Sunday, June 30, 2013

Picture Book Linky Party #2: Math Books

We're always looking for good books to use during math instruction.  There are lots out there!  We've organized our picks by Common Core Math Strands for 1st Grade.

Operations and Algebraic Thinking
 This is a MUST read for us this year!!  It looks precious!

Number and Operations in Base Ten
Great for counting in various ways!
Measurement and Data
This one may be a bit trickier to find, but it is GREAT for an intro to clocks and telling time!


We love this book!  We had fun with some shape projects after we read the book!

Small Group Instruction Linky {Math Style} including Math FREEBIES

We are linking up with The Appilicious Teacher for her "An Apple a Day" Linky Party!  

This week the theme is Small Group Instruction.  We are going to share how we handle Small Group Instruction during Math.   Math is a tough subject to teach; so many concepts, so many ability levels, so hard to just "move on" when you know you have kiddos that are stuck.  We were struggling with a way to teach whole group but have a small group component to our Math block.  So, Math Bags were "born!"  Math Bags allow us about 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to meet with small groups for remediation, review, and challenge.   We are only able to meet with 1 group a day...but that's one more group that we met with before!  This has been a blessing.  The small groups are fluid like a Guided Reading group is; we move kiddos around based on the lesson and need.  

Now...let's talk about what the other students are doing...this is where Math Bags come in.  Math Bags are engaging activities that students work on in pairs to review math concepts.  They were designed in a "budget friendly way," as none of the activities require a colored printer or multiple copies. We only change Math Bags once a quarter, so no more working on math centers every weekend!  Our kiddos love them and we have seen great results having a time in our math block to work with students 1 on 1 and in small groups. 

We now have 4 sets of Math Bags available for Grades K, 1, and 2 in our store. Each set of Math Bags contains 12 activities; across the 4 Common Core math strands.   Each set can be purchased separately or you can buy the complete set (which is priced to save you money!).     

Click on each grade level set for more information:

First Grade
 Second Grade

These are the Complete Sets (each grade level set bundled together; it's priced as buy 3 get 1 free!).  
Under each set you can grab a FREEBIE sample!

Here is our product preview for Set 4 to give you a better picture of what each set looks like:

Kiddos hard at work on Math Bags...

Math Bag set up:

Picture 1:  Each math activity is literally in a Ziploc (gallon size) bag.  The bag holds all the contents for that activity.  The bags are labeled (both on the outside and on the inside baggies that hold the pieces).   Everything in each Math Bag is laminated; there are no worksheets to copy, collect, grade, etc.  However, several of the Math Bags have a recording sheet that students use and erase when they are done so the next students can use it.  We always copy Math Bag direction sheets on blue so the students know exactly what to look for.  We always copy the pieces and parts that go inside the Math Bags on yellow for consistency as well.  If there is a Math Bag that needs another color, we use red.  Our goal is to make these very streamlined to limit questions while we are working with small groups.

Picture 2:  On the closet door, the numbers 1-12 are hanging with Velcro.  Student groups are also hanging on the door.  Each day we move the numbers down 1 row so that the Math Centers change for each group of students.  Within a quarter a group of students may do each Math Bag 1-3 times.  

Picture 3:   This bucket holds all 12 Math Bags.  We picked this picture to show that this system doesn't take up a whole lot of room.    Another note:  we actually have Math Bag Helpers that hand out Math Bags, switch Math Bag numbers (mentioned above), and check to make sure Math Bags are cleaned up before putting them back in the bucket.  

We've also now added Seasonal Math Bag Sets!

Have a great day! 

Mentor Text Linky 6.30.13

Happy Sunday!
We are linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky!  This week the theme is a teacher favorite; Back to School books.  There are WAY TOO MANY of these to choose from!   A book we love to read at the beginning of the year is Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.  Many of you know the book; but in case you haven't read it....
Rainbow Fish is about a beautiful fish with sparkling scales that is greedy and selfish. He does not want to "share" his scales.  He soon learns that not sharing and unfriendly ways lead to a lonely life without friends and happiness.  Once he decides to become friendly with the other fish he sees how great friendship is.  He also learns that his beauty is only 1 part of his character.    

After reading The Rainbow Fish, we make an anchor chart with "Rainbow Fish" behaviors and "Stinky Fish" behaviors.  Rainbow Fish behaviors are written on colorful fish and Stinky Fish behaviors are written on brown fish.  We think about how friends should and should not act at school and elsewhere.  This is one of our favorite lessons of the year; we leave it hanging in the classroom as a constant reminder.   

An activity we will try this year after reading Rainbow Fish is "My New Friend."  This writing activity will give the kiddos a chance to write about a new friend they have made in the first couple days of school.  Grab your free copy by clicking below...

These ideas and a ton more are available in our "O'fish'ally Back to School" packet.  There are over 30 Back to School activities across Reading, Writing, and Math (as well as a lot of other goodies for the classroom) for only $5!  Check it out!

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

July Currently and Some Other Fun Linkys!

Whew!  Busy Saturday today!  We've been up to projects and just logged on to Bloglovin' to see that the blog world has been active today!  Currently is already out!  And we wanted to link up with Optimum Organization and Saturday Snapshots!

 First, we are linking up with Farley for our July Currently!

Sarah's Currently

Next, we wanted to share a Pinterest find for Optimum Organization.  We love this monthly newsletter set up!  We're really thinking of doing this for the coming school year!  Usually our grade level team creates a weekly newsletter together, but it is tedious doing this EVERY WEEK!  We think this layout would be great for helping parents look ahead too!

Lastly, we wanted to link up with Miss Nelson for her new linky Saturday Snapshots

Sarah's been up to painting some bedrooms in the house.  Here are some before and after pics.
Changed out the plain white plastic switch plates for a silver metal one.

Painted over the yellowish cream color for a great gray shade!

Got rid of the gold door knobs for silver ones!

Tamra's Snapshots
I have been taking a lot of walks with my little one...

Who you can tell has a teacher for a mom because even when she plays trains, she sets them up at "circle time" and says, "children, do your work!"

I also finally found a pair of grey...(not silver)...peep toe....pumps to wear in my little sisters wedding.  It was harder than I thought to find that combination!  This is what I ended up with...

Happy Weekend to All of You! 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five for Friday 6.28.13

It's Friday!  We are linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share 5 things about our week! 

Each weekend we are putting a different product on sale.  This week, our sale product is "Shapebot Shape Activities."   This 42 page document is only $1.50 through Sunday!  See below for more info...

"We created this packet to strengthen our resources for the new Common Core shape standards. We wanted to create a strong connection between 2-D and 3-D shapes and have students use new terms that come with Common Core; such as attribute (defining and non-defining), edges, vertices, and faces. We also included practice with 2-D shapes and 3-D shapes in academic pictures and real life pictures so students would have lots of exposure to the shapes and multiple opportunities to say the shape names."  

We are loving our SUMMER!!!  This is what Sarah has been up to...

She's painting 2 rooms!  Painting is a lot of work, that's for sure.  

I'm not working quite as hard!  In my spare time, I started this book:

Do you know I have found some of my FAVORITE books in People Magazine??? They have a "Great Reads" section in each issue; you'll have to check it out some time! 

It's not all play this summer, we are working too!  This week we have been working on 3 more sets of Math Bags (will be up and ready this weekend) and our Reading Comprehension and Fluency passages (that will be up and ready in the coming weeks).  

This next year we are learning a new system called mCLASS.  This program is how we will administer Running Records - on an iPad.  We are both a little nervous about this.  We had a quick training in the Spring and will have a full training in August.  Do any of you use mCLASS?  If so, how do you like it?  Is it easy to adjust to?

Have a GREAT weekend! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Favorite Things Linky: Beauty Basics

We are linking up with Across the Hall for another Favorite Things Linky; this time it is Beauty Basics!

Sarah's Beauty Basics