Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Need a quick brain break that will get your kiddos excited?

Some of my favorite brain breaks are actually fun, learning activities.  Many times they include food :) Here is a super easy and engaging activity to use when you have five minutes before recess or just need to break up your day!
These fruit snacks are the bomb, but you could use any alphabet snack... cereal, crackers/cookies, gummies, etc.  Give each student a pack of fruit snacks, and let them find a place to work in the room (aka GET THEM OUT OF THEIR SEATS!).  Their goal is to make as many words as they can before the timer goes off.  In my class, I would let them work with a partner, but it's up to you if you want them to work independently.  
Students record their words on a whiteboard or in their journal.  The timer adds excitement and some friendly competition.  You could ask your students to make only real words, or a combination or real and nonsense words.  
FYI...Each pack had about 9 letters, and every pack had a vowel.  If you partner up your kiddos, they will have more letter choices, and be able to make more words!  I love when a Brain Break can be fun, yummy, and an extension of our learning.  :)  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Jelly Bean Math

Easter is just around the corner and that means JELLY BEANS are the perfect math manipulative for the next few weeks.  :)  Yesterday at Target, I found these divided plates that are perfect for addition and subtraction using the part-part-whole strategy. 
They were in the kitchen section, on the aisle that has all of the kids' cups and plates.  They are Circo brand, and they had a few different colors.  The best part is they were only 79 cents! LOVE!  If you don't have the divided plates, you can use a basic part-part-whole mat like the one below.  (Download it for FREE.)
My favorite part of this math center is that students are building their own addition and subtraction problems.  Give each student a baggie of jelly beans, a divided plate (or part part whole mat), and a recording sheet.  Students create their own addition & subtraction problems.  
Recording sheets...
Hope your students have fun creating their own math...and eating jelly beans... =)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February Favorites!

Stopping by to share some of my favorites at the moment...
My favorite read-aloud at the moment is "The Gruffalo" by Julia Donaldson.  If you haven't read it yet, go buy it now.  It will be a class favorite.  I love the movie too because it matches the book perfectly!  There is also a website with activities & songs to explore.  
I stumbled upon these "animal crackers" at Kroger yesterday.  Not only are they a delicious snack, but they are perfect for Word Work & Spelling activities.  A lot of the alphabet cereals and snack foods out there are so hard to decipher!  These letters and numbers are so clear.  These would be perfect for spelling practice, Word Work center, or just a fun Friday snack!  
I've been scouring Pinterest for Valentine's Day ideas that are fun and easy!  I'm loving these chocolate covered pretzels with festive sprinkles.  
Need an easy math activity for Valentine's Day?  It's something you can use on Valentine's Day and throughout the year!  (Just switch out your V-Day manipulatives with something else)
Kiddos will practice addition and subtraction using the part-part-whole strategy.
Gather your materials: manipulatives, part-part-whole mat, recording sheets.
Hearts & cupcakes from the Target Dollar Spot 
Sometimes I use recording sheets, and sometimes I have kiddos just record their answers in a math journal to save paper.  :)  
 Festive & fun for Valentine's Day!  
That's all for now!  Have a great week!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Christmas Math Addition & Subtraction

I love teaching math in December because there are so many fun Christmas things you can use as math manipulatives.  I found these divided plates and mini erasers at Target.  So festive and perfect for practicing addition and subtraction during the month of December!  
The plates were $1.99.  The erasers were $1 and the jars were $1.  
I love the way the plates are divided because they show part-part-whole perfectly.  You can even write on the plates with a dry erase marker!
You can use my Christmas Math Addition & Subtraction Task Cards and you will have an awesome math station or small group activity for the month of December.  This would be fun for fast finishers too!  
 The Christmas Math pack comes with 5 sets of task cards (16 in each set).  It includes student recording sheets and answer keys so students can self-check (if you so choose)!  
Here's what it looks like.  Click on the pictures below to see it in my TpT store
 The cards come four to a page, as seen here.  
 Leave a comment below (with your e-mail) and I'll send my Christmas math pack to a few lucky winners!  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Christmas Countdown

Print this FREE Christmas Countdown poster and put it in a 8x10 picture frame.  Write on the glass using a dry erase marker.
Use this Christmas Countdown poster in your classroom, teacher's lounge, front office, or at home. Just print the design you like, put it in a 8x10 frame, and use a dry erase marker on the glass! If you don't have a frame, just laminate the poster and use a dry erase marker to count down the days until Christmas!  Print it for FREE right here.  For K-1 students, make this part of your morning meeting or calendar time.  Students can practice counting backwards, and they will love getting the chance to write on the picture frame with the dry erase marker.
Countdown to Christmas with this free poster!
FREE Countdown to Christmas
Christmas Addition and Subtraction Task Cards
Perfect for math stations, independent practice, or small groups.  
A fun and engaging way to celebrate Christmas while still learning!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Christmas Math {Word Problems}

I'm here today sharing a Christmas math FREEBIE!  You can use these word problem task cards in a variety of ways.  The freebie comes with 16 word problems, answer key, and student recording sheet. 
Christmas word problems for K-2 students FREEBIE
1.  Calendar Time: Work through a problem a day during whole group calendar time.  
2.  Scavenger Hunt: Post the problems around the room.  Tape them to the wall, bookshelf, under a desk, anywhere!  Give students a clipboard and their recording sheet.  They will have a blast finding and solving the problems.
3.  Math Stations: Perfect math station during the month of December
4.  Fast Finishers: Challenge your fast finishers with these word problems.
5.  Problem of the Day: Let students work through a problem each day during the month of December.  
Challenge students to solve these Christmas word problems {FREEBIE}
6.  Math Journal: Have students work through the problems in their math journals.  
Christmas math word problems for elementary students
Hope your students enjoy these FREE Christmas math problems!  
Do you call them "word problems" or "story problems" in your classroom?  Leave me a comment {with your e-mail} and let me know!  I'll pick a couple winners and send them my other Christmas math activities for free.  :)  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Parent Teacher Conferences: Making the most of your time with parents

How to structure Parent Teacher Conferences to make the most of your time with parents
1.  Start with a positive.  Praise the child, share a funny or sweet story, and tell the parent what you love about their child.  
2.  Discuss the child’s strengths.  Examples: Asks for help, prepared for class, demonstrates self-control, follows directions, gets along well with others, has a positive attitude, thinks creatively, participates in class, accepts responsibility...
3.  Review test results, grades, and student work.  Give concrete examples of what the student is learning in class by showing work samples.  Review data from standardized testing, benchmark testing, etc.  Use a highlighter to note the important aspects of the data BEFORE the conference begins so you can keep this portion of the conference focused.  
4.  Address your concerns and areas needing improvement.  Be very specific.  Don’t just say the child is struggling in math.  What specifically are they having trouble with in math?  Examples: Student needs to work on mastering multiplication math facts.  Student needs to work on communicating respectfully with adults.  Student needs to work on completing class work on a regular basis.  
5.  Discuss ways the parents can help at home.  Give parents resources to use at home, such as a bookmark with reading comprehension questions they can ask their child while they read together at night.  A list of websites & apps is something parents always ask for.  Identify 2-3 specific things that the parent can do with their child.  
6.  End with another positive.  Praise the child and tell the parent how thankful you are to have the child in your class.  

Realistically, you have 15-20 minutes with each parent.  The time will fly by!  I don't have a set time for questions because our conference is a two-way conversation.  Parents should ask questions along the way.  :)  Stick to this format, and your conferences will be a breeze!  

Did you catch Parts 1 and 2 of my Parent Teacher Conference series?  
Tips for successful Parent Teacher Conference
Parent Teacher Conferences

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Addition and Subtraction Math Center using Part Part Whole

Addition and Subtraction worksheets using Part Part Whole Model
Need an easy, fun, and engaging math center for your littles?  This one is a breeze to set up, and my students love it.  I ordered these Dry Erase Sleeves on Amazon, but you can get them almost anywhere.  I even saw some in the Target Dollar Spot the other day!  I put several copies of each worksheet inside the sleeve.  Students use dry erase markers to work through the problems.  At any given time, I might ask a student to take out one of the pages and complete it with a pencil.  Then I can really check their understanding or even take a grade!  :)
Addition and subtraction printables for math centers
Slide the answer key in the back so students can self-check.  
Addition and Subtraction Worksheets for Math Centers
For my students that need an extra challenge, I add blank part part whole worksheets so they can create their own!  They LOVE playing teacher.  They can complete the entire page or create problems for a friend to work through.  Awesome way to really check their understanding of part part whole!  To download these Addition & Subtraction printables, visit TheHappyTeacher store.  
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