Saturday, September 20, 2014

Apple Blog Hop ~ Rehearsing Learning with Puppets

Hi, Teaching Friends!

It's apple season again, and time for another great blog hop!

Do you love reading aloud to your class? I think it's one of the coziest, calmest, and happiest times in the day. It's also a time that's chock full of teaching opportunities, making it all the more important to choose read aloud books carefully and pre-read them thoroughly. (I could share a cautionary tale about reading Tomie DePaola's  Bill and Pete to a class without pre-reading ... but that's another story for another day...)

Here's a book that I've found to be a great teaching tool for this time of year, Amy and Richard Hutchings' Picking Apples and Pumpkins.


There are a number of other good books with similar titles out there, but what makes this one my favorite is the fact that it's illustrated with photos. I think that really brings the book to life and encourages children to make comprehension-building connections with their own lives. I'm also partial to this book because it was photographed at Battleview Orchards, which is only about 45 minutes away from where I live here in New Jersey. We've been apple and pumpkin picking there with our own children!

After you read, you might want to try comparing apples and pumpkins, using one of these great ideas from Pinterest. These fruits are a natural for using Venn diagrams!

Here's a great one from Simply Second Grade ...

...and another variation is this double bubble thinking map from My First Grade Backpack. This one will also leave you with a useful anchor chart for your fall writing center.

One way that I've enjoyed extending the value of read alouds is to make simple puppets and use them to rehearse the language and concepts of the book. Puppets are fun, engaging, and often just what's needed to build confidence and speaking skills in your more introverted students.

I like to keep the puppet-making simple, like these quick-and-easy construction paper and popsicle stick ones. But don't stop there ... add in a literacy component!

Let's have a show! Using dialogue is a great way to cement learning from a read aloud and to master new content area vocabulary. In kindergarten and first grade, it could be as simple as partnering students and having them act out little conversations, using  the new vocabulary from Picking Apples and Pumpkins.

After a minute or two of conversation, switch partners for a new talk and new practice. Quick-paced, fun, and effective practice of new vocab and concepts!

With more advanced writers, try having partners write the dialogue. The anchor charts above would be good graphic organizers for this. Keep a copy of the book you read as well as other relevant books handy for inspiration and reference, and remember to leave time for performances, too!

Here's another way for your students to practice their learning about apples and pumpkins.  With this brand new set of 20 riddle cards and a four-in-a-row game, your students will practice inference and build vocabulary like pulp, core, vine, harvest, and 16 more. Check it out here at Teachers Pay Teachers or here at Teachers Notebook.

Would you like to win a copy of this riddle set? I'm giving away three during this blog hop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Time to get hopping to Kooky Kinders for more great apple fun! Just click on the cute owls and enjoy the rest of the blog hop!


Happy Teaching!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pirate Day Freebies + Resources 30% Off!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Since Talk Like a Pirate Day is right around the corner. The cute, cute, CUTE pirates from KPM Doodles have inspired me, and I seem to be obsessed with making pirate math activities. I thought I'd do a quick listing here today! Just click on any of the images to get a closer look.

Let's start with a recent freebie ...Pirate Number cards. The post also includes four ideas for math games with the cards.

If you teach second grade math, you'll like this set of 24 riddle cards for addition, subtraction, comparing numbers, and coins. These were fun to make, and I think your kiddos will have fun with them, too.

Download the preview of Secret Treasure Numbers to get these four cards like this one free.


Next up is a first grade favorite that will be perfect for your new second graders, too. It's a great collection of seven games for practice with adding and subtracting ten and multiples of ten.

This one's got a freebie in the preview, too. Just download and you've got "It's Time for Plus Ten!".

Your kiddos will be bouncin' in their seats with all the excitement of Talk Like a Pirate Day, so you might as well get them up and moving to get some of the wiggles out. Here's a way to do that ... another freebie for adding and subtracting ten. Click on the picture to get your "I Have..., Who Has...?" game!

Do you know Harry Kindergarten's song, "When You Subtract with a Pirate?"  Check it out here on YouTube. Then use this free template to create your own class book based on the song.

If you're a first grade teacher, you want to give your students lots of tools to build their flexibility with adding and subtracting. Here's a set of 45 multi-step clue cards to practice using the number line ... with some "yo ho, matey!" pirate fun, too!

"Pirate's Bounty" is a partner game for addition, with the bonus of practicing odd and even numbers. Always nice when we can sneakily squeeze in another standard, right? ;)
Want to save a few dollars? Three of these resources are bundled in this set.

Would you like to save even more? All of my pirate resources are 30% off at TpT from now until Pirates Day, the 19th. Enjoy, mateys!

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sums of Twenty FREEBIE!

Hello, Teaching Friends!

Here's a quick and fun way for your second graders to practice combinations of numbers that total twenty. There's lots of mental math here, since they'll be hunting for combinations of two, three, and four addends, and quite often finding a combination of ten along the way. For a little accountability piece (and because, let's face it, we all know that nobody can stand correcting a paper like this with all those crazy circles your kiddos will make!), on the back of the paper they'll be writing five of the combinations they find.

Looking for a puzzle for combinations of ten? Try Ten Again!

Happy Teaching!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Second Grade Fall Math Giveaway!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Crisp days, colorful leaves, apple picking, scarecrows, ... fall will be here before you know it! I just posted a new math resource for second grade. Cindy Calenti's "Fall is in the Air" clipart inspired me - aren't these leaves cool?

So, I thought we'd have a little giveaway here ... and while we're at it, let's add in another math resource, too!

Now, wouldn't that make your math centers for the next few weeks a snap to prepare? Here you go!


I'll give three of you both of these resources! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kindergarten and first grade teachers , I'll have something special for you very soon!

Happy Teaching!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Pirate Day Math Games

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Avast, me mateys ...  I spy a silly holiday on the horizon! "Talk Like a Pirate Day" approaches, September 19th, to be exact. So, to quote ... myself, I think ... as teachers, why would we let such a high interest day slip by without squeezing a bit more learning into it? The proverbial spoonful of sugar, if you please!

Here's a set of number cards you might like to use that day, or whenever! Keep reading for four ideas for math games that use only the cards, with few or no additional materials.  Print up several sets of the cards to use for these games.  ** If color ink is a concern, blacklines are included. If your students color materials for games and centers, sometimes they get a bit more careful about taking care of them afterwards, and that's always a good thing!


...and here are the games!

1) Walk the Plank!  This is a game for two to four players, but with enough extra cards you could probably use it in a small group lesson. Put all the cards face down on one pile.  Players take turns turning over the two top cards and adding them. If the sum is even, she keeps the cards. If the sum is odd, it's time to "Walk the plank!" - put the cards on the discard pile. The first player to accumulate ten cards is the winner.

2)  One, Two, Three, Flip!  Shuffle the cards and deal equally to two players. Players each put their cards face down on a pile in front of them. On the count of "One, two, three, flip!", both players turn over their top two cards and subtract the numbers. The player with the greater difference takes both cards. Variation: The player with the lesser difference takes both. Older students could multiply or divide the numbers.

3)  Pirates' Bounty  The difficulty level on this one is easy to adjust ... trade just pennies for nickels, or pennies to nickels to dimes, ... or right on up through quarters to one dollar! You will need a big pile of pennies, plus additional coins according to the level of the game. Put the pennies in the center of the table, along with a face-down pile of the pirate cards. Players take turns turning over the top card and taking that number of pennies. Play continues with taking pennies and trading up until the goal amount is reached. Easy-peasy coin review!

4)  Mind Reader - It's All About Five! Deal five cards to each player. Put the rest on a face down pile in the center of the table. Players hold and see their own cards but don't show them to the other player. At all times during this game, each player must have five cards in his or her hand. Player One tries to guess any card in Player Two's hand by naming addition facts.  Player 1: "Do you have 6+2?", Player 2: "No, I don't have 8", or "Yes, I have 8". If the answer is yes, he gives the card to Player 1, who places it face up on the table in front of him. Then Player 2 takes another card from the pile to keep five in his hand. Players take turns guessing until one player has five cards laid out in front of him.

Check out this assortment of more pirate math games, at levels from K-3, at my Teachers Pay Teachers store! (Yes, I know that's a pig game at the top of the search list ... but it's far too complicated to explain here!!)

If you're not into pirates, or maybe you'd just like four more ideas for easy games with number cards and another set of free cards, stop by my post at Teaching Blog Round Up for these monster number cards!

Happy Teaching!

Freebie Fridays


Saturday, August 30, 2014

All Thumbs Up Math Game Sets on Sale This Weekend!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Are you resting up this weekend for the Big Day coming up next week? Or maybe your school year is already well underway and you're taking this welcome break to catch your breath! Either way, let's celebrate with a little sale!

Partner games are a terrific way to keep your students focused on the task at hand, and also build some unexpected friendships. There are times that setting up random partners or even letting students choose their own partners are perfectly fine options. But most of the time, you call the plays.

*  You can match partners of equal ability.

*  You can arrange some spread between abilities so the slightly higher player can motivate and encourage his slightly lower opponent.

*  You can even use academic games for social purposes, mixing introverts and extroverts, or putting a kind encourager with a child who's having some trouble fitting in.

Here are three sets of math partner games, all on sale through Monday night at both Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook. Each of the four sets includes ten Common Core-aligned games, perfect for use in math centers. There are also directions and materials for using the games as an active whole class review. Use the games as you come to the topics in your curriculum, for spiraled review throughout the year, and as a fun way to review for standardized testing.

Regularly $8 for each set of ten Common Core Games, this weekend they're 25% off!

Download the preview for any of the sets to get a free game!

Sorry that the images are a bit blurry here, but I want you to see the variety each set includes.

                                                           At TpT                   At TN

Here's the first grade set.

                                                         At TpT                               At TN

Here's the second grade set.


                                                  At TpT                                    At TN

                                                      At TpT                              At TN

Happy Teaching ... and have a wonderful weekend!

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