Sunday, September 7, 2014

Moved to Kindergarten

I'm happy and sad at the same time.  I'm new to blogging and am having to say "goodbye" to my junior posts and "welcome" to my kindergarten posts.  With that being said I guess a new fresh blog is in order.  I'm hoping to leave this blog dedicated to junior just in case I return, because in teaching you never know....

Thanks to all of you have followed me his far and thank you for all of the awesome ideas that you have shared with me!  Stay tuned for  my new kindergarten blog!  I wish you all a great school year for 2014-2015!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

It's a New Year!

Its been a long time since my last post and a lot has happened!  I really don't have an excuse for not posting more often other than the fact that being back to work after a year of MAT leave has been a routine that has taken some getting used to!  Like many of you, I have also been heavily involved in our PLCs which have been focused on orchestrating discourse.  Sounds like a mouthful and it is because it takes a lot of purposeful planning...something that has been easier for me because of all of you terrific bloggers.  So I want to take a moment and thank you all for sharing such fabulous ideas which has saved me loads of time.

Although I'm feeling silly behind in all subject areas, I feel like I have been doing a thorough job while also trying to learn about what has been most successful for my students.  They all seem to love our interactive notebooks.  I think they love the permission to use colourful markers to write their notes and also the foldable fun!

Anyways, there's lots to talk about, but I thought I would share an activity that popped into my head before Christmas, because it was my attempt at being creative!  It's not all complete, but hopefully, maybe someone can use it in their class.  It was for data management!  Check out the pictures below! I had the kids measure their foot size and their height as an introduction to scatter plots.  They also had to make a stem and leaf plot to record the data and calculate the mean, median, mode and range!   So we hit a lot of expectations that had already been taught.  Because it was Christmas I thought it would be cute to use a stocking to post the foot measurement in centimetres and our height on a gingerbread man.  As you all know, Christmas tasks need to be fun, so I let them colour it.  We didn't get it all done before Christmas, so I will post the scatter plot when we finish it tomorrow!  Can you believe we had three snow days in a row this week?  It didn't help my situation of feeling behind!

Here are the pics so far!

Such a cute little riddle that I found on huge internet to help member mean, median, mode and range.  I had them post it in their interactive notebooks!

Anyways, sorry for the Christmas stuff in January.  I am hoping that I will post more often in this new year of 2014.  I hope you all are enjoying your first week back after the holidays!


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!