All Treats! No Tricks!

We just got the word here that Trick-or-Treating hours have been changed from tomorrow until Friday. There's a big bunch of nasty weather coming and in the interest of safety, most towns here are postponing the trick-or-treating fun. I'm not gonna even pretend.....YAY! That makes my teacher heart HAPPY! SO much better to send the sweeties home to enjoy the fun & the recoup over the weekend!

Today, we made our Fact Family Haunted Houses. LoVeD it!! My kiddos had so much fun & it was a fabulous activity for them academically since we've just been sort of dabbling in multiplication. The turned out super cute! I do have one little pumpkin who does not celebrate Halloween. Easy adjustment...different color for the house, and people instead of ghosts.

Need a little math activity for tomorrow? You can grab the FREEBIE-- just click the cover!

Happy Halloween!

Fun Times in MATH!

What could be more fun than PeRiMeTeR, I ask you?! Well....some super fun Math games, I suppose!

We broke out the new math games and had loads of fun playing. (Gotta love it when they think they're playing, & they're really learning!) I love games for building automaticity! Last week, I made two games to help my kiddos build automaticity with both telling time & counting money. This group was playing the JR. Edition of "Tickety Tock!". It's played just like Uno-- they can match color, or time (either the analog clock, written time (like 5:15), or phrases like 'quarter after 5'. Of course, there are Skip, Reverse, Wild, & even Draw 2 cards! Fun, fun!

There are actually two versions of this game. The Rookie Edition has time to the hour & half hour, and the JR. Edition includes time to 5 minutes and the phrases quarter-to or -til, and half past. If your kiddos can use some super fun practice reading analog clocks, you'll want to check this game out! (Just click the pic below).

 Kiddos don't seem to have enough of an opportunity to practice counting money to truly gain automaticity with it. Back in the day, mom & dad would give us some change to walk down to the store & buy some candy or gum. Or in the store, they'd give us some coins to make our own little purchase. Kids just don't seem to get that opportunity any more. Kids don't walk down to the corner store anymore, & when mom & dad are shopping, they pay with the debit card most likely.

I didn't get a pic of the group that was playing the money counting game, Cha-ching!, but they were also having a blast! (I'm telling classroom was busy and QUIET! They really were engaged!) Now, my kiddos' money counting abilities vary widely, so I made three versions of Cha-ching! ALL of my kiddos can play the same thing at their own challenge level. Gotta love that! Most of my kiddos are ready for the regular edition, which includes $1 & $5 bills with amounts between 68 cents and $6.81. There are some who are still working on counting within a dollar, and they are using the JR. Edition (which I don't tell them, of course). The values on this game are between 35 & 84 cents, and the amounts are written in both cent and dollar notation.

I also have the Rookie Edition, which I'm not using this year, but I'm sure I will at some point! The Rookie Edition only includes pennies, nickels, and dimes with coin collection values between 5 and 31 cents. If you'd like to take a closer look, click on the pic to get more details.

We have been super busy the last week or so exploring area & perimeter. And we're mastering it! (Win, win!) Yesterday, we used Adventures of Room 209's Farm Frenzy Perimeter Project. Check these out! Each kiddo gets to choose 5 new animal pens for the farm, figure out the perimeter for each, then determine how much wood the farmer needs to buy to build all of the pens.

It's shaping up to be a great week! Next up, we have Halloween festivities!

Trick or FREEBIE!!

Hope you've been enjoying Class*y Collaboration's Halloween Freebie Hop! This is really my favorite time of year (although Christmas tops all, & is just a given! haha). Halloween is just so fun. I was thinking the a
week or so ago, as I got my Halloween seasonal books out, that it's really too bad that we are out now for two full weeks in October....I really don't even have enough time to read all of the Halloween books that I have!

There are also lots of cool Halloween Math activities you can do, too. One of my kiddos' favorite is when we make our Fact Family Haunted Houses. They LOVE it.

And that's my freebie for you today....the template for making your own Fact Family Haunted Houses! You can do this activity with either addition or multiplication, so it really can be done across many grade levels. If you prefer, you can write the fact family on the roof ahead of time for your kiddos. I like to have mine reach into a bag & pull a domino for which to create a fact family.

Just click the cover below to download your FREEBIE from my dropbox! Enjoy! 

Be sure to check back in with Class*y Collaboration tomorrow for more Freebie Treats!

The Array of the Day!

Back when my own children were in the third grade, their teacher did what she called "The Array of the Day" (but you have to read that with a fake super serious voice. hahaha!) I hear that every time my kiddos work with arrays in the classroom...."The Array of the Day".

Today, we played Fern Smith's fabulous Arrays Multiplication Games. What a terrific way to begin multiplication! I am a true believer of using games as as instructional tool. Sometimes, it seems as though kiddos learn without even knowing it! Of course, that can only happen with well thought out and designed games! And of course, Fern does that.

Another thing I really like about this pack is that it can be used in multiple ways... You can play Go Fish, Concentration, & Old Maid. Go Fish is a favorite, so we played that way.

What a great way to introduce multiplication or provide extra practice! Love it!

Revamping Literacy Workstations + a Freebie!

I've been working on revamping my literacy workstations this year. Mostly adding in some new ones that I'd not tried before. Keeping in mind the dynamics I have going on in my classroom this year with the Multi-age, I felt I need to update my workstations to match. I also wanted to build in more of an element of choice. While most of the kiddos in my ELA group are firsties, I also have a few second graders and a couple third graders.

There are a couple of groups that I am working with intensively. We do four rotations and I am lucky that I have a TA (teacher's assistant) and an ELL TA during that time to work with groups. The groups that I am most concerned about, who need more intensive instruction, either work with me and each of the TAs each day. Since I am a decidedly visual person, I created a pictoral schedule which we display each day's rotation schedule on the document camera during rotations.

So. Here's how you read it....
  • Blue horseshoe is our horseshoe table (which I call the macaroni table), and our TA works with small groups there on both sight words and phonics skills. She is fabulous!
  • Purple hexagon - is the table where the ESL TA works with sight words and vocabulary activities.
  • Orange table- That's ME! And I am working with guided reading groups.
  • Green C's - These groups get to choose an activity of their choice. These are phonics skill activities, sight words, listening center, or computer station. I don't use all of these as choices every day....I post about 4 each day.
  • Beige Computers- on Tuesday, we go to the computer lab & do our workstations there. When kiddos are not in a prescribed workstation, they are doing Spelling City at their computers.
  • Laptops - on Wednesday, & Friday, I use my teacher laptop for a Media Center. Right now, I am using this fabulous set of  Rock N Learn Sight Words DVDs that I reviewed for Educents back in the summer. It worked so well for my three-year-old granddaughter...I'm excited about the potential for the kiddos in my class. 
  • Ooka Island - You'll also notice that on Mondays and Thursdays, I have individual students using my laptop for Ooka Island. I reviewed this for Educents over the summer also, & found that even my three-year-old granddaughter gained literacy skills as a result of using it (& she loves it, by the way).  

I am SO enjoying this Fall Break! We've been spending a few days in Myrtle Beach relaxing & enjoying the sun & surf. I think it probably tells  you how much this break was needed when I tell you that one of the highlights of this little trip was taking a nap by the beach. Seriously. Just the simple fact that I could just shut down.....aWeSoMe!! I did spend some time last night while watching The Walking Dead making a new workstation activity that we'll be using when Fall Break is over. 

I Spy Sight Words - Fall Edition (non-Halloween). There are four different Fall-themed pictures, each with 7 sight words hidden in them. Kiddos will use magnifying glasses to hunt for and locate the hidden sight words. They'll create a a tally chart: record the word that is found and tally the number of times it appears in the picture. Then, they will convert the data into a graph. I am super excited to launch this in my classroom!
If you'd like to give it a spin in your room, just click the image below. It's a FREEBIE for a limited time!!

Over the next several days, I'll be sharing some of the workstation activities we do for Choice.
I'm always looking for new ideas....what are some of YOUR favorite workstation activities?

What a Whirlwind!

Boy! Time flies, doesn't it?! This first 9 weeks of school has been an absolute whirlwind! I began a new adventure this year, & it has really taken a lot of energy. I love it....but a lot of energy! Whew!

This year, I'm teaching a First, Second, & Third Multi-age classroom. It's not as crazy as it sounds...I'm also team teaching. A good friend is also teaching a 1, 2, 3 Multi-age. So what we really have is 54 kids...2 teachers. It works out fabulously & we're loving it! You might remember that we actually took out one
section of the wall between our rooms so that we would have ease of movement between the two rooms. Actually, we refer to the space as one room...two sides.

I've had oodles of questions about how it all works, so I thought I'd share what we've got going so far...
In each 'homeroom', we have a mix of all three grades. We both teach with a workshop format, so for Reading for example, we took all 54 kiddos, and looked at their reading levels (we use Fountas & Pinnell).
I have levels C through J/K, and my teamie has J/K through T. We did something similar to that for math: I am teaching the 'older' end of Math, and my teamie has the 'younger' end.

So here's what our day looks like....

Whew! Even looking at it wears me out! It's taken TONS of training to get it all running smoothly...but we're there! I am so glad we've finally reached Fall Break! Two weeks off before we dive into the next nine weeks. Time to regroup, reorganize, & get some things ready to launch.

I'm taking a couple days to relax in Myrtle Beach, then it's back home for a week to get things ready to roll.