Saturday, October 25

Place Value Monsters

Over the years, math has become one of my favorite subjects to teach. It is not just memorizing facts and doing worksheets even though I am someone who would love to take a math class and work out a set of problems. I know Nerd Alert.

Math has become my favorite. It is so easy to incorporate games and crafts while still doing math. I know that is still a shocker for some. This week we reviewed place value and starting to work on expanded notation. To make it even more engaging we practiced these skills by making our Place Value Monsters.

All that is needed for this math craft is founded in my newest packet. I have four monster fact sheets that allows students to work on recognizing hundreds, tens, ones, adding them, multiplying or doing expanded notation. Here are two previews.

You can pick up your own set of materials to make your Place Value Monsters here. It is on sale for $1.50.

Happy Saturday!

Monday, October 20

3-D Pumpkin Art

One of the many fun things about my new position is I get to teach art. I know I have much to learn about teaching art, but I absolutely love seeing how students take the basis of a project and make it their own. This past week's project was a hit with parents and students.

 Our 3-D Pumpkins

We have been working on the characteristics of art. So far we have done line, color, and texture. This week was a combo project to work on being more familiar with the color wheel and how to make colors...really how to make orange and shape. This is an EASY two day project.

Day 1 Directions:
Mix red and yellow paints to make a desired orange color. Paint the entire 11x18 white construction paper. Let dry for the next art time. 

Day 2 Directions: 
1. Cut the orange paper into strips. 
Note: The thicker the strips the easier the rest of the steps will be. Students had the choice of what way to cut, whether they wanted really long strips or short ones better know as hotdog or hamburger style strips. Strips must be around the same length for the pumpkin to take shape. 

2. After all the strips are cut, push them one at a time onto a green pipecleaner. All strips just need to slightly be on the pipecleaner. This will become the bottom of the pumpkin. 

3. Repeat step 2 with each strip. This time put the unattached end of each strip on the other end of the pipecleaner. Do this with every strip. Strips do not need to stay near the top of the pipecleaner. Pushing them further down helps to make a rounder pumpkin. 

4. As more and more strips get attached, the pumpkin will start to form. Here students can start designing the exact shape of their pumpkin. Also space out the strips to make sure there aren't any big gaps. 

5. This step is optional but adds to the pumpkin. Have students curl the top of the pipecleaner to make it look more like a pumpkin stem or vine. Also I had some students use black paper to design a jack o'lantern face to glue onto their pumpkin. 

Hope this can add to your pumpkin week! Happy Fall!

Saturday, October 4

October Currently

I love October! What's not to love? It is such a beautiful month and fall is in full swing. Also time for Farley's Currently...

Well I wrote this yesterday...

Listening: I have been on the road every Friday since school has started. So listening to the eclectic music collection is part of my weekly routine.

Loving: Summer used to be my top season but Fall has climbed the chart recently. Our school campus is beautiful with all the leaves!  Just had pumpkin ice cream today. Second grade is so much fun as well. Can't wait to start Charlotte's Web unit this week. 

Wanting: All this gorgeous weather and color makes me want to go to the U.P. aka. Upper Peninsula. It is definitely a paradise. 

Needing: Seriously shouldn't have teleporting been invented by now? 

Treat: Pumpkin Breakfast Smoothies are my favorite thing for breakfast this time of the year. It is best to make them over night and let them sit in the fridge. 

1 to 1 1/2 c almond milk
1/2 c pumpkin pie puree
1/2 c oatmeal (I use quick oats)
1/2 banana (frozen) definitely helps to make the smoothie creamy
1/2 tsp honey
dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice

Mix all of the ingredients in a blender together. Put in cup and keep in fridge until morning. 

Note: This recipe is very flexible. At times I have added yogurt and other times didn't add honey. I don't use these exact measurements every time, but they are good guidelines to follow for a yummy breakfast. 

Happy October to all!

Wednesday, October 1

Fact Families & Communities {Freebie}

Last week we wrapped up working on fact families with this little activity with a twist. Introduce our Math Lane.

Students were allowed to pick what fact family they were going to use. They completed the facts on the doors and windows. Instead of putting them on the roof like many too, I changed it up a bit to connect with our community unit we have going on right now.

Students used their three fact family numbers to create an address for the house.

The next day at math I had created math lane. We declared one side even and one side odd. Students were put in odd and even groups based on if their fact family house address was odd or even. Once in groups they had to figure out what the order of the addresses from the least to the greatest so we knew how to put them on Math Lane.

Here is the fact family house we used if you want to use it.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 24

Short Vowel Freebie

Like everyone else I am loving interactive notebooks. My students have a math one and a word study one. They work so well.

I have made things here and there for them because I can picky and like things my way...what teacher doesn't?

I wanted to share with you my latest creation for our short vowel review. Maybe someday I will actually put them altogether.

After reviewing the short vowel sounds we made an anchor chart and became word detectives to see what we noticed about them. We made many great observations, but the one that stuck with us is that when it is a short vowel it only has one vowel. Brilliant, right?

That is what the short vowel is to help us remember. This is what it looks like in our notebooks.

Grab your copy here

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, September 21

Making Number Lines Come Alive- One of My Favorite Things

By far our calendar routine is my favorite part of the day. Since I have a little more freedom this year, I decided to try something my mentor teacher introduce me to it when I student taught first grade. However, it was not used quite to the extent I have made it this year. I have never seen or used it since. It is all about making a number line come alive!!! Our classroom number line will not just be used for keeping track of the number of days we have been in school or practicing addition and subtraction. I am not saying those skills are not important. Our number line is going to be so alive with knowledge we will be referring back to it all year even when multiplication and division come around at the end of the year. If I kept them until they were fourth graders we would still be using it. It is that handy!

Meet our ever growing number line!

How are we making it come alive?
Every day after we complete our calendar routine we add a number to our number line to keep track of our days in school.
I show the number then ask "How can you get to this number?"  During the first week it was "What can we count by to get to this number?" So right away when we are building our number line we began practicing counting by 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s, 11s, and yes 12s is built into our routine.

Once we discover the different ways we can get to a number we use a symbol to represent it.  Note: since we can get to any number by counting by 1s, 1 does not have a symbol. Every other number does. For example we represent 2 with two matching dots as they are a pair. 4 is a square for its four sides. 7 is a rainbow for the seven colors it has.

The symbols get taped right on the number so pretty soon it starts looking like this.

We also tie in money to it so every time we reach an amount that a coin or dollar is worth that gets taped there too.

Now you can make your number line come alive too with my newest packet.

It includes everything you need to make your number line do so. Click here to check it out.

My students don't know it yet and yours won't either, but they are creating a number line that shows odd and even numbers, addition and subtraction facts, prime and composite numbers, multiplication and division facts, factors for each number. That is on top of what they do see: what numbers you use when you count by a certain number, addition facts, and money values.

I am currently working on a packet of activities to go with the number line to make it even a greater math tool.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 17

Zero the Hero Arrives in Second Grade

I have missed the Zero the Hero train in the past. Not sure how, but I am on it now.
As we were counting down up our days in school (one of my favorite things to teach...more to come on this), my students kept asking about Zero the Hero and if he/she were appearing this year. I couldn't say no especially since I have big plans for the 50th day of school.

I knew I wanted to spice it up for what had been done in Kindergarten and first grade. This is what I came up with.
Zero the Hero goodies for 10th, 20th, & 40th day

I found this book Zero by Kathryn Otoshi and loved it. My students love stories. So perfect fit! Love when this happens. The story is about how zero goes from trying to fit in and then realize how it can be important. This happens by finding the light. Notice how the "o" is different colors. I figured the round object to go with it would be glow sticks.

To make it more then just a treat, Zero the Hero left notes on everything. The note on the book told why we received this story.

 There was note about why we received the lights. But...

before we could open it we had to answer three questions based on the story. 

Once it was all put together, it looked like this. 

 Zero the Hero left the treats in two of the book boxes. Solved the problem of who got to open and read what. 
Here we are with the first present and reading the note. 

 Opening the second goodie. 

 Then what fun would it be if you can't pretend the glow sticks are light sabers, right?

Any other great Zero the Hero ideas?