Saturday, December 29, 2012

Math Word Problem Cards

Hi everyone! Ashley here from The Resource Room Teacher. I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful & relaxing winter break (I know I am!).

I can't believe I'm going to say this.. but.. it's time to start getting ready for Valentine's Day (Ahh.. how does the time fly by?!). And what better way to get ready then to stock your math center with some themed word problem cards!

This pack includes 16 word problems involving multiplication, time, addition, subtraction and money. All of the problems are based mainly on the 3rd grade math CCSS, however some problems have been differentiated within the standard to meet the needs of higher & lower students (Standards include: 3.MD.A.1,  2.MD.C.8,  3.OA.A.1,  3.OA.A.3,  3.OA.D.8).

I have also made these word problem cards in a New Year's theme, as well! 

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful New Year! =)


Saturday, December 22, 2012

How NOT to Read Fluently

All the elementary grades have this standard in the area of Reading Foundational Skills:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4:  Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
Click image to download freebie.

Today, my students spent some of our reading time practicing fluency. Especially at this time of year, I go out of my way to make it fun. (Brain research shows us that "fun" is a big motivator, but I think teachers knew that before the research was done!)

There are 4 important parts to fluency:
  1. automaticity in word recognition 
  2. accurate word recognition
  3. rate (speed) of reading
  4. prosody, or expression
I thought this activity would be perfect to put into my emergency sub plans.  It's got limited materials and is a skill that needs to be practiced frequently.  I've typed up the directions for you to download and put into your own emergency plans.  Come on over to Elementary Matters to learn more!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Singular or Plural With a Holiday Twist

This is a key Common Core Standard in Language for grades 1 - 3:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1:  Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

Here are singular and plural nouns, holiday style! There are several noun pairs, some regular plurals, some irregular plurals, with several activities for the kiddos!

Come on over to Elementary Matters to see how to get this product at a reduced price in honor of my quest for Acts of Kindness during the holiday Season!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Point of View Writing

Need a ready-made lesson to share with your students to help them tackle narrative points of view? I developed this lesson after one of my students shared a piece of writing with the class that started out as a 3rd person narrative and ended up as a 1st person narrative. It worked out perfectly for us, because not only was it timely, but I was also able to tie it in to our reading skill for the week.

During our reading lessons this week, we've been focusing on comparing and contrasting the text features of different genres and different narrative texts using these graphic organizers I made. You can read more about that here. Click the link text to snag your free copies!


I love being able to link my reading and writing instruction whenever possible. I hope to help students see that if they know something in one area, it can be used to help them in the other. For the writing, I started out by using this PowerPoint lesson I made:
This lesson includes an explanation of the different points of view, as well as brief examples of each. I created short stories told from the points of view of a Christmas tree and a Christmas cookie, then had students participate in a guided writing activity to create a story from the point of view of a candy cane. There is also a PDF document I created to use for small group writing and an interactive bulletin board display for the hallway. Each small group of students will work together to create a story from their object's 1st person point of view. They'll write it on blank, framed paper that I'll place over the "answers" to create a display in the hall.

My students have really enjoyed these writing activities, and I can't wait to go in and finish them up on Monday. Have fun writing!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Polar Express Winter Fun!

common core activities for The Polar Express

It doesn't feel much like winter where I live!  We've been having 70 degree temperatures the past few days.  Not normal for December!  But even though the weather is weird, we are ready for some winter fun!

I don't know about you, but even when I am doing something fun with my kids, I need it to be common core.  That is just the way it is- lots to cover and not enough time to get it all in.  

How about covering the common core in a fun way that allows the students to be creative while learning?  

Polar Express Activities

The shape train allows you to cover shapes, no matter the size and how they are turned and counting objects.  But they get to be creative while doing it!  There is also a Christmas picture they get to create by decorating their tree with ornaments and decorating the background.  Students practice counting and recording the number with this activity too.

I included two writing activities that are aligned with common core standards.  After reading The Polar Express and discussing with students how  they could go about picking who gets the first gift, they get to write about it.  They pick who they think deserves to get the first gift and provide the reason why- argument or opinion writing.

Students also get to write their letters to Santa, but they don't get to just list all the things they want.  They get to pick one thing and then they must provide a reason why they need this gift.  Good for common core writing and a good thing for them to think about rather than just asking for more and more.  :)  Then you can bind the letters to Santa into a class book.  What fun to read!  Sure to be a favorite book of the class!

Polar Express Writing Activities

There are some other activities like a syllable sort and a Santa Is...Can...Has too.  One thing I did include just for fun is Snowman Soup!!  You get bag toppers and poem cards for inside the baggies.  You fill them with hot chocolate packs, mini marshmallows, and a candy cane.  They are sure to please!!

Polar Express Activities

Polar Express activities

Click here if you are interested in this winter fun pack!  Thanks for reading and here is hoping for some winter fun!!

Conversations in Literacy

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Integrating ELA Common Core Standards with The Symbols of Hanukkah

We are truly a melting pot and now that December is here there are many holiday celebrations that are included in our lessons. Besides Christmas and Kwanzaa, there is Hanukkah which begins this year on the eve of December 8th. It is also known as the Festival of Lights which is what all three of these holidays have in common. Hanukkah however is celebrated for 8 days and is a fun holiday for children. I love to write Shared Reading books and have written 2 Shared Reading Books for students to practice their Speaking and Listening Skills. One is called :"The Symbols of Hanukkah" and the other is "Latke, Latke What Do You See?. There are 4 Make and Take Reading Books at the K and 1st Grade Levels to practice their Reading Foundational Skills and 2 Writing Activities that are aligned with K and 1st Grade Writing Standards. Here is a sample of one of the Make and Take Books:
To check out the whole packet just click on the picture above and download a preview. If you are looking for more Hanukkah Resources  just click on the picture below to find more.
Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season. Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

It's LMN Tree

Monday, December 3, 2012

Rockin' Teacher Materials: Amazing Alliteration & Fun Freebies Too!

Rockin' Teacher Materials: Amazing Alliteration & Fun Freebies Too!: Common Core standard include Alliteration for 2nd graders! Come on over and see the Amazing Alliteration in 2nd grade!



Sunday, November 25, 2012

2nd Grade Math Daily Review

At my school, we don't follow a set textbook for teaching math. Instead, we followed the state's curriculum map and created our own. Typically, standards are taught to mastery and assessed within a month. What we found, however, was that students were losing skills from earlier in the year because everything was so fast paced. We needed a spiral review to keep them practicing the different standards. It helped tremendously! I created these daily math warm ups to fit this need. They were perfect for what the teachers in my building were looking for. After many requests, I made a set for the entire year. There are 4 different sets of 40 pages. You can buy one, two, three, or you can save a dollar on each by buying the entire bundle! It is 160 pages- enough for morning work, homework, or as a fast finisher resource for the entire year! Click on the picture below to find out more from my store!

Nonfiction engagement through Wonderopolis

I've been trying to find different ways in which to incorporate the following informational reading standards into my curriculum:
Key Ideas and Details
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).

Craft and Structure

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

And I've discovered that Wonderopolis is a great tool for this. Our 50 minute language art block is jam packed with stuff to cover - grammar, spelling, reading workshop, poetry - how could I fit another component in??  But I loved the site, particularly the way in addressed many of the Common Core Standards I want my curriculum to incorporate.  
I launched the project this way:
1. Call up the site and navigate through/explore it with my kids using the projector.  I see this as our time to ask questions, figure out all the components, and generate some ideas about extension activities we could use Wonderopolis as a springboard for. 
2.  Use a minilesson to set up our reading journals to track our reading in the following way:

Then, my kids are  responsible for checking out the site all week - Monday through Friday - and tracking their learning for the one "Wonder" that really captured their attention/interest the most.   They complete their Wonder Tracker in their reading journals, which we share in small groups on Wednesdays.   
I grade these for a total of 25 points - so they are held accountable for this reading.  So far, this has become a truly "wonderful" (sorry, I could not resist!) learning experience.  My kids love the fact that they can choose topics they are interested in, and they are learning all sorts of cool stuff - plus how to become engaged with nonfiction.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Adding and Subtracting without Regrouping Freebie!

We have been hard work practicing adding and subtracting without regrouping.  We are about ready to move into regrouping, but wanted to give students a refresher since we have been off for the Thanksgiving Break (yahoo! ).

Sometimes practicing adding and subtracting can get rote...and boring so I put a little fresh spin on practice with the game below.  The kids LOVE it!

Hop in over to get your free copy of the game!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Exemplar Texts for the Common Core - Informational Texts

In the last couple of months, I've posted Exemplar Read Aloud Texts for the Common Core , and  Exemplar Texts for the Common Core - Stories.

Today I'm getting to my favorite category of Exemplar Texts:  The Informational Texts!

The Exemplar Texts are books that are recommended for this level because of the complexity and quality of the texts.  Children in these grades should be reading many books of this complexity and quality, these are just examples.

Here are links to some of the Informational Texts recommended for grades 2 and 3.

For more information about the Exemplar Texts for the Common Core see my blog at Elementary Matters.