Saturday, 31 January 2015

Create your OWN Listen to Reading Books!

I found this great idea from Kayla over at Top Dogs Teaching. Visit her blog to get the step by step on how to use the App Audio Boom!
We used her idea to create our own Listen to Reading Books for Daily 5. We have been talking about why we do Listen to Reading and how it helps us become better readers.

Why do Listen to Reading:
  • It`s fun
  • You can read books that are too hard for you to read on your own
  • You can hear what good storytellers sound like
  • You can hear what fluent readers sound like
We created an anchor chart of what we noticed when we listened to books by good storytellers.


Students then had the chance to sign up to come and record themselves reading a book. They needed to be able to do everything on the chart.  Students used Read to Self time to practice reading fluently and changing their voice!
Here is the sign up sheet I made.


I chose to have students record during recess time as we are an open area school and it is one of the only times when you can find quiet. (unless its indoor recess, which of course is what happened our first day of recording! UGH)

Here is the set up for recording. I used a little mini microphone on my ipad to help eliminate background noise but it is totally not necessary.

photo 1

Once the recording is complete, you upload and Audio Boom creates a QR code for you!


I decided to print the QR codes and tape them onto index cards. The great thing is many kids can record themselves reading the same book and you can have multiple cards with different QR codes on them for different kids readings!

I put the book in a bag with the index card. On the index card I wrote who it was read by.


I created a new Listen to Reading bin for just our Storyteller Books. Kids can come to the bin, take out a bag and scan the QR code with the ipad to listen to!


Go check out Kaylas post to learn how to use Audio Boom to record!

Happy Saturday!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Place Value: Tens and Ones Activities

We have been working lots on building and recording tens and ones. It has really helped my lower kids in counting and understanding numbers and their relationships to other numbers.

We recently introduced some new number puzzles to our Math by Myself Activities.

There are 3 different kinds of puzzles. 4 piece, 2 piece and 1 piece.


I store my puzzles in ziploc bags. These ones are a little more intricate than my other puzzles, so I taped an example to the bag of how to correctly complete it, in case they forget.

The first puzzle works on showing the number in numerals, tens and ones (words), base ten blocks and ten frames.


In the next puzzle, students need to connect the base ten blocks with their corresponding number card and then write how many tens and ones. The puzzle pieces are laminated and we use a whiteboard marker.


The last puzzle has students circling how many tens and ones are needed to show the number. There are no pieces to connect, just circling with a whiteboard marker.


Please email me if you are interested in the puzzles as they are no longer available in my store.

Place Value Puzzlesa

I printed them 4 to a page in order to save cardstock! Each puzzle style goes through the numbers 1-50. I would recommend mixing them up and making multiple puzzle bags so as not to overwhelm the kids. In the 4 piece puzzle set, I was able to make 3 different bags using all the numbers from 1-50.

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. :(

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