Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Small Group Work and a FREEBIE!

Wednesday is always a day the kiddos look forward to because it is Small Groups Day.  Every Wednesday, I group the students and give them a full hour to "play games".  At least, that is how they see it.  Actually, they are working on special skills that need a little tweaking.
This week, I had the groups work on Parts of Speech (Nouns, Verbs, & Adjectives),
Place Value with Horse Race,
Spelling and Phonics skills with Versatiles,
and Computer Skills with ABC Ya!

One of the skills that I discovered very early on in the year that needed A LOT of work was Parts of Speech.  My sweeties really had a tough time naming nouns, verbs and adjectives within sentences.  So I pulled together this activity.

I pulled out my noun, verb, and adjective word tiles that I got from Wal-Mart a million years ago. 

The students were to draw a tile out of the bag and write the word in the correct section on a worksheet. 
Here is a sample of what the first group had going so far.  

Click the worksheet or here for the FREEBIE!

This shows a group working on Place Value using StrataDice from Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks.  If you would like to learn how to play the game the kids are playing, you can read a post I did on these last year.

This is a quick pic of a student working with VersaTiles.  I discovered VersaTiles (an ETA product) years ago when I was a tutor for Sylvan Learning Center.  These are a great way for your students to work on important skills without killing a bunch of trees.  I will be doing a post soon on this incredible product and it's uses in the classroom.  
Finally, the babes had a chance to get on the computer and play some learning games through ABC Ya!
This week I let them choose which games to do, but soon I will be giving them direction on what to be working with.

Like I said, we have an hour for these activities, so I usually give the groups 20 minutes to work and then we rotate to the next station.

That's all for now!  Be sure to grab that FREEBIE for your own parts of speech activities!



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Paperless Math Practice

"This is so COOL!"  Those were the words repeated over and over by my studnets when I tried out a new, paperless way to practice their math facts.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I had my students write on their desks!!!!!!!
I actually found this idea from Pamela over at Teaching 4 Real via Pinterest.
She was searching for a way to keep her morning kids busy without killing a bunch of trees in the process.  So she introduced the idea of using dry erase markers to write out their multiplication facts directly onto their desks.
For me, (and Pamela) this was a HUGE success!  The kids loved bing able to write on their desks because it is usually FORBIDDEN!
The dry erase wiped cleanly off, and as an added measure we all did a quick clean up with a Clorox wipe. 
Since my kiddos are struggling with their math facts, this is going to be my quick go-to activity during those "I'm done, now what?" moments. 
I also plan to take this further and have the kids practice place value, ( ie. tens and ones, expanded form, written form) weekly spelling words, DOL, word sorts, etc.  This could make a great formative assessment!!!!!!!  The possibilities are endless!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Made It - Expanded Form Cups

Today I am linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her "Monday Made It" linky. 
I am soooo excited to use this with my class this week!
These are a great way to get your kids working with expanded form.  I've see this idea on pinterest but I also spotted some easy to use directions at Sue Downing's TpT store for FREE!
The idea is totally simple.  You can make a number from 0 to 99 by turning the cups to line up the numbers.  To expand the number, just slide the outer cup to the right and you have an instant expanded form number sentence.   
Below, I show how I made marks onto a third cup so that I could space the numbers evenly around the rim.  Keep that cup (and make a few extras) so you can quickly make a 100's set.     
I bought a whole bunch of styrofoam cups this weekend and I plan to have my class make their own set of these. 
Now I just need to figure out a way to use this same priciple but use it to create more difficult expanded form number sentences like 30+14.  My kiddos are REALLY struggling with this concept...... gotta love Common Core!
So head back to 4th Grade Frolics to link up and share your latest creations!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Return of the Quick Tips Linky - Yay!!!

I'm linking up with Jean at Diving into 2nd Grade to celebrate the return of her (and Angela's) Classroom Quick Tips Linky.  I loved this linky!  It gave me SO many ideas last year!
The quick tip I'm sharing today actually comes from another blogger but I have started using this year and my kids LOVE it!
This baby comes from Leslie at First Grade and Flip Flops.  She came up with a bunch of adorable and catchy attention grabbers.  The cool thing is that you don't have to use the same one all the time.  You can change it up to keep the kids on their toes!
So far our favorites are: "All set?  You bet!", "Red Robin . . . Yum!", and "Peanut Butter . . . Jelly Time!" 
So here is how I use it:
I have four tables in my classroom.  Each table has a bookshelf that holds all of the students' materials.  I posted this "Attention" sign in a sheet protector to the backside of each bookshelf.  If I use a grabber the kids don't know the response to, they just have to look at their own copy.
I use sheet protectors in other places in my room so that I can easily change out the paper while still protecting it from the sticky, grubbiness that is elementary school!
Here, I'm using it to show the students what level books they can get out of my classroom library.  As the year progresses, the kids move up in level.  So I just need to change the colors, print it out and stick it into the protector.
So head on back to Diving into 2nd Grade and link up!  I can't wait to steal borrow so great new classroom tips!