Wednesday, February 27, 2013

March Installment of "What's the Problem?"

Looking to challenge your students to take word problems to the next level?  Um, always!  Ok, that might just be me, but if you are too, then, be sure to give my (free) March installment of "What's the Problem?" a try.  These mini books are a great way to give students practice with writing their own addition and subtraction word problems. 

Students are tasked with creating a story (word)  problem for a given answer.  They have to use a different kind of thinking to do this, and they have to use the correct vocabulary terms as they write their problems (i.e. "how many more?" or "how many in all?" and so on).

When working on this skill, my students are taught to write three sentences.  The first two sentences pose the problem, and the third asks the question. I also tell my students that they need to use the answer label throughout their story.  For example:

Ryker found 12 gold coins.  Then, he found 8 more gold coins.  How many gold coins did Ryker find in all?


"What's the Problem?" is a great way to get students thinking about math from another angle and encourages them to use math vocabulary appropriately. They have to focus carefully on crafting their word problem and as they develop this skill, they will also be able to more easily solve other word problems.

When your students are ready, they could write two step story problems. Or, you could task them with adding "extra" information to their word problems as a device to try and "trick" the reader.  You could also have students draw a model for their word problem in the space at the bottom of each page. 

You can grab your free mini book here. 

Also, you can find my other "What's the Problem?" mini books here. 

Toodles!!

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Five in a Row: A Game for Practicing Addition Facts {March}

Five in a Row is insanely popular with my students.  Year after year, it keeps them engaged and on task as they practice their addition facts.

What is Five in a Row?
Five in a Row is fun and engaging game where students practice their basic addition math facts.  Students will roll two number cubes (labeled 5-10) or two dice, add them together, and cover the sum on the game board.  The object of the game is to be the first person to cover five numbers in a row.

http://primarily-speaking.blogspot.com/p/freebies.html

Materials
  • Game boards
  • Game pieces (double sided counters, dimes and pennies, different colored linking cubes, and so on) NOTE: since the two players share the same game board, they need different game pieces to denote which spaces they've claimed as their own
  • 2 Number Cubes (blank cubes numbered 5 through 10) OR 2 dice (depending upon the level of play)
How to Play
  • Students play in pairs. 
  • Student A rolls the two number cubes (or dice), adds the numbers together, and covers that number on the board.
  • Student B does the same.
  • Play continues back and forth in this fashion.
  • The first player to get five counters in a row is the winner!
Note:  If a player rolls their number cubes or dice, but the sum is not available, then they do nothing (and hope they have better luck when their next turn comes around).

You can grab this Five in a Row game board for free!  It includes color and black and white versions, as well as two levels of play:
  • Sums of 2 through 12 (played with two dice)
  • Sums of 10 through 20  (played with two number cubes numbered 5-10)
I hope you enjoy the early freebie!  And, as always, a black and white version of each level of play is included.

Click here to grab your lucky game board for free!

Toodles!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Goldilocks...Compare and Contrast and More!!

I am so excited about the newest addition to my TpT shop.  I just have to share!!  Introducing Goldilocks and The Three Bears-Compare and Contrast and More!  


Over the next few weeks we will be working on CCSS 2.RL.9...comparing and contrasting different versions of the same story.  I usually cover a few different stories: The Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, and Goldilocks.

I always like to bring in other standards when I set out to cover this standard.  You know, identifying story structure, using a bit of inference, cause and effect, writing and so on.  As I sat on my couch watching the hubs channel surf one night, a unit was born!

The unit was created with two specific versions of the story in mind (Goldilocks and The Three Bears by James Marshall and The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett), but you can use it with any version you have access to.

Here's a peek at what's included:





I cannot wait to use this with my kiddos!  If you're looking to cover this Common Core standard with a bit more "oomph" be sure to check out this item on TpT.  Click any of the images to see this product.

Toodles!!

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine Gifts!

Please forgive me, I know this makes for two posts in one day.  However, I wanted to share something with you.  So, hopefully you won't be too upset with me for a double post. 

I spent this afternoon putting together valentine gifts for my students and Little Peanut's teachers.  This year, I decided to give my kiddos a new box of crayons.  About this time of year, most of them have lost half of their original stash of colors.  So, here is what they will be getting on Thursday.


I think they turned out pretty cute!  I still have to write "From, Mrs. S" on them, but at least the bulk of the work is done.  To put this little gift together, I made some labels, printed/cut them out, attached them to the box with a mini-sized dot of glue, and tied some ribbon around the box.  Easy peasy! 

If you like the crayon label and would like a copy, click on the image to get the file from Google Docs. 

For Little Peanut's teachers, I went with an idea I saw on Pinterest.  What teacher wouldn't love this as a gift?  (Well, maybe not all, but I sure would!)


The pin I saw (I can't link it right now because every time I try to access my boards on Pinterest I get an error message...grrr) led me to Lauren McKinsey.  Oh. My. Word.  Talk about printables galore at super reasonable prices!  Her stuff is absolutely adorable!!!  Case in point, the label above, which I bought for super cheap!  To see this label, and another variation of it, just click the brownie picture above and it will take you to her site.  

What kinds of gifts are you planning on giving this week?

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What's the Problem-Valentine Edition

It's time to talk word problems again!  Today, I'm sharing the February installment of my "What's the Problem?" mini book.  These mini books give students practice with writing their own addition and subtraction word problems. 

Students are tasked with creating a story (word)  problem for a given answer.  They have to use a different kind of thinking to do this, and they have to use the correct vocabulary terms as they write their problems (i.e. "how many more?"  "how many in all?" and so on). 


When working on this skill, my students are taught to write three sentences.  The first two sentences pose the problem, and the third asks the question. I also tell my students that they need to use the problem label throughout their story.

 For example:

Taylor made 12 pink cards.  Then, she made 2 green cards.  How many cards did Taylor make in all?


"What's the Problem?" is a great way to get students thinking about math from another angle and encourages them to use math vocabulary appropriately.  When your students are ready, they could write two step story problems. You could also have students draw a model for their word problem in the space at the bottom of each page. 

Be sure to grab your free copy of this month's edition!  Click here.


Also, you can find my other "What's the Problem?" mini books here. 

Toodles!

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Valentine Mailbags

I've tried many different valentine card holders over the years: white bags decorated with markers, cereal boxes wrapped in paper and decorated with various embellishments, shoe boxes decorated with fun stuff, and so on.   I liked them all, but I seem to be addicted to changing things up. All. The. Time.

This year, I gave the kids some brown bags, paint, and stickers which they used to create a fun card holder.  I like how they turned out, so I thought I would share the idea.  But, you'll have to read to the end to see the finished product.  Hehe.

For this project you will need:
  • brown lunch bags
  • tempera paint
  • corks
  • stickers/foamies
  • ribbon
  • hot glue gun
First, we used the tempera paint and corks to stamp some polka dots on our bags.


Once the bags were dry, I gave the students some time to go crazy with the stickers and foamies.  Some of them really did get a bit crazy, but hey, it's their bag, they can decorate it however they like!


Once the students finished their part of the project (painting and stickering...yes, I just made up a new word), they gave it to me so that I could hot glue some handles to the inside.


This may not be the most lovely looking of projects, but it's child created.  I love that the finished product looks like it was made by a child.  After all, it was made by a child, so it should look that way.  While I really like seeing all those perfectly assembled mailbags on Pinterest that are fashioned to look like monsters or owls, there is something refreshing about the eclectic and wild presentation of projects like this one.  Plus, the kids had tons of fun!

Do you have a  favorite card holder project?

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

No Candy? No Problem!

Candy (among 27 other food items) is basically off limits in my classroom this year.  So, I had to come up with an alternative to the traditional candy heart math I usually do this time of year.  Most of the other classes will be doing their candy math, but I really don't want my students to just sit there and do the next hum-drum lesson in our math series, if you know what I mean.

So, I came up with a plan....heart crowns!


These crowns are the perfect alternative to candy heart math.  Not only is the project is hands-on, but it is aligned with what we are currently working on.  It's also fun and festive!  


This project is so easy too!  You simply need:
  1. Lots of heart cut outs (I use construction paper and cut out the hearts using the school die cut machine...lifesaver!)
  2. Sentence strips
  3. A set of math problems (this is actually optional...keep reading)
  4. Valentine's Day stickers/foamies.

These are the problems I plan to give to my students.  They will choose six of them.  This page is by no means necessary (or fancy for that matter...hello Sharpie and blank copy paper).  You could definitely give your students the option of creating their own problems.  It just depends on where they are in the process of mastering this skill.

Each student needs a sentence strip, some heart cut outs, stickers/foamies, and a page of three-digit math problems.  I like to place a tray at each table group stocked with all of these supplies. 

As mentioned, the students will choose six of the problems from above.  They will write and solve the problems they've chosen on the heart cut outs. 

As the students work, I walk around the room sizing the the sentence strips to fit the students' heads.  This way, they can start gluing the hearts to their hats as soon as they are ready.  To finish off the hat, the students will add a bit more flair to their crowns using the provided stickers/foamies.

And, that's it!  Not only is it a fun project, but it's also an easy one.  That's the best kind of project, am I right?

This idea could be used with lots of different math skills, so pick one that you want your students to review, but make it fun by turning it into a project they can wear.  They'll love it!

DON'T FORGET IT, PIN IT!






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Friday, February 1, 2013

Five in a Row: A Game for Practicing Addition Facts {February}

I'm back with another monthly Five in Row game board.  I hope your students have been enjoying this game as much as mine do! 

What is Five in a Row?
Five in a Row is fun and engaging game where students practice their basic addition math facts.  Students will roll two number cubes (labeled 5-10) or two dice, add them together, and cover the sum on the game board.  The object of the game is to be the first person to cover five numbers in a row.

http://primarily-speaking.blogspot.com/p/freebies.html

Materials
  • Game boards
  • Game pieces (double sided counters, dimes and pennies, different colored linking cubes, and so on) NOTE: since the two players share the same game board, they need different game pieces to denote which spaces they've claimed as their own
  • 2 Number Cubes (blank cubes numbered 5 through 10) OR 2 dice (depending upon the level of play)
How to Play
  • Students play in pairs. 
  • Student A rolls the two number cubes (or dice), adds the numbers together, and covers that number on the board.
  • Student B does the same.
  • Play continues back and forth in this fashion.
  • The first player to get five counters in a row is the winner!
Note:  If a player rolls their number cubes or dice, but the sum is not available, then they do nothing (and hope they have better luck when their next turn comes around).

You can grab this Five in a Row game board for free!  It includes color and black and white versions, as well as two levels of play:
  • Sums of 2 through 12 (played with two dice)
  • Sums of 10 through 20  (played with two number cubes numbered 5-10)
Click here to download the February Five in a Row set for free!

Toodles!

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