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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dollar Store Holiday Card Game Freebee and ESGI Winners

Yeah! Target has put out the Christmas items in their dollar spot. I love these decks of cards. (BTW, they also had sports cards.) In this blog post, I am going to show you an easy, peasy game! The game boards are available, free,  at the bottom of the post in a google doc.
Getting Ready!
  • Each deck of cards is enough for two games.
  • Sort the cards with the black cards in one pile, the red cards in another pile, and the jacks, queens, kings, and jokers in another pile.
  • Throw the jacks, etc away. The red cards are for one game and the black cards can be used to make the game again.
  • Reproduce a game board for each the black cards and another one for the red cards.
  • Make the spinner using a paper clip, brad and bead.
To Play
  • This game is played with a partner.
  • Place the deck of cards between the players.
  • Each player turns over a card.
  • The players compare their cards for more and less.
  • Each player puts his card on the game board on the correct side—more or less.
  • The player with the less card, spins the spinner.
  • If it lands on more, the player with the more card gets both cards.
  • If it lands on less, the player with the less card gets both cards.
  • Repeat the game by inviting each player to turn over another card.
Add and Compare
  • Here’s another option….
  • Each player turns over two cards and adds them together.
  • Each player places his cards on the more or less side of the card—comparing the sum.
  • The player with less, spins the spinner.
  • If it lands on less, the player with less gets al 4 cards.
  • If it lands on more, the player with more gets all 4 cards.
  • You could also have children turn over 3 cards, add and compare.
Comparing-Place Value 
  • Invite each player to turn over three cards. (You could also play with each player turning over two cards.)
  • The players make a 3 digit number with their cards. (2 digit if they are playing with 2 cards.)
  • The players compare for more and less, placing them on the correct spot on the game board.
  • The player with less spins the spinner.
  • If it lands on less, the player with the lesser number, gets all the cards.
  • If it lands on more, the player with the greater number, gets all the cards.
I also picked up the Christmas Tree cards.
2 decks of cards, 4 game boards----8 kids playing! So….get to Target to pick up your cards and print the game boards. You can get them here.
And now for the ESGI Winner……Drum Roll Please…
The Winner of the ipad is……
Melany Clark Johnston
Winners of the Free Year of ESGI are…..
Melany Clark Johnston
Melissa Jennings
Jenisa Collier
Laura Manning
Karen Krukowski
Danielle Abner
Stacey Cranfill
Maria Nelson Scurr
Cassie Martin
Jacqueline Zapalac
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Friday, November 6, 2015

Differentiated Math Instruction, Assessments, and A HUGE Giveaway including an iPad Mini!!!

I recently saw this on social media. I’ve seen it before, but every time I see it I am reminded of the challenges of teaching.
“If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of who didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job!”  Donald Quinn
Yes, teaching is challenging, but some of the finest people I know are teachers! They look at these challenges with a sense of optimism. They will keep trying all the strategies in their bag of tricks until they find just the right strategy for each learner!
A few years ago my friend Michele and I teamed up to create some activities we could use with our small groups during math. Activities that we could EASILY differentiate and not have to plan different activities for each group!
Children are ever aware that they are doing different activities. We wanted these activities to use the same resources and still be differentiated! Then, they all think they are doing the same thing!!
Let me show you a few of the activities.
In this activity, Dump, Sort and Count…we can easily differentiate just by putting different numbers of pattern blocks in each child’s cup. The children dump out their blocks, sort, and color the recording page. Then, they cut the recording page, sequence the strips by quantity and glue them back down!
Here’s what our plans look like. We script one plan. Then, at the bottom of the plans we write our accommodations that make differentiation easy peasy!
Now, how do we know who is in each group? Who needs 1-5 blocks in their cups and who needs 6-10 in their cups?
We start with the assessment, group our kids, do the activity, then assess again to see the progress. While assessment tells us what the kids accomplished, it also tests the effectiveness of our activity…no improvement—shelf the activity!
Here’s another example…First we did our assessment…the hands game.Slide2
Then, each child plays the game using 3, 4 or 5 bears (depending on the results of the hands game) and records their responses on the recording page.
It’s not like we are doing an assessment for EVERY SINGLE lesson. One assessment helps us determine the grouping for several activities!
In this activity, the kids toss a pompom onto the game board. Then, they put that many pieces on their  frame. Last, they record their results on the recording sheet to show how many more they need to make 3, 4, or 5 depending on the results of the assessment! Same game, just different recording page and different frame.
Last activity! Children spin a spinner, color that many stories on their tower. Then, they determine the number combination!
I love this quote! It reminds me of why we so meticulously think through each lesson, each activity…why we use every second in a way that helps us reach our goal.
We have compiled the assessments for units 1-5 into one unit. You can find a free copy of these assessment by clicking on the cover below.
This assessment pack lists each of the units, the standards, and the assessments you can use for each of the activities.
So how in the world do we keep up with everything!? We use ESGI! Have you heard of it? Want to try it out? You can get a free two month trial by clicking on the image below.
Here’s the cool thing….our math assessments are now on ESGI!!!!
When you click on my name, you will see a screen with each test.
After you administer the test, you can check the bar graph for the class results. But, here’s what’s cool…If you click on the green, you see who already mastered the questions. Click on the gray part, and you see who has not!
You can also see a class spreadsheet. It will show their baseline, then the score they received after teaching and  retesting.
So what about the giveaway? I have partnered with ESGI to giveaway 10 free 1 year licenses to 10 lucky teachers!
The first name selected on the rafflecopter will also receive a free iPad mini!!!
Here’s how you enter:
New to ESGI:  Click here and register for your free trial and then enter your user name in the Rafflecopter.
Existing ESGI members:  Simply enter your ESGI user name in the Rafflecopter.
Slide2 a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Happy Halloween Sale

Trick or Treat?  No tricks here....just treats!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Davy Crockett: American Folk Hero FREEBEE!

My daughter in law, Ginny, is teaching first grade this year. A few weeks ago she told me about something cool they do at her school to teach the Folk Heroes to the first graders. Here’s how they do it.
  • There are 6 teachers on the team.
  • Each teacher was assigned a folk hero according to their social studies standards…Ginny got Davy Crockett.
  • Each Friday, they rotate classes and teach their folk hero to that class. They go to one class each week.
  • All 6 classes will rotate through Ginny’s room while Ginny’s kids are learning about a different folk hero from each of the other 5 teachers.
  • In 6 weeks, they have learned all about the folk heroes, but each teacher had only one prep!
I helped Ginny get a few ideas together. You will be able to download the entire freebee unit  at the bottom of this blog post. First, I did a little research to find out about Davy Crockett. Then, I created a power point that she could show on her smart board. You could also print the pages and create a book!
I made a log cabin step book for the Davy Crockett Time Line. The children cut apart the sentences about Davy Crockett.
We read and sequenced the sentences. As we read each sentence, we decided the sequence.  HEADS UP!….Next time, I think we will sequence the pictures first! That way, we can just talk about the pictures, refer back to our power point as needed, and sequence the pictures.
Then, they took each picture and matched it to the sentence. AGAIN, next year after the pictures are sequenced, we can read each sentence and match it to the correct picture.
Davy Crockett Step Book…If you aren’t sure how to make a step book, you can watch this video clip to see how!

You will find the sentences and the pictures in the freebee.
I also included a few other options, like this cut and paste Davy Crockett labeling activity and this Davy Crockett Tree Map, depending on how much time you have.
You can download the Davy Crockett freebee here.
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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Peek at My Week: What’s happening in Math…and other Stuff!

I didn’t do a Peek at My Week last week….we had fall break!  So, I’m back this week to finish up our unit on Food. 
Last year we did a book study on “Worksheet Don’t Grow Dendrites.” It was a great reminder of all the things we did that were truly developing brain power! Splatter Guards, from the dollar store, make great puppets! The kids loved acting out the song “Five Little Chefs”. Why did we do it?
  • It teaches concepts of print.
  • It teaches words, letters, sentences.
  • It teaches number combinations.
  • It teaches counting on.
  • It teaches….
  • But most important…it grows brain power, the kids love it! They remember it! They know those combinations!
We are working on our phonemic awareness skills.  First we practiced it in large group…then, I can do it as a center or if they aren’t quite ready, I can do it in small group. (This is from the food unit. Link below)
Lots going on in math!
Love these math attack games! It is a super easy way to DI for number. Each child has a card that tells them what to do. It looks like this….We glue them to the front of a library pocket. The pocket is great for holding their cards.
Then, they spread out their cards and do whatever task is on their card!
Slide3If you want to read more about them, go here for another blog post with more details.
Love this pizza game….Here’s how you play…
  • Give each child a game board and some pepperoni.
  • Roll a dice and invite the children to count that many pieces of pepperoni onto their game board.
  • Roll the dice again. How can you make your pizza have that many pieces? Do you need to take some off? Do you need to add some? How did you figure it out?
  • For example, if they have 5 pepperoni pieces on their game board and they roll a 3, they will need to take 2 off. If they roll a 6, they will need to add a piece of pepperoni.
It’s a great game for teaching where numbers are in relation to each other, counting on, counting backwards.
We are moving right along on our number study. Each week for one of the math mini lessons, we focus on a given number. We tell everything we know about that number. Then, the following week, the kids record it in their math journal as a have to center, or they can do it right along with you.
Slide5We are moving right along in our DI math units.  This is one of the activities from unit 2. Here is the scripted lesson that we use. See the bottom of the plan? One plan…all 3 groups!
Slide12Here’s how to play…
Slide13Slide14This activity, from our Food unit, is a great little assessment to see if children understand how many more they need to make 5. They spin the spinner, put that many gumballs on the fives frame, and then see how many more they need to make a 5. Slide6 Slide89Slide91
Here are the units that I used to plan for this week.
Be sure and hop over to Deedee’s blog to see what others are doing this week.
peek at my weekbutton 2015
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