Thursday, July 20, 2017

#TBT Week 1- Daily 5 in My Classroom

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I am going to revisit some of my favorite blog posts from the past!  I will be sharing a post every Thursday for the next 8 weeks! 

I hope you enjoy this week's post, check it out by clicking the image below!  It's actually a 3 part post, so be sure to click all the way through!!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

My favorite part of the day...and three awesome FREEBIES!

Hey there!

I'm writing today about one of my favorite parts of my daily schedule- Calendar!!  It is so much more than just days of the week and months of the year; I am able to pack so much math into Calendar time, and it's a huge benefit for my students and their learning!

I'll start with a picture of my Calendar set up and then go into lots of detail about it all!

My set up doesn't look like this every year (depends on what my classroom space looks like), but I do always include a monthly calendar board, a 120 chart, and my two Calendar math posters.  I made them several years back when I had a student teacher.  During her 'Total Teach' time, I had to spend time out of the classroom so she could be in charge.  I did a lot of work for the school and my team, and also got to make my awesome posters!!

I am about to overwhelm you with Calendar Math Madness!  Please know that the routine does not look like this on Day 1 in August, and there are plenty of days where things happen and we have to squish down our calendar time.  It takes time to build up to the full routine and I have seen the benefits of doing every day, barring those crazy times where Picture Day and Career Week and Field Trip all collide!!  I know you have those days, too!  I also like to build up to the point where the students take over all or part of the routine, but #realtalk there are plenty of days where I do all the writing, but they are still doing all the thinking!!

I always start my monthly calendar board with the numbers flipped backwards.  When it's time to start our routine, I point to the previously turned over card and say, "I can see that yesterday was Monday, August, 22nd, 2016.  Who can help me with today?"  I call on a student and they say the whole date correctly: Day, Month, Date, Year.  We talk about all these pieces and the importance of each one.  After we really know the routine, I start using popsicle sticks to call on kids so that everyone has to participate!  If they get stuck, I point to the days of the week at the top of the calendar to guide them, thinking out loud, "Well, if yesterday was Monday, then today must be..."  I might give them clues on the actual calendar board, so that they can see the patterns developing.  It is so important to show them that even as the month goes on, they can trace their finger up to the top of the calendar to see the day of the week.  Then we write the correct date and read it together.

At the beginning of the year, we sing the Days of the Week song every day.  (My favorite is the Adams Family version with the snapping!)  They get pretty good at that.  Then I call on someone to help fill in the "Today is...  Yesterday was...  Tomorrow will be..." spots.  We know what today is because we just found it when we recorded the date.  So I say, "Ok, Roman just told us that today is Monday, can anyone help me with the rest?"  Then I might point to the day if they needed help, but I usually have someone ready to answer that one!  I like to talk about how yesterday is the past, so you have to move back one day on the calendar to find it.  Tomorrow is the future and you have to move forward one day on the calendar to find it.  Then we record it on the chart and say the chant altogether- "Yesterday was Sunday, today is Monday, tomorrow will be Tuesday!"

Next, we check the weather, just by either looking out the window or having them remember what it was like when they got off the bus or out of their car in the morning.  We have a quick discussion about it, and I draw a symbol and write a couple of weather words.  We get into more details when we start the study weather in Science, but for this it's pretty basic.

Next up is always the place value chart for Number of the Day.  We keep track of how many days we've been in school through place value, so I made a spot on my posters with a column for Hundreds, Tens, and Ones.  I have plastic base ten blocks with blue sticky tack on the bacl.  Each day we add a block to the ones column.  I make a big deal out of it when it gets close to 10.  I over-exaggerate that 10 ones don't fit in the ones column and gesture like my hand can't stick it on there and say, "What am I supposed to do?  What happens now?" and they get excited and yell, It makes a stick of ten!!"  I peel the ones blocks off one by one and we count to ten.  Then we add the tens rod to the tens column and record the number underneath the chart.  We do this every day, because place value is such an important part of number sense.  This is also where I tie in even and odd.  I remind them that the always need to start by looking at the ones column.  If they can make partners with the cubes, then it is even.  If there is one left over, it is odd.  We have an even and off chant that we say as well.  "0, 2, 4, 6, 8, Even numbers are really great!  1, 3, 5, 7, 9, Odd numbers are really fine!"  (There's a version of this from Ron Brown, his Math Song CDs are AWESOME!)  Every time I call on someone to tell me whether it is even or odd, I always ask them how they know.  They might say things like, "Well, I know that 8 is even so 28 has to be even." or "Yesterday was odd, so today is even."  They might say it was even because they saw partners or odd because there was one cube left over.  These are all things we talk about each day so that they understand even and odd.

 Once we get the Number of the Day, we add it to the Standard Form spot and the Word Form spot.  As I am writing, I say things like, "Who can help me spell six?" or "Thirty eight?  Let's spell eight together." to keep them involved as I am doing it.

Next we add a tally to the tally chart.  We always talk about what to do when we have 4 tallies (cross it!!) and then we count by 5s up to the number of the day.  Sometimes I might circle two sets of tallies together and show them that it is ten so that we can skip count by tens.

Next up is using the 120 chart to count.  I circle the Number of the Day (how many days we've been in school) and I ask them to find the number that is One More and One Less, and then Ten More and Ten Less.  This takes practice for them to understand.  We circle or box in the numbers and it ends up looking like a plus sign with those five numbers in in.  The whole time I am training them to move horizontally when it is ones and vertically when it is tens.  I have signs above and next to my door with those words on them and we talk about what they mean and use hand signals.  We say "Horizontal!" and move our hands side to side, and say "Vertical!" and move our hands up and down.  After awhile I start showing them that when they are doing One More or One Less, the only number that changes is in the ones column (55 changes to 54 and 56, but the tens always stays as 5 tens).  I also show them that when they are doing Ten More or Ten Less, the only number that changes is in the tens column.  We trace up and down the chart to see that 77 changes to 67 and 87, but the 7 doesn't change.  We circle the numbers and sometimes underline the ones column in red so they can really see how it doesn't change!
I apologize for the graininess of this screenshot, but I wanted to show the "plus sign" of the 5 numbers for One More, One Less, Ten More, Ten Less.
I also included coins, a clock, and a piggy bank on my posters, but we don't hit those every day  For money, we review the values of each coin and/or talk about the images on the front and back. We sing the money chant as well, "A penny is one cent, a nickel is five.   A dime is ten cents, a quarter 25!"  For the shapes, I point out a couple shapes and go over different things each time.  I might show them that you can find 2D shapes on the faces of 3D shapes.  We might talk about some real life items that match our 3D shapes.  I might ask them to come up and count sides and vertices of the 2D shapes.  For the clock, we usually would pick a time from our schedule (recess, lunch, Specials) and write that in the digital box and then talk about how it would look on the analog clock.

For the piggy bank, I have coins with sticky tack on them so that we could do a variety of things with the coins.  We might show the number of the day in coins, or show two different ways to make a dollar.

Overall, I just judge how much time we have that day and fit in what I need to.  We also have lots of songs and chants, and I'm sure you have your favorites too!

To do more with counting and number sense, I have a large 120 chart and I have a helper come up so we can practice skip counting.  I have popsicle sticks with three different pictures on them to demonstrate the different ways to skip count.  For 2s, there is a frog because we hop over the next number when we skip count by 2s.  For 5s, there is a zig zag because we zig zag across the chart when we count by 5s.  We even sway back and forth while we are counting to exaggerate the zig zag.  For 10s, there is a person because you walk up and down the chart when you count by 10s.

It takes time to build up the whole routine and it's all about building number sense with repetition and having those great daily math conversations!!

I hope this post has been helpful and I would love to hear from you in the comments!!  Do you love calendar too??  To thank you for sticking with me through this lengthy post, I have some calendar freebies I'd love to share with you!  Just click on the pictures below to download the freebies from my TPT store.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dusting off the old blog...with FOUR math freebies!!!

Hey Friends!!

Well, we will just pretend that it hasn't been over a year since I've blogged...oops!  :)  Having a kiddo around changes things!  For the better of course!!  I can't believe that kiddo is going to be TWO next month; that just blows my mind.  What a crazy and amazing two years it's been.  There really is no other better thing than to be a mama.  It's the hardest and best thing I've ever done and I know I'm barely getting started!

So this school year, I have a new position.  Still at my same school, with my same principal that I love, but now I am doing Intervention and Instructional Coaching for K-2.  It's really the perfect position for me.  All of my ten years have been in K-2 and I really love the learning that goes on in those years, and understand how vital they are for success later in school.  I pull a small group from Kinder, a small group from First Grade and a small group from Second Grade.  When I am not pulling groups, I am in classrooms working with kids, helping my teachers, leading PLCs, making center games for my teachers, oh and let's not forget about Lunch Duty.  How I love Lunch Duty!  :(  Getting to sit in the quiet teachers lounge during lunch is definitely a nice perk that our teachers get on a daily basis!!

Anyway, I wanted to share a few things I have made for my teachers this year.  I really hope that you are able to use these in your classrooms.  Please leave me a comment if you do!  I'll give you a little blurb about each one and then all you have to do is click the picture to download the freebie!!

First up is a Counting Back freebie for Kindergarten.  My teachers asked for a simple way for their kiddos to practice counting back from 20.

You can have your kiddos cut and paste (number squares are included) or you can laminate the blank pages and have them write in the numbers with a dry erase marker.
Either way is a simple way to practice this important math skill!

I also made the same type of activity for my First Grade teachers, only with higher numbers.  They cut the pages into strips, almost like task cards and put them in a center with dry erase markers.  There are two versions, Counting Back from 100 and Counting Back from 120.  Check them both out by clicking on the pictures below!
My last freebie contains twelve puzzles made from 100 and 120 charts.  My Kindergarten teachers are working on identifying numbers to 100, along with numbers that come before and after.  My First Grade and Second Grade teachers are always looking for math center games that help build number sense!  For this one, you just need to print them on different color card stock, laminate, and cut along the darker black lines.

Again, I really hope these freebies come in handy in your classroom!!  Let me know what other math skills you are working on in the comments.

Also, be sure to check out all of my math games and other resources in my TPT store!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Not in Vegas, but...

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Man, the summer is just flying by!  I can't believe it is already July!

This summer is keeping me pretty busy and that's why I'm glad my bloggy friends have fun and easy linkies that I can join!

Yes, you *might* have noticed all the Vegas posts on social media this week.  It's the annual SDE conference there, along with the second annual TPT conference.  I went last year and had SO MUCH FUN!  This year I am missing out, but I have the best reason ever!  Which is why I'm joining School and the City's linky...

I'm loving spending this time with my husband and my little man!  My husband is a teacher as well, so we get to spend the summers together.  Murphy is almost 4 and a half months old (TIME, SLOW DOWN PLEASE!) and there's so much going on in his little world and I'm loving every minute of it!  He's rolling over and scooting across his playmat and he smiles at us non-stop!!  He's also learning to grab on to things, including my fingers, face and hair!  He coos and "talks" to us and even squeals loudly- a lot!  He loves to suck on his fingers, my fingers, his bib, his blanket- basically anything he can get near his mouth!  It cracks me up the way he attacks whatever he wants to get in his mouth, pulling it in tight and going to town on it!  I could go on and on about all the things I love about him, but I'll stop for now since I really should be in bed.  :)

I hope you are having a blast this summer, whatever you've got going on!  Enjoy every minute!!

Click on over to Kristin's blog to read about more summer fun!

School and the City

Monday, June 29, 2015

Being a parent is hard.

Being a parent is hard.

Very hard.

But, it’s not hard because of the sleep deprivation.

It’s not hard because of the lack of free time.

It’s not hard because of the decisions about picking the right day care, how long to breast feed or feeling guilt over going back to work.

It’s hard because of the LOVE.

The love you feel for your child is unbelievably and absolutely immeasurable. Your every thought is about them. You know you would do anything for them. You can’t imagine anything happening to them and you do everything in your power to prevent any sickness or hurt from ever coming to them.

This is a post I wrote on my personal Facebook page in early March-

"Well, I've been a mom for two weeks now and here are some things I've learned-

I still can't get used to the word 'mom'; that can't be me, no way.

Fold over mitten cuffs are a wonderful invention and should be required on all baby clothing.

I narrate and sing everything to Murphy, even trips to the kitchen to get paper towels.

There's no limit to the things I can now do one handed.

Seeing my new baby gagging on milk is the scariest thing ever.

Seeing my husband become an awesome daddy is the best thing ever.

Sleep deprivation is hard. Breast feeding is harder.

I laugh at Murphy's milk-drunk faces every.single.time. I also take pictures of them.

New mommy hormones seem to be way stronger than pregnancy hormones, but maybe it's just the lack of sleep thing.

There's not much out there that's better than this precious little baby snuggled up and asleep on my chest.

Unconditional love is the real deal, y'all."

Everything people tell you before you become a parent is absolutely true. “It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but the best thing you’ll ever do.” “Time goes by so fast.” “They grow up too soon.” I heard all of those things, but never really understood them until now. My sweet boy is only 4 months old and yet time truly has flown by. I look back at pictures from when we first brought him home and I can’t believe how tiny he was. I watch videos I took of him yawning, stretching and moving around in my lap and it seems so long ago already. I regularly flip through the hundreds of photos I’ve taken of him on my phone and smile and cry and laugh. We recently moved him to his crib, and every night I stand there and just watch him sleep. So tiny, so peaceful, so perfect. I’ve never cried as much as I have in the past 4 months, just thinking about everything that I love about him.

A teacher friend and I were talking about a month ago and she remarked, in awe, that now I was a mom and how that was “Forever. Like really forever.” And yes, she was completely right that being a parent is a forever commitment, but when you feel this much love for one little perfect being, you cannot imagine it NOT being forever. You can’t imagine not being there for every milestone that they reach. Every bittersweet milestone, where the excitement for their growth and progress is paired with wishing they could stay this little forever.

Recently, I’ve heard and read about a few families that have lost their precious babies and it tears me up inside. A family at my church just lost their son when he was only 2 days old. Another family I read about on Facebook recently lost their little girl to leukemia when she was just 2 months old. I cannot fathom how they go on with their daily lives after such a tragic loss. I really cannot imagine the pain they go through every morning and every night, and my heart breaks for them. It was after reading about that loss that I started writing this post. I was crying too much to fall asleep. It is just a painful reminder to not take anything for granted. Hug those that you love a little bit longer. Don’t forget to say I love you. Tighten those car seat straps just a little bit tighter.

I just gave my sweet boy another kiss goodnight and I can’t wait for him to wake me up early tomorrow for another day together. Another day of tummy time and rolling over. Another day of taking walks outside and looking at the birds. Another day of coos and cuddles. Another day of seeing him look up and smile at his daddy.

I know that I don’t know what’s in store for my family on this “forever” journey, but I know I can’t wait for more milestones as they get here. His first laugh. His first step. His first day of school. I really do understand how great my own parents are now and know why they stayed up when I missed curfew and why they told me not to drive over the speed limit and I know they feel this same love for me and for my sister. I hope you all experience love like this several times in your life because it is the best feeling in the world.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sweet Sweet Summer!!

Well, I haven't blogged since February 14th and there's a good reason for that!  Our son was born on February 25th!!  I'm a mommy now!  It's exactly like everyone says; it's the hardest thing you'll ever do, but the best thing you'll ever do!!  It is unbelievable how much we love our little man and how much he's grown in the past 3 months.

I was blessed to be on maternity leave for 13 weeks and only went back for the last 6 days of school.  My long term sub was great and my team was amazing- they all took great care of my kids while I was out.  My class was super sweet when I went back to work- they had made me cards and told me all kinds of stories about what I had missed in the classroom!

They even had a countdown to the day I was scheduled to return!  So sweet.

We made it through the last 6 days of school and packed up the classroom for the summer!  It's always so much work, but its a good way to purge a little as I'm loading up the boxes.

I loved my 2nd grade team this year and I'm sad because not everyone is coming back to 2nd grade next year.  Some are moving by choice and others have been moved by admin- since we were a strong team, they want to spread it out to other grade levels.  Not really an ideal situation and we're a little sad about it still.

I am super excited that it's summer and our first one as a family of three!!  We have lots of fun things planned- weddings, concerts, family visits, road trips and hopefully lots of pool time!

Anyway, hope to get back to blogging a bit more often, but we'll see how that goes!!

How was your last week of school?  What do you have planned for the summer?  Would love to hear from you!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Deep In The Heart of Texas Blog Hop!!

Welcome to the "Deep in the Heart of Texas" blog hop!  Over 40 Texas teacher bloggers have joined together to share what we love about our state as well as ideas and freebies that we love.  You will also have the opportunity to enter to win TPT products and/or TPT gift certificates by entering using the rafflecopters included in each post.  Down at the bottom, you will see all of the blogs participating in the hop.  Just click and you will be taken to their posts.  We hope you love what you find.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Let's get this party started!!  I'm Katie and I am a born and bred Texas girl!  I am originally from Houston and that's where most of my family still lives.  I moved to Austin for college (Hook 'em Horns!) and have been here ever since!!  Been here over 10 years now, so I think that makes me an official Austinite!!

Austin is such a great place to live!!  It has everything we need but doesn't feel like a big huge town yet!  I say 'yet' because we are going through some major growing pains right now!  Traffic is getting worse as more and more people move to Austin each day!  It's still a great place to be though- great weather, live music, lots of outdoor places to explore and some awesome restaurants!!!

I used to say I didn't like teaching math, but now it's my favorite part of the day!! I'm a big fan of Guided Math and use that model in my 2nd grade classroom.  You can read more about how I use Guided Math in my classroom in this blog post.

I have a fun math product in my store called All About Me Math.  It's a fun activity to do either at the beginning of the year or at the end of the year, as a great way for your students to see how many numbers they have in their lives!  You can check it out in my store and then enter to win a copy in one of the giveaways below!!

Here's a fun freebie from my store for you- my Number Sense Activity Pages.  These are super fun cut and paste activities that my kiddos LOVE!  Perfect for a math center!!

Click on these pictures to go straight to my store-

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Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!