Saturday, January 24, 2015

Writing- Free Writing Idea

Happy Weekend friends!  Last week we read the story Abuela  by Arthur Dorros.  It's about a girl who imagines what it would be like to fly around New York City with her grandmother.  They fly through the sky like birds.  We decided to write a story about things that we like to do with our grandparents.  Boy, did they love this assignment!  We brainstormed first and made a big list of things that we do with our grandparents.  Then they got right down to work on their stories.  Their pictures are adorable too!  Here is a look at how they turned out.

I've attached the writing paper that we used for you for free!  It looks like this:
If you want to download a free copy, click HERE!
I hope that you are all having a good semester so far!  We are on day 93 on Monday!  Almost to 100! Woo Hoo!!!!
Monday, January 12, 2015

Money 2.MD.8

I love teaching my students how to count money.  We started our unit today.  I asked the students why it was important to be able to count money.  Their responses were so cute!  This is one of my favorite things to teach in math.  I begin by introducing the penny.  We tell everything we know about the penny and then I show them my anchor chart.  It looks like this:
The kids have a bubble map in their student book too.  It looks like this:
Next I introduced the dime.  I knew that we could count pennies and we have been counting pennies all year long in our morning math routines.  I'll tell you more about that later.  So, I knew that they were ready to count dimes.  Here is the dime anchor chart. 
The kids wrote in their book . 
Next I gave everyone a money counting mat and a bag of coins.  You can download the money counting mat free from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Click HERE!   
I copied it on white construction paper and laminated them.  They have really lasted too.  Mine are three years old now. 
I told the kids to get their dimes and pennies out of their coin bag and sort them onto their counting mat.  This mat really helps when we add quarters and nickels as well. 
So I gave the students several different amounts to show me on their mat using dimes and pennies.  I reminded them that the dimes are worth 10 just like the 10's stick in base 10 blocks and the penny is just like the ones cube.  They immediately made the connection!
I always teach my kids to SLIDE the coin over as they count it so they can be sure to count each coin only one time.  ALSO...I constantly remind students to put base 10 blocks and now coins in rows of 5 just like a ten frame. 
Next we went to our math journals.  We glued in our money flap book. 
I had students fill in the penny and dime flaps today.  We will practice counting dimes and pennies again tomorrow before I introduce nickels. 
The student book that I used is in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  It is a three week unit to teach counting coins and solving word problems using money.  It looks like this:
It includes lesson plans, a student book, student homework and 3 quizzes.  I also have included the money counting mat and coins to copy and use if you don't have practice coins for students to use.  You can go to the unit in my store by clicking HERE!
Do you all have any unique ideas that you use when you teach money?  I would love to hear from you!  Happy Counting!!
Saturday, January 10, 2015

Telling Time 2.MD.7 A.M. and P.M. and a Freebie!

We have been working on telling time this week.  When we got to the a.m. and p.m. part, they had a hard time understanding it.  So, I came up with a time line and we all drew the time line and drew pictures to help us remember and understand.  Here are a few of the pictures that they kids drew. 

We started by putting 12:00 noon in the middle.  Next we put 12:00 a.m. all the way to the left.  Then we put 12:00 p.m. all the way to the right.  Then we talked about things that we do in the a.m.  When it is still dark and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 a.m. we are usually asleep so we drew a moon and stars and a bed.  We talked about how we brush our teeth, eat breakfast, get dressed and go to school in the a.m. so we drew those things too.  We talked about how we eat lunch around noon.  On the p.m. side, we drew a lunch box, a sliding board for the playground, and a bus that we would ride home.  We talked about after school activities like baseball, soccer, dance, football or basketball.  We added those and dinner, homework, bath time and bedtime.  They loved drawing pictures and using this timeline really helped them understand a.m. and p.m.  I decided to make a timeline so that I could keep it because I'll forget it by next year when I teach this again!  So, I've attached it here for you for free.  Also, I can come back to my blog next year when I forget where I put my copy! Haha.  So if you want the time line it looks like this:
Ok, so I know that a.m. and p.m. stand for "ante meridiem" and "post meridiem".  I told the kids this but we came up with our own words that were easier to remember.  We thought that a.m. could mean "all morning" and p.m. could be "past morning".   If you want to download the free copy,
click HERE!  I hope it works for you.  Let me know what you think!
Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Telling Time- 2.MD.7

We started our unit on telling time on Monday.  We talked about the parts of a clock like the face and hands.  We learned about analog and digital clocks.  I told the kids that sometimes you had to "wind" a watch to make it work. They were fascinated!  I just felt old! Haha...,.So anyway, today we played a game with time.  Each kid had a "watch". They decided what time to draw onto their watch.  After everyone had the hands on their watch, I taped it on their wrist.  Next they got a clipboard and their recording sheet and they went to each of their classmates and read their "watch".  They had a great time doing this and they practiced telling time 20 times!  They loved getting up and moving.

I would love to hear from you!  What fun, get out of your seat activities do you use with your students?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter Writing and Snowman Craft and Free Books Online!

It seems that Christmas break went oh so fast!  I was happy to get back to school yesterday and see all of my kiddos.  We got right to work.  We started our writing before Christmas.  The prompt was this:  Imagine that your snowman came to life. Tell about your adventures.  So we started by reading the books Snowmen At Christmas, Snowmen at Night  and Snowmen All Year by Mark Buehner and Caralyn Buehner.  These books were all online on the website We Give Books.  You can get there by going to .  If you don't know about this site, you have got to visit it.  You can create an account for free and read all of the wonderful books that are there.  So we read the three books over a couple of days and then brainstormed all of the things we could do with our snowmen.  Finally, students wrote their stories and made their snowman craft to go with their writing.  They turned out so cute! 

This snowman writing activity came from my January Writing Unit.  It has three different kinds of stories for students to write.  The imaginative narrative is the snowman story.  For the persuasive/opinion piece, students are asked to decide if they think a penguin would make a good pet.  They have to write a paper to persuade the reader.  The third piece is an informational piece that students write about polar bears. Students read the included short passage on polar bears and then write about them.  Each writing has graphic organizers to help students organize their information, decorative writing paper for the completed stories and a craft.  Here is a look at the unit. 
If you want to see it in my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking HERE!
I tried to read some blogs and tips while I was home on break.  One thing that I saw that I loved was from Angela Watson.  It is called Daily Connections.  It is a way to list your students in groups and each day, you focus some special attention on those students.  I am doing this and it is a great way to build stronger connections with my students.  Angela posted this idea free in her Teachers Pay Teachers store.  You can get to it by clicking HERE!  I love this idea!  I think that strong connections with our students make for great learning relationships with them as well as making lasting positive impressions on these young little minds! 
I hope you have all had a great first few days back!  Oh, and "Let It Snow!!!"