Monday, February 28, 2011

Math Darts

I created the math darts addition and comparing worksheet for math centers that I referred to earlier.  I'm kind of experimenting here with how to share documents.  I know I've seen other options around on other people's sites and I thought there was a way to actually show the google docs but I can't figure out how to show the actual document.  If anyone knows and can help out please leave a comment.  Thanks.

Spring means Getting Creative

I spent quite a bit of time in my classroom this weekend.  I thought if I went in Saturday I could do all my planning then and not have to stay after church on Sunday.  But instead I spent Saturday organizing, cleaning, and getting creative.  It wasn't a total waste.  My game closet is organized again with aspirations of once again covering the top shelves with a curtain and only providing the games, puzzles, and toys that pertain to our unit for free time Friday.  That will happen next year.  While cleaning out the closet I hit inspiration for math and phonics games.  I created a math Chutes and Ladders game I spotted on the Finally in First blog.  I created an addition game using a magnetic dart board that the kids really enjoy. 

I will be creating a score sheet for the kids to use to write their addition facts they hit when playing.  I'll post it when I'm done.  I also began work on a sight word Candy Land that I heard reference to on another site but didn't actually see a picture of.  There were two games of Twister in the closet so I took one out and added numbers to each spot.  I have a little more work to do to make this game completely ready for math fact practice.  But I'm pretty sure that once its finished it will be a huge hit with my first graders. 
While playing in my classroom I saw a youtube video of another math game and had the materials available then so also made that.

I totally emptied out my guppy aquarium, putting the guppies in my smallest aquarium until I'm done.  I started cleaning the rocks before having to leave Saturday for my church's Black History Month Celebration. So I didn't quite finish.  The guppies will just have to survive for a little longer in the small aquarium before returning home.

Today we didn't have school.  A crazy storm blew through last night and we were left with limited power in the building.  What that meant for me though was that I had more time today to let my creative juices flow.  They always seem to overflow at this time of the year so I'm happy I actually had the opportunity to let them, even though I'm fairly frustrated by the lack of time I feel I have to actually fit everything in that I still need to teach.  Ugh too many snow days this year!!!

Here's my creation from today ... I drew a little picture of something similar on the white board a couple weeks ago when my Making Words lesson included words with ai.  I told the kids at the time that I would make a poster to hang up that they could use for "research"  I'm much happier with this than with any poster I would have come up with.  Perhaps I'll post the templates and instructions later so others can make it as well.

I just need to decide what exactly I'm going to put in the speech bubble.  I haven't decided if I'll put the rhyme when two vowels go walking the first one does the talking or if I'll put pictures of words that have ai in the middle.

I'll be showing this video to my students very soon as well ... I'm getting ahead of myself though.  We still have two more weeks of long o and long u with bossy e before we even get to this.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Word a Day sentences & Math Olympics

Evan Moor A Word A Day

Each week I introduce four new vocabulary words to the kids.  I use Word a Day published by Evans Moor.  The kids really enjoy trying to find times to use their new words, and jump when they hear me using them.  At some points in the year we have our words written on a poster and when the kids use the word in class they put their name up on a post it next to the word they used.  I hope to build this component of our vocabulary study next year.
When I told my kids today that it was time for our word of the day test, they got incredibly excited and said "That's the fun test."  I guess they don't like spelling all too much.
Their sentences today were quite fun to read so I thought I'd share them ... (I'll type them the way they spelled them)  The instructions were to write about someone who is daring.  And to use daring in their sentence.

DaD is daring because he wunid to by chase by a Dino.
My uncle Mark is daring because he climbs Mt. St. Helens.
I daring mysealf to steft a hamburger? (I'm daring myself to stuf a hamburger ... in my mouth all at once)
I'm daring because I'm sping on my mom and dad. (spying)
My uncle is daring because he is a paramedic.
I daring you to jump DaN hir (I'm daring you to jump down here.)
my Dad is baring beekas he gos hunting. (My dad is daring beccause he goes hunting.)
it's daring when I go to girl scout's
I clighed a daring montin. (I climbed a daring mountain.)
wen you are daring wen you clim a miantin (You are daring when you climb a mountain.)

As a teacher, there is always so much to do and most of the time not all of it gets done.  I have no idea how some of the teachers of the blogs I'm beginning to follow keep everything going.  Sometimes I think of teaching as spinning plates and I look at some teachers and think they're very similar to these Chinese plate spinners.

I'm not.  I'll get a few plates spinning and invariably one of them will fall.  Or I'll have to stop spinning a plate for a minute in order to get another started.  During the summer I can have plans in my head of how to spin all those plates at the same time ... outdoor education, technology integrated in the classroom, a class blog and webpage, integrated units, daily 5 and strategy groups with CAFE and so much more ... but actually pulling it all off without a plate dropping seems to be fairly impossible.  So ... last night I failed to check my class' math olympic sheets from yesterday and I ran out of time while our Friday volunteer readers were in my class so I thought I'd just give my kids a day of a break from this intense 3 minutes of focus and disapointment for those who get to the end and don't quite make it to the end of the page.  But my kids had other plans.  Upon telling them that we were taking a break from math olympics today I heard a room full of groans.  Since their groaning wasn't due to the fact they didn't want to be pushed to do work but was because were disappointed they wouldn't be able to work, I succombed to their insesstant pleas for more math.  One of my students got angry he wasn't going to be able to do math olympics and told me his dad was going to be angry too.  He was so serious it was cute.  And it's funny because his dad teaches down the hall from me and although his dad is really supportive of my little guy's fact practice right now, he wouldn't be angry that we took a days break.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A New Start

I've been doing a lot of reading of blogs lately and decided to make a little change.  If you know me, you might ask, "What ... again?" I know I haven't been able to keep up with my web page this year the way that I had hoped.  But it's almost spring.  And spring is a time for renewal.  So here we go again.  Another try.  And with this new try blogspot seems to be a better bet for a blogging community. 
My original blogs on my webs page are still accessible.

I said I would post the rest of my students' writing assignments from this last week.  I tried posting them and they aren't coming out clear right now.  The kids did such a great job I'd like to try again later.