Friday, January 8, 2021

MORE Third Grade Math Riddles for 1 through 120!

Third grade teachers, I'm SO happy to share that the second set of number sense riddles for 1 through 120 is finally completed!

So, what are these riddles all about?

Each of the cards in this set has two to three clues that lead to a number between 1 and 120.  As your students progress through the clues, they'll narrow the options for which numbers might be the answer, until the last clue brings them down to just one number.

Here's an example.

Solving a riddle is great for daily spiral review and most definitely motivating - have you ever had a student who didn't like riddles?  But there's so much more that you can do with these cards!

Listen to some of the conversations that might happen beyond the solving if you were to use this card as the basis for a number talk. Note the great opportunitites to differentiate.

    "Can you switch out 8X11 and 100-7 to other expressions and still get the same final answer?"

    "Is there a quick way to tell if a number is odd or even?"

    "Is 5 a multiple of 10 or a factor of 10?  Explain..."

    "Can you substitute a new clue for the final clue and still get the same answer?"

    "Let's create a whole new riddle for this number."

And, of course, always, "How do you know? Explain your thinking."

See what I mean?  If you're teaching your students virtually, try giving your students the riddle of the day ahead of time, with the dual assignment of solving it AND coming up with a math talk question about the riddle.

How are teachers using these riddles?

* Using one or more each day is a great way to keep math vocabulary and concepts active in the minds of your students.

* Take a screenshot of any page and use with Seesaw or your favorite app so your students can solve these right on their devices.

* Practice comprehension skills across the curriculum by "thinking aloud" to model identifying key details, inferring, and drawing conclusions.

* In a small group or with partners, use the printable and task card activities. Great for small groups and math centers!

* Use math riddles as a sponge activity throughout the day.

* The riddle cards are a productive use of learning time for fast finishers or for enrichment.

*  Level up or down to differentiate with individual students or small groups.  See riddles for first and second grade here, and for fourth and fifth grade here.

You might be wondering what math topics these riddle cards address.  Here's a quick rundown of the topics/vocabulary in this set.
*  Addition and subtraction through 1,000
*  Multiplication and division facts
*  Products, factors, multiples
*  US coins and measurement
*  Area and perimeter
*  Attributes of 2D and 3D shapes

Are you ready to try this free set of six? Click here or on the picture below to download them now and try them with your students!

Happy Teaching!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Making the Old New Again ... With a Winter Math Freebie!

Hi, Teaching Friend!

Everything old is new again, or so I've heard.

I've been spending a lot of time revising some of my older resources lately ... content, covers, descriptions, the whole deal, making the old new.  We all need a bit of a makeover, or at least an update, once in a while right? And some of these old gals haven't had one since (gulp) 2012!  Whoa! Where DOES time go?

I especially want to share the resource that I finished up today. If you had the original version of this winter math freebie, I think you definitely deserve the shiny new update!

Your preschool and kindergarten students will have fun matching, sorting, and sequencing these 40 cards. Each card has a representation of a number from one through ten. And, of course, every card has
those cute snowball monsters.

This set is also included in this bundle of winter math resources for PreK and K.  


Lots of hands-on learning... graphing, teen number clip cards, composing ten, names for numbers, subitizing, comparing numbers, and more.  

These are ideal activities for...

* Math centers
* Small groups
* Math intervention / RtI
* Modeling and teaching on your interactive board

But my favorite way to use these?  Morning tubs! Do you use morning tubs?  Social distancing?, Rethink these as take-it-to-your-desk centers. If you laminate the cards and boards and spray or wipe  them after use (assuming that's acceptable in your school, as it is in many), you'll get loads of use from these when you put them in rotation this winter!

Thanks for stopping by... and enjoy your math freebie!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Teaching in 2020: Tips for Remote Learning

Distance teaching in 2020 is no picnic, but I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that.

Teachers need to work together - in some cases, it's a question of survival!  Again and again, I'm so impressed by how teachers are helping each other by sharing what's working for them in remote learning, even in the face of their own exhaustion and frustration.  Whether it's friend-to-friend, with a grade level team, or all over social media, the sharing is phenomenal!

So, trying to do my bit to help here and there, I thought I'd bring you a few tips for using technology with some of my non-digital resources.

I selected some tips for using math elimination riddles. I chose this kind of resource for two reasons.

1.   These riddles are available at all levels, K-4.
2.   Since they're one of my most popular categories, I figure that there's a good chance that many of you already have one or more of these sets.

Don't know what math elimination riddles are? Here's a close-up of one of the cards. 


SOOO much thinking on every card!

Click here or on the picture to see the nearly 80 riddle sets in this category!

These tips are taken directly from teacher comments on TpT,  from real teachers who are out in the trenches making things work in this new world of teaching in 2020! My sincere thanks to these teachers and others who are so kind to take the time to share their ideas and help other teachers!

So, here are today's remote learning tips!

Do you use Seesaw? Here's a great idea from Gill H. This would also work well on your password-protected classroom website! Thanks, Gill!

Tip #2 is from Kimberly F. True confession: she left this comment on my Alphabet Riddles set. But it was so good that I just had to share it here, because it works with math riddles, too!  A riddle is an awesome way to focus attention at the beginning of a lesson. And since kids love riddles so much, the expectation of starting each meeting by solving a riddle together might be what you need to get your students logged in and ready to start on time! Thanks, Kimberly!

Would you like to try these tips with some free math elimination riddles? Here are some sets I think you'll like!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Build Community with Student Names - In Class or Remotely!

There's a very real urgency about building a classroom community at back to school time. To move forward into teaching and learning, there have to be some basic bonds of mutual respect and understanding.

One very basic way that students show each other (and you!) respect is by using each others' names in speaking to each other. Have you had students who referred to classmates as "that boy" or "the girl over there"? Or a child who called you "Teacher" for... umm, way too long?

What do you do to help your students learn each others' names? And what new techniques will you try in view of the unique challenges that 2020 brings?

Here's a project that I loved doing with my first grade literacy intervention class for many years. It helped them remember each others' names and thereby build classroom community.  As they made these and using the finished products, it also...

* Gave them practice in writing their own names
* Developed letter-sound match as they wrote the name of a classmate
* Practiced letter formation as they wrote
* Practiced one-to-one matching and return sweep as they used pointers to read the finished display
* Built control of early sight words (I, here is, am, and my, etc.) with frequent rereading
* Helped them see themselves as readers and writers
* Built pride in their writing when the display was taken down and made into one of the first of our many class books.

Can you think of more benefits? I'll bet you can!

The description and download of this free resource will give you a variety of writing templates in addition to tips for doing the project with your students!

I've been thinking about so many of you who are or will be teaching your students online this year.  It may be even more of a challenge to build community via Zoom's novel, it's fun, but it's definitely harder to keep students focused! And learning lots of new names definitely takes focused attention.

Is there a way that you could adapt this project to use in distance teaching?

For ideas, I turned to my newsletter subscribers, who had some great ideas for using this project when teaching remotely. Here are two of their suggestions.

From Amy K:  "How about if you put it on a Google Slide and we could copy and paste pics we take on Google meet and make an online class book?"

Do you know that it's actually pretty easy to put any page onto a Google slide? Just use your snipping tool to create a JPEG and pop it right into the slide.  Here's what my handy little snipping tool looks like on my screen.

From Sandra C:   "I think this would work into Grade 3, too. Just add a line ... he likes to/she likes to... or we like to ...together. Or make it an interactive question and response activity - where the children have their photos set in 2s and the first person asks a question of the second person ... who will respond online remotely? Maybe allowing for space for the 2nd student to add a photo of him/her doing the activity..."

I love the interactive aspect of this idea. Maybe brainstorming a list of questions together in your Zoom meeting could help get the ball rolling on this.

Thanks for your help, Amy and Sandra!

How about you, readers?  Do you have another idea about turning this into a virtual project? Please share in the comments below!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Building a Home - School Connection with Learning Games

Are you thinking about ways to build a connection with your class families this year?  With this crazy mix of teaching formats that schools will be using, you may need to be resourceful to develop a home-school connection with families that you might never get the chance to meet in real life. 

Just one more challenge for teachers to face... and conquer!... in this new school year!

Do you send games home for families to practice skills with their children? Games are a non-threatening enjoyable way for families to come together and support children's learning while they have fun together!

Here's a little freebie that might help you as you work on building open communication and a mutually supportive relationship with your students' families.

This resource includes tips for parents about playing games together. For your convenience, the download is provided in both Spanish and English, and has both portrait and landscape orientations in each language. 

One of the most important tips in the letter is "please let the teacher know if your child has a problem with a skill".  Without the usual ability to be constantly watching and making informed decisions, changing the course of instruction for individuals or even the whole class as needed, teachers will be depending more than ever on information from families! Open that avenue of communication!

Each letter is a separate JPEG, to make it easier to either send home digitally or post on your password-protected classroom website.

And if by chance your school is holding in-person Meet the Teacher or Back to School Night events, these make great hand-outs!

The directions are just a bit specific to my easy prep one-page games, which I have soooooo many of in my TpT store, but you can really use them with almost any game that you send home.  Click here to see my one-page games!  

Would you like to sample some free one-page games?  Here's Johnny Appleseed's Subtraction  and Pirate Addition Doubles Strategy Games, both of which are great for the upcoming September "events", Johnny Appleseed Day and Talk Like a Pirate Day.  You can simply send the link to your class families, or you can easily create a JPEG by using your snipping tool to take a "picture" of the page and send the game to them that way.

What will you be trying this year to increase communication with your students' families?


Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Learning About Plants with Crosscurricular Teaching ... and Riddles!!

Are plants part of your science curriculum in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade? Are you having trouble getting all of your students to mastery, given the limited amount of time available to teach science? Here's something that might help you!

The Next Generation Science Standards call for students to describe patterns of what living things need to survive, understand how plant parts contribute to their survival, and observe plant needs, life cycles, and diversity.  Even with the language simplified as much as I did there, that's a whole lot of content!

Fortunately, most primary grade students are super interested in science. With interest so high, many of your students will bring their prior knowledge to your lessons, and of course those connections are going to help secure all that new vocabulary and information.

But what about those kids who don't have the background, or who aren't as interested? What do you do to make the path to mastery easier for them?

Have you tried riddles?  Kids love solving riddles, and I'm a big fan of using them in teaching.
I have riddles for everything from the ocean to animals, from sight words to digraphs. And math? More math riddles than I can count! Riddles get kids thinking, and help them make the kinds of connections that make new information stick!  Plus, every riddle that you solve together is another opportunity to model identifying key details, making inferences, and drawing conclusions. That's a whole lot of learning wrapped up in a package of fun!

I just finished up a set of 20 plant riddles with answers like stem, leaf, seedling, germination, cactus, greenhouse, roots, tree, shovel, sun, soil, and nine more. It also includes a small group bingo game, a riddle writing activity, and a whole class graphing activity. I love incorporating cross-curricular activities in my science riddle sets. The more times your students see and hear these words, the more quickly they'll conquer them! Besides, who doesn't want to cover multiple standards withone activity?!?

Would you like to try a free sample from the Plant Riddles set?

Your sample includes three vocabulary matching boards with 20 plants vocabulary word cards on each board. Here are some ideas for using them.

* Cut a board apart and match the cards to another board that hasn't been cut. You can adjust this according to your students' needs: words to pictures, words to pictures / words, pictures to picture / words, etc.

* Cut all three boards apart into sets of 20 cards.  Have students find all the matching sets of three cards.

* Put the word cards or the picture / word cards in your writing center to encourage writing about science.

*  Use the cards in a literacy center for alphabetizing or syllable sorts.

*  Use on a tabletop pocket chart for categorizing and other activities.

Click to download your free copy!

Happy Teaching!

p.s.  If you already own either the Science Riddle Cards Bundle or Riddle Round-Up, please download them again ... the Plant Riddles resource is now included, and is yours at no extra charge!

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