Friday, August 31, 2012

Week 2

Ever done the Sid Shuffle? We tried it during a brain break and the kids loved it. They were asking to do it again all week! You can see them below learning the dance.

Sid Shuffle

We make longitude and latitude cookies this week. The kids used plain cookies and used two different colored icing to add lines of longitude and latitude to create a globe.

Longitude & Latitude Cookies

I also taught the students a new game this week. We used a 10 sided die (0-9) and a place value. They took turns rolling and placing numbers on the chart. During the first round the goal was to make the largest number. During the second round they tried to make the smallest number.

Biggest number game

We also played Make 100 on the Smartboard. We played girls vs. boys. The girls won the first game and the boys won the second game. They took turns rolling the number cube on the Smartboard. The player decides if the number will be used as is or multiplied by 10. The goal is to make 100 without going over and each team must roll 9 times.

Make 100

At the end of the week we used the iPad to research a blue moon. Tonight we will have a blue moon so I wanted the kids to know what that means. After they researched it, they posted what they found out on Edmodo. The students with correct answers earned the Blue Moon badge!

Blue moon

STUDENTS: Today we learned about a blue moon. You should know that it has nothing to do with the color of the moon. We also talked about what it means when you say something happens "once every blue moon." So tell me something that happens to you once every blue moon to earn a ticket for the good job jar.

Friday, August 24, 2012

School Begins! Week 1

School started back this week and we had a lot of fun!

This week we started learning some of the games that are in our Math 4 Corners: Strategy Games, Fact Games, Number Games, and Paper Practice. You can see us learning how to play Oh No 99! The kids keep 5 cards in their hand at all times and add each card played to get to 99, without going over.

Learning oh no 99

I also love doing brain breaks with the kids. When everyone started looking like they are glazed over we get up and do a brain break to get energized again! This one is where you snap your right fingers and blink your left eye. Then switch and snap your left fingers and blink your right eye. Once you get started try going as fast as you can. Click here to learn about other brain breaks!

Brain breaks

Here you see a few students playing 4 in a Row. I have a set to practice addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division. Pick a game board and spin twice. For this one you multiply the 2 numbers and use a chip to cover the answer. The goal is to get 4 chips in a row to win.

Math 4 Corners

Today we did one of my favorite activities, Saving Fred. Fred love to go out on his boat but he can't swim. One day he is out on his boat and it flips over. Fred is able to climb up on the bottom of his boat but his life jacket is under the boat. The students have to work together to figure out how to get the life jacket on Fred without touching anything with their hands. If Fred drops he's dead! Each pair got 4 paper clips, a cup, a gummy saver, and Fred (gummy worm).

Saving Fred Saving Fred 2

Every group was able to save Fred. Some got it on the first try and others had to rethink and try again.

Saving Fred 3

STUDENTS: I enjoyed getting to know each of you this week. I hope you enjoyed your first week back at school. We had a lot of fun and did a lot of different things. What was your favorite activity and why?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Students Return Monday

Teachers returned to school this week and after meetings I've been working some in my classroom. I decided I wanted a math focus wall and I also wanted to add a few things.

This Daily Data board is where I'm going to have my students answer a question and vote one way or the other. Then we are going to use this data to create graphs and generate questions about the data. I was first introduced to this idea from the book Guided Math and the new 4th grade teacher, Ms. Hawk, shared how she does this with her students.

Daily data

I still need to make cards with student names (or numbers) on them so they can vote but I thought we might start the first note with sticky notes.

Math focus wall

Then I used the back bulletin board to create this math focus. We have the calendar (which will have pattern pieces on it), a place for the array of the day, prime/composite numbers, fraction bars, and measurement. I also plan to add vocabulary word splashes as we learn them.

Then in the picture below you can see the Common Core Mathematical Practices Objectives. I love these posters because they explain them in a way the kids can understand. You can find these posters here.

I also added a small poster for our brain dumps. As we learn a new brain dump I'll add it to this wall.

CC Math

When a student doesn't have his/her homework assignment they must stay in for recess detention during recess time. In the past I've had student write a note about why the assignment isn't complete. I found it difficult to manage without sorting through papers on the way out the door for recess. So, this year I plan to do things differently. I found this homework black book form. I will still have the excuse written by the student but they will stay in one binder. If the student has to write an excuse he/she must move their clip from the left to the right ribbon. That way I can see if anyone has to stay in recess detention. Once the assignment is completed and turned in I'll have the student highlight the assignment in the black book and move the clip back to the left side.

No HW tracker

You can also see the brownie points I used last year. If the class gets a compliment from another adult in the building they earn a brownie point. After the pan is full I make brownies for them.

CAFE wall

Since I added more math stuff this year I rearranged my CAFE (reading) stuff a little bit too. I'm ready and excited for the kids to start Monday! I'll start posting about what we're doing in the classroom next Friday.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Class Lists are posted & brochures mailed!

I start back to work Monday and everything is ready. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what to do with my math wall so that will be a project for Tuesday.

I put a parent letter and the class brochure in the mail today for all my students. The class lists were posted today so I had to wait until today to mail them.

Brochure front

I make these every year to mail to my students. I order them from Vistaprint and I'm always happy with the way they turn out.

Brochure 2

Brochure 1

You can even see the QR codes I added to the back so the parents have easy access to our blog and webpage.

Here is a copy of the letter I sent along with the brochure.

In our classroom wall

I hung up the banner I made from Vistaprint as well. I used the bulletin board border and hot glued it around the poster. I also added the 7 Habits next to it.

Calming jar

I found this idea on Pinterest for making a calming jar so I had to try it. I had been saving an mayo jar and knew it would be perfect for this little project. Check out the link to find the pin/directions.

Calming jar shaken

So I'm back to school Monday. I know it is going to be so hard for me to get up in the mornings. I'm not really a morning person but it is time to become one! When I finish my math wall next week I'll make sure to share the pictures.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

In Our Classroom pdf

A few people have contacted me to get a copy of the file I used to make my In Our Classroom poster. So I thought I'd add it here so anyone can get to it.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Meet & Greet Tour via QR Codes

QR codes for tour

This week I put together my website and QR codes for the self guided tour of my classroom. For the first time this year, we are having a meet & greet instead of an open house before school starts. The parents and students can come and meet the teacher/bring supplies from 12-3. So I was trying to figure out how to show everyone things in the classroom without having to do multiple tours of the same things over and over. I'm also not going to be able to do my traditional PowerPoint so I'm putting it on the website for the parents and students to view as well.

QR 4 corners

So these are just a few of my QR codes around the classroom.

QR code pets

HW board qr code

The letter I typed to go along with the brochures I mail let them know they need to download a QR code reader before that day. I hope that I'll be able to get a few iPads from the library to use for this as well in case there are some parents/students who don't have smart phones. Want to see my website? I kept it very basic and didn't add too many photos because I didn't want the pages to take too long to load. Scan the QR code or click on it to see the site. I just gave you one QR code to get you to the page and then you can see the links on the left side. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Twitter Door

Our Twitter door

This is a picture of my Twitter door from last year. After much love the sentence strips had to come down and be redone. Last year I laminated sentence strips but this year I found some that are dry erase. I also added a strip at the top for a prompt for students to respond to. We are having a Meet & Greet where students and parents come in to bring supplies and meet the teacher. So one of my QR codes (for the classroom tour I'm working on) will be for the students to "tweet" a response to the question. You probably can't read it but it says, :Are you excited to start back to school? Why/why not?" Since I cut the sentence strips in half that required them to keep their "tweets" short, probably shorter than 140 characters.

My twitter door

Sometimes I ask the kids to tweet about certain things and other times I allow them to tweet about anything they want. It just depends on what we are doing that day. When we first start I let a few kids go to the door at a time but once we get started they go to the door when they come up with something they want to tweet about. We also use the real Twitter app on the iPad to tweet about what we are doing in the classroom. I normally have the students take a picture of something we are doing in class and tweet about it. They have done a great job with the door and the ipad so I'm sure this year will be just as good. If you want to follow me and my students on Twitter we use @MWhiteMES.