Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fun with More or Less

It's time for fun with more, less, and equal!
We started with a handy dandy anchor chart. I confess. I'm not cute-cutesy and neither are my anchor charts, but they work. We started with the part at the top to introduce the math vocab and added the bottom part with the signs after my kids showed that they were awesome and clearly ready for a challenge!

To practice more and less, WE PLAYED THE MOST FUN GAME EVER!!!! WITH TRASH!!!!

Ok, let me back up...
Every kid balled up 2 sheets of scrap paper.
They threw them on the carpet.
(Needless to say, they were hooked) 
2 kids had 5 seconds to pick up as many trash balls as they could.
We counted each kid's trash and compared the numbers.
Who wouldn't love that??

In small groups, we used mats to show groups that are more, less, and equal to a given number.

We also counted and compared groups and numbers on these cards...Thanksgiving style! These cards emphasized that you compare numbers left to right instead of just saying the number that's more (which kids seem to instinctively want to do).

If you're interested, you can find these cards in my Thanksgiving pack on TPT
Or get it today as a fan freebie on my Facebook page

Need another fun game? We played War with playing cards. Take the face cards out and the kids go to town laying down cards and deciding which is bigger. So fun!

WAR! What is it good for?!
Absolutely nothing...but teaching more and less!
Since the majority of my kids were doing so well with more and less, we introduced the greater than and less than sign. They caught on SO FAST! Here are a couple of youtube videos that helped us introduce the signs. The first one is my favorite. HILARIOUS!!!!

The second one is pretty good, too!

I then gave my students number cards and popsicle sticks and they practiced making the sign and saying their comparison sentence.

When it came time to draw the signs, I used this trick. Draw 2 dots next to the big number and 1 dot next to the small number. Then connect the dots side to side.


If the numbers are the same, draw 2 dots next to each number and connect the dots.

Survey question: I've heard math people say not to teach the greater than and less than sign by calling them alligators. Something about how kids never learn which sign is which. However, the alligator mouth comparison always helped me, so I teach it.

To use alligator mouths or not to use alligator mouths. That is the question. Thoughts?

Five for Friday...errr...Saturday, Nov. 14

Happy weekend!! I'm Five for Fridaying the way I do everything: LATE! God bless my hubby for putting up with my punctuality issues. :)
So...don't tell anyone...but my class is harboring fugitives. 
We disguised our feathery friends so no one would know they were (turkeys). No turkeys here! Just princesses, pirates, football players, and cyborgs. :)
I'm so excited about college football today! As a UGA fan, here's what I need to happen:
Texas A&M beats Mizz
UGA beats Auburn
Miss St beats Alabama
That most likely makes the SEC championship a battle of the bulldogs (UGA vs Miss St) and makes it an interesting rivalry between me and my real-life BFF Melissa over at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late (who roots for Miss St). 
If those things happen tonight, expect a celebration sale in my TPT store tomorrow!
Back to things related to school. We have been working on retelling the last few weeks. Last week we retold fiction stories with this handy dandy anchor chart.

This week we retold non-fiction books by making a circle map. We wrote details from the book around the circle and then wrote the main idea in the middle. 

We followed up with this journal activity where students picked 3 details to draw (after a lot of modeling).

Higher students wrote about their pictures, too. 

It's still a concept that's a little fuzzy, but we're getting there. Thanks Deanna Jump for these great interactive journal activities! 
Oh! I almost forgot that we made Thanksgiving retelling bracelets thanks to this Dr. Jean activity. The kids LOVED it and it really helped them retell the story of the 1st Thanksgiving. Click {HERE} for the details!
Last Sunday was my grandmother's 93 birthday! The family got together, so we started taking some family pictures. Here's such a nice picture of me and the hubby!

And here's a...well...typical picture of me and my brother. Even after 30 years, some things never change...
Look what came in the mail! It's my handy, dandy new pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies!

Several of my teacher friends have been talking about these pencil sharpeners, so I HAD to try it out!!!
It's advertised as the quietest pencil sharpener, and that's no lie! It's sooooooo quiet, so it doesn't disturb the whole class. Hallelujah! I also like it because it stands up on it's own, so I can move it all around the classroom and use it anywhere. This is a reasonably priced product, so please check it out!

It even comes in pink now!  :)
Have a great weekend!!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Novemeber Currently

It's November!!!! From now until Christmas is officially my favorite time of year with college football in it's prime and holidays with family on the horizon.

I. LOVE. IT!!!!

It also means it's time for a new Currently! Thanks to Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade for hosting this fun linky!
Listening: Have you seen this video?? It will MAKE your day!

Loving: We LOVE our new fireplace in our new house! The hubby and I just bought our first home, and I'm pretty sure this is the room that sold us:

I love those bricks sooooooo much. Now that's it chilly, we can finally have our fire! YES!!!

Thinking: I love looking at fellow blogger's Facebook pages, so I finally started my own! I'd love for you to visit. Just click {here}. There's a fan freebie waiting for you when you get there!


Wanting: I bought gray boots 2 years ago from The Shoe Dept. (my absolute ALL TIME favorite shoe store!!) for only $20! Unfortunately, the sole is not broken in half and currently taped together. Might be time for new boots...  =)

Needing: My kiddos have apparently been listening to all of those sharing lessons, because they have generously shared their germs with me. I started coming down with the crud Thursday night, but by pure force of will, I stayed well enough to go to school on Friday (because I knew no Sub in his or her right mind would come in on Halloween Friday). Then, Friday night, I proceeded to die and have slowly been recovering ever since. Yuck.

Reading: In our grade level chair meeting, we've been reading the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. It's not your normal book study read. It's a narrative about a fake company and all of the different personality types it's made up of. It talks about why teams fail and what they need to do work together. I totally recommend it!!!!

That's all for me, Folks. Have a great Sunday!!!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Counting Bags and free recording sheets!

Counting bags! This is one of my favorite counting activities. On the outside, the bags have a colored sticker. On the inside, they have counting bears of the same color. SOOOO coordinated, right? Plus, it keeps certain small children from arguing about whose bear it is. Phew!
I have 2 recording sheets. The first group is focused on counting the bears. They color the bag on their sheet the same color as the bag they are using, count the bears with the help of tens frames, and record the number. I focused on 11-20, but you could use any numbers.
The next recording sheet is for my kids who have the basic counting skill down. They count the bears, record the number, record what the tens frames look like, and record 1 more and 1 less.

The key to this is always having at least 1 more bag than you do students. That way, if 1 kid gets finished, they can move to the next bag and don't have to wait for someone else to finish. You can get these recording sheets for free {HERE} I hope you and your kiddos enjoy!