Sunday, March 30, 2014

No PREP Math Game Ideas

Hello darlings!  I am so far behind the power curve it isn't funny.  Where did that expression come from anyway?  Am I even saying it right?  Well, kudos to Jamie for blogging a bunch this week.  At least she cares about you!  JK!  I care too!  I have just had NO MOTIVATION whatsoever!  I need someone to light a fire under my tookis!  (urban dictionary:  From the Yiddish meaning someone's buttocks.)  It is the last day of spring break and the sun is FINALLY out, so I am FINALLY doing something!

I wanted to show you how easy it is to come up with a game or activity on the fly.  I find I need to do this when I have time left over or we need a review before a quiz or just because the kiddos need to get up and move around.  Not everything has to be beautiful laminated task cards prepared in advance. (though I do love them!)

This was a simple activity I had kiddos do to do a quick check of their measuring skills.  They had one minute to find an object from around the room that was less than 18 cm.  (Just because that is how long the ruler I gave them is.)  Next, they had to measure it to the nearest cm and record it in their notebook.  Students numbered in their math notebook from 1-25 for each student in the class.  Students then SCOOTED to each other's desks and measured the object on that desk.  They recorded the answer next to the student's number.  (I have student numbers on each kiddos name tag for record keeping purposes.  If you don't do this, have kiddos use a dry erase marker and write their number on their desk or use a sticky note to write it.)  

 You can have them SCOOT however you want.  I usually give them 45 sec- 1 minute and then tell them to SCOOT.   You could also have them walk around to empty desks and just make sure they visit each one before time is up.

At the end, they all go back to their seats and we go around in number order for each student to say his/her answer to the object he/she chose at the beginning.  I have students raise their hands, clap, stand up, chant something, etc to let me know if they got the same answer.  This will be a quick indication if the student measured it wrong to begin with.  I also go around and check quickly to see how many they missed.  Sometimes, I have them close their eyes and raise their hand to tell me how many they missed.  Ex. "Raise your hand if you missed 0.  Raise your hand if you missed 5 or more, etc.  This way it is confidential, but also a great check for understanding without grading papers

Another quick game is to just measure objects around the room.  To make sure students are measuring correctly and not just practicing it wrong each time, assign them a group of 3 students.  They each must measure the same object and report their findings with each other.  If even one of them has a different answer, they must do it over and talk to each other about what happened.  

You can kind of see it in the pic above, but I usually send home a Measure Your Home sheet for HW before we start our Measurement Unit.  Students have to measure objects using their shoe.  This is a great conversation starter.  We discuss things such as... Why don't we use shoes to measure now?  Isn't that the same as feet?  Where did "feet" come from?

Download it free here.

If you are looking for already created cuteness for measurement, Melissa at Inspire Me ASAP has this AWESOME Pet Themed measurement packet!  I am using it at the end of the year after state testing.  I can't wait!

Another fun game that proves I am really late in my posts, is this snowman game.  Don't worry though, you can do this for ANY season of the year or any subject really.  All I did was have kiddos make a QUICK snowman out of construction paper.  In fact, I only gave them 7 minutes with a partner.  Then they had to create a three digit by one digit multiplication problem to put on the front.  They had to solve it and write the answer on the back. 

 Next, they got to tape it anywhere around the room they wanted.  Students then went on a hunt to find the snowman and solve the probelms.  They worked out their problems on a blank sheet of paper.  They had to check the answer on the back before they could move on.  IF they got it wrong, they had to write what they did wrong.
 You could do this same thing with any subject and any object.  Make flowers, hearts, shamrocks, clouds and rain, beach shovels, animals, etc.  How would you use this in your classroom?

Happy Spring!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The winner is..... Plus a TpT Sale!!

Congrats to Lesli S.!!! You are the winner of my giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I cannot wait to send her all the goodies that she won! I want to send a sincere thank you to those who participated in my giveaway! This was my first time doing this and I am so glad I did. I had a lot of fun with this, and I hope you did too! :) I look forward to having another one of these in the future.

My Spring Break is dwindling down! It has become bitter sweet. I love being home and being able to spend more time with my hubby. He is a chef so we don't get a lot of time together, since we don't have the same schedule. With being off, I can stay up later and see him. It makes me look forward to summer break. On the flip side, I am ready to see my kiddos and get back into the groove of things. I have been on a big creating kick over break so I cannot wait to use some of my new creations in my classroom.

In honor of Spring Break, I thought I would throw a

Check out my TpT store to see some new things and grab them while they are on sale! I have some awesome scoot activities, literacy centers, and end of the year bundle. Click here to check out all of my products! Hurry before time runs out!

Shelley is also throwing a 20% off sale as well. Make sure to check out her store for some great resources! You can click here to view her products!

Also, tune in next week as I am planning on sharing some Test Prep tips, strategies, and activities with you, since we start Monday with full swing Test Prep!

Congrats again Lesli! Thanks for stopping by today!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday & Limited Time Giveaway!!

THROWBACK THURSDAY=Addition & Subtraction Racing School post from July 2013
Hey friends! So I was so intrigued by Amy's Multiplication Book Camp idea that I wanted to create something similar for the beginning of the year for addition and subtraction math facts. I wanted to something that the boys and girls both would be interested in. What better theme than racing!?!? So for those of you who saw Amy's post of Multiplication Book Camp back in May, this should be a little familiar to you (click on the link above to visit Amy's post for a refresher or introduction if you would like).

To start off, I will focus on addition first and give my kiddos a pretest to determine which facts they have already mastered and which facts they need more work on. Once each kiddo knows what facts they need to work on, they will be given flashcards (Pit Stops) and title cards for each fact number (Lap Cards) to practice every night for homework. These will be cut out, hole punched, and put onto a binder ring. That way they will be kept together.

The kiddos will complete Practice Laps every day (daily timed tests). They will keep track of their progress of the Practice Laps on the Lap Times sheet.

To go along with the Practice Laps and Pit Stops, there are games and activities that my kiddos will complete. Just like Amy, I too do Math Rotations in my classroom (click on the link to see Amy's post that explains what math rotations are). Therefore, when my kiddos are at the game rotation, they will be completing all of the games and activities that are included within this set (I will only choose one per day/week, depending on how long my kiddos need to complete each activity/game). These games/activities include the following (some have both addition and subtraction editions, some just have addition):
  • Winston Cup (Addition Chart Game)
  • Parking Lot (Addition & Subtraction Game)
  • Put the Pedal to the Metal (Build a Race Car Game)
Teacher example of the "Put the Pedal to the Metal" Game
  • Black Out (Addition & Subtraction BINGO)
  • Capture the Flags (Addition Strategy Game)
  • Red Light, Green Light (Addition Exercising Game)
  • Race Track (Addition & Subtraction Racing Game)

Once my kiddos graduate from Addition Racing School, they will move on to subtraction, which will follow the same format.

I got these cups that have black and white checkers on them from Party City. They were $1.00 for each one. I will use these to store my timed tests in.

I also found these pencils I will give to my kiddos after they graduate from the addition school. They too were from Party City. They come 12 in a pack.

I wanted to share a FREE activity for you to check out that goes along with this set. Download it by clicking on the picture below. If you like it, check out the Addition & Subtraction Racing School set in my TpT store by clicking here!

How do you help your kiddos learn their math facts?

This could be yours! Get apart of my giveaway and you could choose this from my TpT store. Click here to enter into my GIVEAWAY!

HURRY BEFORE TIME RUNS have until Saturday at 12:00 a.m.

Thanks so much to those who have already entered! I cannot wait to announce the winner on Saturday! Stay tuned!! Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fraction Frenzy Pack-ed with Fun....A FREEBIE & a GIVEAWAY!!

Hello my fellow reader! Hope you are enjoying this wonderful Sunday! I have an AWESOME freebie for you, along with a giveaway.

Amy and I are on Spring Break this week and have been looking forward to the relaxation. It has been so hard trying to get back into the swing of things with all the snow days we had. Hope you have/are/will enjoy your Spring Break if you have one.

So we started fractions last week. I decided to create a fractions interactive book to use as a supplement to the Singapore Math program that we follow. Since I do math groups (refer to my money blog post to see how my math instruction works), I plan on using this as a review after meeting with my first group of kiddos (my lower students). I will have my direct instruction and then my students will work on the book with a partner to complete the page within the booklet that covers the concept we discussed.

The book includes the following concepts:
  • defining fractions (numerator & denominator)
  • Writing and reading fractions (from a scenario or picture)
  • Comparing fractions
  • Adding/subtracting fractions
  • Equivalent fractions
Here is a sneak peak of my booklet.

In addition to the booklet, I decided to create activities and games to review the same concepts. My students love completing activities and playing games any chance they get. It makes learning a little bit more "fun". The following are the activities that my students will be completing throughout the fraction unit:

Friendly Fractions

Throughout this activity kiddos are either adding or subtracting fractions with like denominators. The kiddos cut out the game pieces and the letters "D" and "N". Player one decides which number to place the "D" and "N". The "D" stands for the denominator and the "N" stands for the numerator. Player one has to determine the fraction that is needed to add to the fraction created to create a one-whole. Then he/she covers that fraction up on the game board with his/her game piece. Then player two can only move the numerator or the denominator. Player two does the same thing, covers up the fraction needed to create a one-whole with the fraction that was created by moving the two letters. Player one and two switch turns doing the same thing until the first person gets 5 game pieces in a row (vertically, horizontally, or diagonally).

Frantic Fractions

This is a comparing game where students sort through the cards and place them within the box to make the sentence true (<, >, or =). The answer key is included.

Ruckus Readers

This is a fun matching game that includes students matching the picture to the fraction of the shaded parts. If a player turns over a "Fraction Frenzy" card, then he/she automatically loses his/her turn. The player with the most matches wins!

Fraction Action

This is a "Read Around the Room" activity where the teacher places the cards around the room and the students walk around and answer the questions on the cards on the recording sheet. You could also use this as a center activity.

Fit & Fraction

This is a FUN review of all the concepts within the interactive book. There are 5 rounds within this game. Each round pertains to a specific fraction concept. There are two teams/players. Player/team one starts first and has to answer the card. Player/team two checks the answer. If the answer is correct, player/team one gets a point. If the answer is not correct, then the player/team has to complete the task that is found on the round card (jumping jacks, crunches, etc.), along with chanting the Fraction Frenzy chant. After the 5 rounds, the team/player with the most points wins. This is a great way to get your kiddos up and moving during math.

While I am meeting with each group, my other group will be working independently on their task for the day (either the booklet above, the games/activities above or workbook/challenge packet pages). Any chance I get, I have my kiddos get on the computer to work on math games. The following websites are some resources I will be putting on my student computers for my students to use while independent work time (click on the links to visit the websites):
You can grab my Fraction Frenzy Pack that includes the book and activity pack. In addition, I am giving away this comparing fractions game.


In order to thank you for being a wonderful follower, I am doing a GIVEAWAY starting tomorrow at 12:00 a.m. (central time). The winner will get the opportunity to get anything they want for FREE in my TpT store, along with a $5 Starbuck's gift card. Who doesn't love FREE stuff!?!?

Just follow the three easy steps (leave a comment with your email, follow my store on TpT, and follow our blog on Blog Lovin') and you could be the winner! Good luck to all of you!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are some ideas you have for fractions? How do you implement fractions within your classroom?

Happy Sunday!! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Book Club Resources

Hello darlings!  We are finishing up Series Book Clubs in my third grade classroom.  My students thoroughly enjoyed reading everyday and they are very upset with me that our last day of official books clubs is on Thursday.  I told them they could still do it on their own.

The lesson ideas that my teamies and I have been using come from Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky.  We loved, loved, loved that they had Read Aloud and the Minilesson tied together and they included pictures of anchor charts.  I wish that I had the time to create units like this!  I am on the ELA Curriculum Team for my district, but they are afraid if we gave teachers units like this, teachers wouldn't be reflective  and would just use it like a Basal.  I feel that we need something like this as a starting point.  My team did not use this as a Basal.  We took bits and pieces and added our own lessons to meet the needs of our students.  What does your district do?

To teach the mini lesson and for interactive read aloud, we used Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.  To keep myself on schedule and to make sure I was teaching the essential skills of the unit, I created a mini journal to go along with each chapter.  Students would bring this over to the carpet during read aloud time and during the minilesson.  Sometimes  we would do the work together and other times, I would have them complete it independently to take a grade.  To get the journal click here.

After the minilesson, students would read their assigned book club books.  I had grouped them by reading level already and had set them up sitting in partnerships on the carpet, so they would have a Turn and Talk partner.  The group used a spiral notebook to keep track of everything they needed for the group. They decided a schedule for reading for the week and had to agree on it together.  They then had 35-40 minutes during independent reading time to read their assigned chapters.  While they read, they recorded talking points in their spiral journal so they would have things to discuss with their groups. They modeled this talking points off of what we were learning in the minilessons.  They met in their Book Clubs for the last ten minutes everyday.  

I made my way around to each club, but found myself getting stuck at one particular group each day because they were not getting along... We had to work out a system with stuffed animals... The only person who could talk is the person with the Micky stuffed animal.  They would hand the Minnie stuffed animal to someone who had a question or a comment and only that person could speak.  Once Minnie was passed around, it was the next student's turn to share a talking point.  They would get the Micky stuffed animal and pass Minnie around.  Thank goodness this worked!  

Students kept each other accountable by filling out the Peer Review Book Club form.  We spent a few days at the beginning of the unit discussing expectations for the group and what each of the terms really meant.  They used their score from the group each day to create a goal for the next day's club.

The five blanks under each category are for each day of the week.  At the end of the week, they would total up the points for each person.  I used this information along with my observation and group notes to grade each student for the week.

The books I used this year were based on the levels of my students at the time.  Next year, we will be starting book clubs at the beginning of the year, so I already know I am going to have to be purchasing different levels of books or borrowing from other teachers and the library.

DRA L's and M's: Magic Tree House Series

DRA O's and P's:  Dragon Slayer Academy Series
                             Ramona Series

DRA Q's and R's: Indian in the Cupboard Series

DRA S's and T's: Zack's Lie Series

I hope this information is helpful!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring Literacy Stations

THROWBACK THURSDAY= Teacher Blogger Laziness  

Feb. 2013- Hello darlings!  I hope your week has started out splendidly!  After having two snow days last week, I was so used to staying up late and sleeping in.  Boy, did that catch up with me Monday morning!  I thought I was dying.  (I LOVE my sleep!) 

As promised, I worked my bum off on those two lovely days and knocked out six super fun literacy centers!  Kiddos really enjoy reviewing concepts while playing games.  I bet you didn't know that, right?  =)

These babies are Common Core aligned and just waiting for your little geniuses... and your laminator!  I store my playing cards in sandwich bags and place these, along with the direction sheet and recording sheets, in a gallon zipped locked bag.  I label a hanging file folder with the theme so I can find it easily next year.

Click the pic to grab these Splendid Springtime Literacy Centers!

I apologize for the laziness!
5-Star Blogger