Thursday, February 28, 2013

 More Fraction Fun

Yesterday, in small group time, we pulled out the dominoes  and had to put them in order from least to greatest with like denominators.  The best arguments occurred about whether 8/8 was the biggest and should be at the end or 12/8. 
After deciding on the best order for least to greatest...I had a great idea to practice greater than/less than.  So I ripped up some scratch paper and put the three signs on them.  Each person in the group had to make an expression using the paper and two dominoes.....they could ALL do it!  I say again, how much I love teaching with toys!
Note:  The pictures are taken from my point of it looks like the numerator is 8, but for the students 8 was the denominator.

On Monday, I rewarded my math class with popcorn.  They were so excited....and then I turned it into fractions....
First they had to count all their pieces for their denominator.  Then we divided the pieces into halve, and fourths, and sixths.
After we finished we threw our paper towels into the garbage can.  Only we threw one at a time and kept track of the score....the part whole score that is.  Every time someone made it, we write the fraction of baskets and every time someone missed we wrote a fraction for that as well.  Who know basketball could be so fun:-(
Happy Thursday,

Monday, February 25, 2013

 Pencils Find a Friend

Friends may look like this-
Or they may look like this-

Best. Shapener. Ever.  It is quiet.  It is efficient.  It is a space saver.  It is cost can get three of them for the same price as a fancy electric one. (I have already gone through two this year!)  It is easy to fix, I already unjammed a piece of colored pencil lead.  The lead doesn't fall out 2 seconds after sharpening it.  It sharpens all kinds of pencils. 
Students can use it....without breaking it or wearing down the entire pencil.
You may want one, but more importantly, you need one.  Check out Classroom Friendly Supplies to add a friend to your classroom.  It even follows Rule #5..."Keep your dear classroom happy."
All I need is a purple version....hint...hint....
Happy Monday,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

 It's Coming! It's Coming!

Read Across America Week is my FAvOrItE!  Our school is waiting until March 4th to celebrate, but for those of you are some highlights I look forward to (besides reading of course)!

Socks and Stripes day are fun......

but last year we added "Read My Shirt" Day and look at all the participation.  Tammy @ Forever in First turned the shirts into a class book!

Then we had potato characters.  Our potatoes turned into book characters.  Students brought them in all week and then Friday we had a parade.  Hagrid, Fly Guy, Fancy Nancy, Splat the Cat, The Cat in the Hat, Gluk, Pippi Longstocking, Rainbow Fish, Edward Tulane, and TONS more all showed up to celebrate.

What plans do you have going on for Read Across America Day?

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

 Fraction Fun...with Games

Still working with the world of fractions.  Today I realized there are a LOT of things to be said for using toys as a teaching tool.  I do it often:-) Here were today's fraction stations:
"Smores"  We play "Go Fish" with fractions.  Only instead of saying, "go fish", we say "get s'more."  It is a great game from Fireside Fractions, a unit I won from Tonya's Treats for Teachers.  The s'mores game has a gameboard but we were changing it up a bit.  Some students played it like Memory. Amazing unit for teaching fractions!
Get S'more Game-
 S'more Memory-
We played a game with pattern blocks also.  You know the dot game, where you connect two dots at a time and whoever finishes the box, gets to put their initial inside it.  Well we did that with Hexagon cookies.  Partners took turns rolling a dice with fractions on it.  The die had thirds, halves, and sixths.  Then students had to find the pattern block that matched.  So 1/6 is one triangle because it takes six triangles to fill the hexagon.  Whoever put in the final piece filling the hexagon got to put their name in the hexagon.

Then we played with Dominoes.  I gave everyone a domino.  They had to tell what fraction the domino showed and then put themselves in order from least to greatest.  The catch....they had to move themselves into order without talking:-)
Checking each others' dominoes. was mostly a success...those darn different denominators throw us off a bit:-)

Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

 10 for 10 Non-fiction

Just in time for an "all about" book writing unit is an organized collection of non-fiction favorites.  Here are ten good ones...although there are many to choose from.  The first three are my non-fiction go-tos!

1.  Are You a Spider is part of the Backyard Books Series by Tudor Humphries. 
The book is told like a narrative, from the view of a spider and goes through the life cycle, what it eats and how, predators, etc.   Very clever writing style for a piece of non-fiction.

2.  Salamandar Rain by Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini
A beautifully done book about life in lakes and ponds.  The fabulous part of this book is it includes so many different features of non-fiction text.  I often wish I had a class set of this book.

3.  Growing Frogs by Vivian French
Both narrative and fun facts.

4.  Lady Liberty by Doreen Rappaport
See the name Rappaport and you know it is going to be brilliant.  The pages switch back and forth between countries and the people most influential for The Statue of Liberty's existence.

5.  Teammates by Peter Golenbock
Dodger fans love this book.  My baseball fans love this book.  My sports fans love this book.  And I love this book for the above reasons and also for a great way to talk about community and treating each other kindly and fairly no matter what.

6.  Animal Dads by Sneed B. Collard (illustrated by Steve Jenkins)
Has a sentence that become the main idea as well as a list style organization for writing.  Then a blurb about what that looks like in animal families.

7.  An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Huts Aston and Sylvia Long
LOVE this series of books.  The title and back pages are brilliant.  A fact filled whimsical book!

8.  Sea Elf by Joanne Ryder
Questionable about how non-fiction this book is.  The text is more poetic, but teaches a lot of facts of about sea otters.

9.  Surprising Sharks by Nicola Davies
Cartoon like graphics.  Giant diagrams.  Fun facts.  LOVE this book too!

10.  Atlantic by G. Karas
Also a questionable non-fiction read.  Poetic but informational and beautiful illustrations.

Looking back they are all go to's.  Each one is beautiful and shows different non-fiction text features as well and informing us readers!

Happy Tuesday,

PS-Anyone watching Castle?  Last night had me so stressed out and I have to wait a whole week for a conclusion!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

 School. Sport, Smile

A linky party is going on over at Primary Possibilities
Share a something about your school, something about a sport, and something that makes you smile.

School:  I have been at my school for 10 years...and it is the only school I have taught at.  My school has artist residencies once a year.  Artists come in to our rooms and teach art alongside curriculum.  Loved almost every experience we have had with our artists in residence.

Sport:  LOVE the Dodgers...but can't play baseball. 

Volleyball is the sport I can play.  Coaching 4th and 5th grade former students is one of my favorite parts of the year.

Smile:  Teaching makes me smile.  It is increasingly difficult and challenging.  My kids make me smile and I love each new group. But when they read, my heart smiles.  I love that they sit/lay/recline wherever they can be comfortable.
Put books in your kids hands!  Give them a library full of choice!
Now go check out other people's 3 S's.
Happy Sunday,