Monday, April 4, 2016

The Equal Sign

Hello Everyone! 
 I am here to review an ever so important skill that my students struggle with every year.

Think about this...

how many of your students will answer this question in this manner:

3 + 4 = 4 + 11

My heart sank when about 80% of my students answered this question with 11 (after we had been working on it for a very.long.time!)  I learned that they just skip right over the equal sign and add all the numbers together.

Problems like this even throw them completely out of whack:

___= 8 + 4

Wait what?? you mean the SUM can be first??  Oh boy... we have a lot more work to do on this.

So I told my students that we will be doing a problem or two every single day to practice the equal sign.

I wanted to share a few ways that I have been working on this with my Math Workshop groups.

I love to use a "scale" to show equivalence.  It looks like this:
 We talk about how it is a balance and that it has to be the "same as" on both sides of the equal sign.

I'm sorry I don't have that exact scale to share so I made another one for you (image from Discovery Education)

(click to grab)

We first talk about how the equal sign just means that whatever is on one side has to be the same as the other side.  I use cubes to represent numbers first.

We also talk about what it means to be "not equal"

Then I start adding numbers to show the balance of the equal sign.

Then I start adding equations.

Only some are ready for problems like this.  That is why I love my Workshop groups because I can differentiate my groups depending on their readiness for these type of problems.  It is amazing how complex the problems can get!

This is just another way to show equal and not equal.  AND how important it is to show children that the SUM can be first-- this is so tricky for them!

Another activity I had my kids do is they thought of a simple addition equation leaving off the answer.  Then we switch the boards so that the person next to them had to answer the problem.

Of course most would answer in this way:

But a select few would answer in this way:

It was then that I knew that I had gotten to them. Ahhh the feeling of VICTORY! :)

I made a poster for you that I hope you might be able to use.  I will be hanging it in my room for the rest of the year! :)

Finally, this concept has inspired me to add a BONUS to my Word Problem pack- SET 2 and the Bundled Set (links below)

To see Set 1 click {HERE}
Set 1 and 2 BUNDLE (HERE)

The pages will look like this:
Just copy the page, cut it up and the kids have instant practice... and the problems are already figured out for you!! :)

How do you approach the equal sign??  I'd love to hear your ideas!
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

So in Love with Books Giveaway!

I'm excited to be teaming up with 11 other AMAZING bloggers (again!!) to share some of our favorite Valentine books in a fun So in Love with Books Blog Hop Giveaway!

Along with FREEBIES for each book, we are also giving away a copy of each book!! Make sure you read all the way to the end of this post to find out how to WIN ALL 12 BOOKS!!

I am giving away the book, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose!

There are several versions of this book out now (I may or may not have them all ;) and this is a fun one.  I love how the author uses rhyming to create a fun read aloud.  You can also predict what the lady will do with all the "swallowed" items by the end of the story.

I have created a freebie that actually draws attention to three more difficult vocabulary words in the story.  The children can work together (or independently) to learn about these words and share with their classmates!
Your feedback is much appreciated!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Before you hop onto see my sweet friend, Jen over at Teaching in the Tongass, don't forget to grab my number! Each blogger will have a number at the end of his/her post. Collect all the numbers along the way, and when you're done, add them all up and enter the total number in the Rafflecopter below!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

12 Books of Christmas Giveaway!

I'm excited to be teaming up with 11 other AMAZING bloggers to share some of our favorite Christmas and holiday books in a fun 12 Books of Christmas Blog Hop!

Along with FREEBIES for each book, we are also giving away a copy of each book!! Make sure you read all the way to the end of this post to find out how to WIN ALL 12 BOOKS!!

The book I am giving away is
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson.

This is a fun book with a great theme of friendship.  The main character, Bear, wants to stay up for Christmas with his friends even though it is hard as he should be hibernating :)  The book takes you through a fun weave of rhymes where you learn that Bear stays up and his friends fall asleep!

I have a great FREEBIE to share with you that you can use with this story.  First, there is a summarizing sheet you can use after you read the book aloud to your students.  Also, there are rhyming cards to use with the book or as a center activity with your students.

Please click the image below to grab the freebie.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Before you hop onto see my sweet friend, Angela over at Hippo Hooray for Second Grade, don't forget to grab my number! Each blogger will have a number at the end of his/her post. Collect all the numbers along the way, and when you're done, add them all up and enter the total number in the Rafflecopter below!
Click image to go to the next blog!

Monday, October 26, 2015

A PURPLE sharpener?! YES Please!

Hey Friends!
Happy Fall!

I'm excited to be back to share a secret with you... I'm in LOVE!

With a sharpener that is.  ;)

Can you even believe this beauty:

So, if you know me, I love all things PURPLE.  Did you know that my favorite sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies 
now has a PURPLE sharpener??

Yes they do and I LOVE it!!

I this is my second sharpener from this company and it is by far the best sharpener out there.  I even wrote another review back in 2013 and you can see it here

Why is it so great you ask?

Well first, it is designed and made by a teacher.  I love to support teachers.

Second, it sharpens like you have never ever seen a pencil sharpener sharpen.  Like Ever.

Third, it is very quite- unlike my electric sharpener.

Fourth, they are extremely affordable. (and make great gifts!)

Fifth, they come in super cute colors!!
(like: blue, red, green, black and now PURPLE!)

Sixth, it is super easy to use! Even the kids can do it! 
Take a look here:

It comes very nicely packaged and even comes with a clamp to hold it in place if you prefer that.

I decided to try out those dollar store pencils- you know the kind.. the ones that  usually come out in shreds after sharpened.

Just pull it open and it will lock in an outward position.

Then hold the clamps together, this will create an opening for your pencil and hold the pencil in place.

As you sharpen by turning the crank, the pencil will move and then you will feel when the pencil is done- no over sharpening!

Just release the clamp and pull out the pencil.  My heart goes pitter patter every time I see a pencil come out... just look at that tip!  AND no crazy wrapper mess from those dollar pencils- just a perfect sharpen every time.

I even had my seven year old try it out.  His response- this is easy!  

Hahaha... this was his look when he pulled the pencil out.  I think he even said... "holy cow."  

Say NO to broken, unsharpened pencils that leave you unhappy.

Ahhh that's better!

Look no further... this sharpener is super duper great.  I promise.

You can check it out HERE.

I'd love to hear if you have one in your classroom!

Thanks for reading and have a fabulous Monday!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Back to School Giveaway!!

Hello Everyone!

Who is headed back to school?  Who is thinking about back to school?

I'm ALWAYS thinking about school- it is a problem really.  ;-)

Well if you answered yes to either of the above, then I have some exciting news for you!

I am so excited to be teaming up with some fabulous bloggers for a super duper BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY!

Just take a look at all you can win!

(did you see the prize value?)

I'm giving away my FAV new resource:
Easy-peasy Reward Coupons!

I also explain my complete management plan!

All of the prizes are donated by some of my favorite people!

Just enter the rafflecopter below to enter!  The giveaway ends on July 25!

Good luck!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Daily 5~ What to do NOW to prepare for the year

Hello Friends!

I am SO excited to be here blogging again!

I plan to continue this into another part as there are more things to do!  I am just starting with some of the more crucial things to do now. :)

First,  get the book and read it!

I am currently reading the Second Edition and I have to say that if you have not read the first edition you don't need to.  This reviews the first one nicely and adds their current thinking.  I have been doing D5 for 6 years and reading this book has refreshed my thinking- it is worth a read!
Check it out HERE.

Then, think about your classroom library.  Is it "beefy" enough?
In the Daily 5 book, it suggests a primary classroom have 750 book titles, but the Sisters strive for 1,000!  Do you have 1,000 books?

Now is the time to hit those garage sales people!

After you beef up your library, decide how to organize all those books.  It will be VERY important to have some kind of order to your books. 

Not to "plug" a product (but I'm going to anyway- ha!) but I explain my entire classroom library organizational system in my newest product HERE
(AND it is on sale right now!)

A big part of Daily 5 is having the kids reading at their independent level and it will be important to have books at their level.  Make sure you have a way of assessing your students' independent reading level and decide how to match your books to that level.  (I use Scholastic's Book Wizard to help me categorize my books by level)

Next, decide on your signal.

You will want a way to transition from one thing to the next in a non-intrusive way.  You will want to "train" your students using this signal.  It should be something that is introduced on day 1.

I love my Music Wand.
It has a soft sound yet powerful enough that the kids respond right away.
It is $4.95
You can check this out HERE

Other ideas are:
wind chimes
rain stick

Next up, decide on what you want to use as word work.  You can check out my detailed post and peek into my word work drawers HERE

I spent the summer before my first year doing D5 collecting bottle caps for one of my more popular word work choices.

I labeled each cap with a letter (vowels are red) and the kids can use these to build words.  LOVE!
The container that store the caps is from Jo-Ann's.

There is also a pretty HUGE word work FREEBIE that I have in my TpT store that you can get HERE.  Check it out and give me some feedback love. <3

Finally (for now ha!), decide on how your students will store their books.

We have book boxes in my class.

They are from IKEA and a pack of 5 is $1.99.  Yes, they do fall apart on occasion, but only a small few did not last all year.  I actually do a lesson on how to grab, hold, and carry your book box!
You can check them out HERE

Other teachers have gone the plastic book box route and that is a great option too.

Others have used plastic zip locks.
It is up to you!

Your students will use these book boxes to store their independent book choices for their Daily 5 time.  I actually have my students read from their book boxes all day long!  It is a beautiful thing!

Thanks so much for reading!
I hope you have a great Daily 5 journey!

Feel free to share some of your prep ideas in the comments! 
 I know I will have a follow-up post coming to you soon... stay tuned!