Friday, 23 January 2015

Daily 5 Math Activities

We have been working on lots of different activities in math lately.
In Math Daily 5, some of our activities have been looking at tens and ones. Building, counting, recording, writing, etc.

Count Your Beans:
Students pulled out a number card and built it with beansticks and beans. (beansticks have 10 beans on a stick, single beans are ones) Then they recorded their number. I put it in a page protector so students could write on it.


Tens and Ones Small Group Activity:
Students worked with the teacher to again build their numbers on the tens and ones mat.


Here is a whole group activity we did, working on tens and ones with QR codes.

Students have to scan the QR code and count the tens and ones. They then recorded it on their page. Again, I put the recording sheet in a page protector so it can be used again.


Happy Friday!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

What we have been up to

I thought I’d share some pictures of what we have been up to lately.


We have been continuing to work on using lines and shapes in our art. We talked about angled, curved, and straight lines as well at dots and circles. Click {HERE} to see step by step instructions and the finished pieces.


Morning Meeting

We have been working on consistently spelling some of our most common sight words.  We had to walk around while the music played and when it stopped, we went to a whiteboard and practiced spelling one of the sight words.



We worked on a QR Code activity where students had to go around the room and count the tens and ones and write down the number the picture represented.


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

I’m Back! Listen to Reading Ideas..Report Writing

Soo..I’ve been told by a few people now that my blog has been slacking. (Thanks Kim S and Laura R for commenting on my lack of blogging haha)

I thought I’d take a break over winter and now that winter break is over, I haven’t really felt in the sharing mood. I’ve been changing a few routines, structures, and ideas in my room as of late and feeling a little scrambled. I took some pictures this week, which I haven’t done in forever and I am ready to share some new stuff!

I think I left off my last post (almost a month ago ….yikes) with sharing some report writing. Well here are the finished reports! We turned them into little mini non fiction books and the kids have been keeping them in their book bins and reading them during Read to Self.


We wrote introduction sentences to begin our reports. Again, this was created during shared writing.


Each mini book has 6 pages of facts. They choose 2 facts from each category to record.


Our next step in report writing is to choose a new topic and do some research and guided writing with a partner or small group.

Next up is Listen to Reading. For the past 4 years, I have been using individual MP3 players for the kiddos. I used to have 3 kids doing L to R at the same time and then 1 MP3 player died. I then had 2 kids during each round and now BOTH MP3 players have kicked the bucket!! You would plug in your headphones and all you could hear is background music, no words. You had to carefully turn the plug to a perfect spot to hear anything and if it bumped a bit, it would stop. UGH. TOO hard for 6 year olds to use. To be fair, they were generic ones, $20 bucks and I used them for 4 years. I guess I got my money worth.

So I debated getting more generic ones and continuing to spend money on those or switch to something else.

I decided to use my class ipad and buy a headphone splitter so 2 kids can listen!
Here is the headphone splitter ($25) from Future Shop. You can plug in up to 5 headphones.

I created a playlist in itunes of all my Listen to Reading books. (imported all my book CD`s into itunes)

I plugged in my ipad and synced it up. I numbered all the stories in the playlist to match the numbers I already had on the books. So my kids can just find a number in the playlist and match it up to the correct book.


2 kids will listen at the same time and sit together with the book and flip the pages. Kind of like Read to Someone. So now Listen to Reading has turned into a partner activity!


I think introducing how to use this method will also be a ton easier than the MP3 players. With the old ones I had to make instruction cards and model and demonstrate to 2 kids at a time on how to use them. Took forever.
If you are struggling with resources and quality items for Listen to Reading, try an ipad!

I hope to be back blogging and sharing more frequently. My goal is to share more ideas, tips and make it yourself projects and very FEW products or things to sell and buy.  I am seeing waaayyy to many blogs lately that are just becoming stores and things to buy. :(

Monday, 8 December 2014

Part 3 Report Writing

We are well underway on our Penguin Report.

Next, we took all of our sticky notes under Confirmed and New Information and sorted them into categories.
We noticed we had some gaps in our learning and needed more info under What Penguins Eat. We went back and looked on the internet to find more info.

I then took all the facts and wrote them out on big sheets of paper.

Criteria for Report Writing

* You must 2 facts to write from each topic.
* You need to write on a new page every time you go to a new topic.
* You must print neatly, with your letters the correct size.
* You must re-read your writing to make sure it makes sense.

(We will add in other criteria as we move to adding an intro sentence, title, etc)

Students were in charge of moving between the 5 stations, picking 2 facts at each and recording them on their report paper.


Next, is to take all of our report pages and put them into a book with a title, pictures, etc.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Report Writing Part 2

I am back to share our next steps in Report Writing. I mentioned in in my last blog post, that we are going to be doing Report Writing 4 times this year. This first one is a shared/guided Writing experience. We are working together to create 1 report as a class.

We left off with us writing down all the things we think we know about penguins.
Next class, we talked about how we need to know if our facts are true or not. Good reporters ask questions and research their information to make sure they are sharing correct and true facts.

We first decided what books could help us find real facts about penguins. We sorted Fiction and Non Fiction books.


I then read sections of the Non Fiction books and the students listened for facts we had already written down.

We talked about the words Misconception and Confirmed. If we heard our fact in the Non Fiction book and it was the same as what we wrote, we moved our sticky note under Confirmed. If we read our fact in the book but it was different from what we thought, we moved it under Misconception.


Example: We wrote that Penguins can swim. We read the same thing in our book, so it moved under Confirmed. We talked about how these are now true facts we could use in our report.

We also wrote that Penguins live in the Arctic. We read in the books that Penguins live in the Antarctic. We moved this sticky note under Misconception.


We also wrote new pieces of information that we found as we read as well. Since we are doing this whole group, I am reading the books and students are sharing when are where to move the facts.

We talked also how you can’t get everything you need from one book. If you want to be an expert, you might have to read a few books, go on the computer etc.
We also noted that you can’t move a sticky note, unless you have researched the fact. Also, that you may never find the answers to some of our thoughts and it is ok for sticky notes to stay under What I think I know.

When we go to write our report, we will use the facts under Confirmed and New Information.

Next Step is to use a graphic organizer to sort our facts to see if their are any gaps and we need to go back and do more research.

At the end of the year, my kids work on their own report. They have the same headings in a book format and they use sticky notes to record and sort their info.

Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Report Writing

This year, part of my Professional Growth is focusing on writing. I have always gone about it in bits and pieces, but never set a scheduled time down in my day plan for it.

This year, I have work on writing during Daily 5 (every day), as well as 3 other Writers Workshop times planned in.

We have been doing journal writing in our writers notebooks during Daily 5 and we started looking at report writing during Writers Workshop time.

I have always done report writing closer to the end of grade one. This year, we are going to try and do it 3 times. This first time is shared writing with the teacher. 2nd time will be guided writing and 3rd time will be independent writing.

We looked at a report about Beavers and talked about what we noticed. We created a chart of the things reports have.

photo 2photo 1

We looked at fiction and non-fiction books in our reading corner and decided which would help us write a report. Reporters share facts and information. We might already know a lot about a topic that interests us, but we need to ask questions to make sure our facts are true and so we can become experts!

We decided that together as a class, we were interested in Arctic animals and knew quite a bit already about them. We picked Penguins as our animal to write a shared report on.

We started with writing down what we thought we knew about penguins. Our next step, is to do some research and decide if our facts are confirmed or misconceptions.

photo 3

Stay Tuned!

How do you teach report writing?

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Plickers App: Amazing and Simple Assessment Tool

I am super excited to share with you a new app I stumbled upon. Its called Plickers

It’s a tool that allows teachers to collect real-time data without needing student devices!

Here’s how it works.

1. Download the free app and create a class with your students names in it. Have more than 1 class? No need to worry! You can create as many as you need!


2. Create a  question in the app. It can be true or false or multiple choice. You can have up to 4 answers to pick from. A, B, C, D.

3. Now comes the fun part! Go to the Plickers site and print out the special cards.

 Each student gets a certain card each time they answer. The cards have numbers and letters on them. They have enough for big classes as well (up to 63 kids!) I realize I might have cut mine too small as my kids had a hard time holding them without covering up the code. (note: don’t cut off the extra paper!)


For Example: When I create a class, each student I assigned to the class got a certain number. Joe is number 25. When I hand out the cards, I need to give Joe 25 so I know it is his answer.

The 4 letters are for the multiple choice answers. Joe needs to hold his card with the letter up that he thinks is the correct answer. The certain way he holds his card will give his card a special block figure and when I scan it, it will tell me if Joe is right!

Example: Joe is card number 25. I ask the question “ What is 4 + 2?”
A. 7
B. 5
C. 3
D. 6

Joe needs to hold his card with the letter D up, so he will get the question correct.

I recommend trying out some practice questions so kids get the hang of holding up their cards the correct way. So you know if they are answering the question incorrect or didn’t know how to hold their card.

4. I hand out the cards, making sure everyone gets the right number. I ask the question, give everyone a chance to think and hold up their cards the correct way.

(Picture from the website Plickers)

5. This is what I see on my ipad. I click on the camera below and take a photo of them all holding their cards up. (my students names were listed below the question)


What I love: As I scan the group….it tells me what cards it is reading and collecting the info from. After I take the photo, I can see if it missed anyone and if I need to go back and take another photo of the few I missed!

6. Take the photo and collect the real time data!

I see 19 kids got the answer correct. 2 did not. It tells me which 2 kids got it wrong by their numbers.

I can also see what numbers I missed. I missed 14 and 15, so I can go back and take a photo of the 2 of them and collect their data.


You can re use the cards again and again! Just keep writing new questions! You can also use them for multiple classes! You could have 5 kids assigned to number 1 from each different class.

What I love about Plickers:

Great for quick formative assessments. Can I move on? Do I need to reteach? Who do I need to reteach to?

Use for Exit Slips. No more collecting paper. Ask a question at the end of the day and have everyone show their cards and take a photo!

Everyone can engage and participate without being singled out!

Collect quick whole class data.

Re-use the cards.

I just found it yesterday, so I am sure there is more!

Download the app and check it out for yourself!

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