Monday, April 30, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar...Continued!

We are continuing with our Very Hungry Caterpillar theme throughout the week. One activity I do every year with this theme is an addition math game. I do this whole group on the first day. Then I make enough for my students to get into groups of two and take turns creating their own addition problems using dice. Then, I put this in a center for students to play. I give my students a die, laminated caterpillars, and a number sentence sheet that has been laminated. Students get a dry erase marker to work the problems. Roll the die and put that number of caterpillars into the first box. Then, roll the die again and put that many caterpillars into the second box. Write down the number sentence and then count the caterpillars together to find the correct answer.
I hope you enjoy this activity! What activities do you do that goes along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar?


Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Every year I teach life cycles. I always end up reading Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I love doing crafts with my kiddos but with this book I do the same thing every year. So, this year, I thought I would change it up. First, I took a picture of my students. Then, I printed off their picture and cut out their face. I had them create their own caterpillar. They colored it, cut it out, and glued it onto another piece of paper with their picture. Then, they drew the background and added detail.

My students also know that whenever we do a craft we write about it. After we did our craft I had students think about what they would eat as a caterpillar. We wrote our sentences together and worked on spacing and writing neatly. Then, they added a picture of what they ate onto their caterpillar picture. I think they turned out cute and it was a nice change from my normal Eric Carle craft!
This student wrote: On Saturday Isabelle ate 5 chocolate fudge granola bars. But she was still hungry.

What activities do you do to go along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Division Freebies and Video Tutorial

Hello there darlings!  Good to have you back!  The end of the year is coming soon!  Yay for Summer!  BUT... we still have to teach, so here are some freebies for teaching division the Singapore Way and some freebies for Long Division! 

Here is a video tutorial on how we teach division word problems using model drawing in Singapore Math.

After my kiddos are comfortable with the concept of division, we move onto Long Division.  Below is a little mnemonic to help them remember.  You have probably heard of this before.  I did not come up with it, I just created the sheet.  When I introduce this to my kiddos, we use a cube or other kind of game place holder and move the game piece each time we complete a step.  This keeps them on track and helps them to remember what to do next.  Here is how I would walk them through 625 divided by 5...

How many times can 5 go into 6 with out going over it?  OR  What number times 5 will give you 6 without going over it?    Answer: 1

Take the number you just recorded and multiply it by the divisor.  1x5=5.
Record it under the 6.

Now subtract 6-5=1

Brother-Bring down (we can't leave brother out!)
Bring down ONE number at a time.  In this case, we bring down the 2. (I draw the arrow from the two and drag it down next to the one)  Now we have the number 12.

Rover-Repeat or remainder
Do we have all of our place values covered in the answer?  NO, so Rover tells us to repeat everything all over again.

Dad-Divide   and so on....  I complete this process with them and have them move their game piece each time we move through the steps.  Some of your kiddos will get it right away and not need the manipulative and chart.  This is a great way to differentiate.

Below you will find some quick checks to give your kiddos to assess their understanding.  I don't believe in assessing kiddos with long worksheets.  If they can prove they can do it, why make them do it 20 times?  Plus, you don't have to stay up until 11pm grading!

If you have a fun way to teach long division, please share in the comments!!!  Also, head over to our last post to join our End of the Year Linky Party!!
Thanks, Amy

Sunday, April 22, 2012

End the Year with a BANG Linky Party!

Hello lovely friends!  This is our FIRST linky party!  We hope you join us!  Link up your favorite end of the year activities!  It can be simple activities or elaborate celebrations!  All ideas are welcome!

In my third grade classroom, we have "Camp Week."  On the last week of school, we set up tents inside the classroom and complete Camp Theme activities.  This is a memorable way to end our year and keep the kiddos engaged in their learning!  We all know they (and we) are checked out by the last week , so this is a great way to pull them in.

Before my district went to a no food policy, we used to make smores, trailmix, and  hot dogs (in the micro). Each day was something different.  We created a letter for parents to donate items.   

Kiddos get a letter from their parents for each day of camp and they also get a care package with goodies.  We set up a "camp fire" made out of construction paper and rocks in the middle of the room.  I am including my plans for each day for FREE.  Please note:  A lot of my activities are taken from mailbox magazine or other Internet resources that are camp themed.  The plans are just an outline for you and do not include all the resources as they are copyrighted.  It is super easy to type in Camp Theme activities into Google to find cool worksheets.  I just wanted you to see what each day was like.
 Click the pic.
Also check out Tales from Outside the Classroom.

So what do you do for the end of the year in your room?  Link up with us!  Simply fill out the little form below and link to your end of the year blog post!  Don't forget blogging etiquette. Copy and past out Linky Party Picture and write about our Linky Party with a link back to THIS post.  We want as many people as possible to link up so we can all have LOTS of ideas!!! Thanks friends!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

I posted on Monday about mental images using the book "Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes". We read the story again and used it during our writing time. I made a list of the things that Pete did in his school shoes. I wrote the "action" words in red and wrote everything else in black. Then, we talked about the action words. I always remind my students that verbs are action words. Ask yourself, "can I ....". If the answer is yes, then it is a verb! To apply the lesson, I had my students tell me what they would do in their school shoes. The following pictures are of the charts and writing activity that my students did! Click the pictures to download:

If you haven't read Pete the Cat, I would highly recommend it! You can search Pete the Cat Rocking in My school Shoes on youtube and listen to the song that goes with it! 

My students wrote about what they do in their school shoes!
The first picture says, I am cooking in my school shoes and the second picture says, I am dancing in my school shoes at the park.

What lessons do you have that go along with this great book?


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I'm "Over the Moon!"

If you teach phases of the moon, you know how hard it is to teach this abstract concepts to your kiddos.  How do you explain to them that the moon that is closest to the Sun is the moon that you can't see (New Moon)?  Well, I have tried many things.  I do all the traditional flashlight and balls demonstration, but kiddos have a hard time remembering the order of the phases.  I finally found a memorization technique that sticks with my kiddos! 

I teach them a mnemonic to remember the order of the Sun, Earth, and Moon.

Smelly Monsters Eat Nachos
Sun-Moon-Earth= New Moon

Smelly Elephants Make Farts  (yes, I just said farts)
Sun-Earth-Moon=Full Moon

These phrases are silly enough for kiddos to remember (and keep talking about...)  My kiddos LOVED it!  They still remember it and can draw me a diagram of the moon phases.  If you are freaking out right now and saying in your best British accent, "Oh my! Did she just say something about flatulence?" the answer is, yes.   Now, I know we all have different kiddos and different maturity levels in our rooms.  If your children can't handle a funny word... change it to "Silly Elephants Make Friends."  Yippy!  The world is right again. =)   I'll be sticking with the first one.

Download the freebies below!  I have a notes page, poster activity, smartboard lessons, and a quiz. 

I would love to know what you think!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mental Images

I have talked with my students all year about creating mental images in our head. I think it is rare for younger students to get mental images of characters in a story without already seeing a picture of the character already. I feel this way because most children's books are full of pictures so students don't have to think about what the character looks like.

I began the lesson by asking if any of my kids have ever imagined themselves as a character in a movie or book they have read. We talked about what they pictured themselves doing. Then, I showed them the anchor chart on Mental Images.

I like to glue my anchor charts onto chart paper so I can add class discussion notes to it. Click on the mental images picture to download a copy!

After we talked about mental images, I read the book "Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes". I covered the cover of the book with constructions paper so students couldn't see any of the pictures. 

I read the book and then asked my students to draw a picture of what they think Pete the Cat looks like. I told them to draw the mental image they made while I was reading.

We put all of our drawings together so they could see how our mental images are all different!

Finally, we made a chart concluding our lesson. I asked my students:
Did we have the same Mental Image as the Illustrator? NO!
Is that ok? Yes!
Mental Images will be different because we all think differently! Woo hoo!

We like to celebrate our differences because, as you already know, if we were all the same that would be BORING!

How do you teach mental images in your class?

Thanks for stopping by! -Shelley

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Math Review Activities and freebie

I hope your Saturday has been awesome!  I have been thinking about fun ways to review math objectives from now until the end of the year.  I have created a fun Money Scoot Game that you can download for FREE!  My kiddos love playing "Scoot."  If you never have, you should try it.  It can work for any subject.  Simply create cards with problems on each one.  Each card is placed on a kiddo's desk, so everyone has a card to start out with.  When you say go, everyone answers the question on their card.  I usually play music and kiddos know to SCOOT to the next desk.  When the music is turned off, they answer the question on that card.  Keep doing this until each kiddo has visited each desk and answered the question on each card.  They LOVE doing this!

I also created a fun review booklet that covers all math objectives in the third grade curriculum.  It has a Solar System theme and kiddos put the booklet together to resemble Saturn.  I created this as a review for the Missouri MAP Test and formatted it as such.  I hope you find it useful!

                                                      Click the pic to download the freebie!

Here is the awesome review I promised! 
Click the pic.

Need something fun for the end of the year but still meets your math objectives? Download this End of the Year Math Packet from teacherspay teachers. It has a Solar System theme. Kiddos complete the 33 problem packet and then cut it out to create a Planet Book. There are 16 problem pages all together, 32 if you include the answer key. Questions are a mix of multiple choice and short answer response.

What objectives does it cover?
1. addition/subtraction of 3-5 digit numbers
2. money
3. fractions
4. slides/flips/turns
5. symmetry
6. input/output table
7. reading a graph
8. elapsed time
9. place value (standard, expanded, word form)
10. multiplication
11. perimeter
12. patterning

There are one or two questions for each objective that reviews the third grade curriculum. I use this as a review for the Missouri MAP Test and I have formatted it as such.

This also includes an ANSWER KEY for the teacher!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sneaky e

I have been teaching my students the sneaky e rule since the end of October. I am proud to say, that after I have made a fool of myself pretending to be the sneaky e for the past six months, they finally get it!
Woo hoo! Don't you just love this time of year when the lightbulb has clicked on and they just magically know things you have been teaching since the first week of school.

I'm going to explain to you how I teach the sneaky/silent e rule and I would love, love, love to hear how you all teach it! I teach it at the end of October to go along with Halloween. I like to put on spooky music for fun. I put a word with a sneaky e on the board. Let's use "bake" as an example. I start at the e and draw footprints going from the e to the vowel (a). I tell my students that e likes to sneak up on vowels and yell, "BOO!".   So, when e  sneaks up on the a it screams its' name and says, "aaaaaaaaaa!" We like to do this as a whole class so every student gets a chance to scream. By the end of this lesson I usually have a headache and vow to think of another way to teach sneaky e! Once I teach this lesson, all I have to do when my students come to a sneaky e words is say, "what is at the end of that word?" This is all it takes to get them to sound out their word correctly.  Some of the kiddos that are not developmentally ready to sound out words, need extra help. I have these students sound out the words with me for practice.

Click below for a sneaky e worksheet to give kiddos extra practice!

If you liked the sneaky e worksheet and would like a sign for your classroom plus a memory or go fish game, you can go to my teachers pay teachers store by clicking on the pictures below.

How do you teach the sneaky e in your classroom? Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Owl Encounter and Solar System Freebie

I knew my parents had an owl in a snag tree in their backyard.  I had seen the top of its head a few days before, so when we heard the hooting, I had to go out to see if I could catch a peek.  My used his iphone to find an owl sound clip.  Once we found the clip for the barred owl, I took the phone on the back deck to see what would happen.  (My parents' deck it at tree top level because their backyard has a steep slope into the woods.)  I thought I would just hear the owl answer back... Instead, I saw this beautiful creature sail in from a distant tree and land on the tree in front of me.  We starred at each other.  I was in awe!  It was so magical!  I used the phone to call my mom and I whispered, "Get out here now!"  My family tiptoed out and the owl stayed put, just watching us, with is large black eyes.  I took some pictures and then he flew right past me, his wingspan an impressive four feet long!  He flew into a tree behind me where we saw ANOTHER owl.  The other one must have been watching us from behind.  Spooky, but cool!  I just had to share this with you! 

Missouri Barred Owl

Now for the freebie...

  We are learning about the Solar System in third grade.  To learn about the Earth's rotation (day and night cycle), we talk about shadows and how our shadows move and grow longer or shorter throughout the day.  To do this, we go outside 4 times throughout the school day.  The kiddos partner up and trace each other's shadows.  We make sure to trace around our shoes first so that we will stand in the exact same place each time.  We also label the time, so that we can compare later.

Download my Rotation and Revolution Quiz for FREE!

Enjoy friends!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Morning Message

I love, love, love my morning message time! A morning message is a letter that I write to my students. In the letter, we review skills already taught and this is the time when I give them important information they need to know for the day. I like to put my morning message on chart paper but it is easier to put it on the smartboard and then change what is necessary. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to do the morning message. Here is what I do:

*When I write the morning message, I think about what we need to work on as far as behavior, skills that need to be reviewed, and I try to include as many sight words as I can.

*I write each sentence in a different color so my students can see when each sentence ends and another one begins. I also try not to end my sentences at the end of a line. Have you ever had a student put periods at the end of each line? I want my students to clearly see that sentences don’t end just because the line does.

* I start the message asking for a number between 1-10. Then, I pick students to come and circle something they know about the message. This could be a letter, word, number etc. I put a tally mark for each thing circled and when we get to the designated number for the day we stop and read each sentence and fill in the blanks.

 *When the blanks are filled in, we go back and read the message and play quick word. I point to a word and my students say what it is. If students know the word, I circle it. Then, we go back and count how many words are circled and write that number at the top of the chart paper.

*Have fun with the morning message and make it your own! I stop and we sing songs that go along with the reviewed skills so we can get up and move. So, don’t feel like you have to finish it all at once. Also, if you do this on chart paper, I like to tear off each page and fold it and keep them in a basket. When I get enough for my whole class, I send them home! You wouldn’t believe how excited they get!!!
I wanted to show a before and after of my morning message.
I wrote down "there" instead of "their" but I was able to
use that mistake to explain the difference between the words
to my kiddos! I love teachable moments. 

Do you do a morning message? If so, what does it look like in your room?


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Singapore Math in Kindergarten

Singapore math is not taught in kindergarten. The program begins in first grade. I want my students familiar with the process of model drawing so I begin teaching word problems that we solve as a class. I make sure that I pull in the key words from the eight steps of model drawing. These are: Read, who, what, draw, read, question mark, work computation, answer. As we work through the problem we go back to the model drawing chart to make sure we aren’t skipping any steps. Click on the picture below to download smartboard slides on the 8 Steps of Model Drawing, a word problem and step by step directions for how to teach the word problem using the model drawing strategy!  

We also do a lot of stories with pictures. Here are a few examples of craft we do with word problems. Once students finish with their pictures, they have to get into partners and tell their word problem to their partner.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Economics Carnival

Every year in we have a carnival in third grade to celebrate the end of our economics unit and put the principles we learned into action.  Kiddos get to experience opportunity cost when they have to choose what booth to spend their very last ticket on.  They experience scarcity when all the prizes at a booth are gone.  Each kiddo gets to be a consumer while they play at the carnival and a producer when it is their turn to run a booth.  They get to determine if their booth will be based on giving out goods or providing services.  They LOVE this unit and I have kiddos from past years coming back and telling me that they still remember the Econ Carnival.  How cool!

I am including some pictures from past carnivals to give you an idea of what it is like.  I have also included a freebie smartboard lesson about Human, Natural, and Capital Resources.  If you would like to download my 3-4 week unit with the lesson plans,smartboard activities, activity sheets, letter to parents, carnival schedule, quiz and test, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store by clicking the picture below.

Download this Economic Resources Smartboard lesson for FREE!

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Complete Sentences in Kindergarten!

Before I talk about writing, I wanted to show you my Easter bunny center that I made this week! I took a big coffee can and made it into a bunny. Then, I put sight words into plastic eggs. Students take out an egg, open it up, and read the sight word. If they can’t read it, they have to put it back. There are so many different games you could play with this. I’m going to put fake coins inside the eggs next week to change it up!

Now, on to writing! All year, I have told my kids that you need to write a sentence that includes “who” and “what”. Once my students were confident writers, I added the “where” part. The following activity is one way I teach my students to write a complete sentence.

I copied pictures of people and things(who) onto blue construction paper; verbs(what) onto yellow paper; and places onto green. Next, I hand each student a who, what and where card. He/she puts each card on the correct box and then wrote a sentence using the cards as a guide. When he/she are done with their sentence, they draw a picture in each box. 

After the kiddos write their sentence, I have them draw the who, what and where picture in the boxes. 

The first picture says: The woman is drawing in her bedroom on her carpet. The second picture says: The man cries at the circus. This time of year I have my students make stories out of these. So, they end up being story starters! Click on the picture to download the Who, What, Where page!

 How do you teach writing complete sentences? 


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