Sunday, 22 April 2018

Spring into Savings on April 22nd and 23rd

If you're looking for some great deals at 50% off, some teacher authors have joined in starting a #SPRINGSAVINGS hashtag sale on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Here a few of the deals:







 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Super Bundles are 50% off on TpT - April 16th and 17th


Some Teachers Pay Teachers authors are advertising bundles for 50% off on April 16th and 17th, 2018.  Just search the hashtag #bundlebonanza


Saturday, 7 April 2018

Celebrating National Poetry Month



April is a great time to celebrate poetry reading, writing and a poetry cafe!  I've worked with the youngest of authors to create list poems and rhyming couplets.  I often work with older students who are writing diamante, haiku and shape poems. Once our writing has been completed, students are asked to select a few poems to read aloud. My goal is to transform the class into a fun cafe setting.  Here's the plan:

1)  Have students choose the poem they are proudest of.  Place the poem in a folder.  Have the students decorate the folder.  This can include hand drawn images or paper crafting activities (origami is always fun when you glue the creations onto the folder).   

2)  Have students practice reciting their poems.  Some may choose to do this from memory.  Others may decide to use the page that's in the folder.

3)  Talk about voice projection!  I usually have students stand opposite a partner across the room. 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 are encouraged to put on their best voices.

4) Create some handwritten invitations for students from other classes to attend.  Invite some parents or grandparents to attend.  You can even make this a community partnership.  Invite some of your local community members to attend.   

4)  Prior to the poetry cafe launch, make sure you have some tealight candles.  These must be the ones that you don't have to use a lighter to light.  I bought mine around Christmas when they were readily available.  They are distributed around the room.  Our desks are transformed into cafe tables.  You may choose to turn off most of the lights.

5) Have an author's stool or special chair for your budding authors.  Students are encouraged to wear author hats and dark clothing.

6) Students will come up and read their poems.  No clapping after that!  We use our snapping fingers.

7)  End with some cafe treats.  I often serve baked goods and juice boxes.

Here are some great free posters to help students comprehend literary devices and how they can be embedded in their written poetry creations:




   

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Author's Chair - Celebrating Student Writing


The Author’s Chair is a celebration of sharing a piece of writing.  It is considered a culminating task in the writing process.  The Author’s Chair is a good way to gain positive feedback from students’ peers.  An Author’s Chair has many purposes:

ü To develop ownership of a piece of writing
ü To develop learning skills that involve collaboration
ü To develop peer editing skills
ü To ensure motivation
ü To develop active listening skills as an audience
ü To reflect upon student work

     An Author’s Chair should have criteria co-constructed by both the teacher and students.  The teacher should model what reading in the Author’s Chair looks and sound like.  Some helpful hints to help your students look forward to their day in the Author's chair include:  

1) Providing a tag to wear.  Here's a sample:

2)  Validating the student's work with a certificate once the reading is completed



3)  Invite other students to come in to "hear" the author read.  A great example is if you have reading buddies or book buddies.  The "author" can showcase his or her work during reading time. 

4) Create an "Amazing Authors" bulletin board display showcasing students' work.

5) Ensure feedback is provided.  Reading is the fun part but having students directly involved in feedback allows the author to feel important, while creating a positive sense of ownership.  "TAG" feedback works well (Tell what you liked, Ask a question, Give a suggestion).    

6) Keep ideas on hand for writing.  Samples include:  Write About Books, Journal Task Cards, and Writing Choice Boards.  The possibilities are endless.   

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Value of Part-Part-Whole Relationships in Mathematics




As an instructional coach, I was often asked to focus on early development of number sense for addition and subtraction.  Providing students with a wide range of experiences to compose and decompose a number was the best way to approach this. I wanted to create a way to have teachers understand how developing part-part whole relationships is critical to building an understanding of addition and subtraction concepts.

My work has often included English language learners.  Instead of using focusing on strictly number talks, I began to explore pictures as well.  This included themed part-part-whole cards.  Each card was divided into three equal frames.  Based on themes, students would explore the missing part.  For example, the first frame had a number listed.  The remaining frames were made up of parts of the whole number.

Cards had one foldable flap.  I was absolutely delighted when a 6 year old student created his own cards to use in a partner math chat.  I have often used the cards in addition to number talks, placed them at math stations and used them for assessment purposes.

While assessing students, I observe how they "see" the objects.  Do they count them?  Can they subitize based on prior experiences?  These cards become a useful tool to develop part-part-whole relationships while building some thematic vocabulary.


Thursday, 15 March 2018

Easter Literacy and Math Activities


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. 


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.



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.



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.



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:



Wednesday, 7 March 2018

St. Patrick's Day Resources



Here are some activities for St. Patrick's Day:

St. Patrick's Day Roll a Story

Students will be prompted to tell or write story with a St. Patrick's Day theme. This unit includes a story prompt sheet, graphic organizers, word lists (St. Patrick's & transition words), rubric and specialty writing paper with full and half lined pages.  All you need is a number cube (1-6).



If you want a one day writing blitz or a variety of activities for stations, offer some quick writes to your students.  This unit contains five writing ideas for your St. Patrick's Day writing stations or bulletin boards. These include Alliteration, Recipe Writing, Wanted Poster, Wish Booklet and Word Lists. St. Patrick's Day vocabulary and writing paper is included. 

St. Patrick's Day Math Activities

Enjoy St. Patrick's Day with some fun math stations. Four stations are included in the pack. Activities include: Draw a Leprechaun Math Challenge, A Pot of Gold Race, Bump Games and Race to the End of the Rainbow. The Draw a Leprechaun Challenge includes 2 versions (addition and multiplication). Students are asked to generate sums or products and then draw a leprechaun part according to each sum or product generated. The first person to complete his or her leprechaun is declared the winner. Pot of Gold Race involves generating quotients with two players. One plays for decimals, one plays for whole numbers. The first person to get to the pot of gold is declared the winner. You will also find Bump Games using both addition and multiplication boards as well as a Race to the End of the Rainbow game that involves generating place value digits from 0 to 99. This is a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a math station day or a home-school connection. 




Here's a fun way to teach idioms to your students with a St. Patrick's Day theme. This unit has expressions on word cards ready for cutting and laminating. Students will be provided with a blank template and task cards filled with an expression related to a St.Patrick's Day theme. They will then be asked to sketch a situation using the idiomatic expression on the card and then write and sketch their interpretation of it. This is a great addition to your Word Work Station or can be used as an extra activity for early finishers.