Thursday, January 31, 2013

Let's Tackle Math! {10 CCSS Math Activities & a FREEBIE}

Are your kids ready for some football???

In preparation for this weekend's "Super Sunday" game, I put together several activities to help us practice some of those important CCSS math skills in a fun way.  Here's a preview of the pack:
It includes 10 math activities that are all Common Core aligned to Kindergarten and 1st Grade.

-What's the Score? Counting How Many CCSS K.CC.5
-Game Time! Comparing Numbers - CCSS K.CC4a, K.CC.4b, K.CC4c, K.CC.6
-Touchdown 10's: Combining Numbers to Make 10 CCSS K.OA.4
-Tackle Those Tens! Decomposing 10 into Pairs in Multiple Ways CCSS K.OA.3
-Team Player Poof! Addition Fact Fluency to 5 CCSS K.OA.5
-Touchdown Time (Hour and Half Hour) CCSS 1.MD.3
-Megaphone Measurement (Length) CCSS K.MD.2, 1.MD.2
-Kicking Off with Tens and Ones (Place Value 10-19) CCSS K.NBT.1, 1.NBT.1
-Cards for Counting by 1's, 2's, 5's, 10's CCSS K.CC.1
-Matching Number Words to Symbols (1-10)

Stop by and make sure to download the FREE PREVIEW FILE (red button) to snag one of the activities for FREE! :)


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Shapes in the Environment! {Freebie too!}

There is no better way to teach kids to recognize shapes in the environment than to actually show them shapes in the environment, right?  Well I've been busy snapping pictures left and right so that I could bring as many examples as possible into the classroom.  We've had so much fun with these!

The Common Core aligned pack includes: 79 photo cards, 8 shape scene cards, 3-In-a-Row game (8 game mats), 26 sorting cards, 2 Spin and Graph games, "I Can" and "Math Talk" task cards

You will find many examples of squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres (rhombus/diamond and semi-circle too!).

Make sure and download the FREE PREVIEW FILE to grab your "sample" activity.  
Click {here}.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Snowmen and Common Core Galore

Do your students love the Snowmen books?  I know my students just love, love these books!  Something about imagining your snowman coming to life and getting into mischief appeals to us all.  

Product Details
Product Details

We love these books so much that I decided we needed a unit on them.  It's fun, it's practical and it covers a lot of the common core standards.  It gets them reading and writing!  Yay for that!

I wanted lots of different activities so I put in making words and comparing and contrasting the two stories with a bubble map.  Those maps are really popular right now, but even more important they are a great way to get kids to thinking about how books or characters are alike and different.  I also included the always popular Are, Can, Have.  But I don't like to hold students back, so I put in a blank one so students who are ready can come up with their own links to fill in.  

It is so important that students comprehend what they read, after all that is what reading is all about.  So we have comprehension cards for both stories.  Some questions are the literal, right in the book answer type and some are higher level questions to give students experience with both.

I like for students to write and to write with Writer's Workshop.  They get to write a narrative about what their snowman would do at night and then we switch gears and they write about how to do something.  I like for students to have their choice of what to write about so it is more meaningful to them.  So they get to pick the topic of what they want to write how to do.  Some fun ones they may think of are how to build a snowman, how to have a snowball fight, how to make snow ice cream or how to ice skate.  I am sure, as creative as their little minds are they will think of something wonderful!

To make it easier, I have included in this writing pack rubrics for both the narrative and for the explanatory writing.  Both grades one and grades two are included for you.

I hope this Snowmen Literacy Unit will be helpful to you in covering some of the standards and I hope it is full of learning and fun times for your students!!  We haven't had any real snow yet where I am so we are just having to make do with the snow fun in these books.  Click HERE to be taken to my store if this is something that would fit the needs of your students.

Here is another snowman resource- It's Snow Fun!

snowman literacy activities and snowman craft

snowman literacy activities and snowman craft

snowman literacy activities and snowman craft

Thanks for letting me visit with you!

Conversations in Literacy

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Counting With Base Ten Blocks

Hi there!  It's Michelle from Apples and ABC's, and  I want to share an idea about how to introduce and teach counting with base 10 blocks to your students. My goal this year in math is to do a better job at teaching and creating opportunities to count with base ten blocks.  Our curriculum is just starting to cover numbers 11-20 so it's time to bring out the blocks to start counting!  
Here is a simple way to get your students comfortable with counting and writing numbers 11-20.  I did this activity as a whole group and used my projector and ELMO to show the students how to count and write the numbers.  I would place the number of blocks under the projector, and the students had to write that number on their whiteboard.

When I rang the bell, that meant erase the whiteboard and get ready for me to place the next set of blocks under the projector.  Again, we would count the blocks as a group and everyone would write down the number.

Once we practiced this several times as a whole group, I gave the students their own blocks to use.  They placed blocks on their whiteboard and then wrote the number.  This was such a simple, engaging activity for all of my students!

CCSS.Math.Content.K.NBT.A.1 Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (such as 18 = 10 + 8); understand that these numbers are composed of ten 
ones and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.

Come and visit me sometime!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Word Parts in the Common Core

CCR Standard:

»     L.4:  Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

Roots, prefixes and suffixes, oh my!  Although, at first glance,CCSS L.4b (for grades 5-8) seems to be the only standard that explicitly addresses direct instruction of roots, prefixes and suffixes - the introduction, practice and reinforcement of word parts is really an integral part of success in literacy overall.  It’s when you really begin to unpack the standards and pinpoint the necessary skills for success that the importance of vocabulary becomes very clear.
Within both Reading for Literature and Reading for Information, vocabulary is very important at the middles school level.  There is a shift, however, in the philosophy of how this instruction should take place.  The practice of giving students a list of words to look up and then write their definitions is giving way to looking at new words in context, inferring meaning based on what they read and what they already know about the word (Knowledge of roots, prefixes and suffixes would be helpful here, for sure.) and understanding why the author would have used that particular word in his or her writing.  In addition, using these newly acquired words in context in their own writing is also a skill that is required of students within the Common Core.
With that said, by providing students an opportunity to work with Greek and Latin root, prefixes and suffixes that are commonly found in various content areas, their confidence in reading these often more challenging texts will grow…and so will their level of success. Here is a graphic organizer that you can use with your students as they read - especially various content-specific texts - to note new words and begin to infer meaning.
(Click on image for Google Document)

This graphic organizer is also a part of a much larger bundle for literacy center activities pertaining to roots, prefixes and suffixes.  Feel free to stop by my TpT store to check it out, but please be sure to download the above FREEBIE either way.  I hope you find it helpful!  Also, please consider stopping by my blog, Middle School Matters Blog, for access to that and more ideas and resources for the middle school classroom.  Hope to see you there!

Freebie Fridays

I'm also linking this post to Teaching Blog Addict's Freebie Friday for this week.  If you have a moment, take a moment to check it out.  There are so many talented Teacher Bloggers to be found, and the resources are fantastic finds!  Happy searching! :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Free CCSS Math Mystery and a Giveaway for K-5!

Your kids will love to try out this mini-math mystery. It is a shortened version of my Math Mysteries book. These mysteries let 2nd graders practice doing a variety of word problems in a unique way. Kids just start reading at the beginning of the book, solve the problems, and go where the book tells them to go! If they get the wrong answer, they will have a 'stopper' that will tell them to go back to where they were working, and TRY AGAIN!
The questions are based on the CCSS too!

Don't forget to stop by the big giveaway going on!
Enter to win a flash drive full of teaching resources for your grade!

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Short Vowel Foldable, Roll A Word & More!

Call me crazy, but I like to teach short vowels!  What I don't like is doing it in a boring, skill and drill way.  I have some students that need just a little more practice with these sounds to get them learned really solidly, so I made these activities for them to learn with and to have some fun!

Who doesn't love a foldable?  My students think they are neat.  This one is easy to do and students can keep them at their desk to refer to when needed.

short vowel activities

short vowel activities

Another fun way to practice those short vowel sounds is an activity called Roll A Word.  You have the beginning sounds on a green colored cube and ending sounds on a red cube- that helps to keep them from being used incorrectly.  Also the letters on the cubes are the same color as the Roll A Word recording sheet- just another way to stay organized and save you some time figuring out which cube belongs where.  No one has time for that!  Students roll the cubes, say the word they created and decide if it is a real word or a nonsense word.  They record the word on the proper side of the sheet.  Great center activity and kids love to roll the cubes!

short vowel activities

My kids (do you call them your kids too, even though they are your students?) like picture sorting.  I like using them for RtI, small group or literacy center activities as they can get started and complete the task with minimal help and they don't think they are working or learning.  Shhhhh- don't tell them that they really are!  :)  There are sorting mats and short vowel cards to go with the short vowel pictures- very colorful and engaging for the students to work with.

short vowel activities

Do you use making words?  Love this activity and I think it is a great teaching tool for students to learn to switch out sounds and build new words.  

short vowel activities

Included in this Short Vowel Pack are making short vowel books and Bingo too!  

short vowel activities

short vowel activities

As you can see, I have included a lot of different activities to help those young students to get these sounds down.  They can be used for whole class activities, small groups, or in literacy centers.  And as I mentioned at the start, they are great for RtI groups too!  

Click on any picture or click here and you will be taken to my store if this is something that will help you and your students out.  It is packed with 6 fun activities that are colorful and engaging!

Conversations in Literacy