February 26, 2015

MAKE IT A MATHEMATICAL MARCH

I don't know about you, but spring math in first grade is so much fun. You have introduced most of the standards and now you can take your babes to the next level.  Over the years, I have learned to sneak these higher-level thinking skills into the mix.  If you add cute graphics, manipulatives (dice, dominoes, or cards), and call it a game . . . you've got 'em eating out of the palm of your hand.  Heaven knows this is a LIVE SAVER during those LONG as all get out afternoons with the little guys.  

Well, I attempted to create a collection that does just this for firsties. On that note, I'd like to introduce you to my March Math Station Activities, Games, & More Packet :)  It's a doozie and you don't have to buy it to run with many of the ideas.  Keep reading . . . I promise to make it worth your while.  

Let me back up for a moment . . . I am kinda OCD about the games that I create.  I like to make sure that the games actually work with kids.  So, I jumped the March gun just a bit this week and tested a few of my games out with our crew.  I got thumbs up on all of them :)


We have been really trying to work in more PE . . . so, I extended our in class skip counting review lesson into the great outdoors.  This one is called Puddle Jumpin' and the kids were delighted.  One babe even said, "Thanks for letting us play this, Mrs. Dolling!!"  Um . . . talk about fillin' this teacher's bucket! You can do this with your own class any time this spring.  Simply set up a course of "puddles" (cones or hula hoops) and host a skip counting relay race. Place your kiddos into teams of 4-5 and have them hop or dodge the "puddles" as they skip count. When we finished, we came in and colored a hundreds chart to help "see" the actual number patterns.  Finally, we completed a skip counting practice sheet.  It was a glorious way to break up the post-lunch period.  


Skip counting by 10s from any number has been a HUGE challenge for us.  So, it came back this month with a sweet treat attached.  Sure, you can snag my packet and get all of this stuff pre-made for you, but you can also roll with this one without me.  To play Chasing Rainbows, each kiddo will need two 6-sided dice or a spinner to 8, a recording sheet, a hundreds chart, and a handful of SKITTLES.  Easy, right??  Kids roll or spin to get a 2-digit number.  The first Skittle is placed over this number on the hundreds chart.  Kids then use three additional candies to count down the chart by 10s.  This number sequence is then recorded on a game sheet. Is this too hard for some of your crew??  No worries.  I have a quick fix for you. Simply count on by ones instead of tens. BOOM . . . not too shabby, huh??!! My class loved this one and we will definitely be playing it again next week.  (SIDE NOTE . . . just so we get the connection here . . . Chasing Rainbows is based upon the old slogan "Taste The Rainbow" from the Skittles peeps.)


We also tried out The End of the Rainbow game.  It works on comparing numbers and place value . . . it makes them think outside of the box a bit too. The kids need a laminated (or "sleeved") game board, two 10-sided die (or one double 10-sided die), and a white board marker.  You may also want to give them a hundreds chart to reference if need be.  The game board has 9 slots between 0-100 that need to be filled.  Kids roll the die/dice to make a 2-digit number.  They then decide where they should write it on the game board. If the number is closer to 0, they want to write it in one of slots on the left.  If the number is closer to 100 they want to write it in a circle closer to the right. Make sense??  It's easy at first, but depending on how they placed their numbers, they may have gotten themselves into a bit of a leprechaun trap. You see, the numbers must be recorded from least to greatest.  SO . . . if they roll a number that does NOT keep this pattern, they have to keep rolling until they hit a number that fits the sequence. They really loved this game and it provided the best informal assessment.  I definitely know who we need to scoop up for a little small group re-teach. Again, I have this game ready to rock for you in my packet, but this is a fairy easy "make" as well.  

This packet contains 13 games/activities that align to the CCSS for first grade. They have a fun March flavor as well.  Anything to keep the kids hooked into what you're dishin' . . . right??!  It even comes with a free time song from Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes.  Here's the line up . . . 

Puddle Jumpin’ (Counting/Skip Counting - Math.1.NBT.1 + Math.1.NBT.5)
Chasing Rainbows (Counting/Skip Counting - Math.1.NBT.1 + Math.1.NBT.5)
The End of the Rainbow (Place Value Game - Math.1.NBT.3)
Sham-“ROCKIN” Addition (Associative Property - Math.1.OA.3)
Get Your Luck On (Missing Addend Game - Math.1.OA.8)
Shamrock Subtraction (Subtraction - Math.1.OA.6 + Math.1.OA.7)
Shamrock Shuffle (Add/Sub Game - Math.1.OA.6)
You’re So “Clover” (Fact Family Game - Math.1.OA.3 + Math.1.OA.6)
You’re So “Clover” (Fact Family Craft - Math.1.OA.3 + Math.1.OA.6)
Springing Into Time (Time to the Hour - Math.1.MD.3)
Half Past (MP3 + Lyrics from Ron Brown - Math.1.MD.3)
It’s Game Time (Time to the ½ Hour - Math.1.MD.3)
Great Graphs (March Flavored Graphs - Math.1.MD.4)
Draw and Solve (Word Problem Mini Book - Math.1.OA.1)



Alright, so there you be.  A ton of ways to make March much more mathematical.  I can't wait to hit the babes with the rest of these.  The March Math Stations & More Packet is on SALE today and it's part of a Math Station Growing Bundle.  Are you interested in checking 'em out a bit more?  Click the picts below to read up on them.  Thanks so much for taking the time to visit me. I'll see you soon. I'm off to finish packing for the Southern California Kinder Conference.  I cannot wait to host my math session and hang with all of my favorite SoCal gals.  #SCKCorbust

 



February 20, 2015

MID-YEAR MAKEOVER -- CAN YOU SAY CLASSROOM AWNINGS?

I don't know if you ever get this way, but I felt the overwhelming need to "freshen" up the place.  Spring is knocking on our door and I wanted to brighten a few areas in my classroom.  I am tired of looking at the same stuff. Do you ever get this way?  Well, the perfect timing of our February Break allowed me to do a little something about my ho-hum feeling . . . just wait until you see what I stumbled across.

Have you guys heard of Teacher Created Resources?  I was introduced to them for the first time last year at the SoCal Kinder Conference.  I FINALLY decided to go and look them up.  Boy, am I sure glad that I did.  They have the cutest Chalkboard Brights collection. 

Now, I know what you are thinking.  Um . . . Kelley . . . that's great.  Good for you for finding a set like this, but I've seen chalkboard collections before. 

BUT WAIT!!!  Don't give up on me just yet.  Maybe you don't quite understand what this particular chalkboard set has to offer.  Can you say, "AN AWNING?" Yessiree . . . an AWNING.  (Yes, I am shouting a bit here . . . I just can't contain my excitement.)  Just look at this thing . . . 


I'll be honest here.  I ordered it just for giggles.  I didn't really get the whole concept or how it would play out.  Well, it came.  And, it BLEW MY MIND.  I just hung it a few hours ago and my mind is still racing.  Right now it is covering our coveted supply area, but I am so going to set up something extra special under this sweet display.  The company has a handful of different awnings to choose from -- red/white stripes, polka dots, and even a dreamy Parisian version.  But, don't take my word for it. Check these out HERE :)    

Okay, now that I have slobbered all over myself, I can tell you a bit more.  As you can tell, the awning is definitely my favorite part of this order.  However, the matching letters and border just complete the whole package.  Yes, I picked these up as well.  (What can I say??  I like being all "matchy-matchy.") I must say that these elements look super fabulous around Stephanie Stewart's Walrus/Toothbrush Craft


I didn't stop there.  I also picked up matching stickers, sticker charts, and cut outs.  These are going to be great for AR tracking, sight word games, and grading.  I can't help myself when it comes to stickers.  I just LOVE to slap them on my kiddos' writing.  


I think it is safe to say that Chalkboard Brights have captured this teacher's heart.  If you are interested in awnings or this set, click on over to Teacher Created Resources.  It's worth a little look-see . . . trust me :)  It was just what this educator needed to brighten up those mid-year walls!  


Thanks for visiting today my friends.  I will see you Sunday with something special.  It's being edited as I type . . . :)

February 12, 2015

THROWIN' IT BACK - PRESIDENTS, FLAG MATH, & MORE

Alright folks . . . now that Valentine's Day is nearly here, we gotta look toward that next chapter.  We will be jumpin' into presidents and national symbols . . . how about you?  Well, If you happen to be walkin' down this same road road in the near future, keep on reading.  I have a few things up my sleeve for you.  Here is a little throw back post to show ya some things that will definitely get "penned" into my schedule this year!

********************

I made a new mini book collection for Presidents Day.  Similar to my Olympics Readers, this pack contains three different little books.  Two are more biography based (Washington + Lincoln) and interactive.  By interactive I mean that they contain writing and drawing prompts throughout . . . one even has a math problem.  The third reader (U.S. Symbols) is just a straight reader - the corresponding writing prompts are included separately.  


I won't lie, these were tough to write.  Not only did I want to make the material readable for fluent 1st and 2nd graders, but I also had to dig deep to remember all of those style/grammar rules.  Yup, I had to dig out my old college handbooks from my journalism degree days.  I learned that you don't capitalize national anthem.  Stick that one in your back pocket . . . you never know when you might need it :)


Speaking of Presidents, we did do some really fun stuff last year that I can draw on.  My favorite write of the year is the "I Cannot Tell A Lie" ditty that we roll with every February.  You learn SO much about your little sweeties.  One angel last year was pretty savvy . . . realizing that she has parents that peruse all of her work as soon as it's hung, she took a different approach.  She wrote, "One time I told a lie, but it was a very, very, very big lie.  I will never ever tell anyone.  Hahahahahaha!"  Her parents laughed like crazy when they saw this, but I did notice a little "look" creep into their eyes!


The kids took the time to read these too . . . they were so funny.
The class keeps going "uuuuuummmmmmmm!"
We had everything from lying about brushing teeth to punching brothers.



If you like this activity, be sure to check out my President Pack.  It's has all kinds of fun crafts and a few killer cool games!   


Changing gears a bit . . . are you interested in a fun interactive math ditty to keep your kiddos engaged?  Try out Flag Math.  It's free.  This one delights my kids year after year -- there is just something about those mini flags that keeps 'em hooked and working hard.  This activity not only leads to great dialogue regarding Old Glory and other national symbols, but it also ties in nicely to the CORE.  Add this activity to your files . . . CLICK HERE :)


Alright my friends . . . I am out of here.  Thank you so much for taking the time to pop in today.  Enjoy your V-Day fun tomorrow.  I can't wait to witness all the giggles, grins, and hugs.


February 8, 2015

LOVE IS IN THE AIR . . . A GIVEAWAY FOR TEACHERS WHO SWOON OVER TECH

It has been ages since I have been in on a BIG giveaway.  Well, that all ends today!  I have officially joined forces with KinderCraze and a handful of other wonderful women to bring you a very special giveaway.  The goal was to create an event that made Valentine's Day extra special for our followers.  So, here we be . . . and just wait until you see what we have in store for you :)




Love Is In The Air has two amazing parts.  First, each individual blogger has a fun little "techy" prize up for grabs.  I'm talking everything from iTunes gift cards to doc cameras.  (I'll tell you all about mine in a moment!!)  You can hop between us and enter yourself for each one of these.  Second, there is a GRAND PRIZE being offered as well.  We each chipped in to award one very lucky winner an iPad Air.  Enter the Rafflecopter for this prize on any of our blogs! I told you this was an EPIC giveaway :)

I am dying to tell you what I selected to give away.  Well, after much brain searching, I settled on a killer cool bluetooth ultra-portable speakerI read countless reviews and watched a handful of videos to ensure I wasn't picking a dud. Well, this particular speaker is the highest rated for the its class . . . they say it has amazing sound and can fill the room.  



I use a portable speaker in my classroom and it is so helpful.  You don't have to plug your phone into anything, which means you can take pictures of your crew without interrupting the tunes. You also don't have to run across the room to control the music flow - the power is right in your hand!  Just think about how great this would be.  Music in YOUR classroom will never be the same :)


On that note, why don't you get yo-self entered for both giveaways??  I made the process pretty straight forward for you.  Just fill out the two Rafflecopter forms below!  Good luck my friends.  We will be back on 2/15 with all of our big winners :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why stop here . . . hop around to these other amazing sites and enter to win oodles of other tech-savvy classroom tools :)

February 5, 2015

COME AND FIND ME -- IT'S JUST A HOP AWAY

Hey gang . . . thanks for droppin' in for a little visit.  On that note, I am going to ask you to make one extra click this evening as I am not hanging here tonight. I am crashin' over at Fantastic First Grade Froggies.  Won't you pop on over and show Renee (a fellow NorCal gal) some love??  I have a fun February Freebie up for grabs that just received a much needed face-lift.  This one has delighted my first and second graders for years :)



Well, that's it on this page.  I am off to be a wife for a bit and hopefully catch last Sunday's episode of Downton.  It is currently being held hostage in the DVR.  Anywho, just click the button below to snag that math game . . . we would PUFFY HEART a visit from you :)




January 31, 2015

FIVE FOR FRIDAY - KICKING OFF FEBRUARY FUN

With one of my all time favorite months already knockin' on the door, we were busy as all get out trying to wrap up all of our January fun.  Okay, and I'll be honest too.  I snuck in a little February preview for the kids this week too.  (I just couldn't help myself . . . hehehehe.)  On that note, here's a little peek at what we've been up to around here.

ONE - FEBRUARY SNEAK PEAK
As I stated above, I just couldn't resist introducing Valentine's games this past week.  Next to Halloween . . . it's my second favorite holiday.  Yes, it even beats Christmas for me.  There is just something about all the love talk that makes kindness in the classroom peak for a few weeks.  SWOON.  I couldn't wait to get the LOVELY flowing . . . so I hit them with these games.  

Collecting Hearts
Working on counting on from any number.
The hot shots are counting on by 10s
 
There is just something about using CONVERSATION HEARTS in the classroom.
"READ MINE!  READ MINE!!"
The giggles and cheesy grins are priceless.
Are We A Good Match?
The kids were looking to match place value cards (digit to base 10).
The kids begged to play again and again.

All of these games are available in my latest Math Activities, Games, & More packet.  We're talking 13 CCSS aligned games/centers and a fun song from Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes to help you get through the month of February.


Looking for a fun February Math FREEBIE that gives you a feel for what my games are all about?  Check out Queen of Hearts . . . it's always a class fave. This one is "penned" in for next week.



TWO - PENGUIN WRAP UP
We wrapped up our unit on penguins this week.  My favorite activities came courtesy of Ms. Amy Lemons.  Her Waddle With Me packet is delightful.  The penguin hats are to die for (sorry . . . no picture captured this year) and I loved the responses we received from her If I Were A Penguin Write.  The kids got a kick out of this one!!

They managed to work in oodles of facts.
They actually are listening . . . most of the time ;)

THREE - KINDNESS WEEK
Our school participated in National Kindness Week and the kids really got into it. The 4th graders made and hung the sweetest posters around campus.  This one was RIGHT outside the staff room door . . . you can't help but catch the irony and laugh your head off.  #whatareyoureallytryingtosay



FOUR - BUNDLIN' UP
I am finally getting wise.  It took a few of you to hit me over the head with some requests, but I am finally getting with the program.  This week I bundled two of my most popular series.  You can now snag GROWING BUNDLES containing my Sentence Writing Warm-Ups and my Math Activities, Games, & More packets.  Since I know many of you have already purchased some of the individual collections, I tried to make up for it via super deep discounts this month.  You can save 30-40% (depending on the bundle) in February. The price will go up a little every month until all of the packets are included (I am making them as we go this year).  Sorry it took me so long to do this . . . better late than never, huh??

     


FIVE - SUPER SALE
I am participating in the Blog Hoppin' Super Sale this weekend.  A bunch of us got together and put our TPT shops on sale.  I am not too interested in the pigskin this year (my beloved Broncos aren't in and I am still moping a bit). However, I figured the BIG GAME was still a great reason to celebrate.  Catch all of my goods on sale today and tomorrow.  And, yes . . . those bundles above are on sale too!  #discountcity


Thanks so much for taking the time to visit me today.  I hope you have a super weekend.  I'll see you very soon :)



January 28, 2015

PK1 RESOURCE FINDS - PART DUEX (AUGMENTED REALITY IN THE CLASSROOM)

It took me awhile to circle back around, but I am finally back to tell you about one more amazing resource that I discovered at the PK1 Conference.  This one is going to make your head spin.  I guarantee it.  

ALIVE STUDIOS - AUGMENTED REALITY
Have you ever stumbled across a new teaching resource that actually made your mouth hang open?  Well, one conference booth in particular did just this for little old me.  I was absolutely mesmerized by what I saw unfold at the Alive Studios booth. I knew I needed one of these to use with my students (it's already on order)!  

I got to hang with the Alive Studios gang.
Meet Cynthia (president and creator) and Faith!!
Alive Studios has created supplemental reading and curriculums infused with augmented reality for the classroom.  I'm talkin' 3-D reading and math programs that don't require glasses.  Yup . . . you heard me right, 3-D! This company has embedded high-tech graphics, sounds, and other highly-engaging elements into amazing software programs that provide kids with different ways to experience and interact with both math and reading.  

I must admit that this is SO difficult to put into words and I just can't do it justice.  Seriously folks . . . I was able to be a part of a handful of different software demonstrations for both Reading alive and Math alive and my wheels were turning so fast they nearly broke free.  Seeing is believing.  With this said, here is a quick video showing kiddos in action with their augmented reality programs.  Their reactions are priceless and the level of engagement absolutely takes my breath away. 




I had the opportunity to sit and chat with Cynthia (ceo and mastermind behind this amazing idea).  Her story just makes sense.  With access to just the right people and technology, she came up with a way to drive attention, capture imagination, and foster long-term learning in our youngsters in a very powerful way.  She is on a mission to provide young learners with the tools to become proficient in math and reading by the end of 3rd grade. 

I know what you are thinking . . . I thought the same thing.  Uh, how expensive is this program?  It's not as bad as you think.  This program is totally doable. Oh, AND . . . Alive Studios has thought of their teachers' pocketbooks. They provide support in the grant writing department.  They even offer up a ready-made letter (just needs your info) and support during the process.  Now, that's what I call a proactive company.  Also, I know our school has been given OODLES of cash from the state to implement CCSS programs and curriculum.  One of our focuses has been technology.  Well, you can bet that I shipped off the info on this software as soon as I got home from the conference.  Low and behold, the principals returned my email and want to sit down and chat more about these programs.  Snag the grant information HERE.

As soon as I get this in my classroom, I will be sharing success stories with you. I know there will be many.  If you are interested in learning more, click the image below to hit up the Alive Studios web site, where they share a bunch of other videos and tutorials on their software.  The possibilities with this product are ENDLESS and I cannot wait to get my hands on one.    


Thanks for taking the time to visit me today as I gushed about my favorite PK1 Conference find.  I hope you take a moment to check this company out. It's definitely worth your time.  Merry Wednesday, y'all.

 

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