Saturday, August 4, 2012

Raki's Rad Resources: Educational Connect 4 Games

I think I love using board games in the classroom as much as Heidi Raki does!  This is a great idea for using Connect Four to add up numbers.  She even has a recording sheet to download!

Other ways you could use this game would be...

  1. Record the 4 numbers that won.  
    • Put them in order from greatest to least/least to greatest
    • Sort them by odd and even
  2. Upper grades-Record the 4 numbers that won.  
    • Write word form, expanded form, etc.
    • Multiply by 4
    • Write a story problem using the 4 numbers

Raki's Rad Resources: Educational Connect 4 Games: I LOVE to play board games at home, but I also enjoying using them in my classroom. In addition to encouraging cooperation, turn taking and ...

How else could we play this game?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Favorite Back to School Activity!

I'm linking up with Fun in First to share my favorite Back to School activity!

My favorite back to school activity has got to be The Blanket Name Game!  I wish I had a picture, but its super easy!! 

Every year this game has been a huge hit!  I've played it at every grade I have taught, from Kinder to Fourth.  It's super easy and a great way to help kids learn each other's names.

Divide the class into 2 sections.
Place an X or sitting spot on the floor on either side of a blanket
Have a helper hold the other side of the blanket up to block the groups from one another
Hold the blanket between the two groups
Each group randomly selects a friend to sit on the X
Count 1, 2, 3 and drop the blanket
ONLY the friends sitting on the X's may call out the opposite friend's name
You can take score, but I don't.
The kids just have so much fun with the anticipation and recognition!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New School Year Resolutions

Amanda at Teaching Maddeness is hosting a great Linky Party!  What are your New School Year Resolutions?

1.  When my kids are in my room, I am with my kids.  It's so easy sometimes to get sidetracked in those few moments when the kids are working quietly on something.  *few moments, indeed*  I always feel guilty when I slip over to my table to fill out paperwork for an upcoming meeting.  Even if they are quiet and working, my job is to be there with them and for them.  

2.  Have all my lessons planned and prepped by Friday.  This will leave my weekends stress-free and fabulous!  Plus I won't walk in on Monday and realize that I forgot straws or something essential for a lesson sitting on my kitchen table.

3.  Smile and Play more.  My mind works about a million miles an hour when I'm in the classroom.  I don't know about you but I'm constantly assessing kids academic and behaviors in my mind all day long.  This would be fine if I wasn't also trying to think of every possible thing I can do to work with them along the way.  Sometimes I need to just stop and smile and enjoy my kids.  I can't (and don't have to) fix everything right NOW!

WOW!  That was therapeutic!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Interactive Smart Board Blog Hop

I've been seeing LOTS and LOTS of amazing resources out there for Smart Boards.   I don't know about you, but I wonder how I made it through the day for the 10 years I taught without it!!

So, without further adieu, may I present my first ever Blog Hop!!

Choose the top three sites that your class uses and link them up!  I look forward to seeing the ones that you use most!

Here are mine:

1.  BBC Science clips and games

This site breaks down skills by age and has fun, interactive games to go along with science concepts.

PBS kids has got a lot.  All the different shows have educational games that are really well done.  I must say that Between the Lions "Chicken Stacker" is a pretty good one.  They have everything from Clifford to Dr. Seuss!

I know this is a fave of a lot of folks out there.  My kids LOVE  the rocket timer!  To get to the rocket timer, choose Classroom Timers, and then choose from the list found there.

First Day Jitters Blog Hop

Hello All!

I'm Hopping back into the new school year by linking up with some awesome Blog Hops!  This one's from Fierce in Fourth. What are MY first day jitters...

1.  I'm moving to a new school this year and that comes with all kinds of NEW!  New people, New routines, New kids, New commute, New EVERYTHING!  So I'm a bit nervous.

2.  Will I fit in?! I'm nervous about figuring out the ins and outs of a new team.  Will they like me and my style?  Or think I'm a totally obnoxious over-achiever?

3.  BUMP!  Finally, I'm worried that I'll get bumped.  Since I'm the newest at the campus, I'll can be bumped if the Kindergarten numbers are low.  That will send me out into the school district universe of ANYTHING THEY WANT TO DO WITH ME!  Soothing thoughts... Soothing thoughts...

Go check out what a lot of other teachers are jittery about!

Rockin' Resources Linky Party

Hello Y'all!  

I'm linking up with Kelley, from Teacher Idea Factory and Rachelle, from Life is Sweet...In Kindergarten. They are having linky parties to show off the top 5 resources we have that we cannot do without.

Colored Masking Tape

I use this stuff for everything!!  We mark off workstation areas, X's for waiting in line at my table, making shapes, and so much more!!

My Pandora App on my iPhone

I plug that baby into my SmartBoard and choose a station that fits our mood.  We're always playing background music.  I've got Nature sounds, Classical, and even Disney for when we feel like dancing around!  There are so many channel options for our every need!


You know it!  You love it!  Anything and everything you could possible want to find to enhance lessons you can find on Pinterest!

Popcycle Sticks and Clothespins

I use both of these for games and classroom management all year long!

Blank Label Stickers

My dad got a HUMONGOUS roll of these when a store was going out of business, and I honestly don't know what I'll do when I run out.  Buy some more, I guess.  I use them to label everything from book baskets to folders and everything in between!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kiss Your Brain & Hug Your Heart

Check out Teaching Maddeness' great idea for rewarding positive behavior!!  I'm sure that we've all noticed that when you reward the positive behaviors, more kiddos start exhibiting them!  This is a great idea!!


*Teaching Maddeness*: The Early Bird Gets the School Supplies...and a Li...: Well, today I had to get up bright and early for a workshop.  Let me just tell ya that I am NOT going to be happy when that alarm clock has ...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Positively Learning: Sorting It All Out I've been on a shout-out kick lately.  I'm finding so many awesome ideas out there from my fellow bloggers that I feel that I must share them.  My brain has on a bit of a hiatus this summer, but surely by August I'll get back in the groove!

This is a great idea for ordering numbers from Positively Learning!
She has the mat and numbers to download.  Check it out!

Positively Learning: Sorting It All Out: TGIF!!! This week has been uber-productive! I finished giving EVERY product in my TPT store a fancy make-over! I've been working...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reader's Notebook Organization

Conversations in Literacy: Reader's Notebook Organization: When students come to my table for reading, I like everything neat, organized and easily accessible.  Saves me and them  a lot of time th...

This is a great blog post from Conversations in Literacy about how to organize notebooks for Reading Groups.  Awesome!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Three Billy Goats Gruff mini-unit


Sight Words

After reading the story, we recreated the setting and characters.  The river looks black, but it's really dark blue.  The kiddos got to draw their versions of the three goats and the troll and create the river and bridge. Then we made our characters into finger puppets and took turns retelling the story with friends.  Later, we use our setting and characters to solve math problems (see below).

Sight Word Game-Over the Troll Bridge!!
(bridge and playing cards below)

Object:  Cross the bridge before the troll gets you!!

In a bag place all the sight word cards, 3 trolls, and 3 billy goats.
Players take turns pulling a card.
If you get a sight word card, read it and place it on a plank.
If you don't know it, put it back in the bag and lose a turn.
Billy goats are lucky!  
If you pull a billy goat, he goes onto the next plank, and you take another card.
Look out for the Troll!!!  
If you pull a troll, he takes all your cards and puts them back into the bag!


Problem Solving

When we created our setting, we made sure that we had 8 planks on our bridge to use for the math problems.  Students use their goats, troll, and counters to solve the math problems on their bridge.

Billy Goats Problem Solving

3 Billy Goats Game High Frequency Word Cards

Copy of Sight Word Bridge 3 Billy Goats


Friday, April 20, 2012

Sight Word Slap Jacks

I'm always looking for new ways to practice sight words with my kids.  This game I was going to originally introduce with cards from 0-30, but I got the sight word cards cut out first!
 Partners take a deck of sight word cards and divide them between themselves.

I post a sight word on the board to be the 'jack.'  

The kids flip the cards one at a time and read the words.  When the 'jack' comes up, the first student to put his/her hand on it gets the pile.

 The partners then wait for the next 'jack' word and keep playing.

We had to have a little discussion about what happens if you lose all your cards before our time is up.  Instead of getting upset that you don't have any cards to flip, you wait for the 'jack' word like a tiger in a tree!    That really perked up the kids who were getting sad about losing all their cards.

Here are the words I use:
High Frequency Word Cards (3)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sentences Workstation

Another great idea from a teammate!  Thanks, Vero!

These are sentences that are all mixed up.  I use mostly sight words and at least one word in the sentence that they have to use more brain power to decode.  

The kids put the words in the correct order, read, write, and illustrate!  Fun!  

They love the mystery!

Step 1:  Pick a set.

Step 2:  Unscramble

Step 3:  Read and record

Step 4:  Illustrate!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Patterning Station

Here's a patterning station we started this week!  It's easy-peasy, but the kids love being able to add their own touches to the patterns.

I insist that they label the pattern units.

Well done!

The basket for this station has many pattern cards from which to choose!

Monday, April 16, 2012

ABC Station

I introduced a new ABC station last week.  Most of my kids do have the letters and sounds down pat at this point, but I do have a couple that could use the review.

For those who have a solid grasp of their letters, I have them say the sound the letter makes, or come up with a word that begins or ends with the letter sound.

Here's how to make the game:
1.  Cut a sentence strip in half lengthwise.
2.  Place alphabet stickers along the length of it.
3.  Laminate.  (I used clear contact paper.)
4.  Program tongue depressors with 2 sets of the alphabet. (I used stickers.)
5.  Have 2-3 tongue depressors with a symbol (star, crown, etc.)

To play the game:

1.  Partners take turns pulling a stick, saying the letter, sound, or word, and placing it on their strip.

2.  If you pull a letter that you already have, you put it back in the cup and lose a turn.

3.  If you pull the star or crown, you put all you sticks back in the cup!

That's it!

The kids have really enjoyed playing this one!


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