Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cute Erasers and Manipulatives for Ten-Frames, Sound Boxes, and More!

I love using cute manipulatives to keep my students engaged in their learning!  I found these mini star erasers on clearance in the summer section of Target for only $.30 for a pack of 60 erasers!  I found the cute red, white, and blue star treat cups at Dollar Tree.  Below you will find some activities I like to use with cute erasers and themed counters. 

Ten-Frames Counters
If you use ten-frames in your classroom, you can change it up throughout the year by using erasers or other cute plastic manipulatives to keep it fun and engaging! 
120 Chart 
You can also use these erasers for covering up a number on the hundreds chart and having students guess the number.

Sound Box Manipulatives
I use sound boxes quite a bit in my classroom.  They really help my students learn how to sound out each part of the word and then we practice putting all of the sounds back together.  Sound boxes are a great way to practice segmenting words into individual sounds.  To keep my students engaged, I use a variety of "themed" or seasonal counters, manipulatives, and erasers to use along with these sound boxes.  
I love how this pack is differentiated with 2, 3, 4, or 5 sound boxes to meet the needs of all of my students.  I use these mats a lot during my small group reading intervention block.  Here's how we practice.
First, select a sound box mat and a picture card.  I used the red stars for consonants and the blue stars for vowels.  It is important to change the vowel color so you can see where your students are placing the vowel counter as they sound out the word.  We then "tap out" the sound with our thumb and fingers as we say each sound aloud together.  When students "tap out" the sound, they touch each finger to their thumb as they are saying each sound aloud.  This is where we check to see that the number of counters on the mat match the number of sounds we tapped out on our thumb and fingers.   
Students then push up one star on their mat for each sound they say aloud.
After the students have pushed up each star to check that the word has three sounds, they write the letter(s) that made the sound in each sound box.  Notice below that digraphs and vowel teams make one sound so they go in one box together.  When a long vowel word ends in e, we draw an arrow to the vowel to show that the e makes the vowel long.
My students love these plastic jewels that I bought at Dollar Tree near the vase section.
Last year I found these cute plastic pumpkins at Michaels craft store and the cute Fall themed treat cups at Hobby Lobby.  My students LOVED these pumpkin counters!  To get these cute sound box mats and picture cards for your classroom, click here.  I hope you are able to use some of these ideas with your students in your classroom.  :)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Giant UNO Cards for Math Talks!

Hello everyone!  I hope you are all enjoying your summer!  I stopped by Target today and found these super cute Giant UNO cards in the summer section 70% off!  I ended up paying only $5.99 for them.  What a deal!  
Here is a picture of my kiddos playing UNO to show you the actual size of the giant cards. :)  Since these cards are a little over 10 inches long I thought they would be perfect to use during our whole group number talks.  Students could either add or subtract the numbers on two cards, find the fact family equations for two number cards, or you use some of these action cards below to add some fun!
After you show students two cards and they solve the equation, you could hold up the plus 2 card where they could add 2 to to the answer.  Or, this card could mean "double fact" where you hold up one number card and tell the double fact.
Color Sort
Sorting: If you have younger Pre-K or Kindergarten students, these cards could be used to sort by the same color or by the same number.
Number Sort
2-Digit Addition or Subtraction: For 1st and 2nd grade students, you could have these cards in a math station where they arrange them as a 2-digit addition or subtraction problem and them solve to find the answer.
2-Digit Addition or Subtraction (34+23= ? or 34-23 = ?)
Combinations of 10: These cards are also great for having your students make combinations of 10.  Students start out with 7 cards.  He or she will lay out any two numbers they have to make a 10.  The wild card can be the number 10 so it can be paired with the 0 card.  If they cannot make a ten they will draw a card from the pile and then it is the next player's turn.  The person who lays down the most combinations of 10 is the winner.
Making 10 Concentration: You could also have your students use these cards to play a making 10 concentration game.  Have students flip over the cards in 4 rows of 4.  Have students take turns turning over 2 cards at a time to make a 10.  If the two numbers they flip over make a 10, keep the two cards and take another turn.   Replace the cards that were removed with 2 new cards from the deck.  Whoever has the most combinations of 10 at the end of the game wins!
 Single Digit Addition or Subtraction: You could also have your students simply flip 2 cards over and add or subtract the two numbers.  If they get the answer correct, they get to keep the cards.  Replace the cards that were removed with 2 new cards from the deck. If the answer is incorrect, place the cards back where they were.  Then it is the next player's turn.  Whoever has the most cards at the end of the game wins!

Multi-Digit Addition or Subtraction: For 2nd and 3rd graders, you could have them arrange the cards as a 3-digit or 4-digit addition or subtraction problem.  If you have any fun ideas to use during your whole group, small group, or math station time please comment below.  Enjoy! :)

Monday, December 28, 2015

I Love My Free Blog T-Shirt from A+ Images!

This past fall I came across a website, by A+Images, offering free t-shirts to bloggers!  How awesome is that?!?  Since I absolutely love my blog logo I took advantage of this limited time offer.  All I had to do is upload my logo using their online tools and select a color for my t-shirt.  It was super easy and really fun to create!  Then they shipped my own custom blog t-shirt for free!  I washed my t-shirt and it still looks great...no fading or shrinking!  Thank you so much A+ Images for the opportunity to create my very own blog t-shirt.  I love it! :) 
They even let me customize the back of my shirt!  
I also want to thank KPM Doodles for making such cute clip art for me to use to create my blog logo.  Click here to view more of her cute clip art designs.
Even though this t-shirt promotion is over, they said to check back in January for a new promotion!  I can't wait to check it out.  Click on the picture below to check out A+ Images' website to create your own t-shirt design for yourself or for your students!   

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Spook-tacular Halloween and Fall Activities!

We had a spook-tacular time in reading this week!  Our learning target was determining the main idea of the text.  First, we used the leveled readers from the Unit 2 Week 4 Wonders reading series.  After reading and discussing the text, my students went "trick-or-treating" for the main idea.  Click on the picture above to get this cute craftivity for your classroom. 
They LOVED this activity!  They wrote the main idea of the text on the first candy.  Then, they wrote 3 supporting details on the remaining candies and placed them inside their trick-or-treat bag.  These are going to look so cute hanging in our classroom for our fall party on Friday.  
 We have also been doing several other fun fall reading craftivities.  What is so great about these craftivities is that you can use them with any book!  What a great way to motivate your students and integrate fun activities into your current reading program!

Candy Corn Sequencing
One of my favorite students' Halloween stories is Arthur's Halloween.  After reading the story to my students, they sequenced the main events of the story on their candy corn.  These look so adorable hanging in my classroom! 

Halloween Question Cookies
 My students also loved this activity!  They used their leveled reader to create who, what, where, when, why, and how questions.  I reminded them that they needed to be able to locate their answer in the text and write it below their question.  If you lift up the cookie flaps, you will see their questions and answers on the cookie tray!

Fall Main Idea Tree
Main Idea is a big focus in Unit 2 of the Wonders reading series.  This fall main idea tree craftivity was perfect for introducing main idea, details, and main topic in my small reading groups. 

In math, we will then play Trick-or-Treat Addition or Subtraction Bump.  I hope your students have a great time learning this week!  Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Happy Cinco de Mayo Craftivity!

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!  Yesterday we read our leveled readers entitled Digging for Sue from the Unit 6 Week 3 Wonders Reading Series.  We then reviewed how to determine the main idea, main topic, and supporting details from the text.  Instead of using a worksheet, I had my students use this creative chips and salsa pattern to show me what they learned!  Students first wrote the main topic on their salsa jar.  Then, they wrote the main idea on one of the chips and three details on the other chips.  Once all of the chips were finished, they cut them out and glued them in their bowl so you can see what they wrote.  They then glued their salsa jar to their chip bowl.   My class had such a fun time making this activity and it looks so cute hanging in the room just in time for Cinco de Mayo!  I love how each one came out so different and unique! 
Click on the picture above to get this fun craftivity for your own classroom!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bloom's Taxonomy Math Question Cards, Game, and Activities to Use with Any Word Problem or Math Task!

I am really excited about using Bloom's Taxonomy math talk cards in my classroom!  Earlier I wrote a post about how I love using Bloom's Taxonomy in my classroom for reading.  You can read about it by clicking here.  I found it so easy to implement Bloom's Taxonomy into my reading instruction and my students LOVE asking and answering higher level questions to each other.  In fact, we use the fiction and nonfiction question cards each week in my class since they love to earn points by answering the questions correctly.  I catch them quietly saying how many points they have to themselves such as, "Yes!...5 more points so now I have 17 points!"  This activity also helps increase your class participation Big Time especially with your competitive kiddos!  
Since my students love using Bloom's in reading to enhance their comprehension and critical thinking, I thought it would be a great idea to also implement Bloom's when we discuss our math tasks and word problems.  Let me walk you through my math block to show you how I use Bloom's Taxonomy in math.

Math Task
For morning work, my students are given a word problem or math task to solve.  I like to change up the types of tasks I use so sometimes I use ones from the Task Arcs given to us by the state department or depending on the skill we are learning, I like to use the ones pictured above from Lakeshore Learning.  After I assign the task, I then have my students solve the problem independently.  We call it our "private think time".  I then have them place their work in their small group math bin so we can discuss it together during our small guided math group time.

Guided Math Small Groups
During our small group math task discussion we reread the problem aloud slowly to the group.  I tell them to read it slowly so they can visualize what is happening in the problem and what the problem is asking us to do.  Students then underline the question.  After reading and analyzing the word problem, they circle the numbers and key word(s) they need to solve the problem.  I only have 4 students in each group so I have them pair up at the table to discuss how they solved their problem to their partner.  Partner A goes first (the student on the right) while Partner B listens to understand.  Then they reverse roles.  I take turns listening to both sets of partners to see if they understand how to solve the problem or if they need additional guidance.  This is a great way to clear up any misconceptions they may have before moving on.  As they are teaching how they solved their problem to their partner they usually catch their own mistakes and fix them before their partner even knows they made a mistake!  I like hearing all of their different strategies that they use to solve the problem and their justifications for why they chose that strategy. 

Next, they get to ask each other questions about how they solved their problem using the Bloom's Taxonomy Math Question Cards.  I keep these question cards on a ring at their tables so each of my students  have their own set of cards to flip to the question they want to ask.  I also keep a full set of cards for me to use at my guided math table.     

Bloom's Taxonomy Math Question Game
     After both sets of partners ask each other questions about how they solved their problem, we then play the Bloom's Taxonomy question game together at our guided math group table.  If you have a stand up pocket chart, you can place the cards as shown in the picture above to have students select questions like a game show.  If you don't have a stand up pocket chart, you can use a regular pocket chart or just ask them the questions from the question card ring.  Students take turns rolling a die.  The number they roll determines the number of point level question they will answer.  (Example: If they roll a 5, they will answer a blue evaluate question worth 5 points.)  Once we ask a question from that point level, you can choose to turn the 5 card over so they can only answer questions from the other levels, or you can have them continue to play with all of the levels.  Simply remove the card they just answered and place it behind the other cards they have not answered.  When a student answers the question correctly, he or she will earn points based on the color of their card.    Students can keep score mentally or add to track their points on an index card or piece of paper.  What a fun time we have promoting higher level thinking!  

 Independent Practice
Sometimes I like to have my students demonstrate what they have learned from the task by using Bloom's Taxonomy to explain their thinking independently.  This way, I can evaluate what I still need to work on with my students. 

Our Think Tank
 Our think tank is used as a wrap up activity when we discuss as a class the different strategies we used to solve the problem.  I usually choose 3-4 students to come up and discuss how they solved the problem.  I then label it their way (Example: Sandy's Way) in addition to the correct name of the strategy.  This helps students understand the different ways to solve problems so they can choose one of their classmate's ways of solving it the next time they solve a math task.  I love to see the students teaching each other and being proud of their learning!

I hope your students enjoy using Bloom's Taxonomy in your classroom as much as mine do!  Click here to get these fun math question cards for your classroom!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Celebrate Black History Month with this Famous American Research Report


I love having my second graders use biographies to research about famous Americans.  Since February is Black History Month, I took my students to our library to choose a book about a famous African American.  Students then read and researched information about the person they chose.  They recorded their information on the graphic organizer below.

They then wrote their rough draft of their report.
 After we edited and made revisions to the rough draft, my students typed the final draft of their report in our computer lab.  They then used the pictures in their library book to help them create a model of their famous African American to attach to the top of their report.  My class did an amazing job on their models!  I am so proud of their hard work and creativity!  
Can you guess who these famous Americans are?  
(Jackie Robinson, Tiger Woods, Marion Jones)
 (Lebron James, Wilma Rudolph)

They then presented their research reports to the class. Some other famous African Americans we researched include Mae Jemison, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, George Washington Carver, Will Smith, Harriet Tubman, Louis Armstrong, Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, and Jesse Owens.  This fun project covered several of our Tennessee Social Studies Standards.