Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

So I have been boo-ed by Lita Lita @ Learning in Spain and Miss. Nelson @ Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera. While I know, I know....I am getting to this a little least it's still October! And I had to make sure to give both of these lovely ladies the credit they deserved in "boo-ing" me ;). Be sure to check out their blogs as well. 

So here goes...some of the highlights of our Halloween festivities and activities that maybe you could use if you are continuing your celebration tomorrow...and/or keep in your activity banks for next year!

First, here are two of my favorite Halloween themed stories that we read today in class.

I tied "The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin" by Joe Troiano into math by doing a review of shapes and their characteristics. 
"Boo!" by Robert Munsch also comes in Spanish. For some reason, I could not locate a cover of the Spanish version, but we read this one and did a retell with it this morning in Spanish. It's a cute story about a boy whose makeup is so scary for Halloween that he ends up getting mountains of candy as everyone who sees him passes out in fright! Just a fun, quick one to celebrate the day!

During math today we also did this cute activity from Jen @ The Teachers' Cauldron to practice our addition and number grid skills. This was a perfect one for practicing counting down on the number grid to add by 10's!

The kids first fill out the "Mystery Picture" addition sheet by solving all of the addition problems. They then used the key at the bottom of the page to color and decipher their "Mystery Picture" on the number grid page. We had a lot of fun with it! Did you figure out what it is?

Grab your free copy from Jen by clicking here.

Finally, during our Fall Party today, I busted out a quick game of "Four Corners"- Halloween Style! For those of you that have not heard of this ever-so-simple game, here is how it works: First, grab your favorite Halloween cd, and play music for the students to walk around the room to. Whenever you feel appropriate, stop the music. The students must then head to the nearest of the four corners of the classroom. In each corner, I placed a Halloween themed poster with a different title. I also placed the same themed posters on my board with a magnetic spinner in the center. Here is what that looked like:

(I know they aren't pretty colors. We do not have access to color printing in our building...and I am going to be honest and let ya'll know I created these quickly during my planning period today!).

Anywho....after I spun the spinner, wherever it stopped, the students that were in the corner with the correponding poster had to return to their seats. We kept playing until there was only one student left in a corner that had not been called, and this student was deemed out winner! With 27 kiddos it still took less than 10 minutes, and it is such a simple game to explain!

If you would like a copy of the posters I created for free in English or Spanish, click on the image below. Maybe you can use them next year :)! Fonts & Graphics: Kevin & Amanda, Google Images, Creative Clips, and Shery K. Designs.

Happy Halloween everyone!

PS....Considering tomorrow is Nov. 1....I will let any of you who I may have potentially "Boo-ed" off the hook this time ;)! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fact Family Fun

We have been reviewing fact families using dominoes, fact triangles, you name it over the past couple days. We have discussed how fact families, just like our own families, have numbers that are related and stick together! To hit this point home, today, we create fact family houses (or apartments if you will)!

First, I gave each table group a container of fact triangles that we had been practicing with for the past few days. They selected from these triangles four to use in creating their fact family house chain.

Then we set to creating our family homes! To create the chain of houses, you simply fold the paper in half "hamburger style", then fold it in half again in the same direction. From here, you select one of the short ends, and cut off each of the corners to form a point that looks a bit like a roof/triangle. Open it up and voila, 4 beautiful fact family houses!

Here is one of my student's finished products. I had them copy the info. from the triangle they selected onto the roof, and then write the fact families on the walls!

Nice short, simple activity and the look pretty cute too!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Superkid of the Week

Behold my newest product! A pack to set up your very our "Superkid of the Week" routine in your super classroom :)!

Here she is. A beaut, right ;)!

This 20 page pack includes activity instructions for you as well as activity instructions for your students/parents in both English and Spanish. The presentation portion of "Superkid of the Week" that is included in the student/parent instructions explains in a nutshell the poster creation process for their special week, the super information they will include about themselves, as well as asks each student to bring his/her favorite story to share with the class! Examples of posters myself and my students have created are included for your viewing pleasure.

The second main component of this activity pack are templates included to create a "Superkid of the Week" book with your class. Each student will create a page after the presentation relaying what they have learned that they have in common with the superkid, something different about them, and why they think that kid is "super". They also draw a picture of the two of them together. Book page templates are included in both English and Spanish as well as for boys and girls. 

Here is a little sneak peak of one of the examples of my student's book pages. More examples can be found with explanations in the pack!

The pack in on sale for $2.00 currently at my TpT store! If you purchase one, I would love and appreciate your feedback!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Short Vowel Word Families

During our intervention block, I am working with a group of my students on reinforcing short vowels. This afternoon, I threw together this fun little short vowel word families mini-book to create with them during our time together that I thought could serve as a great resource for them in reading/writing words with these short vowel patterns throughout the year. 

For each short vowel, I created a page of the mini-book with a graphic organizer to assist them in indentifying the most frequently used short vowel word families and examples of each. Here is an example of the "Short A" word family page of our book we completed today in class.

Of course there is a page for each of the other four vowels as well...we will be working on those in the days to come! Also, feel free to print multiple pages of each vowel if you would like to incorporate more word families with your students that just the four allotted. Use it as your wish!

Click on the image if you would like your own copy of this word family mini book!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Author Inspiration

We have been working tirelessly to collect a variety of ideas and topics that we can use for inspiration as writers! One of the ways we do this is through studying the work of other authors and taking the time to learn about what inspires them to write their stories. We read several of their books including the dedication and "About the Author" and we also visited the websites of the authors to investigate and see if we could find out more about them. After doing this, we created posters with short snippets of information we learned about what inspires each author. Here are the finished posters for the first three authors we have studied:

The students also had a graphic organizer to document the same snippets of information:

They all glued this once we finished inside of their "Writer's Notebooks" in their "idea" section along with all of the other idea envoking activities we have accomplished!

I also give the students the option, if they would like, to reread the stories we have read by these authors in class and/or select new ones to read during their idependent reading time. They always get so excited about the stories, once we begin to dive into learning about these authors and recognizing patterns in their stories! Here is how I work to set out some of the books for easy access for them:

Love my magnetic walls and shelving!

I also love the cheapo frame holders from Walmart- perfect for books!

Finally, if you are interested here are the websites for the authors we studied (seriously...these are such a great tool for learning more about them!):

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Product Swap Numero 2!


Back again for another product swap. This time, I am reviewing a product from the lovely Sally over @ Elementary Matters.

After perusing her store (of which there are a variety of delightful options I may add), I finally decided upon her "Par 3- Short Vowel Sounds" game. I thought this would be useful as we review these sounds   at the beginning of this school year. I must say I am glad I got it all printed out and ready to go as I am going to be using it in one of my small groups this coming week! So here goes:

The Overview...

And now the breakdown...

Above is the game instruction sheet. I love that it requires very little preparation or materials (which makes it more likely at least for me that I will use it!). All you need are the game boards, which she has so nicely already created for you, dice, and any old item you like to use for your students to cover their words (if you already have Bingo chips in your classroom these would work great!).

The game comes with nine different gameboards filled with a variety of short vowel words. As you can see, I only printed 6 because I knew I would have a group no larger than this. You could print the others as well for variety if you would like or if you were working with a larger group!

So now let's's super simple! Each student will roll the die. From here, they will use the instructional page to determine what short vowel sound the number on the die represents. For example, my imaginary student rolled a "3", which corresponds with the short "I" on the sheet. Therefore, he/she must search for a word on the game board which contains this vowel sound and put the piece there, as is shown in the photo.

This process will continue until one student has successfully covered three words in a row...

in which they will then call out "Par 3" and be the winner of that game round. Students should catch on quite quickly in my eyes as it is a sporty rendition of Bingo (that I think all of the boys in your room will love!).

So there you have it. If you are interested, head on over to Sally's store, by clicking here to snag a copy of your own! It is even on sale right now for only $1.60 until Monday!

Also, if you love this sporty themed take on the traditional Bingo, I encourage you to check out the rest of her store, as she has a variety of other sports themed Bingo games to reinforce important math and literacy concepts. 

Finally, as this is a swap, my new friend Sally also reviewed one of my products over at her blog. Check out the review she did on "My Spelling Reference Book" here

Finally, in honor of all of this magical swapping fun, I will be hosting a sale until Monday in my TpT store for you all to maybe go and grab a copy of the reference book if it looks like it is up your alley or any of my other products you have been eyeing! If you make a purchase, I would really appreciate and value your feedback! Happy long weekend :)!