Friday, June 28, 2013

3 Uses For an Old Puzzle

When a neighbor was cleaning out her kids' rooms to get ready for a garage sale, and I saw her chunking out this puzzle, I asked if I could have it. She told me I was welcome to it, but that there were pieces missing. No problem!

I was already getting ideas as to how to use the pieces in other ways. Here's 3 of them.

 Use popsicle sticks to create a frame. Glue the puzzle pieces along the edge to decorate.

Let your students come up with a creature/animal of their own design.

Finally, incorporate a handful of pieces as markers for board games.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Give Them a Chore You've Been Meaning to Tackle

The Junk Drawer

For kids, cleaning out junk drawers is a bit like discovering treasure. Have them start by separating and putting like objects together in piles. For the pens and markers, give them a piece of scratch paper to write on. If the writing utensil doesn't work, chunk it.

Finally, grab some dividers and small baskets from the dollar store, and let the kids rearrange the items back inside. Not only will that be one less item on your To Do list, but it will have kept them occupied for a while. Please be warned you will be interrupted several times with amazed "Ooh! Look at this!" and "Look what I found!" comments, as well as curious "Mom, what's this for?" and "Can I have this?" remarks.
(Additional hint: this type of activity works best on a bad weather day, when they can't go outside to play.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bathroom Poster

I made this poster to put in my students' bathrooms. I work at a school where we have a separate boy and girl bathroom between classrooms. By putting this predominantly where they would see it, it helped many to remember to flush and wash their hands afterwards.

The original is 8.5 x 11 inches, so click on the picture and save!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Question: Correct It? Or Not?

I spoke to a couple of fellow teachers about their grading techniques. Basically, when they assign a worksheet or activity, do they "accept" the completed assignment mistakes and all? Or do they show the child the correct way to do the work, and continue to make the child go back to do it over until the work is done correctly?

The answers I got were varied, but mostly they echoed my philosophy about what I do.

If I want a true representation of what the child is capable of doing, I accept the paper the first time it's handed in to me. The only exception to this rule is if I know the child did not give it an honest attempt, but simply rushed through it as fast as he could to be the first one finished. The majority of the time, when I take a "true rep." paper is when I need to file it in their portfolios for future reference.

But the rest of the time, if a child brings me a paper he's had difficulty finishing, I help him with it, pointing out his errors and making him go back to try again.

What is your stance on the children doing their work correctly?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Letter O Activity - "Octopie"

Here's a game we used to help us learn the letter O. We called it "Octopie".

You need a playing card, markers, and the little octopi cards. Prior to using the cards, cut and glue pictures of simple CVC words on the back. (I used pictures from old worksheets.)

How to Play:

Player draws a card from the pile. (Or pulls a card from a tissue box.)
Say the word.
Does the word have the short /o/ sound?
If their answer is correct, they get to cover one of the Os with a marker.
If their answer is incorrect, no O is covered.
First person to cover all 9 Os wins!

Friday, June 14, 2013

And the Best Table Today is...

This used to be an old bowling trophy my son had won years ago. When he got ready to move out of the house, he started to throw it away, but I saved it. Now I use it as a behavior incentive, awarding it to the table of students who show best behavior for the day. If you have a shop in your town that makes trophies, they'll probably take an old piece of marble and topper to make you one on the cheap if you tell them you're a teacher.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It's a Tire-asaurus!

Some time ago, I blogged about how to put old tires to good use for the benefit of children. How cute would this be in a neighborhood park, or even on a school playground?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Equal and Unequal Halves

I had a bunch of die cuts I'd gotten at the dollar store. They made for a terrific lesson on equal and unequal halves!

Friday, June 7, 2013

On a Warm Summer's Night

This would also be great for a ring toss with those glow bracelets!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Letter I Activity - Marshmallow Igloos (and a Math Bonus!)

A fellow teacher found a picture of an igloo online, and printed out 2 to a page. The students glued miniature marshmallows to each individual block. Then they graphed how many marshmallows it took, so she got a math concept from it, too!

Monday, June 3, 2013

We Celebrated Splash Day on the Last Day of School

On our last day of school, we had a Splash Day. We asked parents to donate $3, which went to buy the pools, the slip-n-slides, the water guns/pistols, bubbles and wands, and popsicles. We held the event in the lot between the school's wings (where there was lots of grass). We ran a water hose from one of the classroom (from their indoor sink to the outside). The kids brought their swimsuits to school and changed after their nap.

We played for over an hour, and the day was deemed a rousing success!