Monday, December 30, 2013

Patterning With Beads and Straws

Before we left for the holidays, I let the kids make their own pattern necklaces. It was a great way to review AB, AAB, ABB, and ABC patterns using beads and cut colored straws.

I don't know why it took me so long to realize that dental floss is the perfect thing for stringing beads! It easily threads through the smallest holes, and it's strong enough to hold the weight!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Uh-oh! Spaghetti-os!

Are these adorable or what? The kids will have a blast making words out of these spaghetti fridge magnets. I'm going to look into buying some cheap little metal "bowls" at the dollar store for them to use as backing.
Found them here on Amazon.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Whoo-Hoo! It's Official!

After 35 years of teaching, I'll be retiring as of June, 2014!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Activity - Santa and "Santa Pie"

Take a cheap paper plate and cut into quarters. Color the natural curve that was the center of the plate, add cotton balls at the top, and along the bottom edge for the beard and hat topper. A pair of googly eyes and a small red pompom for the nose, and you have Santa!

When my students put their Santas on the table to dry, they placed them back into circles and called them Santa Pie, LOL!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Letters to Santa

Today we wrote our letters to Santa. I also gave them envelopes to "address". Then I instructed the students to take their letters home and give them to their parents because the letters need to be stamped and mailed. (My mother still has the letter I wrote in first grade!)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Free! 36 Hilarious Teacher Jokes

Click here to get a free PDF ebook of 36 Teacher Jokes. Just click the view to download your copy!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Alphabetical Memory Game

Here's a quick and easy memory game that reinforces alphabetical order. And all you need is 1 pack of alphabet cards you can get at any dollar store (be sure they have "blank" backs that don't give away what's on the other side. I've found some alphabet cards that have a picture on one side and the letter on the other, or upper case on one side, lower case on the other, etc.)

Short, sweet, and simple, first person turns over a card, looking for the letter A. When it's finally found, look for the letter B, and so forth until the cards have been placed in order. To make it more fun, if a child finds the next card in order, they get to keep the card and take a second turn. Person who finds the most cards wins!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Using Pinterest Pictures in the Classroom - Dice

* What is the first thing you notice about these dice?
* Why do you think they were made like this?
* Do you think each die looks the same? Or do you think they're all different? Why?
(Note how 3 is depicted on the first die on the left, and the last die on the right.)
* If you turned the dice upside down, what would happen to the dots?
* Do you like the way the dots are pictured on these dice? Why or why not?
* Compare these to a regular die. What do you notice is the biggest difference?
(Note that one side is totally blank on these dice, as compared to regular dice.)
* Taking in the fact that one side of these dice is completely blank, and all dice have 6 sides, what do you think would be the highest number of dots on one side? (They may say 5, then point out the die on the far right has 6 dots on a side.)
* Why would dice have a blank side?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Math Stations for the Weeks of 12/2 and 12/9

Continuing with our Christmasy stations...

Station #1 - Calendar Math
The kids use Vis-a-Vis markers on laminated templates. They copy the numbers of the December calendar onto the templates. Easy to clean and wipe off when they're done.

Station #2 - Turkey in a Cup game
You can get the full details here.

Station #3 - Reindeer Dash
I got the idea from here. But rather than play it the way it was originally intended, I have the students roll the dice. In order to advance, they have to roll the Exact Next Number in the "chain". First to reach the sleigh wins!

Station #4 - Christmas Ten Frame Memory
You can get this freebie here.

Station #5 - Decorate the Tree
I made Christmas trees and laminated them onto mats, one for each student. Students roll a die. They cover the corresponding number with a marker (I use flat-bottom colored rocks.) First one to cover their tree wins!

You can click on the 8.5 x 11 pattern below, then save to print out your own!

Monday, December 2, 2013

My Language Arts Stations for the Weeks of 12/2 and 12/9

With three weeks left before the Christmas holidays, I went with Christmas-themed stations.

Station #1 - Guided Reading with me.

Station #2 - Split between Computers and Listening Center
These next two weeks the children will be playing with FunBrainJr .com. The story they'll be listening to is Bear Stays Up For Christmas. (Link here.)

Station #3 - Highlight-a-Letter
These next two weeks, we're highlighting G and H.

Station #4 - Santa's Rhyme Time
This freebie game can be found here. I adapted the game this way. Each student gets a mat. They also get a set of the rhyming cards. They place ALL of the cards upside-down in the middle of the table. They take turns drawing a card, sounding it out, and placing it on their mats. First person to fill up one column up and down wins. Or you can change it to where the winner has to fill up one row across. Or "blackout", with all blanks covered.

Station #5 - Holiday ABC Order
I got this freebie here. The students have to put the cards in ABC order.

Friday, November 29, 2013

TALLY HO! Math Game and Freebie

I use these cute mini popsicle sticks I found at the dollar store. My neighboring teachers use Q-tips and toothpicks. Or you can find them here on Amazon.

The game is played this way:
Student shakes the Penny Cup.
Heads = 1 stick, Tails = no stick
The object is to fill up your mat correctly, so that the sticks "tally" the number in the rectangle.
First person to do so wins!

The mats are already 8.5 x 11 inches. Just click on the pictures below, save, and print! I've also included the template, in case you want to make more of your own.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tangram Shape Up! Game Freebie

I took tangrams and traced them on a sheet of paper. I only used one of each shape. Then I numbered the shapes 1 through 6. I've included a copy of my mat below. You're welcome to click (to get the bigger size) and save to print out on your own.

There are 2 ways to play this game.

#1 - Place the actual tangrams in an empty tissue box (what would I do without those empty boxes to draw from!)
Player pulls out a tangram shape and places it on the corresponding spot.
If he already has that shape covered, put the shape back and lose that turn.
First person to completely cover their mat wins!

#2 - Roll a die. You can vary this by using a die with tally marks, or with the number words.
Cover the corresponding numbered shape.
If  that shape is already covered, player loses that turn.
First person to completely cover their mat wins!

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Math Stations for the Weeks of 11/11 and 11/18

Station #1 - Calendar Math
I ran off copies of the November calendar. The students copy the calendar on their write-on/wipe-off templates with Vis-a-Vis markers.

Station #2 - Set the Table
I ran off a table clipart onto cardstock, including the "meal". I made a chart listing each food item, and a number the children have to roll in order to put that food on the table. First child to set their table for Thanksgiving Dinner wins!

Station #3 - Penny a Pumpkin
Originally I called this game "Penny a Pompom", which I explained here. This time we're using orange pompoms and calling them pumpkins.

Station #4 - Pilgrim Roll and Cover
(You can get this freebie here.) They need this especially because it involved rolling two dice and counting.

Station #5 - Counting Thanksgiving
I made this station using clipart I found on the internet. On the picture, I put a number word. Along the side are four numbers. This week I'm giving the students a "cheat sheet" with the number and name on it, so they can put a clip on the answer. Next week, the sheet disappears.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Language Arts Stations for the Weeks of 11/11 and 11/18

It's the last two weeks before Thanksgiving and Fall Break! So our stations this time around are Thanksgiving themed.

Station 1 - Guided Reading

Station 2 - Split computer and Listening Center
They're continuing with typing their sight words on the computer.
At the listening center, the book and CD of "Over the River and Through the Woods" by Derek Anderson. (link here)

Station 3 - Highlight-a-Letter (E this week, F next week)

Station 4 - Pumpkin Pull

This was a Pumpkin Letter Recognition freebie I found on Pinterest, but I can't find the original link. I ran off copies of the game board on orange paper, and the letters on gold. The students take turns drawing a letter from a box, then covering that letter on their board with a chip. If they draw a letter they already have covered, they lose that turn. First person to fill up their board wins. There are two sets of letters, upper and lower case. We're doing lower case this week, upper case next week.

Station 5 - Write the Room. The last two weeks, we labeled 10 objects in the classroom using yellow index cards (I've used blue and pink cards in the past). Next time I'll use green or purple. Anyway, the students use a clipboard and a sheet of regular ruled paper, number it from 1 to 10, then go about the room to find the numbered cards and write the word on that card.