Sunday, February 12, 2017

Try These Free Kindergarten Math Riddles!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

If you're looking for an engaging way to build number sense with your kindergarteners, try riddles!

Yes, I'm back again talking about riddles, but I'm sold on the value of using all sorts of riddles in your teaching!  If you have any doubts, the next time your class is unfocused, off task, or cranky (it happens to the best of them...), just say the word "riddle" and watch them perk up!





These free kindergarten riddles will bring that kind of enthusiasm to your classroom! Here are a few ideas for using them.

* Start a math lesson by solving a riddle together.

* Tie riddles to your number line  and sequence of numbers lessons. These riddles have lots of clues that require your students to locate a number/s on the number line, along with using words like "more than", "less than", and "between".

* If you ever have a spare moment to fill (it's been known to happen, really...!), solving a riddle is a great way to keep the learning moving ahead!

* Riddles are an awesome way to squeeze in some spiraled review of math vocabulary.

* Riddles are a great way to build a foundation for comprehension skills like identifying key details, making inferences, and drawing conclusions.

* Once you've practiced solving a few riddles, try writing one together. Morning Meeting is a wonderful opportunity for this. Write a riddle for 6 on the sixth of the month, for example. Bring math into your shared writing lesson!


Okay, kindergarten teachers - this freebie is for YOU! Just click on the picture to try this set of 8 riddles.



If you'd like more, the complete set of 100 riddles is half price at my TpT store until Monday night (2/13/17).  It also includes an answer key, themed hundred chart, whole class games for recording progress with the riddles, and two class graphs based on the riddles. Bonus: also includes 35 number sequence strips (1-100) that you can just print, laminate, and cut for an instant math center! Click here to see it.


Happy Teaching!











Friday, February 10, 2017

Valentine's Day Mushy Stuff {freebies!}

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Is your classroom filled with hearts, and your heart filled with love? Valentines Day can't be far away! I though I'd make it even easier for you to send out those warm fuzzy feelings by gathering a few of my free items in one post.




First, the math freebies!

Add, subtract, and sort by odd/even.





Do some of your kiddos think any three numbers in any order make a fact family? Try these fact family clip cards.




Teen numbers can be mighty tricky for for some of our kindergarteners. This set will have them matching numerals to base ten and ten frame representations.





Addition and subtraction on the number line with those same sweet Love Bugs!





Here's a printable for skip counting by two's...



... or for something more hands-on, there's this set. Phew! Finally something red, after all that pinkness!




Double Trouble Hearts is a board game for adding doubles. Trivia Tidbit: There's a state park in NJ called Double Trouble Park.




And now, some literacy freebies!

Here's a game for practicing the /ar/ chunk.




A set of opposites matching cards.





Do you have a Buddy Class?  Here are two freebies that work great for that, because they're useful across grade levels.







You can find lots more Valentines Day learning sprinkled with fun here.

Thanks for stopping by - enjoy your freebies and have a wonderful Valentines Day with your little sweethearts!



Thursday, January 26, 2017

120 New Math Riddles ... and a Sample, Too!

Hi, Teaching Friends!


As the 100th day of school approaches for many of you, I'm thrilled to be offering a brand new set of one of my favorite resources, 120 Riddles for the 120 Chart.





This set is a fun way to review skills like addition and subtraction through 20, place value, adding and subtracting tens, coins (pennies, nickels, and dimes), odd and even numbers, and comparison signs.


The original set of one hundred multi-step riddle cards for the numbers 1-100 has been through a number of revisions, the most significant of which was adding in riddles for 101 through 120.  A customer suggestion, and a very good one! If you are among the nearly 2,000 teachers who own the set, be sure to download the most recent update, competed just this month!



See the original set (Set 1) here.


Although you'll find this riddle set to be perfect for your 100th Day celebration, there are so many other uses for these cards.  From buyer comments at my TpT store, here are some of the ways that teachers are using their riddle cards.


Angie suggested using a few riddles as a math lesson warm-up.

Gabrielle uses a riddle card to introduce the number of the day. 

Heidi says, "Great way to get the kids talking about numbers and exploring the 120 chart!"

Another buyer said she uses them for calendar time and finds them easy to differentiate. 

Amy uses them as a sponge activity between lessons.

Jan uses these riddles to build number sense and ease math anxiety.

Karen uses these cards to reinforce specific math concepts.

Lisa uses them once a week for problem solving.

Kathie G. says, "Perfect for whole group, small group, or even as a filler for when you have a few minutes between activities."

Another buyer uses the riddle cards for "Out the Door" cards as her students line up to leave the classroom.
A buyer uses them with her afterschool tutoring club.

Title I teacher Darlene uses them with partners and small groups.

Kristina uses riddle cards as an early finisher activity with her document camera. 

Jacqueline H. says, "I use it as a center activity in my grade 3 class, great reinforcement of concepts they should know."

Another buyer uses them for morning bellwork, and sometimes has her students write their own riddles and share them.

Laureen took the poster version of this resource and turned it into a book for the math library -  so clever! 



So, reading all of these wonderful ideas and comments (thank you, thank you - do you know how much TpT authors LOVE your feedback??), I got to thinking that many teachers who are using these riddles might be running out of riddle cards around this time of year.  

Every one of the riddles in Set 2 is totally new.  Even the graphics are new - adorable goldfish from Ashley Hughes at TpT.

Here's a closer look.




Click here to see it at my TpT store, where it's half price through Sunday!
Would you like to try a few before you buy? Click here to download a sample set of twelve riddle cards!





Happy Teaching!











Saturday, January 7, 2017

Is Indoor Recess Driving You Crazy? Here's Help!

Hi, Teaching Friends!


"Oh, the weather outside is frightful ..."

Uh-oh. We all know what THAT means for teachers.





Here in NJ, it seems like the slightest thing can change recess plans. Snow, rain, well sure! But sometimes it's even things like muddy fields, "it might rain" {might???}, or temps under 45 degrees {yes, seriously, I've seen it happen!}. C'mon, these kids need to MOVE!

Whether your school has a supervised indoor recess in the gym for all classes {oh,my, the NOISE!} or you have the *joy* of supervising your own students in your own classroom, indoor recess is NO FUN for teachers!

There's an awful lot of pent-up student energy that needs to be released, or, as we all know,  you can kiss their attention goodbye during your afternoon lessons. And when indoor recess goes on for weeks and weeks,well, that's just not an option!



Let's take a quick look at a few ideas for how you can spread that energy throughout the day, regardless of where your students spend indoor recess times. I'll bet that you're already doing lots of these things, but I hope that you'll find some new ideas to try!





* Do you already give your students brain breaks? Super!! When it's indoor recess season, think about having brain breaks more frequently and with greater variety, in both morning and afternoon. Look for brain breaks that go beyond dancing or calisthenics to activities that also engage the brain - challenges like counting backwards while doing jumping jacks will improve your students' focus ... and also address curriculum - and I do love to hit two birds with one stone, don't you?

Click here for some great info on brain breaks from The Teacher Next Door.

* Integrate movement into every lesson that you teach.  Here are just a few examples.

>  When you ask a yes/no question, have your students "vote" their answer with movement, by standing with arms waving over their heads or marching in place. Yes, it's craziness at first, but doing this not only gets your kids moving - they'll also listen to the question and directions more carefully, so it will improve listening skills!

>  Are you practicing skip counting? Have you ever tried doing windmills with your class? I sure do wish that I had a video to share, but no luck, so here goes: Children sit in their chairs (assuming that you still have chairs, right? :) If not, you can do your windmills standing up!) Alternate touching the right hand to the left shin, then both arms back up, then the left hand to the right shin. Since this activity involves crossing the midline, you're activating both sides of your students' brains - helping the skip counting info stick AND squeezing in some extra large muscle activity!

Visit OT Mom Learning Activities for more information on crossing the midline, and lots of ideas for incorporating this kind of active learning into your teaching day.






>  After a read aloud, retell the story, but not just with words. Get up and act the story out! Keep a supply of "character cards" ready to use - laminate sheets of 9X12 construction paper, punch two holes in the top corners and add a piece of yarn to make a card that you can quickly write a character name on (erasable marker, of course!) so your students can just slip them over their heads ... and slip right into character! As they improvise their retelling, encourage them to move dramatically rather than just talking.

>  Look for learning games that use large muscles, like hopping on a number line.  This is also a great time of year to think of those "throw the snowball" games that are all over Pinterest. You know the kind ... write a math model on a quarter sheet of recycled scrap paper, trade papers with a friend, solve and check, then crunch the paper into a "snowball" and take turns tossing them at a target, like a wastebasket ;). Five minutes of this kind of "snow play" is a great activity!



*  Most teachers know how important is is to get our students up and out of their seats.




That being said, there are times when you need to have everyone facing you and able to see the whiteboard.  Moving your students to the carpet is one alternative, but little bodies there tend to scrunch up instead of moving, and, in my own experience, our kiddos often need even more stretching, jumping, etc. after time on the carpet. Have you ever tried letting your students sit on top of their desks?  Most kids will start swinging their legs once they're up on top ... more big muscle movement!


*  Last but definitely not least, never underestimate the power of a good brisk walk! Whether it's inside or out, keep the pace quick and the arms swinging. Even a two minute walk will get the wiggles out and the brains oxygenated, ready to focus and learn again. Try a walk mid-morning and another right after recess, to get your class community gathered and refocused. Concerned about an administrator questioning the time spent on your walk? Call it PE, or plan your route to stop along the way for a brief discussion at an interesting bulletin board. Where there's a will, there's a way!


I hope you've found something new here to try. I'd love to hear what other tricks you use during your day to make those indoor recess days a bit smoother!


Happy Teaching!



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

It's All About "New": New Games and New Years Freebies!

Happy New Year, Teaching Friends!

Just a quick post today about some things that I don't want you to miss out on!

I have been stuck-like-glue lately on making one page math games, so I thnk it's about time to shake it up a bit with some (guess what??) ... one page phonics games!




If you follow my TpT store, you may have already seen these and know the theme ... good ol' CVC words! Seriously, who couldn't use more practice blending the sounds smoothly, thinking of rhymes, and writing the words?

Each of these game sets focuses on just one vowel sound, and each set includes six games, with a bit of a gradient of difficulty in the games to make it easier for you to differentiate.

Each game comes in both color (less than 20% of the page) and blackline.

But my favorite part?  These games are soooo easy to implement in your literacy centers. Here's why.

      * Each game is just one page, with no cards to print and cut (which means, let's get serious - no          cards to lose!).  Even the directions are right on the game board. All you'll need to add is  
         erasable markers and dice.

      * Because the games are the same for each vowel, you'll save lots of reteaching time! Teach  
         your students how to play once and then just review as necessary. You know that The Experts  
         on the rules for each game will pop up in your classroom in no time, so maybe you won't even            need to review the rules at all!

   


I like to offer my readers and followers a little extra deal when I first post resources - 50% off for the first 24 hours ... which quite often slides to 36 hours, 48 hours ... generosity or forgetfulness, call it what you will. ;)

Short U is yet to come (maybe tomorrow), as well as sets for mixed vowel practice and consonant blends/short vowels.

Here are the sets that are available now. Click on the pictures to see them at my store.

     


      



Part 2: New Years Freebies!

These are not new, but maybe there're new to you! (sounds like a slogan for a conignment shop...)




                                                                              








Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Winter Freebies Part 2 - Literacy!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

In my last post, I gathered together a big batch of my winter math freebies and promised I'd do the same soon with literacy freebies. So, here they are!









First up is this read-aloud for winter. With its strong picture-text match, lots of high frequency words, and patterned text, this book is great for modeling early reading strategies - and for your students to practice the strategies on their own, too! Click on the picture to get your copy.


Winter Snowman Read-Aloud Book



Are your little learners practicing CVC words? Try this game!



When your ready for some meaty writing prompts for winter ... prompts with questions to guide and expand your students' writing ... try these!


 



Here's another writing freebie!  These three writing tools will thaw the frozen writers' brains even in subzero temps!


Winter Writing Tools



Build sight word knowledge and fluency with this set of winter fluency phrases.  Print, snip, punch a hole, and put them on a ring, and you're ready to go! Includes a Beat the Clock partner page!






Here's a winter letter match for the little guys.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8LaCTimmHFZWVM0bmxQaDRZelU/edit?usp=sharing



Do you use whole class journals? Check this post for ideas and to get this set of free covers to help you get started.




The beginning of a new year is a great time to review the names and sequence of the months. Find simple tips and tricks on this post, plus free printables.





Here's a set of thematic word cards for alphabetizing ... but they'd also make an easy and engaging addition to your writing center.


ABC Order: A Wintery Mix




If you're practicing antonyms, download the preview of Gingerbread Opposites Literacy Centers to get this free chart of common opposites.





Do you teach about penguins in January? One of my favorite units! Try this free read the room activity.





Well, now that I've spilled the beans on all these freebies, I guess I'll have to get busy making some new ones for you and your students very soon!  In the meantime, I hope you'll stop by my TpT store and take a look at my other winter resources.  I hope you'll find just what you need to keep your school days merry and bright!


Happy Teaching!









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