Thursday, February 25, 2016

Am I A Quarter?

Okay, so who has played the game Headbandz??
Well, my family LOVES it.  Some of us are better at it than others but we all LOVE it.  Truthfully, I'm the worst.  This is what it sounds like when you play with me:

Me: Am I a green?
Someone I Love: No
Me:  Am I a tree?
Someone I Love: No
Me:  Am I Money?
Someone Who is Frustrated with me: NO
Me: Am I grass?
Someone Who is Frustrated with me: No
...and 2 hours later I'm still not getting a clue. But I LOVE this game! Soooo, I was thinking this would be a fun way to practice recognizing and adding up coins. Let's play HEADBANDZ!!

If I could only have a check off sheet when I play with my family I would probably be a ROCK STAR at this game.

 The kids loved this and worked with each other to help recognize their coins when they struggled. They were motivated to add up their coins and find out the value on their head.  

No worries if you don't have the Headbandz can use a sentence strip and a paperclip to make your own. 

Stop by and pick it up.  I hope your kids enjoy it as much as my kids.
  {click here}


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Speed Dating or 2nd Grade Letter Writing

Well friends, I understand the confusion.  I've never been apart of speed dating but I imagine it just like the letters of these 2nd grade students. 

(sorry for the bad pics...that's kinda how I roll)

Ya'll these crack me up. I picture these being read without coming up for breath until you get to the last line-which is the same picture I get in my head of someone speed dating.

Thank you Mrs. Beasley for being our pen pals.  The kids LOVED doing this and guess what?  They want to write again....this is AUTHENTIC learning!  Okay, we can write some more if that's what ya'll want to do. ;-) 

One of the books that I read to the class before we started writing our friendly letter was Dear Mr. Blueberry.
The kids loved it and I thought it was a perfect way to start our friendly letter unit.  Our first letter was to our lunch ladies politely asking for a new item on the lunch menu. Next, we were able to set something up with another school and write another 2nd grade class (letters above)The next letter they write will be to me, convincing me to Skype with Mrs. Beasley's class (our pen pals).  I'm pretty sure they will convince me ;-)


Friday, February 19, 2016

Making Cents

It's FriYAY!! Something about short weeks seem so much crazier, busier, and waaay more hectic than if we just had class all 5 days.  

I am thankful for my own learning time though.  I am NOT thankful for TELPAS time. Just sayin'. 

I guess we could look at it as a reminder of the way kids may feel when we put them in that stressful testing environment.  I don't know about ya'll but I get so nervous and anxious.  I feel like I know my stuff but tell me that you are testing me and I forget EVERYTHING I know.

In case you're curious I passed the first time and only missed ONE.  BOOYAH!!  But due to the stress of testing and being nervous I missed the part about only doing the second calibration if you failed the first one.  So, yes I did BOTH calibrations.  Geeze! Who has time to do that?? 

I get the necessary evil of testing.  I do. 

Oh yea, I said I had a FREEBIE for this FriYAY!!  We have been working on counting a variety of coins. This can be a little tricky for kiddos.  I cannot take credit for this idea but I don't know who to give credit to.  I've used this for many years and it is a great tool for the kids.
{click here}

You will need:  colored transparency sheets

Seriously worth the money.  If you cannot get colored transparency sheets then you could use clear but colored makes a HUGE difference. 
They will place the transparency coin sheets on top of the money chart to add the value of coins.   

Of course, music makes everything better.  Our favorite this week has been...
Another favorite of ours is...
the sound is not great but it's fun to sing while we work. ;-)

Hopefully all of that made cents...(haha!)  


Sunday, February 14, 2016


Hi Friends!  I wanted to share a little unit I put together for small group instruction with base ten blocks.  After going through our CBAs, studying them, and trying to figure out what my littles were thinking while taking this test I've come to the following conclusions:

1) They are 7 and 8 years old and sometimes they just make little kid mistakes.

2) We need to go back and review composing and decomposing numbers with base 10 blocks. 

3)  I HATE when test makers use the word's wrong.

4)  We need more work on part, part, whole word problems and I've found a wonderful site to help with that.

Okay, first I was motivated by that pesky little word NOT and decided to create an activity to help the kids recognize the correct answer and the incorrect answer.  

They can use the base 10 model form to count and sort according to their number.  Then once they understand, they can create their own NUMBER and NOT NUMBER.

Now, let's talk about composing and decomposing numbers.  Do you use manipulatives in the classroom?  Well, I think it's a very crucial step in understanding numbers.  Yes, my kids drop them on the floor.  Yes, they try to build forts and robots with them. Yes, it can be a little chaotic when you have 21 kids building, designing, and playing with base 10 blocks. 

Sooo...why not allow them to build something COOL?!--but they must only use the number that they draw.  I suggest doing this in small groups so that you can be in charge of the exchanges. Eventually, they could do this on their own but at first they need a lot of practice and modeling.  This activity seemed to really help the kids understand how each number was made.  I wish you could see their full face because they LOVED this! 

Now, I think it's important for you to know that I do this kind of stuff everyday in whole group, but I was really surprised by the lack of understanding when I worked with them in a small group setting.  This activity was an eye opener!--They wanted to build a bigger and better structure but they needed more blocks. Ah-ha, if they wanted more blocks they could trade with me. 

Finally, I need my kids to have more practice with word problems with missing parts.  A sweet friend of mine asked if I've heard of Thinking Blocks.  Well, let me tell you....if you haven't heard of it you should most definitely check it out.  AH-MAZING!
This has become a math station rotation.  Thank you, Mrs. Beasley! more thing!!  I almost forgot to share with you the latest math website that have my kids begging to play.  Have you heard of Prodigy?  You can see your student's progress in real time and a diagnostic test will place your students in the correct grade with automatic differentiation.  They LOVE it!

Well, I think that's enough of math on this day of LOVE.
I hope y'all have a SWEET day...