Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

A place dedicated to learning for ALL students!

If you give a …

Okay wow.  This week just flew by.  I’ve been trying to get this post done since Sunday and something (or me falling asleep) keeps getting my attention away for this.  Gotta work on that…

So Friday was our only non-testing day of last week.  Finally.  This meant we had our full reading block but I had nothing structured or really set up that we had to do.  So I decided that since my kiddos had worked themselves so hard, I would do a fun project.  I went to my bookshelf to see what might inspire me.  Then I saw them.  My Laura Numeroff books If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Pig a Party.  Then I just knew what I wanted to do.  I would read the books to them and then let them write their own stories starting with the phrase, “If you give a ________ a ______, then he/she will want…”  So I went home to think about how we were going to do this.

I thought about making a template for them to follow but I couldn’t seem to figure out how (I’m still figuring out this product making stuff) so I decided we’d just go for it.  So I read the stories to them.  And then we discussed how the story came back to where it started.  So then I told them the big news…They were going to get to write their own in their groups!  They were floored and couldn’t wait!  Yes my students are weird…they love to write.  You can imagine what our 10 minutes of writing workshop is like!  😉  So anyways…

Now I did not just turn them loose.  I gave them an example.  Which is right here (please don’t laugh!):

Remember this is only an example- hence the messing writing.  I kept it short and sweet so that they would get some good writing time in.  My point was how I looped it back to where I started.  So then I set the parameters- no copying the books I read or my story!  I then set them loose as shown here:

I somehow didn’t get pictures of all my groups.  I missed one.  Not sure how…  So they worked!  They were busy the whole time and loved it!  I circled and observed and conferenced where needed.  They really did all the work.  They worked well together which really made me happy.  Whenever there started to be a dispute I just told them that they wouldn’t like what I would suggest if they didn’t come to an agreement.  That’s all I had to say!  By the end of the school day (one or two of the groups needed to finish during reading stations time) all the books were done and they were so happy!

TA-DA!!!!!  So proud of them!!  Their books are now in the Library Station (they begged me to put them there) and they are loving the chance they now have to read those books.  🙂  So I’ve gotta just share one of the books that a group wrote.  Now their connections are not always obvious but what I’m proud of is that it’s their writing.  They did this and they are so proud of themselves.  So enjoy the story:

(If you give a parrot some pumpkin pie)

(Look at those contractions!  Oh and the ellipses!)

(Yes I know the sentence structure is not exactly there…they were just so busy getting the words down!)

The end!!

So there you have it!  It took a lot for me to just let them go and not control every aspect of it.  Then it would not have been as much fun and they probably never would have finished these things.  So I’m super proud of my kiddos and then just proud of myself for just letting them enjoy it.  And believe me…they did!

So how about you?  Have you ever just let something go and let your students just do it?  Please share!  And thanks for stopping by!!

Happy Teaching!

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What we’re learning this week

Okay so wow!  Look at me!  Posting 2 days in a row!  Feeling great!  So I had a very good first day back with my kiddos.  They were excited about the room arrangement and I really worked to use my whole group area on the floor as much as possible.  I used it for math and reading.  I would have done science there too but they needed to write on a paper.  The goal is when they don’t need to write or use supplies, we’re on the floor.  Otherwise it’s the desks.  I like being closer to them when I teach and it breaks things up.  But all this can (and probably will) be elaborated in a later post.  🙂

So this week we’ve got a jam-packed week of learning.  In math, we’re doing graphs and data.  In Texas, state tests start in 3rd grade.  But a while back, my school was part of the Reading First grant.  While the 3rd grade team had their state test to help measure the grant’s effectiveness, the lower grades needed something.  Enter the Iowa Test of Basic Skills- or ITBS.  We do this test in April and it lasts for a couple of hours a day for a week.  Not fun.  Just to let you know.  So anyways, there’s always lots of graphing questions so we have to specifically make sure that we teach this particular unit before that test.  But it’s actually really fun and easy on the kiddos.  We’ll be hitting addition and subtraction hard again after this so that will throw them for a loop.  For our math program, we use Scott Foresman Envision.  We’re on Topic 20.  I’m going to be changing up math stations starting Wednesday and I’ll be sharing what my kiddos will be up to in that post.

In reading we use Houghton Mifflin Texas Journeys.  There is a version of Journeys that are used by other states, but Houghton Mifflin had to make a Texas version to fit our state standards.  So we’re on Unit 5 Lesson 22.  The big focus with this lesson is r-controlled vowels- particularly er, ir, ur.  Ouch!  And they have a spelling list with a mixture of these words.  It’s not easy trying to help these kiddos just know when to use er, or ir, or ur.  Did I tie your tongue up?  😉  So anyways, I decided to troll through the many great products from the fabulous teacher authors out on the net to see what I could use in stations.  I printed several things but one really stands out for me and that is this one:

Click on the picture to go to Vicky Moore’s store at TPT.  This is not a free product, but I got it free some time during the last school year.  I believe I got it from Teaching Blog Addict’s big teacher appreciation event where a bunch of authors gave a free item worth a certain amount.  I just remember clicking like crazy that night trying to get everything I could.  I got most of it!  🙂  So anyways, this was an awesome packet to have and the best part was, I had it printed, laminated, and cut (this part thanks to my amazing hubby) BEFORE today!!  Go me!!  I got to use it in my small groups.  Woohoo!  (Just so you know, I don’t always get that far ahead to be able to do that.)

So anyways, the packet includes poems, some practice sheets, and these word strips missing the r-controlled vowel.  You print the strips and these cute little Super Kidz that are labeled with either er, ir, or ur.  Vicky suggested putting them on popsicle sticks but I didn’t get that far.  But the kiddos are supposed to put the needed Super Kid in the blank to complete the word.  Awesome!  Since I knew that just constant practice was going to be the only way a lot of my kiddos figure this out, I just pulled this out and started using it.  They loved it!  Here’s pictures of what I did:

Aren’t they cute?!  If they got something wrong, I would go over the word, especially if it was one I know the student has seen before, to see if the student could correct on his/her own.  I would give more guidance as needed.  An example below:

It’s hard to see but she put er in first.  I had her read the word and asked her to really look at it.  Did it look right?  She immediately saw it wasn’t and picked the correct one.  If she had not been able to do that, I would have guided her to the right answer.  Once they selected the right Super Kid, I had them read the word to me and write the word on dry-erase boards for extra practice.  See below:

(She fixed her word!  🙂 )

Sorry!  I went a little picture crazy.  But they really loved it!  Big shout out to Vicky Moore at Traditions, Laughter, and Happily Ever After for creating it and giving me the opportunity to get a hold of it!

In science we are studying the 3 states of matter.  We started yesterday by looking at ice cubes and a crayon, recording their physical properties on a chart, and then discussing ways we could change them and what would happen if we added heat.  We’ll continue looking at solids, liquids, and gases the rest of this week.  If we do anything spectacular I’ll be sure to share.  🙂  This lesson came from C-Scope, which is our new district curriculum.  We just bought it in January and right now we’re just using it where we need/want to while the district completely maps out how we’ll use the full curriculum next year.  Joy.

So anyways, this is my week!  Like I said earlier, I’ll sharing my new math stations later this week and I’ll do a post on reading stations once those are changed (if I can ever get my word wall up).  🙂

Happy Teaching!

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Starting the new year off right- BUSY!

So Christmas break is done.  Boo!  Time to get 2013 kicked off to a great start.  Yay!  While I’m missing my break, I was happy to see my firsties on Tuesday and get the second semester rolling.  I’ve been working on setting up new stations for math and reading.  We’re starting our middle of the year benchmarks for reading AND math this week so I need to have everything in place by Wednesday.  Oy.  So here’s what I’ve got planned for math:

Bucket #1- Ladybug Partner Bingo- Time to the Hour and Half Hour & Time to Go Fishing- Go Fish

So I decided to put 2 activities in this bucket since I’ll be doing benchmarking and won’t be in my room to actively monitor my dear students.  The aide that will be monitoring them will also be monitoring my doormate’s class as well.  So yeah.  Okay.  We did our time topic a couple of weeks before the Christmas break and I really wanted to get a station bucket going with the skill so as to maintain it.  We’re also practicing telling time to the hour and half-hour during calendar time.  So anyways here they are:

The Ladybug Partner Bingo was created by Mrs. Kilby from Confessions of a Primary Teacher and you can get this cute little game here.  It’s a freebie!  I found this last year and used it and loved it! I printed the 2 game boards and put them on file folders.  I put an envelope on the back of the folder to hold the cards.  Nice and neat!

This game is a new one to me but I know my kiddos are going to love it!  It came with 2 games and I chose the Go Fish version.  It’s made by Penny Wiegel and you can get it here.  It’s a freebie too!

Bucket #2- I Have, Who Has: Place Value Ones and Tens & Tens and Ones Bingo

Place value also occurred right before Christmas.  Again trying to maintain that stuff in their slippery brains!  😉

This is from Melissa McMurray from F is for First Grade and you can get it here.  Freebie!  This is another one that I found last year and I just threw it in my stations not really thinking about it.  I knew what the game was but for some reason I didn’t think it mattered.  And it didn’t!  The kids pass out the cards among their group and then just start going through the questions and matching them with their answers.  As they do this they lay their cards on the floor and in the end it makes a circle, matching all questions and answers.  They love figuring it out and this is right up my current firsties’ alley!

The second game is one that another teacher gave me.  Sorry I forgot to snap a picture of it!  The bingo boards have base 10 blocks showing various numbers.  The calling cards have the same blocks with the printed number underneath.  Nothing elaborate by any means but effective in doing the job.  My kids love bingo so it’s perfect!

Bucket #3- Last Snowman Standing- Sum of 2 Dice

Okay this came from Math Wire.  You can find it exactly here.  It’s down towards the bottom of the page.  It goes great with the season, practices addition, and practices tally marks.  Perfect!  It’s also got 2 other versions of the same game- Difference of 2 Dice and One Die Toss.  All are played the same way and instructions are included.

Bucket #4- Base 10 Puzzles & Place Value Rock- Writing Numbers

Yes it’s one more bucket of place value.  But honestly that’s such an important skill.  I just can’t let it go.  That and I had a tone of activities all set to go from last year so…  🙂

This came as a result of a long and exhausting search of exactly this last year.  I was all over Google to no avail when I finally decided to give this Pinterest thing a try.  I already had an account but hadn’t done much with it.  I typed in my search and holy moly!  I had died and gone to heaven!  That really kicked off my Pinterest addiction!  But it also introduced me to TPT, teacher blogging, and this great activity!  It’s from Mrs. Berg of First Grade Schoolbox and you can get it here.  Another freebie of course!  After I printed on cardstock and laminated them, I cut each card into puzzle pieces.  I’m talking the different zigzag lines and such.  Yeah I was crazy.  But I had help doing it and it really benefited my kiddos.  So there!

This one is from Shuna Patterson of Pocket Full of Kinders and you can get it here.  Yes it’s free!  (Are you noticing a trend here?)  She’s got several great activities in this packet.  I decided to have them do the write the room option towards the end.  The recording sheet is laminated to be reused.  Another great practice in looking at place value and knowing those numbers.

Bucket #5- EnVision topic games

Like I’ve said before…I’ve got to have at least 1 no brainer!  😉

Bucket #6- One Less

Last one promise!  And I’m just now realizing that I have no picture of this.  Nuts.  Okay it’s basically a game where the kids roll a die and then cover a number on the board that is 1 less than what they rolled.  Each player has 10 chips to cover the numbers and 1 board to share.  First one to use all their chips wins.  Pretty simple!

Okay so that was just math.  Whew!  I’m finishing up my reading stations and I’ll get back to you on that.  We’re having fun doing a special unit this week as it’s a short week for the kiddos.  What are you doing in your stations this week?  Are you glad to be back?  😉  Come share!

Happy teaching y’all!

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Dinosaurs and Hopping Hippos

Okay I want to say that for the record that I’ve tried to write this post 3 times tonight. Computer was not liking me.  So here’s hoping 4th time’s a charm.  Okay…On with the show:

What a title for my comeback post!  So sorry I’ve been MIA.  Moving a household into an apartment and a storage unit is no easy task.  Needless to say I’ve gone a little C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!  Ack!!!!  But I’m not going to dwell.  Nope!  On with the show!

So Hopping Hippos.  They would be these guys:

Aren’t they cute?!  They came with my classrom and they are all one color- red.  So quite frankly, I’ve not known what to do with them.  Until  I was working with a small math group this week and I was teaching them how to use a number line to add and subtract.  At first I just had them using their fingers to move up and down the line.  But I felt like they would do better and not have to worry about where their fingers should be if they had a mover.  Suddenly, I had an idea.  The hippos!  I usually use connecting cubes.  But the hippos (as stated already) have had no use for me.  Well as of now, Hopping Hippos will be our official math movers!  Here’s one in action:

They are perfect for my firsties!  My small group loves them and always reminds me to grab their Hopping Hippos when I dig out the number lines.  Now I’m sure you’re thinking it’s no big deal.  But when those babies love something like that and really use it to help them learn, it’s a winner in my book!

Okay now for the dinosuars!

Now just remember I’m from East Texas.  Little did I know that there was a published author in our area.  Until our very smart librarian found him and invited him to come visit our campus.  Enter Michael Bearden!  He wrote a book with his daughter about Marus the Longneck and it’s published.  I’ve got it on my bookshelf over there.  ———->

So anyways, he did a great job with the kids!  He told Marus’ story in  such a great way.  Not a single first grader made a sound.  Amazing!  Then an actual dinosaur showed up!  (It was a person in a costume of course.)  Talk about excitement!  They just loved him!  I’ll be honest and say I didn’t stay much after that.  It was my conference period and I really needed to get a couple of things down.  But the kids were so excited when they came back.  I’m so glad they got to experience this.

So anyways that’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to.  I know I had promised in the past pictures of my classroom and how things are arranged.  So in light of that I’ll be starting Flashback Fridays to get me caught up on all that.  I’ll be bombarding you with pictures so be prepared!  Hopefully you’ll be able to see something you can use.  So be on the lookout!

Happy Teaching!!

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The Wonderful World of Mathematics the Finale…FINALLY!

So here is the final wrap up to my adventures at CAMT.  I promise this is it!  I kept rereading this post and my previous one trying to see why something didn’t seem right.  Hence the delay.  Then one day, I was picking up things and gathering my school stuff to start getting it back in room and then it hit me.  I forgot to tell about a session I went to on day 2 that was my favorite!

Have you ever heard of The Learning Carpet?  No?  Well just click the name and you can learn more.  Specifically, a teacher in Canada put a 100-grid on the floor.  A large one.  One that the kids could walk on.  Yes she used it as a giant 100 chart.  But she did so much more with it.  And you know what?  She encouraged us to go out, make our own chart (on the floor, on carpet remnant, a shower curtain) and teach.  Why?  Because if you buy her carpet, you pay $299.  While well worth the money, she knows it’s not always possible.  But she believes this great tool so much that she told us to make our own.  For her it’s not about the money.  So refreshing!  Below are some pictures of what we did.  So many possibilities!  Oh and I took a chance and went to their sale table to try to buy her book.  I got THE LAST ONE!  WHOOP!!

Here it is as a 100 chart.  Oh, can you tell me why those certain numbers are black?  😉

You can do more than math with it!  She did so much more but I was too busy watching and forgot to snap pictures.  Oops!

Okay so day 3 was very short and sweet as it was the last day.  My first session that I attended was on Dinah Zikes’ foldables.  It was a lot of fun!  We were very busy folding and tucking with a little bit of cutting.  In about an hour and a half, we created several samples of foldables and learned of the MANY possibilities to use them.  I hope I remember them all!  If you go to her website (click her name) you can see some videos.  Here are a couple of videos of some finished products.  Out of respect to her and her products (books), I have not included directions to make these.  Again see her website.  Oh and we did not use ANY glue or tape.  Pretty cool!

A mini-folder.

A little folding and a little cutting.  Tuck here and insert there.  A multi-page book!

Rather than fold, unfold, and then cut- just cut the fold!  Brilliant!

Mini-match books!  So cute!

So after that I rushed to another session only to have it cancelled.  But later I happened to be at my last session (actually in the wrong room really) and ended up getting the packet she was presenting.  I’ll look through it…eventually.  😉  So I killed time at the sales tables and a got a free mini-Versa Tiles set!  I love free stuff!  Then I went to my last session.  Another one concerning math workshop.  I really like the model and since I know it works for reading, why not math?  Well unfortunately I don’t have a long enough time during my math block to really implement it in its entirety.  But I’m going to try as much as I can.  After that it was homeward bound.

The whole CAMT experience was a great one for me.  I had never been to a teaching conference like that and it was neat to be in a room full of teachers with so many different teaching backgrounds.  It was interesting to hear what different schools or districts did and how well they worked.  I came away from the experience energized and ready to have a classroom full of kids and teach.  Love it!  What is inspiring you this school year?  What is your muse or kick start?  Did you attend a conference?  Talk to me people!

Happy teaching y’all!

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The Wonderful World of Mathematics Part 3

Well day 1 of CAMT was pretty packed.  But the good thing was I had a better idea of how I wanted to pick my sessions.  Kim Sutton and Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks had more choices.  But being new, I wanted to get a little bit of everything.  Also, the entire 3 days I was there, my whole thought process was finding new ideas for my math small groups.  Also, I was curious to see if I could do math workshop.  I looked for sessions that helped me with that.

So day 2 I started with a session that focused on math workshop.  Perfect!  Guess what was praised and told to be a great resource?  The book Guided Math that has been featured in one of Teaching Blog Addict’s summer book studies!  (Go here to check out the book study!)  I was curious about that book but didn’t want to jump on that bandwagon until I had a chance to find out more about it.  After this, sold!  Click the picture to purchase!

Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction

Okay so that session was really nice and I enjoyed it.  One thing she showed us that was new to me and I loved it.  As part of the accountability system for students while they are in math stations and the teacher is working with small groups is a score board.  After everything is cleaned up and you’re doing a quick wrap-up, talk about how the time went.  Using a board of some sort with moveable items with goals for the students to follow (i.e. no interrupting the teacher, working quietly, clean up, etc.), you tell the students how they did.  If they met that goal, it’s a point for them.  If they didn’t, then it’s a point for you.  My district math coach was worried about the competitive issue for those groups that are not as competitive and changed the board to say needs improvement and goal met.  The students obviously want to get as many of the goals as possible.  If they get within a certain range (4 out of 5 for example) she suggested giving them a piece of something they are working towards (filling their bucket, marble jar, whatever you do).  I love the idea and will be using it for math AND reading stations.

My next session was on mathematical fluency.  Funny thing…It was presented by a colleague of my aunt’s who is a middle school math teacher!  This presenter taught my cousin!  Small world.  Honestly though, the session was not what I thought it would be.  But she did suggest that if you are going to have student use flash cards, make sure they have the WHOLE fact to practice instead of them trying to find the answers.  Think of it like practicing sight words.  They need the whole word to practice it.  Well students need the whole fact sentence to practice it.  Interesting.  I will remember this.

After this, I spent the last 3 hours of the day at Math-a-Rama.  It’s 6 mini-sessions all concentrated on one area.  There was one done each day and I went to one of them.  I didn’t realize that each day was different or I would have been more choosy in which one I went to.  Rookie mistake.  But it wasn’t that bad.  The one I went to was centered on operations, relationships, and algebraic thinking.  There was a lot of multiplication and division work which my first grade babies will not really do.  Not even my G/T kids, unless one of them is a super genius!  But one of them was about using count-around strips to examine relationships with 5’s and 10’s and other skip counting patterns.  I can do that!  You use connecting cubes to create number lines skip counting.  They then hold up the different strips and see how they are the same and how they are different.   Good small group discussion.  Hmmm…possibilities.  On a weird note though, the ballroom it was held in was the coldest room at the convention center!  We all froze!

Okay that was the end of day 2.  I promise there is only one more day!  So how many of you do math workshop in your school?  What does your school provide for you to make it successful?  My next post will explain why I will NOT be able to follow that model fully…unless some great suggestions come in!

Happy teaching y’all!

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The Wonderful World of Mathematics part 2

Okay so sorry I fell off the blog bandwagon!  I’ve been working in my room and then having some opportunities for family visits.  Ah good times…But I digress!

Okay so when I last left you, it was day one of CAMT and I had done some shopping.  What I really did was just do a look around and just see what was there.  A lot.  A lot of stuff was there.  Everything from teacher fashions (the shirts were so cute!) to textbook programs to jewelry.  There were some booths I was looking for specifically so I made sure to hunt them down and just know where they were so when I attended some more sessions I would know where to find what I wanted.  After that I hoofed it over to listen to the great Kim Sutton.

Ah Kim Sutton.  She is awesome!  If you’ve ever heard her speak you know what I’m talking about.  She was a classroom teacher and creates things to work on mathematics.  She is famous for her number line with the colored dots to mark the various skip counting patterns.  She also works with Ron Brown who writes music to talk about math concepts.  In this session, we laughed, danced, sang, and just absorbed her enthusiasm.  The session was on addition and subtraction.  Honestly she did not show me anything so new that I was just blown away.  She did show how some of her products, such as the workbooks with the random number calling CD, worked and how to use it.  What I got most out of her session was renewed enthusiasm in what I do- teach.  She made me excited to go back in the classroom and just work hard to help my students.  I feel like we all just sometimes need to be reminded what fun we really have in our work.  Kim Sutton did that for me.  I also got a baggie of freebies including a double 10-sided die, and clear colored chips.  Awesome!

From there I ran to a session I knew I had to find from friends who attended CAMT last year.  I went and saw Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks.  They created games with dice and cards.  They have developed their own deck of cards that are all numbers as opposed to the traditional face cards.  They also love double dice and 10-sided dice.  Now I’ll be honest.  I tried hard to take notes as we were going through the session.  But we moved so fast I couldn’t keep up!  It was just easier to play the games and enjoy myself.  It had me thinking and laughing.  Another great motivating session!

It was almost time to head home and since I had some time, I ran back to the exhibitions and made my first purchases.  Check it out!

The Kim Sutton book has a random number calling CD included.  When I went to the table I told the ladies to suggest the best place to start for a first time follower.  Then I (again being the music geek I am) grabbed a music CD because I know I can use many of them.  I was able to get on her website here and download the lyrics to the music.  Awesome!

After that it was a quick trip to Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks to get this book.

Why this one?  It’s the one that is used with just normal dice and cards.  No special items required.  Perfect!  Oh and you can find their website right here.

Okay let me gather my notes from the other two days and I’ll be back!  Do you use any of these products already?  Have you been to one of their workshops?  What do you think of them?  Talk to me people!

Happy teaching y’all!

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The Wonderful World of Mathematics

The past Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I attended CAMT in Houston, TX with many other Texas educators.  What is CAMT?  It is the Council for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching.  The entire conference was centered around math for all levels.  As it was in Houston, and I’m just outside of it, my coworkers (there were 5 of us) and I carpooled in each day.  It meant getting up at 4 am each day to ensure I was dressed and at the meeting place on time so we could start driving in at 6:15.  Needless to say it was tough getting up but I did it.  And it was worth it!

For three days I went to sessions and listened to great ideas and of course went shopping!  I came away with a lot of ideas and hopes for the next school year.  Because my district pretty much sets what I use for my whole group time, I concentrated on what I could use with my small intervention group.  This is my group of low babies who gets worked with every day.  I also looked for ways to differentiate for my G/T students as that’s another one of my goals.  I got a lot of what I was looking for.  Now to start listing it out…

My first session was on the 100 chart and using it to build number sense.  It was presented by author and teacher Stephanie Sheffield who helped write the books It Makes Sense! Using the Hundreds Chart to Build Number Sense, Grades K-2.  I have not bought the book…yet.  You can click the picture below to order it from Amazon.  It has great ideas and even data sheets to record observations.  She mainly had us doing games and we discussed what they can be used for.

It Makes Sense! Using the Hundreds Chart to Build Number Sense, Grades K-2

Now before I describe one of the games, she gave us a couple of points to think about.  In my classroom, I have 100 charts that are 2-sided.  One side is filled in while the other side is a blank grid.  She said we should have those separate.  It’s too easy for students to look at the other side rather than show us what they know.  Also, once students have mastered counting by ones, they need to stop.  What?  I know.  I was floored too.  But she said students need to be counting in groups as quickly as possible.  Since the 100 chart is divided into groups, it makes sense that students need to be counting that way as much as possible to enable them to concentrate more on operation they are performing and less on the actual counting.

So one of the games was called “Don’t Get Lost”.  Students need a blank 100 chart and a counter to move.  Give students a starting number and they should put their counter where they think it should be.  Tell students where to move on the board- up, down, right, left- and how many spaces.  Students then tell you where they are.  Now this is particularly challenging with a blank chart.  So it was suggested to use a completed one first for those that need it.  I know my G/T students would love to try it without any numbers.

After that, my next session was on using songs to help students remember information.  It was presented by these two ladies who were so cute.  They’re cousins!  They told jokes about each other and kept us laughing and singing the whole hour.  We sang songs to the tunes of “You Are My Sunshine” and “The Ants Go Marching”.  My favorite was the song “Old Mac Donald had a Barn Full of Polygons”!  They were also selling books and accompanying CD’s but I decided not to buy any.  A lot of us did do our voice recorders to record what we sang while in session.  I like music (I sing and play the flute actually) and I’m not afraid to look silly and get my first graders singing if I know it helps.  That’s how my students last year learned the days of the week and months of the year.  🙂

After that I went to two more sessions and did some shopping.  My favorite thing!  What did I see there and what did I buy?  Well you’ll just have to wait and find out next post!  Did you attend CAMT or another major conference?  What did you love the best?  Comment and tell me!

Happy Teaching!

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