Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Week in Pictures 3.26.12

Here are some pictures from my past week. Enjoy!

In Writing Workshop, we did an introduction to Poetry. I love using the book Insectlopedia. It inspired us to create our own class poem. More on the insect stuff later in my Insect Unit... it's in the works! 

We brainstormed what we knew about butterflies on the left, and then picked a poem in Insectlopedia that inspired us to pick this type of pattern for our poem.
Flap, Flap in the air. Slurp, slurp the flower there. Look, look and you will see... 20,000 kinds of me!

Here are the games we enjoyed learning and playing last week in Math Workshop:

Through LINKing Leaders, the leaders in my class learned our Fill the Lot game and taught it to their partners.

Although we are done with our farm research, my students are still enjoying our Coop 10 Chickens game.

They also enjoyed learning our Spring More and Less Bump game. It is such a fun, fast-paced game!

This week I introduce our Roll of the Day jar. I used dice from our Spring Bump game before I introduced it so they would be used to doing 1 or 2 more and less than a number. 

They also wrote in their math journals to practice more and less. One of my students did a little extra... How awesome is this? :)

First I had 10. Take away 7 is 3.

They loved one of their new word work options, sight word splat. You can find it at Heidisongs Resource.

...and here is my favorite part of the week. A genuine piece of motivation from one of my sweet girls:

Dear Mrs. Patton's Ladybugs, Let's have no timeouts for free choice and also for recess. No timeouts for Recess.
I love it when they encourage each other like that!

Hope you had a great week, but more importantly, I hope you have a chance to relax this weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

More and Less Bump

I don't know about you, but I love the game Bump! It is a fun, fast paced way for kids to practice number operations. As I was thinking about what my kiddos need next week, I decided to create a different version of bump... one that focuses on 1 more, 1 less, 2 more, and 2 less.

I just finished creating an adorable game board with my new favorite program, Adobe Illustrator.

I uploaded it, and it's ready for you to check out!

Do you have any favorite games for working on the concept or 1 or 2 more and less?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Writing Workshop Ideas Lesson

The first book I downloaded on my Kindle was No More "I'm Done!": Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades by Jennifer Jacobson. I'd heard great things about it, and couldn't wait to read it.

I've read most of the book, and it made me want to start the beginning of the year over because it had so many great Writing Workshop ideas. Writing Workshop is my 2nd favorite thing to teach (next to Math Workshop). I couldn't believe how many ideas I was able to pull from this book. 

Once I got over the fact that I could not turn back time, I read on to the section with ideas for lessons throughout the year. I used one of her ideas in my classroom recently, and wanted to share.

I don't know about your students, but some of my students still struggle with getting ideas for their writing. We've talked about where you can get ideas, made a "map of our heart" like I have in my Writing Notebook materials, and even have of poster in our class of the ideas the group came up with. Despite all of this, I still have a few who claim that they have "nothing to write about".

She suggested to teach kids that they can draw a picture of a special place, and then mark an x every place that they have a special memory. 

To illustrate writing a story centered around a special place, I first pre-read The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson the day before. (This is one of my absolute FAVORITE stories!) The next day, we revisited the story and I talked about how I noticed the author wrote the whole story around 1 location which was a fence.

Then, I created a map of my backyard to show how I had lots of stories from one place.

Here is my example (Beware... I did not take the time to make it as cute as possible...):

I  put 2 x's on the pool for the 2 stories I can remember there, I put an x on the grass because our backyard is where we always did Easter Egg hunts (every year until I was 22... no more once I got married, don't judge!), I put an x on the table where we sat one summer for a graduation party, etc.

Then, I gave my students the option of taking a blank piece of paper and drawing a map of their own special place. They understood that it could be any place and the x's would mark different stories they could write about.

Here is one example:

This was a great way to show students another way to collect ideas. I also like that it gives students a chance to draw ideas first instead of feeling the pressure to write something all the time.

How do you help your students come up with ideas?

Monday, March 19, 2012

We have a winner!

The winner of the Luna Interactive Projection Camera is...

Congrats, Mrs. Saoud!

If you haven't ever checked out her blog, Primary Graffiti, you should. It's great! You'll be glad you did... :)


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ten Frame Games

Happy St. Patty's Day! Hope you are wearing green! :)

I just finished uploading my new Ten Frame Mini-Unit to TPT. It has 7 games to play with ten frames. It's sure to engage your students!

Check out my Facebook Page to see if you can get it for free!

Speaking of free, if you'd like to win the Luna Interactive Projection Camera, time is running out to enter. Click here to enter that giveaway.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Luna Camera Giveaway

I was so excited when I was contacted by Learning Resources to try out their new Luna Interactive Projection Camera. I used it in my classroom last week, and it was great! I already had a document camera that the school provided for every room, but to be completely honest, I might like this one better.

This one was easy to install on my computer, and it was so easy to have it display on my projection screen. The arm makes it easy to move around, and my favorite part is that it can take video. My other document camera didn't do that, so this was a great plus. We took a video of me playing the guitar and the kids singing our "Good Morning Song" and our "Good-bye Song". We shared them at Open House with the parents. I wish I could show you those videos, but I've got to protect my kiddos!

Here are the ways I intend to use the camera:
  • to read aloud tiny picture books... on the big screen everyone can see
  • to take class videos
  • to show samples of work/ rubrics
  • to share student work
  • to observe things up close on the big screen for science
These are just a few ways I intend to use the camera in the next few weeks. If you don't have a document camera in your room and you would like one that can display things on the screen as well as take pictures and video, this may be a good option for you. At the price, I don't expect teachers to go purchase it right away, but it would be a good thing to put on a Donor's Choose Project or to write a grant for. The number of ways you can use it are endless.

Now, for the good part! 
Learning Resources has agreed to give one Luna Interactive Projection Camera away to one of my lucky readers! To enter the giveaway, you can:

That's it! Please leave a comment on THIS post for each of the things you do to enter. (You do not have to do all 4 to qualify) If you comment for doing anything other than these 4 things, it will be deleted.

I will pick the lucky winner on Sunday, March 18th at 9:00 PM Central Time.

Good Luck!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My First Clipart Endeavor-- Freebie for you!

Yesterday, I opened a package from Adobe so eagerly because... I purchased Adobe Illustrator! I was able to get a great deal, and I am so excited to delve into creating clip art. I really wanted the characters from the 3 little pigs because I have had a hard time finding all 5 characters. (My kinders insist that the mother pig is an essential character in the story.) Here are the characters I created. Feel free to use them. You can right click and save the image. I only ask that you will give me credit if you use them in your items for sale or freebies. I'd love to see what you create with them if you download them.

Alright, here it is... don't laugh too hard, it's only my first try (Although it took hours...)!

Hope you like them and can use them in your creations. :)


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

FREEBIE- Roll, Say, Write

For those of you on your Spring Break, I hope you are enjoying it and soaking it up! It's a perfect day for Spring Break here in Texas. :)

Last week I was doing some ongoing math assessments in my classroom, and noticed that a handful of my students could use more practice with identifying and writing numbers in the teens correctly. One of my sweeties suggested I make the Roll, Say, Write game with teen numbers, so here it is! 

I created dice, boards with numbers to trace, boards with blank spaces, and an I Can card.


Roll, Say, Write Teens -

Don't forget to leave a comment if you download the freebie. I read every single one!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Math Journal Ideas

Here are a couple of things we have done in our math journals recently. I try to make sure that they write something everyday. I tell my students that "the scientists figured out that our brains remember things best when we do something, talk about it, and then write about it." It's pretty cute the way they take that explanation. I also refer to "the scientists" when I explain why they can't lay down on the carpet during a mini-lesson. :)

We have been starting to work on number combinations and putting numbers together. To help them get ready for this concept, we did a lot with 10 frames. (I've got a mini-unit all about 10 frames coming soon!) Here is an example of 2 of my students' math journal entries:

I notice that there are 3 dots missing.

This is 4 because it has 4 dots.

We also played a game from one of our curriculum resources where they basically play war with number cards. The difference is that they have to pick two cards and add them together. The player with the largest sum takes all 4 cards and puts them in their stack. Anyway, after learning that game today, I had them pull two cards and write a sentence about the sum in their math journals to solidify their thinking. Here are some samples:

5 and 4 is 9.

3 and 4 is 7.

2 and 3 is 5 because I counted it.

I always tell them that to be a "4 cupcake" they need to do more than I expect. I had quite a few kids have time to do 3 or 4 of these in 5 minutes, and a couple of students who exceeded expectations by writing because...

So, math journals don't need to be just for solving word problems anymore. I use them everyday even if it is just a simple sentence of what they practiced or got better at that day. "The scientists" really have proven that writing down thinking helps to solidify it!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Free Game to Use with Playing Cards

I was going to do another Look in My Plan Book for you, but this week and the last week I have been using games mainly from Investigations. (That is one of the resources we pull from for our math curriculum.) I didn't think it would be too helpful for those of you who don't use Investigations. So, instead I decided to share a freebie with you that I will be using in my class in a few weeks.

If you want to work on number combinations to 10, then this is the freebie for you. All you need is to print the board and I Can cards I made for you, and then add a sorted deck of playing cards. 

 Don't forget to leave feedback. I love to read your comments!

P.S.- I've been really into 10 frames lately ever since I created that set of flash cards. I'm working on a mini-unit filled with games to use with the 10 frames cards. I hope to finish it before Spring Break! 5 days for me... :)