Monday, January 26, 2015

Fishing For Sight Words!

My students love "fishing" for sight words!  They have so much fun reading the sight words on the fish and catching them with their fishing rod.  This activity creates an interactive literacy center and can be used again and again with different words!  Here is how I use it in my classroom:

I tie a piece of yarn to a wooden block.  I attach a magnet to the yarn.

Attached to each fish is a paperclip.

The fish are placed in the fishing lake and the students place their caught fish in the fishing jar.

I place about 20 sight words that we have learned in the lake at a time.

My students have so much fun using the rod to pick up the fish.  I also have them count the fish/sight words they caught!

If you would like to use this center in your classroom, you can find it in my TPT store here: Fishing for Sight Words!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Winter Snowman Craft!

I want to share this cute and easy craft my class did before winter break.  They used white paint to make a handprint then used sharpies to make snowmen on each finger.  

I folded the construction paper into a trifold.  I placed their picture on the first flap and a poem on the third flap.  We wrapped these and the children gave them to their parents on Christmas!  The kids loved making these!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Irregular Ten Frames to Build Number Sense

Do you use ten frames in your classroom?  How about irregular ten frames?  I use both standard and irregular ten frames and have seen so much growth in my students' number sense.  Irregular ten frames require higher level thinking and promote children to develop their own strategies to count.  I want to share how I use irregular ten frames in my classroom.

I begin each math lesson with a number talk.  For each number talk I choose two irregular ten frames.  I draw the frames on chart paper and cover them up so the children cannot see the ten frames.  

I flash the first ten frame for about five seconds.  The children have to count the dots as quickly as they can.  If they know the amount of dots, they give me a thumbs up right below their chin.  I flash the ten frame once more to give the kids another chance at counting.  Then, I ask some of the children the number they counted. I choose two children who counted correctly to share their strategy for each ten frame.  I record their strategies on chart paper.  We compare and contrast the different strategies shared.

As I do more number talks in my classroom, I have seen my students' critical thinking expand and number sense strengthen.  They begin to group the dots in ways that make them easier to count (foundation for addition).  They no longer count the dots one by one.  Some children are even moving the dots in their head to make them easier and faster to count.

If you would like to use irregular ten frames in your classroom check out my FREEBIE below by clicking here: Irregular Ten Frames

Let me know how you use irregular ten frames in your classroom!  I would love to hear how you use them in your classroom!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Comparing Books with Gingerbread!

Happy 2015!  I hope you enjoyed your winter break and had a great holiday!  I wanted to share this anchor chart we made before break. The gingerbread unit I taught is my favorite to teach!  There are so many rich gingerbread literature that my students LOVE!  It is a great unit to identify story elements and compare and contrast stories.

We focused on three stories: "The Gingerbread Boy," "The Gingerbread Girl" (my favorite!), and "The Gingerbread Cowboy."  We analyzed the main character, setting, problem, solution, and how each story ended.  Above the anchor chart you can see the cute gingerbread boys/girls my students made!  They used shapes to make their gingerbread and recorded how many of each shape they used!  This was a fun unit that my students really enjoyed!  They were very engaged in each story and couldn't wait to find out how each story ended!

What are your favorite gingerbread books to read?