Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Common Core Hot Seats

Hi all!! I am Caitlin from Kindergarten Smiles! This is my first post on Common Core Classrooms so I want to quickly introduce myself :) I have been teaching Kindergarten for 6 years in South Florida and this will be my second year using Common Core.  I love, love, love sharing my ideas with you and getting ideas from you all as well!! 
I created a great resource for Kindergarten Common Core Math (I will start working on ELA soon) called 'Hot Seats'. You may be wondering what exactly a 'Hot Seat' is....Well, hot seats are questions that are stuck underneath your students' seats with a small piece of tape when they are not in the room. When students take their seats, you can choose your time to announce that there are 'hot seats' in the room! Students will check under their seats, and if they have a questions stuck to it....uh-oh! They will have to show what  they know by answering the question. 
This packet has 8 math questions for each Common Core standard.  Here is a little sneak peak of what it looks likes...
This item is a 'paid' item; however, if you click on the picture above or HERE and download the PREVIEW, you can grab a page of the Common Core Hot Seats for free :) 
These are great for review, assessment, and just to have fun with Common Core! I would love for you to stop by and see me over at Kindergarten Smiles! :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Recommended Common Core Literature for 2nd Grade

Here are a few read alouds that were recommended in the Common Core Curriculum Map book that I have been writing about all summer!  Unit 2 in this book for second grade is 'The Old West'...so if you are like me, you are sitting here wondering why Little Red Riding Hood and the Princess and the Pea are recommended.  Well, that is because this unit centers on the thoughts that the gist of a  story can remain the same, however, the setting, or even an item focused on in the problem, can change.  I have mentioned before that I LOVE teaching my Cinderella unit and hate to see it go down to first grade.  But, I am excited to take a look at these other fairy tales and the tall tales that are an important part of Unit 2.  I can't wait to find another version of Little Red Riding Hood and the Princess and the Pea to teach with the originals!  Now....as far as the toughest cowboy down there....it remains to be seen as to what he will bring me in the way of teaching.

If you have any ideas for other versions of Little Red and the Pea Princess up there, let me know their titles!  Also, if you know anything about our cowboy up there <boy, he sure does look tough!!!--hope he isn't tough to teach!!>  please leave me a comment.

I am sad to say that summer is winding down for me.  I go back to work on Aug. 2, so...in the coming days you will see a mad dash of titles, covers, and links for the rest of the recommended books for 2nd grade.  I kept thinking I would get to them....but time has caught up with me...and I am only on Unit 2!  I need to finish this one and get straight into the others!!  Until then!

2nd Grade Math Warm Ups

A few weeks back I shared my K/1 CCSS Daily Math Warm Ups.  They were such a huge hit that I immediately started creating additional versions.  Next up was 2nd grade.  I was really excited with second grade because I was able to include nearly every math standard in the pack!

Just like with my K/1 version, every page has 5 different skills being reviewed.  The skills get more difficult as the pages go on.  This allows you to differentiate for your students.  Or, just start with the first page and work your way through.  Because these are reviewing the 2nd grade standards, they are PERFECT for 3rd grade classrooms to use as morning work or homework during the beginning of the school year.

I'd love it if you'd come over to my blog to check them out.  Just click on any of the pictures above.  Let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Common Core Games

 I am excited to incorporate some fun into the Common Core.
I am loving using ten frames to teach numbers. So... I made a game with them.
 One set has the numbers filled in and one set does not. 
Check out my blog post {here} to see how I am going to use these baskets. (And it involves FOOD!)

 I also created this pack to for letter formation for all the letters and numbers 1-10. You can use wiki sticks, play dough, or my food choice {click here to discover what that is!} to create these letters and numbers.
 I put both packs on sale through this weekend (7/30/2012 they go up) in case you wanted to grab them. 
What common core standard are you unsure about?
{I am worried about the lack of some common core standards for K. I have not seen calendar skills or money. That is a little scary to
  Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten


Head Problems...MORE Math Thinking {freebie}

I am back again with another way to get your students thinking in math.  Common Core is SO based in concept and understanding, that was MUST have our students thinking about the lesson concepts they are doing on a daily basis.  I previously talked to you about Two Problems, which I love.  Today, I am going to discuss Head Problems with you.

Head Problems are a 3 step ORAL math problems that students complete in their head.  These sound amazingly easy.  However, what takes these to the next level is the amount of discussion that is taking place.
TeachinginRoom6.blogspot.com, math common core, math reasoning

The basic routine of Head Problems is simple.  I give the students three steps in which they need to compute mathematical problems.  For example,

Step 1:  Add the number of degrees in a circle and the number of sides on a triangle. 
Step 2:  Subtract the digit in the ones place from the digit in the tens place.
Step 3:  Multiply by the number of pints in a quart.

You then debrief the problem with the students EVEN BEFORE THEY SHOUT OUT TO CONFIRM THE ANSWER.  You lead them through each step of the problem, having them talk to their neighbor, discussing each step one by one.  The entire class confirms the answer to each step before moving on.  This allows those students who have completely followed along to get validation that they were right, and those students who weren't quite sure to get it straight in their head.  The added benefit is that the stronger math students are able to express their math knowledge to the not so strong students, helping them both in the end.

To learn a bit more about these types of problems, and pick up your free template to create your own that you can use in your room, click here :)  This is a strategy that can be used across all grade levels, for all standards of the Common Core. I have to say, these (along with the Two Problems) have had such an impact on the quality of math thinking in my room...it is worth every second it takes in the day.
Common Core Standards Math, 5th grade, upper grades, 4th grade, education

Colorful Reading Center


Have you been browsing through the new school supplies at Target?  I found a great deal on colored composition books today.  They only cost 50 cents!  I love all of the bright colors . . . the colors just scream - do something with me!   How about a reading center?  Hop over to my blog to get your free copy (grades 1-5).

Click to find more Common Core lessons and materials.

Friday, July 27, 2012

K-5 CCSS Teacher Trackers

Hi again teacher friends! It's Ashley from The Resource Room Teacher. In a previous post, I shared with you that I created Teacher Trackers for the grades I will be teaching this coming year (3rd, 4th & 5th grade resource room) so I could keep track of all the many standards my students need to be meeting. After that post, I received some great feedback & requests for additional grades' standards.

Well as you know, over at The Resource Room Teacher, we aim to please (50 Shades reference, anyone? Sorry, couldn't resist!). Anyway, I've created the teacher trackers for grade K-5.

Click the image above to head over to my *brand new* Teacher's Notebook store (yay!). All of these will also be up on my TPT Store once all of the maintenance over there is done.

I've also created a bundle pack of all of the K-5 standards in one big packet! (Less than $1.50 a grade! And over 160 pages!) *Grades 6-8 will be coming soon!!* Have a great weekend!


Doing Word Walls and a Freebie!

Hi there! It's Farrah from Think Share Teach, here to share some ideas for improving spelling by using your word walls! Many of us HAVE word walls in the classroom, but do we DO word walls? Are they just pretty decorations on the wall that the students ignore glance at ocassionally, or a real resource that students use on a daily basis? In this post, I'll show you how to take your word wall from static to fantastic, plus give you some super-cute word wall cards I made!

There's basically only two rules for making your word wall a living, breathing resource in the classroom:

Use the word wall in a whole-class activity every day. 

Hold students accountable for spelling word wall words correctly.

This is a daily reminder for the kiddos to use the word wall, and it sends the message "Here is an important resource for you." But you may be thinking, "What am I supposed to do with it? WHEN am I supposed to fit this in?!" This post is for you. Here are some things I've done that worked for me:

How Much? 10 minutes or less

When? I schedule my literacy block using the Four Blocks framework, so I have 20-30 minutes each day for word work. When I scheduled using the Daily 5 framework, the word wall activities were one of my mini-lessons.

Which? You may use frequently misspelled words (there, their, they're), vocabulary, or pre-made sets of words. I plan on using some of my choice, and some of the words from Month by Month Phonics because my school purchased them for each teacher.

What? Every Monday when you add new words (4-6), chant them. Show the word and discuss its meaning. Next spell it, then have students say it and spell it aloud and write the word down in their journals or personal word walls. I like to have them chant the spelling three or four times and here's where it can get really fun. There are literally TONS of ways they can do this. Here's a great list of word wall chants. Each day choose 3 or 4 words (or more if there's time) to discuss, chant, and/or write, then do a short activity with the words.

  • Be a Mind Reader (my favorite activity): Choose one word that students guess through clues you give them. Each time you give a clue, they write down a word from the word wall (spelled correctly). The clues start out very general, then narrow down the choices. Here's an example for the word community:
    • It's a word on the word wall. (Students write a guess on their papers).
    • It is a singular, collective noun (Students rewrite their word, or revise and choose another word). 
    • It has more than three syllables (Students write their word again, or revise their guess and write another word). 
    • It has 9 letters (Students rewrite their word, or write a different word based on the clue). 
    • The last letter is a y (By now most should have it)
  • Be a Mind Reader v2: Similar to the activity above, but this time you choose five different words. Give one clue for each word. At the end, students who think they have the correct answers raise their hands and you check to see how got every word correct and spelled it correctly. I usually give them some little treat.
  • Wordo: This is just like bingo, except with words! You can read more about it in this post
  • Say, Spell, Cover, Write, Check: This is how I teach my students to learn their spelling words. It's strategy that is exactly what is says: Say a word, spell it, cover it, write it, then check! 
There are many, many more, but these three are a great place to start. Now, on to your freebies! I've made two sets of word wall labels to share with you:

The repetitious nature of chanting the spellings each day is a great way for students to internalize the spellings of those frequently confused words. I hold my students accountable for the spellings by making them rewrite any misspelled word wall word three times. I'd love to hear from you! Do you do a word wall? If so, what are your favorite activities to do with it?


Thursday, July 26, 2012

BrainPOP, Jr. K-2

Have you ever heard of BrainPOP, Jr.? If not, it is definitely something you'll want to check into right away. BrainPOP has animated, curricular content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement. The content is mapped to Common Core, aligned to academic standards, and searchable with their online Standards Tool. BrainPOP is easy to use, with no downloading, installation, or special hardware required. BrainPOP has tons of videos that cover all subject areas. Each video has an easy and hard quiz that you can do online or print out, games, activities, a word wall, book suggestions, writing activities, and more. Here are some screen shots of the writing activity that goes with a back to school video.

Sometimes, I make this into a group activity, by asking my students to answer the question. Then, I type it up, print it out, and send it home. My students love to see their words being typed out on the screen.

Many times, when I give the quiz, I give my students white boards and they write down their answers and then hold up their boards. It's an easy, informal assessment for me. Here is a screen shot of a quiz.

BrainPOP also comes in an ESL version and an Intermediate version. I'm sorry, but I can't seem to link to it right now.

Most of the Common Core Standards are covered in BrainPOP.

I love BrainPOP and I know you will, too. I look at it as 5-6 minutes, where I don't have to say too much, and the children are 100% engaged. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Academic Olympic Math Task Cards

I like to start the school year with a review of last year's skills, so I went through the first grade Common Core standards and used many of them in these task cards.  

It stands to reason if the kids haven't mastered last year's standards, I shouldn't be working on this years!

I just happened to love the Olympics, so I used the Olympics theme!

This activity addresses these first grade math standards:

Operations and Algebraic Thinking
1.OA.1 and 1.OA.2 Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
1.OA.4 Understand and apply properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction.
1.OA.6 Add and subtract within 20.
1.OA.7 and 1.OA.8 Work with addition and subtraction equations.

Numbers and Operations in Base Ten
1.NBT.1 Extend the counting sequence.
1.NBT.4, 1.NBT.5, and 1.NBT.6 Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract.

1.G.1, 1.G.2, and 1.G.3 Reason with shapes and their attributes.

Ensure You've Taught the Standards with a Curriculum Map

It's so important now that you have a plan in place for what you'll be teaching throughout the year.  In order to ensure that you teach all of the standards, you'll want to plan them out through the year.  One way to do this is with a curriculum map.  Have the standards next to you as you look through your text books and other materials.  Then start to plan out the big rocks that you'll be teaching each week and correlate them with the corresponding standards.  You can also decide the standards you want to teach each week and attach the big rocks to the standards.  I'm in the middle of a series on topics that will help you get back to school.  My latest post is all about curriculum mapping.   Be sure to come over to get your copies of the freebies and share your experiences with Year Curriculum Maps.   


Monday, July 23, 2012

Keep Track of the CCSS!

Hi everyone! This is Ashley from The Resource Room Teacher. I am a new author here at Common Core Classrooms & I couldn't be more excited! Since I teach a special education resource room (hence the blog name) for 3rd, 4th, & 5th grade, I was very concerned with how I would: a) become familiar with all of the Common Core standards for each grade I teach, and b) make sure I find ways to meet all of the standards throughout the school year.

I figured that if I was having these concerns, then many other teachers were probably feeling the same way! So I decided to create a CCSS Teacher Tracker as a way to keep track of all of the standards. Here is a peak at what the packet includes:

All of the English Language Arts and Mathematics standards are written out with a space for planning & a place to reflect. To organize myself, I printed them out, hole punched them & put them in a binder so they are available to me at all times. Hopefully this tracker will help you become more comfortable & aware of all of the standards!

The CCSS Tracker is available for 3rd, 4th & 5th grade (click on the pictures below):


I hope you find these useful! Good luck with the CCSS! =)