Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloween Sale!

In honor of one of my favorite holidays, I am putting everything in my TPT store on sale!  Starting October 30th and ending on October 31, 2013 (after trick-or-treating of course), my entire store will be 20% off!

(Thanks to Becca from First Grade in Foxwell Forest for the super cute button!)

Here are just a few seasonal goodies that you might want to check out!
October Writing Prompt Calendar
October Word Work Activities (FREEBIE!)

Trick-or-Treat: Multi-Digit Multiplication
Trick-or-Treat: Two-Digit-Divisors

Trick-or-Treat: Order of Operations

If you liked the October Word Work activities, you'll love my new Spelling and Vocabulary Stations: Set 1!  They are perfect for any time of year and any spelling or vocabulary list!
Click on any of the images above to take you to my store!  I hope you have a fabulous Halloween and get lots of yummy treats and stay safe!  The next time you hear from me will be after Pumpkin Fest.  Pumpkins guts all day... WISH ME LUCK!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trick or FREEBIE: A Treat of a Blog Hop!

The wonderful ladies and I from A-Classy Collaboration are having a treat filled blog hop starting today and lasting until Halloween!

My treat for you today is my October Word Work pack of activities!  Included are three different spelling and vocabulary activities that will promote learning all while celebrating the Halloween season!

One of the things I love about these activities is that they can be used over and over with new spelling words and vocabulary lists.  It is geared towards intermediate grades but some of your little kiddos might enjoy the enrichment as well!  Included are three different activities: Candy Corn Clues, Spell Recipe, and Witch's Hat.  Click on the any of the images to grab your freebie!

I hope you enjoy this little treat!  Don't forget to head on over to A-Classy Collaboration to see what all the other lovely ladies are giving away this week!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Trick or Treat: Math Games!

I'm linking up with my girl Jivey from Ideas by Jivey for Workshop Wednesday!  Today's (really yesterday's) theme is Math Games.

As some of you know, this is my first year teaching EVERYTHING.  We've always been departmentalized so teaching Math and Science is a whole new adventure for me but I'm loving it!  My kids really enjoy having math games during our Math Workshop because they get to reinforce their skills in a fun and inventive way or they get to apply their learning to real life situations.  Here are just a few of the games you will find in our station tubs right now:

Division Error Analysis and Task Cards by Teaching with a Mountain View
(TWAMV has some AMAZING products and my kids love them)

What I really like about this product is that the kids know right off the bat that the problem is wrong and they have to analyze and explain why it is wrong and how to correct it.  There are 9 problem cards and a blank one where students (or you) can make their own.
 Trick or Treat: Order of Operations, Two-Digit Divisors, and Multi-Digit Multiplication
(We are just finishing up Division and moving into Algebra)

When I first created these games and added them to our math centers, I thought they would be a nice review of skills and a little "treat" to go with the holiday season.  Little did I know what big of a hit they would be!
Students are given 14 equation cards and they have to figure out if the equation is correct (treat) or incorrect (trick).  Once they figure it out, they place the equation card in the right space on the graphic organizer (Trick or Treat).  When they have figured out all equation cards, they check their graphic organizer against the answer sheet.  The kids were hysterical when figuring out whether the answers were "tricks" or "treats."  You could hear them whisper, "It's a trick!" or "Oh!  It's a treat!" HAHA needless to say I will apparently be making more of these as my kids love them!  If you would like to add them to your math centers as well, click on any of the images above to take you to them.
At the moment those are the "top math games" in our math centers.  I know because I had my kids vote, lol!  Don't forget to head on over to Jivey's site and see what other people are doing in their math centers.  I've already checked it out and there are some great ideas that I will be implementing soon!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Silent Tea Party: A Pre-Reading Activity

I'M BACK!!!!!  It's been a crazy month with LOTS going on but I'm back now!  I was saying to my mom and a co-worker yesterday that I feel like I'm doggy paddling through this year, barely keeping my head above water sometimes...  My mom's reply, "At least your head's above water and not under!"  Always the optimist mom :o)  Must be where I get it from and thank goodness, otherwise I would not have made it this far in life y'all!

On to why we're really here!  I found this amazing pre-reading activity around midnight (because I'm the QUEEN of finding amazing lessons at midnight the night before I want to do them) and knew I had to create it for our new novel we're reading, Holes by Louis Sachar.  It's called a Silent Tea Party and requires students to read different quotes from the novel you'll be reading and, using those quotes, students must analyze and infer answers to pre-reading questions about the novel.  I was amazed by some of the student's insight and answers!

Students travel around the room and "meet" other people in class by shaking their hand.  The first handshake indicates that they would like to swap quotes.  The second handshake says, "Here is your quote back.  Thank you for letting me look at it!"  I tell them that there is NO talking because I want to know what THEY think about their new quote, not what their partner thought.  I came up with 20 different quotes so that no two students had the same quote.  As students read the quotes, they need to figure out which question the quote will help them answer.  They will write down their answer and what quote helped them to come up with that answer.  Here the video that I got the idea from!  She also explains it WAY better than I ever could, lol.

I created one for my Holes Literature Unit that is in creation as we speak/read and will be available soon but here is a little example of what my students answered when they did this activity.

From this quote alone:

My students answered part of this question:

With these different outlooks:
  • All said it was a boy because it said "his last day"
  • One student said he was 9-10.  This was very telling because when I asked him why he thought that, he said "because he's in school."  It was interesting to see that he thought a main character could only go as high in age as he was.
  • Another student said he was probably in middle school because he has a "math teacher."  In elementary school you just have a teacher, but in middle school you start to get specific subject teachers.  I had never thought about it that way!
  • Then I told them my thoughts on that particular quote.  I asked my students (fifth graders) to raise their hand if they had learned about ratios yet in school.  No one raised their hand.  They then realized if they hadn't learned about ratios yet, then our main character must be older than fifth grade but still in school so younger than 18.
I absolutely LOVED this as a pre-reading activity because it front loads students with background information going into the novel and requires them to analyze and synthesize new information.  I also like that it can be used for ANY novel.  Once my kids got the hang of how to answer the questions using text-based evidence, they started to see more possibilities than what they had originally answered.  The video talks about using this for complex text but I noticed that you can make a simpler text complex just with this activity alone!

Sorry I have been away for so long but I am glad to be back!  I really appreciate you all sticking by me and the wonderful words of encouragement and wisdom from everyone, especially some of my BBB's, you know who you are!  Without y'all this wouldn't be possible.  So thank you and until next time... Which won't be in another month, I PROMISE!