Tuesday, September 27, 2011

FREEBIE Rounding Poster

When I teach rounding to my class, I show them how we can round numbers to the 10 the number has or the next 10. I use a 0-99 board to show how it works. It makes sense to my class because we generally use a 0-99 chart and not 1-100 charts when we work on counting and place value.

As you can see from looking at the two boards, it is easier to see that we round numbers with a 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 to the 10 the number has, and 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 to the next 10.

Rounding on a 1-100 board. The 0 and the rest of the numbers that round 'down' are separated. If you split each 1-10 row in half (half to round down, half to round up - see my very straight red line!), than 5 will round down. This has confused my kids in the past.
I find rounding on a 0-99 board to be easier. The board is split in half vertically. 0-4 you round to the 10 the number has, 5-9 you round to the next 10. For example, 66 can be rounded to the ten the number has (60) or the next 10 (70). I ask my kids which one is closer and they can visually see that it is closer to the next 10 or 70. This way of talking reinforces places value too.

The same thinking can be applied to rounding to the nearest 100. This is part of the rounding board for my Monster Rounding game. It shows how you can round to the 10s (vertical line) and 100s (horizontal line). For example, if I had to round 782 to the nearest 10 or 100, I can look at this and it shows me.
Ok, so here's the freebie. I've done up a poster that shows how to round for 10s and 100s.

I also have my Monster Rounding board game for sale on TpT if you are interested.

Hopefully you can use the freebie.

Favorite Science Books

Can I narrow it down??? I LOOVVE teaching science because of it's hands-on nature and just because it is just so darn interesting!
One of my favorite picture books for teaching science is That Magnetic Dog by Bruce Whatley. You can see my post about how I used it in my class by clicking on the book.

But where do I turn when I'm needing some help choosing the perfect picture book for the content I need to teach? I bought More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons after I did my lessons for That Magnetic Dog, and they are very similar. There are some things I would add now that I've got this book!
It features 20 different fiction and non-fiction picture books that lead into science inquiry for Grades 1-4. So each of the 20 lessons uses two books - one fiction and one non-fiction (usually during the explain and/or elaborate phase). Each of the lessons (I take them over 2-3 days) follows the 5Es instructional model - engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate. Even better is that the lessons incorporate comprehension skills and strategies like making text to self connections, inferring, determining importance and visualising as well as the features of non-fiction texts. It includes science journals for some topics, and other worksheets like Anticipation Guides, rubrics, data charts etc. I love it!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

I am absolutely speechless that I've been nominated for two Versatile Blogger awards! A BIG thank you to Dana at 3rd Grade Gridiron
for nominating my little ole' blog. Please check out their blogs if you haven't already.

As you probably know, to accept the award you should follow these rules:
• Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
• Share 7 things about yourself.
• Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs.

1. I'm only in my 20s but looovve music from the 60s/70s/80s - I blare it and sing my lungs out while cleaning!
2. I do not own a piece of music that has come out in the past 5 or so years. Seriously, I could not name a Lady Gaga song if my life depended on it.
3. I have an obsession with buying books. I've only been teaching 3 years, but I literally have thousands and thousands of books, most of which are sitting in boxes in my garage waiting for me to either contact them so I can take them to school or teach that grade level (I've got heaps for grades 4 to 6 even though I only taught grade 6 one year).
4. I am fascinated with European history and read about it a lot.
5. I am not into fashion, hair, accessories or shoes - I do try to look professional at work, but I do dress for comfort and when I'm at hope I'm in comfy pj's most of the time.
6. I'm a procrastinator - I usually need a deadline and a little stress to get things gone.
7. I love to get my adrenalin going - give me dirt biking, laser skirmish, high ropes courses, amusement park rides etc. Nothing too risky, but exciting nonetheless!

AND .....Now my top 15 newly discovered blogs. I've tried to choose blogs who have have only been in blog land a few months like myself or have less than 150 followers so please check them out!

Well, I'm half done anyway! I'll be back to post the rest later, but it's time to start preparing dinner.

Giveaway - Amazon Voucher

Ashleigh over at Ashleigh's Education Journey has just reached a massive 500 followers! She is having a super easy giveaway for a \$25 Amazon gift card. If you're anything like me, you loooove Amazon! I just wish there wasn't restrictions on posting some of the educational stuff over here - most stuff is sooo much cheaper in the U.S.! Head on over by clicking on the button.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wind Socks

Last week (before our Spring holidays - yeah!), my class finished up their study of weather/the seasons and the water cycle. This is one little craft project we did when we were learning about wind.

We just halved a piece of white card and used a range of materials to decorate it with anything to do with wind. Some used pastels, markers, cotton balls, scrunched up pieces of crepe paper to add to their trees etc. We then just folded the two ends together and stapled. Each student then cut out some streamers from a crepe paper roll (from the party section) and stapled them on. It was so easy to make!

We took them outside at various times and days so that we could determine which way the wind was blowing and estimated the strength of the wind. We hung them up across a clothes lines in our room and when the windows were open they would move in the breeze - it looked great!

Here's the only picture of have of them :(
One more week of Spring Holidays left! I can't believe we only have 10 weeks of the school year to go!

What have you done in your class in the past week? Link up at the Clutter-Free Classroom

Giveaway!

Terri at Terri's Teaching Treasures (love the alliteration!) is having a giveaway for her 34th birthday!

She is giving away a birthday present to 5 lucky people!
Head on over to her blog to enter now!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Literacy Activites, Games and Freebies

If you have been reading my posts for a little while now, you'll know that I've been having heaps of trouble uploading new things to TpT and Teachers Notebook. I'm glad to say that half of that problem has now gone! I can upload to TpT with no problems from my school laptop! I WAS able to upload to Teachers Notebook earlier today, but now it isn't - something about undefined error/syntax error - using the same files that loaded successfully to TpT!

So here are some things I made about a month ago, but couldn't upload. The first three people to comment will get one each! These are all Autumn/Fall themed.

Studets make their way through the pumpkin patch to scare away the crows. Good news - they are also practising reading (Level 1 and 2 cards) and spelling (Level 3) words with or, ore, oar, air, are and ar spellings/sounds. Easy differentiation!

Students sort nouns, verbs and adjectives onto the correct mat and record on the recording sheet.

Students choose a card and read it. They then spin the spinner below and add the suffix onto the end of the word. If it makes a real word, they record it on the recording sheet. The first to fill their sheet (4 for each suffix) first wins. An answer card for each suffix (included) can be cut and lamiated and put together with a metal ring for students to check their answers.

Freebies available at TpT (I've only bought a TpT licence for freebies by Scrappin Doodles so far). Are we still allowed to post a link to TpT here? If we're not, can you please let me know so I can take this down! Click the picture to grab them!

I had this Making Words activity posted earlier but have just put it up again now that I've bought a Scrappin Doodles licence for TpT.
Original artwork from Scrappin' Doodles.

Sorry for another long absence. I've literally had no time to be blogging at all between school, my besties wedding, the clean up (the reception was at her place) and then a couple of days of professional development (what a great way to start our Spring holidays!). So, we are now 6 days into our 14 day break, and I finally get a chance to sit down and catch up on reading all of the great blogs I follow.

This is going to be a quickie post to let you know that I've updated some of my products. If you bought them through TpT you should receive an email - I don't know about Teachers Notebook, hence this post. So if you have bought them, you might want to download the newest version. Here is what has been updated -

Reflection Card Prompts for class discussions or written reflections:
• A follow teacher from here in Australia emailed me a large amount of reflection prompts that she uses and has graciously allowed me to add them to my pack. This increases the number of reflection prompts from 36 to 75! Some of the new prompts are particularly useful for upper grade teachers as some ask students to reflect on research they have done.

Daily 5 Read to Someone pack:
• an easier back of the Check for Understanding checkmark for beginning readers with picture cues.

Pirates Place Value HTO Dominoes:
• I didn't realise that over in America you don't say AND after the hundreds (e.g. four hundred AND twenty-six). After a comment on the product was made recently, I hopped straight onto it and have made two versions of the dominoes that have number words. So there is now a version with and without the AND.
• I've also added card labels to put on the front of each deck or stick to a baggie to hold them in.

Pirate Ordinal Number Bingo:
• I received feedback that the writing for the instructions went into the border. My copy was ok so I'm guessing it happened when I made it a PDF (and there were some mistakes - oops!). I think they are all fixed up now so you can download it again.

I am so happy that I can now add things to TpT and Teachers Notebook from my home computer (which is only about 6 months old). I haven't been able to add or update anything for so long. But I went into school yesterday and tried from my school laptop and NO problems! So, the laptop is at home with me now, and I'm trying to work from the two of them! So I should have some new freebies for you soon!

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm back!

Wow, what a hectic fortnight! I'm glad to say that the Bridal Shower I organised for Saturday went really well! I've never done anything like that before so I was really nervous, but it was great. Phew! Now I'm ready for the actual wedding this weekend!

Some bad news - I missed out on  grabbing Shelley's (Teaching in the Early Years) Doubles math strategy unit! I was really looking forward to checking it out to see whether I should purchase the other units. Was so disappointed when I got home from school today and it was already closed. Should have checked when I woke up this morning!

Some good news - Check out these Character ABC charts from Runde's Room. How AMAZING are these! This is definitely a print job for tonight!

We are in our last week of the term - four days to go before I am on two weeks holidays! There's something about third term that is just so exhausting. So needless to say I am busy assessing, marking, assessing, moderating, assessing, marking... you get the point.

I hope to be back with some new freebies soon.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Freebie: Start of School and Behaviour Diamond

Sorry I have been MIA recently. I have been SUPER busy with school (counting down to the end of term - YAY! I need a break and I am so over assessment and marking!) and organising a bridal shower for my friend for this weekend. WOW, I never thought it would be such a HUGE job! There's also been wedding rehearsals, shoe shopping and my son came home so sick after a week at school camp so I've been nursing him back to health!

So, I'll still be not posting very often until at least this weekend. Once the bridal shower is over I'll have a little more free time to devote to blogging.

I was ever so shocked to see that I had been listed as a Top 10 blog by Mechele over Barrow's Hodgepodge - heart - you should definately check out her blog if you haven't already. Thank you so much!

And I've been meaning to post this for those of you starting new year. I got my kiddos to do it earlier this year. In the plain box, they glue in a photo I take on the first day. It gives me an indication of how well they can read, spell, listen to and follow instructions etc. They color in the whole page and they end up looking very cute. I put them up on the inside of or door so they can be seen when the door is open. The font I used is our handwriting font, so it probably won't come up for your properly - just change it to whatever font you want (it's a word document). Get it by clicking on the photo.
Another idea I used when I taught Grade 6 is for students to create a wordle about themselves - words to describe themselves and their interests. I took a screen print of the wordle, pasted it in Word and then inserted a text box. I added a photo of each student in the text book before printing. I added a sign (Meet 6D) and pegged them to a clothes line I had running across the room. They looked much better than what it does here in the pic which was the best one I could find.
We were learning about sustainable house design that term, so you can see heaps of materials hanging on the wall on one side and our Behaviour Diamond on the other. Students moved up or down the diamond and collected or lost class cash along the way (e.g. move up once, get \$5, up twice \$10 + the \$5 already earned etc. Same on the way down the chart). We kept a spreadsheet to keep track of money earned, lost and spent in the class store. I also had it so that once they went down the diamond, they couldn't go back up that day, only control their behaviour and not go further down. It taught them to monitor their behaviour and that not all misbehaviours can be made up by deciding to be 'good' later - there were consequences for their choices. The next day, they started in the middle again with a fresh start. It worked really well for this bunch of kids. You can see that about 5 kids went down this day! That was probably the most that ever went down. Most days I didn't have any but if they were late to come back from lunch they went straight down! If you want to know more let me know!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Friday, September 02, 2011

And the winner is..

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway. An extra BIG thank you to those who took to their blog/FB or Twitter to promote it.

And the winner is
Kelly Karger! I've now emailed you to see which gift card you'd prefer. Please return email me within the next 3 days to claim your prize.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. Never mind that you missed out - head on over to The Resource(ful) Room - Amy is giving away a \$25 Amazon gift card!