Sunday, January 27, 2013

Math Stations in Pictures

We had inside recess on Friday and my kiddos begged to spend that time doing math stations, so we had about 2 hours total of math station time (before and after lunch)! They had a ton of fun and I was able to get some good pictures, so I'm sharing them with you today.

One of our favorite math stations is our Roll & Graph games:
My groups are usually about 4 kiddos a piece, and on games like this they work in pairs. They take turns rolling the dice and graphing which image comes up each time and then work on the recording sheets together, checking their partner's work. I laminate my pages and they just use dry erase markers, so it is a paper saver!

 
   

Our Roll & Cover games are also a staple:
These two boys are playing the addition version, I try to keep students of the same skill level together so they can challenge each other.
 
 These guys are getting subtraction practice:


We've been using my Snow Much Measuring Fun Unit a lot lately too:
This group is using both sets of time cards - time to the hour and half hour. First they sort them, then match them digital to analog in a pocket chart. The matching recording sheet is good practice as they have to draw in the hands on the analog clocks!

 
 

Also in the measuring pack are two activities for measuring with nonstandard units:

Two kiddos work on measuring the width of the ice floes,
 
while the other two measure the height of the snowmen. Once they have finished the recording sheet they get to switch places and do the other activity.

 

We did our graduated order activity as a whole group refresher, as few of my kiddos needed independent practice with this skill:


We've also been using the ten frame cards from my Winter Ten Frames pack. I have my kiddos work as a team to match them up and then arrange them in numerical order in our big pocket chart:

 
 Love how proud this group was when they finished!


I am wrapping up our Winter unit and getting ready for February! I created a new set of February/March Ten Frame cards that have images for Presidents Day, Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day:


I also made another Measurement unit, this one with Valentine graphics, so we can continue to practice those skills:


I would love to send this new measurement pack to a lucky winner! Just rustle up a response below, telling me your favorite math station activity and I'll choose a random comment tonight at 11pm! Make sure to include your email address so I can send the pack over right away!

UPDATE: Did the random number thingy and the winner is Andrea (aka MrsS). Thanks so much for all of your comments! Andrea, check your mail :)



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr Lesson!

I realized today that I forgot to share about my MLK Jr lesson on Friday! I even took pictures, and then forgot all about it - well I remembered today, so, better late then never, right?

I start with 3 different colors of paper and matching crayons for those colors. I did red, white and black:


Bring everyone to carpet and hand each child a paper and make sure they get the matching color crayon. At this point some of my smarties begin to mutter about white not showing up on white paper etc. Ignore the mutters and settle in to read one of the best books ever:


Seriously love this book! The pictures are so beautiful, and the story is told simply yet poignantly.

Instruct the children that they have to draw a beautiful picture while you read aloud. Start reading and see what happens. In past years I haven't gotten even a page into the book before the muttering revs up, finally culminating in one brave soul who will cry out "Mrs. Knopf I can't use the white crayon on white paper!" or red crayon on red paper etc.

This year however, my kiddos were all working very hard to try to get those darn crayons to show up, so I had to intervene and ask one of them point blank "Jimmy Bob, why aren't you drawing, I told you to draw me a beautiful picture!" At this point he earnestly explained that he was trying, it was just hard to see.

Most years, the kids come up with the solution to switch crayons on their own. This year's class needed a little help to come to that conclusion, but finally suggested it. I acted aghast that they would want to mix their crayon and paper colors - "You mean you're going to use the white crayon on red paper?!" and they assured me that it was, in fact, a good idea.  I allowed the switch of crayons, furrowing my brow in worry until a few of them demonstrated that it was working and they would draw me a great picture.


The kids keep drawing as I read, eventually getting so pulled into the book that their crayons drop by the wayside and they sit, struggling to comprehend - "You mean she couldn't sit anywhere she wanted on the bus?" "Why were people like that?" and finally "He died?!"


The discussion that takes place afterward is priceless. We talk about all the things we'd miss out on if it hadn't been for MLK Jr. Students who wouldn't be best friends, or even classmates any more, having to use a different restroom or water fountain etc. It truly is one of the best group discussions we have all year.

This year, rather than continue on with another book (I usually do "The Crayon Box That Talked" and have everyone decorate a crayon template) I chose to make a great craftivity from Susan Moran's MLK Jr unit. I really wanted to get the kids writing about their dreams. I stressed that this was supposed to be a serious dream - not one about having a bath with a purple and pink poodle! I think they turned out awesome, so I'm sharing a few of them with you tonight:

I can totally see this little girl growing up to be a firefighter - she is very determined!

First off, love that she used a contraction correctly, secondly, I never knew she aspired to be an artist! I will have to provide more free art time!


This little guy is one of my strugglers - I was so proud of him for getting 3 complete sentences down!



I am first in line for a $1 house!

He sounded out "hippopotamuses" by himself!

This little girl is always belting out the tunes when we sing - I love that music  brings her such joy!



This little guy wants to be a nurse, but he'll make sure to wait for the doctor when he helps people. I just loved it!


That's it, just a little peek :)  I am so lucky to be a teacher!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Valentine's Day on the Brain

Whew! I am exhausted, and I haven't even started my lesson plans yet! I just finished up my February/March Ten Frames pack! I am super excited about this one because it has such cute graphics to go along with Valentine's Day, President's Day and St. Patrick's Day! I know my kiddos will love them!
Seriously cute graphics, right?!
 
If you're a FB fan, I just posted about these and am giving a set away FREE to a random commenter on my FB page, so hurry over to enter as I'll choose a winner before bedtime tonight - bedtime being whenever I finally get lesson plans done lol:)

I also picked up a couple of new Valentine's Day books this weekend. I was at my local Hastings, which is the only book store within 50 miles of our little town, and they actually had a cute display where I found these two:

           

Both of them are adorable and the Night Before Valentine's Day one even gave me some cute ideas for our own Valentine's Day celebration! I usually shop on Amazon.com because of our lack of book stores, so I was pleasantly surprised to be able to pick these up :)

I am working on a measurement pack for Valentine's Day as well. Here's a question - do you have a party for Valentine's Day? Do you make or give cards? I posted yesterday about the gumballs I found for my kiddos, and someone commented that they weren't allowed to give food to their kiddos, which had me wondering what everyone else's rules about V-Day parties are. Rustle up a response below and let me know how you celebrate Valentine's Day in the classroom!




Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cute Valentine Idea!

I found the cutest Valentine gift for my kiddos! How adorable are these?!



I found them at my local Sam's Club. They come 24 to a pack which meant I had to buy 2 packs to make sure I had enough for my class of 27! Luckily I talked my teaching buddy into buying them too so we are splitting the extra pack. They were only $9.99 so they were a lot more economical than some of the things I have bought in the past, and I know my kiddos will love them.


I also love the test tubes - since we are having our Science Fair January 31st, I thought the test tubes would be a good reminder of all the science experiments we will see/do. And no, I haven't even a clue about what we're going to do for our class science experiment. We were only given a two week notice about the fair since its run by the intermediate classes. I wish we had more time to do a really prolonged, investigative experiment, but we will have to settle for something that won't take too long to set up and complete so we have time to write it up and make our display board.

Does your class have to have a Science Fair project? Have any great ideas for me? I'd love it if you'd rustle up a comment below for me!

If you don't have a Sam's Club nearby or your store doesn't have the gumball test tubes you can always just make baggies of gumballs like this:


Click on the link to go to this fun blog to get the free printable!

 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Marshmallow Bites Freebie and Misc!

Many thanks for all of the kind words, and yes, you were correct, I am expecting baby #5! I am only partially outed at work, so you are even ahead of some of my coworkers! I did have to tell my cafeteria manager when she did a double take after seeing my tray today - before Christmas my lunch was usually a salad, bottle of water and maybe a few pieces of broccoli or carrots. Today I was starving so I got the sweet & sour chicken with brown rice, the macaroni and cheese and the pasta salad, along with cut up bell pepper strips and carrot sticks and a carton of milk. I didn't end up eating it all in our allotted 15 minutes, but I made a healthy dent in it lol! I have found that with this pregnancy I only get nauseous when my stomach is empty, so I am going to have to figure out some snack ideas that will be easy to eat and not too obvious so I can snack during the day without my poor kiddos feeling deprived!

Anyways, I promised I'd award some commenters with their choice of item from my store, so I picked 3 random winners and they are:


Thank you so much ladies! I will be contacting you shortly to see which goody you'd like!

We are on day 3 of inside recess. I think I can safely say that I am a wee bit cranky at this point and my students are a wee bit crazy. I am praying for snow or warmer weather. At this point I don't care which - this in-between stuff is killing me - either it has to be warm enough to go outside or too snowy to come to school! However, we did have a ton of fun during recess today:

 Puppet Center is always the first to fill up - love how these kiddos are using both sides of the stage to interact!

To entice a few kiddos to drawing center I got out the markers and the colored pencils - gasp!

 My block center kiddos made a helicopter pad - love how they put the helicopter on top of the H block!

The Marble Run is actually my very favorite - I could play with these things for hours and so can my students! They are getting to be good little architects!

I am sad to say that our copy machine is down due to lack of toner. Apparently we are shipping in replacement toner from Timbuktu and it won't be here until next week sometime. I was sincerely relieved that we had library and computers today, at least a little bit of time was eaten up that way! I am not sad that I don't have worksheets, as we don't usually use them much anyways, but I can't even send home a sight word list or print any recording sheets for units! Today during library time our librarian read Snowmen at Night and I can't even use the super cute Snowman at Night Craftivity/Writing activity I found that goes with it! 

Yep, the January blahs are in full force, I think it's time to cut this pity party short! In order to cheer myself up tonight I created a fun little graphing freebie that goes along with some cute marshmallows I found at the grocery store! They come in banana, strawberry, orange and raspberry shapes, and as soon as I saw them I knew they'd be a perfect Friday treat! Hopefully you can find them at a grocery store near you and use this freebie too!Just click the picute to download it in Google Docs!







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