I love how they decided they wanted to try again because many of them could improve.

So, we decided to hold a goods and services market. To make it more realistic, I asked students what job they wanted to pretend to have so I could pay them each day based on the average salaries that job makes. This made them realize that not all consumers make the same amount of money, and everyone has to make choices on what to buy based on the money they have.

We designed a Google forms survey to give to our class and a 3rd grade class. After evaluating the results, they came up with ideas for the market. Because our class preferred to have REAL items and services to purchase, we held the market to order items on Friday, wrote down the orders on an order form they could take home this weekend, and will be fulfilling orders on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

At the market, I told my class that they needed to fulfill at least 2 needs before buying any wants they could get at the market. Of course I didn't really give students the apples or milk they purchased, but I wanted them to get the point that needs should be satisfied before wants.

The kids were so excited to get to sell a real good or service at our market!  I loved how real it became since they were earning an income to spend, deciding what to sell based on survey results, and had to satisfy needs before wants. We even had discussions about whether or not it was fair for different people to sell the same thing.

I would highly suggest trying something like this if you want to make this unit of study come alive for your students.

One more thing... throughout our study, students were using our class Kidblog to post plans, reflections and digital advertisements. They would L.O.V.E. it if some of you would check out their posts and leave comments. We will be posting more next week as we get the chance to reflect on our entire experience.
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Monday, January 13, 2014

Spiral Math Games- Addition or Multiplication

One of the most popular posts on my blog has been this one about Spiral Multiplication. I taught my 3rd graders how to play last year, and I thought I could modify it and make it work for my 1st and 2nd graders this year as well. The best part is... all you need is the directions, a deck of cards without the Jacks, Kings, and Queens, and something to use as game pieces. Feel free to grab the direction cards I made for my kids by clicking here. I kept the multiplication version in the file that I used last year and also added an addition version. For the addition version, I'd suggest possibly using two 1-6 dice or one 7-12 die to make it more challenging.


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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Classroom Photos... Finally!

You've been waiting, and now they are here! Now that my iPads are in my new classroom, my tables have arrived, and it's all organized, I've got some photos to share with you!

Yes, I'm just now all organized even though Friday was the end of our first week. :)

Here is the view as you walk in the front door:

Here is my classroom library:

Here is a bulletin board ready for our creative thinking and brainstorming strategy anchor charts:

Here are the book boxes:

This is where I will display some of the students' work inside the room:

This is the reading tent. It was made by my husband's grandmother. She added fabric to a premade mosquito net.

Here is a picture of one of the student tables ready for Tuesday:

This is where we store supplies and materials since there isn't room at the tables:

This is where I store materials for the week:

Here is my desk area:

Our technology rocks board with rules for using the iPads:

My teacher read aloud books:

This is where the students hang backpacks:

I think that covers most everything. The decorations are ones that I created to match my star theme. You can find them in my TPT store if you are interested.

Hope everyone has a restful long weekend!
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Very Soon...

Back to School on Monday to be exact! I can't believe how quickly the summer has flown by! 

Between moving into our FIRST house, getting ready for my kids that I met last Thursday, and getting ready for our North Texas blogger meet up tomorrow, I've been pretty busy!

Over the last two weeks, I mainly focused on getting my room in progress and moving into our house. When I walked into my room two weeks ago, this is what I saw:

It may look like a pretty clean slate to you, but one thing was missing... all of my boxes!!!

Turns out there was a leak in the roof/flood and all of my things got moved into this room along with 4 other people's things. It was quite a task to find all of my belongings among the others.

This is a picture of part of my room as I was in progress.

Unfortunately, I don't have any others for you. Don't know why I didn't think to take them yet. I promise I'll post pictures next week. I have to show you what I did for our Meet the Teacher, too. It was wonderful! I even had all of my kids show up this year. Wahoo!

On another note, I'm sure you've already heard about the big TPT sale which starts tomorrow!

I would highly suggest filling your cart tonight so you can have all of your goodies ready to go!

I haven't said too much on my blog about my TPT items lately, but I did want to point out a few that are new.

If you haven't checked the next few out, you may want to. They are very popular!

I will have my items 20% off now through Tuesday even though the sale only runs through Monday. Get them on sale now while you can!

I can't wait to share my classroom photos, my blogger meet up photos, and my new blogging series! :)
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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Gear Up With Teaching Strategies- Part 1

Here it is! This is part one of my linky party "Gear Up with Teaching Strategies". I wanted to create this linky party to get teachers ready for the year. As tempted as we all are to go straight to decorating and organizing our rooms, it's also good for us to make sure we have some solid teaching strategies in our tool boxes.

Any strategy you use over and over again is a great one to share. I'd love to hear what you do no matter how simple! Feel free to link up or comment to share yours.
I want to share different strategies you can use that all have to do with butcher paper and smelly markers. (Really any kind of markers would work, but the smelly ones are so much fun!)

1. Pre-assessment
One of my favorite ways to pre-assess what students know about a topic is by writing down 4-8 content vocabulary words on pieces of butcher paper, with one word on each sheet. Students rotate around the room in groups writing down everything they *think*  they know about that word. After they have had enough time you can discuss what they knew and find any misconceptions you will need to cover.

2. Formative Assessment
I love to use butcher paper for formative assessment as well. I put questions or words on butcher paper and put them around the walls of the room. Again, the students use markers to answer the questions or show what they know about a vocabulary word. This time, they get to do it more like graffiti. They can add little pictures or use special handwriting to put their answers on the wall like graffiti. Again, it shows you what your students know and what misconceptions they may have.

3. Word Problems
Butcher paper can also be fun to use for word problems. I've posted before about how I paste a word problem in the middle, and students rotate around the room answering the question.You can click here to go to my previous post.

I've also recently heard about a way to do the same thing only the butcher paper looks more like this:

The word problem goes in the middle, and 4 students have their own space to show their work for the word problem.

4. With Pictures

I also enjoy finding pictures and pasting them to butcher paper for certain lessons. When you can find eye-catching photos and students get to use your special markers, how can they not be engaged? I posted about how I did this with Fact and Opinion as the topic here. You could also do this with other topics easily such as landforms, shapes, letter sounds, and more!

I also have to add that I finally finished it!!! My "Not Your Normal Back to School Unit" is complete and packed with activities to do at the beginning of the year that require your kids to think deeper from the start! It also has ideas for almost every activity to differentiate for your strugglers and the ones who need more of a challenge. You can check it out here!

I'd love to hear about ANY teaching strategy you regularly utilize in your classroom. No matter how simple it may seem, it may spark an idea for another teacher. Please comment with your strategy or link up! 

Be sure to come back Saturday, August 10th and Saturday, August 17th for more!

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