Friday, November 30, 2012

Autumn Noun Sorts

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday!  I've been a busy lady lately, but I have a freebie for you today.  I put a set of Autumn Noun Sorts on TpT that includes sorts for singular/plural, common/proper, countable/mass, abstract/concrete, and person/place/thing.  The pack includes mini posters, sorting headers, word cards, blank word cards, and recording sheets for all 5 sets 

gwhizteacher, autumn noun sorts

After introducing each type of noun in a mini lesson, I used the cards as a morning meeting sorting greeting.  Then I put the set in a center for kids to complete the sorting task and recording sheet independentlyEven thought I teach first grade, my kids were able to complete the tasks because the first noun sort we did as a class was the person/place/thing sort that uses all the noun cards from the four other sorts.  Students were already familiar with the words when it was time to work independently.

gwhizteacher, autumn noun sorts

Here's a freebie noun sort for possessive nouns!  It goes with the noun sort pack and includes word cards, sorting headers, recording sheet, and mini poster.  I used this with my kids in the Daily 5 Word Work station.  It works for 1st (after whole class practice or mini lesson) and 2nd grades and would be a good review or grammar mini lesson for 3rd grade.

 Download my noun sort freebie here and pick up the additional five noun sorts on TpT!  Have a great weekend!
Freebie Fridays

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Measuring with Unusual Units

We've been working on measurement for our science objectives this quarter and did two in-depth measurement explorations that the students really enjoyed.  The kids raced toy cars down ramps and measured the distance traveled using links (counting by 5s).  They found the median and graphed their measurements to compare different cars.  I was impressed with students' thinking when they brainstormed reasons why some cars rolled a greater distance than others.  

Another exploration we did was an "unusual units" study.  The kids used pennies, paperclips, unifix cubes, and parallelograms to measure their journal, pencil, and table.  I provided all the unusual measurement tools, making sure to include several different sizes of paperclips, and DID NOT give students directions on how to iterate units or which size units to use.

The children took their time as my only directions were to "measure very carefully and record all your data."  Once the students had collected all their measurements, we transferred our numbers to class charts.  This made the comparison easier.

As we discussed why some numbers were different, students came to their own conclusions about the importance of using the same size unit to measure with.  They began to understand that it was also important to know how to iterate the units.  Students guessed that the smaller numbers for parallelograms were from students that may have placed their parallelograms side by side rather than tip to tip.  The kids realized that the pencil measurements were different because our pencils were all different sizes.  I was able to call students up to demonstrate how they  measured.  We used different size paperclips to demonstrate that using big/small clips would change our number.  

In the end students worked with a partner to discuss "rules for measuring" before we shared our ideas and made a class chart of our top 5 rules for measuring with unusual units.  Students worked with a partner to measure a classroom item with three "unusual units" of their choice and record their data on the back of their paper.  We shared again using our new measurement vocabulary.

Feel free to download the unusual units student recording sheet for your own measurement exploration with unusual units. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Giving Thanks!

Its' been nine weeks since I've started blogging and posting products to TpT.  As I reflect on the past two months I have so much to be thankful for.  The blog has had 5000 hits and my TpT freebies have thousands of downloads.  My hope in starting this endeavor was that students and teachers would be blessed from the products I share.  When I look at the numbers I can see the possible impact and it makes me so happy!  The students in my classroom love my themed games and creative centers.  I am so thankful for being able to digitally share with many other teachers and students!

Each week I share my verse for the week.  I need a tangible reminder of my source of inspiration for the week.  I hope that the verses have provided support, encouragement, and inspiration for other teachers as well.  This week I've put together all 9 of the verses I shared so far into one document.  Feel free to download the 9 verses, cut them out, and store them in your ID badge pocket.  Distribute to your teacher friends as needed!  

gwhizteacher, ID badge verses, 9 weeks of scripture verses

I wanted to share a quick and easy Thanksgiving sight word game with you today.  It's called Gobble! and the kids really enjoy it.  For Halloween we called it Boo!...the name changes the whole game for the students.  I am always surprised that they can't get enough of this easy "kaboom" style game.  It's a great reinforcement for sight word practice and a super independent word work center for ABC order skills.  I've included all the cards and recording sheets for a game or center.  Teacher and student directions are included as well as a set of blank cards for adding your own spelling words or vocabulary words to the game.  Download Gobble here!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner so keep your students engaged in learning up to the very last day!  Have fun!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tens & Time - Hands-On Math Games

We've been working on making tens, tens and ones, and time (to the hour and half hour) this week.  I showed the kids a few fun games to practice making tens.  We used a deck of cards to play "go fish" making sets of tens.  Each time students made a ten they had to say the equation (4+6=10) and then count all their card sets by 10s (10, 20, 30...) to keep a running total of which partner had the most "points."  The kids loved this game!  I think I may need to get some dice and playing cards from the dollar store and put them in the prize box...  We are really increasing our addition and subtraction fluency by playing math strategy games during the week. 

gwhizteacher, math games, make ten

We also played "Make Ten" with double nine dominoes.  The students played a domino to make a ten and then said their equation to their partner.  I have two sets of double nine dominoes with pips and another set with numbers.  I wonder where I could get a few more sets really cheap?

gwhizteacher, math games, make ten dominoes

I am so excited about my Thanksgiving games on TpT that I put a few out today for a test run.  We played "Tens and Ones Turkey Dinner" and used tens and ones manipulatives to build each number before we located it on the game board.  The first player to get four in a row was the winner.  My kids kept playing to see how many numbers they could cover.  Even though my kids don't have game markers, chips, spinners, or tens and ones manipulatives at home, they enjoy taking the math games home to practice with family members.  They use a paperclip and a pencil as a spinner and coins as game markers.  I let the kids check out dice whenever they need them.  I really need to put dice in the prize box.  I really really need to find FOAM dice for in the classroom and then give all the noisy dice away!

gwhizteacher, math games, thanksgiving math games for first grade, tens and ones turkey dinner
A very simple game you can create for tens and ones is called "Place Value Pick-Up Sticks."  My friend Jimbo showed me this clever counting game.  Put two different color dots on popsicle sticks or tongue depressors.  I suppose you could draw tens and ones, but we use the pick-up sticks for fives or twos depending on what counting skill we are working on.  Students toss the sticks in the air to begin.  When the sticks fall, they remove all the zeros (sticks that are facing down).  Then they sort the two colors (tens and ones) and count them beginning with tens and then counting on with the remaining ones.  I have students build the number out of tens and ones manipulatives (or money, etc) after they have counted their  pick-up sticks. The kids love this game it is SO EASY to create!  :)

gwhizteacher, tens and ones, math gamesgwhizteacher, tens and ones, math games

Tomorrow we are making our own paper plate clocks.  I saw a pin on pinterest where you put two plates together and make peekaboos for each number to show the increments of five for the minute hand.  I LOVE this idea and can't wait to try it out.  Paper plate clocks are great when talking about the parts of the clock and building an understanding of time, but I really think the kids need to experience a Judy clock or some other type of student clock to practice manipulating the hour and minute hands correctly.  My students inevitably tear the hands off of their paper clocks every year.   I wonder if there is another way to make the clock hands instead of using paper or cardstock.

gwhizteacher, math games, time for pie, thanksgiving math games for first grade

Visit yesterday's post, Thanksgiving Math Games, and download my Thanksgiving game FREEBIE, Turkey Tens, to play with your class!  Have fun!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thanksgiving Math Game FREEBIE!

I just finished putting my Thanksgiving math game set on TpT!  The ten games are going to be a lot of fun for my kids during the two days before our Thanksgiving holiday break!  The skill level increased a bit from the Halloween game set I made.  I included number words, fact families, shapes, time, and tens & ones.  These games really help my kids increase their fluency with addition and subtraction.  I wanted to share one of my games with you as a sample.  I hope your class can use this in Daily 5 math groups or a math game partner station.

gwhizteacher, thanksgiving math games, math daily 5 stations, 1st grade math games, turkey tens game

Download the sample FREEBIE, Turkey Tens, or head on over to TpT to view a preview of the whole set.  I hope you like it!

gwhizteacher, thanksgiving math games, TpT 1st grade math games

Sunday, November 4, 2012

ID Badge Verse - Psalm 127:3

My principal once told me that the parents of my students are entrusting me with their most precious gift every day. All children are different.  Each one is unique, presenting different challenges and strengths.  The thing that they all have in common is that they represent the very best and most precious gift God has given to their parents.

gwhizteacher, ID badge verse, psalm 127:3

Children are not only precious to their parents, but are precious to God as well.  They are His gift to us.  We must remember to treat each child as the unique gift that they are.  When you interact with your students' parents this week, remember that you are discussing their most precious gift.  Are you showing the student's parent that you cherish their child and consider them a gift?  Do you words reflect that the child is a reward from God? Download this week's verse, Psalm 127:3, and remember that your students are indeed little gifts from above!