Saturday, 22 April 2017

So You Have to Teach Stem and Leaf Plots

I remember changing grades one year and reading over the curriculum.  I envisioned a plant when I saw the words "stem and leaf plots".  I quickly ran to my same grade partner and asked her "What on earth are stem and leaf plots?"  She laughed out loud because I drew one on the board thinking the "stem" was the "stem" and the "leaf" was the "leaf" of a plot.

This concept is a tricky one but can be explained easily if students see it as a bar graph turned on its side.  A good stem and leaf plot shows the first digits of the number (thousands, hundreds or tens) as the stem and the last digit (ones) as the leaf.



Always using topics students are familiar with helps.  I've often turned to things students like:  bus trips, ice cream, bowling scores.  Ending the unit with a game also keeps students aware of place value when it comes to teaching stem and leaf plots. 

For extension activities, think of ways to incorporate the measures of central tendency into stem and leaf plot practice.  Why not take the data and determine the mean, median, mode and range?  Below is a sample of the unit I developed to assist my students in comprehending stem and leaf plots. 






Thursday, 13 April 2017

Everything Earth Day

April 22nd marks the anniversary of a modern environmental movement.  Explore Earth Day and what students can do to help our environment.  Here are a few activities to prepare for this.  You will find Media Literacy, Language Arts, Math and Science activities to keep your students engaged.


Here are some great Earth Day activities to keep your students engaged in Language Arts, Science, Media Literacy and Math curriculums. There are several ideas for large group, small group and individual activities. These include: sorting parts of speech, letter and poetry writing, oral communication activities, Science experiments, tips for Media Literacy and managing data from everyday garbage/compost/recycling materials. A vocabulary list is also included.


Earth Day Math games are a fun way to celebrate April 22nd. This package includes 3 games. The first game involves adding two numbers to generate a sum and then multiplying the sum by 3 (representing the 3 R's of recycling) . The second game involves using 3 numbers to generate an answer as close to 22 as possible (representing the 22nd). Students have the opportunity to use any of the basic operations to produce an answer. The final game involves place value. Students use 4 or 3 digits in the 1000,100,10 or 1's place to represent the number 2204 (for 22 April) or 224 (differentiated). Full instructions, game cards and playing boards are included.



This package of writing paper contains friendly letter writing paper, emergent journal paper for half pages and full pages, as well as established journal paper for half pages and full pages with an Earth day Theme . Images include a recycling bin, a garbage can, planet earth, bear holding an earth balloon, earth day pencil, bear holding a recycling box and bear holding the earth. 



Celebrate Earth Day with 5 quick writing activities. You will find an Earth Day vocabulary list, specialty writing paper and templates for each of the following tasks: 

- Earth Day “To Do” List
- Earth Day Slogans
- Earth Day Guess the Word
- If Earth Could Speak Letter Writing
- Earth Day Rhyming Couplets

These may be used for writing stations or as part of a choice activity.




Students will be prompted to tell or write story with an Earth Day theme. This unit includes a story prompt sheet, graphic organizers, word lists (Earth Day & transition words), rubric and specialty writing paper with full and half lined pages.


Earth Day Free Craft Instructions


Here's a fun way to get your students involved in ways to make earth friendly choices. This freebie gives you directions on how to design your own light switch covers for your classroom or for the entire school. This is a great activity for your earth friendly school clubs or even a classroom project for Earth Day. Step by step instructions are included.


Sunday, 2 April 2017

Celebrating Canada's 150th Birthday in the Classroom

People are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation across the country. Ranging from local and community events to national celebrations, Canadians have been celebrating in 2017. There are plenty of ways to get involved and celebrate with students in the classroom.

Since it's National Poetry month, why not have a Canadian themed poetry cafe?  Here's a pack I created to celebrate Canada:  




For some math activities, Canadian coins are showcased.  Students will learn to make change and make change for a loonie or a toonie.  The student who reaches his or her coin choice is declared the winner.



Another activity to extend the learning about money involves Counting Coins Using Canadian CurrencyUsing Canadian coins, students will have the opportunity to create money amounts up to $5.00 in challenging ways. On each task card, there are two ways to represent the amount: using the lowest possible coins and then using the number of coins stated. Money amounts range from 5 cents to $5.00.\




Here's a free download to write about Canada:  





  

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Hopping into Easter Activities for Your Classroom



Celebrate Easter with these fun literacy and numeracy activities:

Easter Quick Writes

Celebrate Easter with your class by writing about it. Included in this bundle are five quick-write tasks. You will find an Easter Vocabulary chart, Religious Easter Vocabulary chart, a List graphic organizer for the perfect basket, an Easter paragraph template, an Acrostic poem template, an organizer to draw a Map and write directions to the Easter Bunny, a Comparison Graphic Organizer on Easter traditions, a transition word list and writing paper. These tasks are perfect for a bulletin board display or even a big class book. 



Easter Word Work

Silly sentences have always been a fun way to explore sentence building and recognizing parts of speech. Students in grades 3 through 6 will have the opportunity to use subject, verb and complement cards to build and simplify silly sentences. Challenging verb cards are included with this unit as well as nouns associated with the Easter theme, a blank sentence building template, display and label cards and a synonym chart. This is a perfect activity to use in your Word Work Stations or as an extra project for early finishers.


Easter Math Stations Grades 4 to 6

Celebrate Easter with this fun Easter Math Stations pack. You'll find three activities that focus on basic operations, word problems and fractions for a grade 4 to 6 classroom. Activities include "Eggs in a Basket", "Easter Math Scoot Game" and "Easter Fractions". In "Eggs in a Basket", students are taught to generate three digit numbers and will multiply them by 12 or 10 to keep a running score. "Easter Scoot" is based on word problems that involve basic operations (with regrouping), money and time. Scoot cards are included for 25 to 30 students. The "scoot" cards can be used as task cards as well. The "Easter Fractions" activity allows students to derive ways to create fractions based on a given number of jelly beans. This pack includes directions, playing cards, scoreboards, multiplication table, scoot boards for 25 to 30 participants, word problems and answer keys.


Easter Math Games Grades 2 to 4

Enjoy Easter with some fun math games. Three stations are included in the pack. Activities include: Draw the Easter Bunny Math Challenge, Bump Games and Race to the Easter Egg. The Draw the Easter Bunny Challenge includes 2 versions (addition and multiplication). Students are asked to generate sums or products and then draw the Easter Bunny according to each sum or product generated. The first person to complete his or her picture is declared the winner. You will also find Bump Games using both addition and multiplication boards as well as a Race to the Easter Egg game that involves generating place value digits from 0 to 99. This is a great way to celebrate Easter with a math games day or a home-school connection.


Easter Writing Paper

This package includes Easter writing paper for your Writing Station. A selection of writing paper for emergent and established writers includes images of a bunny, lamb and a chick. 



Students will be prompted to tell or write story with an Easter theme. This unit includes a story prompt sheet, graphic organizers, word lists (Easter & transition words), rubric and specialty writing paper with full and half lined pages.


Here's a free download:




Saturday, 11 March 2017

Spring Ahead Activities for Your Classroom

Now that Spring is on the horizon, it's almost time to put away the clunky boots and heavy jackets.  I won't miss the endless piles of rocks that trample through the doorway or salt stained pants and boots.  Here are some fun activities that your students will be a hit while celebrating warmer days and sunshine.



Start prepping for a Poetry Cafe (Poetry Month is just around the corner).  Here's some helpful hints:

1) Begin reading different poetry forms for inspiration.  I often use several organizers to introduce forms such as Haiku, Quatrains and Cinquains.  Students then write their own.  I encourage the use of Literary Devices too.

2) Create a portfolio for poems.  When students feel they have chosen two or three they'd like to recite, have them practice with a buddy.  This will certainly help when I launch the Poetry Cafe in April.

3) Encourage voice projection.  Students are encouraged to read across the room to their poetry partner. They can project their voice. Then the partner moves to the halfway point of the room. Voices are then projected to the halfway mark.  The partner moves close enough (within an earshot) for the last reading.  Voice projections are important.  I start with a warm up such as "Today is a wonderful day."  Students were encouraged to showcase their best voices. 

Here's the Spring Poetry pack I use to encourage my students to write:



 2)  Add some Spring Math Games to the mix. Three games are included in the pack. Activities include: Draw the Butterfly Math Challenge and Race to the Birdhouse (place value & odd/even sums) . The Draw the Butterfly Challenge includes 2 versions (addition and multiplication). Students are asked to generate sums or products and then draw the butterfly according to each sum or product generated. The first person to complete his or her picture is declared the winner. You will also find two variations of a Race to the Birdhouse game. The first one involves strategically placing numbers between 0 and 99 on a place value board. The other involves generating odd or even sums through addition practice.


3) For your fluent readers, enjoy some Silly Sentences for SpringSilly sentences have always been a fun way to explore sentence building and recognizing parts of speech. Students in grades 3 through 6 will have the opportunity to use subject, verb and complement cards to build and simplify silly sentences using a Spring theme. Challenging verb cards are included with this unit as well as a blank sentence building template, display and label cards and a synonym chart. This is a perfect activity to use in your Word Work Stations or as an extra project for early finishers. 


4)  For those students who love to write, here's are some fun templates in the Spring Writing Paper pack. This package includes spring letter writing paper and lined paper for emergent and established writers. Art work created includes a frog, bird, butterfly, bee, birdhouse, bunny and flowers. Bonus gift tags included.


5) Students can explore a fun writing activity with this Spring Roll a Story.  All you need are the printables and a number cube.  Students will be prompted to tell or write story with a spring theme. This unit includes a story prompt sheet, graphic organizers, word lists (spring & transition words), rubric and specialty writing paper with full and half lined pages. 



6)  Here are some free downloads for the Literary Devices Posters I created. This pack includes posters for Alliteration, Hyperbole, Metaphor, Onomatopoeia, Personification and Simile. A spring vocabulary list is also included to assist students when exploring literary devices. They're a great way to support writing about spring:




Check out this blog post on how I create a Poetry Cafe in my classroom:  Poetry Cafe in the Classroom


Happy Spring!


Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Benefits of Math Games

Math games allow students to practice computational strategies, one-to-one correspondence, sequencing, place value, and patterning just to name a few.  I often begin a math unit with a quick math game to provide a peek of what the unit will be exploring.  Each unit also ends with a fun game.

For example, this past week I was working with students on the measures of central tendency:  mean, median, mode and range.  These are not easy concepts to understand especially when  needing to generate them through stem and leaf plots, double bar graphs, broken line graphs, etc.

I bought a deck of cards and removed all the faces.  We were left with 40 cards.  The numbers were 1 through 10 (ace became a 1).  Each student was asked to draw 7 cards from the deck and then line them up in order from least to greatest.

Here's an example of numbers drawn:

2 - 6 - 7 - 7 - 9 - 9 - 10

 I created a small chart for them to follow. It looked like this:  

                                                                        Mean:
                                                                        Median:
                                                                        Mode:
                                                                        Range:
                                                                        ----------------------
                                                                        Total:


For each set generated, students would determine the mean, median, mode and range and then add the scores up.  Where there was more than one mode, I encouraged the students to choose the higher one.  The student with the highest score won that round.  The students played for 5 rounds.

Games like this allow students in groups of 2 or 3 to play.  Many of them loved the game so much that they wanted to play it again. 

I have created some of my own games for students to play.  They involve strategy, critical thinking and development of computational fluency.  Games often allow students to access benchmark numbers to generate responses.  

Some of the games include:





For a complete math games bundle, this pack includes number cards, time game, decimal game, place value games, basic operations games, odd and even numbers, and equivalent fractions games.  These games are great for a family math night or for a math games day.   



Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Teachers are Winners!

Hi everyone,

I'm happy to be part of a two day sale.  Just search the hashtag #TeachersAreWinners on TpT to find some fabulous dollar deals!


Here are my two items: