Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dot Talks

How do you know school has started? Your 12 year old comes down with a 105 fever! And of course my husband is out of town so the fun is all mine.

My 2nd week of school was okay except my kidlets are too chatty. Looks like super strict is on the agenda for Monday.

They are also having a hard time remembering to use the restroom at recess instead of missing class time. I finally gave them each a stick with their name on it to use as a bathroom pass. This is their one freebie. After that, they have to put their clip down. Amazingly, the number of bathroom requests decreased.

I  have been incorporating some of the strategies I learned at my Common Core math training.
If you would like to try a Dot Talk (a version of a Number Talk), make a dot pattern with dot stickers (or use a bingo dabber) on chart paper, multiple times.
 Call on student to tell how many they see. List all answers, even misconceptions, on the right. I think some of my friends knew their answer was wrong but just wanted to share. I am told this will lessen with time.

Then I called on a student and asked, "How did you know?" The student describes how they arrived at their answer and I transcribe on the chart. Then I ask, "Who saw it a different way?"

What I love about this activity:
1. Students are learning to verbalize their thinking- a HUGE part of the Common Core.
2. Students see that there are multiple solutions to a problem and not only one right answer.
3. By putting their name on the chart, the student takes ownership and we end up referring to it as "Kyla's way." How empowering is that?!

Dot activities strengthen number sense by practicing subitizingSubitizing is the ability to immediately recognize the quantity of a small number of objects without counting. This starts with easy patterns like those on a dice but then can be expanded to decomposing larger numbers (10 is 8 and 2.) You can see how this is a precursor to knowing the parts of a number.

I also started using Dot Cards to first have students practice building patterns with counters on a work mat and then later to "Tell Me Fast" when I hold the card up quickly. I didn't want to deal with storing plates or stickers coming off so I made my own digital version and laminated.
 I made 32 large flash cards in different configurations for the numbers 1-10. Included in the download are directions for 2 different activities and a work mat. Click {HERE} to purchase from my TpT store.

Eventually I will put these in a math tub for partners to flash at each other for more practice.

As usual, I will give a free copy away if you would like to enter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back to School!

Hey strangers! I have not visited blogland in a week due to school starting. That must be a record for me. I still don't have time right now but I wanted to hop on to tell you I contributed my Daily Editing Math Word Problems to the First Grade Fanatics Back to School Giveaway so go check it out!

My new class has some interesting characters I'd love to tell you about but I'm not sure how much I can?? I 'm trying to decide if I don't use names or pictures is that okay?

I leave you with my favorite quote of the week:
"My hair is black except it looks blonde when the lice is in it."
I wish I could have seen my expression.

I'm going out on a date with my hubbie but I hope to be able to visit with all of you soon! I hope you all are doing well at the crazy time!!!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hey Girl!

 I get a kick out of the Hey Girl sayings floating around Pinterest so I made a couple in honor of the big TpT sale. Feel free to pin if you wish.

 How many items on your wishlist? I am currently at 37 ;-) You may want to take advantage of the BTS sale Aug. 12 & 13th because TpT won't throw another any time soon! Everything in my store will be 20% off and you can get an additional 10% off if you enter the promo code BTS12 at checkout.
Here are some of my newest & best sellers if you need some ideas for your wishlist. You can click on the picture to go check them out.

Many different math games!

Today was my first day back to work. Getting up at 6 AM was torture. My district had all elementary teachers meet at the Fairmont hotel for a kick-off speech and then break-out training sessions. A continental breakfast and lunch were provided. They reasoned that other professionals are treated this way and we should start out our year treated that way, too. Although I enjoy the sentiment, I couldn't stop thinking about how much it cost and how that money could be better spent making our class sizes less than 30 or getting much needed technology into our rooms.

Speaking of rooms, my classroom is nowhere near ready! I have training on site tomorrow and meetings on Monday. That leaves only Tuesday before the kidlets arrive. I have our annual Cub Scout family camping trip this weekend so I can't work on my room this weekend. I was determined to decompress after the stressful year I had last year and I think I did too good a job. I can't seem to get stressed that I will only have one day to work on my room. That is very unlike me. The stress will kick in, the question is, when???


Monday, August 6, 2012

Mega Giveaway Winners

Congrats to the following lucky 24 winners of my Mega Giveaway!!! You will get an email soon!
Arin Carter, please send me your email because it was only partial.

A HUGE thank you to all my wonderful bloggy friends for donating such terrific items!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Name Tag Tip and a winner

How do you make your student name tags? Last year I spent time making adorable name tags, laminating them, then slicing a hole with an exacto knife in each one to put the clips in. They looked cute but took too much time to make and did not last. We wear them every week to specials (science and music) so I needed something more durable this year.

Here is my tip! This year I bought cute name tag stickers BUT I laminated them.
 If you cut the laminate closely, they will fit perfectly in these name badges. I prefer the clip over the safety pin or something around their neck.
I added names and class number with a sharpie. I have a few extras in case I have changes to my roster. The reason I laminated them first was because when the kids lean over to get a drink from the water fountain (or bubbla as my Massachusetts husband says) water can get in the plastic pocket. I don't have a picture of my finished product because I am on vacation but you get the idea. (What? I know I am breaking my blogging ban again but many of you are hard at work in your rooms and this tip just couldn't wait! :-)

Plus, I had to announce yesterdays giveaway winner. Congrats to Rosemarie who won a free copy of my Student Notebook and Folder Labels. Click on the picture below if you want to go grab a set for yourself.

Have you entered my Mega Giveaway with 24 prizes from some of my favorite bloggers? ! Click on the pic below to go enter if you haven't!
Onset beach was wonderful yesterday. My honey and I held hands walking down the beach, pointing out the cape houses we dream of owning one day. For lunch we walked to Marc Anthony's pizzeria which was absolute heaven. I love California but one thing it is seriously lacking is good pizza!
Here is a shot of my son Casey being a good sport letting his cousins bury him. The funniest thing to me was they couldn't wait to get back to Nana's to go in the pool! I think my kids have spent more time in water than out this week!


Nightmares and Notebooks

Shhhh...I am supposed to be on vacation with my family and not blogging but I just had to jump on and tell you I had my first school anxiety dream last night. Have you had one yet? I am not the only wacko who gets these, right?

It wasn't the showing up to school naked kind, more of the wide awake at 2 AM with lists of things that still need doing rolling through my head kind. It was probably triggered by the email I read from my principal yesterday listing the zillions of meetings and trainings I will be required to attend rather than work in my room next week. Less than a week left of summer for me :-(

I am a planner and like to get things ready early. One of the jobs that always drives me crazy is labeling anything with student names because it has to be done as close to the first day as you dare. Do I go ahead and start labeling and hope there aren't too many name changes?  I used to type the names on the labels but it was inconvenient when I got a student change at the last minute to go in retype since I would have to print out a whole sheet of labels. So, I switched to making cute labels and doing all the sticking on the notebooks and folders ahead of time. Then I write the names in when I am feeling daring desperate.  If I was less Type A, I would have the kids write their own names on everything the first day but I'll be honest, I'm not there yet. What can I say, I am a work in progress.
I uploaded the labels I use for folders and notebooks and made a few more trying to anticipate what others might need and uploaded them to TpT. They are formatted for Avery 2x4 labels. Click {HERE} to save yourself some time and grab yourself a set.

I had a few requests to change the wording on my Decoding Strategies for Parents letter to make it gender neutral. In the letter I refer to the parents' student and saying he or she every time was WAY too wordy so I reverted to the old-fashioned he. My gut instinct was to use they but I was afraid other teachers might not like it since it really is a plural. After doing some research, it seems this continues to be a problem since there is no appropriate pronoun and my gut was right and using they is deemed acceptable. So, to make a long story longer, I edited the letter using they and hope those that didn't appreciate the he will be happy.  Click {HERE} if you missed my Decoding Strategies post and have no idea what I am talking about. Click the picture below to go download the revision if you already bought it (THANK YOU!)

 If you have not entered my MEGA GIVEAWAY you still have time! Click {HERE} to enter. You could be one of 24 lucky winners!!
I'm off to the beach but I'd like to giveaway a copy of my labels to a lucky follower so enter below and I will sneak on again later to announce a winner.

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