Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lesson Plans Dec. 2-6

This week we will be reading books about weather. These activities are included in my weather unit  here and my hibernation unit here.

In math we will begin our measurement unit. I will show them a powerpoint that includes photos of measurement tools and we will complete the charts about who measures, why do we measure and what do we measure. The students will use cube sticks (10 cubes) to measure items in the classroom to find things that are longer and shorter. The will also cut paper strips, compare them and classify them as longer or shorter. That  free activity is from Kinder-Craze (Maria) and can be found here.
My free measurement unit can be found here.

A few weeks ago I changed some of my centers.
This is now the Turtle center and the students choose games to play from the bookcase.
The fishing game is very old and I learned a long time ago to only use one fishing pole!

When I switched over to math tubs I dreaded taking these drawers home, so I decided to make them my "book boxes" instead of organizing their books into individual ice buckets. Each student has a drawer to store the books they have read during small group!

I made word banks for the students that visit the writing center. I switch them out every week and add word banks for our phonics skills of the week and include a seasonal one, too.

I have been making several of these picture word banks and just completed a packet for alphabet letters. You can find it here.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Write the Room Cards (Freebie)

I just remembered that I did not have any write the room cards for this short week, so I quickly made these cards. I think my students will enjoy the Thanksgiving themed cards and your students can too! Here is the link for the cards (free)!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Turkey Cookies

Our Thanksgiving Celebration is today and the students will be making these turkey cookies.

We used these items to create the cookies.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lesson Plans Nov. 25-26

It is a short week! Here is what I have planned for reading:
 On Monday, we will read A Turkey for Thanksgiving and retell the story.  On Tuesday, the students will write about their favorite character and share with the class (they will tell why that character is their favorite). The mini-unit is here.

For math, the students will use the playing cards and play a greater/less game with a partner. I will pass out the recording sheets the last 5-10 minutes for them to record after they have played for a while. The math tasks can be found here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving Projects

The students really enjoy getting ready for the Thanksgiving Celebration! For many of our celebrations, the students have dressed up in costumes, they sang songs and had a traditional "feast" with turkey or ham sandwich meat roll ups, carrot sticks, popcorn, grapes, a roll and dessert. This year, we will continue the dress up in costumes and sing songs, but will be making a turkey cookie instead of the "feast".  I am sure it will be just as much fun!
Here is what we have been working in this week.

"Stuffed" Turkey centerpiece for the tables:

  This year instead of tracing the feathers on the construction paper and cutting them out, we just stapled the feathers in a fan shape and the students fringed the feathers.


They used the paint to make a pattern. This was much easier than using pattern block cutouts or circle stickers.

We have discovered that it is easier to leave the pasta plain (not to dye it) and add the colorful beads instead.

Used the plastic string and a clothespin on the end so the pasta and beads do not fall off.

And finally, a piece of tape is used to measure the length of the string.

Our costumes are men's t-shirts, the long ones are used for the girls' dresses and the short ones for the boys' vests.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

New Math Tubs

For the past few months, we have been using the Kathy Richardson math centers from her first book, Developing Number Concepts. There is a very small chapter in the book about comparing numbers and that is what my students have been studying the past few weeks during the whole group math lessons. I decided to switch my centers out and make 8 tubs so the students could do some group work/games (counting and comparing numbers).
Here are the new tubs:
Comparing two line puzzles (Kathy Richardson)

Roll-a-Tower Race Numbers 4-9 (Kathy Richardson)

Counting Jars (Investigations)

Comparing two shape puzzles (Kathy Richardson)

Comparing Sets-Story Boards (Kathy Richardson)

Racing Bears (Investigations)

Comparing Sets-Story Boards (Kathy Richardson)
I might change this to a Thanksgiving Roll and Color Game.

Domino Parking Lot-I found this here.

I had a request for the writing paper I use at my writing center.
If you would like copies they are here.  (free)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lesson Plans Nov. 18-22

This week we will be busy getting ready for our Thanksgiving Celebration on Friday. We will spend time making the headbands, necklaces and turkey centerpieces! The books we will be reading from the Journeys Reading series are about the Seasons. The unit can be found here.
We will read the books and complete the graphic organizers.

Sorting seasonal activities/things

We will be reading some of the Bear books this week and discussing the seasons.
Bear Snores On - Winter
Bear's New Friend- Summer
Bear Wants More- Spring
The Bear Unit can be found here.

Differentiated Centers

Phonics Materials

Writing Workshop

We will continue comparing sets and numbers using my Math Tasks Unit. It can be found here.
I am adding some pages to the unit so if you have purchased it, please download it again.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thanksgiving Mini-Unit

One of my favorite books to read is A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting, so I wrote a mini-unit inspired by the book to use the two days before Thanksgiving Break. If you need book extensions for whole group reading, literacy centers and math centers for this book, please take a look here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Last year I wanted to include a few minutes during my math block for problem solving (a daily word problem). I was a little lazy, uncommitted not sure exactly how I wanted to organize this time. Did I want to print mailing labels with questions on them, then stick the labels in a journal and show their work? Did I want to actually do so much work for about 5 minutes of my lesson? Did I need a special problem solving mat? I just was not sure what to do, but I knew that I wanted to implement it and I decided to jump in with both feet.

Beginning in March, every day during the last 5 minutes of our math block my students got their dry erase boards, markers and socks (doubles as a eraser and a holder for the marker) and helped me/watched me write a word problem. Nothing too difficult at first-There are 4 dogs in the yard. 2 more dogs ran into the yard. How many dogs are there now? They would usually help me with a topic (dogs, cars, pizza) and watch me as I wrote it on the document camera. Then they would solve the problem by showing their work on their dry erase board (write it, hide it, show it).

That same year I was very surprised when during a lesson using word problems about fireflies and jars, they completely took over the lesson and students came up to the teacher cart with a friend and "told" a word problem while their friend used the yellow magnets (fireflies) and jar cut-out to solve the problems.

This school year I started early. I gather the students on the rug and write the problem using a dry erase board. I write the problem and they solve it. Then I ask every student to give me an answer and I write it on the board. In the beginning they gave answers ranging from 2 to 100 for a problem with the answer of 7. Now I am getting more correct or reasonable answers. After I get the answers, I draw a picture to solve it. It is a great way to close my math block.

I noticed the other day that students are beginning to write math problems and solve them on their own. It was quite an unexpected surprise for me. I now understand the power of modeling and repetition!
I have 4 cats. 1 went away. How many cats now? The answer is 3 and this student was writing multiple answers from students (exactly like I do, except my numbers are not backwards).

 I have 10 puppies. My dad (took) 3 puppies. How many do I have left?
Not the correct answer-but wow, great writing for November.

My Math Block- 1 hour
Number Talks 5-10 minutes
Ten Frames, Dot Cards

Whole Group Lesson 20-25 minutes
Math Tasks, Games

Math Centers 10-15 minutes
Kathy Richardson Centers

Problem Solving 5 mintues
Daily Word Problem

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Checklists and Anecdotal Records

As I walk around and observe my students working, I use these checklists and anecdotal records to record their progress. I updated mine to include some accountable talk stems and questions to ask the students.  If you are interested in these they are editable so you can personalize them with the skills you are assessing and the names of your students. These editable checklists and anecdotal records can be found here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lesson Plans Nov. 11-15

This week the Journeys reading stories are David's Drawing and Mouse Shapes. The writing and center activities can be found here or here.

Whole Group Reading
Writing Workshop papers


I plan to use this as a hallway display.
You can find the writing sheet (freebie) here.
The craftivity is from Cupcake From the Teacher and you can find it here.

I am using the math tasks (Snowman, Balloon, Puppies, and Cupcakes) from my Math Tasks unit. It can be found here.

I will be working on new math centers for comparing numbers this weekend. I will post them soon!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I peeked into my mom's classroom and saw her students working with a partner using these sorting mats.
She gave them a paper bag of the manipulatives and a sorting mat.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...