Sunday, October 27, 2013

Time Flies...Some Free Activities Too

Wow, has it ever been a long time since my last post - I hate to blame it on time, but I'm going to!  Being a busy mom plus being in the junior grades for only my second year has really left me short on's some of the things we've done that I haven't blogged about.  If you are doing some Halloween work, this Skittles place value might fit right in!!  I left you hanging with some place value here is what I've done!

#1 - Introduction to Place Value - Real World Math
I wanted a good way to introduce place value to my kiddos, so I decided to print off the hockey salaries for the Toronto Maple Leafs for 2013.  It's funny - I know, the day after I made this activity, one of the players signed for 8 million and change.  Oh well...the kids had fun.  I put the salaries of the players in a table and made it into a scoot game where they had to go and collect all of the player salaries.  It was funny to listen to them talk..."Oh man...he makes no money!!"  The player made 900, made me laugh out loud.  When they were done they had to put the players in order - from most money to least money.  When they showed me their table, they pulled a jersey to write their standard form, expanded form and words.  Here are a few below, plus the left half of my bulletin board!


#2 - Skittles Place Value - Modeling Numbers on a Place Value Chart
I handed my kids each a random pack of 30 skittles - well, 32 - they ate two of their  I made sure that each bag covered all of the colours but didn't look at how many.  I had the kids eat their two skittles and then record in a tally chart the colours and how many of each they had.  After that, I asked them to make the biggest number that they could with the skittles in their bag.  It was interesting that some of the kids had problems with this!! Goodness!  Then they had to make the smallest number possible.  Afterwards, I had them create 13 different combinations using their skittles.  They had to record on the recording sheet I made for them.  I then had the kids glue their skittles onto the mat I copied on cardstock with a hot glue gun and post their mat in the hallway.  We then had all the kids go into the hallway to check the numbers - did they agree it was the largest number (check=yes, x=no) and then compare and order them this time from smallest to biggest.  It was a fun activity and the kids got to eat some!  I tried to post the link to my files in google drive, but for some reason the font is messed up - if you would like a copy - leave your email in the comment link and I will email you my file.  Does anyone know why the fonts don't show up properly?

#3 - Genre Posters
After doing a lot of work on the different genres, the summative task was to go into the library and find two  books that represented the genre they chose to create a poster for.  I used my personal ipad to take pictures and it was awesome how engaged the students were!  They had to choose two books and then yank a paragraph from one of the books that would be a true representation of their genres.  For fairy tale, historical fiction, realistic fiction, biography and autobiography, the choices were easy.  Some were a little more difficult!  Check out some of the posters below - I think they turned out really well!

I have a lot more to catch up on in the blog world, but I will leave that for another time - we are busy doing our progress reports right now and I'm into some Halloween workstations with my kids - I hope you have a spooktacular week!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Place Value Freebie

It's freebie time - place value freebie that is...! Since I had an hour and a half without my kiddos bugging me, I whipped up this game to use with the cups that I will be using this week to help introduce place value. I called it Place Value Cups Guess My Number.

See yesterday's post for the freebie on how to make the cups! I hope that you can use it and enjoy it in your classrooms too! Please leave me feedback on the freebie too!

Happy Sunday!  Have a Wonderful Week!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Peek At My Week...

I just wanted to first of all share that my class has officially changed to a straight grade six!.  As I'm sad to see my nice grade sevens go, I also know that I will enjoy being a straight six and this is the 2nd year I have ever taught a straight grade in my ten years of teaching, so I'm thrilled!

I still have to share with you about what I've done this past week, but I didn't take pictures so that will have to wait.  What I am doing is working on planning my place value activities.  I held off on starting place value in case I would be re-assigned to a new grade or have new kids come in, so we have done a lot of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division review.  I'm glad we did - they needed it BIG TIME!  It also gave them a chance to get used to using the interactive notebooks!

I'm joining Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for A Peek at My Week, focusing on place value at the grade six level!

Mrs. Laffin's Laughings 

So, if you haven't found Donna already, you will be thrilled when you hop on over to her blog!  Donna, from the Math Coaches Corner has given me (and everyone) a wonderful place value activity and lesson FREE that I will be using in my class this upcoming week.  It is a lesson on How to read large numbers by naming the commas (here) and then the accompanying activity which is a place value match up (here).  Hop on over there to download it yourself.  I downloaded the six digit numbers, but she also has seven and five digits if you need it too!  Click on her button to visit her website or click on the links to the specific activities above! I'm also thinking I will grab her I Have Who Has Place Value Cards up to the hundred thousands from her TPT Store.

I also love this idea that I found on pinterest for helping students remember the place value.  You grab pillboxes from the dollar store and label them with the place value letters.  This idea comes from Erica over at Learning Specialist Materials..  I also bought her game Place Value Panic and am looking forward to playing it with the kids - again it comes with different levels so you can differentiate or use for grades other than grade six.  You use the pillbox in the game!
Click here to visit the product!
The other thing I found was place value task cards - FREE!  These place value cards came from a poster over at ProTeacher.  I don't think this person has a blog, so I can't give them credit, but I have posted the task cards here to download from my google drive.

I'm also using this interactive activity from Runde's Room - I bought her Interactive Math Resource in the spring and love it.  Here's the activity below - taken from her blog as a preview....

Runde's Room
to check out her interactive math resource for older students ;)

Here is another one that I found on pinterest that I love - which is place value cups.
Place Value Styrofoam Cups - Directions
I think maybe adding a cup with commas may help kids use this tool  a bit better too!  You can download the instructions on Sue Downings TPT store or download from my google drive here. that's a peek at some of the place value activities I have found to do in class this week!  I hope some of them have been helpful to you if you are teaching the same concepts!

Silver carp jump out of the water when startled by a boat’s motor. These invasive species can break the arms, jaws and noses of boaters. Credit: Asian Carp Regional Coordinating CommitteeStay tuned for some biodiversity freebies coming soon.  Here's an article we are going to use in our shared reading this week about the Asian Carp invasion and it's threat to biodiversity!  Click here to download it now!  It is from Science News for Kids!

Hope you have a great time planning!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Five for Friday...just a little late!

#1  Well, first off, I am so proud of my little family for adjusting to the first two weeks of school.  My little man is transitioning to daycare really well and Natalee is enjoying her first to weeks of senior kindergarten after a big production of not wanting to go back to school.  My husband is doing a terrific job of helping with lunches and dinners while I settle into my second year of teaching junior and intermediate after spending at least eight years teaching early primary....whew, it's been a busy two weeks!

#2 Also, my little grade sixes and sevens (yes, they seem little this year!) have done a fantastic job on their assigned work this week.  I have to say that the multiplication monsters from the first week of school turned out terrifically.   See the art work below.  I had the kids label the different body parts with the multiplication sentence they rolled in the activity.  I picked up this freebie on teachers pay teachers and boy did it open up my eyes to the fact that my kids don't know their times tables.  It's on my list of achievement for the first term!  Head on over to Yay 3rd Grade for this awesome freebie! It's in her teachers pay teachers store FREE!  Click here to go to her store!

These picture collages were done on a free  Ipad app called much fun!

#3 The next thing that turned out pretty well was an interactive math foldable that I whipped up quickly using google images.  My kiddos needed a lot of help remembering how to multiply multi-digit numbers.  So I made this booklet with the turtle method and the lattice method to help review the concept.  I will post it for you to use!  See the end product below!

#4 The fourth great thing about this week was our introduction to science and biodiversity.  Instead of having the kids make a title page for each unit we do...I thought I would put the topics all on one page.  This way they can see the topics we will be studying in science this term.  I was pleased with the way that they turned out.  See the pic below!

#5 The last thing I saved for the best news ever!  It looks as though we will be hiring another classroom teacher which will put me from 31 kids to 25 kids and a straight grade six!  Woopppee!  I am just hoping that it goes through on paper....but a straight six versus a split 6/7 will be so much better, I'm keeping my fingers crossed!  I hope that you had an awesome week too!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Interactive Writing Freebie and More...

It's been awhile since my last post and lots has happened.  I promised you all a classroom tour and unfortunately I just haven't gotten my act together yet!  But, I do have this picture of a tool that I absolutely love and am very happy with.  It is a teachers pay teachers product from Mr. Hugh's over at An Educator's Life.

He didn't ask me to post about it, I just felt I needed to because the visual has been fantastic for my grade sixes and sevens!  They love being able to go up and draw a card and mark the place on the bingo board. I love it too because it gives me a visual that is easy to keep track of!  Thanks Mr. Hughs!!!

Okay, so here is the freebie.  It isn't my own idea but I made it as a way to introduce revising strategy ARMS.  I have spent the last week and a half getting students to write on their heart maps, then choose a topic and create a web to brainstorm the story (basically summer recounts).  Most of them have at least one or two stories written, so it was time to move on to the revising strategy ARMS.  I researched this idea  a lot online and put together this foldable below to go in our interactive writing notebooks.  It definitely isn't overly pretty...but it worked and I thought maybe I could save some of you some time by posting mine!!
Click here to get the Subheadings for the flipbook and click here to get the inside cut and paste!  In the future I may change the lettering so that they can colour it, but for now, I feel it is good enough.

I have lots more to post and hope to link up with Five for Friday for my first post over there.  This is the first couple weeks back to school after my MAT leave so things have been kind of hectic, not to mention that our classes may be reorganizing soon.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed as I have 31 kiddos in my grade 6/7 class this year!
Hope you are having a thoughtful Thursday!

Monday, August 26, 2013

QR Code Attendance I'm not sure if I'm the first one to blog this idea, but it came to me today as I spent the first day in my classroom.  I'm thinking about doing QR Attendance codes so the kids can just scan themselves into class.  I came across an app for the iPad called FancyQR.  What's cool about this QR code maker is that it can be made with images and colours instead of just boring black.  Here is a peek below.  Now I am a newbie to QR codes, but wouldn't this be fun?


This is the one I made for myself.  I typed my name and gave myself the number to create the attendance from here....this was just a random idea I had while staring at the blank canvass of my classroom! So....any thoughts on how to proceed from here?

Also, stay tuned for my classroom pictures.  I hope to have a transformed room tomorrow!
Happy Monday!

Friday, August 9, 2013

I Can Do It Boards - Classroom Decorating Here I Come

Ok, so I have been doing a lot more blog hopping than I have been writing lately, mainly because there are so many great classroom ideas and reveals going on that I can't help myself.  I am gathering ideas for my own classroom and am thinking of planning for September now!  I admit, I have stolen this idea from Joann over at Teaching in Cardigans, who used it in her favourite pins post from pinterest. From there I found it was Michelle from My Own Twist on Things.  Thank you Michelle!!!

So, the idea?? Well, we all know how important it is for the kids to know their goals for the day.  The problem has been posting these in a way that students and administration can walk in and know what is going on during the day! So the idea that was posted used picture frames as wipe off boards for the "I Can" Goals.    The original post actually described getting 8x10 picture frames from Michaels for $1.50, but I went there today and didn't want to spend $10 per frame, but I did find these and they were only $7 on clearance!!  The awesome thing is that they can be posted to a bulletin board using push pins or mounted by the magnetic strips already attached to the back!

Here is the original idea that had me inspired...don't they look lovely? here is what I found at Michaels for $7!!!  It came in a pack of ten!

Here is a view of the package - Multi-Purpose Acrylic Magnet Frames

You can see the magnetic strips on the back - they are heavy duty!!  Perfect for a chalkboard! here is what they might look like when I finish them printer needs some adjusting for sure, but this is what I have.  If you are looking for the copy from the original author (Michelle at My Own Twist On Things), you can download the form here.  I'm so glad that she shared with everyone!!  Go to her website to see the step by step!!  I just wanted to share how excited I was about her idea!!

I've only shown you the first four that I have made, but there is one for every subject.  The nice thing about the cases that I have bought, is it is very easy to take a page in and out, so if you didn't have science every day, you would just pop it in on the days that you do!!

Sorry about the flash!!  These are only four - there are more!!

Thanks again Michelle!  Maybe if I do a project a day, I will be ready for September and all I will have to do is put this stuff up!  Stay tuned for my next project!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Calling All iPad Users, I'm a Newbie!

Guess what?  My hubby and family got together this year to buy me an ipad mini for my birthday!  I'm so excited to be able to start out the school year with my new toy, but am soooo in need of advice.  I have to admit that I have no idea what I'm doing but have gotten this far anyways to be able to post in my blog and access my google drive.

So, what are your most favourite apps for school?  I don't have much time so I need your input as soon as possible!  I have downloaded Evernote, but am not sure how to use it!  I just remember someone posting that it was good!  I also downloaded the icloud app as well to be able to use Word and PowerPoint and also have BlogLovin  but that is it!  So bring on the tips!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Chance Encounter = A Happy Heart

Last night was one of those chance encounters that brought a smile to my face and love to my heart.  I happened to be late for an appointment as I couldn't find the address of the practitioner I was going to see and I happened to see a parent whose son I taught two years ago in grade two.

He was a kind child and we worked really really hard to make sure that he made it to grade level by the end of the year and he did!  We were all so proud of him and his hard work and it was one of those moments in my career where I felt I had made a difference, but last night was the icing on the cake we baked two years ago!

 This child's mom told me that I was his favourite teacher and that he wanted to write me a letter but they didn't know what school I had transferred to.  To be called someone's favourite teacher two years after the fact just made my heart happy and made me so proud to call myself a teacher.  I remember my favourite teacher and always hoped that one day maybe someone would say the same about me and it happened.  These are the moments that teachers live for and I'm so greatful to be honored in this way by a parent and their child.

 Unfortunately, since grade two, this little guy has been diagnosed with a learning disability and is having a rough year.  I hope I can write him a letter back that will help him remember how much success he can have when he believes in himself like he did in grade two.

Sometimes we all need reminders that we are on the right path and really making a difference in the lives of those we touch.  I'm proud to say I teach but also proud to say I do it with love that has been returned ten fold!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm Such a TEACHER...

I just had to post this because last night made my heart happy.  I was reading with my daughter who is in JK last night and she has just started bringing home guided reading books to read with us at night. As many of you know I spent ten years in the primary grades before switching to grade six and seven last year.

I have really missed teaching reading to my little kiddos but have enjoyed my time in a new grade as well! Well, last night I grabbed a book from my daughters bag and guess what -I got to teach her some reading strategies that I used to teach my kiddos in grades one and two! Then, today, I spent time putting the high frequency words that she struggled with into a bingo game that we can play this weekend!  As I was making the game and thinking about the reading last night, I realized that this is allowing me to have the best of both worlds (teaching reading while still discovering a new age group).  The cool part is now I get to see my own child's growth and that's a teacher moment and a proud mamma moment all rolled into one! It's almost like the switch happened at the perfect time and I didn't have to give up my love of teaching reading because my daughter needs me as her teacher right now :)

So, with that being said, the other exciting thing is that this will be the first weekend spent in our NEW trailer!  We found that with two young children, we needed more space so this weekend will be our first sleep in the new trailer and I can't wait. I know what you are thinking (LOL) a trailer park with "trailer folk" but it's not like that, if anything it is a great group of people and a place to get away from all of the"I shoulds" we thinking about on a long weekend when we are at home!

Happy May Long Weekend!